Published plans and annual reports 2020-2021: Ministry of Energy, Northern Development and Mines
Plans for 2020-2021, and results and outcomes of all provincial programs delivered by the Ministry of Energy, Northern Development and Mines in 2019-2020.
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Ministry Vision Statement
The Ministry of Energy, Northern Development and Mines (ENDM) is responsible for the provincial energy and minerals sectors and is the regional ministry for Northern Ontario. The ministry strives to make Ontario strong, healthy, prosperous and open for business through the following program areas:
- Develops electricity, natural gas and oil policies that maintain a safe, reliable and affordable energy supply across the province, to power the economy in Ontario.
- Advances economic development in Northern Ontario through collaborative partnerships and solutions that reflect the unique needs of northerners.
Mines and Minerals
- Supports a strong and sustainable minerals sector and ensures the fair, effective and efficient administration of Ontario's Mining Act for the protection of public health and safety, and the environment.
Ministry Core Commitments and Key Deliverables
ENDM provides leadership and support to the energy sector to ensure safe, reliable, affordable and sustainable energy supply, transmission and distribution systems.
A top priority of the government is to reduce electricity bills for families, farms and small businesses. As part of this commitment, the ministry is working with the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) to introduce electricity conservation programs in the post-2020 period that meet electricity system and customer needs, including considering changes to these needs that result from the COVID-19 outbreak. Currently, the Interim Framework governing electricity conservation and demand management programs is set to expire December 31, 2020. Separately, the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) is undertaking a consultation on post-2020 natural gas Demand Side Management programming.
The government is also committed to expanding access to natural gas to rural, northern and Indigenous communities that do not currently have access. Expanding natural gas access will help make Ontario communities more attractive for job creation and new business growth and sends a clear message that Ontario is open for business. With phase 1 of the Natural Gas Expansion Program underway, the government announced the next phase of the program that will make approximately $130 million available for additional expansion projects from 2021 to 2023.
The ministry is responsible for Government Business Enterprises whose incomes contribute to the fiscal plan (approximately $0.8 billion in net income attributed to the Province in 2018-19). This includes contributions from Hydro One Limited and the wholly owned Ontario Power Generation (OPG).
As the regional ministry for Northern Ontario, ENDM supports provincial initiatives in the north and addresses unique regional needs. The ministry leads government programs aimed at growing the economy, building strong northern communities and creating sustainable job opportunities in the north. This is done through the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC), a provincial agency chaired by the Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines.
Through a network of regional offices and strategic program and policy development, ENDM ensures northerners have access to government programs and services, as well as a voice in government decisions affecting the north. To address northern infrastructure needs, ENDM works with partner ministries, municipalities and Indigenous communities to expand and maintain the northern highways system, roads in unincorporated areas, resource access roads and winter roads to remote First Nation communities. ENDM is also supporting a major expansion of the electricity transmission system across the north, including to remote First Nations.
ENDM supports a safe and sustainable minerals industry by promoting minerals sector exploration and investment. This includes collecting and distributing geoscience information, encouraging and facilitating Indigenous participation in the minerals sector, administering Ontario's Mining Act, and ensuring safe, environmentally sound mineral development and rehabilitation of mining lands.
As the lead ministry responsible for development in the Ring of Fire, ENDM engages and collaborates with Indigenous Peoples and communities, northerners, the mining industry, federal departments and other provincial ministries to encourage responsible and sustainable development. Located more than 500 kilometres northeast of Thunder Bay, the Ring of Fire is one of the most significant mineral discoveries in the province.
ENDM is undertaking an integrated, intergovernmental co-ordination and planning approach to advance the development of strategic transportation and community infrastructure in the Ring of Fire region in an environmentally responsible way.
Ministry Contribution to COVID 19 Emergency Response
On March 25, 2020, the Government of Ontario released the Economic and Fiscal Update, "Ontario's Action Plan: Responding to COVID-19" (the plan). As part of the government's response to support people and jobs, ENDM led efforts in supporting people and businesses with the costs of electricity during the COVID-19 outbreak. ENDM's actions include:
Expansion of the Low-income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP)
The plan commits the government to provide $9 million in direct support to families for their energy bills by expanding eligibility for the Low-income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP) and ensuring that their electricity and natural gas services are not disconnected for nonpayment during the COVID-19 outbreak. To provide this immediate energy cost relief, the ministry, in collaboration with key industry partners, is designing the COVID-19 Emergency Assistance Program (CEAP), an expansion of LEAP.
Emergency Time-Of-Use (TOU) Price Change
ENDM is supporting more affordable electricity bills for residential, farm and small business customers who pay TOU rates by applying the lowest rate, known as off-peak price, for 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It is intended that this pricing relief be in place from March 24 to May 31, 2020, for a period of 69 days. This initiative is providing relief to those who are staying home while physical distancing policies are in effect, as well as to small businesses that have closed or are seeing fewer customers during the COVID-19 outbreak.
ENDM is also considering options for what happens after May 31, 2020 to continue to support customers during COVID-19 and in the recovery period, while reducing the fiscal impact on the province.
Ministry program objectives and initiatives
Part A: Ministry Programs
ENDM carries out its mandate under five activities: Ministry Administration, Northern Development, Mines and Minerals, Energy Development and Management, and Electricity Price Mitigation.
Ministry Administration Program
Ministry Administration provides executive direction and strategic business and resource planning services to ensure the efficient and effective delivery of ministry programs. It supports ministry operations through advice and services in the areas of human resources, business planning, accounting and administration, and professional support services such as legal and audit services. It provides core strategic support in the areas of corporate/strategic policy, communications (including French language services), and freedom of information requests.
Northern Development Program
The ministry leads, delivers and co-ordinates government programs and policies aimed at supporting economic growth and business development, and addressing infrastructure and transportation network needs, in Northern Ontario.
Under the banner of Northern Development, the ministry delivers the following programs:
- Northern and Regional Policy Interests
- Northern Transportation Networks
- Business Development and Support
- Community Support
- Aboriginal Economic Development
Northern and Regional Policy Interests
The Northern and Regional Policy Interests program undertakes research and collects and analyzes regional information to support the development and implementation of strategic policies and programs. This analysis focuses on opportunities to support the Northern Ontario economy that will ultimately strengthen and diversify Northern Ontario communities and businesses. To ensure the north's voice is reflected in the policies and priorities of the government, the ministry works in collaboration with various partners including all orders of government, industry and business, municipalities, Indigenous communities and organizations, and other public and private sector institutions.
Northern Transportation Networks
The Northern Transportation Networks program plans and delivers an efficient core transportation network to meet transportation needs in the north, promoting economic development while moving people and goods.
The ministry supports strategic investments in infrastructure through programs such as the Northern Highways Program, Local Roads Boards and the Winter Roads Program.
Business Development and Support
The Business Development and Support program promotes and delivers programs, services and funding to assist business start-ups, expansions, inward investment, trade and innovation efforts. A network of integrated area teams (Sudbury, Thunder Bay, Sault Ste. Marie, Timmins, North Bay and Kenora) with offices in 25 communities across the north serves as the focal point for private sector clients and northern stakeholders for the delivery of programs and services in support of economic development.
In addition, the ministry helps local companies grow and expand their business globally by facilitating export and promotes development opportunities in Northern Ontario internationally to help attract new investment in the region.
The Northern Industrial Electricity Rate (NIER) program supports Northern Ontario's largest industrial electricity consumers to reduce costs, sustain jobs and maintain global competitiveness. With funding of up to $120 million per year, the program protects jobs in the north and supports the development of industrial energy management plans.
Through the NOHFC funding programs, the ministry invests in business development and supports projects across the north.
The Community Support program promotes and delivers programs, services and funding to build community infrastructure and assist communities in undertaking economic development projects. Advice and funding to support services in unincorporated areas without municipal structure is also provided.
Aboriginal Economic Development
Aboriginal Economic Development funding supports the engagement of Aboriginal groups across core ministry functions on a variety of policy objectives.
The Resource Revenue Sharing (RRS) program bolsters economic development across the north, supports improvement of socio-economic conditions for Indigenous communities and increases Indigenous participation in Ontario's economy.
Mines and Minerals Program
The ministry supports a strong and sustainable minerals sector by promoting investment and exploration, by providing information to global clients on Ontario's wealth of mineral resources, and by the fair, effective and efficient administration of Ontario's Mining Act, in a manner consistent with Indigenous reconciliation, protection of public health and safety, and the environment.
Regulatory Administration of the Mining Act
The Mines and Minerals Division administers the Mining Act through regulatory tools that promote and sustain mineral exploration and mining in a socially and environmentally responsible manner.
As part of this mandate, the ministry has transformed and modernized mineral tenure administration in Ontario by implementing an integrated, client-driven electronic system that enables clients to register mining claims and manage these claims online. This ensures mineral exploration and development in Ontario is undertaken in a manner that promotes a balanced approach that benefits all Ontarians, while registering claims in a manner that is respectful of private landowners and Indigenous communities.
The ministry also invests in the rehabilitation of abandoned mine sites on Crown-held lands to ensure public safety, improve the environment, and make the lands available for productive use.
The ministry is in the process of reviewing and updating the One Window Co-ordination Protocol (OWCP) to ensure continued effective and efficient processes for co-ordination and delivery of environmental assessments, permitting and approvals across provincial ministries and with the federal government.
The Ontario Geological Survey (OGS) collects and disseminates geoscience information for all regions across Ontario to support investment decisions and policy development related to mineral exploration and development, public health and safety, the environment and land use planning.
Geoscience services support economic development through source water protection, mineral, energy and groundwater-resource related development opportunities, land use planning, and safeguarding public health and safety related to geological hazards.
Mineral Development Investment and Opportunity
The Mineral Development Investment and Opportunity program ensures Ontario receives a fair share of the value of mineral resources extracted from the province, identifies strategic investment opportunities, and influences policy issues that support Ontario's mineral competitiveness.
The Indigenous Affairs program develops and sustains productive and effective relationships among government, Indigenous communities, industry, municipalities and other partners. This supports greater economic development opportunities, including in the minerals sector, that benefit Indigenous Peoples by strengthening Indigenous participation and enhancing the readiness of Indigenous communities to participate in Ontario's economy.
Ring of Fire Indigenous Relations
The Ring of Fire Indigenous Relations program focuses on building positive relationships with First Nation communities potentially impacted by Ring of Fire development and with industry and other stakeholders with interests in the area. Key activities include working with communities to build partnerships that enable participation in the benefits from mineral and related developments in the Ring of Fire and supporting industry and other stakeholders in activities related to mineral exploration and development.
The Ring of Fire Indigenous Relations program collaborates with provincial and federal counterparts to enable initiatives that advance community priorities, including economic development projects, infrastructure development, skills and training development and supports with community wellness.
Ontario supports First Nations through individual agreements that address individual community priorities such as all-season roads, economic development opportunities, community readiness, and cultural and environmental studies.
Ring of Fire Infrastructure Development
The Ring of Fire Infrastructure Development program facilitates development and collaborative approaches with industry, First Nations and economic development organizations to advance infrastructure development in the Ring of Fire, such as all-season roads.
Marten Falls and Webequie First Nations are proponents for environmental assessments for proposed new roads that will ultimately connect their communities to the provincial highway network through a proposed north-south corridor. In addition, upgrades to existing access roads at the southern end of the corridor will be required to address maintenance needs, increased community use and potential future industrial uses.
Energy Development and Management Program
The ministry is responsible for developing Ontario's energy policy framework, which is central to the building of a strong and prosperous economy.
Energy Conservation Programs
ENDM helps consumers manage energy costs through several initiatives. Electricity conservation programs delivered by the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) and the natural gas conservation programs delivered by Enbridge Gas are funded through the respective electricity and natural gas rate bases.
As the electricity and natural gas frameworks governing the below programs are set to expire on December 31, 2020, ENDM is working with the IESO and OEB on proposals and policy consultations, respectively, for post-2020 programming.
Residential and Low-Income Programs
- IESO's Home Assistance Program helps low-income consumers manage their energy costs by providing home energy efficiency assessments and energy saving measures at no cost.
- The Affordability Fund, administered by an independent trust, provides funding for energy efficiency measures to Ontarians who do not qualify for the Home Assistance Program, but need support to improve energy efficiency in their homes. The Affordability Fund is funded through an original one-time payment from the tax base in 2016-17.
- The First Nation Conservation Programs assists First Nation communities by providing home energy efficiency assessments and energy savings measures on reserve at no cost.
- Natural Gas Conservation Programs
- Delivered by Enbridge Gas, these programs provide financial incentives to residential natural gas customers for making energy efficient home upgrades.
- Low-Income Conservation Programs, delivered by Enbridge Gas, provide eligible customers with free home improvements such as insulation and draft proofing.
- Electricity conservation programs, delivered by the IESO, provide financial incentives to help businesses reduce their use and manage costs through energy audits, retrofits, and process and system improvements. Natural Gas Conservation Programs, delivered by Enbridge Gas, provide businesses with incentives for efficient building equipment and systems retrofits such as space heating, water heating and food services equipment.
Other Conservation and Demand Management Initiatives
- The Industrial Conservation Initiative (ICI) allows all electricity consumers with average peak monthly electricity demand over one MW, as well as manufacturers and greenhouses over 500 Kilowatts (kW), to lower their electricity costs by reducing their demand during the top five peak hours of the year. The outcome benefits companies financially and benefits the electricity system by deferring the need for new peak generation.
- The Demand Response Auction, available through the IESO, provides participating businesses with availability payments for reducing their electricity consumption when called upon by the IESO to do so to meet system needs. The IESO is evolving the Demand Response Auction into its planned Capacity Auction.
An Affordable, Reliable Energy Supply
According to the IESO, Ontario has an adequate supply of electricity to meet its needs at this time. Approximately 94 per cent of the electricity generated in Ontario in 2019 was emissions-free. Nuclear energy provided approximately 61 per cent of Ontario's electricity generation in 2019, and hydroelectric stations provided approximately 24 per cent of Ontario's electricity generation in 2019. Nuclear and hydropower are Ontario's reliable sources of round-the-clock “baseload” power. The remainder of supply comes from a mix of natural gas, wind, solar and bioenergy.
The ministry supports Ontario's commitment to nuclear energy as a reliable, cost-effective and emission-free source of electricity. Ontario is progressing with refurbishment of four nuclear units at Darlington Nuclear Generating Station and six at Bruce Nuclear Generating Station over the next 14 years.
Ontario is leading the way on the development of next-generation nuclear technologies, such as Small Modular Reactors (SMRs), that could provide clean energy and economic opportunities for Ontario's nuclear supply chain. In December 2019, Ontario signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Saskatchewan and New Brunswick, committing to collaborate on the development and deployment of SMRs. The ministry is responsible for developing and implementing Ontario's SMR policies, programs and initiatives.
Ontario is committed to lowering the cost of fuels such as gasoline, diesel and natural gas to make energy more affordable for families and businesses. The government eliminated the provincial cap-and-trade carbon tax and is committed to fighting the federal carbon tax, which includes promoting greater transparency for consumers on its cost impact for fuels in Ontario. In May 2019, Ontario passed the Federal Carbon Tax Transparency Act, 2019, mandating the placement of information stickers on all retail gasoline pumps. In July 2019, the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) approved a separate line item on natural gas bills for the federal carbon tax.
Ontario is in the process of reinforcing and expanding its transmission network in the northern region of the province to ensure businesses and residents, including remote First Nation communities, have access to a reliable power supply. The East-West Tie project will add 450 kilometres of new line between Thunder Bay and Wawa. The Wataynikaneyap Power Project will add 1,800 kilometres of new line from Dinorwec to Pickle Lake and further north to connect 16 First Nation communities to the provincial electricity grid.
Ontario is providing a loan of up to $1.3 billion to fund the construction of the Wataynikaneyap Power Project. The Ontario loan takes costs out of the system by allowing construction to be funded at a lower interest rate than would be available through private financing.
Improving Transparency in the Energy Sector
Ontario Energy Board Modernization, through the Fixing the Hydro Mess Act, 2019, aims to modernize the Ontario Energy Board to strengthen its independence and enhance public trust. On May 9, 2019, Bill 87 received Royal Assent.
Once Schedule 2 of Bill 87 is proclaimed into force, the amendments will:
- Establish a new governance structure, including a board of directors and a Chief Executive Officer, to better separate management, administration and adjudication responsibilities
- Streamline processes by amending the consumer education objective and reducing duplicate responsibilities in transmission procurement with the IESO
- Promote efficiency and reduce the regulatory burden by requiring the OEB to report annually on its efforts to simplify regulations for the energy sector.
The proclamation of legislative amendments is contingent on the identification of new senior leadership for OEB's new governance structure. On February 20, 2020, Richard Dicerni was appointed as the incoming new Chair of the OEB Board of Directors, effective when amendments to the Ontario Energy Board Act, 1998 are proclaimed into force. It is anticipated that the new governance structure will be proclaimed into force in late spring 2020.
Ensuring the Crown's Duty to Consult is met on Energy Projects
The ministry ensures that the Crown's duty to consult is met with respect to energy projects and facilitates accommodation, where required, and economic partnerships between project developers and Indigenous communities. The ministry works closely with proponents, First Nations and Métis, and regulatory ministries to ensure Indigenous communities are consulted on energy activities, including transmission developments and intra-provincial hydro carbon pipelines, that could potentially affect their Aboriginal or treaty rights.
Electricity Price Mitigation Program
A suite of electricity rate mitigation programs helps Ontarians manage electricity costs.
On November 1, 2019, the Ontario Electricity Rebate (OER) was introduced as a transparent on-bill rebate to replace the previous eight per cent Ontario Rebate for Electricity Consumers (OREC) and Global Adjustment (GA) Refinancing programs.
Eligible consumers can also receive support on their electricity bills through the following programs:
- Distribution Rate Protection and Rural or Remote Rate Protection provides delivery charge relief for customers of local distribution companies (LDC).
- The Ontario Electricity Support Program (OESP) helps eligible low-income consumers by providing a monthly on-bill credit. Credit amounts range from $35 to $75 per month based on household size and income. Enhanced credit amounts, from $52 to $113 per month, are available for customers that are Indigenous, use electric heat, or rely on an approved energy-intensive medical device.
- The Northern Ontario Energy Credit helps eligible low-to-middle-income northern residents manage energy costs. For the 2020 benefit year, qualifying individuals can receive up to $157 annually and qualifying families (including single parents) can receive up to $241 annually.
- The First Nations Delivery Credit provides a 100 per cent credit for delivery or service charges for all on-reserve First Nations residential customers of licensed electricity utilities.
Part B: COVID-19 Response
The following ministry programs have been adapted to address the COVID-19 outbreak:
Conservation and Demand Management Programs
Currently, in-person delivery of electricity and natural gas conservation and demand management programs is paused as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak and associated physical distancing policies. Program intake and back-office functions continue. ENDM is working with the IESO to understand and address the need for extensions to project in-service deadlines for electricity conservation projects and programs, and the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) is doing the same in its role overseeing Enbridge Gas' natural gas Demand Side Management programs.
Separately, ENDM is working with the IESO and the Affordability Fund Trust on options for providing conservation measures to low-income electricity customers and those struggling with their electricity bills while in-person program delivery is paused. This could be accomplished through energy savings kits for those who do not currently receive them, potentially combined with virtual energy audits.
2020-21 strategic plan
On March 25, 2020, the government released Ontario's Action Plan: Responding to COVID-19, which announced additional supports for health care, people and jobs. The Ministry of Energy, Northern Development and Mines is supporting Ontario's Action Plan through the following programs and initiatives.
Direct energy assistance support for those that need it the most
In order to provide immediate energy cost relief, the ministry, in collaboration with key industry partners, designed the COVID-19 Emergency Assistance Program (CEAP) with a $9 million allocation. Intended to complement the existing Low Income Emergency Assistance Program (LEAP), CEAP will support residential consumers who have experienced economic hardship as a result of lay-off COVID-19. Eligible residential consumers can apply for relief on their electricity or gas bills.
Starting in July 2020, customers will be eligible for CEAP funding to settle their outstanding and unpaid account balances, to a maximum of $230 for electricity consumers, and/or $160 for natural gas consumers. At these levels, it is expected that the program could support over 46,000 consumers. ENDM will track the number of customers who receive CEAP and the amount of CEAP funding provided to Ontarians. CEAP will be delivered by Ontario's electricity and natural gas distributors.
ENDM is currently seeking approvals to implement its obligations under the plan.
Supporting more affordable electricity bills through TOU Price Change
On March 24, 2020, the government issued an Emergency Order applying the off-peak electricity rate for customers paying TOU rates for all hours of each day, an initiative that was originally intended to remain in place for 45 days, up to and including May 7, 2020. On May 6, 2020, the government announced that this rate relief would be extended to May 31, 2020.
ENDM and its agencies are tracking the impacts of the pandemic on electricity consumers and will continue to evaluate the need to stabilize or reduce costs for all electricity consumers. ENDM is also considering options for what happens after May 31, 2020.
Ensuring a reliable, safe power supply
In response to the COVID-19 global pandemic, major private and public electricity and natural gas entities are implementing plans to ensure critical operations are maintained with minimum staff on-site. ENDM is working closely with these entities to help address concerns related to proactive testing, staff management, and equipment and supplies needed to ensure business continuity. The ministry has also been working closely with these entities to advise on the government's COVID-19 policies relevant to the energy sector (e.g., declaration of essential businesses and emergency childcare for frontline workers).
|COVID-19 Approvals||$0.0 million|
|Other Operating||$6,202.6 million|
|Mines and Minerals||$49.2||$5.6||$54.8|
|Energy Development and Management||$24.9||$0.0||$24.9|
|Electricity Price Mitigation||$5,602.6||$0.0||$5,602.6|
|Votes/Programs||Estimates 2020-21. $||Change from Estimates 2019-20. $||Per cent||Estimates 2019-20. ||Interim Actuals 2019-20. ||Actuals 2018-19. |
|2201 Ministry Administration Program||25,665,800||(1,849,800)||(6.7)||27,515,600||27,365,641||27,221,710|
|2202 Northern Development Program||222,969,200||(50,000,100)||(18.3)||272,969,300||220,697,000||224,437,088|
|2203 Mines and Minerals Program||49,152,400||194,800||0.4||48,957,600||46,847,400||41,776,689|
|2205 Energy Development and Management||24,852,000||(563,000)||(2.2)||25,415,000||21,865,000||256,590,261|
|2206 Electricity Price Mitigation||5,602,561,800||29,689,800||0.5||5,572,872,000||5,572,872,000||4,241,613,705|
|Strategic Asset Management||0||0||0||0||0||611,015|
|Total Operating Expense to be Voted||5,925,201,200||(22,528,300)||(0.4)||5,947,729,500||5,889,647,041||4,792,250,468|
|Ministry Total Operating Expense||5,925,791,592||(22,522,095)||(0.4)||5,948,313,687||5,890,231,228||4,793,605,988|
|Consolidation & Other Adjustments - Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation||18,482,700||1,739,000||10.4||16,743,700||29,243,700||39,424,187|
|Consolidation & Other Adjustments - Independent Electricity System Operator||213,912,400||6,323,200||3.0||207,589,200||204,784,800||321,654,734|
|Consolidation & Other Adjustments - Ontario Energy Board||47,566,400||2,655,900||5.9||44,910,500||46,148,700||42,290,920|
|Consolidation & Other Adjustments - Fair Hydro Trust||1,000||1,000||0||0||0||0|
|Consolidation & Other Adjustments - General Real Estate Portfolio||(3,182,000)||3,544,800||0||(6,726,800)||(6,726,800)||(6,984,851)|
|Total Including Consolidation & Other Adjustments||6,202,572,092||(8,258,195)||(0.1)||6,210,830,287||6,163,681,628||5,189,990,978|
|2201 Ministry Administration Program||2,000||0||0||2,000||2,000||0|
|2202 Northern Development Program||51,000||(30,000,000)||(99.8)||30,051,000||30,051,000||30,000,000|
|2203 Mines and Minerals Program||1,000||0||0||1,000||1,000||0|
|2205 Energy Development and Management||495,000,000||308,999,000||166.1||186,001,000||280,001,000||0|
|2206 Electricity Price Mitigation||0||0||0||0||0||65,560,000|
|Total Operating Assets to be Voted||495,054,000||278,999,000||129.1||216,055,000||310,055,000||95,560,000|
|Ministry Total Operating Assets||495,054,000||278,999,000||129.1||216,055,000||310,055,000||95,560,000|
|2201 Ministry Administration Program||1,000||0||0||1,000||1,000||0|
|2202 Northern Development Program||78,203,000||(10,300,000)||(11.6)||88,503,000||72,003,000||73,293,922|
|2203 Mines and Minerals Program||5,637,000||(16,095,000)||(74.1)||21,732,000||5,732,000||58,831,450|
|2205 Energy Development and Management||1,000||0||0||1,000||1,000||0|
|Total Capital Expense to be Voted||83,842,000||(26,395,000)||(23.9)||110,237,000||77,737,000||132,125,372|
|Ministry Total Capital Expense||425,648,200||(9,780,500)||(2.2)||435,428,700||402,928,700||432,262,704|
|Consolidation & Other Adjustments - Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation||0||0||0||0||12,500,000||(39,998,446)|
|Consolidation & Other Adjustments - Independent Electricity System Operator||22,625,000||(2,093,400)||(8.5)||24,718,400||23,425,000||24,746,935|
|Consolidation & Other Adjustments - Ontario Energy Board||1,153,700||(529,900)||(31.5)||1,683,600||1,365,500||1,368,000|
|Consolidation & Other Adjustments - General Real Estate Portfolio||0||0||0||0||0||(3,287,930)|
|Total Including Consolidation & Other Adjustments||449,426,900||(12,403,800)||(2.7)||461,830,700||440,219,200||415,091,263|
|2201 Ministry Administration Program||1,000||0||0||1,000||1,000||0|
|2202 Northern Development Program||528,579,900||10,337,300||2.0||518,242,600||592,992,600||545,289,138|
|2203 Mines and Minerals Program||1,251,000||350,000||38.8||901,000||901,000||1,999,500|
|2205 Energy Development and Management||1,000||0||0||1,000||1,000||0|
|Total Capital Assets to be Voted||529,832,900||10,687,300||2.1||519,145,600||593,895,600||547,288,638|
|Capital Asset Adjustment - Trillium Trust Reclassification||0||0||0||0||0||831,000|
|Ministry Total Capital Assets||529,832,900||10,687,300||2.1||519,145,600||593,895,600||548,119,638|
|Ministry Total Operating and Capital Including Consolidation and Other Adjustments (not including Assets)||6,651,998,992||(20,661,995)||(0.3)||6,672,660,987||6,603,900,828||5,605,082,241|
|Historic Trend Analysis Data||Actuals 2017-18. ||Actuals 2018-19. ||Estimates 2019-20. ||Estimates 2020-21. $|
|Ministry Total Operating and Capital Including Consolidation and Other Adjustments (not including Assets)||4,116,993,417||5,605,082,241||6,672,660,987||6,651,998,992|
|Percent (%)||Not applicable||36%||19%||0%|
For additional financial information, see:
Expenditure Estimates: https://www.ontario.ca/page/expenditure-estimates
Ontario Budget 2019: http://budget.contario.ca/2019/contents.html
Public Accounts (2016-17): https://www.ontario.ca/page/public-accounts-ontario-2016-17
Public Accounts (2017-18): https://www.ontario.ca/page/public-accounts-ontario-2017-18
Ministry of Energy, Northern Development and Mines: https://www.ontario.ca/page/ministry-energy-northern-development-and-mines
|Item||Estimates 2020-21. $||Change from Estimates 2019-20. $||Per cent||Estimates 2019-20. ||Interim Actuals 2019-20. ||Actuals 2018-19. |
Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO)
|Total IESO Consolidation Adjustments||236,537,400||4,229,800||1.8||232,307,600||228,209,800||346,401,669|
Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOFHC)
|Total NOHFC Consolidation Adjustments||18,482,700||1,739,000||10.4||16,743,700||41,743,700||(574,259)|
Ontario Energy Board (OEB)
|Total OEB Consolidation Adjustments||48,720,100||2,126,000||4.6||46,594,100||47,514,200||43,658,920|
Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO)
The IESO delivers key services across the electricity sector, including managing real-time operations of Ontario's power grid system by balancing supply of and demand for electricity, designing and procuring delivery of conservation and demand management programs, planning for the province's future energy needs, and designing a more efficient electricity marketplace to support sector evolution. The IESO's mandate is embodied in the Electricity Act, 1998.
The IESO's expenses are consolidated onto the ministry's financial accounts. Its annual operating costs are recovered from annual fees set by the OEB for domestic and export market participants.
Ontario's electricity system remains stable and reliable, and the IESO is well equipped to manage changing grid conditions. In order to ensure the provincial power system continues to operate reliably and safely, the IESO continues to actively assess the impact of COVID-19 as it works through the system and as the situation evolves. Ongoing efforts include closely monitoring demand, revising forecasts and responding to changing system needs.
Ontario Energy Board (OEB)
The OEB, a quasi-judicial adjudicative and regulatory tribunal, regulates the province's electricity and natural gas sectors in the public interest.
The OEB's mandate and powers in relation to the energy sector are set out primarily in three statutes – the Ontario Energy Board Act, 1998; the Electricity Act, 1998 and the Energy Consumer Protection Act, 2010, and the regulations made under these statutes. Other statutes, such as the Statutory Powers and Procedure Act, 1990, also inform the OEB's authority.
Through Bill 87, the Fixing the Hydro Mess Act, 2019, the government plans to reform the OEB's governance structure, modernizing the OEB to become a best-in-class energy regulator.
The OEB's annual operating expenses are consolidated onto the ministry's financial records. Its operations and activities are fully funded by its regulated stakeholders in the gas and electricity sectors, under the cost-assessment authority in Ontario Regulation 16/08 (Assessment of Expenses and Expenditures) of the Ontario Energy Board Act, 1998.
On March 19, 2020, the OEB extended the winter ban on electricity disconnections for non-payment for residential customers to July 31, 2020. Low-volume, small business customers will now also be protected by the ban. In addition, the OEB is calling on distributors to be more flexible on arrears payment arrangements and has allowed for the creation of deferral accounts to track the costs and losses that energy sector entities are experiencing as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC)
The NOHFC is a statutory corporation established under the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Act. It was established in 1988 to advise and make recommendations on any matter relating to the growth and diversification of the Northern Ontario economy, and to promote and stimulate economic initiatives. The corporation is a funding organization that provides loans and grants to stabilize, diversify and foster the economic growth of Northern Ontario.
The corporation is an Operational Service Agency of the Province, and its directors are appointed by minister's prerogative Order in Council. The Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines is the Chair of the Board of Directors.
Ministry organization chart
- Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines
- Associate Minister, Energy
- Deputy Minister Energy, Northern Development and Mines
- Communications Branch
- Legal Services (Energy), Legal Services (Northern Development and Mines)
- IT Services
- Energy Supply Policy Division
- Electricity Policy, Economics & System Planning Branch
- Fuels Policy & Liaison Branch
- Nuclear Supply Branch
- Strategic, Network & Agency Policy Division
- Distribution & Agency Policy Branch
- Energy Networks & Indigenous Policy Branch
- Local Distribution Company Ourtreach & Network Branch
- Strategic Policy & Analytics Branch
- Conservation & Renewable Energy Division
- Conservation & Energy Efficiency Branch
- Conservation Programs & Partnerships Branch
- Renewables Integration & Distributed Energy Resources Branch
- Corporate Management Division
- Business Planning
- Controllership Office and Service Management
- Corporate Services
- Human Resources Business Branch
- Mines and Minerals Division
- Indigenous Consultation & Partnership Branch
- Information & Lands Branch
- Mineral Development Branch
- Ontario Geological Survey
- Strategic Services Branch
- Northern Development Division
- Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation
- Transportation Agency (ONTC)
- Regional Economic Development Branch
- Strategic Initiatives Branch
- Transportation, Trade & Investment Branch
- Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation
- Strategic Policy Division
- Corporate Policy Secretariat
- Ring of Fire - Policy Coordination
- Deputy Minister Energy, Northern Development and Mines
Appendix: 2019-20 annual report - results
COVID-19 Response: Supporting people and businesses with energy costs
On March 13, 2020, the Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines and the Associate Minister of Energy announced they had achieved a commitment from five of Ontario's largest electricity distribution companies and Ontario's largest natural gas company to suspend disconnections until further notice. The Ministers encouraged other electricity providers to do the same. The OEB extended its mandatory disconnection ban on March 19, 2020 for all regulated electricity distributors.
On March 24, 2020, the government issued an Emergency Order, under the Emergency Management and Civil Protections Acts, applying the off-peak electricity rate for customers paying Time-of-Use (TOU) rates for all hours of each day, an initiative originally intended to remain in place for 45 days, up to and including May 7, 2020. On May 6, 2020, the government announced its intention to extend this rate relief for an additional 24 days to May 31, 2020 (subject to continued extension of the Emergency Order).
This initiative was put in place to provide rate relief to eligible residential, farm and small business customers, responding to the physical distancing policies put in place provincewide during the COVID-19 outbreak, as well as to challenges facing small businesses who have closed or are seeing reduced customers. Electricity customers and Local Distribution Companies (LDCs) have reacted positively to this initiative. The government is also considering options for what happens after the initial 45-day period.
The government and its agencies are tracking the impacts of the outbreak on electricity and natural gas consumers and will continue to evaluate the need to stabilize or reduce costs for all consumers. The government is also considering options for what happens after May 31, 2020.
Continuing efforts to bring accountability to the energy sector
Effective November 1, 2019, the GA Refinancing structure was replaced with an expansion of the previous 8 per cent Ontario Rebate for Electricity Consumers (OREC) to create a single, transparent on-bill rebate known as the Ontario Electricity Rebate (OER). Electricity bills clearly display the rebate provided under OER for residential consumers, farms and small businesses.
Making affordability a priority
Reducing costs by centralizing and refocusing conservation programs
On March 21, 2019, Orders in Council and Directives were issued to refocus and centralize the delivery of conservation programs to save electricity customers and taxpayers up to $442 million over three years.
Under this approach, electricity conservation programs have been refocused to those who need them the most, including low-income families, small, medium and large businesses and First Nation communities.
The decision is lowering system costs and will reduce hydro rates for medium and large employers, increasing competitiveness and opportunities for growth. The cost savings are reducing the amount recovered from the Global Adjustment and decreasing the fiscal costs of rate mitigation initiatives.
Under the 2019-20 Interim Framework, the IESO has been delivering programs that are helping customers manage their electricity costs and lowering system needs. Prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, the IESO was forecasting that it would achieve the Framework targets of 1.4 TWh and 189 MW. However, as a result of the physical distancing practices in place, program delivery under the Interim Framework has been paused. The IESO and ENDM are closely monitoring the impact of COVID-19 on the Framework and considering the need for program changes.
Engaging stakeholders on Industrial Electricity Pricing
In 2019, ENDM held stakeholder consultations on industrial electricity prices. As part of this process, there were sector-specific sessions for industries such as automotive, forestry, mining, agriculture, steel and chemicals. More than 140 written submission were received through the online industrial electricity price consultation.
Building on the feedback received through these consultations, the ministry is working to establish an energy concierge service to provide businesses with better customer service and easier access to information about electricity pricing and connection processes.
In addition, the ministry tasked the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) to review and report back on its billing, settlement and customer service processes. This includes identifying opportunities to:
- Improve and simplify industrial electricity bills
- Review how the monthly Global Adjustment (GA) charge is estimated and identify potential enhancements
- Improve peak demand data publication processes and assess the feasibility of using real-time data to determine the factors that allocate GA costs to consumers.
The IESO submitted its report to the ministry on February 28, 2020. The ministry is reviewing the options and recommendations in the report.
Review of existing generation contracts
On November 6, 2019, an Order-in-Council (OIC) was sent requesting that the IESO engage a third party to review existing generation contracts to find opportunities to lower electricity costs. The IESO submitted its report to the ministry on February 28, 2020. The ministry is reviewing the findings presented in the report.
Ensuring there is a reliable source of energy for all Ontarians
The ministry provides policy oversight of Ontario's nuclear refurbishments. Ontario is progressing with refurbishment of four nuclear units at Darlington Nuclear Generating Station and six at Bruce Nuclear Generating Station over the next 14 years.
On March 25, 2020, the Darlington refurbishment project achieved an important milestone with completion of the construction phase of the Darlington Unit 2 refurbishment and remains on track to be returned to service by June 2020 despite the COVID-19 outbreak. The next Darlington unit refurbishment (Unit 3) is being delayed until fall 2020 in order to protect workers and ensure electricity system reliability during the COVID-19 outbreak.
The IESO continued to oversee implementation of the updated Bruce refurbishment agreement, including ongoing investments in the life extension of the Bruce nuclear units. Unit 6 commenced in January 2020, starting with the defueling of the reactor. Due to the onset of the COVID-19 outbreak, Bruce Power has temporarily reduced refurbishment outage work in order to keep its workers safe and maintain reliable electricity supply for its operating reactors. Full refurbishment work will resume once it is safe to do so. Bruce Power is solely responsible for risk of executing the refurbishment on time and on budget. If refurbishment is completed under budget, any cost savings will be shared equally between Bruce Power and the IESO.
Natural gas expansion
In December 2018, the government passed Bill 32, the Access to Natural Gas Act, 2018. This act allowed for the creation of a new Natural Gas Expansion Program. On July 1, 2019, the enabling legislation and regulation (section 36.2 of the Ontario Energy Board Act, 1998, and O. Reg. 24/19 – Expansion of Natural Gas Distribution Systems) came into force allowing the first phase of this program to go into effect, providing over $55 million in funding support to several prescribed phase 1 expansion projects.
In December 2019, the government announced the next phase of its Natural Gas Expansion Program expanding natural gas to more communities across Ontario, allocating approximately $130 million to eligible projects between 2021 and 2023. On December 12, 2019, the Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines and Associate Minister of Energy wrote to the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) requiring it to collect information about natural gas expansion opportunities across Ontario and develop a report on eligible projects. Upon receipt of the report, the government will make a final decision on future expansion projects eligible to receive support through the government's Natural Gas Expansion Program. The OEB opened the 90-day submission window for project submissions on March 5, 2020.
Construction has started on the East-West Tie Project, a 450-kilometre new transmission line reinforcing the system between Wawa and Thunder Bay. This project, led by NextBridge, is a priority for Ontario because it is needed to provide a reliable and adequate supply of electricity to Northwestern Ontario to support economic growth. Ontario took early action to ensure this project moved through approvals so that the line is in place to support economic growth in the north. NextBridge has partnered with Indigenous communities to build this project and construction is expected to result in significant economic opportunities for these communities and the regional economy.
In October 2019, Ontario executed financing agreements to support the construction of the Wataynikaneyap Power Project, which will see roughly 1,800 kilometres of new transmission line built in Northwestern Ontario, in order to connect 16 remote First Nations to the provincial electricity grid. The project is majority owned by a partnership of 24 First Nations in a partnership with FortisOntario and Algonquin Power.
The Ontario government is providing a construction loan of up to $1.4 billion, enabling the project to move forward. The loan supports ENDM's KPIs of taking costs out of the system by allowing the proponent to borrow at a lower rate than would be available through private financing. The federal government has committed to contribute $1.6 billion at project completion.
The East-West Tie and Wataynikaneyap Power projects support ENDM's key performance indicator (KPI) of advancing construction of priority transmission lines by achieving 96 per cent of the target value of 2,344 kilometres of new line by 2024. They also support the KPI related to leveraging investment and job creation by creating full-time jobs during the construction of the projects and laying the infrastructure foundation necessary to spur further job creation in the north.
Demonstrating respect for Ontarians by improving transparency
Federal carbon tax transparency
Ontario is committed to fighting the federal government's carbon tax on fuels through a court challenge in the Supreme Court of Canada and in the interim, ensuring transparency in fuel pricing.
In May 2019, Ontario passed the Federal Carbon Tax Transparency Act, mandating the placement of information stickers on all retail gasoline pumps throughout the province as a means to ensure consumers are aware of the new federal carbon tax and its impact on gasoline prices. The stickers were on the pumps as of August 30, 2019. Inspectors from the Technical Standards and Safety Authority (TSSA) are responsible for inspecting gasoline retailers for compliance. This work is being carried out as part of TSSA's routine safety inspections of gasoline stations.
In July 2019, the OEB approved natural gas utilities to transparently recover the federal carbon tax as a separate line item on customer bills (effective August 1, 2019). The ministry continues to monitor and report on the price and supply of fuels in Ontario (e.g., natural gas, gasoline and diesel).
Driving efficiencies in the sector
Ontario Energy Board modernization
Ontario Energy Board modernization, through the Fixing the Hydro Mess Act, 2019 (Bill 87), aims to modernize the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) to strengthen its independence and enhance public trust. On May 9, 2019, Bill 87 received Royal Assent.
The amendments, if proclaimed into force, would:
- Establish a new governance structure, including a board of directors and a CEO, and better separate the OEB's management, administration and adjudication responsibilities
- Streamline processes by amending the OEB's consumer education objective and reducing duplicate responsibilities in transmission procurement between the OEB and the IESO
- Promote efficiency and reduce the regulatory burden by requiring the OEB to report annually on its efforts to simplify regulations for the energy sector.
The proclamation of legislative amendments is contingent on the identification of new senior leadership for OEB's new governance structure. Since spring 2019, the ministry, working with the OEB, has been working on recruiting key leadership positions for the new governance structure.
On February 20, 2020, Richard Dicerni was appointed as the prospective new Chair of the OEB Board of Directors, effective when amendments to the Ontario Energy Board Act, 1998 are proclaimed into force. In the interim, Mr. Dicerni has been appointed as a special advisor at the OEB to support the organization's transition to the new governance structure. It is anticipated that the new governance structure will be proclaimed into force in late spring 2020.
Nuclear innovation – Small Modular Reactors (SMRs)
Ontario is leading the way of next-generation nuclear technologies, such as Small Modular Reactors (SMRs), that could provide clean energy and economic opportunities for Ontario's nuclear supply chain, while advancing Ontario's global leadership in nuclear and clean energy innovation.
In December 2019, Ontario signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Saskatchewan and New Brunswick, committing to collaborate on the development and deployment of SMRs.
The ministry is responsible for developing and implementing Ontario's SMR policies, programs and initiatives, including engaging with government and industry stakeholders to advance this innovative technology. In February 2020, Minister Greg Rickford met with his federal and provincial counterparts as well as nuclear industry leaders to discuss strategies and next steps for advancing SMRs as outlined in the MOU.
Pursuant to the MOU, Ontario's nuclear utilities (i.e., OPG and Bruce Power) are working closely with their counterparts from Saskatchewan and New Brunswick (i.e., SaskPower and NB Power) to develop a feasibility report and business case for SMR development and deployment in the respective provinces. This work will include identifying viable technologies for near-term and longer-term SMR deployment in the three provinces and providing a full market analysis for those technologies.
Building a stronger northern economy
Strategic investments through the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC)
The NOHFC is an agency of the Government of Ontario that promotes and supports economic development across Northern Ontario by providing financial assistance to projects – big and small, rural and urban – that stimulate growth, job creation and develop a skilled workforce.
- The NOHFC committed approximately $121 million in 899 projects, leveraging approximately $473 million in investment and creating or retaining 3135 jobs.
Ontario is working to develop new NOHFC programs that make it easier for more people and businesses to apply, support more projects in rural northern communities, target both existing and emerging market opportunities, provide more work opportunities for Indigenous people and address the skilled labour shortage in the north. Through these proposed changes, Ontario's government will continue to build strong and resilient communities while supporting an environment where businesses can thrive, grow and create good jobs.
Northern Industrial Electricity Rate (NIER) program
The NIER program supports Northern Ontario's largest industrial electricity consumers to reduce costs, sustain jobs and maintain global competitiveness. With ongoing funding of up to $120 million per year, the program continues to protect jobs in the north and supports the development of energy management plans. On average, industrial electricity prices can be reduced by up to 25 per cent through the program.
- The NIER program provided more than $114 million in funding to assist 20 mining, forestry and manufacturing companies, representing 28 facilities across Northern Ontario.
Strengthening northern transportation
Ontario Northland Transportation Commission (ONTC)
The Ontario Northland Transportation Commission (ONTC) provides transportation services for both passengers and freight in Northern Ontario. The ministry worked with the Ministry of Transportation (MTO) to transfer the accountability and oversight of the ONTC from ENDM to MTO. These efforts were consistent with the commitment to centralize the oversight of all government agencies that deliver public transportation, enabling the government to provide consistent transportation planning and services for all Ontarians. The transfer took effect on April 1, 2020, to align with the new fiscal year. This follows the transfer of oversight and accountability of the Owen Sound Transportation Company (OSTC) from ENDM to MTO, which took effect on April 1, 2019. These transfers are an important part of the government's plan to promote economic development and keep people and goods moving in Northern Ontario.
- Working with the ministry and MTO, the ONTC publicly announced the extension of its intercommunity bus service from White River to Thunder Bay on February 12, 2020. With this new route, the ONTC will provide three-day-per-week return service to Thunder Bay. It will also fill an existing service gap by becoming the only seamless, scheduled passenger bus travel option from Thunder Bay to Ottawa. The new service launched on May 17, 2020.
Northern Highways Program
Through the Northern Highways Program, the ministry continues to strengthen the north's economy by improving critical infrastructure such as roads and bridges and making highway travel safer and more efficient. Northern Ontario has more than 11,000 kilometres of provincial highways, about 60 per cent of the provincial highway network.
- More than $580 million was committed for the Northern Highways Program, including $483 million for rehabilitation and nearly $100 million for expansion projects.
Winter Roads Program
Ontario's investments have supported the construction and operation of an approximately 3,170-kilometre road system connecting 31 remote First Nations communities without year-round road access to the provincial road and rail system.
These vital connections to all-season roads makes it easier to bring in essential goods and services such as food, medical and construction supplies to remote communities. The winter road network serves a total resident population of about 24,000.
- The government invested $5.8 million to assist in building winter roads in the Far North in 2019-20.
Unlocking jobs and opportunity in the Ring of Fire
Moving forward with road access to the Ring of Fire
The Ontario government remains confident in the economic opportunity in the Ring of Fire (RoF) area. Building a road to the Ring of Fire is a critical step to unlocking economic benefits in the region.
ENDM is working directly with those communities that wish to move forward with all-season road development to the Ring of Fire and is continuing work on bilateral agreements where we have them in place. This new approach helps address unique community needs and supports economic development in the Ring of Fire area.
- In March 2020, a new partnership between the government, Marten Falls First Nation and Webequie First Nation began with the successful negotiation and signing of a Memorandum of Agreement, to advance planning of critical road infrastructure in the RoF.
- This includes the proposed Northern Road Link, that would provide reliable, all-season road access to potential mine sites and connect First Nation communities to Ontario's provincial highway network.
- The Province is supporting Marten Falls and Webequie First Nations in advancing co-ordinated federal and provincial Environmental Assessments for their respective proposed road projects in the Ring of Fire area.
- As part of the provincial Broadband and Cellular Action Plan, Ontario, in partnership with Canada, is moving forward with infrastructure investment for the Matawa broadband initiative to provide broadband internet access to five remote Matawa-member First Nations to facilitate communication and economic partnerships. Ontario is investing up to $30 million and leveraging approximately $39 million in federal funding for this project.
Boosting investment in mining
Minerals sector highlights
Ontario's mining industry, the nation's largest producer of minerals by value, directly employs about 26,000 workers and generates about $8 billion annually to Ontario's GDP.
- In 2019, Ontario produced $10.7 billion worth of minerals — 24 per cent of Canada's total value of mineral production. Ontario was also Canada's leader for exploration, with mineral exploration expenditures totalling $497 million.
- Toronto is the mining finance capital of the world. In 2019, the Toronto Stock Exchange and Toronto Venture Exchange raised $12.5 billion in new equity capital for mining.
- Since 2019, three mines have opened in Northern Ontario:
- Newmont's Borden gold mine near Chapleau
- Evolution Mining (formerly Newmont)'s Cochenour gold mine in Red Lake
- Harte Gold's Sugar Zone gold mine near White River.
- Newmont's Borden gold mine near Chapleau reached commercial production on October 1, 2019. Mine construction is underway at Pure Gold's Madsen gold project in Red Lake and at Glencore's Onaping Depth nickel-copper project in Sudbury.
- In 2019, two new mine developments and 340 permits were approved and approximately 35,500 new mining claims were recorded.
- The Ontario Geological Survey supported 72 geological projects across Ontario during 2019-20 and published 79 new geoscience products with more than 265,000 file downloads of digital products.
In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, many companies have put in place enhanced health and safety measures and are dealing with impacts on operations due to availability of labour and limitations on travel in remote locations. Despite these challenges, various mining companies are contributing to the fight against COVID-19 by donating meals, N95 masks, gloves and medical supplies to frontline healthcare workers.
Resource Revenue Sharing
- The Province made the first payments under its resource revenue sharing agreements with Grand Council Treaty #3, Wabun Tribal Council and Mushkegowuk Council, totalling over $24.8 million from eligible forestry and mining revenues.
- Under these agreements, First Nations can use this funding to enhance education and health care services in their communities, create economic development opportunities that bring good-paying jobs to the region or support community and cultural priorities that help strengthen local planning and decision making.
Establishing the Mining Working Group
On March 4, 2019, the ministry established a special Mining Working Group focused on reducing red tape and attracting major new investments to Ontario.
The group, chaired by Minister Greg Rickford, brings together industry representatives that reflect the diversity and strength of the province's mining sector. They include accomplished leaders from mining and exploration companies, prospectors and Indigenous business organizations.
The Mining Working Group convened several times throughout 2019-20 and provided the Province with input on important issues affecting the minerals sector, while identifying opportunities to ensure future growth, competitiveness and prosperity.
Ontario is open for business
Ontario's government is creating jobs by keeping energy and power rates low and cutting red tape. The Province has set a target to reduce red tape barriers to business growth by 25 per cent by 2020. Once fully implemented, these changes are expected to provide Ontario businesses with over $400 million in ongoing savings on their regulation compliance costs. ENDM will continue to participate in these efforts by considering opportunities to reduce regulatory burden in the mining and energy sectors.
- On December 10, 2019, Ontario passed the Better For People, Smarter for Business Act, 2019. This act builds on actions the government has taken to reduce regulatory burden on businesses while maintaining standards needed to keep people safe and healthy and protect the environment.
- This included an amendment to the Mining Act to provide greater certainty for proponents submitting a Closure Plan Amendment to the Ministry of Energy, Northern Development and Mines, creating a 45-day timeline for the ministry to make a decision to file or return a Closure Plan Amendment.
- Following the declaration of a State of Emergency on March 17, 2020 in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, Ontario took immediate action to provide rate relief to small businesses, farms and residential customers who pay Time-of-Use (TOU) electricity rates. On March 24, 2020, the province issued an Emergency Order to temporarily apply the off-peak TOU electricity rate of 10.1¢/kilowatt hour (kWh) for Regulated Price Plan (RPP) customers paying TOU rates during all periods of the day for 45 days (ending end of day May 7, 2020). As physical distancing measures were still in place as this end-date neared, it was announced on May 6, 2020 that it was the government's intention to extend this rate relief for an additional 24 days to May 31, 2020.
The Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) convention
Each year, the ministry showcases Ontario's mineral projects, successes and opportunities at the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada's (PDAC) convention, sending a strong signal to the world that Ontario's mineral sector is open for business and open for jobs.
|Item||Ministry Interim Actual Expenditures ($M)2019-20. |
|Staff Strength. Ontario Public Service Full-Time Equivalent positions (As of March 31, 2020)||613.6|
- footnote Back to paragraph Estimates, Interim Actuals and Actuals for prior fiscal years are re-stated to reflect any changes in ministry organization and/or program structure. Interim actuals reflect the numbers presented in the March 2020 Economic and Fiscal Update.
- footnote Back to paragraph Estimates and Actuals for prior fiscal years are re-stated to reflect any changes in ministry organization and/or program structure.
- footnote Back to paragraph Interim actuals reflect the numbers presented in the March 2020 Economic and Fiscal Update.