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Sophie Brochure’s Resignation: An Opportunity for Hydro-Québec to Finally Take the Climate Shift

Sophie Brochu’s somewhat sudden resignation sparked a reaction. Since the appointment of Pierre Fitzgibbon as Minister in charge of Hydro-Québec, a power struggle has begun to take shape between the Chief Executive and the Minister. Ms. Brochu may not have wanted to pay for a power struggle against the Boys Club and I know what I’m talking about.

However, contrary to what many columnists suggest, their views of economics are not divergent at all. They are part of the same large business network. However, Sophie Brochure did not have the same enthusiasm as Pierre Fitzgibbon. You will find that my remarks do not line up with the remarks you have heard on this issue, but let’s look at the facts.


Ms. Brochu signed a contract to sell at a significant discount, or even at a loss, of 20 TWh/year in the US for 25 years, when she knew full well there would be an increase in needs in Quebec of 20 TWh/year associated with the energy transition. As of 20271, in less than 5 years, Hydro-Québec expects to run out of electricity. For someone who sounded the alarm about the danger of making Hydro the “dollarama of electricity,” Sophie Brochu is kind of a firefighter. It was her, too, the former CEO of Gaz Métro turned CEO of Hydro, who signed an agreement to forfeit $2.4 billion to the gas company (his former employer) to maintain a distribution network of primarily frack gas, the dirtiest energy in the world. Planet, under false pretenses. All at the expense of electricity consumers. The facts speak for themselves.

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Furthermore, Ms. Brochu displayed highly questionable ethics. Take, for example, her participation as a high-priced speaker for her husband’s company. There is also an example of his privilege to continue sitting on the board of the Bank of Montreal while CEO of Hydro-Québec, a practice until then prohibited. She also said at the time that if she had to choose between the two, her choice would be easy. She would have chosen the Bank of Montreal without hesitation. I repeat, the facts speak for themselves.

The main player in the climate crisis

As far as running Hydro-Québec is concerned, Quebecers deserve better. Hydro-Quebec can become a flagship vessel for the rapid termination of gas and oil in Quebec. Hydro-Québec has the expertise to reduce energy consumption, to replace fossil fuel technologies with electric technologies that are more environmentally responsible, especially with large industrial companies that emit large amounts of greenhouse gases. It also has solid expertise in the electrification of transportation: motors, batteries, stations and charging stations. Before considering the construction of new dams, it is best to document a more restrictive scenario for the use of electricity already produced and improvements to existing infrastructure that would make it possible to implement energy transmission directly from the existing grid.

The decision to appoint Hydro-Québec’s next director is more strategic than ever. The Prime Minister is at a crossroads and his decision will be very revealing. Giving Hydro-Québec a strong, independent mandate to really take climate change now with the appointment of the next administration will work for the Earth and for generations to come. Choosing to appoint a puppet of Fitzgibbon agree to pull more of the collective gem would be to sign Quebec’s abdication in the face of the climate crisis.

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Martin Oleh, President Climat Québec, former Minister of Natural Resources, former Director at Hydro Québec