Referendum motion on NB Power defeated
FREDERICTON (CP) — New Brunswick’s Liberal government used its majority Thursday to defeat an Opposition motion that called for a referendum on the controversial NB Power deal with Hydro-Quebec.
Conservative Leader David Alward argued that the government doesn’t have a mandate to sell 10 power plants in the province for $3.2 billion.
“ They’re ignoring the people of New Brunswick and because of that we believe it’s important that New Brunswickers have a voice,” he said.
However, Energy Minister Jack Keir said the government was elected to make tough decisions and that’s what they are doing.
“ We were elected to lead and make those tough decisions and, frankly, all the easy decisions were made in the seven years they (the Conservatives) were here and all that’s left are the tough ones, and we’re going to make them,” Keir said.
The motion was defeated by a vote of 28 to 22.
Stuart Jamieson, who was recently booted from cabinet for insisting on a referendum, wasn’t in the house for the vote.
The New Brunswick and Quebec governments have stated they hope to finalize the power deal by the end of March.
Alward said he’s not ready to concede defeat on the issue.
“ You can be certain that between now and the end of the debates, whether that be March 31 or whether that be Sept. 27, we will continue to do our job to bring different bills and motions forward to try and stop this deal,” Alward said.