NextBridge East-West Tie Line to Power Economic Growth in Northwestern Ontario

Ontario’s Government for the People is supporting economic growth, job creation and resource development in northwestern Ontario by providing certainty around the construction of a new transmission line between Thunder Bay and Wawa.

Greg Rickford, Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines and Minister of Indigenous Affairs visited Fort William First Nation today to announce that Ontario has directed the Ontario Energy Board to designate NextBridge as the transmitter to build the line, known as the East-West Tie Line Project.

“Maintaining reliability and cost-efficiency is a top priority for our government,” said Minister Rickford. “Moving forward with the East-West Tie Line will support economic growth in northwestern Ontario, signalling that Ontario is Open for Business, and connecting communities and Indigenous people with good, local job opportunities, now and in the future.”

The 450-kilometer transmission line is needed to meet growing demand for electricity in northwestern Ontario. It will enhance reliability, improve the flow of cheaper and lower-emission energy, and add the capacity needed for major regional development projects like the Wataynikaneyap Power Project and the Ring of Fire.

“I welcome the government’s bold action to confirm that NextBridge will construct the East‐West Tie Project,” said Fort William First Nation Chief Peter Collins. “This is good news for families and businesses in Northern Ontario. The East-West Tie Line will ensure the availability of electricity in the region, supporting a new era of economic growth and opportunity.”

“Learning from and inspired by the people and the land, we set out to develop an energy project as unique as the north,” said Jennifer Tidmarsh, Project Director, NextBridge. “By working together, we developed a project that is strong, respectful of community, reflective of the uniqueness of the north and most importantly built on trust and mutual benefit. By working with our Indigenous and municipal partners, we all proved that by finding innovative ways to ensure mutual benefit and economic participation it is possible to develop energy infrastructure with local consent from host communities.”

“We are ecstatic that there are going to be so many opportunities for our people. It’s been a long time in the making but we’re ready for it.” — Chief Matt Dupuis, Red Rock Indian Band

“Biigtigong Nishnaabeg can now look forward to economic and employment benefits rising from the construction and ownership of the East West Tie with their partner NextBridge, the other Bamkushwada LP First Nations and Supercom.” — Chief Duncan Michano, Ojibways of the Pic River First Nation

“Proof positive, there is strength in numbers, and this will prove very good for all communities on the whole north shore.” — Chief David P. Mushquash, Pays Plat First Nation

“Now that NextBridge has been awarded the East-West Tie, the 250-plus people who have been trained for this project can get to work in their fields. This is good for First Nations, municipalities and our regional economy.” — Chief Patricia Tangie, Michipicoten First Nation

“Pic Mobert First Nation, also known as Netmizaggaamig Anishnabeg, thanks the Ontario government for this long-awaited decision. This outcome puts our community in a position that allows us to benefit within our traditional territory. We look forward to working with all involved to bring economic growth to the northwest region.” — Chief Johanna Desmoulin, Pic Mobert First Nation


Quick Facts

  • With the support of the Ontario government, NextBridge has trained over 300 Indigenous community members for project-related jobs.
  • The East-West Tie Line Project will deliver over $200 million in economic benefits for First Nation communities.
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