6 derelict barges removed from Hay River

Six derelict barges on Kátł'odeeche First Nation land in Hay River, N.W.T., have been removed, according to a joint release Monday from the First Nation and territorial government. The barges previously belonged to the now-bankrupt Northern Transportation Company Ltd. and drifted ashore during a flood in 2008.The barges were removed by the territory's Marine Transportation Services (MTS) over the summer.Higher-than-normal water levels on Great Slave Lake allowed two MTS tugboats to access the barges, according to the release."We are very pleased to work collaboratively with MTS on the removal of several barges that have been on our lands for decades and for the reclamation of the lands and waters from where they were parked," reads a statement from Kátł'odeeche First Nation Chief April Martel."The collaborative effort between MTS and our Nation will ensure that our lands and waters get restored to their natural state. We will be able to continue to enjoy our pristine lands and waters into the future."The barges became MTS property following the bankruptcy of the Northern Transportation Company Ltd., said the release.Some of the barges will be scrapped while others are expected to be sold or repurposed, it added."While our priority for Marine Transportation Services (MTS) is to deliver essential cargo reliably and affordably, we are also committed to operating an environmentally responsible and sustainable business," reads a statement from Diane Archie, the territory's minister of Infrastructure."The GNWT thanks the Kátł'odeeche First Nation for their partnership and we look forward to future opportunities to collaborate."

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