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Photo courtesy Powering Ontario's Growth/Ministry of Energy

Hydro One committed to partnerships with First Nations

By Randy Thoms May 22, 2024 | 3:34 PM

Hydro One says it is committed to doing better with First Nations.

Any future projects valued at 100 million dollars or more will include a 50-50 partnership with Indigenous communities,

In a recent speech to the Empire Club of Canada, Chief Executive Officer David Lebeter says it is modelled after the Waasigan Transmission Line project that involves nine First Nations.

“We’re working together with these nations as we plan, develop and engage. I’m proud to say Hydro One launched our 50-50 equity partnership model with this project,” says Lebeter.

“Those nine First Nations will have 50% equity ownership in the line. They get to share in the benefits and the ownership of that line.”

Lebeter adds they are also asking for input on how projects should be developed and maintained.

Hydro One is also working with First Nations to address their fundamental needs and desires before proposing programs and partnerships.

“Indigenous partners will continue to be integral to sustainable growth, and their participation will help us meet the needs of Ontario now and for future generations.”

Lebeter says they have also set a target of having 3.5% of its workforce Indigenous and 5% of all business activity conducted with Indigenous-owned and operated firms.

Mining development is one of the drivers for Hydro One in developing new transmission lines like the Waasigan project.

It also has other projects in northeastern Ontario in the planning stages.

Lebeter says they want to ensure mining companies can advance their mining projects.

“We do not want them to be held up because they can’t get the power, and we don’t want them to have to bring in diesel generators, which is what some of them are doing today to move their projects forward.”

Lebeter highlights the Waasigan project as one that will unlock the northwest region’s potential.