It should be an interesting day in the House of Assembly.
Official Opposition has been on the offensive in the wake of the Public
Utility Board's refusal to rubber stamp Nalcor's assertion that the
proposed Muskrat Falls energy project is the lowest cost option for
meeting the island's future energy needs.
Liberals will head into question period knowing that they have a divided
house. The division is not amongst the caucus or the party's official
policies but the very public pro-Muskrat, anti-PUB comments by the man
perceived to be the Liberals future white knight.
known St. John's business leader & former Newfoundland and Labrador
Hydro Chair, Dean MacDonald, a long time advocate of the Maritime
sub-sea route made the media rounds yesterday afternoon denouncing the
MacDonald said that he would never have send the
project to the PUB in the first place, citing internal biases from
former hydro employees and a lack of expertise. He also said that the
some of the best experts in the world work for Nalcor, and he can not
understand why anyone would doubt them.
The rub is that
during last fall's election, Opposition Liberals called on the
government to put a hold on the project until independent international
experts could review the proposal. The Liberals have been critical of
the project and turned up the heat in light of the PUB non-report which
was released on Monday.
MacDonald also indicated in
interviews with the CBC and VOCM Nightline that he would have preferred
that the government studied the alternatives in a public and transparent
way ensuring that logic, not emotion, settled the argument on the
Muskrat Falls proposal.
He said he was pleased that the
Premier is now going to allow a special debate on the project. The
government's refusal to allow a debate, he indicated, has helped fuel
unwarranted suspicion about the project.
have been calling for a special debate on the proposed development and
for current studies on wind and natural gas energy. The government caved
in on both issues on Monday after the PUB refused to give its blessing
to the project.
It should make for an intense question
period as the government throws up the leader in waiting's comments as
an indication that the Liberals are out of touch with what the public
and their own party wants.
Incidentally, MacDonald will
be front and center at a Liberal Party Press Conference scheduled for
this morning to announce a Liberal Renewal Process spearheaded by
MacDonald, former leader Kevin Aylward, former M.P. Siobhan Coady,
newcomer Alice Collins Phd and others.
It is certain that if MacDonald becomes boss, he wants to take the party in a different direction.
The party is also unveiling it's new party logo!