The Government of Ontario says it is making life easier for people who live in rural communities and standing up for their interests.
The government says it is working with private gas distributors to expand natural gas service to more rural communities to provide farms, businesses, and families with affordable, reliable power.
Investments in broadband services to these communities and rural businesses will help improve Internet connectivity and access so they can fully participate in the digital economy.
“Our Government is making life better for the people of rural Ontario,” said Bill Walker, MPP for Bruce–Grey–Owen Sound and Minister of Government and Consumer Services. “Whether it’s improving access to affordable natural gas or faster Internet service, our government wants to send a clear signal that rural Ontario is open for business. We’re working to bring the benefits of living in highly developed urban areas to every corner of this province.”
Walker supports EPCOR’s expansion of natural gas in the municipalities of Arran-Elderslie, Kincardine and Huron-Kinloss that will bring residents, farmers and businesses relief on their heating bills.
Hydro rates are a top priority for the government as it continues to find ways to reduce bills for ratepayers across the province, including rural customers. To date, 758 expensive and unnecessary renewable energy contracts have been cancelled, saving ratepayers $790 million. The government has also reined in executive compensation at Hydro One.
A new Agriculture Task Force will help inform the government on how to grow the rural economy in Ontario and reduce the regulatory burden on the sector. The initiative complements the government’s commitment to reduce red tape by 25 per cent by 2022. Various initiatives to date have been aimed at addressing outdated or duplicative regulations affecting the agricultural sector.
“Our government will continue to stand up for farmers, farm workers, and rural entrepreneurs, ensuring they can compete and help their communities prosper,” Walker said. “As the new U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement is finalized, we will continue to vigorously defend and advance Ontario's economic interests in the discussions.”