The following letter was sent this morning to federal members of Parliament, several members of the Canadian Senate, the Premiers of New Brunswick, Ontario, PEI, NL and Nova Scotia along with the Federal Competition Bureau and copied to multiple national and provincial news agencies in Canada.
Consider that if this purchase is allowed to proceed, overnight 5 of Canada’s 10 provinces will become completely dependant on a single corporation for their ability to import or export electrical energy both inside and outside of the Canadian border. The remaining Canadian Provinces, Ontario and East, will be forced to pay power prices set by that same corporation for any power they might wish to purchase from the Canadian East.
Is this the sort of business climate the Governments of Canada and its provinces, other than Quebec, really want to foster for the future of the nation?
Some have argued that even after such a purchase the rates that can be charged to wheel power across Quebec-Hydro’s grid will be set by regulators, not by the corporation itself. This is true indeed true but this argument is a false one.
The very ability to wheel power through Quebec-Hydro’s grid, at any price, will depend on the corporation’s willingness to invest in the infrastructure capacity that will permit its competitors to access the grid. In other words, true competitive freedom will no longer exist and market access will not be possible without Quebec-Hydro’s willingness to permit it.
Putting all politics and rhetoric aside, the question that needs to be answered is a simple one:
Should a single corporation, no matter where it’s located, be permitted to completely control the flow of energy from half of Canada’s Provinces into the other half of Canada and beyond?