OKT Supports Ontario First Nations in Reaching Historic Agreement for Hydro One Ownership
From the beginning to here OKT has supported GLP and its 8 First Nation Owners who together pushed HONI for this new approach to indigenous ownership.
Hydro One Networks Inc (HONI) announced on Sep 21 2022 that it is offering a 50% equity / ownership share in new transmission projects over $100 million in cost, to First Nations who are directly affected. OKT Law is legal counsel to eight First Nations in northwestern Ontario, who together pushed HONI for this new approach to indigenous partnership. These eight First Nations, Eagle Lake First Nation, Fort William First Nation, Lac La Croix First Nation, Lake Seul First Nation, Nigigoonsiminikaaning First Nation, Seine River First Nation, Ojibway Nation of Saugeen, and Wabigoon Lake Ojibway Nation, have created a limited partnership, Gwayakoochigewin Limited Partnership (“GLP”), through which negotiations for this 50% ownership stake in the new Waasigan Transmission line will occur.
This new project, which is currently going through a provincial environmental assessment, would run from Lakehead station in Thunder bay to Atikokan, and from Atikokan to Dryden. It would cross the territories of those eight First Nations and one other.
GLP and HONI broke new ground with this 50% deal, and signed term sheets to set out the core elements of it, in December 2021. The details are being negotiated, and will involve a partnership between HONI and GLP (and one other Fist Nation) for the Waasigan line, and an IBA-type accommodation agreement.
This puts First Nations in the drivers seat and ushers in a new era for HONI, which is by far the largest transmitter in Ontario.
OKT Law was there at the beginning of this engagement and is involved in the environmental, rights-based, corporate, partnership and financial law aspects.
N Kate Kempton