Why bother establishing Coalition?
Will our children and grandchildren want to remain here in Newfoundland and Labrador? Would we want them to live here and bring up their families? Will this be a good place for them to live after we begin repaying the huge debt from Muskrat Falls? What can we do about it, other than to leave?
One thing we can do is to make the Muskrat Falls Inquiry a success. The Commissioner has invited applications for standing for the Inquiry. The Inquiry will provide a forum for evaluating why the project was sanctioned and why it has become such a monumental fiasco and a threat to our sovereignty and financial sustainability. We are hopeful it will shed light on the options for the future, to mitigate the damage.
There is a real danger that Nalcor will overwhelm the Inquiry with its virtually unlimited resources. Only an energetic, passionate and intelligent intervention will enable the Commission to achieve a balanced understanding of the complex history of this project and how sound public policy principles and management best practices were repudiated. We are inviting you to join us to create a countervailing force which will ensure a transparent, accessible and fair hearing process and enable the Commissioner to fulfill his challenging mandate.
The undersigned plan to submit an application for standing and funding to the Muskrat Falls Commission of Inquiry by the Muskrat Falls Concerned Citizens Coalition (MFCCC). The deadline is 5 pm on March 28, 2018. If we are successful we will incorporate a company which will elect a Board of Directors. We hope you will agree to join as a member.
Our purpose is to ensure that the Commission arrives at a full understanding of the factors which led to the decision to undertake the Muskrat Falls project as well as an understanding of why costs escalated so dramatically. In addition the Commission must provide an analysis of the options available to the province in order to reduce the cost of power to ratepayers and to minimize the financial impact on the province.
Our reason for seeking standing is to assist the Commission to understand the issues and to direct their attention to witnesses who might assist them. We all, as citizens, have an interest in the findings of the Commission and in the action taken arising from their recommendations by virtue of the magnitude of the project and its overall impact from an economic, financial and environmental standpoint. The planning process, the regulatory oversight and the quality of project management are all important factors contributing to the debacle of Muskrat Falls. Equally important, once the project is completed, is how to mitigate the damage and evaluate the options available to ensure that the project does not bankrupt the province. In seeking standing we all have an interest in the outcome of the inquiry.
The undersigned bring to the Inquiry considerable expertise relating to the project, having written many articles and briefs on the subject and participated in many public forums, including the PUB’s reference hearing in 2012. Our participation in the public policy debate over the past eight years enables us to offer important insights which will further the conduct of the inquiry. Our efforts will also provide a countervailing view to the evidence which is likely to be presented by Nalcor Energy and will therefore “contribute to the openness and fairness of the inquiry.”
In order to operate within a modest budget we will not hire outside expert witnesses but will instead rely on the expertise of our own volunteer members who will attend hearings and report back to the group through a rotating roster. We plan to apply to engage legal counsel to represent us at the hearing.
We are inviting you to join our group and to support our submission by allowing us to include your name in our submission. We are also inviting you to become a member of the organization we intend to incorporate, if our application is successful, under the name of the Muskrat Falls Concerned Citizens Coalition. Your role as a member will be to support our work in every way possible, including review of documents and monitoring hearings as well as electing directors.
Please tell us if you know of other like-minded people who we might approach. We need a critical mass of members if we are to achieve our ambitious purpose.
The success of our efforts will depend upon the strength of our team. We have no illusion that the undersigned can achieve our purpose on our own, without your help. We will need your energy, your passion and your intellect to make this successful.
Please reply as soon as possiblewithin the next 48 hours and, if you agree, please supply your full name, address and contact information so that we can include it in our application for standing.