Wait­ing for an au­dit

The Western Star - - Front Page - BY DIANE CROCKER THE WESTERN STAR [email protected]­ern­star.com Twit­ter: WS_DianeCrock­er

Pre­mier Dwight Ball be­lieves it is a mat­ter of ‘when’ a foren­sic au­dit is per­formed for Muskrat Falls.

Pre­mier Dwight Ball said it’s not a mat­ter of if the province will con­duct a re­view of the Muskrat Falls project, it’s a mat­ter of when.

Dur­ing a me­dia avail­abil­ity at a Lib­eral cab­i­net re­treat in Deer Lake on Tues­day, Ball said the time for that re­view is not now.

He was re­spond­ing to ques­tions re­lated to an NTV poll, re­leased on Mon­day, show­ing that 75 per cent of New­found­lan­ders are in favour of a foren­sic au­dit of Muskrat Falls.

“I’m part of that 75 per cent,” said Ball.

He said he’s al­ready com­mit­ted to putting in place an in­ten­sive re­view — be it foren­sic au­dit or an in­quiry.

But in speak­ing with the CEO of Nal­cor, the board and oth­ers who par­tic­i­pate in large con­tracts the feel­ing is do­ing so would dis­rupt the con­struc­tion site and the project. “We don’t want to do that right now,” said Ball.

He said the re­al­ity of Muskrat Falls and the project’s im­pact on the province is re­flected in what he’s been say­ing for five or six years now.

In 2012, he said, he did not sup­port the project.

“Right now I’m man­ag­ing this project.”

He said the province has an­tic­i­pated the costs and know they have to com­plete it be­cause the bills of the project won’t go away with shut­ting it down, with a foren­sic au­dit or with an in­quiry.

“The cost of this project will be re­flected on the (elec­tric­ity) rates to New­found­lan­ders and Labrado­ri­ans. My job right now is to man­age those rates so we do not put our province in an un­com­pet­i­tive en­vi­ron­ment in three to four years out.”

DIANE CROCKER/THE WESTERN STAR

Pre­mier Dwight Ball spoke about the Muskrat Falls project at an event in Deer Lake on Wed­nes­day.

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