This week, the Government of Ontario joined five other provincial and territorial governments to establish a task force to reduce the reliance on diesel fuel to generate electricity in Canada’s remote communities. The creation of the task force reflects concern in Canada’s remote communities about their energy sustainability.

The new task force also reflects the Government of Ontario’s current energy mandate (discussed in an earlier Energy Bulletin):

  • to provide Ontarians with clean, reliable and affordable supplies of electricity;
  • to pursue energy conservation and champion renewable energy;
  • to consult with Aboriginal and remote communities about their energy supplies;
  • to export Ontario’s energy expertise;
  • to establish a national energy strategy; and
  • to implement the Long-Term Energy Plan for the province.

The task force also reflects memorandums of understanding that Ontario signed in early 2014 with the governments of Manitoba and Québec to work together to provide cleaner, more sustainable energy options for electricity generation in Aboriginal communities and in remote communities in the province.

The first objective of the task force is to prepare a joint report to examine existing approaches being used to eliminate the use of diesel in remote communities, including grid connection or alternative energy solutions. As well, the joint report will allow for the sharing of information about remote communities and their energy needs in order to identify opportunities for collaboration between jurisdictions in charting a plan forward. No deadline has been announced for the completion of the joint report.

*Co-authored by Aird & Berlis LLP summer student Mitchell Grasser.