Hydro: no deal at discount with New York, says official opposition to Legault


The official opposition questioned on Wednesday the negotiating skills of the chief Caquist in a mission that feels “improvisation”.

The Prime Minister was visiting New York from Sunday to Tuesday to convince the city to buy surplus Hydro-Québec. He suggested that any contract to sell these surpluses at a rate that is greater than zero cents per kilowatt hour is advantageous for Hydro-Québec.

The Liberal energy critic, Saul Polo, criticizes him for starting negotiations in a weak position and selling the natural resources of Quebecers.

“I question myself like any taxpayer who sees his Hydro account increase every year,” said the member for Laval-des-Rapides in a telephone interview with The Canadian Press. We offer an agreement so attractive that we wonder what the benefit is for Quebeckers. ”

We must not sign a contract at all costs on the sly, a “discount agreement”, insisted Mr. Polo, ignoring the “long-term repercussions of a botched agreement”.

One of the things that the Liberal member cautioned about is that dam basins have not always been so full and that we have to look at climate change in the long term.

He is also concerned about the level of preparation for this mission, as the Prime Minister announced on Tuesday the visit of Hydro’s President and CEO Eric Martel to New York in the coming days.

“Improvisation”

According to Mr. Polo, Mr. Martel should have accompanied Mr. Legault, as also the Minister of Energy, Jonathan Jonatan, also absent when it comes to his portfolio. He recalled that when the Caquist Prime Minister met his Ontario counterpart Doug Ford last fall to offer to buy Quebec electricity, again he was alone.

“I would even talk about some improvisation,” said the member for Laval-des-Rapides. If the Prime Minister is going to address the energy issue with the Americans, at a minimum, he should be accompanied by his responsible minister and the Hydro chair, so that the connections are made on the spot and the discussions can continue after the fact. ”

François Legault’s mission follows the intention of New York Mayor Bill de Blasio in April to purchase more hydro-electricity from Quebec to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. from his city. New York could sign a contract of up to 5 terawatts / hour (tWh).

The Québec Crown Corporation has estimated its surplus energy at 12.6 TWh for 2019. A draft supply agreement of 9.45 TWh per year with Massachusetts is currently under study, but has not been not yet completed.

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