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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
05OTTAWA530 2005-02-18 19:06:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Ottawa
Cable title:  

HYDRO-QUEBEC MOVES TO ENHANCE SECURITY

Tags:   ENRG PGOV TRGY CA 
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This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

181906Z Feb 05
					  C O N F I D E N T I A L OTTAWA 000530 

SIPDIS

STATE FOR WHA/CAN, EB/ESC/IEC AND S/CT

E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/17/2015
TAGS: ENRG PGOV TRGY CA
SUBJECT: HYDRO-QUEBEC MOVES TO ENHANCE SECURITY

REF: 04 QUEBEC 225

Classified By: JOHN DICKSON, DCM, OTTAWA, STATE. REASON: 1.4 (D)



1. (C) Summary: In the wake of the intrusion into two
Hydro-Quebec generating facilities by television journalists,
Thierry Vandal, Hydro-Quebec President for Production, called
DCM February 18 to provide an update on steps which the
company is taking to improve security. Vandal also expressed
thanks for the Ambassador's balanced press comments on
Hydro-Quebec's ability to respond to the security lapses.
End Summary.



2. (U) On February 15, CBC French-language television
broadcast a report which showed footage of a reporter easily
breaking into Hydro-Quebec's James Bay LG2 and Manic V
installations. Hydro-Quebec (HQ) had tried to get an
injunction from Quebec courts to stop the broadcast, but was
unsuccessful. The Canadian media, especially the
French-language media in Quebec, are widely reporting the
story and questioning whether Quebec's electricity system is
secure.



3. (C) Vandal, who late last year escorted a group from
Embassy and ConGen Quebec to HQ's remote James Bay generating
facilities (reftel), acknowledged to DCM that the company was
very concerned by the incident. He said HQ is accelerating
and expanding an ongoing system-wide security upgrade, and
will hire 180 new security personnel in addition to
installing a series of sensors and motion detectors at its
installations. Vandal said that all generators over 100
megawatts, beyond the company's definition of a "strategic"
facility, will now have security personnel on site 24/7. In
addition, the company is immediately ending all public visits
to its installations. Vandal explained that his call to the
DCM was one of a series to government officials and large HQ
customers, to give reassurance that the company is actively
addressing security concerns. Vandal said he previously
spoke to officials at the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory
Commission.



4. (C) Vandal noted that HQ considers its substations, and
not its generators, as the highest security priority. He
said the reporters had previously tried to enter a substation
and were escorted off the premises, which the journalists did
not report. Vandal said that the reporter entered one of the
installations by staking out the entrance, and took advantage
of a half-hour absence of security personnel. Vandal
admitted that such a lapse is unacceptable, but said that the
journalist "got lucky." In any event, very little damage
could have been done, Vandal emphasized, as the generators
are controlled remotely from hundreds of miles away.
Characterizing HQ's response as "Full Shields Up," Vandal
said that the company requested the injunction not to kill
the story, but to give it time to prepare for copycat
intrusions. There were eight attempted entries the next day,
he said, and four the day after that.



5. (C) Vandal expressed appreciation for what he termed the
Ambassador's "balanced" comments on HQ's ability to improve
the protection of its facilities, delivered during a visit to
Montreal on February 17. Separately, Quebec CG spoke with
senior provincial Ministry of Energy officials February 18,
who confirmed that Premier Charest has asked for, and will be
receiving, daily updates on the security of Quebec's energy
infrastructure. The Quebec government is also preparing a
plan of action to address infrastructure security, and the
Ministry of Energy will be relaying updates on this to Quebec
CG in the weeks ahead. Mission will report on further
developments regarding this matter as appropriate.

Visit Canada's Classified Web Site at
http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/wha/ottawa

DICKSON