Lake Erie connector project consultation meetings see dismal turnout

An in-person meeting will be held in April to get more community input on the Lake Erie Connector Project after a series of online consultation meetings this past month saw a dismal turnout.

“On Zoom, we have seen attendance between three and 14 attendees,” said Alysha Filer, communications coordinator for the Six Nations of the Grand River Economic Development Corporation. “Our second presentation on Facebook Live saw attendees ranging from two (to) nine attendees at any given time. We’d really like to hear from more of our community members, so we’re hoping more will attend both the online sessions and the in-person event.”

The in-person event will be held April at 6:00 p.m. at the old tourism building on Chiefswood Road.

The final webinar will be on Apr. 20 at 6:00 p.m.

The online meetings were held due to Covid restrictions.

SNGRDC is seeking community input on a massive electrical line spanning from Ontario to Pennsylvania under Lake Erie.

Known as the Lake Erie Connector Project, the line has the potential to bring Six Nations about $44 to $90 million in revenue over 45 years or more depending on whether or not the community agrees to the accommodations being offered by ITC Investment Holdings.

The LEC project is a bi-directional electricity cable being developed by ITC Investment Holdings as a solution to help address what it says are inefficiencies in Ontario’s power grid.

The project will include a connection to the Ontario grid at the former Nanticoke Generating Station, an electricity converter station located across the road and installation of an underground cable from the converter station along Haldimand Road 55 leading to Lake Erie.

The cable will be directionally drilled under the shore to avoid shoreline impacts, out into Lake Erie where a marine crew will lay the cable across to Erie, Pennsylvania. Any excess of electricity generated in Ontario will be sold to the United States and vice-versa.

The LEC project has seen the first and only community consultation process in almost two years, ever since a worldwide pandemic was declared in March 2020.

SNGRDC says, “there is a tight timeline for this investment review, so it is critical that we hear from our community.”

Community feedback will be captured in a final report to be presented to the Six Nations of the Grand River Elected Council and the SNGRDC board will recommend whether or not to accept the offer from ITC Holdings.

 

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