Bruce Power's Vice President of Corporate Affairs James Scongack says Bruce, Grey and Huron Counties have 'very interconnected economies,' and the nuclear plant's life extension program can benefit all of them.
Scongack proudly calls it Canada's largest infrastructure project and notes will continue through 2053, allowing Bruce Power's reactors to operate through 2064.
He spoke at the latest Owen Sound and District Chamber of Commerce 'Awake at 8' breakfast on Friday at the Quality Inn.
His message as keynote speaker, was the relocation of companies traditionally based in other parts of Ontario to our area has "A real significant economic benefit across the region."
Outside of suppliers, Scongack says, there will also be opportunities for small retail and service businesses, "We are encouraging everybody who is working on site and doing work in this program to spend their money locally."
He notes there will also be challenges in providing other services.
"Affordable housing, access to health care, access to education," says Scongack, pointing also to the work Bruce Power is doing with the United Way in supporting food banks, "We're all in this community together," says Scongack.
The life extension program is bringing roughly an additional 2,000 jobs to the nuclear plant and the area and Scongack admits many of the suppliers are setting up in Bruce County.
As for Owen Sound, Scongack says they're still working through commercial arrangements with a number of suppliers, "We're very optimistic that you're going to see not only continued growth in the region but specifically in the Owen Sound Grey County area."
In the meantime, Mayor Ian Boddy has been promoting the city, recently telling Bayshore Broadcasting News "We've got the best facilities in the area for manufacturing and large warehousing."
So far none have officially set up in Owen Sound, but Scongack notes they might in the future and in the meantime, retail and service businesses in Owen Sound can reap the benefits of being in the region's big city.
He says interested businesses can also take advantage of the increase in people moving to the region by signing up on couponcountry.ca
The Bruce Power sponsored website launched last November allows local business owners to post coupons free of charge to draw new people in.