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Society Welcomes New Minister to Energy File

July 8, 2024

On June 6, the Ontario government announced a cabinet shuffle. The shuffle saw long-time Energy Minister Todd Smith move to the Ministry of Education and Education Minister Stephen Lecce assume the energy portfolio.

The Society has been very happy with the work of Minister Smith and are sorry to see him go. Under Minister Smith, the province saw many positive announcements that affected our membership. Significantly, there were several important nuclear announcements, including the refurbishment of the Pickering B Nuclear Generating Station, the building of new small modular reactors at the Darlington site, and the planned construction of new, large-scale nuclear at Bruce Power. We also saw several announcements investing in the future of the OPG hydro facilities in Niagara and Cornwall.

Members will remember that Minister Smith joined our delegates council the past year and has consistently made himself available to the Society and our membership during his tenure in the role.

The Society extends our warmest wishes to Minister Smith as he assumes the education portfolio.

Society President Michelle Johnston has already had a preliminary conversation with incoming Minister Lecce in which she outlined the Society’s priorities for Ontario’s energy grid. The Society is looking forward to continuing our strong relationship with the new minister as well as the new Associate Minister, Sam Oosterhoff.

The Society was glad to see the newly-minted minister in Ottawa last week announce $1.6 billion in Eastern Ontario hydroelectricity refurbishments, which will secure up to 2,673 MW of clean electricity.

In addition to the change in ministers, the government rebranded the ministry itself as the “Ministry of Energy and Electrification.” The Society is hopeful that this signals the government’s intention to continue to electrify Ontario’s economy, move away from high-emission technologies, and push towards net-zero emissions in the province’s grid.

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