Province Invests In Far North Winter Roads Program
Annual Provincial Funding Helps Mitigate Transportation Costs
SUDBURY - The McGuinty government is helping Ontario's Far North communities move people, goods and other supplies this winter by funding the construction of a winter road network linking them to the provincial highway system, Northern Development and Mines Minister Rick Bartolucci announced today.
"Our Far North residents face unique social and economic challenges, not the least of which is the exorbitant cost of transportation to and from their communities, especially in the summer when air transportation is the only option," Bartolucci said. "The ongoing commitment of the Ontario government to fund a winter roads system ensures that during freeze up, people and supplies can be moved about much more readily and economically."
The provincial government is committing $3.5 million this year to build more than 2,800 kilometres of winter roads that run over land, frozen muskeg, lakes and rivers between the region's isolated First Nation communities. This funding brings the McGuinty government's total investment in the program to $10.5 million.
"This program reflects our commitment to provide affordable access for the benefit of residents in remote areas of Northern Ontario," said Bartolucci. "At the same time, we continue to discuss with the federal government their potential financial participation in this program, to ensure that we can together bring the greatest benefit possible to these isolated communities."
"The seasonal construction of winter roads plays an important role in the Far North's economic and social well-being," said David Ramsay, Minister Responsible for Aboriginal Affairs. "Our government remains committed to acting in partnership with Far North communities as they strive to build better futures for their residents."
This initiative is part of the government's Northern Prosperity Plan for building stronger northern communities. The Northern Prosperity Plan has four pillars: Strengthening the North and its Communities; Listening to and Serving Northerners Better; Competing Globally; and Providing Opportunities for All.
Minister's Office - Sudbury
MNDM - Sault Ste. Marie