By working together, they can grow their economies, create jobs, lower Ontario’s electricity bills and increase Hydro-Québec’s profits.
Premier François Legault says he is prepared to make Ontario an offer on electricity that will be too good to refuse. Given the difference in cost between producing power from Quebec’s legacy dams and rebuilding Ontario’s aging nuclear reactors, it won’t be a hard offer to make.
But while Ontario should eagerly accept the premier’s offer of power, it should shun his additional offer of jobs from building new dams. Quebec currently has a major power surplus, with the vast majority of this power being sold on the North American spot market at rock bottom prices (in the first nine months of this year the average price of Hydro-Québec’s exports was only 4.3 cents per kWh). Quebec can quickly ramp up its exports to Ontario, under a more equitable long-term contract, without mixing any new cement.
The real job potential lies in helping Quebec exploit two massive additional resources — energy efficiency and wind power — to create thousands of megawatts of clean, exportable power at a fraction of the cost of building new dams.
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