Noticeably more people, including readers of this Blog, want
to see public discussion of a resolution to the financial mess created by
Muskrat. While their numbers are still small, their voices are discernible. It
seems that most people are still in denial as to the scope of the problem. Delusion
causes them to believe that government would never imperil the solvency of the province.
Yet, as one Muskrat watcher observed recently, the public will be in a “rage when they learn just the simple truths” of what the project will cost them in relation to the cost per KWh of thermal generation at Holyrood. Likely, that rage will be compounded when people learn the extent to which the Tories and the Liberals failed to share with them the whole truth of the debacle.
just one or two percent are needed – provided that they are focused and
relentless – to cause a shift in government’s thinking. The voices of even this
small minority are required right now. They need to have the Ball government make
one important addition to the decision that created the Muskrat Falls Inquiry.
impact. It is akin to waiting for the bank to say “no”. While the details are
complicated, the larger picture isn’t.
It has done this while it shovelled billions into an investment that, without
wise intervention, will – for 50 years – need to be subsidized by billions
so that people will be able to afford to heat their homes? No one. And rate
mitigation is a momentary Band-Aid.
multibillion dollar crisis. Part of the problem is that Muskrat is unique in
that professionals and generalists alike are equally challenged to understand
its sordid underpinnings. Many, including engineers and accountants confess –
without a hint of contrition – that they are not informed enough to appreciate the
legacy building and stupidity anyway? Most
people have no time for discussions about the principles of construction
estimation, demand forecasts, price elasticity, the Water Management Agreement
or an appraisal of whether there is such a thing as an “independent” engineer –
or any entity with an involvement that is not just self-serving.
– as if out of nowhere – even as they express the unwarranted sentiment that
Muskrat is solely a NL problem.
that the issue is resolved. They should be careful what they wish for.
the Feds off the hook as Muskrat related debt continues to grow.
reasons we worry about him.
Telegram reporter James McLeod quotes the Premier about NL’s financial woes and
whether the Feds are engaged in the issue. He told McLeod that Federal Finance
Minister “Morneau and the Prime Minister is aware of the situation, and
discussions are happening”. And Ball added: “There’s no need to have that
discussion (about bankruptcy) right now, because we’re having better
discussions at better tables”.
“better tables” are being visited and the nature of the discussions underway.
parties involved are and what has been put on those tables on our behalf.
leadership on the deficit or on budgetary issues generally. We have reason to ask: what is it that
affords people to think that this Government has the skill-set to navigate a
problem so large that it is defined by the starkest of choices: 50 years of
deep fiscal pain or insolvency?
unwise if they allow the solution to Muskrat to remain out of their hands. They
might remember that that the then Government’s hyperbole and untruth paved a
path to Muskrat Falls sanction. Ball has failed to show how his Administration
is any different.
huge. It will affect lives and jobs and public services. And it will threaten
new investment in the province. The problem should be dealt with now but any “fix”
must not only include the Feds; it must be negotiated by skilful people. Wee before
any conclusion is reached the public must be consulted.
Commission of Inquiry into Muskrat Falls for these solutions. The Commission
has simply been directed to consider “how to balance or apportion the financial
costs of an electrical generation project like Muskrat Falls as between power
consumers and all of the Provinces’ taxpayers”.
Nor is the timing of the Final
Report in alignment with our deteriorating financial condition – which will speed
up once commissioning occurs and the requirement of another $850 million annually
(and rising every year for the next 49 years) is required to service the
interest and the operating cost of the project.
not partisan hacks or the fake experts behind Nalcor – should be assembled and
given a mandate to analyse the state of the Province’s finances. The Panel
would recommend the most viable solutions available to deal with our impending
and a federal election are held in 2019 with an electorate denied the facts as
to a Province in peril. It would be even more parlous if the Government rolls
the dice on amateur hour – putting assets on some as yet unknown table –
robbing in the bargain the basis of any hope this province has for a brighter
to influence the Ball Administration and alter an incomplete or unwise outcome of
our financial circumstance have their work cut out.