N.S. urged to pull out of Muskrat Falls project

ALLEN ROLLIN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:07 PM ET

MONCTON, N.B. - A concerned group of environmental activists is calling on the Nova Scotia government to abandon its involvement in the $4.2-billion Muskrat Falls Hydro electric project in Labrador.

The group is arguing there is cheaper power available now in Quebec.

Neal Livingston of Black River Hydro Ltd. says "long term low stable power rates (like what is available from Quebec) would be a boom for the province and its economy."

Nova Scotia currently generates most of its power from burning fossil fuels and Livingston says it can't wait the years it will take to get Muskrat Falls online.

"The Quebec premier's office has told me they met with (Nova Socia Premier Darrell) Dexter but he wasn't interested."

He accused Dexter of ignoring a Quebec option for the sake of votes from Nova Scotia workers who would benefit from the construction work in Labrador.

Dexter denied the claims and stood by the Muskrat Falls project as the best source of power for his province.

"The Lower Churchill project gives us a firm price for electricity for 35 years," he said. "No other option would enhance the transmission system across Nova Scotia and Atlantic Canada. No other option opens up greater opportunities for importing and exporting electricity."

Quebec recently signed a 26-year agreement to sell some of its power to Vermont at market rate, which Dexter argues is not as good a deal as Muskrat Falls.

"Ours is a fixed rate over 35 years that also facilitates a regional approach to energy diversification and enables our move to more renewable sources of electricity and to an efficient energy loop."

The Muskrat Falls project is expected to be operational by 2016.


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