Muskrat Falls puts province’s finances at risk
In the House of Assembly today, NDP Leader Lorraine Michael (MHA, Signal Hill-Quidi Vidi) continued to question the wisdom of government forging ahead with the Muskrat Falls development. She says the people of Newfoundland and Labrador are being forced into a disproportionate risk.
“Emera has announced they will sanction the Maritime Link without waiting for a UARB review, knowing they can walk away later for $60 million dollar fine if the utility’s decision is negative and the deal sours. The ratepayers of this province have no such remedy,” Michael said.
“How can the Premier sanction a project that lays all this considerable risk squarely on the backs of the ratepayers of the province?”
Michael is equally concerned by a clause in the loan guarantee that says this government must be prepared to assume all the costs of the project with or without the participation of Emera.
“In other words, government must have a plan “B” if there is no Maritime Link,” said Michael. Mr. Speaker, I ask the Premier, will she allow the people of the province to see her Plan “B”?
The NDP Leader also had strong words on the wisdom of removing the Public Utilities Board from setting rates, saying the Premier, by doing so, is “effectively locking those ratepayers for decades to Muskrat Falls power, regardless of the cost,” as well as removing their regulatory protection.
“How could the premier have made such a drastic commitment on behalf of the people of this province?” Michael asked.