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Danny Williams supports Muskrat Falls. This shocking news comes straight from the horse’s mouth, courtesy of a luncheon speech Monday sponsored by the St. John’s Board of Trade.

That the premier who signed the original deal actually still supports it now that he’s not the premier is not really a surprise. Nor are his reasons for doing so.

The only truly interesting aspect of Monday’s speech was the absence of senior government ministers in the audience. Former premiers — of all stripes — remain personae non gratae under Kathy Dunderdale’s administration.

At one point in his speech, Williams used a unique format to drive home his point: a top-10 list, à la Dave Letterman.

Most of his points have been trumpeted many times before: “Our province will be a climate change leader in the country” and “We will own the project and we will own the asset.” Some raised arguments that have been hotly disputed: “There is a demonstrated need for more power” and “Muskrat Falls is the lowest-cost option as presented to the Public Utilities Board.”

Rolling the arguments out in a quick list, though, is a neat trick, and an effective way to bolster your overall case.

So, in the same spirit, here’s a top-10 list for why the current premier should allow expert witnesses to appear before the legislature for the upcoming Muskrat Falls debate:

10. It’s a chance to show off the legislature’s fine sealskin upholstery to out-of-towners.

9. Gives us a chance to see how real parliamentary committees work (as on CPAC).

8. Allows the premier to play show-and-tell with those experts she’s always touting.

7. Allows the Opposition to play show-and-tell with those experts they’re always touting.

6, Avoids the circular, thread-bare back-and-forth we’ve been hearing for the past year.

5. Shuts the Opposition up.

4. One of the few times anyone in the House of Assembly will sound like they know what they’re talking about.

3. MHAs will be on their best behaviour.

2. We might learn something.

And the No. 1 reason to allow expert witnesses in the debate?

It’s our money.

Organizations: Board of Trade.That, Public Utilities Board, CPAC

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Recent comments

  • Winston Adams
    October 25, 2012 - 08:28

    Mr Jefford, MF would be good as a clean source if Nova scotia and the USA northeast were hit by heavy carbon taxes. Perhaps this may come in future years. If so that would make the economics here much better. Our island generation is already 10 times greener than they are and it makes no sense that we should subsidize other jurisdictions to be green when they make little effort in this direction. We are not rich enough to pay their cost of being green. It can put us in the poor house. Yes MF can be good, but the timing and cost to us is makes it bad.

    October 25, 2012 - 03:20

    Muskrat Falls is the best route to take for a clean, consistent, reliable source of power, Holyrood is listed as one of the top 10 air poluters in the WORLD ! How much oil is being burnt, to put Holyrood in that CLASS ? Its burns many Millions of Gallons per Month,Costing Many Millions of Dollars per Month. To build the Muskrat Falls, with a transmission line to the island then under sea to the Eastern Mainland with extra lines to carry the upper Churchill Power after 2041, then NFLD would become the power house of north America, The cost of oil to run the Holyrood Generating plant will increase each year as oil supply decreases but the Churchill River that ran for Millions of years will run for millions more turning the Hydro Turbines.

    • W McLean
      October 25, 2012 - 10:31

      H Jefford, where is a body to find this list of top ten polluters in the world? Thanks!

  • Harvey.
    October 24, 2012 - 18:57

    Anyone who fails to support Muskrat or any clean energy projects, is simply encouraging further the polluting of our planet.

    • Hypocrisy reigns
      October 25, 2012 - 05:53

      Absolute bullshite Harry. If NL was really serious about being green, they'd tackle the real problem - transportation. Tax the unnecessary king sized and inefficient vehicles, tax the industry and home energy hogs, and get some real incentives in place for people to conserve energy through tax breaks and concessions. Doing so would not only decrease our carbon footprint, but probably reduce future demand (and cost) on our energy production.

  • Maurice E. Adams
    October 24, 2012 - 18:56

    JOE. price per KWh is not sufficient. The take or pay contract method planned for Muskrat is like leasing instead of buying your car. Payment per month might be low in the early years, but you pay dearly (in this case, your kids and grand kids) later --- about 10 times more than if you paid more like you would for a mortgage. See the $21 billion they will have to pay AFTER 2041 ( )

  • joe
    October 24, 2012 - 15:13

    Unlike Mr. Williams,I,and I suspect a good many people,am still undecided and confused about Muskrat.Two things that would allow me to decide; 1.What will it cost me?Give me the cost per kwh,I'd even be happy with a 5 cent range. 2.Show me that 8 yrs from now you will have buyers for the excess.

  • John in Whitbourne
    October 24, 2012 - 14:23

    This list is just another biased piece of rot/// 'questionable reporting' from the Telegram. The opposition wanted a debate in the House of Assembly. Outside experts never testify in the House. That is what elections are for. They need to make up their minds about where they are and educate themselves (to the extent that is practical).

    • W McLean
      October 24, 2012 - 22:57

      John in Whitbourne, it's not surprising that you wouldn't know this, given the sorry state of the NL House of Assembly, but healthy committees in healthy legislatures hear from witnesses all the time. The House can easily resolve itself into Committee of the Whole and hear, and question, witnesses on this matter. There is nothing - other than the arrogance, intransigence, and paranoid secrecy of the PC government - preventing this.

  • Maurice E. Adams
    October 24, 2012 - 13:49

    Latest Poll Results:------- [Option--1 ---- 11%], [Option-- 2 ---- 16.5%], [Option 3 ---- 56%], [Option-- 4 ---- 16.5%]... To view and/or vote go to RATEPAYERS' website -----

  • David
    October 24, 2012 - 09:41

    Williams coming back to remind us all that he supports Muskrat Falls should actually have been the kiss of death for whatever other public support it had....people are still smitten with that walking ego trip, despite that he bought us a wedding dress and rented a limo on our Visa card, dragged us to this 'dam' alter, and then ran out the back of the church chasing another dumb blonde. And we keep crawling back to him, the abused spouse that we are.

  • What Poll
    October 24, 2012 - 09:34

    Promoting an inaccurate poll only adds to the misinformation already out there. That's why the proper education and training is so important.

  • Maurice E. Adams
    October 24, 2012 - 08:39

    Need your vote through the website W BAGG

  • Frank M
    October 24, 2012 - 07:45

    Due to the price of oil being forty dollars a barrell less than Finance Minister Tom Marshall's estimates projected, this province is facing a budget deficit between $250 and $500 million dollars over the current budget year. But, this current budget provided a cash infusion of $650 million to Nalcor. There would be no deficit this year if government had not provided cash to Nalcor for a project that is not yet sanctioned by government or the people. It is our money, not Marhall's, Dunderdale's or Ed Martin's.

  • W Bagg
    October 24, 2012 - 07:41

    Number 4 is my favorite

  • Maurice E. Adams
    October 24, 2012 - 07:02

    See 2009 letter from Quebec Hydro to PUB re Water Management Agreement at this ratepayer's website.........Also, Muskrat Falls' REFERENDUM Poll Results Todate ---------Sanction 12%%,,,,,,,,,,, Defer decision pending full PUB review 17.5% ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, Referendum 53%,,,,,,,, Referendum pending a full, comprehensive PUB review 17.5% ------------ HAVE YOUR SAY.......... is a RATEPAYER website established as a public service.