Premier likes MoA

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Andrew Robinson
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Premier Kathy Dunderdale speaks to reporters outside the House of Assembly Monday afternoon. She said she doesn't understand criticism of last week's memorandum of agreement announcement. — Photo by Keith Gosse/The Telegram

Premier Kathy Dunderdale said there are no grounds to criticize last Friday’s announcement of a memorandum of agreement signed between Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia and the federal government on a loan guarantee for the $6.2-billion Lower Churchill hydroelectric development.

“There were three criteria the prime minister laid down for giving a loan guarantee,” said the premier, speaking with reporters Monday outside the House of Assembly.

“It was that it had to have national and regional significance, that it had to have financial and economic merit, and that it had to significantly reduce greenhouse gases. The federal government has acknowledged in this MoA that we have met all three conditions.”

Both provincial opposition leaders questioned whether the announcement may have jumped the gun given the federal government will only now obtain the services of financial advisers to handle due diligence. Liberal Leader Kevin Aylward said there remains an avenue for the federal government to back away from the loan guarantee commitment.

The premier does not believe the work of financial advisers will jeopardize the project at Muskrat Falls in Labrador.

“The financial diligence that is required is to see how the loan guarantee will be structured. Now when we have had major agreements in this province — with Hebron, with Terra Nova, with White Rose, and with Hibernia South extension — this is the way we do it. I’m at a loss to understand the criticism or opinion that this isn’t significant or doesn’t mean anything.”

She said an agreement in principle has always represented an important step in all of Newfoundland and Labrador’s major developments of the past.

Since Friday’s announcement, Dunderdale said she has received calls from across the country asking how the government and Nalcor Energy were able to obtain the memorandum of agreement from the federal government.

The statements of federal Minister of Natural Resources Joe Oliver on Friday were clear in verifying his commitment to the project, said the premier.

“I think Minister Oliver in his remarks was quite clear. This is not a question of whether there’s going to be a loan guarantee. There is a loan guarantee.”

An agreement on the particulars of the loan guarantee or equivalent financing is due by Nov. 30, or eight weeks after the federal government obtains relevant financial data, according to the memorandum document.

arobinson@thetelegram.com

Organizations: Nalcor Energy

Geographic location: Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Hebron Terra Nova White Rose Hibernia South

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Recent comments

  • John Smith
    August 23, 2011 - 15:03

    We don't want anymore paper mills Maurice...thanks though.

  • Maurice E. Adams
    August 23, 2011 - 11:12

    "with no way to grow industry"? The Globe and Mail today reports that a paper mill in Port Haukesbury, Nova Scotia lost money last year largely because of high electricity costs in Nova Scotia. ======= Now our only remaining mill is already operating at reduced capacity ----- and with Muskrat Falls, we will be sending less than cost electricity to Nova Scotia to compete with our paper industry here in Newfoundland. Is that the way Muskrat Falls will grow industry here in Newfoundland --- by helping the paper mills in Nova Scotia compete with a struggling Newfoundland industry?

  • John Smith
    August 23, 2011 - 09:34

    More lies and innuendo Maurice? LOL First of all we do not need the feds to make this deal happen. A little lower interest would help the bottom line look even better, but it is not required. If we don't proceed with this development, we will always be tied to the price of oil for our power. Would Maurice like to stay as an isolated island, with no way to grow industry, or to stabalize rates, pouring billions into the belching smoke stacks in Holyrood, watching our rates double, and double again. Or should we look ahead, plan ahead, ask our professionals what would be the best route for us to take? Green, stable, unlimited power. Don't forget folks, we are paying 16 cents a KWH today, for power at Holyrood, that is a fact. That's with the current price of oil. Look out if oil goes to 150 dollars a barrel. Then you will be crying out of the other side of your mouth.

    • McLovin
      August 23, 2011 - 11:53

      Well John, if we dont need the loan guarantee why did we ask the Feds for it? Simply for cheaper intrest payments? I would think that there's a little more to it than that. What I would like to know is what other alternatives both the government and Nalcor hav explored to replace Holyrood. I'm sorry but an underwater transmission link and a power line running across the province does not seem like the only possible logical or economic solution, especially seeing as this government is doing everything it can to release any detailed cost analysis other than to say that it's going to cost over 6 billion dollars and that our power rates are going to go up anyway.

  • Brad
    August 23, 2011 - 09:32

    I like ice cream is that news? Of course she likes it, it is what she wanted all along. More electioneering.

  • Maurice E. Adams
    August 23, 2011 - 08:19

    The only thing guaranteed is that if we ratepayers in Newfoundland are not able to pay Nalcor enough to keep up the payments on this multi-billion dollar loan (if we default), then ownership/control of both the generation facilities and transmission links may be taken over by the guarantor. As well, in this agreement, the province has given up control (given over majority on the committee that will write down the 'conditions' of this guarantee) to Ottawa, Emera and Nova Scotia. Hard to believe, but read it for yourself.

  • Richard
    August 23, 2011 - 07:38

    ''Premier Kathy Dunderdale said there are no grounds to criticize...'' She's becoming more like Danny every day.

  • Reality
    August 23, 2011 - 07:23

    Why weren't you there for the big announcement then, Kathy?