Natural gas grant projects a first step for rural Ontario

ONTARIO — The Ontario government’s announcement of 11 new projects to expand natural gas in Ontario to rural, northern and First Nations communities is welcome news to the Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA). OFA has been advocating for more affordable solutions to soaring energy costs for rural Ontario. The new projects are part of the Natural Gas Grant Program, a $100 million investment the government first announced in January 2017.

“This is a great start to connecting more of Ontario with natural gas,” says OFA President Keith Currie. “The energy savings, boost to farms and local businesses, and overall investment in the 11 communities listed in the announcement, are a step in the right direction.”

Rural Ontario has been hardest hit by energy inflation with most businesses, residents and farms relying on electricity, propane or heating oil for energy. OFA has been advocating for the expansion of natural gas as one of the most important investments the government can make to support the sustainability and growth of rural Ontario.

“We’ve crunched the numbers and we’ve shown them to the government,” says Currie. “An annual investment by the government of $75 million over 20 years would see more than $1 billion dollars in annual savings for Ontarians. That’s money that could be reinvested in local rural communities.”

The Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) is the largest general farm organization in Ontario, representing 37,000 farm families across the province. As a dynamic farmer-led organization based in Guelph, the OFA works to represent and champion the interests of Ontario farmers through government relations, farm policy recommendations, research, lobby efforts, community representation, media relations and more. OFA is the leading advocate for Ontario’s farmers and is Ontario’s voice of the farmer.

 

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