Regional energy pricing a solution worth pursuing

Since becoming your Member of Parliament, I often have written about the concerns and challenges that face our forest industry.
This issue remains a top priority for me given the industry is a significant employer and economic driver for our region.
Last October, I expressed the view that high energy costs are a serious detriment to the operation of forest industries in Northwestern Ontario. At that time, I suggested the implementation of an industrial energy rate or “regional energy pricing” for forest product manufacturers and suppliers.
Regional energy pricing is based on paying the actual costs for producing electricity within a region. In Northern Ontario, for instance, our electricity-generating plants are able to produce energy at a rate far below the cost of producing energy in southern Ontario.
Estimates show that if regional energy pricing were implemented, it could cut energy costs for industry in Northern Ontario by half.
I am pleased that there seems to be increasing support across the region for this potential solution. The provincial government currently is undertaking a review of the energy costs in Northwestern Ontario and its effect on our economic drivers.
I encourage all residents to send letters of support for immediate implementation of regional energy pricing to the premier of Ontario.
In the meantime, I will continue to push at all levels for solutions to the challenges facing our forest sector businesses. It is only by working together towards these common goals that our region can prosper.

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