Spread the love

Pessamit has nothing to do with the Churchill Falls negotiation, according to Legault

Photo: Paul Daly The Canadian Press The Premiers of Quebec and Newfoundland and Labrador, François Legault and Andrew Furey, during a joint press conference in St. John’s, February 24, 2023.

Marie-Michèle Sioui in Pessamit


  • Quebec

The signing Thursday of a framework agreement with the Innu community of Pessamit will not serve as leverage in negotiations on the supply of hydroelectricity with Newfoundland and Labrador, said the first Minister, François Legault.

“I think the volumes that are at stake are greater with Newfoundland and Labrador. […] It has no impact on direct negotiations with Newfoundland and Labrador,” declared the head of government in a press scrum. He had just participated in a ceremony marking a “historic moment” between Pessamit, the government of Quebec and Hydro-Québec.

He recalled that the negotiation with Newfoundland and Labrador consisted of three components, namely the increase in the capacity of the Churchill Falls power station, the Gull Island dam project and the end, in 2041, of the contract for electricity supply from Hydro-Québec with Churchill Falls. This latest agreement has allowed the state-owned company to purchase energy from the Labrador dam since 1969 at a fixed rate of 0.2 cents per kilowatt hour. In 2022, Hydro resold this hydroelectricity at 8.2 cents per kilowatt hour on average.

Up to 1000 megawatts

Cautiously, the Prime Minister did not want to comment on the details of the negotiations that his government is starting with the Innu of Pessamit. Documents presented to community residents by the band council in the evening, however, revealed that Hydro-Québec estimates “between 400 and 1000 megawatts and more” the operating capacity of Nitassinan, the traditional territory of the Innu . In 2022, Mr. Legault said he wanted to build wind farms in Quebec with a total power of 3,000 MW. Still in the band council documents, it is stated that the mining and forestry sectors will also be the subject of negotiations.

The Innergex wind project, a partnership between the regional county municipality of Manicouagan and Pessamit retained by Hydro-Québec in January, “has no link” with the agreement signed Thursday, specified Mr. Legault.

Remember that Hydro-Québec calculates that it will take “an additional 150 to 200 TWh to meet Quebec’s electricity demand by 2050, or twice as much electricity as currently.” To achieve this, the state-owned company intends to “triple wind production” by 2035, in order to add 10,000 MW of new wind capacity.

Under the framework agreement, Pessamit receives $45 million to negotiate for two years. The parties agreed on a two-year truce. Quebec undertakes not to raise the level of the Manicouagan reservoir to more than 350 meters. These amounts exceed ten billion.

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116