December 30, 2016

Mr. Bob Delaney
Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Energy
4th Floor, Hearst Block
Toronto, Ontario
M7A 2E1

Dear Mr. Delaney:

I am honoured to have you as my parliamentary assistant, and thank you for the valuable support that you will provide me in this crucial role. I welcome you back to the Ministry of Energy, and look forward to continuing to work closely with you to ensure that both ministry and overall government objectives are achieved.

At this mid-point of our mandate — and after having achieved two years of real and tangible progress — we are redoubling our efforts to deliver on our top priority — economic growth and good jobs. Our balanced plan to build Ontario up for everyone will deliver real benefits and more inclusive growth that will help people in their everyday lives. We will do this by continuing to invest in better infrastructure, more affordable and accessible postsecondary education, a competitive, low-carbon economy and improved retirement security.

Responsible fiscal management remains an overarching priority for our government, and, thanks to our disciplined approach, we are on track to balance the budget next year, in 2017-18.

The mandate letter I received in September from Premier Wynne sets out my specific priorities as minister for the coming two years. Parliamentary assistants play a key role in meeting these priorities and in helping put our government’s plan into action.

Our ministry is committed to promoting the development of a safe, reliable, secure and environmentally sustainable energy supply. Together, we will work to prudently manage our supply mix to effectively meet our energy needs today and for generations to come.

As Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Energy, your specific responsibilities include:

Mitigating Electricity Prices for Residential Consumers

Continuing to support efforts to look for savings to mitigate the impact of electricity prices for residential consumers. For example, given Ontario’s robust supply of electricity over the coming decade, I directed the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) to suspend the second phase of the Large Renewable Procurement and the Energy-from-Waste Standard Offer Program, saving the typical residential electricity consumer an average of approximately $2.45 per month on their electricity bill relative to previous forecasts.

Assisting the minister in working with local distribution companies to effectively implement the Ontario Rebate for Electricity Consumers Act, 2016, providing an eight per cent electricity cost rebate to low volume consumers across the province.

Supporting the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) in the continued administration of the Ontario Electricity Support Program, and working with the agency, the social services sector, low-income groups, and local distribution companies to develop recommendations that could improve the objectives of the program.

Mitigating Electricity Prices for Businesses

Continuing to help Ontarians by addressing the challenges they face from increasing electricity costs. To give more businesses the incentive to participate in the Industrial Conservation Initiative (ICI), we are proposing to lower the threshold from three megawatts to one megawatt and remove sector restrictions so that more consumers can benefit. The proposed expansion is estimated to lead to more than 1,000 newly eligible consumers. These newly eligible consumers would be able to opt-in to the ICI program at their discretion by June 15, 2017, and would begin seeing an impact on their bills in July 2017. You will work with business groups and local distribution companies to maximize uptake of the program. This expansion will help to reduce cost pressures on the electricity system by empowering more consumers to lower their electricity demand during peak hours.

Supporting the Oversight of Darlington Refurbishment

Our ministry is committed to strict oversight of Ontario Power Generation during the execution of Darlington nuclear refurbishments to ensure the project remains on budget and on time to protect ratepayers. Together, we will continue to implement effective government oversight during the Darlington refurbishments, including working with the government’s independent oversight advisor to monitor the project and regularly update the ministry.

Fostering Business Opportunities

Building on recent successes, such as the 2015 Energy Trade Mission to Korea, working to develop export opportunities for Ontario’s energy sector and growing Ontario’s energy brand internationally.

Collaborating with trade associations (e.g., Ministry of Trade, Advance Energy Centre, Ministry of Economic Development and Growth, etc.), industry associations, and energy companies to support inbound and outbound missions.

Supporting the ongoing development and export of Ontario’s specialty expertise in areas such as nuclear operation and refurbishments, smart grid implementation, renewable energy development, and biomass conversion. You will work with your counterparts in the Ministry of International Trade, the Ministry of Economic Development and Growth, and the Ministry of Infrastructure to advance this work.

Review of the Regional Planning Process

The first cycle of the enhanced regional planning process, which was introduced in 2013, is nearing completion: regional electricity needs have been assessed in all 21 of the province’s planning regions; 17 regions have completed initial planning, and the final four regional plans will be completed by 2017. This presents an opportunity to review and reflect on how effective the process has been in meeting its intended goals of improved coordination of planning activities, enhanced community engagement and improved infrastructure siting. For this reason, I ask that you work with the IESO, OEB, local distribution companies, and municipalities, and engaging other ministries as needed, to review the effectiveness of the enhanced regional planning process.

Encouraging more widespread public and stakeholder participation in the ministry’s in-person engagement sessions and online tools throughout the fall of 2016.

A tremendous opportunity lies before us — to ensure that our ministry’s mandate is fully and effectively implemented, to continue to build Ontario up and to deliver real benefits to all Ontarians.


Original signed by

Glenn Thibeault