McNeil and Liberals Need to Cool Relationship with Hydro-Quebec

February 26, 2013

(Halifax, N.S.) NDP MLA Mat Whynott said today Liberal Leader Stephen McNeil’s increasingly cozy relationship with energy giant Hydro-Quebec poses a danger for Nova Scotians. Whynott highlighted that the Liberal energy plan lists Hydro-Quebec as their only option to replace coal in the province and makes no mention of the made in Atlantic Canada solution offered by the Maritime Link. 1


“The Liberal energy plan only mentions importing energy from Hydro-Quebec. Meanwhile, they’ve become vocal opponents of the Maritime Link,” said Whynott.


Studies have shown Muskrat Falls to be the lowest cost option for stable rates for Nova Scotians – $400 million cheaper than importing from Hydro-Quebec. Whynott also said Hydro-Quebec doesn’t offer the reliable source of power Nova Scotians need considering Hydro-Quebec had to turn its own lights off this winter due to record high energy demands. 2


“Hydro-Quebec is the fourth largest utility company in the world. It will take Stephen McNeil to the cleaners and Nova Scotians will end up paying for it on their power bills. It’s time McNeil and the Liberals wake up and realize that Hydro-Quebec is not in this game for Nova Scotia,” said Whynott.


The last Liberal Leader who tried to strike a deal with Hydro-Quebec was former New Brunswick Premier Shawn Graham. Newfoundlanders found out the cost of trusting Hydro-Quebec the hard way. Former Premier Danny Williams said that in 2008 alone, Hydro-Quebec made $1.7 billion off Newfoundland’s energy and Newfoundlanders made just $63 million. That deal, which runs until 2041, was signed by a Liberal government in Newfoundland in 1969.3


“Our plan provides for competition by having an energy mix that includes energy from the Maritime Link and the opportunity to buy from Hydro-Quebec if they offer competitive rates,” said Whynott.


“McNeil and his Liberals need to slow down their obsession with Hydro-Quebec or Nova Scotians are going to be the ones paying the price. Making this province captive to Hydro-Quebec is a really bad idea.”