After months of very public wrangling culminating on November 8
with a full page ad taken by Quebec's gas utility in the Globe
and Mail opposing the Energy East Pipeline, followed a week later
with the embarrassing leakage of TransCanada's 2014 Quebec
communication strategy, Quebec's government has
had enough and has taken control of the process in the province.
The purpose is to dial down the rhetoric and provide a calmer and
more structured environment within which to evaluate the
Local communities must be consulted so as to ensure local
Quebec's portion of the pipeline (all 700 km) must be
subject to a comprehensive environmental assessment. This assesment
must take into account greenhouse gases;
The pipeline must meet the highest technical standards and be
First Nations must be consulted and participate to the fullest
extent of the law;
The pipeline must generate economic and tax benefits in every
region it crosses;
TransCanada must put in place safety measures of the highest
standard, assume full responsibility for all damages, create an
indemnification fund and provide proof of its financial capacity to
discharge such obligations; and
Natural gas transport capacity to Quebec must be sufficient to
meet Quebec's needs. Quebec's energy regulator, La
Régie de l'énergie, was tasked a few months ago
with quantifying such needs.
The leakage of the letter to the press (Radio Canada in this
case) means that the "guidance" offered by Quebec is
crystallized and cannot be negotiated away. Environmental
organizations were very quick to endorse Quebec's position and
stiffen government's resolve. The letter also comes a few days
before an Ontario-Quebec joint cabinet meeting at which the
pipeline will be discussed in the hope of coming up with a common
It is evident that in the thinking of the Québec
government the proceedings before the National Energy Board,
replete with 30,000 pages of unilingual English text, are now very
The silver lining here, and it's a very big one, is that the
Quebec government is not against pipelines. On the contrary, Quebec
would like to re-industrialize and hydrocarbons and petrochemicals
is one avenue being encouraged.
What Quebec wants is a win-win scenario that it can defend
before the National Energy Board and, more importantly, before the
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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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