Throughout the Nation’s Capital and beyond, the
loud drumbeat of an impending General Election is heard. The pundits forecast
that the new GG will be asked to dissolve Parliament around the end of August.
That may leave as little as six weeks for PM Trudeau to stop dithering over
“rate mitigation” and address the Muskrat Falls debacle.
Newfoundlanders are doing themselves no favours
ignoring the fact that such an agreement remains outstanding.
The public are witnesses to Premier Ball’s
failed attempt but have learned little from the experience.
Ball’s good intentions are echoed by Premier
Andrew Furey who seems content if a deal is done by November though he has no
proof such an outcome is assured.
By then, Ottawa will have forgotten – again –
that this place exists.
Some reminding, therefore, is required.
revenue requirement for financing, Operations and Management was budgeted at around $840 million when when Muskrat was a $7.4 billion project. Fully allocated, the revenue requirement based upon $13.1 billion is
a lot higher – in the range of $1.4
billion annually if NL’s $5 billion equity was properly accounted for. Using even the lower figure, without rate mitigation, and ratepayers will entertain 23 cent/KWh power.
Though there is now some recognition that the Holyrood Thermal
Plant is needed, no source of makeup revenue has been identified. Declining domestic demand adds to the burden of this huge
“national” problem. In addition, no accounting has been undertaken to assess the cost of
continuing failures in relation to the synchronous condensers, deficient
bespoke software, structural issues on the LIL or the, as yet, largely untested power
explained in a recent Post that, on an economic basis, the Muskrat Falls project
is effectively a “write-off”. GNL, Emera
and the Feds need to come to terms with this reality and move on. But so far,
all we have seen is footsie with the Feds.
public are not going to be happy with the consequences when Premier Furey wakes
up after the Federal Election to find out he’s been had.
Premier Ball and Finance Minister Chrystia
Freeland met in March 2018 and set a target date to conclude negotiations at
the end of January, 2020. Ball also addressed rate mitigation with PM Trudeau when
the two met in Ottawa on April 10, 2018.
No deal was done.
A campaign stop in NL – September 2019 – PM
Trudeau used the opportunity to talk up rate mitigation, leaving the clear
understanding that a deal was forthcoming from Ottawa.
No deal arrived.
The Federal Liberals helped Furey through his Provincial Election Campaign, “deferring” a payment of
$844 million last December, $780 million of which was due by the end of