Date published: Tuesday, September 13, 2016
The Federation of Northern Ontario Municipalities (FONOM) is pleased that the Throne Speech, which was delivered by Lieutenant Governor Elizabeth Dowdeswell at Queen’s Park yesterday focused on the need to reduce energy costs.
The speech, “A Balanced Plan to Build Ontario Up for Everyone,” reaffirmed previous commitments and highlighted new approaches to addressing concerning issues within the second half of the provincial government’s term. Previous commitments included investments into infrastructure, healthcare and education, along with a policy direction of ensuring a greener economy and promoting business growth. The acknowledgement of Northern Ontario was appreciated, specifically with the commitment that nearly half of the infrastructure projects for roads and 200 bridges in the province will be in Northern Ontario.
“FONOM has repeatedly raised the issue of increasing energy costs for Northerners, including residents, small businesses and industry,” says Mayor Alan Spacek of Kapuskasing and President of FONOM, “we are pleased that the government has committed to assisting these groups with their energy costs by introducing legislation that would rebate the province’s share of the Harmonized Sales Tax from residential and small business electricity bills as well as supporting industry by expanding and lowering the threshold of eligibility for the Industrial Conservation Initiative (ICI),” continued Spacek.
The province also committed to further reductions for rural residents by significantly enhancing existing rural support programs. While the details are limited, we look forward to further clarification on the actual benefits that rural residents will experience.
Though efforts to implement measures to lower electricity bills is welcomed, FONOM maintains that the government should also be working towards a long-term solution to stop overall energy costs from rising.
For More Information:
Mayor Alan Spacek
President of FONOM
705 335 0001