Ontario Connecting Northern Communities to Power Grid

The electrification of the north will make economic sense for the region.
The electrification of the north will make economic sense for the region.
The electrification of the north will make economic sense for the region.

THUNDER BAY – Ontario is investing in six projects that will help prepare 18 diesel-dependent First Nation communities in northwestern Ontario for connection to the province’s power grid.

“The Remote Electrification Readiness Program is an important first step in preparing these First Nation communities for the switch from diesel. This program will ensure that remote First Nation communities are in a position to benefit from transmission projects and future economic opportunities,” states David Zimmer, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs for Ontario.

With funding from the Remote Electrification Readiness Program, the following communities and organizations will develop community readiness plans to identify opportunities for job-specific training, relevant health programs, business innovation mentoring and economic development supports:

  • Eabamatoong First Nation, with partners Webequie First Nation and Marten Falls First Nation
  • Fort Severn First Nation, through NCC Development LP
  • Keewaytinook Okimakanak, with members Kee-Way-Win First Nation, Poplar Hill First Nation, North Spirit Lake First Nation and Deer Lake First Nation
  • Matawa First Nations Council, with members Nibinamik First Nation and Neskantaga First Nation
  • Shibogama Tribal Council, with members Wunnumin Lake, Wapekeka First Nation, Wawakapewin First Nation, Kasabonika First Nation and Kingfisher Lake First Nation
  • Windigo First Nations Council, with members Bearskin Lake First Nation, North Caribou Lake First Nation and Sachigo First Nation

Supporting strong and healthy First Nation communities 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.


  • The 2014 Budget committed $3 million over three years to the Remote Electrification Readiness Program.
  • There are 25 remote First Nation communities in northwestern Ontario that currently rely on diesel power.
  • Just one large diesel-powered community produces about 30,700 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalents a year, so connecting the community to Ontario’s transmission system is like taking almost 6,500 cars off the road.


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