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First Nations construction company teams with SNC-Lavalin to widen Ontario highway

September 1, 2023  By Rock to Road Staff

(Photo credit: Les Palenik, Adobe Stock)

BRITT, Ont. – Indigenous-owned construction company Shwe Miikaan has struck a teaming agreement with SNC-Lavalin in hopes of securing work on the final leg of a project to widen Northern Ontario’s Highway 69/400 to four lanes.

Shwe Miikan is owned by the Shawanga, Magnetawan, and Henvey Inlet First Nations. The company would be working alongside SNC-Lavalin on the final 52 kilometres of the project, with the partnership announced on Aug. 9.

The comprehensive project includes the four-lane widening, bridge design and construction, culvert replacement, blasting, and ditching along the final stretch.

While Shwe Miikan cannot provide exact numbers for the jobs that would be created until a contract is secured, their president, Adam Good, said they hope to have a minimum of 51 per cent Indigenous workers on the project. Training would be provided for members of the communities interested in contributing.


The four-lane expansion of Highway 69/400 has been in the works since the early 2000s, with the last completed segment, between French River and Grundy National Park, being finished in 2021. The final 52 kilometre stretch is located between French River and Parry Sound.

This part of the project remains in the engineering and design phase, with start time contingent on the awarding of a contract from the Ontario government.

“The three communities, we’re open for business and we’re just waiting on the Ontario government to get the ball rolling,” Good said. “So, really, the ball’s in their court and we’re eager to make a safer and quicker highway for everyone in Ontario.”

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