An offensive ad is unprecedented for Hydro-Québec

Une offensive publicitaire sans précédent pour Hydro-Québec

Hydro-Québec out the heavy artillery to win his fight in Maine : the State corporation intends to spend not less than $ 6 million in ads by the November elections, has learned The Newspaper.

These advertisements will be part of those published in the media of Maine, where Hydro-Québec and its u.s. partners want to build a hydro power line, the New England Energy Connect. The project could create 1600 jobs over two years.

The holding of a referendum in the State of New-England, concerning the construction of the hydro power line Quebec-Maine force the public enterprise to devote important sums to convince voters.

These are about 4.1 million us dollars ($5.8 MILLION CDN) in public funds in quebec which are included in a plan to purchase advertising house that we have got. Already more than$ 2.8 MILLION AC of these sums have been spent to convince the approximately 820 000 registered voters of Maine.

Tv ads, radio, in local newspapers and magazines, display banners, digital videos, and in Google search results : it is a campaign all-around that orchestra and Hydro-Québec.

“The placement of advertising is expensive, [because] the referendum is held at the same time as the presidential elections in November. It will be expensive. It may be that this is more (than foreseen in the plan), I do not exclude, ” said in the interview, the campaign director of Hydro-Québec in Maine, Serge Abergel. He said that this plan is “preliminary” and could be called to change.

The goal: to ” develop the view that the “Mainers” were Hydro-Quebec of a foreign company unknown which is concerned only by its own profits, a company that focuses on the human being who shares the same values and goals as them and for which the product may contribute significantly to their well-being, ” notes the document prepared by the communications experts of the State corporation.

Already more than expected

Already, spending the last few months, the phase 1, exceeding those provided for in the plan. The phase two, by far the most costly for Hydro, to $ 4.1 million CA, aims to explain, from the month of July, “the benefits to Maine of hydropower as clean and renewable” provided by the line, the New England Clean Energy Connect (NECEC).

These expenses relate only to purchases of advertising and exclude other activities such as lobbying. The company has also been ordered to pay a fine of 36 000 US $ (47 500 CA $) by the Commission on ethics in government and electoral practices in Maine recently.

That’s not counting the money spent on the referendum campaign by business partners Hydro. The committee is funded by Central Maine Power has thus spent more than $ 7 million CAD in the first quarter of 2020, after having injected$ 3.2 MILLION in CA in the campaign over the last few months of 2019.

Opponents of Hydro-Québec, funded in large part by the gas industry, will spare them no way, recalled Mr. Abergel. “We have opponents extremely hard. ”

The New England Energy Connect (NECEC)

  • A hydro power line with a length of 233 kilometres from sale of electricity for 20 years
  • Valued at a billion dollars (a little less than$ 1.4 billion CA)
  • Will remove the equivalent of 700,000 cars in greenhouse gas emissions
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