Hydro-Quebec has won another round in the legal battle that pitted him against Newfoundland and Labrador with respect to purchases of electricity from Churchill Falls.
In a judgment delivered on Monday the Quebec Court of Appeal stands behind the verdict in 2014 by the trial court and believes that the Quebec Crown corporation has no obligation to reopen the agreement in 1969.
Nalcor Energy, the utility Newfoundland, said by e-mail for taking the time to analyze the judgment before deciding if she will try to be heard by the Supreme Court of Canada.
The record is the subject of disputes between the two provinces for decades and has been challenged unsuccessfully by Newfoundland and Labrador before the highest court in the country. Nalcor Energy had turned to the Quebec Superior Court in 2010, advocating the concept of “good faith” of the Civil Code of Québec after that Hydro-Québec had refused to renegotiate rates around Churchill Falls electricity purchase .
Under the agreement signed in 1969, the corporation may purchase the electricity at low prices before reselling it at a higher price on the domestic market and to export, that Newfoundland and -lab is unfair. For its part, Hydro-Québec has long argued that the agreement was invalid because it had assumed all costs and risks associated with the project at the time of signing the contract.
The appellant submits that the original context of the contract was broken by “unpredictable events” that have transformed the energy market. But the five judges of the Court of Appeal felt that Nalcor Energy is trying to “redefine the initial balance” between the parties.