Pulling the plug - Macleans.ca

Pulling the plug

New Brunswick bails on deal to sell energy assets to Hydro-Québec


Hydro-Québec is officially out of New Brunswick. After several months of difficult negotiations that saw New Brunswick Premier Shawn Graham take a political beating from his constituents, the $3.2 billion deal that would have seen the Quebec powerhouse control the lion’s share of New Brunswick’s energy assets is off the table. Though he at first endorsed the deal, Graham now says the changes Hydro sought in the deal were “unacceptable.” Incidentally or not, New Brunswickers head to the polls in September.

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Pulling the plug

  1. Prediction: Graham resigns before May 1st,

  2. What's so bad about NB not selling to Québec? They want to be sovereign, no problem with that! It was a bad deal to begin with.

  3. Hold on for the celebratory champaign!

    According to Montreal's La Presse, Jean Charest alluded to a huge public safety risk with one of the dams. "le premier ministre Charest a indiqué qu'après vérification, Hydro-Québec s'était rendu compte qu'un barrage présentait des risques touchant la sécurité publique." http://bit.ly/info/aHuSvV

    Whether you like them or not, HQ's engineers are among the best in the world in the field of hydroelectricity. If they're talking about "public safety risks", I would carefully listen to what they say.

    • Right, so for all the people who are happy that NB gets to keep their system – be prepared for the huge cost of fixing this dam. I say they should have signed the deal immediately to get these troublesome and expensive to repair assets off their hands.

      • Everyone seems to forget this was a way to reduce costs. I quite frankly don't care who creates my power as long as the lights stay on.

    • The Mactaquac Dam (largest in NB by far at 672 MW, but not nearly as large as some in the N. Quebec/Labrador) was built in the late 60's and has been undergoing annual maintenance since 1993 to alleviate the effects of expansion in the concrete. Hundreds of kerfs have been cut in the dam with a diamond saw that immediately close as soon as the saw is removed from the cut. Whether it fails or has to be removed (leaving all the surrounding homeowners either underwater or no longer waterfront, depending if you're up or down river) there will be hell to pay.

      As an NB resident, I am glad the deal didn't go through and will be glad to see Shawn either resign, or lose horribly in the fall.

  4. This was a crap deal from the start. New Brunswickers were furious with their government. Quebec was greedy and wanted too much, for too little.

    This is a great development and the people of NB have finally been listened to.

  5. What well-deserved loss of face for pompous Jean Charest!