Quebec’s energy policy is on the wrong course and needs to be revamped with input from the public, says the union representing Hydro-Quebec engineers.

“We’re worried about the energy overcapacity,” said Louis Champagne, president of the 1,550-member Syndicat professionel des ingénieurs. “Why do we build things we have no need for? We can’t build dams just to build dams. Before we spend the money, we should be sure we need it or that we can’t get the energy in another way.”

Champagne called on the government to create an independent board to regulate Hydro-Quebec and give the public a say in energy policy. “We would be happy to see Hydro-Quebec controlled by the people.”

The union leader also criticized former Energy Minister Lise Bacon for pushing hydro-projects “even if the demand was not proven,” and was skeptical about Natural Resource Minister Christos Sirros’s recent promises to reform Hydro-Quebec. “Sirros’s statements sound good, but we don’t know what the Liberals have in mind. Maybe it’s just an electoral exercise.”

Champagne also said his union’s members “are sympathetic” to Cree concerns about Great Whale. “If we can’t arrive at an agreement with the First Nations [on Great Whale], we should maybe not build the project.