Hydro-Quebec files court case aimed at Churchill, Muskrat Falls

James McLeod
Send to a friend

Send this article to a friend.

Hydro Quebec made a filing in Quebec Superior Court Monday asking for a declaration from the court about its rights respecting the Churchill Falls contract.

In a news release, Hydro-Quebec objected to two recent positions taken by the company that runs Churchill Falls jointly for Nalcor and Hydro Quebec, calling them “ill founded.”

While the news release does not specifically mention Muskrat Falls, it appears to be aimed at the water management plan and the joint management agreement that allows the new develop to proceed lower down the river.

In the release, Hydro-Quebec asserts that it has “the exclusive right to purchase virtually all of the power and energy produced by Churchill Falls Generating Station until August 31, 2041,” and “the right to benefit from operational flexibility.”

The current plan to essentially operate the Churchill Falls and Muskrat Falls developments on an integrated basis has been the plan for several years, and Hydro-Quebec has not publicly objected before now, but a group of lawyers in the province have previously warned that this is a possibility.

In the release, Hydro-Quebec said that CFLCo has also been selling more power to Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro than it is allowed to under the original 1969 power contract.

The Canada Newswire release can be read HERE.

Organizations: Hydro-Quebec, Churchill, Quebec Superior Court Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Thanks for voting!

Top of page



Recent comments

  • Howard Hewitt
    July 24, 2013 - 17:10

    Hi NLers, Remember the snow job Danny and his buddy McDonald at Nalcor did on Roger Grimes over both the Lower Churchill and Voisey Bay. Voisey Bay turned out pretty good for NL and we will see if the wheels Danny and his Nalcor buddies put in motion on Churchill/Muskrat Falls turns out. Dunderdale is just the fall gail. If we lose on this one, we have no one to blame but ourselves. With the benefit of history on the Upper Churchill, if we don't have our legal ducks in a row on this one, should we blame Hydro Quebec for looking after the rights of their people or should we blame our government and Nalcor for not protecting ours.

  • dogloc
    July 23, 2013 - 00:43

    Will Que. ever be a real part of Canada?I think not.Is there any justice for NL.? not from the federal governments we have had in the past 50 years.Its time to let Que go,then all contracts with the country of Que. will be broken,Canada will save billions in federal dole that goes to Que. each year.Canada will be poorer in area,but richer in every other way.

    • dupce
      July 23, 2013 - 15:36

      Québec has been part of Canada long before the Rock became part of Canada in 1949. The Rock remained a colony of GB un till 49. Read your Canadian History before making comments.

  • bill
    July 22, 2013 - 23:33

    Sounds like a BOHICA deal to me.....Bend Over Here It Comes Again.... Glad we are paying those clowns at Nalcor such hefty salaries......I'm sure that they have been planning for such a contingency, and have all their ducks in a row ready to counter-act.......Yeah Right!

  • Kev
    July 22, 2013 - 21:17

    There's an easy way to stop Quebec and Newfoundland from bickering over Labrador resources. Give control of them to Labrador people! Free Labrador!

  • Fred Penner
    July 22, 2013 - 20:50

    Better get some good lawyers.

  • Rob
    July 22, 2013 - 19:38

    All I know is that I hope I live long enough to see the "big switch" pulled when the current Churchill Falls contract expires. Given their greed I would not even consider any new negotiations as that expiration approaches and would make the bastards beg once a large portion of Quebec was in darkness for a while after that day comes. Maybe we should hold a lottery to pick a winner to pull the plug. I just hope I'm the winner and I have one breath left in me to give me the strength to flip them the bird as Quebec goes black.

  • Tony Rockel
    July 22, 2013 - 18:58

    So much for Dunderdale and Nalcor's "vision"--- this is just one more example of how poorly thought out the whole Muskrat fiasco obviously was. And SNC Lavalin, now banned from any more contracts with Hydro Quebec, is more desperate than ever to exploit that bunch of dummies in the confederation building. What a toxic stew Dunderdale and Nalcor have brewed for us! Not exactly a kitchen scoff!

  • lonenewfwolf
    July 22, 2013 - 18:19

    and here we have the other side of what was being negotiated in Quebec courts when Olgilvy Renault, Mulroney's Montreal-based law firm now owned by a giant british law firm (Norton Rose) sat down at the table with NALCOR, FORTIS, EMERA, the State of NY, Hydro-Quebec and pounded out this deal. Norton Rose also bought up MacLeod Dixon from Calgary. Getting interesting now.

  • lonenewfwolf
    July 22, 2013 - 18:13

    water rights? where else have we heard that discussed? star lake / abitibi fiasco and harpers payout of $130 million which may have sealed water rights for algonquin at rattle brook (algonquin being 'recently' purchased by our new-er overlords @ emera). brad has also been hammering on it. get ready for the free market(harhar-nudgenudge-winkwink) on NL's untapped renewable energy stores and fresh water people...this will end badly for our future generations.

  • Curtis
    July 22, 2013 - 17:54

    Quebec won't be screwing us over , The present and previous Premier have done a very good job of doing it for us as they were warned that Quebec may pursue their case for water rights but it fell on deaf ears and now I guess all Newfoundlanders will end up paying the price for it.

  • Curtis
    July 22, 2013 - 17:53

    Quebec won't be screwing us over , The present and previous Premier have done a very good job of doing it for us as they were warned that Quebec may pursue their case for water rights but it fell on deaf ears and now I guess all Newfoundlanders will end up paying the price for it.

  • Henriette Arsenault
    July 22, 2013 - 17:40

    I just read the above comments and I would like for the people from NL and QC to remember that it wasn't the people who screwed up in the Churchill Falls deal then and now but the government. Just imagine if NL came upon a good deal like what QC did, they would not turn it down but sign on the dotted line really fast so if any negative comments should be addressed it should be to the two governments not the taxpayers. NL got screwed years ago but who signed on the dotted line not you or me but the government. Being from QC and living in NL I can see both sides of the argument. I'm not taking sides but I truly believe that NL got the short end of the stick way back then so now till the contract is over, who will fight for NL?

  • White Eagle
    July 22, 2013 - 17:38

    Tell Pauline Poutine to take a hike. Lets see what Junior Trudeau and Tommy Boy Mulcaire have to say about this, then we will know if they speak for Canada or just Quebecistan. Time to separate and take ALL the oil and hydro.

  • jockoontherocko
    July 22, 2013 - 16:55

    This is what you get from Quebec. A slap in the face. Brad Cabana and Con Obrien are happy today. They fluked into predicting this. They're wringing their hands in glee and telling us they said so and that Quebec will help them quash the MF's deal. What strange bedfellows partisan politics create. Anyone who thinks Quebec is going to let NL have anything is fooling themselves and anyone who supports Quebec's bid to quash MF's is a best a political opportunist. Seems the no side is happy that Quebec is taking NL to court. Shame on anyone who supports this. NL will never amount to anything while Quebec is lording over us. For the first time in decades it seem we were going to go it on our own with regards to power. But hold on Quebec wants to stop that as well.

  • crista
    July 22, 2013 - 16:47

    And now that it is filed before the superior Court of Quebec it has to go before the Supreme Court of Canada????

  • This is Madness
    July 22, 2013 - 16:45

    Legal challenges to water rights, NS wanting power at US spot market rates as low as $0.003/kWh, North Spur landslide engineering issues, tremendous project costs, lack of need for the power within the province, failure to consider more viable options for energy security, higher taxpayer rates, massive provincial debt ... it just doesn't end. GovNL is either sociopathic, ignorant, corrupt or it is being blackmailed. Which is it? In any case, regime change is required.

  • Norman
    July 22, 2013 - 14:56

    Quebec is at it again - trying to screw us over. They have made a fortune taking our power for a pittance and reselling it for unbelievable profits. If this "Agreement" had been done fairly with a province with any shred of honesty and dignity , we would be reaping our fair share from Churchill Falls and this province would be a mini Alberta. The oil will come and go but Churchill Falls will always be there and the day will come when Quebec will pay dearly. As a baby boomer , I may never live to see it but hopefully my children will. Norman

    • owen McBride
      July 22, 2013 - 16:42

      Quebec is a welfare province. They've gotten transfer payments every year for the last 30 years of 5 billion. Transfer payments from Alberta. Screw Quebec they should build a dam around quebec and flood the hole province and make them pay for it. Because they'll never pay their true debt to the rest of Canada.

    • DFWM
      July 22, 2013 - 18:32

      The greed of Quebec is very believable. What goes around comes around. NL is no longer going to turn the other cheek and allow themselves to be screwed over. Give them hell NALCOR

    • Eli
      July 22, 2013 - 18:57

      Did it occur to you Norman that the Nalcor steamroller in NL was too self centered to see beyond the government protection it enjoyed here? There are monsters beyond our shores buddy.

  • Bruno Marcocchio
    July 22, 2013 - 14:54

    This news and paragraphs 435-438 in the UARB decision on the Maritime Link are very troubling for ratepayers. They state that water issues natural or legal in nature will not affect the block of NS power is guaranteed. If things go wrong like lower water levels from climate change or legal sanctions over a this dispute NL ratepayers must pay the costs!

  • Jack
    July 22, 2013 - 14:40

    Bonne chance, Quebec. You have control over Upper Churchill, but you're not going to take Muskrat Falls or other forms of power generated under our provincial jurisdiction anymore. Maybe we should take Quebec's Lower North Shore area away from them. Keep in mind that most residents in that area are related to us as they are descendants of Newfoundlanders and typically speak "Newfoundland English". Besides, the Marois Government continues to treat Lower North Shore area residents, whom are considered our own people due to Newfoundland roots, with contempt anyways as they keep promising to build a road connecting Kegashka to Blanc Sablon as part of Plan Nord, but ever since Nord Pous Tous or "North for all" replaced Plan Nord, there's no longer a commitment to build such highway.

    • dupce
      July 23, 2013 - 15:46

      The Lower Churchill is not worth anything. The price of producing Hydro Electricity will be so “HI” that no one will want to buy it, not even Newfoundlanders. Just think of it, Muskrat Fall will produces only 834MW, peanuts. Another BRINCO or Come By Chance project. How about a little Greenhouse or Chicken business with that.

  • Jack
    July 22, 2013 - 14:34

    Now that the Quebec Government and Hydro Quebec are getting too greedy as they want to take the Newfoundland and Labrador Government and Nalcor to court over Muskrat Falls, perhaps we should fight back with a large countersuit against Hydro Quebec. We should countersue Hydro Quebec for $23 billion, equivalent to the total profits Hydro Quebec generated from Upper Churchill over a 40 year period, plus profits of $1.7 billion per year. In fact, every year, Newfoundlanders and Labradorians only receive $63 million per year in Upper Churchill revenue whereas Hydro Quebec receives a whopping $1.7 billion per year. Hydro Quebec and the Pauline Marois Government, stop being selfish and greedy at the expense of Newfoundland and Labrador with court challenges against Muskrat Falls. If Quebec wants to sue Newfoundland and Labrador and continue to steal power and profits from us, we'll fight back. In other words, "bonne chance Quebec", you'll need it as we'll win this war.

  • Maggy Carter
    July 22, 2013 - 14:31

    And so the other shoe drops ..... For those wondering what this means for Muskrat, it means at the very least that NALCOR will need to re-open its deal with EMERA to provide the guarantees of access to surplus power demanded by Nova Scotia's utility review board. Why? Among other reasons because the federal loan guarantee (which Dunderdale, NALCOR and their puppets have said we could take or leave) is conditional on Nova Scotia's partnership in the Maritime Link; and because that same guarantee is essential to Newfoundland's ability to secure reasonable financing for the project; and because - in the face of new legal threats from Quebec - lenders will now insist on even stronger guarantees that those threats will not jeopardize any loans made to the project. What will be Ms. Dunderdale's response to all of this - to wave the Newfoundland flag, of course, in an attempt to persuade us that this is yet another Quebec-Newfoundland fight and that we should all line up behind her. I would love to be able to do exactly that - if Ms. Dunderdale were coming to the people with clean hands.

  • Eli
    July 22, 2013 - 14:21

    Whatever Lola wants, Lola gets.