THUNDER BAY, ON --- November 26, 2013 -- Representatives from the Northwestern Ontario Associated Chambers of Commerce and the Northwestern Ontario Municipal Association spent Tuesday at Queen’s Park for meetings with the Premier, numerous Ministers, and the leaders of both the Progressive Conservative Party and the New Democratic Party. A luncheon reception was also held for all MPP’s.
NOACC Immediate Past President Andy Scribilo says, “We were pleased with the opportunity for dialogue with the Premier, Ministers, and the Opposition leaders about key issues to Northwestern Ontario. A key focus of our discussions related to the recent announcements in the Ring of Fire and the need for the Province to make mining a priority to ensure that these opportunities do not slip away.”
NOMA President David Canfield, Mayor of Kenora, comments, “Our discussions also focused on the need for energy certainty for the region. We provided documentation from the Common Voice Northwest Energy Taskforce asking for inventory of 75,000 tonnes of advanced biomass at the Thunder Bay Generating Station to ensure security of energy supply in the case of extended cold weather or drought.” Canfield continued, “In addition, NOMA discussed our ongoing concerns with MPAC reassessments on large industrial properties and the impacts that will be felt in our communities through the loss of millions in tax revenues.”
An additional meeting was held with Natural Resources Minister David Orazietti regarding the Spring Bear Hunt pilot project and Forestry issues across the Northwest.
The Energy Task Force, in conjunction with the Northern Ontario Municipal Association and Northwestern Ontario Associated Chambers of Commerce, presented a 16-minute video to members of the Ontario Legislature including Cabinet Members and the Premier at Queens Park, at noon today. The video outlines the manner in which the electrical system in the Northwest works, and the role that the Thunder Bay Generating Station plays in the region. Following a detailed review of the Ontario Government announcement that the Thunder Bay Generating Station will be converted to advanced biomass with an 5 year contract of 15,000 tonnes the Common Voice Northwest Energy Task Force has called on the Government to advance the contract so that all 75,000 tonnes will be in place prior to the end of coal in December, 2014.
“Our analysis has indicated that the combined output of the Thunder Bay and Atikokan Generating Stations is insufficient to provide power during a prolonged cold spell or a two or three month drought” says Co-Chair Iain Angus. “Under the cold weather scenario we have determined that 75,000 tonnes on site will provide the region the security of supply that they need. Under the drought scenario, we have determined that 120,000 tonnes would get us through 3 months of low water” he said.
Video Produced by the Energy Task Force
Northwestern Ontario - A Place to Grow Electrically from Generator on Vimeo.
The Energy Task Force pointed out that in the past the Thunder Bay Generating Station had somewhere around 100,000 tonnes of coal on hand, while the Atikokan GS usually had approximately 2 to 3 months’ supply available on site.
The Energy Task Force said that a minimum of 75,000 tonnes of advanced biomass on site would allow for relatively quick replenishment should the plant be required to run near its maximum capacity. “Whether the fuel comes from Norway or Texas or some other location within North America, the transportation time will enable replenishment prior to the exhausting of the on-site supply.”
The Task Force’s research will be presented to Premier Wynne and the leaders of the Opposition Parties on Tuesday at Queens Park by a combined delegation of the Northwestern Ontario Municipal Association and the Northwestern Ontario Associated Chambers of Commerce.