Newfoundland, Ontario to consider power sales


HALIFAX – The government of Newfoundland and Labrador is exploring the idea of selling electricity to Ontario.

Natural Resources Minister Derrick Dalley says the commitment was made today with Ontario Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli at the 2015 Energy and Mines Ministers’ Conference in Halifax.

Dalley says the announcement follows last week’s agreement by provincial premiers meeting in Newfoundland on the Canadian Energy Strategy.

He says the two provinces will discuss opportunities presented by the $8.6 billion Lower Churchill hydroelectric project in Labrador and other options.

Chiarelli says they want to look at how to move “clean” electricity to Ontario from projects such as Muskrat Falls and Gull Island in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Both provinces have agreed to a government working group that includes representatives from Newfoundland’s Nalcor Energy and Ontario’s Independent Electricity System Operator.

The ministers say their talks with be guided by shared goals of reducing costs, fighting climate change and improving system reliability.

A recent report from the Ontario Chamber of Commerce said electricity rates in the province are more than double those in neighbouring Manitoba and Quebec, and are “killing small business.”

The Liberal government’s plan to sell 60 per cent of utility Hydro One to help pay for new transit and infrastructure has Ontario’s New Democrats warning that privatization will drive electricity rates up even higher.