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Rumours abound that Ontario Power Generation will gut North Bay operation

Up to 70 jobs could be affected

Ontario Power Generation won't confirm or deny, but the Crown corporation is apparently getting ready to transfer almost all of its local employees to Timmins and Cornwall, basically idling the North Bay office and plant on Eloy Road.

OPG is wholly owned by the Government of Ontario and is responsible for approximately half of the electricity generation in the Province of Ontario.

An employee says up to 70 local jobs could be affected. Only some mechanics will remain apparently, with pretty much everyone else being moved out. OPG has 10,840 employees province-wide.

North Bay online news website BayToday has been trying to get OPG to comment for the past number of days, calling both local contact Bretton Christensen and OPG media relations in Toronto multiple times. Calls were not returned, but this afternoon the corporation sent this brief email from Neal Kelly,  Director Media, Issues, Information Management. 

"OPG does not comment on rumours. We value our employees, and when we make announcements we speak with them first."

Kelly would not deny the reports however.

Nipissing MPP Vic Fedeli says he's also heard the reports, but cannot get confirmation from anyone.

Meanwhile, Mayor Al McDonald has also been rebuffed by OPG.

He spoke with the OPG's director of corporate relations in Toronto this afternoon, but the director refused to tell McDonald anything.

McDonald says he also reached out to the Energy Minister and Sudbury MPP Glenn Thibeault last Thursday for help and the minister promised to get back to him.

"I'm still waiting to hear back from him. He told me he would look into it," McDonald said. "I'm going to do everything I can to keep the jobs here, but I'm going to need political support from the province.

"It's very frustrating. You're working hard and having some success and then someone snaps their fingers and moves jobs out of your community without even approaching you or even having any say."

OPG's Central Hydro Plant Group is headquartered in North Bay and has facilities at a number of locations in the region and service centres in North Bay, Gravenhurst, Campbellford, and Sudbury, according to its website. Some of those facilities have been part of the local community for more than a hundred years.


Jeff Turl

About the Author: Jeff Turl

Jeff is a veteran of the news biz. He's spent a lengthy career in TV, radio, print and online, covering both news and sports. He enjoys free time riding motorcycles and spoiling grandchildren.
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