October 28, 2019 – Peterborough – The Ontario Waterpower Association (OWA) is extremely pleased with the provincial government’s inclusion of a key amendment to the Ontario Water Resources Act as part of the “Better for People, Smarter for Business Act, 2019”, introduced today in the legislature. The OWA and our industry members have long advanced the view that the existing provisions within the Lakes and Rivers Improvement Act comprehensively regulate waterpower facilities in the Province of Ontario. The Permit to Take Water regulation was duplicative and added unnecessary costs.
“I strongly commend this government’s leadership in removing the unnecessary costs and burden of being regulated by duplicative pieces of legislation” said Paul Norris, OWA President. “This elimination of overlap will both boost investor confidence and ensure that investment is made in projects rather than in process.”
In 2001 the province amended the Lakes and Rivers Improvement Act to add and implement new requirements specifically applied to waterpower facilities across Ontario. Subsequent amendments to the Ontario Water Resources Act, targeted to address `water takings` have had the unintended consequence of impacting the waterpower industry adding unnecessary costs and process. This amendment is an important burden reduction measure that is expected to decrease costs by millions annually for the waterpower industry; and ultimately the people of Ontario.
`This type of targeted approach to the reduction of regulatory burden is both prudent and progressive`, added Norris. I look forward to continuing to work with the government to find efficiencies while ensuring the public interest is protected`.
There are 224 waterpower facilities across the province responsible for one quarter of Ontario’s electricity supply. Waterpower provides some of the lowest cost and most reliable electricity in the province. Waterpower is the single largest source of resource royalties to the Consolidated Revenue Fund. The industry is expected to invest more than $1.2 Billion in existing Ontario waterpower assets over the next five (5) years.