Chatham-Kent Economic Development has issued a formal letter of support to the Honourable Minister Monte McNaughton on Monday, November 12, 2018, regarding the support of passing Bill 32, Access to Natural Gas Act (2018). Issued by John Norton, General Manager of Community Development for the Municipality of Chatham-Kent, the letter indicates that the Municipality of Chatham-Kent fully supports Bill 32 and looks forward to its passing.
The letter provides information that natural gas expansion is crucial in the rural areas of Chatham-Kent, as the current infrastructure is limiting economic development in both the industrial and agricultural sectors thereby stifling job growth. Chatham-Kent has identified opportunities to grow the greenhouse and food processing sectors given our strategic location to global markets and farm gate.
“Economic Development and the Municipality of Chatham-Kent want to help Minister McNaughton understand the importance to our communities that this bill passes,” said Norton. “We have developers eagerly looking at investing in our community and their only barrier is the prohibitive cost to extend natural gas to their sites. Bill 32 will eliminate this barrier and open up more of Chatham-Kent for business investment.”
The Chatham-Kent Rural Pipeline Expansion Project could provide up to 75,000 m3/hour of additional capacity to serve new and exiting business customers in these rural, underserviced areas, depending upon location. Assuming an average capacity need of less than 100 m3/hour per acre of greenhouse, the potential project could meet the gas needs of an equivalent of over 750 acres of new greenhouse demand. The potential of 750 acres of greenhouse being built would generate in excess of 3,000 jobs and additional municipal and provincial tax base.
“In addition to this being necessary for business, we also recognize that it will provide relief to households who may be relying on other more expensive alternative heating sources,” said Norton. “We are supporting this bill because it is good for families, business, and all of the communities across Chatham-Kent.”
The letter sent by the government has been received by the Ontario government. No public date has been set to vote on the Bill according to the Legislative Assembly of Ontario website: https://www.ola.org/en/legislative-business/bills/current.
To learn more about Chatham-Kent Economic Development, you can visit their website at http://www.investck.ca.
Marketing and Communications Officer, Economic Development Services
Municipality of Chatham-Kent
Phone: 519-352-8401 x2039