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Small Business Seeks Delay in the Muskrat Falls Project

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Project should be reviewed by PUB

St. John’s, April 20, 2016 – The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) is calling for a delay of the Muskrat Falls hydroelectric project until the Board of Commissioners of Public Utilities (PUB) can review the project.

CFIB members have recently raised concerns over the Muskrat Falls project and the impact it will have on the province given the state of the economy.

“We are in the midst of the worst fiscal crisis the province has seen since Confederation,” said Vaughn Hammond, CFIB director of provincial affairs for Newfoundland and Labrador. “Last week the government asked all Newfoundlanders and Labradorians to tighten their belts and pitch in more to help get the economy back on solid footing. If the government is going to take more of our hard-earned money – and spend $1.3 billion of it on Muskrat Falls – then they have a duty to ensure that it’s being spent responsibly.”

A recent Ernst and Young (EY) interim report concluded there was ineffective governance over the costs and scheduling related to the project. The report also noted potential issues with system reliability, pointing to the province-wide transmission line as an example. The PUB’s mandate is to regulate public utilities to ensure appropriate costs and a reliable system and therefore has in integral role to play.

“The EY report is clear that the project has gone off the rails and the government is desperately trying to get it back on track,” added Hammond. “Delaying the project for a PUB review would help the government to restore confidence and provide assurances that everything is being done to protect the taxpayers of Newfoundland and Labrador.”

Read CFIB’s letter to Minister of Natural Resources Siobhan Coady.

For further information, contact Vaughn Hammond at 709-753-7745 or [email protected].

CFIB is Canada’s largest association of small- and medium-sized businesses with 109,000 members across every sector and region.