Thousands gather to protest NB Power deal

Written by NB Media Co-op on March 22, 2010

photo of of crowd protesting the NB Power deal.More than 2,000 people from across New Brunswick gathered on the front lawn of the New Brunswick Legislature on Saturday in the largest demonstration yet against the proposed sale of NB Power to Hydro Quebec.

The three opposition political party leaders attended the rally but opted not to address the crowd. Tom Mann of the New Brunswick Union of Public and Private Employees told the crowd that the Graham government does not have the mandate to sell the province’s power generation assets to Hydro Quebec. Duff Conacher of Democracy Watch encouraged rally participants to ask the Premier and his caucus whether they would benefit personally from the power deal.

The revised agreement and the accompanying legislation to enact it is set to be introduced in the Legislature at the end of March.

The government has delayed finalizing the deal by two months in order to allow for public hearings. However, the Graham government has made it clear that the public hearings will not result in any significant changes to the agreement on the table.

The proposed deal involves selling most of the province’s power generation assets to Hydro Quebec, retaining control of transmission and distribution, freezing residential rates for five years, reducing power rates of medium-sized industries by approximately 15% and reducing power rates of large industrial customers such as the Irving businesses by approximately 23%.

 

 

Protestor at NB Power protest holds sign with photo of Shawn Graham and the word 'sellout' in the style of the Irving logo.

 

 

Thousands gathered on the lawn of the New Brunswick Legislature to protest the proposed NB Power deal.

 

 

A commissionnaire at the Legislature struggles to open the front door that is blocked with a collection of shoes and boots.

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