High hydro costs in Ontario forcing industry to move to Quebec

Its no mystery that Ontario has some of the highest hydro rates in all of Canada and this is forcing Ontario’s once successful natural resource industries to move to provinces like Quebec.

This week Timmins Times reported that one major project in the area may be forced to move Quebec unless Ontario offers cheaper hydro rates

Timmins Mayor Steve Black told top government officials Friday that if hydro rates are not discounted for new industrial projects, Northern Ontario would be losing more business to the province of Quebec.

The mayor was speaking to a group of Ontario cabinet ministers who took part in the traditional “bear-pit session” at the annual conference of the Federation of Northern Ontario Municipalities (FONOM) which was held at the McIntyre Community Building in Timmins this week. The bear-pit session is that part of the conference where government leaders are questioned directly on contentious issues raised by the municipal leaders, mayors and councillors.

Ontario Liberal minister present at the meeting included housing minister Ted McMeekin, natural resources and forestry minister Bill Mauro, government services minister David Orazietti and parliamentary assistant to the minister of the environment Glenn Thibeault.

The gist of the problem in Timmis is that Ontario Liberals are using climate change fear to spike hydro rates with the end result of Quebec is stealing Ontario jobs because it offers cheaper hydro rates.

Black, who was previously employed by Kidd Operations, told the ministers that the Kidd copper smelter was shut down and moved to Quebec in 2010. Black said there were many reasons for the move but energy rates were indeed a factor.

“I also have a mining development right now which could re-energize and rejuvenate the gold mining exploration and development in the Northeastern Ontario region, but they have told me that they will be going to Quebec with their facility unless they can get a discounted energy rate similar to what has been discussed by projects like the Ring Of Fire and things like that,” said Black.

“It is still leading to jobs going to Quebec possibly. We can sit down and discuss the specifics at another time,” said Black, who didn’t reveal the name of the company involved.

Ontario Liberals boast of shutting down coal generating plants, which by the way have always produced safe and cheap hydro across the province.

Government services minister Orazietti said that by shutting down coal-fired generating plants, Ontario carried out the largest environmental initiative in North America.

“If we want a better quality environment, we need to make some of those tough decisions. But that’s not to say we do that at the expense of jobs or at the expense of the economy,” said Orazietti.

This is just another example of Liberals pushing business out of Ontario, because of their one sided stance on climate change.

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