The McGuinty Government announces it is providing Energy Relief to Northern Industry and Families. Ontario is providing the most support to northern Ontario on record with energy rebates to northern families and industry to help reduce electricity prices and boost economic activity.
The new Northern Industrial Electricity Rate Program is providing industry electricity price rebates of two cents per kilowatt-hour, averaging a total of $150 million per year for three years. Through the program, qualifying large industrial facilities can reduce electricity costs by up to 25 per cent, based on 2009 levels.
Low- to-middle income northern Ontario residents will also receive help for their home energy costs through the new Northern Ontario Energy Credit. This credit will provide up to $200 per family and up to $130 for single people – totalling about $35 million. It will be available to a quarter of a million families and single people, which is more than half of all northerners.
Finance Minister Dwight Duncan was in Sudbury with MPP Rick Bartolucci to highlight these and other initiatives which are part of the five-year Open Ontario plan to help northern Ontario attract new investments, boost economic growth and enhance job creation.
- The 2010 Ontario Budget alone allocated a total of $200 million this year to programs that support the people, businesses and industries of the North that were hard-hit by the global recession.
- The Northern Ontario Energy Credit will provide up to $130 for single people age 18 and older and up to $200 for families, including single parents, annually. The credit will also be available to northern residents who live on-reserve and pay energy costs for their primary residence.
- The Ring of Fire is an area in the North which contains one of the largest chromite deposits in the World – a key ingredient in stainless steel and an economic opportunity for northern communities. Ontario will invest $2 million annually over three years for skills training related to community-based land use planning for the Ring of Fire area.
- Ontario leads Canada in the production of non-fuel minerals. Thirty two mines, out of the 39 operating mines, are located in northern Ontario.
- The government is investing $1.2 billion in infrastructure throughout northern Ontario.