Cold Water Poured On La Ronge Natural Gas Proposal

Tuesday, November 07, 2006 at 13:33



An economic development official in La Ronge doesn’t think natural gas will come to his community as soon as the government hopes.


Visions North Community Futures Corporation general manager Bill Hogan says the province’s plan to build a natural gas pipeline to La Ronge by the spring of 2008 is too optimistic.


The government hopes to have 500 commitments by the time construction is supposed to start early next year.


But Hogan says he doesn’t see that happening, based on the conversations he’s had with local residents.


He says several people are taking a wait-and-see approach, and would rather not commit money for hook-up costs until they see how the service works for others in the community.


Hogan notes some people say they have heard stories from southern communities where some residents’ actual costs ended up being higher than they were first advertised.


As well, Hogan says a few people have recently sunk quite a bit of money to heat their homes with propane, and they can’t see themselves putting up more cash for home heating in the near future.


Hogan admits it’s inevitable that natural gas will come to La Ronge — but he says it will likely be closer to 2010 than 2008.


He also says the government’s scenario could still unfold on schedule, but it will take an extensive education and promotion campaign to make it happen.