ON: CPA taking action to level playing field with LNG
As many Ontario members know, on January 25, the Ontario government announced $27 million in support of a new liquified natural gas plant in Nipigon, which it says will create jobs and make businesses more competitive in Northern Ontario.
The CPA is in strong disagreement with the government’s funding decision and is actively pursuing meetings with cabinet ministers to express members’ concerns about the unfair advantage being handed to the LNG industry.
By funding the building of LNG plants like the one in Nipigon, the government is tipping the scales of the marketplace in support of LNG expansion. This is being done at the expense of Ontario’s propane industry and many rural and remote communities, few of which are likely to see LNG. In other words, the government is picking winners and losers.
The winners in this case are the LNG project developers and those residents and businesses in Northern Ontario who would have access to LNG. The losers are the many residents of Northern Ontario who will not have access to LNG.
In addition, government subsidies for building LNG plants could put at risk the propane industry in parts of Northern Ontario – all of which would result in less affordable and clean fuel choices for Northern Ontario residents.
This is a very critical file for the propane industry in Ontario. The CPA is using all efforts to communicate messaging to the highest reaches of the Ontario government.
The CPA urges members to contact their local MPP and protest this decision and demand a level playing field: Provide propane with the same advantages as LNG.
By providing subsidies to the LNG industry under Bill 32, the Natural Gas Grant Program or both, the government is providing an advantage to LNG delivery services that unfairly compete directly with unsubsidized propane delivery services. This must be stopped. Failing that, the government must provide an equivalent subsidy to competing propane delivery suppliers or to propane customers so that they can continue to compete on a level playing field with the gas service down the road, without having to increase rates or withdraw from communities entirely.
The LNG plant issue will be a key discussion item during the CPA’s Ontario Lobby Day at Queen’s Park on February 20. We encourage Ontario CPA members to attend and to lend their voice to this very important issue.