Premier Kathy Dunderdale defended her government’s decision to keep some information secret on the Muskrat Falls deal Wednesday, as opposition parties demanded answers.
Dunderdale said some of the information that opposition parties are asking for simply doesn’t exist, and other stuff is commercially sensitive.
But that wasn’t good enough for Liberal Leader Dwight Ball.
“Before you sanctioned Muskrat Falls, why did you tell the people of this province that all information was available,” he said to Dunderdale during question period. “Based on your comments yesterday, that is clearly not true.”
On Tuesday, Dunderdale was talking about the new Liberal government in Nova Scotia and she said, “they’re trying to get themselves up to speed very quickly on a complex piece of work.”
Dunderdale said that when the Nova Scotia Liberals were in opposition, they were against the Maritime Link portion of the Muskrat Falls project, but now that they’re in government, they have more information available to them, and they need to change their position.
“Opposition parties would not have had access to all of this information,” Dunderdale said.
That wasn’t good enough for New Democrat Leader Lorraine Michael.
“The premier brags about how open and transparent her government is, on the other hand she spoke yesterday about key information on the Muskrat Falls project she has kept secret from all of us, information she implies would make us change our minds on the project,” Michael said. “Without an outside body such as the PUB or the commissioner for access to information, we have to take her word for what is commercially sensitive information.”
Ball even listed off some specific information that he’d like to see.
“We have asked for the power purchase agreement between Nalcor and Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro. We have asked how much money is committed to the project contracts. We have asked for clarification on the size of the transmission line,” Ball said.
“We do not have this information, so I ask the premier, what other information do the opposition parties and people of this province still not have on the Muskrat Falls project.”
On the power purchase agreement, at least, Dunderdale said the only reason it hasn’t been made public is because it doesn’t exist yet.
“It has been answered in the House of Assembly any number of times,” Dunderdale said. “That agreement is not yet negotiated. When it is completed, it will be made available, Mr. Speaker.”