Graham promises to release NB Power sale contract but Tories want to know when

The Canadian Press ~ The News
Send to a friend

Send this article to a friend.

FREDERICTON- Premier Shawn Graham says he'll make public the full 1,000-page legal document outlining the $3.2-billion sale of NB Power assets to Hydro-Quebec before it's signed.
But when that will happen, is still vague.
"I don't know the answer to that," Energy Minister Jack Keir said Friday when pressed for a timeline by reporters. "It is in everybody's best interest to get the information out as quickly as we can to New Brunswickers about this."
The Liberals said their "finalized agreement" with Quebec is now being formulated into a legal document by lawyers and investors.
The Tories gave notice in the legislature Friday that they will introduce a motion next week, urging the government to release the full legal document a minimum of 30 days before being signed.
Tory Leader David Alward said the premier's definition of "before it is signed" might not leave as much time as the official Opposition thinks is appropriate.
"To bring it in the morning of the signature, or the day before, is a complete insult to New Brunswickers` intelligence," he said.
The New Brunswick government has said it wants the deal signed on or around March 31.
Meantime, in Nova Scotia, Premier Darrell Dexter is staying out of any potential regional spat over the revised deal.
The premier wasn't available Friday for comment on published remarks by Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Danny Williams, who is worried the deal will give Quebec a "stranglehold" over electricity exports from eastern Canada.
Jennifer Stewart, a spokeswoman in Dexter's office, said the Nova Scotia premier is aware of Williams's stated concerns.
"Until he reviews the revised deal in greater detail, he won't be making any further comment," said Stewart. "In the meantime the premier is standing by his comments made the other day."
On Wednesday, when the revised deal was announced, Dexter said it appeared to address concerns raised by the Atlantic premiers around access to New Brunswick's power grid.
He said he was "optimistic" because control of transmission and distribution would remain in the hands of the New Brunswick government and the independent system operator would also be owned by the province.
Dexter said that's important because decisions would now more likely be made in the interests of the region rather than in the interests of a large utility such as Hydro-Quebec.
Under the scaled-back plan, Hydro-Quebec is slated to take over most of New Brunswick's power stations and gets a long-term contract to supply electricity.
The revised deal gives Quebec guaranteed capacity on the transmission system, including export lines, something Premier Jean Charest has cited as key to the deal.
Williams said his concern stems from a closer examination of the details and Charest's expressed desire that Hydro-Quebec dominate markets in eastern North America.

Organizations: Hydro-Quebec, NB Power

Geographic location: Quebec, New Brunswick, FREDERICTON Nova Scotia Newfoundland and Labrador Eastern Canada North America

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Thanks for voting!

Top of page