Toronto firm opening U.S. plant due to Ont. power rates

A Toronto-based manufacturer of fasteners says it is opening its new manufacturing facility in the United States

TORONTO — A Toronto-based manufacturer of fasteners says it is opening its new manufacturing facility in the United States because rising energy costs have made Ontario uncompetitive for investment.

Leland Industries employs about 220 people at its plants in Toronto and Waterloo, Ont., and founder and CEO Byron Nelson says those workers will be protected.

But Nelson says Leland’s business is increasing and expanding and Ontario’s high electricity costs make it hard for the company to compete on a global scale.

Nelson anticipates Ontario’s new cap-and-trade system, which comes into effect in January, will cause electricity and natural gas costs to rise even higher.

Nelson says Leland will not invest in Ontario any more because “the costs are just out of sight.”

And he says the company plans a major expansion in production capacity in Illinois.

“This is good news for our company, but bad news for Ontario,” Nelson said Tuesday.

“We’ve prided ourselves that a Canadian manufacturer with the right people, processes, and technologies, can compete with anyone in the world,” he said. “But, we can no longer compete with the escalating energy costs we are seeing here in Ontario.”

Jocelyn Williams Bamford — vice president of Automatic Coating Limited and spokeswoman for the Coalition of Concerned Manufacturers in Ontario — said Leland is one of many smaller and medium-sized Ontario-based manufacturers that are looking to grow and seriously considering investing outside of Ontario.

“Ontario’s energy costs are rising so quickly many manufacturers are reassessing whether it makes sense to expand production in this province,” she said Tuesday in a statement.

Bamford said manufacturers have become more competitive and have been able to reduce emissions at the same time because they have invested in new technologies.

“Higher energy costs leave us less money for investment. And, if manufacturers can’t invest in Ontario, it’s not good for the economy or for jobs in this province. Ultimately, it’s not good for the environment either,” she said.

Nelson said Ontario has already lost a lot of manufacturers and will lose more because those in government “just do not understand.”

Ontario Economic Development and Growth Minister Brad Duguid said in an email that the government recognizes that it has more work to do, “especially when it comes to controlling the costs related to upgrading our energy infrastructure.”

Duguid also noted that the government will be lowering electricity costs for small and medium sized businesses by eight per cent starting Jan. 1, but Bamford said that “won’t come close to offsetting the energy and transportation cost increases that lie in store for smaller manufacturers across Ontario.”

Just Posted

Bystanders help Innisfail Mountie make arrest

A 35-year-old Ottawa man is facing a number of charges including resisting arrest

More supports for homeless needed for Red Deer

Provincial funding recently announced for Lethbridge

Second Central Alberta born jaguar dies

Mia’s brother Magnum dead at Discovery Wildlife Park

High profile individual delays UCP vote for Red Deer-South

Nomination vote to be held early in 2019

Police back mandatory alcohol screening

New legislation taking effect on Dec. 18 allows alcohol testing of all drivers legally stopped

Orlando SC acquires Canadian Tesho Akindele in trade with FC Dallas for cash

ORLANDO, Fla. — Canadian forward Tesho Akindele was traded to Orlando City… Continue reading

Koskinen notches third shutout, McDavid gets winner as Oilers blank Flames 1-0

EDMONTON — The Edmonton Oilers appear to have shored up their defence… Continue reading

Beyonce performs at pre-wedding party in India

Beyonce brought her star power to a pre-wedding party for the daughter… Continue reading

Kirk Douglas celebrates 102nd birthday

LOS ANGELES — Actor Kirk Douglas got to celebrate his 102nd birthday… Continue reading

Ellen Page steps up attack on Nova Scotia pulp mill’s effluent pipeline

HALIFAX — Hollywood actor Ellen Page is doubling down on her criticism… Continue reading

Pence aide out of running to be Trump’s next chief of staff

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump’s top pick to replace chief of staff… Continue reading

Swath of South faces wintry mess: Snow, sleet, freezing rain

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A massive storm brought snow, sleet, and freezing rain… Continue reading

‘I killed my best friend’: Opioids’ fatal grip on mayor, pal

MOUNT CARBON, Pa. — Janel Firestone found her son — the 24-year-old,… Continue reading

Most Read