Williams accuses Hydro-Québec of protectionism
Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Danny Williams is accusing Hydro-Québec of trying to block the Lower Churchill hydroelectric project to protect its own dominance in the marketplace.
In a speech Wednesday to energy executives in St. John's, Williams said the time for parochialism and insular policies should be over, and criticized the Quebec utility for working against the national interest to protect its bottom line.
"It is a vision about nation-building and not territorial and economic protectionism by some provinces such as our neighbour Quebec," he said.
Williams believes Quebec is trying to hinder the Lower Churchill project in any way it can and is working against the national interest by trying to protect its own.
"It is disappointing and frustrating that Hydro-Québec is not doing everything it can to enable this project given Hydro-Québec's exorbitant profitability from the Upper Churchill, which will go on for two-thirds of a century. A buy Hydro-Québec policy is not good for the rest of us," he said.
Williams said it's better to adopt a "buy Canada" policy when it comes to energy. He expressed support for an east-west-north-south energy grid that would freely cross all provincial borders and could carry Lower Churchill power to the markets of central Canada.