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A majority of the energy consumed in Quebec comes from hydrocarbons

Montreal, Tuesday, April 16, 2013 – Without a doubt, questions regarding energy policies are among the hot topics addressed in Canada. The Montreal Economic Institute (MEI) is releasing today an energy portrait the province of Quebec in which we learn that 53 % of the energy consumed in Quebec comes from fossil fuels.

“Many concerns and demands are expressed here and there on the topic of energy. It seemed important to us to come back to the facts by presenting a global picture of the current situation,” explains Youri Chassin, author of the energy report unveiled today.

From the outset, we find that the province has taken advantage of its immense water resources, with hydro dams accounting for 96% of the electricity produced here. However, this abundance of electrical production only covers 40% of the province’s energy needs. According to data from the Department of Natural Resources (MRN), a majority of the energy consumed in Quebec comes from hydrocarbons like oil and natural gas. Oil is even the province’s top imported product at $13.7 billion in 2012.

Another surprising fact is that Quebec’s electricity consumption per capita is the second highest in the world. On average, Quebecers consume 48 % more electricity than Canadians. Only Icelanders consume more.

“We cannot simultaneously criticize new hydroelectric projects, demonize natural gas extraction, oppose pipelines and fight against the importation of oil. We need energy, and it has to come from somewhere. Here’s hoping that discussions about Quebec energy policy will favour a pragmatic approach that acknowledges the importance of having access to affordable energy while limiting its environmental impact,” says Mr. Chassin.

The Economic Note entitled Quebec’s Energy Reality was prepared by Youri Chassin, economist at the MEI. This publication is available on our website.

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The Montreal Economic Institute is an independent, non-partisan, not-for-profit research and educational organization. Through its publications and conferences, the MEI stimulates debate on public policies in Quebec and across Canada by proposing wealth-creating reforms based on market mechanisms.

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Interview requests: Ariane Gauthier, communications coordinator, Montreal Economic Institute / Tel.: 514 273-0969 ext. 2231 / Cell: 514 603-8746 / Email: agauthier@iedm.org

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