Former Nalcor CEO Ed Martin and others took ‘unprincipled steps’ to secure project sanction, says report

Former Nalcor CEO Ed Martin and his top deputy Gilbert Bennett “frequently took unprincipled steps” to secure approval of the Muskrat Falls project.

Former Progressive Conservative governments were “determined to proceed” with the development of the Lower Churchill through a lens of political bias and unrealistic optimism.

And top bureaucrats failed to provide proper oversight of Nalcor’s activities as the government barrelled toward approval of a risky project in 2012 that will saddle the province with billions in debt for generations to come.

Those were some of the jaw-dropping findings of the scathing Muskrat Falls report by Justice Richard LeBlanc, released Tuesday by Premier Dwight Ball and Natural Resources Minister Siobhan Coady, more than two years after Ball called the public inquiry in November 2017, and at a cost of more than $16 million to the provincial treasury.

The six-volume, 1,000-plus page document is called Muskrat Falls: A Misguided Project, and dissects a project that has soared in cost from $7.4 billion at sanction in late 2012, to the current price tag of $12.7 billion — and has yet to produce a single kilowatt of energy.

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Read the report, Muskrat Falls: A Misguided Project