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FAQ

Find all your frequently asked questions here:

  • WHAT IS THE WEBEQUIE SUPPLY ROAD PROJECT?

    The Webequie Supply Road Project is a Webequie First Nation-led environmental assessment and preliminary engineering study of a proposed all-season road connecting Webequie airport with the existing mineral exploration activities and proposed mine developments in the McFaulds Lake area.  The purpose of the road would be to move materials, supplies and people between Webequie Airport and the McFaulds Lake area.

  • THIS IS A FIRST NATION-LED PROJECT; WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?

    As the Proponent, Webequie First Nation is leading the environmental assessment and engineering study with the assistance of our technical experts.  This Project is an important project to our community, and we want to ensure that the impacts – both positive and negative – are thoroughly reviewed to make sure that our community members understand the environmental, socio-economic and cultural impacts of the Supply Road before making a decision.  Throughout the planning and engagement process, the Webequie Project Team will ensure that all project activities will be done according to the Elders’ guiding principles and the Webequie First Nation three-tier approach to Indigenous community engagement.

  • WHAT IS AN ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT?

    An Environmental Assessment (EA) is a process to predict environmental effects of proposed activities before they are carried out. An environmental assessment i) identifies potential adverse environmental effects; ii) proposes measures to mitigate adverse environmental effects; iii) predicts whether there will be significant adverse environmental effects, after mitigation measures are implemented; and iv) includes a follow-up program to verify the accuracy of the environmental assessment and the effectiveness of the mitigation measures.

  • WHY IS THE PROVINCE (MINISTRY OF ENVIRONMENT, CONSERVATION AND PARKS) INVOLVED?

    The Project will be going through the Ontario Environmental Assessment Process.  The first step is to prepare a Terms of Reference.  It is the “work plan” for the Environmental Assessment and describes what will be done during the environmental assessment to understand any effects of the Supply Road on the environment and communities (natural, social, economic, and cultural).  When the Terms of Reference is approved by the Ontario Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP), Webequie First Nation, with our technical experts, will complete the Environmental Assessment.

  • WHY IS CANADA (IMPACT ASSESSMENT AGENCY OF CANADA) INVOLVED?

    The Webequie Supply Road may need to go through the federal process under the Impact Assessment Act, 2019.  To determine whether the Project requires a Federal environmental assessment, Webequie First Nation will prepare and submit a Project Description to the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada.  The Agency will then issue Impact Statement (IS) guidelines for Webequie First Nation to use when preparing the federal environmental assessment.  Similar to the provincial process, the IS guidelines serve as the federal “work plan” for the environmental assessment process.

    If both Environmental Assessment processes are required, then Webequie Supply Road will undergo a Coordinated Environmental Assessment process, which is done to prevent or limit any overlap of the project activities.

  • HOW WILL THE WATER, ANIMALS AND THE LAND BE PROTECTED?

    Throughout the Environmental Assessment process, our technical experts will be conducting field surveys to observe the wildlife and environment within the Supply Road study area.  Surveys include observing wildlife, fish and vegetation, collecting water samples, surveying types of soils as well as engaging with community members on traditional land and resource uses and cultural areas.

  • WILL THIS SUPPLY ROAD BE BUILT?

    Our community will use the Environmental Assessment as an information gathering tool so that we can make an informed decision.  We want to fully understand what the good and bad effects are of the Supply Road on our community, environment, and culture, before deciding whether to go ahead with the construction of the Supply Road.

  • WHAT ARE THE OPPORTUNITIES FOR COMMUNITY MEMBERS DURING AND AFTER THE STUDY?

    There will be plenty of opportunities for community members to participate in the Project during and after the Study.  Community members will be able to work with our technical experts in the field to conduct wildlife and vegetation surveys for the Environmental Assessment.  If the Supply Road is built, community members will have the opportunity to conduct environmental monitoring, operate and work at camp facilities, operate heavy equipment and participate in the project in many other ways.  During operation of the road, there will be opportunities for maintenance and security of the Supply Road, as well as possibly operating commercial businesses along the road.

  • HOW WILL CLIMATE CHANGE BE CONSIDERED WHEN DESIGNING THE ROAD?

    The peat will not be removed- the road base will sit on top of the peat.  Crossing structures such as bridges and culverts (pipes under the road to allow water to pass through) will be designed to accommodate water flows that happen very infrequently, such as during major storm / rain events.

  • HOW WILL YOU MAKE SURE THAT FISH WILL BE PROTECTED DURING AND AFTER CONSTRUCTION WHERE THE ROAD CROSSES RIVERS AND STREAMS?

    During construction, the environmental management plan (EMP) will be in place to limit impacts to fish and fish habitat.  Best Management Practices such as the use of silt fences to control erosion will be in place, reinforced by environmental monitors who make sure that the EMP is being followed correctly.  After construction, operational and environmental monitoring plans will be in place, supported by environmental inspectors to enforce these plans, to make sure that the road is not harming fish and fish habitat.

  • HOW DO YOU BUILD THE ROAD THROUGH THE MUSKEG?

    Since we will not be excavating the peat that sits in the muskeg, the road will essentially float on top of the peat.   The part of the road under the surface (the road base) must be strengthened by using something called Geogrid to handle the weight of vehicles to prevent the road from slumping or slowly sinking.  Geogrid is like a mat that makes the road base stronger by spreading out the weight or load of the vehicles using the road.  By reducing settlement of the road base, Geogrid keeps road maintenance costs lower, as less gravel is required to repair the road.

  • THE WATER MOVES THROUGH THE MUSKEG, WON’T A ROAD CUTTING ACROSS THE MUSKET LIMIT THE WATER MOVEMENT AND CAUSE A BUILD UP OF WATER?

    It could, unless measures are taken to prevent this from happening.  The water in the muskeg is essentially a slow-moving sheet of water.  Over time the water would build up on one side of the road.  To prevent this from happening, culverts, or pipes under the road, are installed to make the flow equal or close to equal on each side of the road, preventing water build-up on one side.

  • HOW IS SPRING/GROUND WATER BEING INVESTIGATED AS PART OF THE ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT?

    To develop a baseline, or a description of the way things are in the environment before the project is constructed, different kinds of environmental studies need to be done.  The purpose of doing this is to be able to see if the road or its construction are having an impact on the environment.  The baseline gives environmental experts something to compare to. We will be doing baseline studies for spring water / groundwater to look at both spring water levels and the quality (chemical content- types of chemicals and amounts) of the spring water.  This way, through environmental monitoring during and after construction, we can see if the road is having any impacts on spring water levels and quality.  If it is, we can then figure out how to control or eliminate these impacts.

  • COMMUNITY MEMBERS KNOW THE LAND BETTER THAN ANYONE, HOW WILL THE PROJECT TEAM BE MAKING USE OF THIS LOCAL KNOWLEDGE?

    Our project team relies heavily on community members to share their knowledge of the land in many ways, including working with us side-by-side in the field to do environmental surveys and sharing with us which local plants and animals are used by them and how they are used (i.e., food, medicine, spiritual ceremonies).  Our environmental assessment will be a blend and analysis of both Western Science and Indigenous knowledge.

  • WHO WILL OWN AND MAINTAIN THE SUPPLY ROAD?

    At this point in time, there is no answer to this question.  Webequie First Nation is the proponent of the environmental assessment study, but there is no proponent of the possible road construction right now.   There is research being done on the different types of roads and what kind of maintenance is required for such roads.

  • HOW CAN I GET INVOLVED IN THE PROJECT?

    Webequie First Nation wants to hear from you.  We want to ensure that we are making the right decisions to plan for the Supply Road and we are thoroughly assessing the effects of the Supply Road on the environment and communities.  We will engage with our neighbouring Indigenous communities, as well as nearby municipalities, stakeholder groups and the government.

    In the meantime, should have any questions, comments or concerns, please contact one of our main engagement contacts:

 
107 KMTotal Road Length

Community members report the winter road season has shortened.

527 KMDistance

The distance Webequie is located from Thunder Bay by air.

22Communities

The environmental assessment will involve consultation with 22 Indigenous communities and stakeholders.

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    ADDRESS

    63739 street lorem ipsum City, Country

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