Dwight Ball, Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador, and Siobhan Coady, Minister of Natural Resources, have provided an update on the progress of recommendations from the Commission of Inquiry into the Muskrat Falls Project. The final report was released to the public on March 10, 2020.
“The recommendations outline steps that government can take to improve oversight of the Muskrat Falls Project and Nalcor as well as with respect to oversight of future capital projects to avoid similar debacles,” said Premier Ball.
The government has accepted the goals and objectives of all the recommendations in the commission’s report which are broadly categorized as follows:
- Government’s oversight of Nalcor to make Nalcor more accountable and transparent to government and the public;
- Government’s oversight of the Muskrat Falls Project to ensure all aspects of the project, including cost and schedule, safety and the environment are continuously monitored and reviewed;
- Public Utilities Board’s oversight of the Muskrat Falls Project to create transparency regarding the costs of the project for which ratepayers are responsible and to ensure that export sales benefit ratepayers;
- Government’s oversight of capital projects to ensure that government effectively assesses all information and manages all risks prior to sanctioning any large projects; and,
- Public Utilities Board’s oversight of capital projects under its jurisdiction to ensure the board has a central and meaningful role in the approval of capital projects that affect ratepayers.
Immediately following the release of the report to the public, the government referred the matter to the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary for review. Additionally, the Department of Justice and Public Safety is reviewing the report and its findings to determine whether there are grounds for civil claims.
“The progress update today addresses the recommendations contained in the final report of the Commission of Inquiry into the Muskrat Falls Project. […] We will continue to do everything possible to get the Muskrat Falls Project to the finish line and to manage electricity rates once the project comes online,” said Coady.
The government established a deputy ministers’ steering committee to oversee the implementation of all the recommendations including the 17 key and ancillary recommendations outlined in Volume 1. The committee consists of the Clerk of the Executive Council and officials from Natural Resources, Finance, Justice and Public Safety, Municipal Affairs and Environment, and Intergovernmental and Indigenous Affairs. The committee has analyzed the work to be undertaken and assigned responsibilities and timelines for implementation of the 17 key and ancillary recommendations, as outlined online here. In addition to working on these 17 recommendations, the government is advancing other recommendations noted throughout the various volumes of the final report. The report’s findings have been carefully reviewed and considered. The findings will be relied upon as recommendations are implemented.