28 November 2011

Muskrat Falls Plot Points #nlpoli

On the week the memorandum of understanding between Nalcor Energy and Emera on the electricity transmission link between Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and labrador is due to expire, take a look at the sequence of completely unrelated  - coughbullshitcough -events.

First,  Nalcor’s Ed Martin thinks the date will slip by with no final deal.  That’s what he told David Cochrane of CBC’s On Point over the weekend.

Second, the Nova Scotia government announces a memorandum of understanding with the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador on guaranteed work commitments for Nova Scotians related to Muskrat Falls.

It provides Nova Scotia companies with an opportunity to compete for all components of the development with preference for Newfoundland and Labrador on the first two projects and equal access to jobs for Nova Scotia workers on the Maritime Link.

Discount electricity and jobs. 


Question to consider:  does this understanding do anything that isn’t already covered by interprovincial free trade agreements?

Note the string of media contacts at the end.  That’s how you know this is a sooper dooper important announcement.  Well, at least for political spin purposes.

Third, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador does not release the Nova Scotia deal on its own website, as of 1445 hrs Monday.

Fourth, what the provincial government in St. John’s does issue a joint statement with the federal government and Nova Scotia that reaffirms their collective commitment to Muskrat Falls.

Fifth, according to his Twitter feed, natural resources minister Jerome Kennedy has been in New York within the past few days.  Money hunting for Muskrat or pre-Christmas shopping trip for the family?

Let’s hope it’s the latter.  Wall Street likely won’t have much loose cash floating around as Europe smoulders in advance of a major economic debt firestorm

- srbp -

The Thick Plottens Update:  At 4:20, Newfoundland Daylight Savings Time, the provincial government finally released some official mention of the deal with Nova Scotia on benefits and contracting for the Lower Churchill project.

It’s a very different release from the Nova Scotia one in many respects.

For one thing, there’s only a comment from natural resources minister Jerome! Kennedy. He says, in part that “our government is committed to ensure that the maximum amount of work associated with this project occurs here in the province for the benefit of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians.”

Since the thing won’t be built in –for example – Ontario – it is hard not to have the work done here with the exception of things like turbines and the actual electrical cables.

Stay tuned for a more detailed commentary on the deal itself, as released by the provincial government late on Monday afternoon.