Wataynikaneyap Power Applauds First Nations Energy Commitment

Minister of Energy
Minister of Energy getting a birds eye view of the work in Ontario

THUNDER BAY – BUSINESS – Wataynikaneyap Power applauds a commitment made today by provincial and territorial premiers to support remote First Nations communities in addressing their energy- related challenges. We are particularly pleased that the provincial and territorial leaders have recognized the importance and priority of connecting remote First Nations communities, where appropriate, to the electricity transmission system.

“Our First Nations have demonstrated a path forward to end reliance on diesel generation,” says Margaret Kenequanash, Chair of Wataynikaneyap Power. “Connecting the remote First Nations communities in Northwestern Ontario will not only benefit the environment but will save more than $1 billion in avoided energy costs. We acknowledge the Government of Ontario and industry for its cooperation and shared vision of sustainable growth and prosperity of our communities and the rest of Canada.”

Connecting remote First Nations communities has been identified as a priority in Ontario’s 2013 Long Term Energy Plan. Continued use of diesel generation to power First Nations communities is financially unsustainable, environmentally risky, and inadequate to meet community needs, many of which face electrical load restrictions.

Wataynikaneyap Power is a partnership of 20 First Nations communities, working with government to expand grid connection in Northwestern Ontario. In addition to an expected $1 billion in savings, PricewaterhouseCoopers estimates that the transmission line project will create 770 jobs during construction and avoid 6.6 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent GHG emissions.