State and federal law prohibit foreign interference in elections, but Hydro-Quebec has exploited a loophole in Maine with an aggressive media campaign to promote Central Maine Power’s unpopular NECEC corridor project. This sort of foreign interference is illegal in Canada.
According to the Maine Ethics Commission, Hydro-Quebec, a corporation owned by the Canadian government, contributed a whopping $9.2 million into their PAC in 2020. Each year, they share billions in dividends with the government as their sole shareholder. After facing scrutiny, HQ changed its PAC address from Montreal to Hartford, Conn., to charade as a domestic-based organization although the PAC officers remain in Montreal.
In 2020, HQ was assessed a $35,000 fine by the Maine Ethics Commission, the second largest campaign violation fine in state history. HQ misused images of Acadia and Baxter State Park in an ad and has never provided verifiable evidence about their environmental claims regarding NECEC, nor did it submit sworn testimony at approval agencies.
Despite enormous foreign spending to influence the November 2021 referendum to reject the CMP corridor, recent polling shows those efforts as ineffective and that a majority of Mainers continue to oppose the for-profit project. The larger issue is that a foreign-owned corporation and its government owner should not be able to influence a vote in Maine. Mainers know best how to protect Maine. Urge your state representative to support LD194 and LD479 to rectify this oversight in Maine law, and please vote “yes” this November to reject the CMP Corridor.
Principal Officer, No CMP Corridor