The Power of Partnership
B2MLP and Makwa Development forged a successful partnership on a forest management project that delivers employment opportunities and economic benefits for the First Nations community.
On a peak day, the Bruce to Milton transmission line can account for up to 15% of the power in Ontario. Maintaining the integrity of this 176-km system requires ongoing vegetation control to protect the tower structures from damage caused by the surrounding brush.
As sections of the line cross through traditional First Nations territories, one of the key objectives for B2M was to involve community members in the benefits of the line by providing employment opportunities. B2M contracted Makwa Development, a 100% indigenous-owned company, to perform the forestry work along a major section of this power corridor.
Video Q & A
Q. Who is Makwa Development?
Makwa Development is a 100% indigenous-owned company based in the Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation. The company is involved in a number of projects in the energy sector and is committed to indigenous economic development.
Q. What is Makwa Development’s role?
The company is working on vegetation control through the Bruce to Milton corridor. This involves both hand-cutting around the tower bases, as well as mechanical harvesting of the brush between the spans to maintain height requirements.
Q. What does this partnership mean to Makwa Development?
This partnership provides meaningful job opportunities for members of the Nawash and Saugeen communities. It delivers real economic benefits for the community while also opening the door to new potential partnerships for the company.
Q. What is the nature of this project?
Vegetation management and forestry is one of the critical operations in the maintenance of this transmission line. It ensures that vegetation does not interfere with the health of the foundations and protects the long-term integrity of the structures.
Q. How did B2M choose Makwa Development?
B2M employs an advisory committee that includes members from the First Nations and Hydro One. Together, we looked at options for employing community members to perform certain work on the line. Choosing Makwa made sense since they were a robust commercial operation from the community who employed community members.
Q. Why Makwa?
Makwa was the best option for the partnership, since they have worked on a number of relevant projects, have the existing equipment and exclusively employ community members, which is important to us. Having their capability available meant the work would be done on time, efficiently and cost-effectively.
Completed on time and on budget, this partnership has delivered mutual benefits for B2M and the community. Maintaining the integrity of our assets ensures we can continue to deliver reliable power to the people of Ontario while providing real meaningful opportunities for indigenous companies and people. The partnership has provided a model for undertaking future projects that can involve First Nations communities in their success.