Thunder Bay

Winter road network behind schedule: warm weather to blame

The Grand Chief of the Nishnawbe Aski Nation says establishing the winter road network this winter is behind schedule.
Warmer than usual weather has hampered the development of northern Ontario's winter road network, a First Nation chief says. (Joanne Stassen/CBC)

The Grand Chief of the Nishnawbe Aski Nation says establishing the winter road network this winter is behind schedule.

Relatively warm temperatures in the northwest and a lack of snow to the east have hampered efforts to build the seasonal routes in NAN territory, Alvin Fiddler told CBC News.

Winter roads are essential for transporting fuel, building materials and other supplies into remote northern communities.

Fiddler said people are keeping an eye on the thermometer.
Alvin Fiddler, Grand Chief of the Nishnawbe Aki Nation, is hoping the winter roads will be ready by the middle of January. (Alvin Fiddler)

"At this point, we're just crossing our fingers that there'll be a cold spell and that winter roads will start to open up middle of the month."

Getting the necessary supplies to the north requires the network to be open for about two months, starting in mid-January. Shorter seasons mean transporting things by air, which is more expensive, he said.