Canada: An Update On Electricity Planning In Ontario

Last Updated: September 17 2013
Article by Stephen Andrews and Linda Bertoldi

Most Read Contributor in Canada, September 2016

1. Electricity Planning in Ontario: Report from the Ontario Power Authority and the Independent Electricity System Operator. Engaging Local Communities in Ontario's Electricity Planning Continuum


On August 6, 2013, the Ontario Power Authority ("OPA") and the Independent Electricity System Operator ("IESO") released their report on regional electricity planning entitled "Engaging Local Communities in Ontario's Electricity Planning Continuum" (the "Report"). The Report flows out of the May 6 letter from the Minister of Energy requesting that the OPA and IESO "work together to develop recommendations for a new integrated regional energy planning process that would focus on improving how large energy infrastructure projects are sited in Ontario". The Minister requested that the OPA and IESO consult with a wide range of stakeholders and submit their report and recommendations by August 1, 2013.

This bulletin provides a summary of the consultation process and the recommendations of the Report. The bulletin also briefly outlines the next steps in the development of the recommendations made in the Report.

The Report - Scope and Key Objectives

The key areas of focus of the Report include:

  • Regional electricity planning;
  • Enhancing engagement with municipalities, energy stakeholders and First Nations, Métis;
  • Ensuring these groups are engaged in processes related to the siting of large electricity generation and infrastructure projects.

The Report does not deal with electricity distribution planning or the siting of transmission or small scale generation projects.

The Consultation Process and Methodology for Developing the Recommendations

The methodology used for developing the recommendations for the Minister of Energy included:

  • Review and analysis of existing processes for regional electricity planning and large electricity generation planning and siting;
  • Meetings with energy stakeholders and those organizations with expertise in planning and siting large scale electricity generation and infrastructure projects;
  • Research on how other jurisdictions conduct electricity planning and siting;
  • Discussions and meetings across Ontario with municipalities, First Nations, Métis, government ministries and agencies, citizens, and various interest groups on the strengths and weaknesses of existing planning and engagement processes;
  • Formal feedback sessions with energy experts and session participants on draft recommendations.

Between June 17, 2013 and July 29, 2013, IESO and OPA representatives held four webinars, held 20 stakeholder meetings and 18 regional meetings with First Nations and Métis communities. The OPA and IESO also established a dedicated web site ( to receive comments about regional electricity planning. Formal written submissions were received through a specific email site as well (for access to the written submissions, please see Appendix D of the full Report).

The Recommendations of the Report

The recommendations of the Report are designed to support the following overall objectives for improving electricity planning:

  • Bringing communities to the table;
  • Linking local and provincial planning;
  • Reinforcing the planning/siting continuum;
  • Enhancing electricity awareness and improving access to information.

The Report contains 18 recommendations. However, the following three recommendations are identified as "core" in that they represent a rough consensus of the stakeholder community. They are:

  • Strengthen processes for early and sustained engagement with local governments and the public. The IESO and the OPA will build on existing processes to improve stakeholder engagement.
  • Provide local governments and communities with greater voice and responsibility in planning and siting. The OPA, IESO, Ontario Energy Board, and the Ministry of Energy should explore mechanisms to provide greater flexibility to municipalities and First Nations to meet local needs. These mechanisms should also explore cost responsibility and reliability of service.
  • Support inter-ministerial coordination. The province should develop an "inter-ministerial action team" of senior officials from the Ministries of Energy, Transportation, Infrastructure, Health and Long Term Care, Municipal Affairs and Housing, Environment, and Aboriginal Affairs to coordinate policy development and clarify decision making.

The additional recommendations that build on these core recommendations are:

  • Foster ongoing relationships with First Nations and Métis and recognize the Duty to Consult;
  • Create regional electricity planning advisory committees;
  • Invite participation of local representatives in the regional electricity technical planning working group;
  • Develop stakeholder engagement strategies and plans;
  • Integrate electricity needs into relevant municipal plans;
  • Integrate relevant municipal information into regional electricity plans;
  • Promote community energy planning;
  • Recognize broader provincial and local interests in electricity system planning;
  • Facilitate a seamless transition from planning to siting;
  • Consider broader criteria in the generation procurement process, such as local priorities;
  • Strengthen review processes;
  • Review mechanisms for planning and procurement;
  • Increase awareness of electricity needs and how these needs can be met;
  • Increase transparency of, and access to, usable data and information;
  • The IESO and OPA along with the Ministry of Energy, should develop a detailed implementation strategy to outline the
  • legislative, regulatory, consultation and resource implications of the recommendations

Next Steps

The Report's covering letter from the OPA and IESO suggest these recommendations undergo further review and comment by various provincial Ministries, agencies, associations and stakeholders. The OPA and IESO propose to report back to the Minister of Energy in September 2013 on detailed implementation proposals. As of early September, the Minister of Energy has not responded publically to the release of the Report. The full Report can be accessed at

2. Submission Deadline for Ontario's Long Term Energy Plan Extended

The Ministry of Energy extended the deadline for submissions on Ontario's LTEP to September 16, 2013. Submissions may be made online through the Environmental Registry or directly to the Ministry.

3. OPA Releases Draft Integrated Resource Plan for the North of Dryden Area

On August 16, 2013, the OPA issued its "North of Dryden Draft Reference Integrated Regional Resource Plan" (the "Plan") and has established a new website dedicated to its planning work for north western Ontario ( The OPA is undertaking regional planning processes in six sub areas which will represent an overall North West region plan.

The Plan proposes two initiatives estimated to cost between $234 million and $271 million to meet the near-term electricity needs North of Dryden.

  1. Bring a new transmission line from the Dryden/Ignance area to Pickle Lake; and
  2. Upgrade the existing transmission lines from Dryden to Ear Falls and from Ear Falls to Red Lake.

The OPA also notes that there are 25 remote communities in northwestern Ontario that are not connected to Ontario's transmission grid and where Ontario transmission system. The OPA is scheduled to issue its complete Remote Community Connection Plan in the Fall of 2013.

4. Ontario Supports Local Energy Planning in Municipalities and Aboriginal Communities

On August 21, 2013, the Minister of Energy announced a grant program to support the development of Municipal Energy Plans and Aboriginal Community Energy Plans. These Plans are optional and are intended to supplement the Province's Long Term Energy Plan ("LTEP") and regional plans by "focusing on unique community needs and goals". These Plans will focus on increasing conservation and will help a community to identify its best infrastructure options. The Ministry included guidelines and details of an application process. Successful municipal and First Nations applicants will receive funding for up to 50% of eligible costs to a maximum of $90,000 with remote First Nations Communities being eligible for funding up to $95,000. Further details are available on the Ministry of Energy's web site.

About BLG

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

In association with
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Check to state you have read and
agree to our Terms and Conditions

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

Use of

You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these terms & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.


Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information available from this server.

The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.


Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here .

If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq by clicking here .

Information Collection and Use

We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

Mondaq News Alerts

In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.


A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

Log Files

We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

Surveys & Contests

From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.


If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.


This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to

Notification of Changes

If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

How to contact Mondaq

You can contact us with comments or queries at

If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.