Dunderdale expected to sanction Muskrat Falls project today

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Premier Kathy Dunderdale is expected to sanction the Muskrat Falls project later today. — Photo by Keith Gosse/The Telegram

The Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador is set to make an announcement today on the $7.5-billion Muskrat Falls hydroelectric project.

Kathy Dunderdale said last week that formal approval of the project — which is set to be the largest public expenditure in provincial history — was imminent.

She‘s expected to sanction the joint venture between Newfoundland Crown corporation Nalcor Energy and Nova Scotia private equity firm Emera when she speaks to the media this evening.

The hydro megaproject in Labrador is expected to cost the province at least $6.2 billion. The development includes construction of a subsea cable that would link Newfoundland with Nova Scotia.

The provincial government has called the Muskrat Falls project an investment with projected dividends of more than $20 billion over 50 years starting in 2017.

The project would bring hydro power from the lower Churchill River in Labrador to Newfoundland and then Nova Scotia.

Critics have argued the pricey project has not cleared a single independent, regulated review.

Dunderdale‘s response has been that Muskrat Falls received the endorsement of global energy consultants, though they were hired and paid by her government. She has refused further review by the provincial Public Utilities Board since it declined last spring to endorse Muskrat Falls, saying it lacked updated information.

The majority Progressive Conservative government has also refused Liberal opposition demands for a special debate or committee format that would include questioning expert energy witnesses.

The project got a boost last month when Ottawa offered a federal loan guarantee for the project that would cut borrowing costs by about $1 billion.

Organizations: The Premier, Public Utilities Board

Geographic location: Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Nova Scotia.The Churchill River Ottawa

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Recent comments

  • David Wilson
    December 17, 2012 - 13:14

    Why is there even a PUB. Might as well throw Andy Wells and his $185K per year job walking papers and let Kathy and her cronies make all the utility decisions.

    • a business man
      December 18, 2012 - 01:08

      sounds good to me. Cutting out employees is always a good way to increase profit and efficiency.

  • Concerned
    December 17, 2012 - 12:00

    Today is the day, and I hope, this premier has the courage to stand up for this Province and admitts that this project is to huge for the population of our province. Kathy don't be afraid to stand up to Harper, Nalcor and Emera, you know deep down that this project is not for the good of our people. Please help yourself to get back the respect that you deserve.

    • a business man
      December 18, 2012 - 10:09

      Even if she know the project is flawed, she will not admit anything because her supporters ( the people who voted her into her job) are MF supporters. I am a MF supporter and I voted for her. IF she speaks against MF, she will have lost my vote. Take me for example. I know that there are some flaws with MF that could end up causing hardship to some citizens, but I stand to benefit from MF so I will not stand up and say anything. Not because I lack courage, but because the recent developments are consistent with my self interests.

  • Barry
    December 17, 2012 - 11:43

    Her children and grandchildren have to live with the shame of her arrogance long after she is gone. I pity them.

  • Coco
    December 17, 2012 - 11:07

    Hopefully the stand-in premier will also announce her resignation today.

    • Winston
      December 17, 2012 - 12:06

      Don't listen to them Dunderdale, haters gonna hate.

  • John
    December 17, 2012 - 10:49

    with all the money the municipalities are raking in maybe the federation of municipalities can finance the project!

  • Fred Penner
    December 17, 2012 - 10:20

    This is a capital project with a high initial cost but it will provide electricity to the province forever and will remove our dependence on fossil fuels - oil or otherwise.

  • can't stop laughing
    December 17, 2012 - 10:13

    RELAX TAXPAYERS we may not have to worry about the premier sanctioning muskrat falls afterall, according to some nutcase the world will end in a doomsday this friday dec 21.

  • Winston Adams
    December 17, 2012 - 09:41

    Perhaps the Premier will announce a slow down of sanctioning MF as Kennedy suggested in the House last week? Perhaps her open mindness will surprise everyone , even me.

  • Me
    December 17, 2012 - 09:24

    With all the tax revenue the municipal governments are raking in, the federation of municipalties should be able to guarantee the loan.......

  • Maurice E. Adams
    December 17, 2012 - 09:03

    Canada's 35 million people know that $45 billion for fighter jets over 40 years is unaffordable. NL's 250,000 ratepayers will pay $35 billion for unneeded Muskrat Falls power over 50 years. Priceless. Why isn't the media focusing on these 'life-cycle' costs instead of the so-called $6.2 billion cost?

  • Brad
    December 17, 2012 - 08:37

    Nearly a $1 billion deficit, $100 million clean-up bill, high base price of oil in budget, any cost overruns are covered by Nalcor 100% (and not even some by Emera). And people still wonder why they call her Dunderfail or Blunderdale...

  • Scott Free
    December 17, 2012 - 08:34

    Aw shucks; just when I thought Premier Kranky Blunderfest was going to announce some good news: that she was planning to ask the Speaker to dissolve the House and prorogue the assembly due to total incompetence. In 2004, then Premier Dictator Dan announced an $800M deficit; now, Finance Minister of the Clown Marshall fesses up to a similar $725M deficit; this after 8 years of unprecedented revenues and wealth. How much of this Tory ineptness and incompetence can we take? Are we still this gulible in NL?

  • Don
    December 17, 2012 - 08:25

    Let's get on with it Premier. The thing has been review to death. My 3 and 7 year old grandsons are looking forward to working and living in Newfoundland.

    • Eli
      December 17, 2012 - 09:56

      We'll need them and a lot more like 'em to pay Muskrat's bills. Today is a dark day f'er we...and those kids.

  • taxpayer
    December 17, 2012 - 08:21

    maybe we should sanction the mha's right out of office. they made fools out of taxpayers when they expropriated the resources from abitibi-bowater, costing us a $100 million dollar cleanup bill. time to go to the people in a referendum to resolve this muskrat falls BS before these overpayed politicians screwup, costing us more.

  • JJT
    December 17, 2012 - 08:05

    Kathy's expected to "sanction" the Muskrat Falls project??? This is news? If she hadn't been so busy downplaying the many concerns of the taxpayers and the opposition these past few months, she'd have been up in Labrador running a backhoe herself.