GODS LAKE NARROWS, Man. — Steve Ashton, minister of transportation and government services, says Manitoba will fund a $100,000 study to explore improved winter road access to five communities.
Part of the provincial Northern Development Strategy, the communities include of Manto Sipi Cree Nation, Gods Lake First Nation, Gods Lake Narrows, Oxford House First Nation and Norway House Cree Nation. All have signed a partnering agreement with the province and Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) to study alternative routes for a new winter road.
The partners will prepare a report identifying the location for a new Hayes River winter road which will run from PR 373 near Sea Falls to Oxford House, Gods River and Gods Lake.
Under the agreement, the five communities will choose a preferred route. Manitoba, in consultation with INAC and the communities, will examine the proposal to determine feasibility and estimate construction costs. The proposed route may be adjusted by the province and the communities to arrive at the best selection possible.
“Access to our provincial transportation system, even on a seasonal basis, is a priority for many northern and remote Manitoba communities,” says Ashton. “This partnership brings the communities and government together to develop a viable new route that will have a greater value to the northern residents.”
Once the new route has been agreed upon, Manitoba will undertake the necessary surveying, mapping and geo-technical exploration. Subject to environmental review and approval, the report should be available for community review by early December with the final report submitted early in 2002.
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