Dean MacDonald quickly dismissed the Public Utilities Board report into Muskrat Falls as a “farce” that never should have happened.
Speaking to reporters this morning, MacDonald confirmed that he supports the proposal to develop a hydroelectric dam at Muskrat Falls in Labrdor.
MacDonald is touted as a likely candidate for the Liberal leadership. He will be challenging current interim-leader Dwight Ball, who has spent a fair bit of time in the House of Assembly this spring questioning the government's plans for Muskrat Falls.
“I commend Dwight for the questions that he's asking on the project, because that's really good. You know, all Newfoundlanders and Labradorians want a good output from Muskrat Falls, and I think Dwight and his team have done a great job of asking tough questions,” MacDonald said. “I'm a proponent for it, but I feel that there's been lots of parts of the process flawed, that's for sure.”
Earlier this week, the PUB report into the project was released by the government; the board refused to certify whether Muskrat Falls is the cheapest option for meeting Newfoundland's electricity demands.
But MacDonald said the PUB process was flawed from the start, with board chairman Andy Wells publicly making critical comments about provincial crown energy company Nalcor, who is proposing to build the dam.
MacDonald also said too much credence has been given to critics, such as former deupty minister David Vardy and former St. John's city manager Ron Penney
“If you read the report, you know, Penney and Vardy are quoted more than Manitoba Hydro, the Consumer Advocate and Navigant. So that doesn't work,” he said. “Unfortunately in this debate there's lots of voices adn they're all gettign equal weighting, but I can tell you you're not going to ask Mr. Vardy or Mr. Penney to build a dam for you. You're going to ask Nalcor, Navigant, Manitoba Hydro.”