13 October 2011

What does sanction really mean?

Here’s what Kathy Dunderdale told CBC’s David Cochrane about Muskrat Falls:

"We're looking at sanction, at the earliest at this point in time, would be in the spring and the house will be in session before we sanction Muskrat Falls," said Dunderdale.

That’s an interesting timeline.

It’s way beyond when it was supposed to happen, as labradore pointed out on Wednesday. The whole thing was supposed to sanctioned in 2009 and up and running by 2015.

Now project sanction won’t happen until the second quarter of 2012, at the earliest.

So if you’ve been following this along, the Lower Churchill is costing millions with tons of design and engineering work started.  The thing is rolling along through review after study and yet no one has approved the project yet.

That’s what sanction is, right?

Approval to go ahead and do something.

Bit late by next spring, it would seem.

If nothing else, Dunderdale is supposed to have an agreement with Emera no later than November 30 or the term sheet Danny signed as he ran from the Premier’s Office last fall goes up in a puff of pixie dust.

That would mean the project should be ready to launch.

And by that time, Nalcor would pretty much have the approval to launch or they’d be so far along in the process stopping wouldn't really be much of an option.

So what would the “debate” in the House mean?

Not very much at all.

In reality, Muskrat Falls is already “sanctioned” in all but name only.  All that’s left to come is the huge bills and the monstrous political fallout.

- srbp -