Ontario Becomes Ninth Jurisdiction to Join Canada’s Regional Energy and Resource Tables
October 25, 2022 Bowmanville, Ontario Natural Resources Canada
Canada’s abundant natural resources and its ability to develop them — sustainably and inclusively — are a significant comparative advantage in the global energy transition. That transition presents a generational opportunity to create good jobs, economic growth and prosperity for Ontarians and all Canadians.
Today, the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, federal Minister of Natural Resources, and the Honourable Todd Smith, Ontario Minister of Energy, announced that Ontario is formally joining the Regional Energy and Resource Tables, a partnership among the federal government and each province and territory to support economic growth and strong communities across the country.
For Ontario, this means supporting expansion of the province’s clean electricity grid, which is an advantage in attracting investment and good jobs, supporting the province’s manufacturing base through developing critical minerals needed for electric vehicle and battery manufacturing, advancing new nuclear technology like small modular reactors, and clean hydrogen deployment.
Canada and Ontario have agreed to focus on 5 key priorities:
- Ontario’s growing clean and affordable electricity grid
- Developing critical mineral value chains
- Leadership in nuclear technology deployment
- Accelerating clean hydrogen opportunities
- Advancing a sustainable and innovative forestry sector
Across each of these areas, the Canada-Ontario Regional Table will also be focussed on ensuring that regulatory requirements for energy and resource projects are implemented effectively and in a timely fashion.
Canada is committed to working with Ontario as it advances its recently announced procurement of 4,000 MW of electricity capacity and particularly its commitment to launching in 2023 the largest procurement of clean energy storage resources in Canada’s history. Ontario’s commitment to procure at least 1,500 MW of stand-alone energy storage is key to the province’s plan to provide reliable electricity to support economic growth and electrification while keeping costs down for ratepayers.
Today’s announcement at the Darlington Nuclear Generating Station brings the number of provinces and territories participating in the Regional Tables to nine. British Columbia, Manitoba and Newfoundland and Labrador helped launch the first phase of the Regional Tables in June, and New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, the Northwest Territories and Yukon were part of Phase II earlier this month.
Through the Regional Energy and Resource Tables, the Government of Canada and Ontario will continue to engage with Indigenous partners while enlisting the input and advice of union partners, municipalities, industry, workers, experts and civil society to advance the top economic priorities in the province’s natural resource sectors.
The goal is to align resources, timelines and regulatory approaches as part of an economic strategy to capitalize on key regional opportunities and priorities. Today’s small modular reactor announcement is a concrete example of what federal–provincial collaboration can accomplish.
By working together, Canadians will create the good jobs and enduring prosperity that will come with the unprecedented economic opportunities of building a net-zero world.
“Just as any successful business must be capable of interpreting and reacting to changes in the business environment, countries must also be capable of thoughtful response and appropriate action to sustain and enhance their level of prosperity. This initiative will enable Ontario and other provinces and territories, the federal government and key Indigenous partners to collectively accelerate economic activity and position Canada as an economic leader in the global shift toward a low-carbon future.”
The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson
Minister of Natural Resources, Government of Canada
“We are growing Ontario’s world-leading advantage of affordable clean electricity to continue to attract investment and good jobs in our strong manufacturing sector. Ontario is quickly becoming a leader in electric vehicles, battery manufacturing and critical mineral development. The province’s expertise in clean nuclear technology is supporting this success. We look forward to working with our federal partners to help us continue to build Ontario and keep costs down for Ontario families.”
The Honourable Todd Smith
Minister of Energy, Government of Ontario
“Our government is making Ontario a leader in critical minerals development and building supply chains for innovative technologies such as electric vehicles by connecting mining operations in the North with the manufacturing might of the south. Collaborating with our federal partners on critical minerals development and processing, as well as funding for the Ring of Fire infrastructure, will help us achieve our goals. We need more stable sources of critical minerals in this province to support the transition to a low-carbon economy for Ontario, Canada and the world.”
The Honourable George Pirie
Minister of Mines, Government of Ontario
Federal Budget 2022 included $25 million to launch the Regional Energy and Resource Tables to work with provinces, territories, Indigenous partners and relevant stakeholders to advance regional economic growth opportunities, accelerate energy transformation priorities and create sustainable jobs. This initiative was referred to in the Budget as Regional Strategic Initiatives.
In November 2021, Ontario announced its plans to begin procuring new electricity resources to meet supply needs after 2025, after having been operating with an electricity surplus for over a decade. Through Ontario’s deployment of the world’s first grid-connected nuclear small modular reactor at Darlington and a competitive procurement, Ontario has a clear path forward to meeting its electricity needs. Early this month Minister Todd Smith also announced that Ontario would procure 4,000MW of capacity, including Canada’s largest procurement of energy storage resources, of at least 1,500 MW.
Ontario launched their provincial Critical Minerals Strategy 2022-2027 in March 2022, a five-year roadmap to secure Ontario’s position as the global leader of responsibly sourced critical minerals, including in the Ring of Fire. Following consultations, including with provinces and territories, Canada will be launching their national Critical Minerals Strategy before the end of the year. As part of these efforts, both jurisdictions will help unlock critical mineral reserves by advancing infrastructure projects and upholding responsible mineral development which respects the rights of Indigenous peoples.
Ontario also launched its Low-Carbon Hydrogen Strategy in April 2022, which sets out eight concrete and immediate actions to achieve an eight-fold increase in the province's production capacity of low-carbon hydrogen and support the nascent market to meet its potential.
The Regional Energy and Resource Tables will build on work done by the Industry Strategy Council, which brings together business leaders to offer experienced perspectives from key sectors of our economy and to engage with a diverse set of businesses and stakeholders from coast to coast to coast, including labour and Indigenous Peoples. In its report “Restart, recover, and reimagine prosperity for all Canadians” released in 2020, the Council provided recommendations to:
- support all natural resource sectors in becoming global environmental, social governance suppliers and product innovators;
- leverage clean technology strengths to accelerate exports and domestic adoption and to decarbonize key industrial sectors; and
- incentivize all sectors to meet Paris commitments with a cost- and time-optimal decarbonization pathway.
With the addition of Ontario, a total of nine provinces and territories are now participating in the Regional Energy and Resource Tables — after British Columbia, Manitoba and Newfoundland and Labrador helped launch the tables on June 1, 2022, and New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, the Northwest Territories and the Yukon joined on October 13, 2022. The federal government is setting up these tables with the goal of establishing them among all 13 provinces and territories by early 2023.
In the coming months, the Government of Canada will announce the details of the Pan-Canadian Grid Council, a technical advisory group with a mandate of removing barriers to providing clean electricity to every region of Canada by 2035. The Council will feed into the Regional Energy and Resource Tables process.
The Government of Canada’s 2030 Emissions Reduction Plan: Canada’s Next Steps for Clean Air and a Strong Economy is a detailed plan that lays out an achievable sector-by-sector path toward Canada’s emissions reduction target of 40–45 percent below 2005 levels by 2030 and net-zero emissions by 205.
Natural Resources Canada
Office of the Minister of Natural Resources
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