MPP Oosterhoff joins Ministers Smith and Thompson to Announce Natural Gas Expansion in Grimsby and Lincoln

Published on September 21, 2021

Vineland Station - Today, Sam Oosterhoff, MPP for Niagara West, joined Todd Smith, Minister of Energy, and Lisa Thompson, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, to announce that additional local farms and businesses in Grimsby and Lincoln will be able to connect to natural gas thanks to the province's Natural Gas Expansion Program.

Under Phase 2 of the program, Ontario will allocate up to $4,295,182 to support new connections to the natural gas distribution system and help make life more affordable in West Niagara.

"Our government is making good on its promise to deliver affordable energy and expand natural gas pipelines to more communities," said MPP Oosterhoff.

"Access to natural gas will help more families and businesses find energy savings while promoting economic development and job creation across West Niagara."

The Ontario government is expanding access to natural gas across the province to help keep the cost of energy low for families, businesses and farmers. Phase 2 of the Natural Gas Expansion Program will allocate more than $234 million to support approximately 8750 connections in 43 rural, Northern and Indigenous communities.

"As part of our government's plan to make life more affordable, we are lowering energy costs for homes, businesses and farms across rural, remote and underserved communities," said Minister Smith.

"With Phase 2 of the Natural Gas Expansion program, we’re putting people first, bringing prosperity to their communities, and ensuring Ontario remains open for business."

The average business or farm is expected to save 30 percent a year on energy costs by switching to natural gas from costlier fuel sources. Households can save up to $1,500 per year in energy costs cent per year on energy costs.

Based on early expressions of interest from local businesses, the natural gas expansion project in Grimsby and Lincoln is expected to create approximately 660 jobs.

"Energy is a major cost of food production and lowering input prices for Niagara greenhouses is great news for the sector," said Minister Thompson.

"Ontario grows fresh vegetables all year round and keeping costs of production competitive will give Ontarians more choice with local products and makes our products more attractive in international markets."

Construction for projects under Phase 2 will begin as soon as this year, with all 28 expansion projects expected to be underway by the end of 2025.

"We're thankful for the funding the province has allocated to Grimsby and Lincoln for expansion projects", said Jeff Jordan, Mayor of the Town of Grimsby.

"By expanding access to natural gas in rural, Northern and Indigenous communities, so many Ontarian families, businesses and famers, including those in Grimsby, will benefit from lower energy costs."

"This is excellent news for Lincoln’s thriving agricultural community," said Sandra Easton, Mayor of the Town of Lincoln.

"On behalf of Council for the Town of Lincoln, I would like to thank the Ontario government for investing in such programs as the Natural Gas Expansion Program, which promote economic growth in our communities and help ensure the vitality of our agricultural sector."

"Through the Natural Gas Expansion Program, Enbridge Gas will be able to bring much-needed natural gas infrastructure to unlock the development potential in these areas, positioning them well for future growth, while creating numerous direct and indirect job opportunities and helping support Ontario's economic growth and recovery," said Cynthia Hansen, Executive Vice-President and President of Gas Distribution and Storage at Enbridge Inc.

"We look forward to working with new and existing commercial and industrial customers so they can tap into the added capacity and cost savings and reliability benefits natural gas has to offer."

"The Ontario Greenhouse and Vegetable Growers (OGVG) is pleased to hear of the outcomes from the Natural Gas Expansion program and the efforts of the Ontario government, Minister Smith and his predecessors, Bill Walker and Greg Rickford, and all staff at the Ministry of Energy, Northern Development and Mines, that will ensure increased accessibility for rural communities and potential greenhouse development,” said George Gilvesy, Chair of the Ontario Greenhouse and Vegetable Growers.