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Montreal, Monday, May 28, 2001 The project announced by the Landry Government to assign private entrepreneurs exclusive rights to operate 36 small private power stations for a 25-year period, with a firm commitment to purchase the energy produced above Hydro-Qub0065c’s production cost, doesn’t make sense to Locals 1500, 2000 and 957, representing some 15,000 workers for the Crown Corporation.

“As we already said before Bill 116 was adopted, a policy, such as this, designed to develop small private power stations, subsidized by the taxpayers, has no viable economic basis and is contrary to all reason, even commercial, not to mention the irreparable and useless damage it will cause to the environment”, declared Charles Paradis, coordinator of the Hydro-Qub0065c unions affiliated to the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE-QFL).

“It appears that Hydro-Qub0065c did not learn their lesson from their last purchase program, in which they lost some 100 million dollars. Following this costly fiasco, the Doyon Commission recommended that no more projects involving private power stations should be proposed, without clear economic and social justification having been demonstrated in advance as part of public hearings. The Government has ignored this recommendation, a fact which we find totally unacceptable”, added Mr. Paradis.

“It has been proven that private production cannot be made profitable on external markets and, in any case, not only is this practice contrary to Hydro-Qub0065c’s mandate, it is actually a step backwards. Do we need to point out that, in the early 1960s during a referendum election, the citizens of Qub0065c clearly stated that the production, transport and distribution of electric power should be under public domain? The Government of Qub0065c has never received a mandate to change this position, concluded the Union Coordinator.

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SOURCE: CANADIAN UNION OF PUBLIC EMPLOYEES (QFL)

Information:
Charles Paradis: Tel. (514) 387-1500
Louis Cauchy: (514) 384-9681, ext. 270