Moose Cree, Moosonee receive funding for winter roads

·2 min read

The provincial government has earmarked $6 million to 31 First Nations and the Town of Moosonee for various winter road projects for the 2020-21 season.

The funding is part of a three-year funding commitment. It aims to help remote communities build and maintain winter roads and transport essential goods and services like food, medical and construction supplies, according to Jan. 14 press release.

Originally, the announcement included $381,457 allocated to Moose Cree First Nation for the construction of Wetum Road, which connects Otter Rapids to Moose Factory and Moosonee. The project was cancelled this season because of COVID-19 outbreak concerns.

Today (Friday, Jan. 15), the provincial government changed the funding allocation.

In an email response, a spokesperson from the Ministry of Energy, Northern Development and Mines said there was error in the reporting of the funding numbers and Moose Cree will receive $15,765 for a 10-kilometre road between Moosonee and Moose Cree First Nation.

The provincial investment also included Weenusk First Nation (Peawanuck), which received $315,316 for a winter road from the community to Fort Severn, and Temagami received $18,918 for a winter road from Temagami Access Road to Bear Island.

Kimesskanamenow Limited Partnership secured $589,443 for the construction of the James Bay Winter Road that connects Fort Albany, Kashechewan, Attawapiskat and Moosonee. The construction of the majority of the road is currently underway.

The Town of Moosonee received $23,561 for two ramps required to connect Moosonee with Moose Factory.

In winter, Moosonee, located on the mainland, is connected to Moose Factory Island by ice roads across the Moose River, said the town’s CAO David Henderson.

There are two access points from the Town of Moosonee to the two ice roads that are maintained each year, according to Henderson.

“The Town of Moosonee receives funding to set up and maintain the ramps at the Moosonee shore which allow access from the municipal road system to the ice surface and Ice roads,” Henderson said in an email response.

“There is approximately a 20-30 foot drop at the shoreline and the Moose River has a six-foot tide which makes the access points challenging. Without the ramps, access to the mainland is a challenge for people, businesses and agencies,” he said.

Dariya Baiguzhiyeva, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, TimminsToday.com