Hydro-Quebec deadline passes

Rob Antle
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Energy/Politics Decision coming on Upper Churchill action by CF(L)Co

Nalcor Energy president Ed Martin says he expects to make a decision next week on how to proceed with a request to renegotiate the Upper Churchill power contract.

In late November, Martin held a news conference announcing he had legal opinions from "eminent" Quebec lawyers saying the Quebec Civil Code could provide an opening to revisit the disastrous deal.

Nalcor Energy president Ed Martin says he expects to make a decision next week on how to proceed with a request to renegotiate the Upper Churchill power contract.

In late November, Martin held a news conference announcing he had legal opinions from "eminent" Quebec lawyers saying the Quebec Civil Code could provide an opening to revisit the disastrous deal.

Martin said changes to Quebec law in 1994 impose obligations for "good faith" in all legal relationships, including contracts.

Nalcor - the province's Crown-owned energy corporation - owns roughly two-thirds of Churchill Falls (Labrador) Corp., which operates the Upper Churchill power plant.

Under the terms of the 1969 power deal - which runs until 2041 - Hydro-Quebec buys Upper Churchill power from CF(L)Co for rock-bottom prices.

Martin sent a letter to Hydro-Quebec president Thierry Vandal on Nov. 30, asking him to renegotiate pricing terms for the remainder of the agreement.

He asked for a response by Jan. 15 - yesterday.

As of Thursday, Martin had yet to receive a reply.

"I've heard nothing yet," he told The Telegram.

And as of Friday afternoon, that hadn't changed. Nalcor officials said they still had yet to hear anything back from Hydro-Quebec.

In early December, Quebec's deputy premier flatly rejected any renegotiation.

Martin would not be drawn into a discussion of what will happen next.

"Frankly, I'm going to have to make a decision early next week, and I'm not going to say anything else until then, but I won't be sitting on it," Martin said.

"Whatever I'm going to do, I will be letting people know."

rantle@thetelegram.com

Organizations: Hydro-Quebec, The Telegram

Geographic location: Quebec

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Recent comments

  • Stop the Racket
    July 02, 2010 - 13:31

    Martin cant say any more until Danny tells him what he should say. No big surprise there. After all he is only a mouth piece for Danny anyway. Put yourself in Quebecs position and if all your heard was bashing and name calling from Danny Williams would you want to deal with that man? Not bloody likely. As usual with ole Danny the mouth and brain are rarely working together and lately it shows more and more.

  • jason
    July 02, 2010 - 13:27

    conspiracies? just following the money trail tom. that's all.

    conspiracies? get out of the sixties man, we can all see what the americans have done all over the world. indonesia, south america, central america, germany, japan etc etc.

    next you'll be saying i'm against the seal hunt. that shtick is getting old. nobody is listening...

    our energy resources are just another piece of the bigger puzzle for what the US will soon deem as 'security threats'. if you can't see the progression, maybe its time for your afternoon nap, and some tea 'n' biscuits.

    har har har! conspiracies! you should go back to the fox television network now, they've got another story for you to believe. the rest of us'll keep on telling the truth, at least until they make us stop.

    the truth here is the money for da byes in suits in st. john's is tied up in the contracts, Graham alluded to it once but it never got any coverage. wonder why that is?

    the truth hurts my friend, the truth hurts.

  • dogloc
    July 02, 2010 - 13:17

    There is no reason the 2 provinces can't sit & discuss this unfair contract that the federals government at the time forced Nfld to sign by not supporting Nfld. One billion profit for Que. & 63 million for Nfld do not look like a fair deal, no matter which side you take. The federal government must get envoled in developing an east-west hydro grid to open the way to sell power to ontario & create competion which will cause fairer prices for all.

  • jason
    July 02, 2010 - 13:15

    trying to 'get er done' eh?

    wonder what they're hiding from us with those books tied up?

    hope we can reverse whatever it is before nafta (aka the americans who have no water or energy of their own because they flushed it down the rivers along with all their soil) engages on what's left around here.

    since nalcor has the lakes, rivers, trees and bogs (affectionately termed biomass along with the fishes in the sea) under their thumb now will our air be next, or is it already tied up?

    nafta is about to engage on ALL our remaining natural resources. nafo just got a firmer grip on our marine environment. when will what makes economic sense fail to convince people of what makes sense??!!

    when will people wake up and see what's going on??!!

  • Gen X
    July 02, 2010 - 13:14

    Typical... Blame our government for trying to right an infamous wrong from the past. Shouldn't most of you and your outdated way of thinking be in an old-age home somehwere? I fully support anything that the Williams government is willing to do that is a benefit to all Newfoundlanders. And perhaps you should consider that when you're on old age pension with my generation and those to come supporting you.

  • TaxWatch
    July 02, 2010 - 13:13

    That letter from Williams & Co really scarred them, didn't it ? I suppose the Minister of Natural Resources for Quebec is still laughing at it.

  • Taxpayer ll
    July 02, 2010 - 13:12

    Hey Jason...there must me a conspiracy afoot. Yes, the premier and Mr. Martin are actually evil doers out to take over the world. Danny is building an underground bunker where he and his buddies can hide out while the rest of us are left outside. We must get this information out to the public before it's too late...but how?

  • don
    July 02, 2010 - 13:11

    As was the case when he was a practicing lawyer, threatening letters and threatening rhetoric were Dictator Danny's preferred course of action. Clearly,Quebec-Hydro is not intimidated by Dictator Danny and his cronies. From Quebec-Hydro's point of view, a contract is a contract. In 1969 the Province of Newfoundland agreed to the content of the Upper Churchill contract and should quit whining and abide by the terms of the contract until it expires in 2041. Newfoundland's Premier Joey Smallwood was over 21, not under duress and of sound mind when he agreed to the terms of the contract or was he? Dictator Danny and his cronies are just wasting their time, Hydro-Quebec will NEVER voluntarily re-open the Upper Churchill contract. Any lawsuit filed by Newfoundland against Quebec-Hydro won't be resolved until 2041 anyway! Good luck with this one Danny boy!

  • Stop the Racket
    July 01, 2010 - 20:20

    Martin cant say any more until Danny tells him what he should say. No big surprise there. After all he is only a mouth piece for Danny anyway. Put yourself in Quebecs position and if all your heard was bashing and name calling from Danny Williams would you want to deal with that man? Not bloody likely. As usual with ole Danny the mouth and brain are rarely working together and lately it shows more and more.

  • jason
    July 01, 2010 - 20:15

    conspiracies? just following the money trail tom. that's all.

    conspiracies? get out of the sixties man, we can all see what the americans have done all over the world. indonesia, south america, central america, germany, japan etc etc.

    next you'll be saying i'm against the seal hunt. that shtick is getting old. nobody is listening...

    our energy resources are just another piece of the bigger puzzle for what the US will soon deem as 'security threats'. if you can't see the progression, maybe its time for your afternoon nap, and some tea 'n' biscuits.

    har har har! conspiracies! you should go back to the fox television network now, they've got another story for you to believe. the rest of us'll keep on telling the truth, at least until they make us stop.

    the truth here is the money for da byes in suits in st. john's is tied up in the contracts, Graham alluded to it once but it never got any coverage. wonder why that is?

    the truth hurts my friend, the truth hurts.

  • dogloc
    July 01, 2010 - 19:59

    There is no reason the 2 provinces can't sit & discuss this unfair contract that the federals government at the time forced Nfld to sign by not supporting Nfld. One billion profit for Que. & 63 million for Nfld do not look like a fair deal, no matter which side you take. The federal government must get envoled in developing an east-west hydro grid to open the way to sell power to ontario & create competion which will cause fairer prices for all.

  • jason
    July 01, 2010 - 19:55

    trying to 'get er done' eh?

    wonder what they're hiding from us with those books tied up?

    hope we can reverse whatever it is before nafta (aka the americans who have no water or energy of their own because they flushed it down the rivers along with all their soil) engages on what's left around here.

    since nalcor has the lakes, rivers, trees and bogs (affectionately termed biomass along with the fishes in the sea) under their thumb now will our air be next, or is it already tied up?

    nafta is about to engage on ALL our remaining natural resources. nafo just got a firmer grip on our marine environment. when will what makes economic sense fail to convince people of what makes sense??!!

    when will people wake up and see what's going on??!!

  • Gen X
    July 01, 2010 - 19:52

    Typical... Blame our government for trying to right an infamous wrong from the past. Shouldn't most of you and your outdated way of thinking be in an old-age home somehwere? I fully support anything that the Williams government is willing to do that is a benefit to all Newfoundlanders. And perhaps you should consider that when you're on old age pension with my generation and those to come supporting you.

  • TaxWatch
    July 01, 2010 - 19:51

    That letter from Williams & Co really scarred them, didn't it ? I suppose the Minister of Natural Resources for Quebec is still laughing at it.

  • Taxpayer ll
    July 01, 2010 - 19:50

    Hey Jason...there must me a conspiracy afoot. Yes, the premier and Mr. Martin are actually evil doers out to take over the world. Danny is building an underground bunker where he and his buddies can hide out while the rest of us are left outside. We must get this information out to the public before it's too late...but how?

  • don
    July 01, 2010 - 19:47

    As was the case when he was a practicing lawyer, threatening letters and threatening rhetoric were Dictator Danny's preferred course of action. Clearly,Quebec-Hydro is not intimidated by Dictator Danny and his cronies. From Quebec-Hydro's point of view, a contract is a contract. In 1969 the Province of Newfoundland agreed to the content of the Upper Churchill contract and should quit whining and abide by the terms of the contract until it expires in 2041. Newfoundland's Premier Joey Smallwood was over 21, not under duress and of sound mind when he agreed to the terms of the contract or was he? Dictator Danny and his cronies are just wasting their time, Hydro-Quebec will NEVER voluntarily re-open the Upper Churchill contract. Any lawsuit filed by Newfoundland against Quebec-Hydro won't be resolved until 2041 anyway! Good luck with this one Danny boy!