Provincial money flowing to assist with hazards from old, inactive gas wells


CANFIELD – Provincial funding to assist with managing the hazards posed by old, inactive gas wells is flowing to Haldimand and Norfolk Counties.

Announced earlier this year as part of a $2.5 million investment to help nine municipalities in Southwestern Ontario with emergency preparedness, Norfolk County will receive $280,000 and Haldimand County will receive $260,000.

“This funding is important for municipalities to deal with the cost associated with these legacy wells that weren’t plugged properly decades ago,” said Haldimand-Norfolk MPP Bobbi Ann Brady. “It’s important to have a strategy to deal with the thousands of wells so another situation like Wheatley doesn’t occur. This funding is a step in that direction.”

This year’s investment will also allocate a portion of funding to support collaborative projects and partnerships between municipalities that pursue research, public education and outreach campaigns.

As we enter this next chapter of our action plan to tackle the challenges related to legacy oil and gas wells, I am pleased to see how municipalities are finding new and innovative ways to address risks and enhance local emergency planning”, said Graydon Smith, Minister of Natural Resources. “We understand the significance of this issue in Norfolk County and across southwestern Ontario and that is why we are continuing to make investments to help keep communities safe.”

In 2023, the province provided the nine municipalities with close to $2 million to purchase emergency response equipment, enhance municipal staff health and safety training and increase public education and awareness.

Norfolk County used last year’s funding to purchase gas monitoring and additional health and safety equipment, provide health and safety training to staff and develop an education campaign for residents. In Haldimand County, last year’s funding was used to provide health and safety training for staff, update the Emergency Response Plan to include legacy oil and gas wells and purchase gas monitoring and emergency response equipment.

The Ontario government will continue to work alongside municipal partners and actively seek their input to ensure future funding remains adaptable to the needs of communities.


  • This year’s funding is part of a three-year, $7.5 million investment to help communities enhance emergency preparedness and is the next step in the government’s $23.6 million action plan to help protect communities from petroleum-related emergencies.
  • Ontario has records for approximately 27,000 oil and gas wells, primarily on private land in southwestern Ontario.
  • The greatest need for funding is predominantly in rural municipalities in southwestern Ontario where local geology and naturally occurring petroleum resources can pose risks to public health and safety and the environment.
  • The Ministry of Natural Resources administers the Abandoned Works Program, which provides financial assistance to eligible landowners to support the plugging of oil and gas wells that are a high risk to public safety or the natural environment. To date, the province has invested $33 million to plug 440 wells across Ontario.


For more information, contact MPP Bobbi Ann Brady at 519-428-4628