An accident on an ice road between Bearskin Lake and Big Trout Lake has first nations' leaders pointing to the need for all-season roads.  

A groomer machine from Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug — used to plow roads — fell through the ice earlier this week. The two men on the machine managed to escape. 

KI Chief Donny Morris said the poor condition of some ice roads has delayed large shipments.


KI First Nation Chief Donny Morris

"Right now we haven't hauled anything because of the warm weather," Morris said. "And with the warm weather comes soft roads."

Morris said this means prices for gas, fuel and housing supplies will be higher.

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines said all ice roads in northern Ontario are open, but only some can handle heavy loads.

"Construction is ongoing so that all roads can accommodate full loads at some points this year," Terry Bryson said, but added it's been a challenge in warmer weather to make roads that can handle heavy traffic.

But Morris is skeptical.

"It's already nearing the end of February," he said. "It's almost March and that's spring."

Morris noted they'll have to limit fuel loads if they can do any hauling, and he worries the fact that road conditions weems to be getting worse every year.

"We have to start looking at constructing all season roads ourselves," Morris said. "But [we] definitely [can’t build] highways, because we don't have the funds to do that."