UPDATE: Dunderdale says Muskrat Falls 'will stand on its merits, or not at all'

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Premier Kathy Dunderdale speaks to the members of the St. John's Board of Trade today.

Premier Kathy Dunderdale used the podium of the St. John's Board of Trade to talk directly to the business community today.

Dunderdale painted the current economic and business climate in the province as prosperous. She said one of the core goals of her government is to make things easier for businesses.

Dunderdale and the PC government has typically use speeches at the Board to make big announces and lay out broad government vision.

The speech comes as the provincial government moves towards the final stages of sanctioning the massive Muskrat Falls hydroelectric project.

Dunderdale rattled off economic indicators and trends to paint the current economic mood as optimistic and prosperous.

She talked about the value of offshore oil revenues, but also talked up mineral developments and other economic sectors.

"Our story is one of strength," she said. "This province, in the last five years, has witnessed nothing less than a sea change."

Dunderdale also talked at length about Muskrat Falls, saying no project has been more scrutinized and more transparently explained.

"This project will stand on its merits, or not at all," she said.

Dunderdale said the Muskrat Falls is a keystone of the province's energy plans, and she said energy is as important in the province's development as fish once was.

She once again laid out the case for why Muskrat Falls is the best option for both domestic power supply and export.

More to follow online and in The Telegram Thursday.

Organizations: St. John's Board of Trade

Geographic location: Muskrat Falls

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Recent comments

  • Sam
    October 03, 2012 - 20:48

    You know the funny thing...if this was Danny saying this about Quebec or Ottawa, alot of these same people would be cheering him on. I think for alot of these people its a female leading the province...shame on you!

  • Justsayin
    October 03, 2012 - 18:05

    Fellow Newfoundlanders, if there is one issue that you need to stand united on, it is defeating this ill conceived project and the massive debt that will come with it. There is no justification for building a castle when you can live comfortably in a bongalow, especially if you can not afford to build the castle. The Dunderdale government's blind support of this project is now based on ego and no longer based on facts. As a former resident of Newfoundland, I have always taken pride in Newfoundlanders exercising a great deal of common sense when tackling issues. In this case, many seem to be void of any common sense at all. The upper churchill is ours in a little under 30 years. Until that time, buy the power from Quebec at the cheap rates that are being offerred. Do not let pride, stand in the way of good common sense. If you do not rise up and protest against this project, it will go through. March on Conferderation building before it is too late. I am not liberal, PC or NDP but rather a concerned proud Newfoundlander.

  • Marggy Carter
    October 03, 2012 - 15:57

    For those of you who might have missed it, there is an excellent article on this Muskrat fiasco in the Financial Post co-authored by David Vardy and Ron Penney. The Government of Nova Scotia has stated that it will subject its involvement in the project to full, unrestricted evaluation by its utility regulator. Penney and Vardy are urging the federal government that, as a condition of any loan guarantee approval, the Muskrat proposal - updated to reflect the final cost estimates - receive the same level of scrutiny by our PUB. The link to the FP story is as follows - http://opinion.financialpost.com/2012/10/01/needed-muskrat-review/

  • Brian
    October 03, 2012 - 15:00

    For all those against Muskrat Falls...what do you suggest??? The price of power is going to go up anyways....everything always does. I haven't heard anybody with any reliablity come to plate to make a suggestion. Don't you think oil companies would push the Natural Gas idea if it would be profitable? I haven't heard of any company making a suggestion or willing to put money on the table for power production. So again what real alternatives are there??

    • John Smith
      October 03, 2012 - 15:56

      There are no viable alternatives. NOIA made a big presentation during the PUB herrings, and can still be seen there. Explaning why gas would not be viable from present offshore sources. We all know that if the oil companies, who own the resource, thought they could make a buck from it they would be all over it like white on rice. But, they are saying that the billions it would cost to bring it ashore don't justify what's out there. just to convert one topsides facillity to transport NG, would cost billions, then we have the pipe line, which if ruptured could take 6 months to repair, and is very likely to rupture. Then there is the onshore storage problem, converting it to LNG, is likened to having a small nuclear bomb next to you house...no thanks. Nalcor already went through all the alternatives, years ago, and they thought that was good enough. But nope, they had to go to Navigant, nopr not good enough, then it was the PUB who went to MHI, the naysayers still not convinced...now we have to rehash the whole thing, for the benefit of the lunatic fringe, in the Hof A. We keep going over and over the same material, with the naysayers hoping beyond hope they will win the day...but they won't. Why? because the truth will prevail. There are only so many times we can get the same answer, before the deal is sactioned. I will pop a bottle of bubbly that day, in celebration of a well thought out, intelligent clean green answer to our future energy needs.

    • Winston Adams
      October 03, 2012 - 20:49

      Brian, efficiency and efficient heating can stop and reverse our demand for electricity, see my PUB submission. This will stabalize prices at about present rates for decades, without this big price bump. Other jurisdictions are achieving such reductions. Only John Smith says this is a pipe dream. This is the best solution to help the homeowner. But we need to mandate this from the top. And I don't see any party interested in the homeowner electric bill burden. John smith says the high power bills are his concern- but wants to bump prices by 50 percent or more making our power cost double Man,B.C, and Quebec. With *5 percent hydro this is outrageous and shows little effort as to alternatives. According to major US studies , efficiency is 1/3 cheaper than ANY alternative new generation. Try and deny that John Smith. That is FACT . That is true. Interesting that the Board of Trade is onboard with MF. This body should have a priority our competitive position, which is directly tied to energy costs for productuion and TRADE. And yet they are all for much higher power costs. Must be the short term construction profits they see. We were once a Trading country. We must be the only place in the world who would develop electricity to sell cheaper to another province or country than for local consumption, thereby making those others more competitive than we can be, and aiding their cost of living to be lower than ours. Brilliant! hard to beleive this mess could have been cooked up. Can't blame Quebec for this blunder. Danny and Blunderdale, I guess.

  • Bob's Your Uncle
    October 03, 2012 - 14:34

    This decision needs to be made by the average Newfoundlander whose pockets will be called upon to finance this project well into the future. The province's population is aging and it will be up to the next generations coming up and working to pay for this project. I can guarantee, you won't see the Big Mining Companies paying high electricity rates like the average household will on the island. It seems the only benefit is to Big Industry not the average newfoundlander who has to scratch out a living in a province that is getting more expensive to live in by the minute. Why not call an election to ensure the people get the chance to have a say if they want this project or not! Never accept anything at face value, it always costs more! Learn from the past and do not repeat another blunder. Enough Said

    • John Smith
      October 03, 2012 - 15:45

      hey Bob...you must have a short memory. We just had an election a few months ago, the PCs ran on muskrat and won by a landslide...enough said...LOL

  • Cold Future
    October 03, 2012 - 14:23

    The useless drivel continues to pour from the John Smith/Dunderdales. But the fact remains that the NL consumer is being set up to subsidize every KWh that is transmitted to the mainland. Our friends there will make great gains at our loss.There are no pearls of wisdom eminating from the JOHNS to show that that will not be so. No take or pay no Muskrat. If Muskrat proceeds, please someone let it be know how people on fixed incomes will not suffer greatly. Show the people some numbers. There is great concern but no government out there that is listeniing.

    • John Smith
      October 03, 2012 - 15:42

      I have a number for ya...SEVENTY...seven Zero...as in 70%, that's how much our electricity bills have increased since 1998. But wait...let's not talk about that say the Naysayers...SHHHH!!! We don't want to talk about the fact that as long as we stay tied to oil our costs will keep going up forever...no, no let's not focus on that salient point. Better to talk about conspiracies like our friend Graham here likes to talk about. Much more fun...I never alluded to giving pearls of wisdom, however, I am smart enough to know that as long as we keep buying oil for holyrood our bills will continue to go up. I am smart enough to know that all evidence points to the fact that we will need to increase our production of energy. I am smart enough to know that hydro will stableize my rates for the next 50 years.I am smart enough to know that when 2041 rolls around we had better have this quebec thing figured out or the Gull island and Upper churchill benefits will just go to Quebec Hydro. I am smart enough to know we presently have a private company who is willing to invest nearly 2 billion dollars into this project, providing a much needed connection to the mainland, allowing us to persue wind, and other alternative sources. No, no pearls of wisdom from me...I guess I'll have to leave that to the mensa members like you. You have it all figured out...right? Yes, seventy per cent, and they have a rate increase of 7% before the PUB as I write this, that will come into effect right after christmas. SHHH don't talk about that right Naysayers...give me a break...

  • NowIsee
    October 03, 2012 - 14:00

    Premier: MFalls provides a lesson for everyone that we won't be held hostage. So her entire speech is: We're building Muskrat Falls to stick it to Quebec. and it may be good for us. She said the word Quebec around 57 times. Thats good Kathy, lets bite our nose off to spite Quebec. That will show them LOL

  • Graham
    October 03, 2012 - 13:38

    John Smith..Thanks for pointing out everything that is wrong with Muskrat Falls, The very act that you see the need to immediately defend Dunderdale and Williams says a lot. Oh by the way John ..do some research and youwill see exactly how Danny Williams fits into th scheme of things and the millions he stands to gain by it. Why d you think King Danny left in such a rush John? No need for more Bull John Smith you allready dumped a big load on us allready.

  • Robb
    October 03, 2012 - 13:30

    Hey John Smith......great post, and I could not have said it better.....it is a real treat to see what the liberals and ndp will come up with to tarnish this media report. I really laugh at the posts that say "don't trust the gov't" or "the gov't has to go", and on and on it goes......it is always the same old, same old when it comes to political bashing. Anyway, forgetting the stupiditiy of what the opposition will spin on this, we have a great project on the go, and you can be damn sure that any other political party would love to be in the position of developing this. Since they cannot, they need to bash it as much as possible.....well, guess what liberals and ndp, you can go back to what ever it is you do when you are not trying to bash Muskrat Falls, and leave the important stuff to the big girls and boys.

  • George S
    October 03, 2012 - 13:21

    Actually, Dunderdale, the cornerstone of your Energy Plan was natural gas which has now become a dirty word in this geography. Do not forget that your Department in 2010, when you were Minister, commissioned Propel Research to conduct a study on natural gas utilization and provided costing of all energy options at that time. Assistant Deputy Minister Les Foote was the project manager. You may even recall Paddy Daly of VOCM fame, was a contributor to that report! Negotiate with HydroQuebec for a PPA. Drop Muskrat. Avoid $8billion debt. Stop treating tax payer money like monopoly money. Great contribution to the discussion John Smith. No doubt the tax payers have paid $250/hour X 2 hours today for your insight.

  • Miles Standoffish
    October 03, 2012 - 13:21

    Latest round of bull already submitted by "John Smith".

  • Eli
    October 03, 2012 - 13:11

    U write this from The Waterford?

  • Scott Free
    October 03, 2012 - 13:10

    John, I bet that your comments were on the bottom of the press release page that Premier Stunderdale delivered...your cue to be the first to get the Tory spin out; crib notes written for you and handed to you directly.

    • John Smith
      October 03, 2012 - 18:16

      wow...Stunderdale...did you manage to come up with that all by yourself? Or was it in a comittee? just goes to show the level that the naysayers are working at...about 9 years old I would say....

  • Winston Adams
    October 03, 2012 - 13:01

    John, Russell is trying to find space for my PART1 ENERGY EFFICIENCY ALTERNATIVE. that should give you a few laughs, But this is not a fact. Maybe it won't get published, I'm not sure. I'm sure you can't wait.

  • Eli
    October 03, 2012 - 13:00

    So why the big charade of a House debate when her's is the only "vote" that will seal this bloody thing. Again, where do MHA's stand on this thing seeing as how they don't get to vote?

  • Tax Payer
    October 03, 2012 - 12:48

    "She said one of the core goals of her government is to make things easier for businesses." What about making things easier for the people of this province, the tax payers!!! Do something about the dam gas prices. Cut the provincial tax on gas, your making enough off the oil!!!! Ill be thinking long and hard next time i vote!

  • John Smith
    October 03, 2012 - 12:31

    Now...cue the usual clowns, with the conspiracy theories and the same old tired lame lies and innuendo. They deny we will need the power, or they think we can conserve our way out of building new sources, or they say it's all a big conspiracy between the special interests, and the mining companies...blah, blah, blah.. Please naysayers, can't you guys come up with something new to keep us entertained? I know you can do it. How about tying Muskrat into the SNC lavilin, Gadafi plot...that should be good for a few laughs, or how about how this was all a scheme by Danny Williams? we havn't heard that one trotted out in a few weeks. Come on naysayers, let's hear the latest round of bull on the topic. I can't wait to read it...LOL

    • Little Man Dan
      October 03, 2012 - 12:57

      down, Johnny, down; you lapdog lackie; you're embarassing me. if its left to stand on its own merits...that's it then, it fails. yippee, congrats Premier for promising the people that you wont bull ahead and force NL into bankrupcy for generations to come and you'll squash Danny's legacy project.