May 10, 2017
Government must order forensic audit on Muskrat Falls: McCurdy
NDP Leader Earle McCurdy supports a call for a forensic audit on the Muskrat Falls hydroelectric development. That call came this morning from a retired senior engineer who worked on the problem-plagued project.
Speaking on today’s CBC Morning Show, the engineer said the initial cost estimates were “ridiculously low,” vastly understating the risks and with “absurdly low” contingencies. The engineer suggested the purpose of the initial estimate, according to a CBC online story, “was not to generate the estimate for project implementation but secure project sanction.”
“Since Day One, we’ve said we’d support the project if government could show it was economically viable, environmentally sustainable, and beneficial for the people of the province, especially the people of Labrador,” McCurdy said, noting the public deserves answers about the project that will eventually double provincial electricity bills.
“It’s been evident for a very long while that the original cost estimates were way off and that economic viability is not part of Muskrat Falls. There are grave questions about the project’s impact on the environment, and the 50-year loan and skyrocketing electrical costs point clearly to Muskrat Falls not being beneficial for the people of the province.”
The same CBC story quotes current Nalcor CEO Stan Marshall as calling the initial estimates “unrealistic” and “way too low.” Marshall also said the people of the province “are going to pay for that, and pay for it big time.”
“Dwight Ball must immediately order a forensic audit. Whether it was malfeasance or incompetence, the people of the province deserve to know what happened,” said McCurdy.