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City Government

Productive Meeting Held with Ontario Minister of Energy


June 25, 2012 – Representatives of the City of Thunder Bay, the Northwestern Ontario Municipal Association (NOMA) and Fort William First Nation met this morning with Ontario Minister of Energy, Chris Bentley and local Members of Provincial Parliament, the Hon. Michael Gravelle, MPP Thunder Bay-Superior North, and Bill Mauro, MPP Thunder Bay-Atikokan.

The meeting focused on the significant industrial development opportunities across Northwestern Ontario and the importance of ensuring that energy is available – through enhanced “needs assessment” planning, improved transmission lines and expansion of the grid to include First Nation communities – in order to realize these economic benefits for all of our communities.

“We appreciate that the Minister fulfilled his commitment from earlier this year to undertake a productive discussion with us around the energy needs of Thunder Bay and the region,” said Councillor Joe Virdiramo, Chair of the Inter-governmental Relations Committee. "We are very pleased with the Minister’s commitment to work with us directly, in particular as we develop our Mining Readiness Strategy over the next few months.”

Councillor Iain Angus, Vice President of NOMA, said their key request to the Minister was for the province to recognize the unique needs of the Northwest and develop a regional planning process for energy needs that is responsive to the actual needs of the area.

“We look forward to working closely with Minister Bentley to improve energy planning and address the growing needs of our region,” added Angus. “Minister Bentley recognized that the current planning process is cumbersome and lengthy and did not allow for a quick response to emerging needs, and he made a commitment to work with us to enhance that process.”

Representatives from the City of Thunder Bay and Fort William First Nation also met with Minister Bentley to discuss other emerging opportunities related to energy generation and transmission.

The full presentation is available at www.noma.on.ca.

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Contact: Councillor Iain Angus, NOMA Vice President, 628-6887
              Councillor Joe Virdiramo, Chair, Inter-governmental Relations Committee, 628-6878