N.L., N.S. seeking $375M for link

Rob Antle
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Application to P3 Canada Fund submitted in June

Newfoundland and Labrador and Nova Scotia are seeking $375 million in federal aid to run a transmission line between the two provinces.

Ed Martin

The link would transmit potential Lower Churchill power across the Gulf.

“We’re looking for a direct cash grant, but there (are) other options in that plan,” Nalcor Energy CEO Ed Martin said in an interview.

The P3 Canada Fund provides federal cash for infrastructure built through public-private partnerships.

The two provinces submitted their proposal in the second round of P3 applications, which closed

in June. Nalcor, Newfoundland and Labrador’s government-owned en-ergy corporation, is the contact for the joint proposal.

The private-sector participant has yet to be determined.

“We don’t know yet, because we would bid (the work),” Martin noted.

“You’d scope it out, you’d put out a scope of work, and you’d bid it to the private sector.”

The approach is in accordance with the fund’s rules, he said.

“It’s required, in essence — that’s the way you do it.”

Under P3 funding rules, the feds will cover up to 25 per cent of eligible project costs.

The Gulf link would not proceed unless the Lower Churchill hydro megaproject is given the green light.

“We’re looking for a direct cash grant, but there (are) other options in that plan,” Nalcor Energy CEO Ed Martin

Quebec raised the ire of both Atlantic provinces when it voiced objections to the project being considered for federal cash.

Earlier this month, Premier Danny Williams called those objections “disgusting.”

Meanwhile, Nova Scotia Premier Darrell Dexter urged Quebec officials to mind their own business.

“For them to try and stand in the way of something that would be of great benefit to our region, I think, defeats the very reason for our existence as a federated country,” Dexter told reporters in Halifax Aug. 16.

Last week, Prime Minister Stephen Harper sidestepped questions about the dispute.

“There’s a program at the conceptual stage, so talking about that is purely hypothetical,” Harper said in Lunenburg, N.S.

“If any province comes forward with a clean energy project, that would be evaluated purely on its merit.”


Organizations: Canada Fund

Geographic location: Quebec, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia Halifax Lunenburg

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Recent comments

  • Greg
    August 25, 2010 - 11:00

    Dear Nova Scotia: Approach any deal with the Danny Williams government with caution. They tend to miss the big details in legal matters and expect others to bail them out when they get caught with their pants down. Sincerely, The Government of Canada

    • Jan
      August 26, 2010 - 13:44

      Nova Scotia only wish they had a Danny Williams. Joey Smallwood is over, he did good and bad in his time but the year now is 2010.

    • Fred
      September 12, 2010 - 15:23

      That is a very sad and unfortunate point of view Mr. Sincerely, Gov of Canada. Too bad that 2 provinces trying to work together to promote a very green project is seen as a bad thing by you!! Time to wake up and become more positive in life.

  • John
    August 25, 2010 - 09:58

    This all started back in the late 50's/early 60's when Joey didn't push Pearson to grant us a power right of way through Quebec. It was further excaberated by Joey's signing of a bad jeal and then the extension of a contract that was 25 yrs into the future. Back then, even the Man above would have had a hard time knowing what would happen 25 yrs down the road. The worst was that HQ had at least 1 of their board on the board of BRINCO? when these discussions were being held about the financing and the poor state that the company was in. Talk about the fox in the hen-house.

  • winston
    August 25, 2010 - 08:20

    The Quebec position on the financial aid is discusting. This discusting is in addition to the discusting associated with Quebec not allowing an energy corredor through its province to permit transmission of power to the upper US states. I think NL should leave confederation and join the US and see how quickly the Lower Churchill would be developed. For the federal Govt. to allow Quebec to flex its muscles in this fashion is dishonorable. I'm certain that if it were the other way around, the fed. position would be different. It ticks me every time I have to turn a can or flip a box to get to the English instructions on the other side.

  • Eugene from Town
    August 25, 2010 - 07:23

    PPPs have been suspected as the nail in coffin of public control of everything from transportation systems to water utilities (look to Latin America for this scenario gone mad). I've suspected the formation of Nalcor (at a steep infrastructural cost) would be the WIlliams administration's attempt to do what Clyde Wells couldn't do, privatize Newfoundland Hydro (and by extension future hydro development). The philosophical bent of Ed Martin is little different than the executives of corporations, much like Danny Williams, how long before N&L is junior partner in all of this and the "wisdom of the market" takes over.

  • kent
    August 25, 2010 - 06:56

    We'd probably have an easier time getting this $375 million if the federal government didn't have to pony up $130 mill for the Abitibi fiasco.