The Quebec precedent for energy transmission extortion

Former you-name-it Norman Spector (@nspector4) points out a glaring omission in my partial list of pundits who inveighed against BC Premier Christy Clark’s demand for a share of profits from the Northern Gateway pipeline, while mostly ignoring Quebec’s brazen extortion of Newfoundland hydro exports.

Stephen Maher, late of the Halifax Chronicle-Herald, and now typing for the Postmedia chain, had a terrific column on the dispute last weekend, one that places the Quebec-Newfoundland precedent front-and-center. The nub:

History suggests… that Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ottawa and Enbridge would be wise to quietly work to give British Columbia what it wants, because while Ottawa theoretically could force the pipeline through, that is likely not practical.

The history Maher cites is fascinating. His whole piece is a rewarding read, a rare example of punditry in which a reader learns more than the writer’s opinion.