Who’s right? Who’s wrong?

Why can’t there be a win-win in the NB Power/HQ deal?  If you look at the broad strokes of the deal it can be a win win.  We get cheaper, cleaner power and HQ gets a good market for its hydro and another access route to the U.S. market.

That is my analysis but the bulk of respondents to this blog and elsewhere think it’s a crappy deal for New Brunswick and now the eminent Montreal Economic Institute is telling us it’s a crappy deal for Quebec.

The MEI concludes “the price is more than double NB Power’s probable value” and the grand finale “This deal is not acceptable as currently structured. The price is too high for the benefits to be obtained.”
It will be curious to see if the MEI analysis gets any traction in Quebec.  Please send me any stories (French or English) that cover it. 
Obviously we now have the full spectrum.  Those opponents here are saying that the deal massively undervalues NB Power and the view from the MEI is the deal is massively overvalued.
And the band plays on.

5 thoughts on “Who’s right? Who’s wrong?

  1. This is further evidence that both sides are trying to rush through a deal that they were ill-prepared to negotiate.

    After intense pressure, the NB government just recently engaged energy experts to complete a market assessment for the value of NB Power. Can you imagine entering negotiations without this information available? How can anyone judge any offer or deal without understanding the market value of what you are selling?

    I would expect that Hydro Quebec would, or should, complete a market assessment on the NB Power assets, the customer base with residential rates locked in at premium prices and the strategic value of the transmission capacity. Since there are judgements and estimates involved, the Quebec

  2. Uh, how exactly will you get ‘cheaper’ power? They’ve NEVER said that it will be cheaper, although as mentioned TONS of times, its well within NBs power RIGHT NOW to make it ‘cleaner’.

    It COULD be a ‘win win’, although thats semantic. Even if it was fantastic, there is still no NB Power, and some people WANT NB Power, so they can’t ‘win’.

    But that underscores the whole nature of this-that it is a political problem. Had the government spent six months putting out info and independant analysis of NB Power, then brought up selling, then talked publicly to various parties, then it probably would be different.

    But again, this is a PUBLIC utility, and people have the right to refuse even GREAT deals.

  3. The Montreal Economic Institute is very naive in their view that Quebec is somehow a mecca for strong entrepreneurial activity and a haven for small and medium business. They are a subsidy pit for big business. Take away those grants from CIDA, DIPP and TPC to Bombardier and Lavalin and just see how great their commerce would be. If Quebec Hydro couldn’t float another bond, they’d have had a whole different perspective on James Bay expansion and their current ability to export electricity. Not to mention, they would have no time or interest in taking on risky ventures like a fledgling utility.

  4. “The Montreal Economic Institute is very naive in their view that Quebec is somehow a mecca for strong entrepreneurial activity ”

    That’s not their view at all. If you go thru their pubs, you will see that the MEI is very much an eastern version of the Fraser Insitute.

    Are there data showing that Quebec is more of a ‘subsidy pit’ than other provinces?

  5. My public policy spidy senses tell me if both sides of the analysis (MEI and AIMS) are claiming bad, it must be a good deal.

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