Building back better—like Bruce, Grey and Huron
As we come to the end of a long and difficult year, uncertainty about the future is understandable. Many of us had big plans for 2020. The beginning of a new decade was supposed to be cause for optimism and growth, rather than a year spent distanced and waiting out the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
But, as we reflect on the year gone by and what the future has in store, here in Bruce, Grey and Huron counties we should all be proud of our collective efforts to support one another as we continue working towards a brighter 2021.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau recently stated that COVID-19 offers us an opportunity to reset on our pre-pandemic efforts and move forward at an accelerated pace on key goals like tackling climate change. Ontario Premier Doug Ford and our provincial government are doing just that: taking active steps to support new and exciting clean energy technologies like Made-in-Ontario hydrogen and Small Modular Nuclear Reactors (more commonly known as SMRs) as we seek to recover from COVID-19.
Our federal and provincial governments need look no further than Bruce, Grey and Huron counties to find the foundation upon which these efforts will be built.
Last month, the Nuclear Innovation Institute (NII) launched the Clean Energy Frontier Program. The message we’re delivering to the rest of the province and country is simple: there is no path to achieving key climate change and economic goals without what happens right here in Canada’s Clean Energy Frontier region.
Bruce, Grey and Huron have what the rest of the province and country needs—strong local leadership combined with clean, reliable, Ontario-made energy needed to build towards a robust, net-zero economy.
We are home to Bruce Power—the world’s largest operating nuclear facility, which provides our province with more than 30% of its electricity in the form of clean, emissions-free nuclear power. Furthermore, Bruce Power produces ever-important medical isotopes (like Cobalt-60, which helps sterilize 40% of the world’s medical devices) and is spurring economic development through the Major Component Replacement project—one of the largest construction projects ever embarked upon in Canada.
As there continues to be a significant amount of focus on new technologies, we cannot lose sight of the fact that this region is home to Canada’s largest private-sector infrastructure project. The successful delivery of this program—and enhancing and mobilizing around it—form the foundation for additional opportunities.
The region also has a local presence from more than 60 companies at work on clean energy solutions. They have been a welcome addition to our communities—and the work they do is critical as we move forward towards a clean energy future.
The Clean Energy Frontier’s pre-existing transmission network connects us to key areas of our province. And with the region’s vast geography, there is only room to grow and build. All this highlights that with the infrastructure already in place—and even more opportunities for growth—a strong, healthy future starts right here.
Finally, our region’s biggest asset is our community support and local leadership when it comes to a clean energy future. Across the three counties, residents and local leaders understand the need to work together and build a better future for generations to come.
Politicians, advocates, businesses and other leaders worldwide are all talking about how to build back and recover from the effects of COVID-19. Slogans like: “Build back better” are now commonplace.
The Clean Energy Frontier offers a slightly different message: “Build back like Bruce, Grey and Huron.”
--Chad Richards is the Director of the Clean Energy Frontier.