Green Jobs Coming to Northern Ontario

Photo: ©iStockphoto.com/BlueMoonPics

On August 26, Ontario Energy Minister, Brad Duguid, spoke about creating green jobs in Northern Ontario while visiting the site of a new hydroelectric project in Kapuskasing. “There’s huge potential here, whether it’s wind, solar, biomass or biogas,” Duguid said. “I recognize that alternative energy is more expensive for consumers, but we’re building the economy, creating 50,000 jobs for people in Ontario over the next three years.”

Hydroelectric Project »

Economic Opportunities for Rural Residents and Aboriginal Communities
Promoting the potential that such energy projects could bring to rural regions in North Ontario, Duguid offered that, “Creating new economic opportunities for Northern families and aboriginal communities is an important part of our Open Ontario plan. He added that, “The Lower Mattagami River Hydroelectric Project will be a huge boost for the North and will provide clean, reliable, and cost-effective power to our families and businesses throughout Ontario. Duguid claims that by 2014, Ontario will longer use any coal-generated power, making it the first jurisdiction in the world to do so.

Hydroelectric Project Already Underway
The Lower Mattagami River Hydroelectric Project has already begun and over 300 people are currently onsite filling newly created green jobs in the rural community. The project is expected to generate over 440 megawatts of renewable energy. Ontario Power Generation (OPG) is heading the project which will produce enough energy to power more than 300,000 homes once it is completed.  It will take an estimated five years to complete, and two-thirds of the jobs will be filled by northern Ontarians.  

Aboriginal Community Partners with OPG
The Moose Cree First Nation has partnered with OPG and has a 25% equity share in the hydroelectric project.  OPG President and CEO, Tom Mitchell, said he is “especially proud to have the Moose Cree First Nation as our partners as it marks a new way of doing business in the north.”  

Moose Cree First Nation Chief, Norman Hardisty, also recognized the innovative nature of the partnership, offering that, “The Moose Cree First Nation’s partnership with Ontario Power Generation on the Lower Mattagami Project is the way of the future. The people of Ontario will benefit from secure, green, healthy, and abundant power to fuel our economies and light and warm our homes.”

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Austin Brentley is a born and bred Washingtonian who has spent the last 9 years traveling the globe, living in New York, Hawaii, Japan, Thailand, France, and most recently, Malaysia.  Passionate about all things green, Austin currently works with the Ontario Solar Academy, writing news stories and blogs about North America's growing solar revolution.  Feel free to drop him a line if you have questions about photovoltaic technology or solar panel installation training.