Hydro to bury $60 million cable in forest; stonewalls DDO – November 2017

The Suburban

Hydro to bury $60 million cable in forest; stonewalls DDO

Dollard des Ormeaux residents were dismayed to learn last week that Hydro Quebec has proposed to protect nature by burying a high-tension line to carry up to 9.45 terawatt-hours of energy to the United States—but won’t do likewise on a line that it wants to push through the heart of their city.

“The government has decided to endorse and request that Hydro Quebec bury 18 km of the Northern Pass line to protect the forest, streams and animals,” Build it Underground DDO spokeswoman Lynette Guilbeau told The Suburban. “It’s incredibly unjust to bury a line in the forest but not in densely populated Dollard des Ormeaux and speaks to the inequity of how DDO has been treated throughout.”

Gilbeau also questioned how Hydro could state that it will cost just $60 million to bury 18 km of thick, electrical transmission cable in the woods, while insisting that it will cost $59 million to bury a mere 3 km stretch along the Salaberry strip in Dollard.

“Something doesn’t add up,” she said. “Why are they not even considering doing the same thing in a densely populated area?”

A year ago, Finance Minister Carlos Leitão told The Suburban that the Quebec cabinet had sent Hydro a decree “telling Hydro to put a priority on minimizing the increase in rates.”

Hydro Quebec spokeswoman Lynn St. Laurent reiterated that cost containment remains the provincially owned monopoly electrical energy provider’s top priority.

“The very important element to be understood is that we can’t bury cable everywhere in the province where people want us to,” she said in an interview.

St. Laurent contended the $60 million to bury Hydro’s line through the Eastern Townships to New Hampshire “won’t have any impact on tariffs. Electrical energy exports are financed in a different way, through export revenue, not by tariffs. Projects built to serve domestic needs, as is the case for DDO, have a repercussion on tariffs.”

The cost differential can be explained, in part, by different technical requirements of the two projects, she suggested.

“Three times the amount of cable is needed in Dollard compared to the Townships,” St. Laurent said. “The line in Dollard would need a redundant, twin pathway to ensure reliability and would need to be shielded by costly concrete blocks.”

 

The citizens of Dollard-Des-Ormeaux and St-Adolphe-D’Howard demand fair and equal treatment from Prime Minister Couillard – November 2017

November 27, 2017

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Following the announcement of the Couillard government to agree on undergrounding the Power lines in the Hereford Forest for the Quebec portion of the Northern Pass project, the DDO (Build-Under-DDO) building it Underground (DDO) citizen group from Dollard-Des-Ormeaux and the Advisory Committee of St-Adolphe-D’Howard are calling for fair and equitable treatment from Hydro-Québec for projects affecting their respective City and Town.

Recall that last spring, Premier Couillard was against the underground option in Estrie, mainly for cost reasons. In addition, Hydro-Québec stated that the chosen solution was the most acceptable for the region and that, from a sustainable development perspective, it was preferable to use an aerial Line rather than burying it under existing roads in the Hereford forest. The pressure exerted by groups such as SOS Mont Hereford and Nature Québec, as well as by Minister Luc Fortin and MP Guy Hardy, led the Prime Minister to review his decision and demand that Hydro-Québec bury the line in Estrie at a cost of $60 Million dollars for 18 kilometers.

Since 2014, Build it Underground has opposed the installation of a 3-kilometer 315-kV overhead transmission line in the heart of its densely populated city. BIUDDO also repeatedly and rigorously questioned the cost of the $ 59 million to underground the project for a distance of only 3 kilometers.

BIUDDO is asking the Couillard government to require Hydro-Québec to re-evaluate the cost to bury the 3 km Transport line in Dollard-Des-Ormeaux and that this line be built underground.

In the Laurentians, Hydro-Québec also estimates the cost of the underground option at $ 59 million, this time for a distance of 10 kilometers. Considering that Hydro-Québec has been unable to conclusively reduce the impacts of the Grand-Brûlé project on the territory of St-Adolphe-d’Howard, the mayors of the MRC des Pays-d’en-Haut and the Conseil des Prefets et des élus from the Laurentides region – which groups together 7 MRCs and more than 70 municipalities – unanimously request the partial burial of the Grand-Brûlé line.

Prime Minister Couillard can no longer ignore the strong and clearly expressed will of elected officials and the public. As was done last August following the holding of a press briefing in Quebec City with the Québec Solidarity MP Manon Massé, BIUDDO and the Advisory Committee of Saint-Adolphe requested an emergency response from Prime Minister to give the citizens of these two cities and towns fair and comparable treatment to the managers of the Hereford Forest.

 

Hydro-Québec to more than double capacity of Montreal’s power grid – October 2017

Hydro-Québec to more than double capacity of Montreal’s power grid

 

Éric Martel spoke with the Montreal Gazette on Wednesday after addressing members of the West Island Montreal Chamber of Commerce and the Chambre de commerce et d’industrie de Saint-Laurent–Mont-Royal.

Hydro-Québec is in the midst of completely replacing Montreal’s power grid, a process that will increase the amount of electricity available to the city by two and a half times.

The city’s electrical infrastructure is due for a replacement, said Éric Martel, the CEO of Hydro-Québec. Most of it was built in the 1950s or 1960s, though some of it dates back to the 1940s.

The replacement isn’t just aimed at dealing with the city’s current needs, but also anticipating future growth.

“It’s our job to make sure that the network, the grid, is not going to be something slowing down growth,” he said. “We’re building it for the next 40 to 50 years. We won’t need it tomorrow morning, but eventually we’ll definitely need that capacity.”

He said Hydro-Québec is about four years into the project, which could take up to 12 years.

Martel spoke with the Montreal Gazette on Wednesday after addressing members of the West Island Montreal Chamber of Commerce and the Chambre de commerce et d’industrie de Saint-Laurent–Mont-Royal.

“The world of energy right now, and electricity, is in transition,” he said. “People will start producing some of their electricity.”

Some may produce enough to sell electricity back to the grid.

That’s part of the reason the utility is interested in the idea of dynamic billing — the practice of charging different prices at different times of the day — because it will only be interested in buying that electricity at certain times of the day.

The transition will also require new software and control systems to go from producing power at 62 dams to having power flowing into the grid from thousands of locations.

Hydro-Québec wants to double its revenue over the next 15 years, but the opportunity to do that in Quebec is limited.

A big part of that growth plan involves exporting electricity to the United States.

While the federal government in the U.S. may be skeptical about international trade, unconcerned about climate change and in favour of coal to generate power, Martel doesn’t think it will affect Hydro-Québec’s export plans

“We have to understand that the states are the ones doing the procurement of the electricity,” Martel said. In New York Sate and the states of New England, Hydro-Québec’s main customers in the U.S., “there’s still a very strong commitment to renewable energy.”

Hydro-Québec is currently bidding on contracts in New York and Massachusetts to build transmission lines that would increase its ability to sell electricity to those states.

In the future, the utility plans to look farther afield, eyeing international acquisitions in areas where the company can leverage its expertise in hydroelectric power generation and high voltage transmission.

 

Newsletter – Volume 2 – October 2017

Note: Several hyperlinks can be found in this bulletin. Please click on the underlined links for complete details…

Welcome to the Build it Underground DDO (BIUDDO) newsletter regarding the activities of our group over the last few months. There have been many significant developments:

BIUDDO Judicial Action Before the Regie de L’Energie

On July 14, 2017, BIUDDO’s Lawyer Me. Ricardo Hrtschan presented our case before the Régie de l’Énergie.

The grounds for this action are based upon a legal technicality regarding how the public was originally consulted about the Poste Saint-Jean Hydro Quebec project. Mr. Hrtschan argued that the hundreds of residents living in the impacted area of DDO, some of them as close as 18 meters from the proposed line, were never properly informed of the Régie’s public hearings that would have permitted them to voice their concerns. These concerns include property value depreciation, possible health risks, and environmental impacts.

In essence, the legal demand for the revision of the Régie’s decision states that the Régie de l’Énergie did not respect the rights of citizens to be heard on a matter that greatly affects their lives by not providing access to fair hearings, and therefore the Regie’s decision is against the rule of law and is illegal.

The Régie de l’Énergie is supposed to deliver a ruling within 90 days of the hearing. To date, our legal team has not yet received the verdict from the Regie.

You can compare the 2 files on the Regie site…

The original application, as filed by Hydro Quebec in 2015. Note the total absence of statements from the “Intervenants” (us, the population of DDO). In this file Hydro Quebec/TransEnergie is the “Demandeur”

The request for revision, as filed by BIUDDO. Note the content in all the sections including the “Intervenants” (in this case Hydro Quebec / TransEnergie)  as BIUDDO is the “Demandeur”

Upcoming Municipal Election

The BIUDDO team would like to take this opportunity to thank councilors Zoe Bayouk and Morris Vesely for their unwavering support of the BIUDDO team. They have worked tirelessly with the BIUDDO team and have devoted countless hours to this cause.

Please remember to vote on November 5th. Make sure your voice is heard!

http://zoebayouk.com/

https://www.facebook.com/MorrisVesely/

Uniting with Other Jurisdictions Fighting Hydro Quebec

Over the last year, the BIUDDO team has continued to work closely with 3 other Quebec citizen groups that are fighting proposed Hydro Quebec projects in their jurisdictions. The 3 citizen groups are Citoyens Sous Hautes Tensions (Eastern Townships), Comité aviseur de St-Adolphe (in the Laurentians), and SOS Mont Hereford (Eastern Townships).

The objective of this alliance is to draw more attention to the Poste Saint-Jean project – by aligning ourselves with a larger group of citizens and to show the government that their unilateral decisions are deeply impacting many residents and that the voices of residents throughout the province are not being heard.

In October, BIUDDO team members attended a meeting of Le comité aviseur de Saint-Adolphe D’Howard and presented the Poste Saint-Jean project to the residents of St. Adolphe. During this meeting, our team was made aware that several weeks prior, Manon Masse of Quebec Solidaire launched a motion in the Quebec National Assembly to review the St. Adolphe and Hereford projects for underground solutions. Quebec Solidaire received the support of the CAQ and the PQ. However, the motion was overruled by the Liberals.

The outcome of this meeting is that BIUDDO and these other citizen groups are planning some sort of joint action in the coming month. Additionally, we are banding together for press/media coverage of our respective projects. BIUDDO is leveraging the experience and media reach of these other groups to maximize the exposure of the Poste Saint-Jean project.

BIUDDO believes that it is imperative that we continue to keep the project in the press. With a Provincial election only a year away, and recent polling showing voter discontent with the liberals, we must continue to apply pressure through the press and collective actions with other citizen groups.

More information coming soon about proposed collective actions.

Not for Profit Incorporation

The BIUDDO team has applied for a “Not for Profit” incorporation. Once this is complete, BIUDDO will start to approach the community for financial donations to help finance the legal cases we are mounting against Hydro Quebec and the Government.

We Could Use More Help

We could use the help of citizens and professionals. Specifically, we could use the help of a lawyer(s) who would be interested in helping us with the judicial process. We could also use the help of volunteers who can commit to 4 hours per month in support of our continued actions.

Please stay connected with BIUDDO. You can see what’s new on our website at www.biuddo.ca, check us out on Facebook (Construisez-la sous terre/Build it Underground), or send us an email at contact@biuddo.ca

Best regards,

The BIUDDO Team

Elections 2017 Dollard Des Ormeaux

Position of candidates on the Hydro Quebec Poste Saint Jean Project

Candidate 2017 Position regarding new HQ
315 Kv lines DDO
Position of mayor
M. Alex Bottausci
(Outgoing from another position)
Depuis le début, je voulais que Hydro enterre les câbles, à leurs frais.

Le 14 mars 2017, l’actuel maire a adopté une résolution contre laquelle j’ai voté. La résolution obligerait nos résidents à payer directement une facture de 40 millions de dollars. Je crois qu’avec un nouveau leadership à la mairie, nous pourrons travailler avec Hydro ainsi qu’avec nos élus aux niveaux provincial et fédéral pour enterrer les câbles Hydro et ne pas transférer le coût à nos résidents.

Si Hydro procède avec le projet, je vais m’assurer que les résidents seront proprement rémunérés par Hydro.
email : October 9, 2017 8:45 AM

M. Raman Chopra After almost 20 years in the real estate business, I have negotiated hundreds of
deals. I know how to negotiate and that skill will be a great asset to city hall.
Montreal Gazette Published on: October 4, 2017 | Last Updated: October 4, 2017 8:03 AM EDT

Je crois que c’est la Régie de l’énergie et la seule chose nous pouvons faire maintenant, c’est attendre. Quand je serai élu comme maire, je serai en veille avec les citoyens qui ont été affecté.Je suis entièrement d’accord avec la position des membres de « Build It Underground » et fera tout ce qui est en mon pouvoir pour vous soutenir.
email : 10-10-2017

M. Edward Janiszewski
(Outgoing from this position)
The Quebec government has approved the overhead pylon project.
Montreal Gazette Published on: October 4, 2017 | Last Updated: October 4, 2017 8:03 AM EDT

Our council speaks for the city, and we clearly stated that we request an underground installation. I will continue to support an underground installation, and recommend it to the newly elected council, should I win the election.
Ed
email : 10-10-2017

Mme Isabel Maicas Citizens not affected by the power lines told me that if Dollard helped these residents in this situation, they would expect, in turn, that the city helped them with their own concerns. One example is the citizens that saw their house evaluations diminished and overall quality of life reduced by the construction of a four-storey condominium building at the corner of Roger-Pilon St. and Sources Blvd. In other words, citizens are looking for balance and respect for all citizens. My position is that burying power lines is long overdue, in any residential area, period. I would participate in any meetings with Hydro-Québec to add weight to the long overdue good practice of burying any Hydro lines in residential areas.
Montreal Gazette Published on: October 4, 2017 | Last Updated: October 4, 2017 8:03 AM EDT
Position of councillor | District 1 (1)
Mme Zoe Bayouk
(Outgoing from this position)
I have been your councillor for many years and have witnessed how Hydro Quebec has the power to impose its decisions. This project, in its present format, is unacceptable. The burial of the high-tension wires is the only acceptable solution for our citizens. We must continue the pressure, from all angles, to change the mindset of the decision-makers and the government.
Zoe Bayouk
Councillor, District 1
M. Laurence Parent Not available
Position of councillor | District 2 (2)
M. Errol Johnson
(Outgoing from this position)
Not available
Position of councillor | District 3 (3)
Mme Shama Chopra Not available
M. Mickey Max Guttman
(Outgoing from this position)
Not available
Position of councillor | District 4 (4)
M. Jamie Benizri Not available
M. Herbert Brownstein
(Outgoing from this position)
Not available
Mme Catherine Thomas Not available
Position of councillor | District 5 (5)  
M. Simon Sadeh Not available
M. Morris Vesely
(Outgoing from this position)
I am committed to the underground solution with every breath in me.
We must continue to fight with everything and anything at our disposal,as long as the pylons are not in place.
Being opposed to 315KV lines running thought the heart of our town is wrong. As long as the poles are not up, I know I’m on the right side of this issue. Build underground.
The issue is not more complicated than that, very simple in fact
Morris
M. Robert Wiseman Not available
Position of councillor | District 6 (6)  
Mme Valérie Assouline As a mother of young children, as well as a longtime resident of our beautiful city of Dollard-des-Ormeaux, my view on this Hydro-Quebec project is that the burial of the high tension power lines is the best solution both for the health of our citizens and for the aesthetics (which impacts the value of the neighbouring homes). As a good corporate citizen, HQ should take this opportunity, as they are replacing the whole power station and supporting infrastructure, to have a global vision for the future, as well. I definitely stand behind the initiative to lobby Hydro to bury the power lines and think of the overall impact on our population: we are, after all, their stock holders, as it is a monopolistic State entity, and we should be as much a part of the decision-making process as the costs/profits’ side of the equation.
Looking forward to add my voice on the City Council to open the dialogue with Hydro-Quebec on this matter.
Warmest regards,
Valerie Assouline
Avocate
SOS-AVOCATS inc
Email : 02-11-2017
M. Peter Prassas
(Outgoing from this position)
Not available
Position of councillor | District 7 (7)
M. Ryan Brownstein Not available
M. Salomon Sam Gabbay Not available
M. Pulkit Kantawala Not available
Position of councillor | District 8 (8)
Mme Colette Gauthier
(Outgoing from this position)
Not available
M. Byron LeBlanc Not available
M. Bill Pagonis Not available

Newsletter – Volume 1 – July 2017

Welcome to the first newsletter regarding the activities of Build it Underground DDO (BIUDDO) in the last few months. We are still diligently working to have Hydro Quebec’s Poste Saint-Jean project (which is slated to enlarge the Saint Jean substation and to construct an aerial 315kV high voltage transmission line through the densely populated heart of DDO along the De Salaberry corridor) re-evaluated. Since 2014, BIUDDO has been arguing that the proposed 3km transmission line should be built underground. We have not slowed down our actions and we are constantly working on behalf of all affected DDO residents. Here is the latest news:

BIUDDO Website

We have launched a website at biuddo.ca. We are updating it with ongoing information. Please check in regularly!

Judicial Process Against Hydro-Quebec Project

On June 7, 2017, BIUDDO, represented by Me Ricardo Hrtschan of the Colby-Monet firm, instituted legal proceedings before the Régie de l’Énergie to obtain a right to be heard regarding Hydro-Québec’s Poste Saint-Jean project.

Although the Régie de l’Énergie approved the project, the legal documents deposited by BIUDDO’s lawyer contend that the hundreds of residents living in the impacted area of DDO, some of them as close as 18 meters from the proposed line, were never properly informed of the Régie’s public hearings that would have permitted them to voice their concerns. These concerns include property value depreciation, possible health risks, and environmental impacts. In essence, the legal demand for the revision of the Régie’s decision states that the Régie de l’Énergie did not respect the rights of citizens to be heard on a matter that greatly affects their lives by not providing access to fair hearings, and therefore the Regie’s decision is against the rule of law and is illegal.

After repeated but unsuccessful attempts to convince the Régie de l’Énergie and the Government to accept the underground construction of the line, BIUDDO has instituted the first step of legal proceedings in order to have the rights of DDO citizens respected.

In response to these judicial actions, the Regie D’Energie has granted BIUDDO’s lawyer a hearing on July 14, 2017. Me Hrtschan is preparing for this hearing in conjunction with the BIUDDO team.

Legal Proceedings Regarding Property Value Depreciation

In May, 2017, the BIUDDO team hosted a meeting for DDO residents to discuss the property value ramifications of the proposed aerial installation of the 315kV line. Over 200 residents attended the meeting with city Councillor Morris Vesely opening the meeting. The BIUDDO legal team of Colby Monet was also in attendance along with Mayor Ed Janiszewski and Councillors Zoe Bayouk and Collette Gauthier. At this meeting, Me Hrtschan and members of the BIUDDO team explained that we are building a second judicial case regarding property devaluations. This will not be a class action suit. Rather, individual homeowners will be unique plaintiffs against Hydro-Quebec and the Quebec government. At this meeting, Mayor Janiszewski pledged the financial and moral support of the city of Dollard-Des-Ormeaux in the concerns surrounding property value depreciation.

Each property has a unique market value and will be impacted differently, depending on its proximity to the new aerial transmission line and the supporting pylons. Acting as a group, with individual plaintiffs, will enable us to pool legal costs and more effectively defend ourselves against Hydro’s unilateral acts.

Over the months of May and June, our team members went door-to-door to enlist plaintiffs. To date, 153 residents have signed on as plaintiffs with another 23 considering joining this action. For more information about how to sign onto this legal action, please see the click here or access the “How to Participate” section of our website at www.biuddo.ca.

BIUDDO Work with Other Jurisdictions Fighting Hydro Quebec

Over the last year, the BIUDDO team has forged strong alliances with 3 other Quebec citizen groups that are fighting proposed Hydro Quebec projects in their jurisdictions. The 3 citizen groups are: Citoyens Sous Hautes Tensions (Eastern Townships), Comité aviseur St-Adolphe (in the Laurentians), and SOS Mont Hereford (Eastern Townships). The objective of this alliance is to draw more attention to the Poste Saint-Jean project – by aligning ourselves with a larger group of citizens and to show the government that their unilateral decisions are deeply impacting many residents and that the voices of residents throughout the province are not being heard.

On June 27, Quebec Solidaire held a press conference at the National Assembly and issued a joint press release from our four groups and demanded that the government review these contentious projects. You can view the press conference here.

Media Coverage of BIUDDO

We continue work to keep the opposition to the aerial installation of the 315kV line in the media. Recent press coverage includes a cover story in The Suburban as well as an article in Cite Nouvelles.

We Need More Volunteers

We could use the help of volunteers who can commit to 4 hours per month in support of our continued actions.

Please stay connected with BIUDDO. You can see what’s new on our website at www.biuddo.ca, check us out on Facebook (Construisez-la sous terre/Build it Underground), or send us an email at biuddo@hotmail.com.

Enjoy the summer

Best regards,

The BIUDDO Team

Latest News (Updated June 7 2017)

PRESS RELEASE  (FOR IMMEDIATE PUBLICATION)

 Dollard Residents Start Judicial Process against Hydro-Quebec Project

On June 7 2017, the Build it Underground Dollard-Des-Ormeaux citizens group (BIUDDO – www.biuddo.ca), represented by Me Ricardo Hrtschan of the Colby-Monet firm, instituted legal proceedings before the Régie de l’Énergie to obtain a right to be heard regarding Hydro-Québec’s Poste Saint-Jean project which is slated to enlarge the Saint Jean substation and to construct an aerial 315kV high voltage transmission line through the densely populated heart of DDO along the De Salaberry corridor. Since 2014, BIUDDO has been arguing that the proposed 3km transmission line should be built underground.

Although the Régie de l’Énergie approved the project, the legal documents deposited as part of the proceedings contend that the hundreds of residents living in the impacted area of DDO, some of them as close as 18 meters from the proposed line, were never properly informed of the Régie’s public hearings that would have permitted them to voice their concerns.  These concerns include property value depreciation, possible health risks, and environmental impacts. In essence, the legal demand for the revision of the Régie’s decision states that the Régie de l’Énergie did not respect the rights of citizens to be heard on a matter that greatly affects their lives by not providing access to fair hearings, and therefore the Regie’s decision is against the rule of law and is illegal.

«We are not opposed to additional power being brought to the West Island, nor are we opposed to the use of the corridor for the construction of an underground transmission line.  We are requesting that the Régie de l’Énergie re-evaluate the project, taking into consideration the real costsof the project – the costs of compensating homeowners for the loss of property values as well as the environmental impacts. Hydro Quebec professes to be an international leader in the procurement and distribution of electricity with roughly a $3 billion profit in 2016. It is unthinkable in this day and age that this” industry leader” would propose erecting 52 meter pylons in extremely close proximity to homes in a densely populated residential area» stated BIUDDO spokesperson Lynette Gilbeau.

After repeated but unsuccessful attempts to convince the Régie de l’Énergie and the Government to accept the underground construction of the line, BIUDDO is now forced to institute the first step of legal proceedings in order to have the rights of DDO citizens respected.

contact@biuddo.ca