16 August 2010

No surprise in Quebec’s position on federal cash

No one should be surprised that the Government of Quebec is objecting to federal funding of an electricity line between Newfoundland and Labrador and Nova Scotia.

Since talk started up again about an East-West electricity grid in Canada, Quebec has objected to federal funding.

A cyberpresse.ca article on August 9, 2007 gives Quebec’s succinct position, straight from the lips of Premier Jean Charest:
« Est-ce que le gouvernement fédéral devrait intervenir pour financer la construction de lignes ? C’est là-dessus où le Québec dit non », a-t-il déclaré.
This particular statement is interesting for two reasons.  First of all, it came at a news conference during a Council of the Federation meeting on energy.  Second, the issue at the time was a potential line from Labrador to Ontario.

Hardly surprising, therefore, that Quebec continues to object to federal involvement in funding electricity lines.
And, as labradore pointed out last week, Quebec’s intergovernmental affairs minister repeated the government’s position that electricity infrastructure ought to be paid for by provincial governments but not the federal one:
«N'importe qui peut vendre de l'énergie aux Américains, a réagi mercredi le ministre provincial. Ce qui compte, c'est que les gens suivent les règles. Et la règle, pour nous, c'est que quand on construit une ligne, ce sont les sociétés d'État qui paient. Pas le gouvernement fédéral.»
The context of those comments was announcement of the interconnection upgrade between Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.
- srbp -