Now you won't find a single Newfoundlander who thinks taking power from the Upper Churchill dam is stealing. It's just taking our power that the Quebecers are stealing from us under the guise of the Power Contract 1969. Simple as that. Well, it's not as simple as that. Emotionally perhaps, but legally not so much.
For some reason, as yet unexplained to the public of this province, Nalcor, via its wholly owned subsidiary Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro, and its majority controlled CFLCo, has stolen power from the Upper Churchill. A lot of power. Way more power than it is allowed under the Power Contract. Yes, the contract the Supreme Court of Canada has already found is binding (1984 Reference Question).
For fiscal 2014, 2014 sales from the Upper Churchill to Newfoundland and Labrador Power (NLH) were $6, 067,000.00 according to CFLCo's financial statements. However, and it's a huge however, in fiscal 2015 NHL was sold $43,610,000.00 worth of power from the Upper Churchill representing almost 30% of CFLCo's sales for that year. According to the Power Contract, NLH can only buy about 6% of the power generated at the Upper Churchill. That means that NLH took 500% more power in 2015 than it was lawful to do. In other words, they stole it.
Correspondingly, Nalcor lost $51 million in oil sales revenue on the year. Was that massive power grab of Upper Churchill power an attempt to make its balance sheet look better than the $19 million over all it did lose? Hard to say, and legally speaking makes no difference. The bottom line is Nalcor, presumably with the approval of the Davis PC government, stole $37,000,000.00 in power (once you subtract the ordinary $6,067,000 from the gross sales for 2015 of $43,610,000.00.
What does that mean for us? It means the taxpayer/ratepayer is now liable for that in damages - plus interest, plus costs, including special costs. It also means our provincial utility is stealing. Shocking as it may seem, and yet to be discussed in the public for some reason, the quiet release of Nalcor's 2015 Business and Financial Report here says it all.
Here's to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the
round pegs in the square holes... the ones who see things differently -- they're
not fond of rules... You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify
them, but the only thing you can't do is ignore them because they change
things... they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the
crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that
they can change the world, are the ones who do.
US computer engineer & industrialist (1955 - 2011)