A delegation from CUPE, which represents most of Hydro-Québec’s unionized staff, today met with MNAs from Québec solidaire Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois, leader of the second opposition group, and Haroun Bouazzi, the second opposition group’s energy spokesperson.
The meeting focused on the appointment of the next CEO of Hydro-Québec, the “quiet privatization” of the Crown Corporation, and the energy transition under way in Quebec. CUPE is particularly concerned about the continued erosion of the Hydro-Québec model and that private production will continue to increase.
“We’re witnessing increasing numbers of questionable deals between Hydro-Québec and companies such as Énergir and Boralex. Private interests are always lurking in the background, and there are people to open the door for them. These do not include Québec solidaire MNAs, whom we met with. They are fully aware of the immense benefits that Hydro-Québec brings as a public entity and the need for preserving this status to ensure the energy transition and the sustainability of the Quebec model,” says Patrick Gloutney, President of CUPE Quebec.
In the early 1960s, Quebec moved to produce its own electricity at the lowest price rather than be at the mercy of private monopolies. This model also sought to ensure that in-house expertise and spinoff organizations would remain in the hands of Quebeckers.
But in the early 1990s, Robert Bourassa’s Liberal government allowed small private dams to flourish, and in the early 2000s, Jean Charest’s government prohibited Hydro-Québec from developing the wind sector, both of which allowed private interests to complicate the original plan for nationalized production.