On May 21, 2014, Mr. Philippe Couillard, Premier of
Québec, presented his inaugural speech at the National
Assembly (available here in French only). This was Mr.
Couillard's first inaugural speech which laid out the
priorities and guiding objectives that his newly-elected government
intends to follow and implement within the next four years.
Below are selected highlights from the inaugural speech that are
of interest for the Québec energy sector.
The Government announced its intent to relaunch the private
hydroelectricity procurement program. This program involved
purchases of electric power by Hydro-Québec from
privately-owned 50 MW and less hydroelectric projects (often
referred to as "small hydro"). This program had been
cancelled early last year by the former Government on the basis
that Hydro-Québec had significant electricity surpluses and
therefore had no need for additional electric power procurement.
Mr. Couillard also mentioned that the participation of First
Nations in the "small hydro" projects would facilitate
governmental and other regulatory approval process.
Use of Electricity
Mr. Couillard announced his Government's intention of
strategically using electricity surpluses to secure industrial
investments and reinforce the manufacturing industry in
Québec. Additionally, the Government intends to continue its
efforts for generally electrifying transports, including public
transport in Québec. The Government also wishes to benefit
from increasing demand for aluminum and availability of renewable
energy generated in Québec to implement an industrial
strategy to further develop and maintain the aluminum industry in
Oil and Gas
The Government intends to use the review of the tax and
financial regime for Québec's municipalities to address
the sharing with local communities of oil, gas and mining royalties
derived from resources within their respective territories.
The Government also wishes to initiate a thorough strategic and
environmental review of the hydrocarbon industry in
Mr. Couillard further announced that the Government would pursue
the implementation of its climate change action plan with an
objective of reducing, before 2020, Québec's GHG
emissions by 20% below their 1990 level.
With respect to Québec's sustainable development, the
Government intends to support the following initiatives:
Continue the project of electrifying transportation;
Intensify the energy efficiency efforts;
Favor the usage of natural gas instead of diesel and heavy
Continue the development of the carbon emission trading
These announcements are, in substance, in line with the
recommendations of the Commission sur les enjeux
énergétiques du Québec. See our blog post
on the report of the Commission discussing those
Mr. Couillard will relaunch the "Plan Nord",
Québec's major northern resources development plan
(notably mining, infrastructure and energy). The "Plan
Nord" had been adopted by the previous Liberal Government, but
was modified by the former Parti Québecois Government. In
addition to specifically assign a minister to oversee the
"Plan Nord", the Government will also create a "Plan
Nord" secretariat that will coordinate the implementation of
the "Plan Nord", the sharing of the benefits with the
regions involved and the respect of First Nations' rights.
The Government also promised improved stability and
predictability for the mining industry, including the
implementation of better practices.
We will closely monitor further developments with respect to
Canada is a constitutional monarchy, a parliamentary democracy and a federation comprised of ten provinces and three territories. Canada's judiciary is independent of the legislative and executive branches of Government.
The Government of Alberta recently announced a number of policy changes that will impact the Alberta Electricity Market, composed of its generators, transmitters, distributors, retailers, electricity consumers and wholesale electricity market.
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