The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador has announced that it will be proceeding with a public inquiry into the Muskrat Falls Project.
Premier Dwight Ball announced the appointment of Justice Richard D. LeBlanc as the sole Commissioner of Inquiry, in accordance with Part I of the Public Inquiries Act, 2006. Justice LeBlanc will begin his work as Commissioner in January 2018.
“Through this public inquiry, we will learn if the project today is the project the people of the province were sold in 2012,” Ball said. “While we cannot undo the past, we can learn from it and make more informed decisions as we take actions to minimize the impact of this project on ratepayers. I thank Justice LeBlanc for his commitment and dedication to this inquiry.”
The inquiry will provide a greater understanding of:
- Whether all options were considered at the time of sanctioning the project;
- Why there are significant differences between the actual cost of the project and the estimated cost at the time of sanction; and
- Whether it was justified and reasonable for the project to be excluded from oversight by the Public Utilities Board.
The Muskrat Falls Inquiry responds to concerns to have the project reviewed as soon as possible and represents the best option to independently review the Muskrat Falls Project. In addition, the public inquiry maximizes transparency and provides for an independent assessment of the issues raised in the terms of reference.
“The inquiry will address project sanctioning and execution, previous exemption of the project from PUB oversight and project cost and schedule,” said Siobhan Coady, minister of natural resources. “We will continue to move the project forward as effectively as possible despite the challenges we inherited.”
The terms of reference for the inquiry can be found online at: www.releases.gov.nl.ca/releases/2017/exec/NLG171120.pdf PDF
The inquiry is expected to take approximately two years for completion with the final report due December 31, 2019.