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Concerns grow over NB Power and the ‘transmission gateway’ to the US

The Telegraph-Journal reports today that, “The New Brunswick government is coming under intense pressure to provide details of talks with Quebec concerning NB Power, but officials insist there is still no deal to reveal.”

“Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Danny Williams warned that he would do everything in his power to stop Hydro-Québec from getting control of NB Power, a move he said was rooted in ‘greed.’ He charged that Quebec is trying to get a lock on a vital transmission gateway to electricity markets in the United States.”

Williams said, “If it looks like that is not good for the people of Atlantic Canada, the people of Newfoundland and Labrador, the people of the country, then we’d certainly consider going before the Competition Bureau with an anti-competitive claim.”

“Nova Scotia Premier Darrell Dexter also waded into the debate Monday, saying he shares many of Williams’s concerns.”

Dexter said, “Anything that concentrates the power utilities in the hands of a single entity like (Hydro-Québec) has potential ramifications for the energy corridor (to New England).”

“(New Brunswick Energy Minister Jack) Keir said the government wants to keep alive its dream of New Brunswick as an energy hub…”

The Daily Gleaner recently reported on Council of Canadians concerns about the negotiations, the possible sale, and whether the sale might involve the privatization of NB Power.

Energy campaigner Andrea Harden-Donahue said, “It raises a lot of unknowns in terms of what are the potential ramifications of one Crown corporation owning another. Fundamentally it indicates a direction we would disagree with. Instead, the province should be looking at the advantages of having a Crown corporation such as NB Power and how that public company in public power can be part of that transition to a green economy.”

The Canadian Press article in the Telegraph-Journal (which also appeared in the Globe and Mail) is at http://telegraphjournal.canadaeast.com/front/article/836996.