Province Unveils Northern Road Strategy

Monday, December 19, 2005 at 16:57



The Provincial Government has released more details about its recent $65 million road upgrade in Northern Saskatchewan.


This morning in Prince Albert, Premiere Lorne Calvert told a packed conference-room, he expects the upgrades will help generate employment opportunities for northerners, especially in the far north.


As expected, some of the $65 million will be used to upgrade the La Loche – Fort McMurray road link, while much of the rest will be used to upgrade the Athabasca seasonal road to an all-weather surface.


Community access roads to Wollaston Lake and the south shore of Lake Athabasca will also be used in the road link to Fond du Lac.


Black Lake chief Freddy Throassie says the announcement is good news for his people, as it will offer new opportunities in terms of employment and advancement.


Meanwhile, Chief Victor Fern of Fond du Lac says he hopes the new road improves the cost of living for his people.


Both chiefs say they hope the Federal Government is convinced to help fund the project, adding they don’t want to see a sub-par job done.


Those concerns are echoed by Ed Benonie of Wollaston, who also says he hopes the province continues to limit the type of traffic using the ice road to Wollaston. He says he’s concerned with the hazards of a number mining trucks carrying ore that may fall through when trying to cross the ice road.


Benonie says the new road likely means the end of the barge-system the community has been using up till now.


Today’s announcement was attended by Northern Ministers Joan Beatty and Buckley Belanger, as well as other cabinet colleagues.


All said they want Ottawa to chip in as soon as possible.