PETER SUTHERLAND SR GENERATING STATION POWERS NORTHEAST ONTARIO
On the Abitibi River in northeastern Ontario, the Peter Sutherland Sr. Generating Station (GS) powers 25,000 homes and businesses with renewable waterpower. The development was a partnership between Ontario Power Generation (OPG) and Coral Rapids Power: a wholly-owned company of the Taykwa Tagamou Nation (TTN). The development is named after a respected elder from TTN. The $300-million project was completed in 2017.
On the Abitibi River in northeastern Ontario, almost two years of construction and eight years of planning have culminated in a new hydroelectric station capable of powering 25,000 homes and businesses with clean, renewable, and affordable power.
The 28-megawatt (MW) Peter Sutherland Sr. Generating Station (GS), located about 80 kilometres north of the town of Smooth Rock Falls on the New Post Creek, went into service on April 2017, well ahead of its scheduled 2018 target. In addition, the $300- million project stayed on budget.
That’s a testament to the solid planning and execution between OPG and its partner in the development, Coral Rapids Power, a wholly-owned company of the Taykwa Tagamou Nation (TTN). The development, which is named after a respected elder from TTN, has already had a positive impact on the First Nation community.
“We had about 50 TTN members working on the project at one point or another, which was significant for our First Nation partner,” said Paul Burroughs, Project Director at OPG. “They were part of the project team working to help make this a success.”
As part of the project agreement, Coral Rapids Power has a one-third ownership in the facility, meaning they will receive a share of profits from the station and be a partner for life over the 90 or so years the plant is expected to operate. As TTN’s first foray into hydro development, the project took several decades to get off the ground before the First Nation agreed to partner with OPG in 2007 as part of a past grievances settlement. Construction of the station began in 2015.
The project provides the TTN community with a long-term investment opportunity and a sustainable economic base. Further, it provides spinoff benefits for the entire northeast region.
“The relationship we’ve built with OPG is based on a foundation of respect, trust, and all working toward a common goal,” said Wayne Ross, President of Coral Rapids Power. “There have been many benefits from this project for our community, including good-paying jobs, transferable skills and a long-term revenue stream.”
In addition, approximately $53.5 million in subcontracts were awarded to TTN joint- venture businesses during the construction phase of the station.
“The partnership is about creating a lifelong relationship with the First Nation,” said Burroughs.
The project has created skilled jobs and unique learning opportunities benefitting TTN members who will pursue work in a range of different career fields. Labour needs included engineers, equipment operators, labourers, drillers, cement workers, ironworkers, electricians, welders, carpenters, and camp support services.
At the peak of construction, there were about 220 workers employed on the project, many of whom reside in the local community.
“Our partnership is about more than just megawatts,” said Mike Martelli, President, Renewable Generation. “It’s also about creating skilled jobs and ongoing revenue that will benefit this community for years to come.”
In addition to the direct employment opportunities, existing local businesses and the regional economy benefitted from contracting work, as well as local project purchasing and expenditures. The estimated sales multiplier associated with the project is $1.50 – that is for every dollar expended an additional $0.50 was spent in northern Ontario.
The new station is operated by OPG’s northeastern operations control room in Timmins and is maintained by technicians located at a nearby work centre at Abitibi Canyon.
Peter Sutherland Sr. GS is the latest asset in OPG’s clean energy portfolio, which includes successful joint ventures with other First Nations. In early 2015, OPG and the Moose Cree First Nation celebrated the completion of the Lower Mattagami Hydroelectric Project, northern Ontario’s largest hydroelectric project in 50 years.
Ontario’s 58 northeastern hydroelectric facilities provide a clean, renewable, and reliable source of power to Ontarians year- round. Their combined capacity is over 3,000 MW.
Thanks to Todayville for helping us bring our members’ stories of collaboration and innovation to the public.
Click to read a foreward from JP Gladu, Chief Development and Relations Officer, Steel River Group; Former President and CEO, Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business.
Immigration increase alone won’t fix the labour market, experts say
By Rosa Saba
Experts say Canada’s plan to increase immigration may ease some pressures in the labour market, but bigger changes are needed to ensure new permanent residents are matched with the jobs that most need filling.
With the unemployment rate at historic lows, many companies are “starved” for workers, and new immigrants will help fill some of the need, said Ravi Jain, principal at Jain Immigration Law and co-founder of the Canadian Immigration Lawyers Association.
The federal government’s new immigration plan calls for the admission of 1.45 million more new permanent residents over the next three years, beginning with 465,000 in 2023 and reaching 500,000 in 2025. That’s compared with 341,000 in 2019.
According to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, the plan is intended to help attract labour in key sectors, including healthcare, skilled trades, manufacturing and technology.
“It’s clear that there are real gaps, real demands, and real needs,” said Naomi Alboim, a senior policy fellow at Toronto Metropolitan University and a former Ontario Deputy Minister of Immigration.
But upping immigration levels is just one way to begin addressing those needs, she said — the government’s plan should be part of a wider initiative to address temporary workers, international students and a larger range of jobs.
Change is needed to ensure new Canadians are well-matched to jobs that maximize their skills, qualifications and experience, said Alboim.
Recent immigrants are less likely to see their skills and education utilized than Canadian-born workers, Statistics Canada said, and new and recent immigrants are overrepresented in certain industries, including transportation and warehousing, and accommodation and food services.
Government policies have created a mismatch between the specific skills employers are looking for and the skills of immigrants being approved, Toronto immigration lawyer Sergio Karas said.
Some of this mismatch begins with international students, said Karas. Though many international students plan to become permanent residents after they graduate, many of them aren’t in programs for jobs that are in demand by immigration policies, like healthcare or trades, he said.
International students and temporary foreign workers (TFWs) have made up an increasingly large portion of Canada’s economic immigrants, or those selected for their contribution to the economy, who made up more than half of recent immigrants in 2021, Statistics Canada said.
In 2020, 67 per cent of the country’s principal applicants in the economic class were previously temporary foreign workers or international students, the agency said.
But that 67 per cent is a relatively small portion of all the temporary workers and international students in Canada, said Alboim. Canada had 777,000 TFW work permit holders in 2021, and almost 622,000 international students that year, Statistics Canada said.
Canada’s dependence on temporary workers to fill long-term gaps is a huge problem, said Alboim. It creates little incentive to improve wages, conditions or supports for temporary workers, she said.
Federal immigration policy seems laser-focused on jobs requiring higher levels of training and education, said Alboim, a barrier to permanent residency for many TFWs and international students.
That’s despite the fact that much of Canada’s labour shortage is in jobs that require lower levels of education or experience, jobs that many temporary workers and students take on, said Alboim.
The federal government should expand its scope to prioritize more of these kinds of jobs, she said.
“There are way, way, way more people here now with temporary status that will never be able to transition to permanent residency, assuming they want to, unless the rules for permanent residency are changed to recognize that we actually need them too,” she said.
However, not all the onus lies on the federal government, Jain said. One ongoing problem has been immigrants’ credentials not being recognized in Canada, and while there have been some recent changes aimed at improving that, more needs to be done, he said. These credentials are the jurisdiction of provinces and territories, not Ottawa.
Provincial and regional immigration programs often do a better job of bringing in workers who can meet a wide range of labour needs including in lower-skill jobs, Alboim said, noting those programs are set to increase under the federal government’s plan.
A legislative amendment recently gave the minister of immigration the power to select immigrants for Express Entry programs based on specific qualities like occupation, but currently Alboim anticipates that use of that power will be focused on higher-level jobs.
“(There are) real needs at the high end, which immigration should certainly be focused on, but not exclusively,” she said.
“My worry is that if the targeted draws get too heavy, like if it’s weighted too much in terms of the proportion of people coming in, then I worry that some of these other folks will get marginalized,” he said.
“There needs to be some kind of a balance.”
— With files from Lee Berthiaume
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 19, 2023.
Popular roller-coaster at West Edmonton Mall amusement park to be removed
Canada’s largest shopping centre says a popular roller-coaster at its amusement park is being removed after nearly 40 years in operation.
West Edmonton Mall’s vice-president of parks and attractions says in a statement that while the Mindbender will be missed, the mall is excited to announce it is working on new plans for the site.
The Mindbender was known as the world’s tallest and longest indoor, triple-loop roller-coaster.
In 1986, three people were killed on the roller-coaster, which forced the mall to shut it down for a year for safety modifications.
Galaxyland initially opened in 1983, but was known as Fantasyland until 1995.
The indoor amusement park partnered with Hasbro in 2022 and features attractions licensed from the franchise.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 30, 2023.
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