News

Provincial budget provides no relief for on-farm energy costs (2015)

GUELPH, ON [April 24, 2015] – Yesterday’s provincial budget focused on much needed investment in transportation infrastructure but failed to support Ontario farmers with rising on-farm energy costs. With no mention of a province-wide farm electricity rate and a delay in the natural gas expansion program to rural Ontario, farmers will have to wait longer for more competitive energy costs.

The Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) is disappointed recommended policy of a farm and industrial electricity rate did not make the budget. OFA sought a program to achieve an electricity rate comparable to neighboring jurisdictions to maintain the competitiveness of farming and the industrial sector. This would maintain a sustainable farming sector and create jobs across Ontario.     

Farmers will also have to wait a while longer for access to natural gas in rural Ontario. “We agree with Minister Duguid, who announced today that natural gas in rural Ontario will attract new industry, make commercial transportation and agriculture more affordable, help to create jobs and provide more energy choices. It is disappointing the announced grant and loan program remains under development,” says Don McCabe, OFA president. “The economic activity made possible by this lower cost energy would certainly take some pressure off energy costs. Delays in program details of the grant and loan program means possible loss of a construction season for needed natural gas line expansion.”

“Despite OFA’s disappointment in energy investments, we are pleased to see the budget reintroduce the Connecting Links Program, as recommended by the OFA,” says McCabe. “We welcome the annual funding of $15 million for program projects that will see increased funding to rural municipalities for roads and bridges.”

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.

For more information:

Don McCabe
President
Ontario Federation of Agriculture
519-331-6175

Neil Currie
General Manager
Ontario Federation of Agriculture
519-821-8883
neil.currie@ofa.on.ca



Comments

Marianne Keizer says on April 24, 2015 at 9:28 PM

This is ridiculous, living in Aylmer ON, we have gas 1 km from our farm.When we will have natural gas we have to pay a lot for the 1 km.LIVING IN 2015 I thought this will change but unfortunately.


John Gray says on July 18, 2015 at 10:01 AM

To offset the non competitive Hydro One rates it would be more sensible in opening up solar energy behind the meter for farms in Ontario. This would meet the requirements for Ontario/ Canada to generate green energy . Currently this is being blocked due to lack of distribution/transportation infrastructure in place. Meanwhile wind energy is being forced upon farmers in many cases against their desire. Additionally these large wind mills need distribution and transmission developed and there does not appear to be any limitations by the Government to fund or subsidize these developments. It would seem to be more logical to allow these subsidies to flow to the many willing solar farm developers . solar energy is very quickly taking energy market share from coal , and wind in developed countries such as Germany ,US , Chiba, with new technology coming forward to store produced energy and reduced costs for installations. Doesn't this make more sense in supporting solar Farm installations vs subsidizing more wind mills that are only utilized 30 % of the year?


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