The Line that Brings Light Shines Bright in Pikangikum

Just before the holidays Pikangikum First Nation was the first of 17 communities that will connect to Ontario's power grid through the Wataynikaneyap Power Transmission Project.

  • Environment
  • Community
  • First Nations

Our partnership with First Nation communities through the Wataynikaneyap Power Transmission Line Project has helped deliver an early Christmas gift to the residents of Pikangikum First Nation in Northern Ontario this week … reliable, safe electricity.

After more than ten years of no Christmas lights in Pikangikum due to a lack of adequate and reliable electricity, the Christmas lights are now shining bright.

Pikangikum First Nation is the first of 17 communities which are scheduled to connect to Ontario’s power grid for the first time through the Wataynikaneyap Project. These communities have historically relied on diesel generation for electricity, which has become financially and environmentally unsustainable, and inadequate to meet energy needs.

Fortis has partnered with 22 First Nations communities to construct 1,800 kilometres of new transmission lines. It’s a project filled with hope and opportunity for the communities that will connect to the grid for the first time.

Pikangikum First Nation Chief Dean Owen shared how the Christmas lights symbolize new opportunities for the people of the community and a brighter future. For Chief Owen, having reliable, safe electricity means children can regularly attend school, new housing can be built and sustained, and new business opportunities can fuel future growth.

At Fortis, we take the long view.  Our work and our commitment to share our expertise with our First Nations partners has only just begun.   

Our shared vision with our partners will one day see First Nations fully operate and maintain Wataynikaneyap Power. It’s a business model that will bring sustainable value to our partners for generations to come, and one we believe can work for other remote First Nations across Canada. Our shared vision is the tie that binds all of the work of Wataynikaneyap Power.

For the families in Pikangikum - all the best for the holiday season – and may you days be merry and bright (and filled with warmth!).

December 21 2018

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