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LETTER: The obligations of N.L.’s MPs and the federal government on Muskrat Falls Loan Guarantee

The Muskrat Falls generation dam’s spillway and powerhouse are shown in Oct. 2017.
The Muskrat Falls generation dam’s spillway and powerhouse are shown in Oct. 2017. - The Canadian Press

A PC federal government, on the pretext of helping consumers of the island of Newfoundland   made an offer for a loan guarantee for the development of Muskrat Falls Project on the condition that the island consumers must pay the full cost of the power produced, without any ceiling on the project capital and operation and maintenance costs.

Then the provincial PC government at the time, without any consultation/consideration for the consumers, passed the legislation committing island consumers to pay for all associated costs related to Muskrat Falls project, including capital, operation and maintenance, which facilitated the (2013) power purchase agreement between Nalcor and Muskrat Falls (Corp.), a subsidiary of Nalcor, and doomed the current and future generations of Island consumers.

Both federal and provincial governments at the time were smart enough to ensure that the investment in the project was secure with a handsome rate of return and had no concern for the rate payers, the very people they represent and are expected to protect.

The current provincial government had a chance to cancel or modify the project but decided to take the easy route and took no action, perhaps thinking that the mess was created by the previous PC government in the first place — politics again.

What next?

Now that the federal election is on the horizon, I wonder where Newfoundland and Labrador MP’s and the current federal government stand on this issue? I suggest that all of us as consumers on the island demand answers before we cast our votes once again, a democratic right which has not helped in case of this Muskrat Falls project, a boondoggle as per the current Nalcor CEO.

Madan Rana P. Eng,

Retired director of generation engineering, Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro,

St. John’s

Related story:

Kathy Dunderdale clarifies loan guarantee during testimony at Muskrat Falls Inquiry

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