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WIN! NB Power sale scrapped!

Council of Canadians' NB Power rally in Fredericton on March 20

NB Power rally in Fredericton on March 20

The Globe and Mail reports this morning that, “New Brunswick Premier Shawn Graham has succumbed to overwhelming political pressure and cancelled a controversial $3.2-billion sale of New Brunswick Power generating stations to Hydro-Québec.”

Graham said, “I am announcing this morning that we are no longer proceeding with discussions to finalize the energy agreement with Hydro-Québec.”

CTV adds, “He delivered the unexpected announcement in the legislature today. …The changes came after public outcry in New Brunswick and dissent from within Graham’s Liberal caucus.”

The Council of Canadians has opposed the sale of NB Power from the moment the proposed sale was announced in October.


October 24, 2009
NEWS: Council of Canadians says NB Power should remain public
The Daily Gleaner reported that, “The Council of Canadians says New Brunswickers should object to any effort to privatize their utility and sell it off, in whole or in part.”

November 3, 2009
NEWS: Council of Canadians raises concerns about the export focus of NB Power sale
The Halifax Chronicle-Herald reported that, “Andrea Harden Donahue, Council of Canadians energy campaigner in Ottawa, said the deal between NB Power and Hydro-Quebec is based on a business model to sell exports into the northeastern U.S., which is demanding more supplies of renewable energy.”

November 8, 2009
ACTION ALERT: Raise questions about the sale of NB Power
“The approach by the provincial government thus far for public engagement on such a monumental decision has been lacking. There remain a number of unanswered questions about the sale and insufficient plans for consulting with residents of New Brunswick. In particular, the Council of Canadians is concerned about the sale’s impact on the capacity to expand in-province local renewable energy sources, as well as the lack of clarity for a fair worker transition plan and the rights of future workers, and the precedent being set in affirming an export-oriented energy vision.”

December 8, 2009
The Council of Canadians sent an open letter to the premier and party leaders “to express serious concerns with the plan to sell the assets of NB Power and certain subsidiaries of NB Power.”

December 9, 2009
Council of Canadians Board member Steven Shrybman spoke at the NB Power Summit, hosted by the New Brunswick Federation of Labour conference in Moncton, rejecting the proposed sale. Also present were Atlantic Regional Organizer Angela Giles, local chapter activists and Leo Broderick, vice-chair of Council’s board of directors, a PEI resident, who publicly expressed the Council’s solidarity with New Brunswickers in this struggle.

January 21, 2010
ENERGY BLOG: More spin? New deal proposed for sale of NB Power
The Council of Canadians responded with initial analysis on the revised deal. “The Council of Canadians is still compelled to see the new deal as largely not in the public interest, with a number of the questions and points raised in our open letter continuing to be not sufficiently addressed.”

January 22, 2010
ENERGY BLOG: NB Liberals still in hot seat: reactions to revised NB Power deal
“As reactions roll in, it is clear that the Liberals are far from gaining needed support for the revised energy agreement between New Brunswick and Québec (and with good reason) and that their party image continues on its downward spiral.”

February 12, 2010
ACTION ALERT: Revised action alert responded to proposed changes to the agreement.

February 12, 2010
The Council of Canadians officially joined the ‘NB Power: Not for Sale’ coalition.

February 15, 2010
The Council of Canadians continued to work with local chapters participating in the provincial campaign opposing the sale, including providing analysis to raise in letters to editors in local papers.

March 9, 2010
The Council of Canadians e-mailed its membership in New Brunswick updates on the campaign opposing the sale and encouraging members to use our action alert to send letters to political leaders.

March 20, 2010
More than 4,000 people protested the planned sale of NB Power assets to Hydro-Quebec in Fredericton on March 20. Board member and Saint John chapter activist Leticia Adair reported that, “Our chapter was there in force.” She added that there was a “great turnout from the whole province and all walks of life.” CTV reported, “Carrying placards and chanting, the demonstrators took over the front lawn of the legislature in what organizers said was the largest rally of its kind so far.”

The Council of Canadians congratulates all individuals and groups who worked so hard to defeat this deal.

Council of Canadians energy campaigner Andrea Harden-Donahue says, “This is a victory and a testament to the power that people have when we unite and organize for the common good – the NB Power sale was a raw deal from the beginning. The opportunity now exists for New Brunswick to direct NB Power to play an important role in the transition to a provincial green economy.  Instead of trying to sell a bad deal to the people of New Brunswick, the focus can now be shifted to improving conservation, energy efficiency and expanding public and community-owned renewable energy. This will create local ‘green jobs’ and reduce dependence on imported oil and reduce emissions.”

And the Telegraph-Journal now reports that, “Andrea Harden-Donahue, energy campaigner for the Council of Canadians, a national citizens’ organization, agreed the process involved with the proposed sale of most of NB Power assets to Hydro-Québec reinforced the vital role of the public.”

“‘The total lack of consultation with the people of New Brunswick and transparency on something so monumental was clearly lacking and inappropriate from the beginning,’ she said in an interview Wednesday from Ottawa.”

“Harden-Donahue said the cancellation of the deal presents the government of New Brunswick with an opportunity to focus on moving forward with a green energy plan for the province and to engage the public in that process.”

“She said this is the time for the New Brunswick government to ‘direct NB Power’ to become a ‘vital element in the transition to green energy to ensure that energy conservation and efficiency are top priorities.'”

“She also said the government has a duty to plan for the expansion of public and community-owned renewable energy that ‘keeps jobs local and keeps benefits local and in the public purse.'”