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Hydro Quebec suspends work in Canada on controversial energy corridor

Brian Bechard
Maine Public

Central Maine Power's partner in its controversial western Maine energy corridor has suspended work on the project's Canadian side. Hydro Quebec has a 20-year contract to provide hydro-electricity to Massachusetts via the transmission line.

But it sent a letter this month to Canadian regulators saying forest-clearing and construction in Canada would be on hold until courts in Maine decide the legality of a vote by Maine citizens last November to kill the project.

In the letter, first reported by the Portland Press Herald, Hydro-Quebec says it "remains convinced of the value, merits and importance of the project." CMP suspended most work on the U.S. side of the border in November. The state Supreme Judicial Court is expected to hear oral arguments in CMP's challenge to the statewide vote this spring.

A Columbia University graduate, Fred began his journalism career as a print reporter in Vermont, then came to Maine Public in 2001 as its political reporter, as well as serving as a host for a variety of Maine Public Radio and Maine Public Television programs. Fred later went on to become news director for New England Public Radio in Western Massachusetts and worked as a freelancer for National Public Radio and a number of regional public radio stations, including WBUR in Boston and NHPR in New Hampshire.