N.L. appealing Quebec court ruling of Churchill Falls power

The Churchill Falls (Labrador) Corp. says it is appealing a Quebec Superior Court ruling last month that struck down arguments that a 1969 pricing deal unfairly undervalues electricity from its hydroelectricity plant in Labrador.
A deal between Newfoundland and Labrador and Hydro-Quebec secured a route for electricity from its Upper Churchill Falls project. But in return, the province agreed to a 65-year fixed rate for the majority of the output. (Jacques Boissinot/Canadian Press)

Newfoundland and Labrador is appealing its latest loss in a decades-long fight with Quebec over Churchill Falls power.

The Churchill Falls (Labrador) Corp. says it is appealing a Quebec Superior Court ruling last month that struck down arguments that a 1969 pricing deal unfairly undervalues electricity from its hydroelectricity plant in Labrador.

The company is leading a case launched in 2010 after Hydro-Quebec rejected calls from the Newfoundland and Labrador government to reopen the deal.

In its ruling last month, the Quebec Superior Court said Churchill Falls (Labrador) Corp. failed to prove that by refusing to renegotiate the pricing terms, Hydro-Quebec breached its civil law duty of contractual good faith.

Crown corporation Nalcor Energy estimates Hydro-Quebec has reaped $24.5 billion from Churchill Falls compared to $1.5 billion for Newfoundland and Labrador.

Hydro-Quebec has long argued that the deal is valid because it assumed all the costs and risks associated with the project when the contract was signed.

Newfoundland and Labrador has previously challenged the fairness of those terms all the way up to the Supreme Court of Canada and lost.

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