Hydro One announced on March 21, 2022, that Ontario’s Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP) has approved the amended Terms of Reference (ToR) for the proposed Waasigan Transmission Line between the Municipality of Shuniah, Town of Atikokan and City of Dryden.  

The next step in the process is the Notice of Commencement for the project’s Environmental Assessment (EA).  

The ToR sets the framework for the project's EA, which includes the selection process for a preferred route, the completion of environmental studies, planning engagement activities, and determining how the requirements of the Environmental Assessment Act will be met.  

The Waasigan Transmission Line is expected to bring an additional 350 megawatts of power to the region, a crucial move for the continued success of the mining industry in Northwestern Ontario. 350 megawatts is enough to power for proximately 11 new average-sized mines.  

“This is an important milestone and exciting step in the planning and development process for the Waasigan Transmission Line project,” said David Lebeter, Chief Operating Officer, Hydro One. 

He continued, “We recognize the potential for economic growth that exists in the northwest, and we’re committed to doing the work now so we can ensure power is available when it’s needed. As a part of Hydro One’s journey towards Reconciliation, the Waasigan Transmission Line will be developed together with Indigenous communities to ensure mutual benefits are realized for this project and beyond.” 

Waasigan is an Ojibwe word, meaning “bringing power”. It was selected to reflect local Indigenous community members and in recognition of the traditional land. The project also states that Hydro One will focus on hiring local workers, but no job amount estimations have been made at this time.