The Honourable Monte McNaughton, Minister of Infrastructure introduced The Access to Natural Gas Act in the Ontario Legislature yesterday. Bill 32 amends the Ontario Energy Board Act, 1998 to provide rate protection for consumers on investments made by natural gas distributors in expanding their systems. The Bill received First Reading.

Premier Ford announced the initiative earlier this week at the International Plowing Match in Pain Court. The legislation will encourage natural gas distributors to invest in the capital expansion of these systems while working with communities in planning expansions. Under the proposed program, communities would continue to partner with gas distributors to bring forward natural gas expansion applications to the Ontario Energy Board.

The new program replaces the previous governments’ natural gas expansion grants and loans to communities. Know that natural gas expansion is of great interest to many of our members and their communities. AMO will continue to report out to members on this initiative as more details become available.