Warwick Mayor Jackie Rombouts is shocked and confused after a natural gas pipeline project was bypassed again.
The province announced 43 projects with Enbridge Wednesday in a program designed to extend natural gas service into rural, northern and Indigenous communities. This is the second round of projects which are expected to be started as early as this fall and be completed by 2025.
The province is investing $243 million in the projects saying without government help, the projects would not be feasible.
A project which would have brought gas to homes and farms in Warwick village was one of 209 the province and the Ontario Energy Board reviewed. But for the second time, it was rejected for the provincial program.
“We’re very disappointed,” says Rombouts.
“The reason that we thought we were going to get the funding is because Monte McNaughton, (Lambton-Kent-Middlesex MPP and now Minister of Labour) when he was the minister of infrastructure made the announcement in Warwick Township.”
The 2018 event included the minister of agriculture and was welcomed by local farm groups who would dry grain at a lower cost with natural gas.
“He stood on a farm promising the farmers in Warwick Township he was going to bring natural gas to Warwick. So, we are quite confused as to why, three years later, we still haven’t gotten approval.”
It is an issue, Rombouts says the township will raise with the Minister of Energy at the Association of Municipalities of Ontario conference later this summer.
The province is considering a third round of project but no timeline was given.