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They copied us, says Crosbie of Ball’s rate mitigation plan

From left to right, PC candidates Lloyd Parrott, Craig Pardy and PC leader Ches Crosbie at a press conference today in Clarenville.
From left to right, PC candidates Lloyd Parrott, Craig Pardy and PC leader Ches Crosbie at a press conference today in Clarenville. - Jonathan Parsons

PC leader holds press conference to address issue on campaign trail

CLARENVILLE, N.L. —

“In substance, these are the same plans.”

Having previously announced his plan to mitigate power rates for the public when Muskrat Falls comes online, PC leader Ches Crosbie responded to Liberals’ plans which he says are “essentially ours.”

A press conference was held amid inclement weather on the east coast of Newfoundland, which delayed media availability and slowed Crosbie’s arrival to the Quality Inn Hotel in Clarenville.

Joined by PC candidates for Terra Nova and Bonavista, Lloyd Parrott and Craig Pardy, respectively, Crosbie says he wanted the public to know the PC plan will make sure there is zero change in electricity rates for consumers as a result of Muskrat Falls.

He reiterated the PC plan would take rates, where they are forecast to be 14.67 cents, and keep it there. He adds their plan is based on the best information they currently have from the Public Utilities Board.

However, Crosbie did note what he says are some differences between the two plans.

The Liberals, he said, are including in “their” plan $200 million per year from the federal government.

Since it’s not guaranteed, he says, he could have the deficit problem solved next year if that were the case.

Crosbie also fielded questions from media on federal equalization payments to the provinces, a possible referendum on that topic, and more.

He even addressed in what ways he’s similar and different to Jason Kenney, Alberta’s newly elected UCP premier.

Crosbie addresses health care statements

Crosbie has already announced his ideas on implementing “health care quality councils” to make sure funding is allocated in the most appropriate manner.

He says this method is used in at least five other provinces.

“I was referring to that as a mechanism to assist in planning around capital spending in particular. This quality council would have the expertise in making decisions about delivering quality services to the right people at the right time,” he said.

“That’s the whole point here.”

However, Crosbie and his staff were also clear that any membership for a board on health care will have membership reflective of key stakeholders, not more management for the sake of management.

While the Independent Appointments Commission would name members, this would be a “very different” appointment process which Crosbie says he would revamp.

Also, they say all levels of stakeholders will have a say, including frontline workers, managers and even the public at large.

Jonathan.parsons@thepacket.ca

Twitter: @jejparsons

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