With the Muskrat Falls hydroelectric dam project 85 per cent complete, Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Dwight Ball announced an inquiry to see whether the project is what people of the province were sold.
“We will learn if the project today, is the project the people of the province were sold in 2012,” said Ball.
“While we cannot undo the past, we can learn from it and make more informed decisions as we take actions to minimize the impact of this project on ratepayers.”
The project was announced by then Conservative premier Danny Williams in 2010 and who still supports the project.
The controversial dam that sits an hour west of Happy Valley-Goose Bay in Labrador has been plagued by cost overruns and protests.
Developed by the previous Conservative government, Muskrat Falls was budgeted at $6 billion. The cost of the project has ballooned to $12 billion.
Stan Marshall, the recently hired CEO of Nalcor, the provincial agency responsible for the Muskrat Falls project, called it a “boondoggle” after beginning in the position.
Concerns in Labrador are more about the poisoning of their water.
A Harvard University study showed that flooding for the reservoir of the dam would produce methylmercury, a naturally occurring toxin that develops when foliage and water is mixed.
Four people have been jailed because they refused to stop protesting at the dam site.
Ball said Indigenous groups in Labrador will be involved in the inquiry.
Justice Richard Leblanc will lead the inquiry.
Ball said Leblanc will have the power to compel people to testify.
And he will have access to Nalcor documents which are being secured now according to Ball.
Leblanc’s report is due December 31, 2019.
The inquiry will start in January.