RUSSELL WANGERSKY: Following the money trail
On a quiet morning on a quiet city street, at 7 a.m. on July 13, I found a Bangladeshi Taka.
This is in response to the July 11 letter by MHA Mark Browne, parliamentary assistant to the premier, titled “Cancelling Muskrat Falls wasn’t a viable option.”
When the first budget consultations were ongoing in the first year of the current Liberal government, I attended three of these meetings, and at each one I called for the cancellation of Muskrat Falls because myself and many other Newfoundlanders and Labradorians, who were concerned about the future of this province, knew this was a boondoggle, long before we were told by Stan Marshall.
This was never a least-cost option, this was all about Danny Williams’ row with Quebec, and all Progressive Conservative premiers after Danny made sure this project went ahead, as well as our present Liberal one, Premier Dwight Ball, who will have to wear this come next election.
We will have to pay the full cost regardless, because to subsidize it will still be our tax dollars.
This project will put a chain around our children’s neck for the next 50-plus years.
This project could have been cancelled the first week this government took office. There were three reasons: greenhouse gas, the danger of the North Spur and the fact that it was too costly for our taxpayers, plus the fact we have a 1,100-kilometre transmission line that destroyed tens of thousands of cords of wood that will never be allowed to grow again and it’s a most difficult line to maintain.
It would have been far better to eat our losses than to carry on and spend billions more and drive our electric bills out of reach of most of our citizens, which will in future cause many of our citizens to leave this province for a cheaper life elsewhere.
MHA Browne’s closing remarks were, “our focus remains on keeping rates affordable for the people of Newfoundland and Labrador.” He did not explain how, I assume because there is no answer.
We will have to pay the full cost regardless, because to subsidize it will still be our tax dollars. Will we have to cut back on our roads maintenance, health and education to pay for this boondoggle?
There is only so much money in the cookie jar!