Kenora MP Bob Nault and Sol Mamakwa, NDP MPP for Kiiwetinoong were in Pikangikum yesterday to celebrate the completion of a transmission line that will connect Pikangikum First Nation to the power grid.
Pikangikum will no longer have to rely on a diesel generation system, which could not keep up with electrical demand.
The community is made of up roughly 3000 people.
Pikangikum is the first community to be connected to the provincial power grid through the Wataynikaneyap Power project.
In March 2018, the federal government announced a $1.6 billion investment in Wataynikaneyap Power, an Indigenous-led and majority owned Transmission Company working to connect First Nations communities to the Ontario power grid by 2023. The Pikangikum transmission line represents a $60.2 million federal investment, as part of the total federal investment of $1.6 billion in the Wataynikaneyap Power project.
Construction on this project began in October 2017 and the first pole in the power line for Pikangikum was installed on February 15, 2018.
In Ontario, 25 remote First Nations rely on high-cost diesel generation as their sole source of electricity.