A Maze of Kissing Cousins

TQM PNGTS Extension Project Promoters

The PNGTS Extension project is a TQM project: TQM has filed the application for certification with the National Energy Board, and TQM will own and operate the pipeline upon its completion.

However, Gaz Metropolitain is the project manager and it is responsible for designing the pipeline route and negociating with landowners.

Why is Gaz Metropolitain doing the project for TQM? Because TQM is fifty percent owned by Gaz Metropolitain.

In addition to owning 40% of TQM, Gaz Metropolitain also has an %80 controlling interest in Societe en Commendite Gaz Metropolitain.

Societe en Commendite Gaz Metropolitain owns:

And, Hydro Quebec owns 40% of Gaz Metropolitain.

On January 13th, 1997 Hydro Quebec announced a $309 million payout for a controlling stake (40%) in Noverco, Inc., which controls Gaz Metropolitain (100%). Where did Hydro Quebec get the cash? They borrowed it from the Caisse de Depot et Placement du Quebec, the government agency that manages old-age and public-sector pension funds in Quebec.

At the same time it lent Hydro Quebec the money to purchase 40 percent of Noverco, the Caisse itself for $291 million bought 38% of Noverco which had been held by SOQUIP, another Quebec government agency.

Where did that $291 million go? According to an article in The Gazette (Montreal, 14 January 1997) the money would be turned over to "the cash- strapped government of Parti-Quebecois Premier Lucien Bouchard".

Conjurs up a whirlpool of money in my mind.

Gaz Metropolitain was the PNGTS Extension Project Manager. They hired Janin Corporation to design and build the pipeline. The promotors hyped Janin as the company that bored tunnels through the Swiss alps, but later balked at following the pipeline route favored by local government and landowners alike because there was too much rock.

Urgel Delisle & Associes, engineering consultants, were hired to design the route and do the environmental assessment. Their volumnous assessment was nothing more than a rationale for taking the route they selected.

To round out the "team", Forum Communications, public relations firm representing the project to landowners, and Poisson, Bazinet et Associes, evaluators to negociate compensation.

Forum Communications performed the avant garde representation of the project to landowners. Its public presentations were poorly organized and rife with misinformation. They fulfilled the function of a 'heat shield' for the promotes.

Poisson, Bazinet et Associes were charged with keeping landowner compensation to a minimum. Their agents reportedly spread misinformation, attempted to pit neighbor against neighbor, and bullied elderly landowners into accepting pitifully small settlements.

Contacts

Hydro Quebec

Gaz Metropolitain Limitee (SCGM)

Gaz Metropolitain web site

TransQuebec & Maritimes Pipeline Inc.

514 874-8800
1 Place Ville-Marie
Bureau 2220
Montreal, QC H3B 3M4

Janin

Field Office
514 449-1122
1350 Rue Nobel
Room 200
Boucherville, QC J4B 5H3

Urgel Delisle & Associes, Inc.

Engineering and environmental assessment consultants
800-263-2207
514-584-2207
514-282-0917 Fax
P.O. Box 60
426 Chemin des Patriotes
St-Charles-sur-Richelieu QC J0H 2G0

Poisson, Bazinet et Associes

Evaluateurs Agrees
The negotiators
800 363-6650
514 844-4431
514 282-0917 Fax
225, rue Notre Dame ouest
bureau 100
Montreal, QC H2Y 1T4

Forum Communications

Public Relations Firm
1 888-954-9525
1176 Bishop Street, Suite 300
Montreal, QC H3G 2E3

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