Wants to make changes to Muskrat Falls deal ‘to stop some of the terrible financial consequences’
© Geraldine Brophy
Liberal leadership candidate Danny Dumaresque was in Corner Brook on Monday, July 22, 2013.
CORNER BROOK — Danny Dumaresque hopes he can get into government again in time to make changes to the Muskrat Falls deal.
Those changes, the Liberal leadership candidate said, “May be able to stop some of the terrible financial consequences that this deal is going to have on the rate payers and taxpayers of this province.”
Dumaresque, 53, a former MHA and longtime Liberal party member, said the Muskrat Falls deal is the one issue that caused him to get back into politics.
“I really believe this is a bad deal for this province as it has been sanctioned,” he said while in Corner Brook on Monday.
His comments came on the heels of news the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board had approved the $1.52-billion deal for a Maritime Link, and that Quebec had filed a court application which appears to be directed at the Labrador hydroelectric development.
“Both of them are extremely bad for this project,” said Dumaresque of the day’s developments.
He said his review of the Nova Scotia decision shows that it believes just getting 20 per cent of the power for free for 35 years does not make it the least cost option, and that the province is saying it will approve the Maritime Link if Nalcor gives Emera another 330 megawatts of power at rates that are not going to cause extra cost to the rate payers of Nova Scotia.
“Which means that what the government of Nova Scotia is now looking for is not that much different than what the government of Quebec made Joey (Smallwood) sign 40 years ago,” said Dumaresque.
“They’re asking us now to agree to give them 500 megawatts of power at rock bottom prices.
“Prices well below the cost and well below what Newfoundlanders and Labradorians are going to have to pay.”
Dumaresque thinks the province should cancel the Maritime Link.
“Clearly it’s a line to nowhere,” he said, adding the only market for the power is Nova Scotia.
“If we are going to have power to give away ... that all we’re going to have over 35 years is two or three cents for kilowatt hour — well we have got to use that power to facilitate industrial development in Labrador with the mining industry and on the island of Newfoundland.”
Campaign workers in all districts
Meanwhile, Dumaresque said his visit to the west coast of the province was planned to give him the opportunity to meet with some of the people working on his campaign.
He said he has workers in all 48 districts and people are actively signing up supporters for him.
After spending the day in Corner Brook, Dumaresque moved on to the Northern Peninsula on Tuesday. He had planned to be in Port au Choix Tuesday evening.
With the fishery also being a significant focus of his campaign, Dumaresque said he planned to meet with fish harvesters and plant workers and talk to processors.
“I really believe the fishery has been neglected over the past 10 years, and the case may be made even before that.”
Dumaresque, who until this spring ran Labrador Gem Seafoods, said it was the sale of his fish processing business to the Barry Group that gave him the flexibility to be able to return to public service.