economic development- by James Scongack

It was an eventful first year for the Bruce Power and County of Bruce's Economic Development and Innovation Initiative.

The initiative, which has a goal of attracting nuclear suppliers and other industries to Bruce, Grey and Huron counties, saw 11 suppliers re-locate or commit to opening facilities in the region this past year. This includes Kinectrics, which committed to creating up to 50 jobs over the next several years in Kincardine and Teeswater, and Abraflex, a new Bruce Power supplier, which is operating a manufacturing facility in the town of Paisley. Many of our long-term suppliers have been operating in the area for years while others set up shop in preparation for Bruce Power's Life-Extension Program, which includes Major Component Replacement (MCR), beginning in 2020.

With the public policy reinforced in the Long-Term Energy Plan to extend the life of the Bruce site to 2064, it makes good business sense for our suppliers to have employees and their families move to the area, instead of shuttling them back and forth to the city.

This means many families are moving into our communities, injecting further life into local businesses and boosting the real estate market. These new offices have also created employment for local residents, as many of these nuclear suppliers reiterated at the recent Economic Development and Innovation Summit that they will hire 50 per cent of the staff for their new locations from Bruce, Grey and Huron counties, while transferring the other half from their current offices.

The Summit, which was co-hosted by Mike Rencheck, Bruce Power's President and CEO, and Mitch Twolan, the Warden of Bruce County, saw over 100 participants from municipalities within Bruce, Grey and Huron counties, local regional economic development organizations, and Bruce Power suppliers together in a room to discuss the success of the first year of the initiative and what the future holds.

I have no doubt that, at this time next year, we will be discussing more openings, new buildings, more job creation, stronger infrastructure, and increased economic spin-off from the nuclear supply chain and its employees.

As you may know, Bruce Power's Life-Extension Program, which includes the Major Component Replacement Projects that start in 2020 and run through 2036, will inject $4 billion into Ontario's economy every year, and create and sustain 22,000 jobs directly and indirectly annually for decades. The intention of our collaboration with Bruce, Grey and Huron counties is to ensure midwestern Ontario reaps the incredible benefits of the Bruce site's longevity.

And we're well on our way.


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