21 July 2011

Former Tory fin min not giving up in fight against Muskrat

Former Conservative finance minister John Collins is fighting the Muskrat Falls project as fervently as ever. 

The 80-something has a new letter in the Telegram taking issue with recent comments by Nalcor boss Ed Martin and natural resources minister Shawn Skinner.

The basic issue here revolves not around the Holyrood close-out, nor around Labrador/island inter-tie (both much needed and long delayed by Hydro), but on the need to develop Muskrat Falls itself at this time.

Question: do panic conditions really demand a $3 billion Muskrat Falls plant and dams now? The answer: no.

Collins demolishes the argument the project is needed to meet demand with a simple fact drawn from Nalcor’s own documents:

Documented demand needs in 2010 are 30 per cent less than in 2004, when no panic was cited nor acted upon, so that particular point is moot.

He then points out that Nalcor has offered no “credible account of investigations” to prove any of its claims about the need to build Muskrat falls now.

Collins is right.  For all the effort Nalcor and the provincial government is putting into selling this project they haven’t provided the simplest of answers to the simplest of questions.

The haven’t provided them because they can’t.

Either that or the answers prove there is no need for the megadebt project.

In April, Collins wrote the Telegram to argue that

“even the export of power doesn’t seem to be rendering enough to justify the cost of generating the power. The only benefit to the province seems to be closing down the Holyrood [generating plant], and  I think there are other ways of doing that.”

- srbp -