A program that will help keep Northern industries sustainable and competitive has been made permanent in the upcoming provincial budget.

The Northern Industrial Electricity Rate gives large companies, who use a lot of energy, a rebate. President of the Federation of Northern Ontario Municipalities, Al Spacek, says it will go a long way.

“Mining, forestry, and steel makers will see a real benefit to this program,” says Spacek. “In terms of reducing their costs, and increasing their competiveness.”

The rebates can add up to $20M a year for each company.

“The government really stepped up here,” Spacek continues. “This is not a cheap program, and it’s specifically for Northern Ontario. So it’s worth noting that Premier Wynne and her government certainly answered the call of Northern Ontario with this program.”

The program was originally introduced in 2010, and the Wynne government has committed to funding it past next year.