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DARTMOUTH COLLEGE YIELDS TO PRESSURE FROM HYDRO-QUEBEC'S OPPONENTS; WHERE A CAMPAIGN OF DIS-INFORMATION CAN LEAD

 MONTREAL, Dec. 18 /PRNewswire/ - Hydro-Quebec today released the following:
 Present events at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire illustrate the damage that systematic dis-information can do. The Council on Investor Responsibility of Dartmouth says that it makes no judgment on issues raised by the opponents of Hydro-Quebec, yet it is doing exactly what the opponents of Hydro-Quebec have asked that it do in recommending that Dartmouth's investment managers find substitute investments for the $6.8 million holding of Hydro-Quebec bonds.
 Since May of this year, Hydro-Quebec, the Quebec government and the federal government of Canada have offered the Dartmouth College authorities their full co-operation. So it is amazing, to say the least, to learn today that the Council on Investor Responsibility and the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees claim that they are unable to discern a "clear and decisive picture of the situation." If this is the case, why do they not request additional information, rather than yield to pressure from opponents who are unable to back up any of their claims with facts. The academic tradition of the search for truth would surely have been better served.
 The Crees of Quebec and their supporters want the people of New England to believe that the hydropower projects of the James Bay region harm the environment. Yet quite the reverse is true. They make a major contribution to reconciling economic growth and the lessening of environmental impacts of the production and consumption of energy. The Crees also would have the people of New England believe that the rights of aboriginal peoples have not been respected by Hydro-Quebec and the governments of Quebec and Canada. Yet courts both in Canada and the United States have found this to be untrue.
 The dollar amount in question is small when set against the total $28 billion (Canadian) of Hydro-Quebec bonds in circulation. And Hydro- Quebec enjoys an excellent relationship with American investors. Nonetheless, Hydro-Quebec feels it must draw the attention of the American community to the following facts:
 -- On Oct. 2, the Vermont Supreme Court unanimously rejected all the arguments raised by the Grand Council of the Crees (of Quebec) in opposition to the sale of Quebec electricity to Vermont Joint Owners. The decision of the five justices states that the electricity supplied by Hydro-Quebec comes from a democratic country that should be left to make the hard choices in balancing the interests of minorities against the interests of all its citizens.
 -- On Nov. 20, three justices of the Federal Court of Appeal of Canada unanimously concluded that the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement was negotiated by the parties in good faith and in full knowledge of what they were doing. It was the product of "a long and difficult" process of negotiation. "The benefits received and the concessions made by the aboriginal parties were received and given freely, after serious thought, in a situation which was, to use their counsel's expression, one of give and take'.
 The Court concluded that the Crees must "be bound by the informed commitment that (the aboriginal party) is now in a position to make," and that this was to their advantage, because it is in the interests of the Aboriginals themselves "to interpret the agreements which they sign today in such a way that the other signing parties will not feel themselves at the mercy of constant attempts to renegotiate in the courts."
 -- On Oct. 10, Hydro-Quebec and the Crees signed an agreement in principle on various projects which will be built at the La Grande complex in the James Bay area. The objective of the agreement is to facilitate the insertion into the environment of these projects by providing adequate mitigation measures for environmental impacts, or for compensation for the residual impacts. An overall amount of $50 million (Canadian) in 1992 dollars will be paid to the populations affected. This amount is in addition to the hundreds of millions of dollars already paid and in addition to the numerous programs set up by the Quebec and Canadian governments and Hydro-Quebec to promote the social, economic and cultural development of the Crees by virtue of the agreements signed since 1975.
 -- While the Crees and some American organizations encourage certain institutions to divest of their Hydro-Quebec bonds by making an outrageous parallel between their situation and that of the Blacks in South Africa, the Crees themselves hold bonds worth an estimated $63 million Canadian, which they could divest tomorrow morning if they wanted.
 Hydro-Quebec has been buying from and selling electricity to its American partners for 75 years. These transactions have always been mutually beneficial both from the financial and environmental viewpoint. It might be advisable to think twice before abandoning these advantages.
 -0- 12/18/92
 /CONTACT: Guy Versailles, relations avec les medias of Hydro- Quebec, 514-289-2276/


CO: Hydro-Quebec; Dartmouth College ST: Quebec, New Hampshire IN: UTI SU:

WB -- NY086 -- 8423 12/18/92 17:06 EST
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Date:Dec 18, 1992
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