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Extending Support for Northern Industry

Archived News Release

Extending Support for Northern Industry

McGuinty Government Protecting 16,000 Jobs, Strengthening Economy

Ontario is continuing to help large northern industrial companies improve energy efficiency, reduce costs, sustain jobs and maintain competitiveness.

The province intends to extend and revise the Northern Industrial Electricity Rate (NIER) program for three years to support continued growth and development in northern resource and manufacturing sectors.

Current NIER participants could continue to receive a rebate of two cents per kilowatt-hour, up to a maximum of 2011-12 eligible consumption levels, or $20 million per year - whichever is lower.

Partnering with Northern Ontario businesses is part of the McGuinty government's Growth Plan for Northern Ontario, which is addressing barriers to investment and strengthening the northern economy. A strong northern economy creates local jobs and protects the services that mean the most to families -- health care and education. 

Quick Facts

  • The NIER program has created or sustained almost 16,000 jobs at 24 mining and forestry facilities in northern communities since it was launched in 2010. It was originally set to expire on March 31, 2013.
  • New applications would be accepted subject to the availability of unallocated program funding and revised program rules.
  • The extension of the NIER program for $120 million per year over three years is subject to annual program funding approval. Current NIER participants would be subject to revised program rules and amended program agreements.
  • The program is available to facilities that consume 50,000 megawatt hours of electricity per year, and can reduce industrial electricity prices up to 25 per cent. Participants are required to develop and implement an energy management plan to manage their energy usage and reduce costs.

Background Information

Additional Resources


“Within the current fiscal climate, our government recognizes the unique needs of northern industry. The NIER program helps lower costs and increase energy efficiency for some of Northern Ontario’s major resource sector producers and employers – helping sustain well-paying jobs, helping reduce environmental impacts and boosting investment in our North.”

Rick Bartolucci

Minister of Northern Development and Mines

“Our government is proud to provide support to the forest industry – one of Ontario’s economic drivers. I am certainly pleased that we intend to extend our commitment for the NIER program for another three years. There is no doubt that this program is essential to job creation and economic prosperity in Northern Ontario.”

Michael Gravelle

Minister of Natural Resources

“The Ontario mining industry greatly appreciates the extension of the Northern Industrial Electricity Rate Program. NIER has assisted mineral producers in their efforts to better manage energy expenditures and institute energy management plans. Mining has a role to play in meeting the government’s conservation targets and is committed to further promoting an ingrained culture of conservation.”

Chris Hodgson

President, Ontario Mining Association

“Electricity continues to be a major operating cost for large northern forestry operations. Today’s announced extension of this program will assist them in lowering costs, improving productivity and boosting competitiveness. We look forward to continue working with the provincial government to develop policies and programs that support a renewable industry so important to Ontario's economy.”

Jamie Lim

President and CEO, Ontario Forest Industries Association

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