Statement from Keith Brooks, Programs Director

Toronto | Traditional territories of the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishinaabeg, the Haudenosaunee, and the Wendat – Bill 165, the so-called Keeping Energy Costs Down Act, is an affront to good governance and an insult to Ontarians who are grappling with an affordability crisis. Contrary to the Bill’s ironic name, this piece of legislation will raise energy costs for nearly 4 million households in Ontario and saddle new home buyers with higher energy costs by making gas heating the default, instead of nudging home builders to install highly efficient heat pumps. The move to overrule the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) and concentrate decision making power in the hands of the Minister is irresponsible and could have far-reaching consequences, leading to significant costs, all of which will be borne by Ontarians. The provincial government has chosen to prioritize Enbridge’s profits over the people of Ontario. It’s shameful. 

With wildfire season almost upon us, this government is bending over backwards for a fossil fuel company. This is irresponsible and represents a failure to act on climate change. Burning more gas will only add more fuel to the fire and lead to more extreme weather events like the wildfires we all experienced last year. While other jurisdictions are working to phase out gas heating in new homes, Ontario is undermining an independent regulator to guarantee that new homes are built with gas furnaces. 

Additional Information: 

In addition to undoing the OEB’s December 21st decision, the Keeping Energy Costs Down Act also proposes to change the Leave to Construct process that included oversight by the OEB for any pipeline project over $2 million or above. Under the proposed legislation, the provincial government is moving to exempt pipeline projects that cost between $2 million and $10 million from OEB oversight. In other words, the OEB will no longer be determining if applications for pipelines up to $10 million are in the public’s interest.


ABOUT ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENCE ( Environmental Defence is a leading Canadian environmental advocacy organization that works with government, industry, and individuals to defend clean water, a safe climate, and healthy communities.

– 30 –

For more information or to request an interview, please contact:

Tamara Latinovic, Environmental Defence,