Groups set sights on natural gas
|By Lisa Gervais - Editor | October 20, 2016
A new partnership was announced at Queen’s Park last week with a goal of bringing natural gas to rural areas such as Haliburton County.
The three organizations involved are the Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA), the Eastern Ontario Wardens’ Caucus (EOWC) and the Western Ontario Wardens’ Caucus (WOWC).
“Natural gas access across the province could save Ontario farmers, business owners and rural residents more than $1 billion annually in energy costs,” said OFA president Don McCabe. “This represents new, disposable income in the hands of our residents, families and rural businesses, to spend and stimulate our local economies.”
The partners will work with the provincial government and gas companies to develop a fair and equitable way to install new natural gas pipeline across rural Ontario each year for the next 20 years, they said in a joint media release.
The proposed program will require public investment in the pipeline infrastructure and a viable rural rate for gas set by the Ontario Energy Board, they said.
“It was encouraging to hear, in the recent Throne speech, that the province is demonstrating some willingness to address the number one concern of our rural residents and our rural industries – the soaring cost of hydroelectricity – but more can be done to lessen that burden, and natural gas is one of those solutions,” said EOWC chair Peter Emon.
“Provincial funding is vital to provide the necessary energy cost relief rural Ontario so desperately needs,” added WOWC chair Randy Hope. “Natural gas is the answer to reducing energy costs, developing our businesses and growing our rural communities.”
LISA GERVAIS is the editor for The Highlander.