Nalcor appealing to regie

Moira Baird
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Quebec regulator the first avenue of appeal for access to power grid

Nalcor Energy is taking the first step in appealing the Quebec energy regulator's dismissal of its complaints against Hydro-Quebec's transmission arm.

Ed Martin, president and CEO of Nalcor, expects to file the appeal today or Friday with the Regie de l'energie.

Ed Martin, president and chief executive officer of Newfoundland and Labrador Corp. Nalcor Energy addresses its annual general meeting at the Holiday Inn Wednesday afternoon. Nalcor Energy was formerly known as Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro. Photo by

Nalcor Energy is taking the first step in appealing the Quebec energy regulator's dismissal of its complaints against Hydro-Quebec's transmission arm.

Ed Martin, president and CEO of Nalcor, expects to file the appeal today or Friday with the Regie de l'energie.

Nalcor had asked the Regie to intervene in its dispute with Hydro-Quebec TransEnergie - allowing it to wheel Lower Churchill power over Quebec's transmission grid to the United States and the rest of Canada. Last month, the regulator rejected that request.

Now, Nalcor will ask the regulator to conduct an administrative review of its May 11 decision - the first step in the appeals process.

Martin made the announcement Wednesday afternoon during Nalcor's annual meeting in St. John's.

"You prepare all the reasons that you think the regie made rulings that either are not based in legal fact or had missed some key points," he told reporters following the meeting.

"You summarize those and you go back and ask the regie to reconsider the decision in that light.

"The reconsideration will be heard by others than those who were on the initial panel."

A Nalcor spokesperson said there is no set timeline for the regulator to complete such a review, but the company is anticipating a decision sometime this fall.

If the administrative review fails, Nalcor's next avenue of appeal is the Quebec Superior Court.

"And following that, naturally, you're looking at the Supreme Court of Canada," Martin said.

"We are also putting plans together and are doing work with our U.S. counsel to see what is the best path to take with respect to any type of FERC or Department of Energy appeals in the United States, and that work is ongoing."

FERC is the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which licenses the sale of power in the U.S.

Meanwhile, Nalcor continues to work on the proposed Lower Churchill project.

Martin said there's a lot of work still to be done - environmental, site survey work, engineering, seabed surveys for subsea lines, cost estimates for undersea transmission, towers and generation.

The company also continues to study its transmission options and will present them to the province.

Martin wasn't providing a deadline for when a decision could be made on moving ahead with the Lower Churchill project.

"Timewise, we won't be pinned down to a date.

"We're very excited about which direction we're heading, but we won't make our move or our recommendations until I have the data on the table that I promised to the province to be able to make that decision."

Annual meeting

About 65 people, including company directors, unionized hydro employees, government officials and business people, attended Nalcor's annual meeting.

Martin took questions from those in attendance.

The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), Local 1615, which represents workers at Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro, had a question for him.

Contract negotiations underway ... Continued from page D1

The union and the company are in the midst of contract negotiations.

"Negotiations are not going too well," said Bob Clarke, IBEW business manager.

"Government has set a template with all other unions in government of the 8-4-4 (per cent).

"Is that template on the table for Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro workers?"

Martin said the company prefers to negotiate at the bargaining table.

"I'm not going to answer that question directly because I believe that rests with respect to what's happening in negotiations."

Martin said Nalcor has compared Hydro with other Atlantic Canadian utilities and will share its findings with the union.

"We've got to sit at the table and at least understand the data together, and at the table we'll have to take that question ... but we are committed to sharing the information and taking it to the next step."

The union has previously said Hydro workers are paid $3-$4 per hour less than their counterparts at other utilities in Atlantic Canada.

Nalcor officials also discussed the energy company's annual financial report released last month.

The company reported revenues of $562 million for last year - down slightly from $563 million in 2008.

Net income totalled $60 million last year - down 27 per cent from net income of $82 million in 2008.

mbaird@thetelegram.com

Organizations: Hydro-Quebec, Regie de l'energie, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Quebec Superior Court Supreme Court of Canada Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro Department of Energy

Geographic location: Quebec, United States, Atlantic Canada St. John's

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Recent comments

  • Darrell
    July 02, 2010 - 13:35

    This was a statement made by the so called far people of Quebec that you all think are doing nothing wrong.This says it all the h%ll with Newfoundland and all that we are trying to do for ourselves. According to the Montreal Gazette, Nathalie Normandeau said she didn't think it necessary to add anything. She said, It's always the same with Newfoundland. CTV reports that Bloc Québécois leader Gilles Duceppe called Williams a bad loser, and that Quebec is doing what is in its right to do.

  • Jimmy Mac
    July 02, 2010 - 13:34

    This entire issue tugs at the heart of most all N&L's. I for one do not put one iota of faith in any Quebec regulatory body to give anyone outside their own borders a fair shake on anything. I implore our provincial government to go the NL-NS-NB route if technically possible for the Lower Churchill and avoid dealing with the parasites in Quebec. I feel so passionately about this that I would even contribute my personal labor to help build it for the future of our province.

  • Jeff
    July 02, 2010 - 13:33

    Of course it's a waste of time and money. Even if Nalcor's argument has merit, after Danny went off on Quebec yesterday, and the multiple times prior, why would anyone expect a decision in NL's favour. It's like kicking a hive of bees and then trying to get their honey.

  • Stop The Racket
    July 02, 2010 - 13:30

    Jerome Kennedy was all over the media this morning praising Danny for his Quebec rant saying he was proud to be a Newfoundlander. WellMr Kennedy as Minister of Health in our province are you proud that we have per capita the WORST Health Care syatem in the Country. Funny My Kennedy your proud of Dannys childish behaviour yet you dont want to talk about the mess you and the Williams Administration has made of Health Care. As usual your solution is to toss more money at an allready growing problem hoping it will go away. ITs not HOW MUCH money you spend Jerome its HOW YOU SPEND the money. Then again as a lawyer you know all about useing people to get as much money as you can out of them just like Ambulance Chaser Williams use to do. Tell us Jerome how proud you are that it took so long to get everything in place with regard to a medical flight out of Labrador. Was that Quebecs fault as well Jerome?

  • John
    July 02, 2010 - 13:29

    Just imagine where we would all be if we had Don's attitude. Let's crawl under a rock and hide. Let's never do anything to better our lot, to try, to attempt. Don must be a liberal, that's how they do it. They go cap in hand, begging Quebec, or uncle ottawa for another handout, and if we don't get it we say...'tank you sir, we'll be good now sir. Don b'y, thanks to Mr. Williams those days are over. We won't be crawling back under that rock you want us to any time soon. Let's exhaust every avenue, spend all available money, tie up every court room, talk to as many who will listen. This is about the future of this province Don, our kids and grandkids. You are thinking small, like a smallminded liberal. Thinking like lets give it all away for a few jobs, those days are over Don. Mr. Williams is trying to achieve something longterm here, something the liberals don't have a clue about accomplishing.

  • don
    July 02, 2010 - 13:26

    Waste of time, effort and money. Give it up!

  • Brett
    July 02, 2010 - 13:26

    I do wonder at the end of it all if the benefit will be worth the cost & effort over the years.

    31 more years... Think of 31 more years of lawyer fees. At least we're making Quebec Hydro waste money on their defense.

    Maybe we should sell upper churchill falls to another crown corp. Let that go bankrupt, let hydro quebec take over the falls - then expropriate them back to NL.

  • Graham
    July 02, 2010 - 13:25

    After Dannys Quebec bashing yesterday in Toronto any hope we may have had of reaching a deal with Quebec just vanished, My opinion is that Danny dosent want to sit down and negotiate with anyone it all has to be his way or no way. The spoiled child named Danny Williams is at it again being his arrogant self centred ego maniac that he is. I bet its time for another poll asking if you agree with Dannys bashing of everything Quebec and most likely the majority will agree and that gets turned into lokk at me how great I am. Heres a novel idea Danny Boy...Try talking with the Quebec Premier and Quebec Hydro its called working out your differences Danny. Somewhere some day someone will have to meet with Quebec face to face and work out a deal and quite frankly your childish behaviour isnt in any way helping to make that happen any time soon. It does however make good bait for the next Provincial election. Instead of next year being able to say we have been working through our differences with Quebec and there is hope of reaching an agreement suitable to both provinces, all we will here is how big bad Quebec hates us and Danny the defender of everything that is good will be there to save us. All hail the King. The cool-aid is dark blue and is just as addictive as ever. Cheers

  • W
    July 02, 2010 - 13:16

    ''John Smith'' writes: ''They go cap in hand, begging Quebec, or uncle ottawa for another handout''.


    You mean, John Smith, like Danny Williams, who by Minister Blunderdale's own admission spent five years trying to get Hydro-Quebec to take an equity stake in the imaginary Lower Churchill project? Or like Danny Williams writing letters to Santa Claus on the Rideau, looking for a loan guarantee for the imaginary Lower Churchill project? Or like Danny Williams, in the same letter, looking for massive federal subsidies to build the imaginary transmission lines with? Or like Danny Williams, feebly using Gros Morne National Park as a pawn to extort more federal cash to ''compensate'' for having to build a shorter transmission line than the longer route through the park itself?

    Begging for handouts, indeed, ''John Smith''.

  • Shannon
    July 02, 2010 - 13:08

    I am personally so sick of NL nationalism being manipulated for these futile political aims and for personal popularity of God-like proportions here. Remember, there's an election next year and clearly becoming Captain Newfoundland yet again is Williams way of keeping his stranglehold on to his totally skewed support numbers. That, coupled with the virtually nonexistent elected opposition and people's general fear/intimidation to speak out (using their real names), is why the status quo remains. The Regie is in no way going to rule in our favour, so as I said above, STOP WASTING TAXPAYERS' MONEY. As if we can afford it, with that expropriated mill and all.

  • Shannon
    July 02, 2010 - 13:08

    STOP WASTING TAXPAYERS' MONEY.

  • Darrell
    July 01, 2010 - 20:25

    This was a statement made by the so called far people of Quebec that you all think are doing nothing wrong.This says it all the h%ll with Newfoundland and all that we are trying to do for ourselves. According to the Montreal Gazette, Nathalie Normandeau said she didn't think it necessary to add anything. She said, It's always the same with Newfoundland. CTV reports that Bloc Québécois leader Gilles Duceppe called Williams a bad loser, and that Quebec is doing what is in its right to do.

  • Jimmy Mac
    July 01, 2010 - 20:23

    This entire issue tugs at the heart of most all N&L's. I for one do not put one iota of faith in any Quebec regulatory body to give anyone outside their own borders a fair shake on anything. I implore our provincial government to go the NL-NS-NB route if technically possible for the Lower Churchill and avoid dealing with the parasites in Quebec. I feel so passionately about this that I would even contribute my personal labor to help build it for the future of our province.

  • Jeff
    July 01, 2010 - 20:22

    Of course it's a waste of time and money. Even if Nalcor's argument has merit, after Danny went off on Quebec yesterday, and the multiple times prior, why would anyone expect a decision in NL's favour. It's like kicking a hive of bees and then trying to get their honey.

  • Stop The Racket
    July 01, 2010 - 20:17

    Jerome Kennedy was all over the media this morning praising Danny for his Quebec rant saying he was proud to be a Newfoundlander. WellMr Kennedy as Minister of Health in our province are you proud that we have per capita the WORST Health Care syatem in the Country. Funny My Kennedy your proud of Dannys childish behaviour yet you dont want to talk about the mess you and the Williams Administration has made of Health Care. As usual your solution is to toss more money at an allready growing problem hoping it will go away. ITs not HOW MUCH money you spend Jerome its HOW YOU SPEND the money. Then again as a lawyer you know all about useing people to get as much money as you can out of them just like Ambulance Chaser Williams use to do. Tell us Jerome how proud you are that it took so long to get everything in place with regard to a medical flight out of Labrador. Was that Quebecs fault as well Jerome?

  • John
    July 01, 2010 - 20:16

    Just imagine where we would all be if we had Don's attitude. Let's crawl under a rock and hide. Let's never do anything to better our lot, to try, to attempt. Don must be a liberal, that's how they do it. They go cap in hand, begging Quebec, or uncle ottawa for another handout, and if we don't get it we say...'tank you sir, we'll be good now sir. Don b'y, thanks to Mr. Williams those days are over. We won't be crawling back under that rock you want us to any time soon. Let's exhaust every avenue, spend all available money, tie up every court room, talk to as many who will listen. This is about the future of this province Don, our kids and grandkids. You are thinking small, like a smallminded liberal. Thinking like lets give it all away for a few jobs, those days are over Don. Mr. Williams is trying to achieve something longterm here, something the liberals don't have a clue about accomplishing.

  • don
    July 01, 2010 - 20:13

    Waste of time, effort and money. Give it up!

  • Brett
    July 01, 2010 - 20:13

    I do wonder at the end of it all if the benefit will be worth the cost & effort over the years.

    31 more years... Think of 31 more years of lawyer fees. At least we're making Quebec Hydro waste money on their defense.

    Maybe we should sell upper churchill falls to another crown corp. Let that go bankrupt, let hydro quebec take over the falls - then expropriate them back to NL.

  • Graham
    July 01, 2010 - 20:11

    After Dannys Quebec bashing yesterday in Toronto any hope we may have had of reaching a deal with Quebec just vanished, My opinion is that Danny dosent want to sit down and negotiate with anyone it all has to be his way or no way. The spoiled child named Danny Williams is at it again being his arrogant self centred ego maniac that he is. I bet its time for another poll asking if you agree with Dannys bashing of everything Quebec and most likely the majority will agree and that gets turned into lokk at me how great I am. Heres a novel idea Danny Boy...Try talking with the Quebec Premier and Quebec Hydro its called working out your differences Danny. Somewhere some day someone will have to meet with Quebec face to face and work out a deal and quite frankly your childish behaviour isnt in any way helping to make that happen any time soon. It does however make good bait for the next Provincial election. Instead of next year being able to say we have been working through our differences with Quebec and there is hope of reaching an agreement suitable to both provinces, all we will here is how big bad Quebec hates us and Danny the defender of everything that is good will be there to save us. All hail the King. The cool-aid is dark blue and is just as addictive as ever. Cheers

  • W
    July 01, 2010 - 19:56

    ''John Smith'' writes: ''They go cap in hand, begging Quebec, or uncle ottawa for another handout''.


    You mean, John Smith, like Danny Williams, who by Minister Blunderdale's own admission spent five years trying to get Hydro-Quebec to take an equity stake in the imaginary Lower Churchill project? Or like Danny Williams writing letters to Santa Claus on the Rideau, looking for a loan guarantee for the imaginary Lower Churchill project? Or like Danny Williams, in the same letter, looking for massive federal subsidies to build the imaginary transmission lines with? Or like Danny Williams, feebly using Gros Morne National Park as a pawn to extort more federal cash to ''compensate'' for having to build a shorter transmission line than the longer route through the park itself?

    Begging for handouts, indeed, ''John Smith''.

  • Shannon
    July 01, 2010 - 19:43

    I am personally so sick of NL nationalism being manipulated for these futile political aims and for personal popularity of God-like proportions here. Remember, there's an election next year and clearly becoming Captain Newfoundland yet again is Williams way of keeping his stranglehold on to his totally skewed support numbers. That, coupled with the virtually nonexistent elected opposition and people's general fear/intimidation to speak out (using their real names), is why the status quo remains. The Regie is in no way going to rule in our favour, so as I said above, STOP WASTING TAXPAYERS' MONEY. As if we can afford it, with that expropriated mill and all.

  • Shannon
    July 01, 2010 - 19:43

    STOP WASTING TAXPAYERS' MONEY.