Liberal candidate David Orazietti met and discussed local issues with workers at the gates of Essar Steel Algoma early this morning in order to hear first hand from local workers and ask for their support in the Provincial Election, which is Thursday, June 12th.
“Essar Steel Algoma is a vital part of our community and region and I will continue to work at the provincial level to help achieve long-term stability with initiatives, such as our Northern Industrial Electricity Rate Program (NIERP) saving the company approximately $35 million over three years and helping to protect jobs,” said Orazietti. “Economic development and job creation are high priorities, which is why our budget contains a $2.5 billion Jobs and Prosperity Plan to support local businesses and create good-quality jobs for Sault residents.”
The Liberal government has a strong record of support for Essar Steel Algoma, which includes:
· The Northern Industrial Electricity Rate Program (NIERP) to assist the region’s industrial electricity consumers with $360 million over three years is to be extended. The program reduces electricity costs by as much as 25% for major employers such as Essar Steel Algoma, Tenaris Tubes and Flakeboard Ltd.
· $300 million in 2004 in provincial funding for pension support and more recently assisted with pension restructuring to provide the company with greater potential for long-term stability
· The province provided Essar Steel Algoma with a 20 year power purchase agreement that allowed the mill to build a $135 million co-generation facility and sell power back to the provincial grid
· The 70MW cogeneration facility is reducing Essar Steel’s reliance on the provincial power grid by approximately 50% on average and reducing the company’s nitrous oxide emissions by 400 metric tonnes per year, helping to protect thousands of local jobs by improving the mill’s competitiveness
· Essar benefits from the province’s expanded Apprenticeship Training Tax Credit, which since 2007 has provided approximately 150 apprenticeship opportunities for local workers to gain important training and skill development in areas, such as mechanical and electrical maintenance, crane repairmen, hoisting engineers, HVAC technicians and electric motor systems technicians