Premier Kathy Dunderdale says it would be in the federal government’s best interest to support the Lower Churchill project with a loan guarantee for Muskrat Falls.
“The prime minister committed to having a broader, deeper discussion about that in the next few weeks. I’m looking forward to that discussion with him,” she said.
“It makes all kinds of sense at so many levels, both for us and for the federal government, so we’re very hopeful.”
The premier said it should be an election issue for Harper’s government.
“This project stands on its own merit for the people of Newfoundland and Labrador, but if we have the federal government involved, it means tremendous savings to ratepayers, not only here in Newfoundland and Labrador but in Atlantic Canada as well,” she said.
“It helps the federal government meet its greenhouse targets, and it’s no risk and no cost to the federal government. So if I were headed into an election campaign some time this spring, I would love to have that as part of my message to the people of Canada.”
“It makes all kinds of sense at so many levels, both for us and for the federal government, so we’re very hopeful.” - Premier Kathy Dunderdale
Dunderdale also said she’d put pressure on the other political parties to support the project.
“Any savings that accrue to the project because of the loan guarantee will go directly to ratepayers, so this is not a benefit to the government of Newfoundland and Labrador or the government of Nova Scotia, to Nalcor or Emera. This is a benefit that we’re trying to negotiate for ratepayers.”
Dunderdale acknowledged that anti-Quebec rhetoric was a factor all through development of Lower Churchill.
“However, the prime minister’s office, as I’ve said before, works for all Canadians, and that includes the people of Newfoundland and Labrador,” she said. “So the legitimate aspirations of the people of Newfoundland and Labrador have to be taken into account as well as the stated policy direction of the government of Quebec.”