Nalcor CEO Stan Marshall has finally provided the update on the Muskrat Falls project that Ed Martin wouldn’t or couldn’t. He reset the schedule, estimated project costs at $11.4 billion, and advised that we should get ready for electricity rates of 21.4 cents per KWh, roughly double what they are now.
$11.4 billion and 21.4 cents are frightening numbers. They must be laid against a deficit exceeding $2 billion annually, declining GDP, and the reality that we are already paying some of the highest taxes in Canada — all of which is made worse by a shrinking population.
I don’t know if the public really understands the threat the province faces, or if they derive any comfort from a weak Premier stating that he won’t let the province go bankrupt. I hope the public and Premier Ball understand that words, alone, won’t solve this crisis.
Worrisome, too, is that we have heard little more from Stan Marshall than his disturbing arithmetic.
Marshall has changed the tone around the Muskrat issue. He even concurred with the view that Muskrat Falls is a “boondoggle”. To some it is just a silly word. But no one should laugh.