McGuinty Government To Invest $4.5 Million In West Nipissing Hydro Electric Power Plant
STURGEON FALLS - The McGuinty government will strengthen economic growth and stimulate job creation in West Nipissing by investing $4.5 million in the acquisition and future expansion of the Weyerhaeuser power plant, Northern Development and Mines Minister and Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC) Chair Rick Bartolucci announced today.
"Our government is pleased to support this important local initiative, which will help attract new industry, bring jobs to the community, and allow for new electricity generating capacity," said Bartolucci. "The Northern Ontario Heritage Fund will be reoriented to support and foster job creation in the private sector. This project fits extremely well with the fund's renewed mandate."
The economy of West Nipissing suffered a major setback with the closure of Weyerhaeuser's container board plant in December 2002. Subsequently, the West Nipissing Community Adjustment and Recovery Committee (CARC) was struck to develop short- and long-term strategies to mitigate the impact of the mill closure and relaunch the local economy. Acquiring the power generation station from Weyerhaeuser is a critical element of the strategy to attract new business and industry to the area. Once the proposed expansion is complete, the plant's capacity will increase from 7.5 megawatts to 12 megawatts.
"This investment by the NOHFC will act as a catalyst for private sector job creation and bring renewed hope to the people of West Nipissing," said Timiskaming-Cochrane MPP and Natural Resources Minister David Ramsay, who joined Minister Bartolucci for today's announcement. "The NOHFC is open for business. It is an important part of our plan to return hope and opportunity to all northerners."
The NOHFC will work in partnership with the private sector and other levels of government to diversify and grow the northern economy and stimulate jobs. It will be a vital part of the government's commitment to delivering a four-year plan for positive change across the North.