The recent op-ed by Hydro-Quebec’s spokesperson Lynn St-Laurent centered on the independent journalists who reported the “A Deadly Shade of Green” series. While she may have a point about the series, her last paragraph tries to intertwine the article with groups opposing the NECEC. She goes on to say that “truth and accuracy are essential in order to adequately measure the merits of the NECEC” while conversely, Hydro-Quebec has steadfastly refused to take part in or go under oath for any of their claims at the town and state level discussions of the past year and a half.

So absent from all these discussions that Mainers and Maine legislators took part in, Hydro-Quebec now wants to spend north of $10 million in advertising the project when they know the grassroots effort barely has a tiny fraction of that kind of money. They aren’t willing to debate but are more than happy to spend millions to try to sway the Maine voters. It shows how scared they are of losing the corridor project and the billions they stand to make off it. Mainers should be extremely cautious of this foreign company’s influence as part of the Central Maine Power corridor debate.

I’m grateful that lawmakers in Augusta are considering a bill that would curb Hydro-Quebec’s influence in the potential ballot referendum on the CMP corridor project. The company, of which the government of Quebec is the sole shareholder, already admitted to breaking campaign laws and paid a $35,000 fine.

It isn’t right that our ban on foreign influence in candidate campaigns doesn’t extend to ballot initiatives. It’s common sense to close this loophole before Hydro-Quebec can pay their way into a one-sided narrative with minimal to no oppositional facts or views. We’ve had enough misinformation from CMP, we don’t need Hydro-Quebec piling on more.

Peter Theberge
Jay

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