Muskrat Falls de­vel­op­ment will bank­rupt prov­ince

The Southern Gazette - - NEWS - Ed­i­tor; Bernard Brake, Span­ish Room

Well it’s hard to miss the smil­ing face of Premier Dun­derdale on the front page of The South­ern Gazette as the head­ing stated ‘Premier en­cour­aged by term sheet sign­ing’.

She states “I’m de­lighted. It’s one more mile­stone. It’s not any­thing we had any con­cern about.”

It seems that time doesn’t mat­ter at all as she states, to get in­for­ma­tion she needs. It’s too bad she didn’t feel the same when our rep­re­sen­ta­tive the ‘Pub­lic Util­ity Board’ wanted ex­tra time to do some stud­ies on the project.

All we seem to hear from her and Mr. Kennedy is “It’s a good deal, It’s a good deal.”

This past few weeks it seems they have the MHAs phon­ing open line in turn preach­ing of what a good deal we’re about to have. You’d think it was the great­est thing that hap­pened since the in­ven­tion of the wheel.

Dun­derdale and Kennedy keep men­tion­ing the dis­cus­sions about the Muskrat Falls deal that will take place when the House of Assem­bly opens this fall. They say they’ll have all the an­swers.

Well, if they don’t an­swer any more ques­tions than they an­swered the last ses­sion of the House been open we won’t be much wiser. Ev­ery time they were asked a ques­tion the only an­swer any­body re­ceived was that – it was the best deal of all the other opin­ions.

They re­fused to give any real an­swer as to how much we the con­sumer will be pay­ing for our elec­tric­ity rates. Premier Dun­derdale em­pha­sized “It’s a good deal, a good deal for the peo­ple of NL and it’s a good deal for the peo­ple of Nova Sco­tia.”

Fig­ures given to our gov­ern­ment by Nal­cor in Oc­to­ber 2010 say we can ex­pect to pay 16-18 cents per kilo­watt hour for our elec­tric­ity, when Muskrat is de­vel­oped. That’s based on the cost be­ing $6.2 bil­lion.

We all know for sure that by com­ple­tion that will most likely be be­tween $810 bil­lion with over runs we are sure to have. That in turn will have the price we’ll be pay­ing to range from 20-24 cents per kilo­watt hour.

That will be twice or al­most dou­ble what we’re pay­ing now – our present rate be­ing 11.4 cents per kilo­watt hour.

Just think of how much it will be cost­ing us to heat our homes dur­ing the win­ter months? I guess that won’t mat­ter to the con­sumers with six fig­ure salaries plus pen­sions.

How­ever, there is a group of con­sumers who in­clude se­niors, peo­ple on fixed in­comes, peo­ple on min­i­mum wage and so­cial as­sis­tance. I’m will­ing to bet those peo­ple make up half the pop­u­la­tion of NL!

These are peo­ple who will be pay­ing for Muskrat Falls. These are the peo­ple who will not be able to af­ford the elec­tric rates that will come.

Al­ready we have se­niors and oth­ers vis­it­ing malls for hours dur­ing win­ter months as a place to keep warm for awhile be­cause they can’t af­ford to turn up their heat, and that’s with our present rates.

Premier Dun­derdale, Mr. Kennedy and all our MHAs have you thought of these peo­ple and what you’re go­ing to do for them? They are the ones that will be pay­ing for your ob­ses­sion with Muskrat Falls.

They are the ones who will be wrapped in blan­kets to keep warm. They are the ones who will be in the dark. Not be­cause of the pre­dic­tions you guys are tak­ing about (prov­ince wide black­outs) but be­cause their power has been shut off be­cause they couldn’t af­ford to pay the elec­tric bill.

Again, I’m ask­ing peo­ple and es­pe­cially the ones who will suf­fer most be­cause of the Muskrat Falls de­vel­op­ment to be more vo­cal on this im­por­tant sub­ject. Call your MHA, the premier’s of­fice, your lo­cal open line shows.

If we can’t stop this deal then we can say we tried. I also plead with Premier Dun­derdale and all her Cab­i­net mem­bers and oth­ers in­volved – this of us se­niors and the peo­ple will be suf­fer­ing be­cause of the Muskrat Falls de­vel­op­ment.

There are cheaper ways of do­ing it, and you all know it!

For­get the thought of your names go­ing in the his­tory book as the ones that de­vel­op­ment the Muskrat.

Some other thoughts – will we have the labour force to build it, we al­ready have a labour short­age?

How many work stop­pages will take place, as we saw last month at Long Har­bour? That stop­page was cost­ing $5 mil­lion a day.

How many of this kind of stop­page will bank­rupt this prov­ince?

I fig­ure this project will not only bank­rupt peo­ple, but this whole prov­ince.

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