The Toronto Region Board of Trade was thrilled to welcome a new Principal Partner to the family this week. Enbridge Gas’ partnership will make it possible for TRBOT to deliver even more exceptional events throughout the year, while playing a key role in our policy development and advocacy efforts.
Without partners such as Enbridge Gas, none of TRBOT’s work would be possible. To learn more about partnership opportunities, visit our Sponsors and Partners page.
Our sponsors and partners are innovators and leaders in their sectors, and together we are making Toronto one of the most competitive and sought-after business regions in the world. We are privileged to work with industry powerhouses such as Enbridge Gas to reach our goal of better business together.
We sat down with Enbridge Gas President, Michele Harradence, to discuss the needs of the Toronto Region and what Enbridge hopes to accomplish.
TRBOT: What do you see as the biggest challenges facing businesses in the Toronto Region?
HARRADENCE: Affordability of energy is always top of mind for businesses. The big picture challenge is to meet a growing need for energy sustainably, while still being sensitive to cost and energy reliability during this energy evolution.
To move off gas, you have to meet peak winter demand, so it’s not a one-for-one replacement of molecules; it’s more like a five-time increase in electricity supply to replace the peak winter demand supplied today by natural gas.
A pipes and wires approach was included in the provincial government’s Powering Ontario’s Growth plan, which recognizes the critical role that natural gas will continue to play in providing Ontarians with a reliable and cost-effective fuel supply for space heating, industrial growth, and economic prosperity.
Energy is evolving, and we’re a big part of that evolution, but the challenge is to always keep in mind these three things: reliability, affordability, and sustainability.
TRBOT: Through your own advocacy, as well as through the advocacy led by TRBOT, what changes do you hope to influence to make a stronger, more sustainable Toronto Region?
HARRADENCE: As an energy provider we’re cognizant that the energy dialogue is changing. We have to help people understand that there is no one answer to meeting energy needs. That’s where advocacy comes in.
At Enbridge Gas we’re working hard to let people know that we’re collaborating to advance new green technologies to fuel transportation, heat buildings and power industry. We’re introducing new renewable fuels and finding practical ways for businesses and homeowners to use less energy.
We need to let residents and businesses know that we provide flexibility to make choices on their path to net zero. Advocacy is important, yes, but you also need to have the right technologies and innovations in place -- and we have those offerings in place now.
TRBOT: Are there any issues facing the Toronto Region you feel uniquely positioned to address?
HARRADENCE: We service residents across the Toronto Region’s almost 5.6 million population. Our reach is wide and impactful, so we have a responsibility to ensure energy affordability and offer consumer choice.
A diversified approach to meeting energy need gives Toronto consumers the flexibility to choose a home heating system that best meets their needs, such as reliable hybrid heating, which works efficiently even on the coldest winter days.
With our scale and experience, Enbridge Gas is uniquely positioned to accelerate the transition to a cleaner energy future.
TRBOT: Why was it important for Enbridge to partner with the Toronto Region Board of Trade?
HARRADENCE: We have a large presence in the city and deep connections to Toronto. We spent $96 million on core growth and maintenance activities in 2022, with 2023 forecast coming in about the same. In 2022, we paid $7.5 million to the city in property taxes. We invest in the Toronto region, we have a big presence and, most importantly, we believe in the Toronto region.
Your reach and your work have made a difference in the region. The Toronto Region Board of Trade offers needed leadership on a range of topics, including energy issues. We want to be part of that dialogue and tell an energy story that focuses on reliability, affordability, and sustainability.