Radio-Canada has just learned that aluminum giant Rio Tinto will be developing a huge wind farm in Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean to meet its own needs. Like the TES project in Mauricie where wind and solar energy is used to meet its hydrogen production, projects to privatize electricity production are in vogue.

“The CAQ has been talking to us about it, and we’d best listen. They’ve been telling us loud and clear that energy production is no longer the preserve of the Crown Corporation. The privatization of electricity production in Quebec is a reality, and this will surely have consequences for all Quebeckers,” said Patrick Gloutney, president of CUPE Quebec.

Recently, the Hydro-Québec unions affiliated with CUPE have sounded the alarm by launching a public campaign to jump-start the conversation on the impacts of privatizing Hydro-Québec.  

“A public monopoly on electricity production assets leverages socioeconomic development. The economic rent will accrue to all Hydro-Québec shareholders, who are citizens of Quebec. The opportunity cost of not deriving benefit from these assets is gigantic,” pointed out Pierre-Guy Sylvestre, a CUPE Quebec economist.  

Union members fear that the bill to be tabled this winter by Pierre Fitzgibbon, the Minister of the Economy, Innovation and Energy, opens the door to a large number of private sector electricity production and transportation projects.  

“This is like letting a wolf into a henhouse. The objective of private companies is to make profit. Electricity produced in the private sector will cost more to Hydro-Québec, which will have to pass the costs on to its customers, in other words, we Quebeckers. We’ve got to wake up! “ said Gloutney.

The CUPE campaign can be viewed at