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Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources Announces Launch of Ontario’s Energy & Resource Table

Published on
October 27, 2022

On Tuesday, October 25th, Hon. Jonathan Wilkinson, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources alongside Todd Smith, Ontario Energy Minister, announced the launch of the Canada – Ontario Regional Energy and Resource Table.  Canada and Ontario have agreed to focus this work 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

The announcement further noted that Canada is committed to supporting Ontario as it advances its procurement of 4,000 MW of electricity capacity through the upcoming Expedited and Long-Term RFPs, by providing a stapled financing package for prospective proponents with the Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB). A component part of the Independent Electricity System Operator’s (IESO) Resource Adequacy Framework, these procurements are anticipated to be the beginning of new build opportunities that challenge the sector in order to meet growing demand and energy transition requirements in the years ahead. More information on this evolving landscape will arise with the release of the IESO’s Pathways to Decarbonization report in November and the updated Annual Planning Outlook later this year, as well as the work of the Electrification and Energy Transition Panel. Sussex also notes the mandate letter recently issued to the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) to also evolve Ontario’s regulatory sector to address these matters.

The federal government is seeking to create a partnership amongst Canada and each province and territory to support the development of regional economic growth strategies centered around clean energy transition. So far, Canada has announced regional resource tables with nine provinces and territories, including British Columbia, Manitoba and Newfoundland and Labrador, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, the Northwest Territories and Yukon. 

The Regional Tables aim to align priorities, funding and financing opportunities, and policy and regulatory approaches on a regional basis to accelerate economic activity and position every region in Canada as a leader in areas where we have or can reasonably create a comparative advantage in the net-zero future. The Canada-Ontario Regional Table will also be focused on ensuring that regulatory requirements for energy and resource projects, under these five priorities, are implemented effectively and in a timely fashion.

In the coming months the Government of Canada will also 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. An announcement is expected in early 2023. The Council will feed into the Regional Tables process.

Release of the Canada Gazette I of the Clean Electricity Standard is also expected for early 2023, outlining draft details of the regulations. A comment period will follow. 

Happy to Help

The Governments of Ontario and Canada will now work on the configuration of a working group for each of the five key priority areas. Each working group will then provide recommendations that will feed into a regional strategy, outlining action items and expected to act as the basis for federal energy and resource investments in Ontario. 

At the same time, work in identifying priority areas and launching the remaining Regional Energy & Resources Tables is now underway.  Should you have any questions on the Tables, or would like to engage, please feel free to reach out to your Sussex consultant. 

Chris Benedetti, Managing Partner

Devin McCarthy, Senior Vice President and Federal Practice Lead

Bonnie Hiltz, Vice President and Energy Practice Lead

Mark Olsheski, Vice President, Energy Practice

Roberto Chavez, Senior Associate, Federal Practice

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