What season is it best to go on a trampoline? …spring time! And, as we referenced last week on this blog, we’re bouncing into spring 2021 with some big news on budgets.
With the federal release still weeks away, we’ll focus our attention on Ontario’s budget and what it means for our province and local communities. This week, we’ll also take a look at an exciting event taking place tomorrow with Bruce Power and Kinectrics in Teeswater, and an important petition that was tabled in the House of Commons yesterday!
Let’s jump right in…
1. Ontario’s 2021 Budget – What you need to know
Ontario’s Action Plan: Protecting People’s Health and Our Economy is the title of the Province of Ontario’s 2021 budget. And it is appropriately named. The document provides a path forward for Ontarians to get through the (hopefully) final months of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Hon. Peter Bethlenfalvy, Finance Minister, emphasized this point by stating: “Eventually the pandemic will be behind us. It is months, not years away. We will get to that day through the hard work and sacrifice of Team Ontario.”
The budget document is full of initiatives and support programs for businesses and individuals to get us through these next few months.
All told, the 2021 budget and previously announced initiatives over the course of the pandemic bring Ontario’s Covid-19 support measures to a total of $51 billion. Along with significant investments in healthcare, vaccine distribution, longterm care and more.
Here are some notable parts of the budget—specifically for those in the Clean Energy Frontier:
Support for small business – businesses that have been deemed eligible as recipients of the Ontario Small Business Support Grant will automatically be entitled to a second payment of equal value through that program.
Tourism – a new Ontario Tourism and Hospitality Small Business Support Grant was announced. This grant will provide one-time payments of $10,000-20,000 to eligible businesses in the tourism sector. Great news for our local tourism operators!
Rural broadband – $2.8 billion in new funding for rural broadband infrastructure.
Electric vehicles – highlighting investments in Ontario’s electric vehicle manufacturing capacity, including a $56.4 million investment over the next four years to create the new Ontario Vehicle Innovation Network. This network will "help accelerate the development of the next generation electric, connected and autonomous vehicle and mobility technologies that contribute to a lower environmental and carbon footprint."
Clean energy – the budget also highlighted Ontario’s Clean Energy Advantage and referenced our clean grid's role in ensuring that manufacturers and businesses across the province power their operations with clean electricity. The Clean Energy Frontier plays a key role in this both by providing 30% Ontario’s electricity in the form of clean nuclear power from Bruce Power, while also driving innovation.
2. Kinectrics event tomorrow (March 26th)!
Tomorrow (March 26th) Kinectrics and Bruce Power are hosting an event that you can watch live by registering here.
The event, which will feature Kinectrics President & CEO David Harris, as well as local Member of Provincial Parliament for Huron Bruce, the Hon. Lisa Thompson, will celebrate the grand opening of Kinectrics’ full operational laundry facility in Teeswater!
This facility is creating and sustaining jobs in South Bruce and is a proud part of the Clean Energy Frontier. Be sure to join in tomorrow for an update on this great facility and a brief virtual tour!
3. E-petition supporting nuclear tabled in Ottawa
From Queen’s Park in thought #1 to Parliament Hill in thought #3... yesterday, Julie Dzerowicz, Member of Parliament for Davenport, tabled an e-petition in the House of Commons. This petition called on the Government of Canada to do two things:
Uphold its commitments under the Paris Agreement by maintaining and expanding its CANDU nuclear reactor fleet in Canada and abroad; and
Continue to support research and deployment of small modular reactors.
This is exactly the approach that we need to be taking as we fight to be net-zero by 2050.
While we continue exploring and developing new and innovative technologies that we will need, let’s also support and expand on the tried-and-true technologies that are making a difference today.
And this is precisely what we are doing in the Clean Energy Frontier.
We’re engaged in Canada’s largest clean energy project (Major Component Replacement at Bruce Power) to extend the life of Bruce Power while also seeking new and innovative partnerships and technology developments that will be critical in a net-zero world.
--Chad Richards is the Director of the Clean Energy Frontier.