Michael questions oversight of Muskrat Falls spending, potential rate hikes
NDP Leader Lorraine Michael (MHA, Signal Hill-Quidi Vidi) wants to know what, if anything, is happening with the hundreds of millions of dollars allotted for Nalcor in this year’s budget. She also wants to know what kind of oversight the government has on the use of this money, especially given the massive cost overruns of a similar project in Manitoba.
“Manitoba Hydro’s Wuskwatim hydroelectric dam bills are in, and the people of Manitoba learned it has cost twice what they were told it would cost,” she said in the House of Assembly today. “Manitoba Hydro officials blamed unprecedented increases in input costs on everything from cement to fuel to labour.
“I ask the Premier, what makes her and Nalcor think they will be able to control the costs of their Muskrat Falls Project, also approved by Manitoba Hydro?”
Michael drew attention to both the immediate and possible future rate increases.
“The people of Manitoba face a 2.5 per cent rate increase because of the huge cost overruns on the Wuskwatim project. Some experts say Manitobans can expect double digit rate hikes over the next decade,” she said.
“I ask the Premier, how can she sure, as she keeps insisting, that people in this province will not face the same fate from government’s Muskrat Falls project?”
The NDP leader also has questions about the massive sum allocated for Nalcor’s discretionary use in Budget 2013. “In this year’s budget government pegged over $531 million dollars for Nalcor to draw down on if needed. That’s money government chose not to spend on infrastructure and services,” she said.
“Does the Department of Finance have complete oversight on how this money is spent by Nalcor?"