Natural gas represents next big innovation (2014)

By Debra Pretty-Straathof, Executive Member, Ontario Federation of Agriculture

Delivering natural gas to rural Ontario will be the biggest game changer on farms since tractors replaced horse power. Natural gas expansion to farms and rural Ontario communities promises to dramatically boost business – by significantly lowering energy costs. That’s the message the Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) delivered to government at the recent Natural Gas Opportunities for Ontario event at Queen’s Park.

The OFA strongly advocated for expanding natural gas at a recent Queen’s Park event alongside industry partners Enbridge and Union Gas. Taking part in a panel discussion, OFA laid out the economic benefits of replacing electricity, propane and heating fuel with natural gas. Natural gas is currently only available to less than 20% of Ontario farms and rural households. Simply expanding access to natural gas to just 60% of Ontario farms, rural residents and businesses would free up $800 million per year in new disposable income. Imagine the amount of reinvestment and economic development those savings would fuel in rural Ontario.

The Natural Gas Opportunities for Ontario event gave OFA a platform to outline the importance of expanding natural gas to rural and small towns across Ontario to MPPs, political decision makers and energy industry representatives. The OFA reminded attendees that energy ranks as one of the biggest input costs for Ontario farmers, and access to natural gas will make our farms more competitive, and our communities will attract new agri-business ventures.

The OFA has been advocating for affordable, accessible natural gas across rural Ontario, and continues to push government for progress. The recently announced loan and grant program – $200 million in loans and $30 million grant over two years – is a good start. We will learn from the initial work and move to a long term program to provide gas to rural Ontario.   

We know what our industry and rural Ontario needs to grow and continue contributing to the provincial economy. And it starts with affordable natural gas.

The OFA is committed to continue building the momentum. And our message to government is clear. Greater access to affordable natural gas will fuel future growth across rural Ontario, and keep our industry strong.

For more information, contact:

Debra Pretty-Straathof
Executive Member
Ontario Federation of Agriculture

Neil Currie
General Manager
Ontario Federation of Agriculture


Shirley Mitchell says on October 31, 2014 at 5:06 PM

I totally agree. About 3 yrs. ago gas lines went by our farm & we installed it. What a reduction in our monthly costs! Even with the recent increase in the cost for natural gas we have benefited greatly. We also installed a gas water heater since then & have seen little increase in our bill.

Paulheastont says on October 31, 2014 at 6:39 PM

I could have my own dryer and not have to haul corn to and from the local elevator which is a huge savings and a lot less tractors on the road hauling grains and were and tear on everything

Raziya says on October 31, 2014 at 11:41 PM

We have propane,but the electricity is too high and the cost is high,plus we are charged for deliver. We need gas for all the farmers,who keeps Ontario growing.

rick james says on November 2, 2014 at 6:33 AM

I feel that nat. gas would offer big savings over propane.

mario caranci says on November 3, 2014 at 6:53 PM

Im on hwy 27 just north of nobleton. Gas lines reach north tò 15th.. They reach south from schomberg to 17th. Why no gas inbetween? As well as farms there is a golf course (nobleton lakes) as well as homes I and around the course that would make it viable for gas service.

joan milne says on November 4, 2014 at 12:07 PM

Heating alone in my farm home with oil is over 6000$ a year. That is at an uncomfortable temperature. There are two major gas lines going through farms next to mine. With oil and electricity expenses we are limited in our way of life. Farmers deserve better.

Barb Cowan says on November 6, 2014 at 2:13 PM

Very interested in having a natural gas line go by our farms. Currently using propane for poultry barn and corn dryer. Would mean huge savings.

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