04 October 2013

Collins on Muskrat Falls #nlpoli

In Quebec, Jacques Parizeau has turned on the Parti Quebecois’ values charter.  It made national news.

In Newfoundland and Labrador last week, former Conservative finance minister John Collins took another swipe at Muskrat Falls in a letter to the editor of the Telegram.  Not many likely read it and no other media reported on it.

But they should have. 

Collins adds some interesting new financial criticisms to the case against Muskrat Falls:

• Completing Muskrat Falls as proposed will cause an 80 per cent increase in Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro “blended” wholesale power costs.

• $255 million paid annually by Newfoundland and Labrador ratepayers in out-of-province subsidies are designed solely for Nalcor’s benefit.

• Whereas Nalcor and the government builds its case for the province’s “power need,” Muskrat Falls, in fact, will not add even half the grid megawattage (MW) needed to get us to Upper Churchill rescue.

• The Newfoundland and Labrador government’s and other equity investments in Muskrat Falls  adds $6.4 billion to our real public debt, costing an extra $300 million per year for 50 years in budgetary outlays.

• Nalcor forces another $130 millions yearly from Newfoundland and Labrador to cover Muskrat Falls expenses. A total of $685 million ($260 monthly per average family) leaves little left over for those other annual public investments regularly necessary to keep the economy on track.

We will also need funding to transition 2041 Upper Churchill power to this province’s energy demands, and for real export income.