Shortly after government held its news conference announcing a public inquiry into Muskrat Falls, Premier Dwight Ball said in the House of Assembly that “The PC party, if they did anything right, was to lock up this project and take it out of the hands of the future decisions for Newfoundlanders and Labradorians.”
Clearly, the yoke that the previous PC government placed around the necks of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians is now being painted by Premier Ball as not only a good thing, but the best thing that the PC party did.
Elevating this straitjacket that is Muskrat Falls as being the “right” thing is one way that the premier can defend his decision not to pause and/or modify this boondoggle.
Furthermore, with respect to the purpose of this public inquiry itself, Premier Ball (during the recent news conference) said that “This is about the confidence of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians and that we can be confident to take on major projects again in the future. That is what I want to find out with all of this.”
So. What else needs to be said?
Given the premier’s public praise for the yoke that is Muskrat Falls and his more than two years of foot dragging, realistically, can we expect anything worthwhile from a limited and primarily backward-looking inquiry?
If you believe Premier Ball, Muskrat Falls could not have been (and cannot now) be paused, halted or modified.
A limited public inquiry will give government what it wants — a way to tamp down public opposition and to justify his Liberal party’s own future legacy project — Gull Island — and thereby, once again, and as the PC party did before him, take future decisions “out of the hands” of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians.
The more things change…
Maurice E. Adams