Environmental Licensing of the East Side Road

PR304 to Berens River All Season Road (Project 1)

The Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the construction of the all-season road from Provincial Road 304 to Berens River (~160km) was submitted to Manitoba Sustainable Development and the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency on November 5, 2009. Environment Act Licence No.2929 was granted by Manitoba Sustainable Development on August 16, 2010. Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency issued its Comprehensive Study Report in May 2011 and the Minister of the Environment issued his decision statement in July 26, 2011, approving the project under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act. Other federal and provincial permits were obtained as needed throughout the construction period.

The project will provide year round access to the existing Manitoba highway system. Construction of the all-season road began in 2011. Bloodvein First Nation received all-season road access in November 2014 and Berens River First Nation is anticipated to receive all-season road access by December 2017.

All-Season Road from St Theresa Point First Nation to Wasagamack First Nation (Project 3a)

On December 20, 2001 Environment Act Licence No. 2534 was granted by Manitoba Sustainable Development and the federal Minister of the Environment signed off on the Comprehensive Study Report (October 2001) meeting requirements under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act for the construction of a new airport and road between St. Theresa Point and Wasagamack. Following right of way clearing, the project was put on hold while the administration and control of the land within the project right of way was transferred from Canada to Manitoba.  The project will provide all season access between the two First Nation communities and to a proposed airport location. Currently travel is limited to ice road in winter, boat travel during the open water season and helicopter (during daylight hours) to access the airport during freeze up and thaw periods when travel by boat or ice road is not possible.

All-Season Road from Pauingassi First Nation and Little Grand Rapids First Nation and to the Little Grand Rapids Airport Project (Project 7a)

A project description and draft scoping document for the construction of the all-season road from Pauingassi First Nation and Little Grand Rapids First Nation to the Little Grand Rapids Airport (38km) was submitted to Manitoba Sustainable Development in September 2014. The EIS was submitted to Manitoba Sustainable Development in January 2016 and the Environment Act Licence is currently pending. The proposed all season road project does not meet the threshold within the Regulations Designating Physical Activities under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 so Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency was not involved in the project review.

The project will provide year round access to the airport for both communities. Currently, access to the local airport from both communities is limited to boat in summer months, ice road in winter months and helicopter (during daylight hours) during freeze up and thaw periods when travel by boat or ice road is not possible.

All-Season Road from Berens River to Poplar River Project (Project 4)

A project description, summary, and draft scoping document for the All-Season Road from Berens River to Poplar River was submitted to Manitoba Sustainable Development and Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency in November 2014. The EIS was originally submitted to Manitoba Sustainable Development and Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency in February 2016, updated to address Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency and Manitoba Sustainable Development comments received, and resubmitted in May 2016. Draft and final EIS guidelines were issued by Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency in January and March 2015. On June 27, 2017, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change issued the Environmental Assessment Decision Statement approving the project with conditions under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012. The Environment Act Licence for this project is pending completion of Crown consultation.

The project will provide Poplar River First Nation access to the existing Manitoba highway system via the all-season road currently under construction from Berens River to PR304 (Project 1). Currently access to and from community is via aircraft or limited seasonal winter road or barge.

All-Season Road Linking Manto Sipi Cree Nation, God's Lake First Nation and Bunibonibee Cree Nation (Project 6)

The project description, summary and draft scoping document for the All-Season Road linking Manto Sipi Cree Nation, God's Lake First Nation and Bunibonibee Cree Nation was submitted to Manitoba Sustainable Development and Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency in May 2017. Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency issued draft and final EIS guidelines in July and September 2017. Meetings with indigenous communities, stakeholders and the public and are ongoing and EIS drafting have been initiated.
The project will provide all season access between the three communities. Currently travel is limited to ice road in winter and air travel.