Community Matters: Ontario Chamber report looks at economic boost from Bruce investment program

In March, the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) released a report that was commissioned by Bruce Power. It provided an impartial economic impact assessment of the Major Component Replacement (MCR) portion of the company’s Life-Extension investment program. The MCR Project has been underway since 2016 and the first outage will begin in Unit 6 in January 2020, and will continue through the early-2030s.

The findings of the report reinforce the already established facts that Bruce Power nuclear is both a low-cost, reliable generator and it provides tremendous economic stimulus to the province. The study found the MCR investment program will increase Ontario Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by $4.8 to $7.1 billion, and the Canadian GDP between $5.2 and $7.8 billion. This economic injection will drive growth in every major region of the province and also have considerable spin-off benefits. This economic growth will also drive tax revenues to all levels of government, allowing them to invest in the public services that are important to families and communities.

The investments made by Bruce Power all come from the private sector. This model allows us to invest private money into public assets at the same time as our activities are generating taxes for all levels of government.

The report estimated that during the MCR period, the federal government will receive $144 million in excise tax and $1.2 billion in income tax, while the provincial government will receive $300 million in excise tax and $437 million in income tax. At the municipal level across the province, an additional $192 million in taxes will be realized. This is in addition to other tax revenues from base operations, which will allow governments at all levels to invest in public services for the citizens they serve.

In 2018, nuclear energy provided over 60 per cent of Ontario’s daily electricity needs. The nuclear sector overall represented a $5 billion industry comprised of over 200 companies and more than 60,000 jobs, encompassing sectors such as operations, manufacturing, skilled trades, health care, and research and innovation.

We often see and recognize this economic impact in Bruce, Grey and Huron counties, with nearly 50 nuclear supplier companies either opening local offices or expanding into the area since 2016. However, what is often understated is nuclear’s impact across Ontario, and the numbers within this report quantify this more clearly. Our nuclear industry, dominantly driven by Bruce Power, is an economic engine in itself in regions and sectors throughout the province.

Nuclear is part of a balanced electricity supply mix and is also an anchor in a strong economy. The sector provides stable, low-cost, and clean power over the long term. When there’s a need to grow our economy and protect the air we breathe, with numbers like this, how is nuclear not part of the solution?

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