Former Nalcor CEO Ed Martin spoke out in praise of the Muskrat Falls project on Thursday, but he quickly drew fire from Natural Resources Minister Siobhan Coady.
Martin issued a statement overnight applauding his successor, Stan Marshall, for saying that Newfoundland and Labrador might have among the lowest power rates in the country in the long run, despite the fact rates are projected to double when Muskrat Falls comes online. Marshall has called the project a “boondoggle” in the past.
“I was also heartened to hear my successor acknowledge that the Muskrat Falls project
is indeed a good project over the long term,” Martin wrote. “Indeed, he also recognized that eventually the people of this province will pay some of the lowest electricity rates in the country.
“I said throughout my tenure at Nalcor that this project was never about the short term. It was never meant to cure all of the problems or create a huge cash flow in a year, five
years or even 10 years. Muskrat Falls was always a generational strategy with goals of
becoming energy self-sufficient as a province, gaining access to lucrative North
American markets, positioning us for the future, growing Newfoundland and Labrador as
an energy player in our own right and building a warehouse of assets for many, many
generations to come.”
Coady fired back with a statement of her own on Thursday, accusing Martin of trying to rewrite history.
“I find it disturbing that Ed Martin continues to speak of Muskrat Falls’ false promises, while ratepayers in Newfoundland and Labrador are on the hook for a substantial increase in rates,” Coady said. “The architect of the project, the person who made the decisions along with the former government, created a project that was based on flawed assumptions and dreams of glory.
“Instead of delivering a plan to replace Holyrood, they built a project that didn’t match the needs of consumers of the province. Along the way, they dismissed concerns and warnings from experts such as SNC Lavalin. Mr. Martin and the former government knew that this would mean higher electrical rates. They weren’t concerned then and they don’t seem concerned now; yet it will impact many residents in this province – seniors, young families, young people – for generations to come.”