THUNDER BAY – “I am delighted to announce that our government is committing to an ongoing Northern Industrial Electricity Rate support program,” said Michael Gravelle, Minister of Northern Development and Mines. “As part of our work to help build up the north, this vital program will help Northern Ontario’s largest industrial electricity consumers reduce their electricity costs and sustain jobs to help continue to position Northern Ontario as a competitive place to do business.”
Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry Bill Mauro stated, “I am pleased that we will continue to support the NIER program. This is an important step forward and very good news for Northern Ontario. This ongoing support will help to facilitate growth and development in the forestry sector. The province recognizes the importance of affordable electricity pricing for the largest industrial electricity consumers.”
Ontario is making the level of support for the Northern Industrial Electricity Rate Program permanent for qualifying large northern industrial consumers.
“The NIER program is a cornerstone of the electricity program in Northern Ontario. This program, combined with other conservation-based initiatives that have been successfully developed with the Ontario Government, have allowed us to take a strategic view of our operations in Northern Ontario. We are now completing a $200 million investment plan for our operations in Northern Ontario and our ability to make these investments was due in part to the stability and certainty that we have been able to achieve on electricity costs. Today’s announcement is extremely positive and supports a long-term view of our Ontario operations. We want to thank Minister Gravelle for his leadership on this file, and Ministers Gravelle and Mauro for their diligence and persistence on energy matters,” said Richard Garneau, President and CEO, Resolute Forest Products.
Ontario is committing to an ongoing program, beyond March 2016, with continued investment of up to $120 million per year. The government will also undertake a review on the efficiency and effectiveness of the program and options for a sustainable approach.
The Northern Industrial Electricity Rate Program was introduced as a three-year program in 2010, and extended it in 2012. The program recognizes the unique needs of northern industries such as higher energy costs due to climate and distance to markets.
Helping Northern Ontario’s largest industrial electricity consumers reduce their electricity costs, sustain jobs and maintain global competitiveness is part of the government’s economic plan for Ontario. The four-part plan is building Ontario up by investing in people’s talents and skills, building new public infrastructure like roads and transit, creating a dynamic, supportive environment where business thrives and building a secure savings plan so everyone can afford to retire.