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No hydro deal with Quebec yet

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TORONTO—Ontario's energy minister says the province is still negotiating a possible electricity agreement with Quebec, disputing a published report that it is preparing to sign a deal to buy enough electricity to power a city of about 800,000 people.

La Presse reports that it obtained a copy of a draft deal that says Ontario would buy eight terawatt hours per year from Quebec, whether the electricity is consumed or not.

Ontario Energy Minister Glenn Thibeault's office says the province is in discussions to build on an agreement signed last year for Ontario to import up to two terawatt hours of electricity a year from Quebec.

But Thibeault's office has released a letter dated late last month to his Quebec counterpart, in which Thibeault says the offer extended this spring was unacceptable because it would increase the average residential electricity bill by $30 a year.

Thibeault's office says any future agreements with Quebec will have to provide a reduction in Ontario electricity costs compared to other alternatives.

A spokesman also says any deal would have to demonstrate measurable reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.

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