Nicholls Liberal Inaction Continues to Deter Investment in Leamington

LEAMINGTON – Local greenhouses are moving their operations south of the border because the Wynne Liberal government has been dragging its heels on expanding hydro capacity in Leamington, and Chatham-Kent-Essex MPP Rick Nicholls wants the Liberals to commit to a timeline for the slow-moving project.

 

Greenhouse operator Nature Fresh Farms announced last year that it would be bringing a $200 million expansion and 300 jobs to Ohio instead of Leamington.  The company cited high hydro prices and the failure of the provincial government to add hydro capacity in the area as reasons Leamington did not receive the much needed investments.

Now, its planned 32-acre expansion in Leamington slated for this year has been put on hold. 

“Every month that this project is not finished costs Leamington jobs and investment opportunities,” Nicholls said. “This government needs to get this done now, give us a firm timeline commitment and complete the project or we will continue to lose out.”

Many local business and residents are tired of waiting for the Wynne Liberal government to expand hydro capacity and feel that the government is growing increasingly out of touch with the needs of the region.

“Back in 2011, I asked the Liberals about hydro expansion into Leamington. The then Minister of Finance Dwight Duncan said that they are working on it and will get it done,” said Nicholls. “That was five years and hundreds of potential jobs ago and nothing has been built yet. There’s been no progress at all.”

“Whether it’s burdensome red tape, sky high energy rates, or failing to address local needs, the Wynne Liberal government fails in creating the conditions for investment in the province,” added Nicholls.  

MPP Nicholls is once again asking a new Liberal Minister of Energy to get to work and complete the project after years of failure by his predecessors.

“The first Liberal Energy Minister I called on to complete this project could not get it done, nor could the second. Maybe the third time is the charm?” Nicholls asked.