Top court to review Churchill Falls contract renewal

Published on April 20, 2017

The Churchill Falls hydroelectric project under construction

©File photo

The Supreme Court of Canada will hear an appeal from Churchill Falls (Labrador) Corporation (CF(L)Co) on the Quebec Court of Appeal’s decision in 2016.

The decision came down on April 20 and the date of the hearing hasn’t been set yet, but will likely be within the next year.

This latest appeal is regarding the Quebec Court of Appeal’s 2016 decision to uphold the 2010 Quebec Superior Court ruling in favour of Hydro Quebec.

CF(L)Co had tried to get the pricing of power in the contract changed, arguing that the substantial increase in the cost of electricity wasn’t projected in 1969 and Hydro-Quebec had a duty to renegotiate the contract. The 1969 Power Contract expired on August 31 of last year and the Renewal Contract came into effect September 1, 2016 and is in effect for 25 years. The renewal contract was what CF(L)Co was arguing against.

Under the contract, energy generated from the Churchill Falls Generating Station in Labrador is sold to Hydro-Québec. The dam has generated over $26 billion for Hydro-Québec compared to roughly $2 billion for Newfoundland and Labrador.