On Tuesday, May 3, 2022, Daryl Kramp, MPP for Hastings-Lennox and Addington, joined Enbridge Gas and Tyendinaga Mohawk Council to announce that approximately 126 homes and businesses in Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte First Nation will be able to connect to natural gas for the first time thanks to the province’s Natural Gas Expansion Program.
According to a release from the MPP’s office, under Phase 2 of the program, Ontario will allocate $8,080,907 to support new connections to the natural gas distribution system and help make life more affordable in the First Nation community.
“Our government is making good on its promise to deliver affordable energy and connect more communities to natural gas infrastructure for the first time,” said MPP Kramp. “Access to natural gas will help more families and businesses find energy savings, while promoting economic development and job creation across this community.”
In the release, the Ontario government said it is expanding access to natural gas across the province to help keep the cost of energy low for families, businesses and farmers. Phase 2 of the Natural Gas Expansion Program will allocate more than $234 million to support approximately 8,750 connections in 43 rural, northern and Indigenous communities.
Since its launch in 2019, Phase 1 of the Natural Gas Expansion Program has supported projects that are forecasted to connect over 9,000 customers, in 16 communities, to natural gas, according to the release. Phase 1 and 2 projects are funded through a $1-per-month charge to existing natural gas customers.
“As part of our government’s plan to make life more affordable, we are lowering energy costs for homes, businesses and farms across rural, remote and underserved communities,” said Minister of Energy Todd Smith, MPP for Bay of Quinte. “With Phase 2 of the Natural Gas Expansion program, we’re putting people first, bringing prosperity to their communities, and ensuring Ontario remains open for business.”
The average household could save up to 50 per cent per year in energy costs by switching to natural gas from costlier fuel sources, according to the release.
“Through Ontario’s Natural Gas Expansion Program, these projects will bring much needed and wanted natural gas to additional communities while supporting jobs, helping to attract local investment, and providing energy savings to residents and businesses,” said Michele Harradence, Senior Vice President & President, Gas Distribution & Storage, Enbridge Inc. “We are thrilled that the Government of Ontario selected these projects and look forward to working together with the province and local municipalities to continue to bring natural gas to more Ontario homes and businesses.”
“I want to thank the Government of Ontario for this significant investment. The natural gas expansion project will provide reliable and affordable heating to many of our residents. It will also support economic development across our community, and I look forward to more expansion projects in the future. Many thanks to the Government of Ontario and Enbridge Gas for this important partnership, and we look forward to working closely with them as our partners,” said Tyendinaga Mohawk Council Chief R. Donald Maracle.
Construction for projects under Phase 2 began this year, with all 28 expansion projects expected to be underway by the end of 2025.
Hastings County Warden Rick Phillips, who is the Reeve of neighbouring Tyendinaga Township, expressed his appreciation for the project on behalf of the County and his township.
“So pleased to participate in today’s announcement,” said Warden Phillips. “The residents of Hastings and Tyendinaga will undoubtedly benefit in multiple ways from the completion of this Natural Gas Expansion Program with Enbridge Gas.”