“Muskrat Falls a disastrous boondoggle,” say Greens

OTTAWA — Leader of the Green Party, Elizabeth May (MP, Saanich-Gulf Islands) will speak at the Commission of Inquiry Respecting the Muskrat Falls Project, at Memorial University of Newfoundland, on July 30. The Muskrat Falls project is a $6.2 billion deal between Newfoundland and Labrador’s Nalcor Energy and Halifax-based Emera. Now, six years after construction began in 2013, the controversial operation is billions of dollars over budget and years behind schedule.

“The Green Party has been sounding the alarm on this project from the get-go,” said Ms. May. “What is particularly galling about this project though, is the blank cheque that was handed to Nalcor and Emera, with little or no accountability. Now, with a price tag that keeps rising by the billions, even the CEO of Nalcor Energy admits the dam should never have been built.”

Green Party candidate, Greg Malone (Avalon, NL) has been watching events surrounding the Muskrat Falls project closely since its inception.

“The scheme to turn our Crown Corporation NL Hydro, which is accountable to the people, into Nalcor, a private investment vehicle that accounts to no one, had one major goal,” said Mr. Malone. “That goal was to unload all the financial risk for the Muskrat Falls development onto the public while the investment community took all the profits. Nalcor represents the privatization of NL Hydro by the back door. We now see clearly the high cost of that privatization of our utility to the taxpayer and ratepayers who must use this monopoly. These arrangements are called Public Private Partnerships. What that means in practice is the Public Partner Pays and the Private Partner Profits.”

In addition to concerns over mismanagement of funds related to the project, there is also concern about the lack of consultation with Indigenous communities. In June, 2019 Baskut Tuncak, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on human rights and hazardous substances and wastes, called on the federal government to address concerns about lack of proper consultation with Indigenous people over the Muskrat Falls.

“Not only have Indigenous peoples not been properly consulted on this project, but those communities downstream from Muskrat Falls are living under the constant threat of methyl mercury poisoning. This is yet another shameful example of Indigenous communities experiencing polluted drinking water in Canada,” observed Ms. May.

“The Green Party urged Prime Minister Trudeau to reject taking on $4 billion in new debt to pay for the Muskrat Falls initiative in 2016. The climate emergency we are facing is real, and Canadians are justifiably concerned. Continuing to fund unsustainable energy projects is an egregious use of Canadian taxpayers money. To seriously address the electricity needs of Newfoundland and Labrador and the entire country from coast to coast, we must improve the east-west energy grid and initiate inter-provincial sharing of resources. This makes sense economically and environmentally and it is what a Green Government will advocate for in the fall,” concluded Ms. May

Muskrat Falls Inquiry
Ms. May and Mr. Malone will both speak at the Inquiry.
When: July 30, 7 - 9.00 p.m.
Where: Emera Innovation Exchange, Memorial University of Newfoundland, Signal Hill Campus, 100 Signal Hill Rd, St. John's

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For more information or to arrange an interview contact:

Rosie Emery
Press Secretary