Finance Minister Siobhan Coady delivered the
2022-23 Provincial Budget last week, enshrouded in the kind of rhetoric that
suggests the Government is prudently managing our finances.
Let’s take a look at the 2022-23 Budget Estimates to see
if what she is selling is in line with the reality that the PERT Report described only one year ago.
Put simply, whether Muskrat Falls come online or not, it cannot be relied upon. Without admitting their gross negligence at the start, Hydro is essentially saying that that we should try to salvage Muskrat Falls at an undefined cost and for for however short the duration it might operate.
The substance of Hydro’s mission is to satisfy the contracts with Emera to get large amounts of power flowing into Nova Scotia for the betterment of that province and its ratepayers. The Island could easily live without the Muskrat Fals project and in fact, other than for the onerous Emera contracts, NL ratepayers would be best off if it was abandoned and left to rust.
Cabot Martin’s sudden passing, in September, has stirred his friends, colleagues, and others familiar with his work, to honor him and encourage continued work in applied research and public policy development.
$1 million is not bad farewell for a fellow whose work performance represents one of the principal reasons for a twenty million dollar Public Inquiry, and who failed so badly in his job so badly that NL Hydro is still trying to define the mess that he (and others) has left behind.
As much as anything else, it is also a simple love song to a people and to their place. It is deficient in the language of inclusion, yes, sexist by the standards of today, too, but only those who misunderstanding the language of respect ascribe to it offense whether to aboriginal, to gender, or to religious belief.
Based on the patronizing and insignificant concessions observed to date, the callous attitude toward the environmental review, and the not-so-hidden desire to exploit NL Hydro to their sole advantage, stakeholders including area locals and any honest politicians should be telling Risley, Paddick, and WEGH2 to take a hike.
Ms. Williams is long-winded on every issue except an explanation as to why the public has been handed a bucket of bolts for their $15 billion. Why would the public now give her Crown Corporation one more cent when she has failed to demonstrate either Hydro’s competence or the right to be trusted?
The relatively large size of the LIL to the small Island system means that if it trips out suddenly, the Island grid will experience a major disruption that risks a complete blackout. The only solution Hydro appears to have found to mitigate this risk is to build out additions to expand reserve capacity that can absorb the impact of such an event. That’s the simple and direct explanation that Hydro is failing to provide.