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Posthaste: Watch out Alberta, Quebec wants to become Canada’s new energy powerhouse

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Posthaste: Watch out Alberta, Quebec wants to become Canada’s new energy powerhouse

Good Morning!

Move over Alberta, Quebec has designs to become a major provincial exporter of energy to the rest of Canada and even wider North America.

On Monday, premiers of Quebec and Newfoundland and Labrador said they were studying how their hydroelectric resources can help the Atlantic region move away from coal power, according to The Canadian Press.

Quebec Premier Francois Legault raised the possibility of supplying all of Atlantic Canada’s electricity with some combination of hydro power from the two provinces that have often sparred over the resource, CP reported.

“It’s clear that we have, right now, some capacity, and we can add to this capacity,” Legault told Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Dwight Ball.

Quebec is the largest producer of electricity in the country with a generating capacity of 45,402 megawatts, according to the Canadian Energy Regulator.

“Quebec also trades with electricity markets in the U.S. Northeast,” CER states, noting that Quebec was the largest exporter of electricity to the U.S. of all Canadian provinces according to the latest available data.

“Hydro-Québec operates 34,272 km of transmission lines and 116,258 km of distribution lines. Fifteen interconnections link Quebec’s electricity system with systems in Ontario, New Brunswick, and the U.S. Northeast,” CER notes.

Alberta has also been eyeing a greater role in supplying energy to the Atlantic. But the province’s last great push eastwards ended in 2017 when TC Energy’s (formerly TransCanada Corp.) Energy East pipeline project — linking Western Canadian oil to the East Coast — was cancelled after opposition from local communities and especially the Quebec government.

Here’s what you need to know this morning:

  • Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will meet with family members of the victims of the Flight PS752 tragedy
  • Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland will meet with Dwight Ball, the premier of Newfoundland and Labrador at St. John’s
  • Paul Lefebvre, Parliamentary Secretary to the Honourable Seamus O’Regan, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, along with Shawn Tupper, Associate Deputy Minister of Natural Resources Canada, will deliver remarks at the Breakthrough Energy Solutions Canada Forum 2020
  • AltaCorp Capital Inc., the capital markets arm of ATB Financial, will host a three-day conference focused on energy, life sciences and diversified industries in Toronto
  • Fireside chat with Jim Carr, Prime Minister’s Special Representative for the Prairies in Calgary
  • Four First Nations associations hold a day-long discussion called Finding the Path to Share Prosperity after British Columbia implemented the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in Vancouver
  • Notable earnings: Organigram, Cogeco and Cogeco Communications, Aphria Inc.

Canadian businesses reported a slight increase in sentiment amid reduced concern about global trade conflict, according to a Bank of Canada survey, according to a Bloomberg report.

The Ottawa-based central bank’s fourth-quarter survey of executives found indicators of future sales like new orders have picked up, particularly outside of the energy sector. Employment intentions have also increased, along with signs of businesses running up against capacity, the Bank noted. Read more here.

— Please send your news, comments and stories to yhussain@postmedia.com. — Yadullah Hussain @Yad_Fpenergy

With files from The Canadian Press, Thomson Reuters and Bloomberg

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