Douglas: Quebec a key partner in Vermont’s energy future

first_imgBy Governor Jim Douglas July 6, 2011. As Governor of Vermont, one of my first priorities was to strengthen and grow our state’s centuries-long partnership with the Canadian Province of Quebec.  I believed then as I do now that this relationship is critical to the success of our great state. Quebec is our largest trading partner and a significant source of clean, stable and, most importantly, renewable energy from Hydro-Quebec. Not only do we share an international border, but we share a deep cultural and historic connection; indeed many families have relatives on both sides.In December of 2003 I led the first of many delegations north to Montreal, Quebec City and Sherbrooke. Quebec Premier Jean Charest and I quickly established a professional rapport and close friendship because we both know the importance of the bond our people share. Our Lake Champlain Quadricentennial in 2009 was a great example of how we celebrate our shared history and Franco-American heritage. In recent years Vermont and Quebec worked together on a host of important initiatives. We committed ourselves to improve the quality of Lakes Champlain and Memphremagog; we agreed, with other states and provinces in our region, to reduce emissions into the atmosphere; we entered into an agreement on reciprocity of child support; we instituted enhanced driver’s licenses for easier transit across the border; we conducted joint training drills in emergency preparedness; and we worked on enhancing our cross-border transportation options. One of the most important relationships we have with Quebec is around energy.  I am proud that our energy portfolio is the cleanest in the nation ‘ we emit less in greenhouse gases than any other state ‘and our retail electric rates are the lowest in New England.  This due in large part to the very favorable contracts we have negotiated with our energy partners at Hydro-Quebec. As we look to a new phase in our energy future, the acquisition of our largest utility, Central Vermont Public Service (CVPS), likely by one of two Canadian companies, it is my hope that the focus will remain on what is best for families and employers who struggle everyday to make ends meet. Vermonters are right to measure the outcome of the CVPS acquisition based almost entirely on what it will mean for their electric rates. Two ways to achieve lower rates are to ensure the availability of power and streamlining its delivery to consumers. While Vermont should continue to explore alternative sources of power, it is essential that we maintain a cost-effective supply of baseload electricity.  That means stable, affordable, renewable energy from a source of which we can be proud and a country we can trust. Our neighbors to the north are not an unstable regime far from home; they are a valued ally whose success is integrally tied to our own. A key cost of doing business ‘ especially in manufacturing and other energy-intensive sectors ‘ is electricity. If we’re going to create more good-paying jobs for the next generation of Vermonters, we need to moderate that cost.   We can be proud that all of our utilities, including our two largest, CVPS and Green Mountain Power, have such a great record of service to our people. This is due to the dedication of the countless hard-working Vermonters who make these companies run. But as I have often said, in order for us to realize savings in our small state, whether in education spending, healthcare costs or electric rates, we must seek efficiencies through economies of scale wherever possible. For this reason, as Governor, I supported consolidation of our utilities.  There are few, if any, more meaningful ways to reduce costs among regulated monopolies like utilities. Improving our relationship with Quebec is one of the great accomplishments of my tenure. It is encouraging to see the new administration carry on this important mission. There will be many energy challenges in the future as the demand for electricity grows and, in an increasingly unstable world, it is a great comfort to know that Vermont can look to Quebec as a valued partner and friend.last_img read more

These homes for high-flyers come with a helipad

first_img101 Commodore Drive, Paradise Waters, is the only home with the sanction to land a helicopter on the Gold Coast.As COVID-19 restrictions start to ease, many people will be returning to offices and the now quiet roads will once again be teeming with commuters. The lucky owners of 101 Commodore Drive, Paradise Waters, however, have the means to escape the M1 rat run. How? With their own private helicopter and floating helipad. The private helipad at 101 Commodore Drive, Paradise Waters.The waterfront home on the Gold Coast was a hotly anticipated property when it was being built several years ago. For years neighbours watched it evolve, rising from a block of vacant land, to become one of the most extravagant homes on the canal. The property attracted attention, not least for a 105mm Howitzer that sits on its balcony, protecting its river views from unsuspecting visitors, but also for its helipad, which made it the only riverfront home on the Gold Coast from which you can fly directly in and out of. The property, called Tulsa, named after the owner’s friend’s farm in Victoria, sits on 1129 sqm and has 30m of water frontage, six bathrooms, seven car spaces, a powered workshop, grand formal bar room. It also has a home theatre with a 140-inch screen plus an office and library. A nine-person lift services each of the floors of the three-storey mansion. The property is 30 minutes from Coolangatta Airport and an hour from Brisbane Airport (by car) and is a stroll to Main Beach and the village atmosphere of Tedder Ave.It is on the market for $12.75 million through Tolemy Stevens of Harcourts Coastal, Broadbeach. Feel like a Hollywood movie star when you fly in to this property at 652 London Rd, Chandler.House-hunters in Brisbane have the chance to snap up a property with its own helipad at 652 London Road, Chandler. The palatial private acreage estate in one of Brisbane’s most exclusive residential pockets is just 18 minutes to domestic and international airports. The 1.01ha Georgian-inspired property has looks that wouldn’t be out of place on a classic romantic film set. The stately 901sqm seven-bedroom, six-bathroom mansion, is filled with chandeliers and exquisite finishes, including marble staircases, Spanish Crema Marfil marble flooring and rendered concrete. There is a large lounge and formal dining space with wrought-iron banisters.Outside you can land your helicopter in the landscaped gardens, which follow a sweeping private driveway down to the road.The property is open for inspections through Joseph Lordi of McGrath ahead of its auction date, which is yet to be set.More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus9 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market9 hours ago 82 Santacatterina Road, Port Douglas, is at the foot of the Daintree and has its own helipad.If you want to escape isolation and fancy a trip further north, you could land your helicopter at 82 Santacatterina Road, Port Douglas. The estate at the base of the surrounding Daintree sits in five acres of natural rainforest with a creek, a helipad and driveways for landing helicopters, stables, and a tennis court. Inside, the main house is just as grand. As you enter you are met by an internal waterfall and floor to ceiling louvred glass windows overlooking the pool and gardens.Four master bedrooms in the main residence all have ensuites, with a further two bedrooms and bathrooms in a separate area making up the sleeping quarters.The property is on the market for $3.45 million through Barbara Wolveridge of Sotheby’s Queensland..last_img read more