Quebec premier to visit Newfoundland and Labrador for talks on Churchill Falls deal

Quebec Premier François Legault will travel to Newfoundland and Labrador on Thursday for two days of talks on a new Churchill Falls hydroelectricity deal.

Legault made the announcement Tuesday during question period at the Quebec City legislature.

The 1969 agreement with Newfoundland and Labrador allows Hydro-Québec to purchase the majority of the electricity generated at the station in central Labrador — and therefore reap most of the profits.

As of 2019, the deal has yielded close to $28 billion in profits to Quebec, compared to just $2 billion for Newfoundland and Labrador.

Legault has made the deal's renewal a key piece of his energy strategy as the province tries to lower emissions and meet its growing electricity needs.

The Newfoundland and Labrador government established a panel last year to prepare for the negotiations and examine how the province could benefit when the current agreement ends in 2041.

The panel says in a news release that its recommendations to the provincial government include negotiating a new arrangement for sales to Hydro-Québec.

In a tweet Tuesday, Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Andrew Furey said there is "much potential" to work with Quebec and meet future energy demands.

Furey says his team will ensure Newfoundlanders and Labradorians get the best possible value from the province's energy assets.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 21, 2023.

The Canadian Press