Algoma Manitoulin MPP Michael Mantha is introducing a bill today to proclaim Waterpower Day in Ontario be celebrated every June 20th.
Mantha says the bill commemorates the father of public hydro, Sir Adam Beck, and highlights the important contributions waterpower facilities and their workers bring to Ontario.
Waterpower Day is recognized by 16 municipalities across Ontario.
The province has over 200 facilities that produce a quarter of the province’s electricity.
Mantha says every year the day can be for reflection on climate change, and what we need to do to lead a shift to a cleaner, more efficient, and sustainable economy, rooted in equity, affordability, and reconciliation.
Ontario Waterpower Association President Paul Norris says he appreciates Mantha’s leadership in introducing this Bill, which will add the province’s support to the dozens of communities across the province that celebrate Waterpower Day annually.
Current Waterpower Day supporters include the cities of Kawartha Lakes, Kingston, Niagara Falls, Peterborough, Quite West, Timmins, the municipalities of Mississippi Mills, Trent Hills, Wawa, the towns of Blind River, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Renfrew, Smooth Rock Falls, the townships of Ear Falls, Selwyn, and the village of South River. It is also supported by the Federation of Northern Ontario Municipalities (FONOM) and the Northwestern Ontario Municipal Association (NOMA).
Under Beck’s leadership, a municipally-owned hydroelectric system was built, funded by the provincial government, and using water from Niagara Falls and other Ontario lakes and rivers. Beck became the first chairman of the Hydro-Electric Power Commission in 1906, and he was knighted by King George V in 1914 for his promotion of electricity and the development of transmission lines.