Manitoba

Freedom Road crowdfunding campaign ends Saturday short of $10M goal

Nearly 1,000 people have contributed to the Freedom Road crowdfunding initiative started earlier this summer.

The campaign has raised nearly $100K of its $10M goal

Rick Harp has launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise $10 million to build an all-weather road linking the Shoal Lake 40 First Nation to the mainland. The campaign is accepting donations until Aug. 29. (CBC)

Nearly 1,000 people have contributed to the Freedom Road crowdfunding initiative started earlier this summer to raised funds for construction of an all-weather road to access Shoal Lake 40 First Nation. 

The campaign ends Saturday even though it has only collected one per cent of it's $10 million goal. 

Winnipegger Rick Harp started the campaign after learning the federal government wouldn't commit to building the road to Shoal Lake, known as Freedom Road. He said they needed a target and he's okay that, as of Friday, the campaign had only reached about $100,000.

"About halfway through the campaign I started to adjust my outlook on this and I realized that this is as much, if not more, about raising awareness, as it is about raising money," Harp said Friday. 

Since the campaign fell short of its goal, money will be refunded to donors.

The First Nation, which straddles the Manitoba-Ontario border, was cut off from the mainland more than a century ago when an aqueduct was built to supply Winnipeg with fresh water. While clean water flows down the aqueduct, murky water is diverted to Shoal Lake 40 First Nation; they have been under a boil-water advisory for 17 years. 

"To me it's just a transparent, outrageous injustice that a city of 700,000 can enjoy regular, ready access to clean water, for purposes of hydration, sanitation, hygiene, and leisure, while a community that lives right beside the lake it unable to enjoy it," Harp said. 

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