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Monday, September 26, 2016

September 26, 2016

 

For Immediate Release

 

 

 

August 1st Letter Requesting Evidence-Based Analysis

 

On New Muskrat Falls Costs and Assumptions Ignored by Minister Coady

 

 

 

Keith Hutchings, Natural Resources Critic for the Official Opposition, said Natural Resources Minister Siobhan Coady has ignored his August 1 letter asking for the information to support government's new numbers on Muskrat Falls.

 

"The Natural Resources Minister is denying the people of the province the evidence to support statements by her government about Muskrat Falls cost overruns, new energy assumptions, and timelines for energy generation and Holyrood refinery future use. She appears reluctant to speak publicly to answer questions, and as well will not answer them when they are put in writing by the Official Opposition. She is refusing to provide the facts to back up the statements her government is making," said Hutchings.

 

"My letter raised a number of questions, which were straightforward‎ requests for the evidence to back up the new assumptions the province announced for the project in June. Presumably the new numbers are based on evidence. We want to see that evidence. If the government has it, then release it by answering the questions," said Hutchings.

 

"The Liberal government keeps talking about evidence-based decision-making. Yet after referencing new numbers in June in the context of lambasting the Muskrat Falls project, Minister Coady has refused to provide the people of the province with the answers to back up their new numbers," said Hutchings.

 

"The Liberals' approach to energy policy and hydroelectric development is a mystery since they have taken office, especially as it relates to the 100-year asset of Muskrat Falls. They appointed a Muskrat Falls opponent to head up Nalcor and the Muskrat Falls project, who is adamant that we need to develop stronger relations with Quebec Hydro. The Premier of our province told energy-starved customers on the Eastern seaboard that our power was too expensive and gave a dismal view of the vast opportunities of hydro we have available. Apparently the Liberals' 'on the fly' energy policy is now courting Hydro-Quebec, an entity whose blockade of power exports east-to-west from our province made the Muskrat Falls Maritime Link necessary. It is not in Hydro-Quebec's best interest for Muskrat Falls to succeed.

 

“To date we have a missing Ernst and Young (EY) Report, which was - according to Minister - to be available in March 2016 and by now could be in the millions of dollars; we have oversight committee reports unavailable and nowhere to be seen; and we have the request for validation of numbers announced in June being ignored.

 

“It's time for some ministerial accountability‎ and clear answers from Minister Coady on the request for information on the project,” said Hutchings.

 

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Media Contact:

 

Heather MacLean, Director of Communications, Office of the Official Opposition,

 

(709) 729 6105, heathermaclean@gov.nl.ca

 

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