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Collins to head First Nations power line collaboration

Outgoing Fort William First Nation chief named CEO of Chi Mino Ozhitoowin, a company formed to help eight First Nations and their memberships benefit from the proposed Waasigan Transmission Line project.
Peter Collins
Fort William First Nation Chief Peter Collins. (FILE)

THUNDER BAY – Peter Collins future place of employment is now public.

Collins, the long-time Fort William First Nation chief, on Monday announced he would be stepping down from his post ahead of next year’s band elections in order to take on a public-sector job.

On Friday, Chi Mino Ozhitoowin made it public that Collins has been appointed the company CEO.

CMO is a partnership of eight First Nations, working collaboratively with First Nations impacted by the Waasigan Transmission Line project. Specifically, Collins will develop and implement training, employment and procurement initiatives for the eight communities and their membership to help them benefit from the project.

“I would like to thank the Board of Directors and eight partner First Nations for giving me this opportunity to lead CMO.  While construction is several years away, there’s a lot of work ahead to get our people and businesses ready to capture opportunities from the Waasigan Transmission Line Project.  I will work hard to make sure Hydro One and the contractor fulfill their commitments to meaningful Indigenous participation on the Project.” says Peter Collins on his incoming leadership role for Chi Mino Ozhitoowin. 

The project is a proposed double-circuit 230 kilovolt transmission line between the Lakehead transformer station in Shuniah and the Mackenzie transmission station in Atikokan, and a single-circuit 230 kilovolt line between Atikokan and the Dryden transmission station.

The project is expected to bring 350 megawatts of electricity to the region, enough to power 11 new average size mining operations.

Collins helped negotiate the Waasigan deal with Hydro One on behalf of Fort William First Nation.

“Fifty per cent ownership with a conglomerate like Hydro One is a magnificent milestone for our communities that will make sure economic resources are shared,” Collins said this past May, when the deal was first announced.

“I want to congratulate Hydro One for their commitment, for thinking outside the box and for listening to us as First Nations people and listening to our strong desire to be a part of this bill.”

Collins' final day as chief will be on Sept. 18. 

Leith Dunick

About the Author: Leith Dunick

A proud Nova Scotian who has called Thunder Bay home since 2002, Leith is Dougall Media's director of news, but still likes to tell your stories too. Wants his Expos back and to see Neil Young at least one more time. Twitter: @LeithDunick
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