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Simon and Picard denounce “indefensible privilege” granted to Hydro-Quebec


September 30, 2016
By Anthony Capkun


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September 30, 2016 – During meetings with the media and public presentations in the United States, chiefs René Simon and Ghislain Picard issued a plea for help to the American public to support them in their efforts to stop “the wanton destruction of the Betsiamites River”.

“Electricity sales outside Quebec are highly profitable for Hydro-Quebec,” notes the utility on the project website. “In 2015, the company’s net exports generated $1645 million in revenue. Approximately half of Hydro-Quebec’s power exports are to New England. An additional interconnection would increase our capacity to export to a very promising market for Quebec.”

Speaking on behalf of the Pessamit Innu community and AFNQL First Nations, respectively, chiefs Simon and Picard denounced the “indefensible privilege” the Quebec government has granted its Hydro-Quebec to “continue the destruction of the Betsiamites River in the name of commercial imperatives”, including those of the Quebec-New Hampshire Interconnection Project.

With commissioning slated for 2019, the project involves the construction of a 320kV DC transmission line, about 79-km long. This line will be extended into the U.S. and connect Des Cantons substation in Val-Joli to Franklin substation in southern New Hampshire.

According to Simon, “current water management of the Betsiamites River has a devastating impact on salmon productivity. This situation is incompatible with the concept of sustainable development and the underlying principle of precaution”.