Trudeau Adds $5.2 Billion Bailout For Beleaguered Muskrat Falls Hydro Dam

"Ahead of a likely federal election, the Liberals committed to covering the vast majority of cost overruns for the controversial $13.1 billion megaproject, which has faced staunch opposition from local Indigenous communities and environmental organizations".

"Prime Minister Justin Trudeau dropped into Newfoundland and Labrador on Wednesday with a multibillion-dollar bailout package designed to beat down the soaring costs of the contentious Muskrat Falls hydroelectric project and avert a feared bankruptcy.

The agreement-in-principle is not yet official, but ahead of a likely election, Trudeau was clear his government was “prepared to commit” to two separate life-preservers totalling $5.2 billion for the struggling province the Liberals nearly swept in 2019’s election.

The bailout is approaching the total cost of overruns at Muskrat Falls, a megaproject that has faced numerous delays and opposition from local Indigenous peoples and environmental groups. Initially, Crown corporation Nalcor Energy expected the project to cost $7.4 billion all-in, but the price has since swelled to $13.1 billion and counting. It was the subject of a multi-year inquiry that found the megaproject was thoroughly, and perhaps criminally, mismanaged. Former premier Dwight Ball referred the inquiry report to the RCMP last year."

John Woodside reports for The Narwhal July 29, 2021.

Source: The Narwhal, 07/30/2021