Mayor Naheed Nenshi is blasting the province if it’s considering legislation to retroactively change power contracts signed more than a decade ago.
He says he’s absolutely shocked that the government would even entertain such an idea.
Nenshi says that would send a chilling message that the government is not interested in private investment and the province is closed for business.
The mayor says the Notley government created this mess.
“If I were giving them advise on this I would say, ‘holy cannoli, are you really thinking of doing this in order to avoid the consequences of the lawsuit that you yourself filed?’. Remember that the government triggered this situation themselves,with an outrageous lawsuit in which they sued themselves and named these companies for actually doing what it said they could do within these agreements.”
He says this is the most dangerous precedent any government could take, particularly when they’re about to go into the market looking for companies to invest in renewable energy options and are set to restructure the electricity grids.
“Who would ever invest in this province if they thought the government would just invalidate their contract decades later. I have not idea what the government’s game is, or what they’re trying to achieve here.”
The province has gone to court after power companies such as Enmax, Trans Alta and Capital power used an opt out clause in their power purchase agreements, after the Alberta government introduced new carbon pricing legislation. The clause allows those companies to opt-out when legislation makes the contracts unprofitable.
In response to rumours about the retroactive legislation, Notley would only say the government is looking at all of its options.