Graham tells legislature deal between N.B. Power, Hydro Quebec not perfect

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FREDERICTON - Premier Shawn Graham said Friday the proposed sale of most of NB Power's assets to Hydro-Quebec is "not perfect" but suggested the agreement could be tweaked in coming months.
"We're in a good position to negotiate right now," Graham told reporters after closing the throne speech debate in the legislature.
"(Quebec Premier Jean Charest) recognizes that we're carrying a bigger load here in New Brunswick in getting this deal across the finish line."
Graham said the government would use every opportunity to ensure the best deal possible.
The historic power pact dominated Graham's speech, wrapping up week two of the four-week legislative session before the holiday break beginning Dec. 18.
The premier focused on the merits of the energy deal, which he said include lower power rates, lower debt, reduced dependence on fossil fuels and continued control of energy policies.
But twice in his speech Graham admitted the deal wasn't perfect.
"I'll say again, our option is not perfect, but after months of careful negotiations, we are convinced that this represents a dramatic improvement over the status quo and it's light years ahead of what we've heard from the party opposite," he said in the legislature.
Tory Bruce Fitch said the premier's speech was filled with "cheap political shots" but agreed with one part.
"It's good see the premier is finally admitting this deal is not perfect," he said.
"That's a chink in the armour that has been exposed here today."

Organizations: NB Power, Hydro Quebec

Geographic location: FREDERICTON, Quebec, New Brunswick

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