Natural gas coming soon to residents in St. Charles
SUDBURY -- Life is about to get more affordable for those living in the community of St. Charles.
On Wednesday morning, the provincial government announced its list of communities that will benefit in Phase 2 of its Natural Gas Expansion Program. St. Charles is set to receive more than $6 million.
The province has communicated with Enbridge and plans are now in the works to build a pipeline that will bring gas to 162 homes in the town.
That's good news for municipal councillor and homeowner Richard Lemieux.
"This is going to be a great chance for people to change over to a cheaper and more efficient system – fantastic … for us," Lemieux said.
Lemieux only recently made the switch to propane. Up until that point, like many in the community, he was using oil to heat his home.
He'd have to get his drum filled once a month, and he's certainly not going to miss it once it's gone.
"No, no, I guess not because it's always something ... I never had a problem getting it filled but you always wonder, well, are they going to remember to fill the tank this month," he said.
No one was happier though than the municipality's mayor.
Lobbied for 10 years
"Very big day -- it's something that myself have been lobbying the government for the past 10 years to bring natural gas to the residents of St. Charles and today's announcement of over $6 million is great news," said Mayor Paul Schoppman.
Schoppman said he never gave up and was confident the province would come through for the residents. He was only told about the news about an hour before the news conference.
Work on most of the projects is slated to start in 2023. The program is about expanding natural gas to northern, remote and Indigenous communities.
The hope is that it will benefit both taxpayers and local businesses.
"We've prioritized broad distribution across Ontario to as many homes and businesses to keep the cost of energy low, to support job and to attract new investment," said Associate Minister of Energy Bill Walker
"With roughly 5,000 jobs and $1.5 billion in local investment, this government is putting people first and putting more money in people's pockets," said Ontario Premier Doug Ford.
It's unclear when work will start on the St. Charles pipeline. It's also important to note, it's unclear how much work is left to be done to expand natural gas coverage to the entire region.
St. Charles residents, however, said they're ready to start reaping the benefits.