GUELPH — Ontario Premier Doug Ford announced promising news for Ontario farmers, businesses and rural communities yesterday with proposed new legislation that would expand access to natural gas in rural and northern Ontario. “We have been pushing for the need for more widespread, affordable natural gas energy across rural Ontario, so this is encouraging news for the agricultural community,” says Keith Currie, President of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA).
Ford used opening day of the International Plowing Match and Rural Expo to announce the government’s plans to introduce a new Access to Natural Gas Act that would encourage partnerships between private gas distributors and communities to develop projects that expand access to natural gas. If the new legislation is passed, the Ontario government says it will work with the Ontario Energy Board to develop regulations to enable the program this fall.
“Energy is one of the largest inputs on farms, and we need access to natural gas to help boost the competitiveness of rural Ontario communities, businesses and farms,” says Currie. “And natural gas is the single most important investment that will deliver a competitive edge to continue to drive growth in rural Ontario.”
OFA has been advocating for improved infrastructure – including access to natural gas – for many years and looks forward to working with the Ontario government to implement a new natural gas program when the new legislation is in place.
The Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) is the largest general farm organization in Ontario, representing 38,000 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.