Government must address Muskrat Falls report, says Michael
NDP Leader Lorraine Michael (MHA, Signal Hill-Quidi Vidi) says she is increasingly concerned that the government is proceeding with the Muskrat Falls project despite the growing mountain of unanswered questions.
“The government is speeding ahead with the work before it has even indicated its response to last August’s report from the Joint Environmental Assessment Review Panel,” Michael said today.
“That panel clearly cautioned that the government needs to confirm whether the project would provide significant long-term financial returns for the benefit of the people of the Province,” Michael said. “By delaying the sanctioning of the project, but allowing NALCOR to continue its preliminary work, the government is in fact moving ahead, in effect ignoring the expert advice, including the wide range of social and economic concerns addressed in the panel’s report.”
The government’s refusal to address the panel’s report is part of its pattern of ignoring any questions posed about the project, said Michael. This week alone, the Public Utilities Board and two former Deputy Ministers raised serious concerns about the viability of the project, the process for approving it, and the benefits to the province.
“Government has responded to previous reports for big projects like Voisey’s Bay and White Rose within four months,” Michael said.
“As far as I’m concerned, this government doesn’t have a leg to stand on regarding moving ahead with its current Muskrat Falls proposal once one reads just the first two recommendations of the panel,” said Michael. “How much money is government going to permit NALCOR to spend before the project is fully sanctioned and while questions continue to mount?”