Opposition Leader Ches Crosbie went on the attack in the House of Assembly this afternoon, picking apart government’s rate mitigation plan, which was released this morning.
Crosbie questioned the Premier on the matter. He says as recently as July 28, the Premier said his mission was to make sure rates don’t go much above 17 cents per kWh when Muskrat Falls is fully online in 2021. The Premier didn’t hold back in his response.
Crosbie asked if the Premier could offer an explanation about why the Liberal plan now adopts a target rate of 13.5 cents per kWh, which he says is not a Muskrat mitigation rate, but a subsidy to the shareholders of light and power.
Ball responded, saying he’s happy to stand in the House of Assembly, and compare their mitigation plan to the PC’s “CHEAP” (Crosbie Hydro Energy Action Plan) plan. Ball says people of the province cannot afford the CHEAP plan, as 17 cents per kWh is too much for people to pay.
Ball bit back, saying the unfortunate thing is the $500-million a year will go towards rate mitigation, which wasn’t said to the public when the PCs sanctioned Muskrat Falls in 2012.
NDP Accuses Liberals of ‘Hastily-Concocted’ Plan
Meanwhile, NDP MHA Lorraine Michael also took the opportunity to take shots at the Liberal rate mitigation plan.
Michael says while government was elected almost four years ago, only on the eve of an election are they offering a “hastily-concocted grab bag of ideas” on how to deal with rate mitigation.
She says on the eve of an unnecessarily early provincial election call, government has been “flagrantly” using its executive power to pile spending announcements on the people of the province. She asked of the Premier, “Does he think the electorate will not see through his attempts to buy their votes with their own money?”
Ball says the Liberals have had the financial discipline to make tough decisions. Today, he says, was an opportunity for the party to give back to people. He says he looks forward to debating the NDP’s rate mitigation plan.