Who’s kidding whom? At this point in time, August 2012, the Conservative government under the leadership of one Kathy Dunderdale continues to insist that government’s decision on Muskrat Falls is not yet made. Well, that’s really great to know.
The people of Newfoundland and Labrador will be exceptionally pleased to know that.
Unfortunately, someone must have forgotten to tell our astute premier that the so-called Muskrat Falls project is “on” and that it has been moving ahead for quite some time. Can you imagine that? Where has our premier been? We know that she is not in the House of Assembly and really doesn’t want to be in the House to listen to or have to answer silly and irrelevant questions from the opposition parties.
Muskrat Falls is a “go” and everyone knows it, well, everyone except the premier and her merry little group who seem to be getting too much fibre in their diet these days.
Ask Emera, Nova Scotia’s private utility which will provide over $2 billion to various parts of the project. Do you think for one minute that Emera is just sharpening its pencils while waiting in Nova Scotia for Kathy Dunderdale to make her decision?
Ask Nalcor, Newfoundland and Labrador’s version of “profits unlimited.” Do you think for one minute that they haven’t already spent hundreds of millions for start up of Muskrat Falls? Do you really believe that Nalcor is sitting back, patiently waiting for our Almighty Kathy to wave her magic wand and say: “Muskrat is now open for development”? Good luck with that.
The game is on, folks. Money from the public purse and private corporations is being spent hand over fist, trees are being uprooted, land is being cleared, companies are making plans, the ball is rolling, an avalanche of activity has started. What more do we need to convince us that Muskrat is a go?
And now Nalcor and Emera have reached a deal on hydroelectric development on Muskrat.
Does that say to you, “the project is not proceeding, it’s at a standstill”? Or that “we’re waiting for the debate”? Do you think for one minute that the premier is going to say: “I want the companies to stop. Government hasn’t given permission for this project to proceed”?
Or do you think that it will be decided in the fall, if the House opens, during the so-called debate on Muskrat? If there ever was a Newfoundland joke, the debate on Muskrat will be it.
All studies completed in the past year on whether or not Muskrat is the right development at this time, well, at least the ones preferred and accepted by the premier, give the OK for work to proceed on the Muskrat Falls development.
Those studies that are selected by the premier indicate that Muskrat is best thing and the right economic megaproject for Newfoundland and Labrador at this time. Are we so blind that we cannot see the obvious? The project is signed, sealed and delivered, folks, there’s no turning back.
In six short years, Muskrat energy will be on the grid working its way to Nova Scotia and to Newfoundland and Labrador and we, the people, will inherit for years to come another white elephant which will feed on our dwindling incomes night and day.
There will certainly be many cold winters ahead and we can’t even save pennies any more.
Premier, stop dallying around and just come clean on Muskrat Falls. The project is unstoppable at this point and it doesn’t matter a row of beans what we, the people think or what anyone thinks.
The simple truth is that megaprojects just don’t stop for anyone or any group. They assume a life of their own, just as Muskrat has. And it doesn’t need the permission of the premier or the people of Newfoundland and Labrador to proceed. So get ready to be energized by Muskrat Falls, the new bunny on the block. It keeps going and going and will be here soon enough.
We, the people, will be paying a hefty price for it when it finally finds its way to our doorstep.
P.J. Dwyer writes from Gander.