Jayda Noyes, Daily Herald
Project started in 2010, but stopped a year later due to budget cuts
NDP Member of Parliament Georgina Jolibois says the Liberal government is “dragging their feet” to finish a road project in Wollaston Lake.
The Hatchet Lake Denesuline First Nation and Wollaston Lake community are located on the southeastern part of the lake in northern Saskatchewan.
They don’t have road access except for an ice road used temporarily in the winter.
A 102 kilometre road project began in 2010, but limitations in government budgets stopped the work just a year later.
Jolibois, MP for the Desnethé—Missinippi—Churchill River riding, said Hatchet Lake Dene First Nation and the Prince Albert Grand Council (PAGC) have been trying to finish the road for 30 years.
“Without it, they have to fly in their already over-priced food and supplies. Northerners deserve answers,” said Jolibois during question period on Wednesday.
“(It) would make their everyday life less expensive, it would create jobs and ensure the community’s wellbeing,” she said. “It would also be much safer for the people who have to cross the dangerous ice road or fly into the community.”
Jolibois added completing the project requires both federal and provincial funding.
“I asked the Liberals about the project over two years ago and they’re still dragging their feet on finishing this much-needed road,” she said.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau responded saying Indigenous people are the Liberal government’s top priority.
“We’re also taking concrete action on definitive projects that are going to make a difference. Whether it’s ending boil water advisories, building new schools, building roads and community infrastructures, we’re going to continue to work hand in hand with Indigenous communities,” he said.
The area holds a population of about 1400.