Talk:NB Power controversy, 2010

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NB Power Board of Directors[edit]

NB Power chair appointed, board members announced

Communications New Brunswick NB 566

April 19, 2010... See More

FREDERICTON (CNB) - A new chair and three new members have been named to the NB Power board of directors. Energy Minister Jack Keir made the announcement today.

Ed Barrett had his term extended for an additional four years and has been named chair of the board, effective immediately. He moves to the position having served as vice-chair for the past three years.

Robert (Bob) Youden, Lise Ouellette and Louis LaPierre have also been named as new board members for three-year terms. John Mallory was also reappointed to the board for three years.

"I am pleased to announce the appointments of these knowledgeable and dedicated New Brunswickers," Keir said. "The NB Power board of directors plays an important role at the utility. I am confident the team we have in place will help guide the utility while ensuring New Brunswickers receive the same great, reliable service they have come to expect from NB Power."

Board members David Ferguson and David Johnstone, who were appointed on an interim basis during the New Brunswick government's proposed energy agreement negotiations, will no longer serve on the board. Former board chair Francis McGuire's term ended earlier this month.

"I want to thank the outgoing members for the commitment they have shown to NB Power and to the people of New Brunswick, particularly over the past few months," said Keir.

10/04/19

EDITOR'S NOTE: Biographies of the new board members follow. MEDIA CONTACT: Bonnie Doyle, communications, Department of Energy 506-658-2410; John McLaughlin, communications, NB Power, 506-458-4217.

Biographies

Ed Barrett is the chair and co-chief executive officer of Barrett Corp., an international management company. His former posts have included chief executive officer of Barrett Marketing Group, a North American distribution company, and chief executive officer of Atlantic Rentals Ltd. He holds a masters degree in public administration.

Robert (Bob) Youden is the senior vice-president of Stantec Inc. Previously the chief executive officer of Jacques Whitford from 2003 to 2008, he led the sale of Jacques Whitford to Stantec Inc., including the integration of operations. He received his commerce degree from Dalhousie University and is a chartered accountant.

Lise Ouellette is the executive director of the Association francophone des municipalities du Nouveau-Brunswick, a position she has held since 2004. Prior to this, she worked as research and development co-ordinator at the Université de Moncton - Shippagan campus. She holds a masters degree in sociology from the Université de Montréal.

Louis LaPierre is professor emeritus in biology at the Université de Moncton and past K.C. Irving Chair in Sustainable Development. He has dedicated the past three decades, working with a variety of groups, to protecting the environment. He was a member of the National High Level Nuclear Waste Disposal Panel, chair of the Bruce New Built Environmental Assessment Panel, and chair of the New Brunswick Sustainable Development Strategy.

John Mallory is deputy minister finance and secretary of the board of management, the provincial treasury board. He is a certified corporate director and a member of the Institute of Corporate Directors, having graduated from its director's education program.

NB Power Board of Directors links to New Brunswick businesses[edit]

It has been questioned whether a conflict has arisen due to NB Power Chair Ed Barrett's company Barrett Xplore, being under [1] [2] agreement with the NB government to deliver rural broadband. NB Power has an partnership with Bell Aliant for the administration of some of the crown corporation's assets, i.e. poles used by telecommunications companies, including Bell Aliant and Rogers.

Reportedly, Barrett Xplore KU broadband internet is installed at the [3] Nepisiquit Falls Hydro Station owned by NB Power.

Dr. Louis LaPierre was involved with the Progress Report of the National Task Force on Environment and Economy apparently to help develop a provincial sustainable economic development strategy. M. Lapierre was also a member of an expert panel on the New Brunswick government's plan to sell parts of NB Power to Hydro Québec.

Hydro Quebec / Cree relationship[edit]

"The [4] [Hill & Knowlton] factor is an important one in this matter. The Shawn Graham government has hired this P.R. firm from Washington D.C. to convince us, the people of New Brunswick, that the sale of NB Power is a good thing... This firm is no small player; it is one of the world's largest P.R. Firms... it handles public relations for retail giant Wal-Mart. The firm is also known to have control over mass media... the firm had success in marketing the 1990-91 Persian Gulf War and the 2003 invasion of Iraq to the American people! ... This is the company who designed the tobacco industry's strategy against scientific evidence linking cigarette smoking and lung cancer."

  • [5] The Grand Council of the Crees (Eeyou Istchee)

"28 Nov 2008 ... Grand Chief Matthew Mukash at Cree Mineral Exploration Board Nov. 2008 ... Quebec had reneged on the treaty and we therefore sought our rights and ... was set by the new Agreements between the Crees and Hydro Quebec on ..."

"In that year the Government of Quebec announced that it would proceed with the NBR and Great Whale Projects. We saw things otherwise. Quebec had reneged on the treaty and we therefore sought our rights... Development, we concluded, was not in our interest." "Some non-Crees, including developers and government people, take the view that the Paix Des Braves (note: included new Agreements between the Crees and Hydro Quebec on hydroelectric development... as parts of the Paix des Braves) settled all matters relating to the Crees claims over the JBNQA Territory and beyond, including the right to benefit from the natural resources... This is not true, and we will never back off!"


April 2010 - NB Power proposes sale of publicly owned Dalhousie plant[edit]

Media reported that an overwhelming majority of New Brunswickers were against the sale of NB Power to Hydro Québec. After many protest demonstrations were held during the 2009-2010 winter and early spring, the Graham government announced that the deal was scrapped.

In April 2010, ann annoucement was made that [6]NB NB Power planned to issue a request in the coming months for proposals regarding the sale of one of the NB Power assets, a generating station in Dalhousie.

Donald Arseneault a Liberal cabinet minister who represents the area, reported the plans to the media. Mayor Clem Tremblay stated that he hopes to keep the plant in Dalhousie despite its planned closure, stating "It represents $1.6 million in annual tax revenue - money the town can't afford to lose."



stranded cost - exit fees for industry proposed by NB energy consultant April 2010[edit]

It's their fiduciary duty' April 29th, 2010 nbbusinessjournal.canadaeast.com

The failure of a power deal with Hydro-Quebec should prompt large New Brunswick firms to look at striking their own agreements, a provincial energy consultant says.

Bill Marshall said in an interview executives should exercise their rights and see whether they can get better power rates from utilities outside New Brunswick.

"I think it's their fiduciary duty to their shareholders to go out there and look at what possibilities are out there," Marshall said.

Industrial prices are poised to reach seven cents per kilowatt hour with the upcoming three per cent increase, Marshall said, adding that prices in New England and New York could be as low as four cents per kilowatt hour, plus distribution costs.

The deal with Quebec - called off late last month - would have had New Brunswick trade NB Power assets for $3.2 billion and a supply of power from Hydro-Quebec that would have shaved industrial electricity rates by up to 23 per cent.

Under New Brunswick law, a municipal distribution utility or industrial customer that consumes at least 750 kilowatts of power from the high-voltage transmission lines has the option to produce its own power or acquire electricity from a utility other than NB Power.

The municipal utility or company must give 60 days notice to NB Power and must pay to cancel or reduce service - called a stranded cost fee, or an exit fee - to cover any debt the Crown utility would have taken on to build power lines serving the customer.

Rights awarded to about 40 large industrial users and municipal utilities, of which there are three, were part of the 2004 Electricity Act passed by the Bernard Lord government to create a more open power market.

Marshall said no firms have yet exercised this right, in part because a huge issue hasn't been resolved: how much would it cost to exit?

The New Brunswick Energy and Utilities Board can study the issue on its own but has not so far and no companies or municipal utilities have triggered the regulatory process by notifying NB Power of the intent to cancel or reduce service.

Marshall said a truly open market would mean companies wouldn't pay exit fees.

David Plante, the vice-president of the Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters group in New Brunswick, said big power users shouldn't be penalized for going elsewhere while the Point Lepreau nuclear plant is offline, causing NB Power to buy replacement power.

"There had been some indications that such fees might be totally forgiven, particularly during the Lepreau shortage, because there would be no cost to the utility of any large consumer coming off," Plante said.

Sylvain Gignac, president and CEO of the [New Brunswick System Operator, said the price for power outside the province has not been good enough to entice large power users to leave until lately. Lower demand caused by the recession and the flood of natural gas onto the market from unconventional sources means New England generators that rely on gas, in particular, have a surplus of cheap power.

"You have excess capacity, more generation," Gignac said. "Therefore it appears it might be cheaper to buy power down south or potentially from Quebec."

According to the system operator, large industrial customers account for about 27 per cent of in-province consumption for NB Power, with municipal utilities accounting for about eight per cent.

Excerpts from Comments:

  • ""David Plante, the vice-president of the Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters group in New Brunswick, said big power users shouldn't be penalized for going elsewhere while the Point Lepreau nuclear plant is offline, causing NB Power to buy replacement power."

Can someone please enlighten me. Is Mr. Plante suggesting that industry has been paying more for power since Lepreau went off line? If so it's the first time anyone has heard of it. I'm sure that if such was the case we would have heard plenty about it over the last few months. If any industry was charged upfront for the cost of building infrastructure to connect their plant to the grid,they might have a case for a no charge exit, but such is not the case as far as I know. In some cases this connection costs NBP millions and the industry should pay this cost on exiting the grid. Please, someone give me a logical argument as to why they should not pay."

  • "We are currently subsidizing the industrial rate so if they came off our grid, it would mean less the regular ratepayers would have to subsidize. It would also mean we could generate less or sell the excess. The industrial users would have to pay an exit fee because there is no way the government should build infrastructure solely for one client and allow that client to use it for free. Furthermore, if they are importing power from someone else, guess what? You use our lines, you pay a fee. Win-Win-Win." Matt Doherty, Quispamsis

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Research[edit]

Articles NB Power controversy, 2010[edit]

  • [7] [telegraphjournal.com] - Liberal MLAs back new proposal

"Hydro-Québec would pay $3.2 billion to acquire hydroelectric dams and the Point Lepreau Nuclear Generating Station, but ownership of the system operator and the distribution and transmission lines would remain in New Brunswick."

  • [8] MAKING STATIC - Save NB Power

"Lamrock wouldn't detail what happened in that meeting, ... New Brunswick will retain ownership of its power transmission system in an amended deal with ... would backpedal on the initial plan as part of a political rescue operation. .... Resistance to the Shawn Graham government's proposal to sell NB Power ... "

  • [9] "New (Irving) NB Power Deal according to the Globe and Mail Monday, Jan. 18, 2010. "... an amended deal with Hydro-Québec that aims to eliminate concerns that Quebec was gaining a stranglehold over power exports to the northeastern United States...."

"Meanwhile, a company owned by New Brunswick's powerful Irving family is proposing a regional transmission system in Eastern Canada to foster collaboration across political boundaries. Irving-owned Fort Reliance formed Portage Energy Ltd., which will aim to form partnerships to develop new transmission projects worth between $1-billion and $2-billion."

  • [10] Writer questions absence of NB Power senior management and staff in current debate.

"One would assume that competent individuals hold the executive positions at NB Power... And yet we have heard nothing from these knowledgeable individuals... One must then assume there is a reason for their silence."

  • [11] Major Changes To Proposed NB Power Hydro-Quebec Deal - News889

"19 Jan 2010 ... retain complete ownership and control of NB Power under the deal. The deal no longer includes NB Power's transmission and distribution systems. ... Social Development Minister Kelly Lamrock has said he couldn't vote in ... Premier Shawn Graham's message on the plan has wavered from the start."

  • [12] "The deal no longer includes NB Power's transmission and distribution systems. "
  • [13] Liberal minister won't vote for NB Power deal - Worldnews.com "18 Jan 2010 ... The proposed deal to sell NB Power to Hydro-Québec has garnered intense ... Social Development Minister Kelly Lamrock told CBC News in an... Premier Shawn Graham announced on Monday that RIM will. ... Quebec ministers met with Cree leaders on Monday to discuss the province's ambitious Plan Nord, ..."
  • [14] timestranscript.com - Graham NB Power campaign like 'big tobacco ..."Graham NB Power campaign like 'big tobacco'. Published Saturday December 12th, 2009. D9. Marie-Claude Blais. Stumble Upon. Stumble Upon. del.icio.us ..."
  • [15] Liberal minister won't vote for NB Power deal - Worldnews.com

"18 Jan 2010 ... The proposed deal to sell NB Power to Hydro-Québec has garnered intense ... Social Development Minister Kelly Lamrock told CBC News in an ... Premier Shawn Graham announced on Monday that RIM will. ... Quebec ministers met with Cree leaders on Monday to discuss the province's ambitious Plan Nord, ..."

  • [16]
  • [17] [NB Power Not For Sale] Rabble.ca - Yearning for a participatory democracy in New Brunswick.

"Cartoon of Shawn Graham. Linked Updates. Dec 17 - Graham and Keir at odds ( priceless!) Dec 15- How the sale of NB Power really affects residential customers (Roy ... Minister Kelly Lamrock has even gone so far as launching a program ... Press The Quebec government says it has no plans to renegotiate a deal to..." "...the public demands involvement in each of the steps of identifying policy issues, conceptualizing a response, designing the policy and ensuring its implementation... We all have a right to participate in our governance, and this participation is not encapsulated on Election Day." Story can be found at: [18] [Rabble.ca]

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