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Quebec court rejects bid to reopen Churchill Falls deal

Entrance into the Churchill Falls Generating station in Labrador.

PAUL DALY/THE GLOBE AND MAIL

A Quebec Superior Court has struck down a bid by Newfoundland and Labrador to adjust the terms of a 1969 power price agreement with Hydro-Quebec for the Churchill Falls power project.

The case was launched in February 2010 after Hydro-Quebec rejected a call from the Newfoundland and Labrador government to renegotiate the contentious deal.

The agreement has been a source of friction between the two provinces for decades.

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The Newfoundland and Labrador government and Nalcor Energy, the province's Crown utility company, have argued that the deal is unfair, saying as of February 2010 that it has poured $22 billion into Quebec's coffers compared to $1 billion for Newfoundland and Labrador.

Hydro-Quebec has long argued that the deal is valid because it assumed all the costs and risks associated with the project when the contract was signed.

Newfoundland has previously challenged the fairness of those terms all the way up to the Supreme Court of Canada and lost.

The agreement expires in 2041.

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