The provincial government has set Dec. 5 as the date for a House of Assembly debate on Muskrat Falls.

The multibillion-dollar hydroelectric project will be debated as a private member's motion brought forward by Premier Kathy Dunderdale, rather than as a full legislative debate.  

House of Assembly rules state that a private member's resolution can only be debated for a single afternoon, and the debate can last no more than a few hours.

Format condemned

The opposition NDP and Liberals condemned the format, saying they wanted to call expert witnesses.


NDP leader Lorraine Michael is not happy with the Muskrat Falls debate format. (CBC)

"I am absolutely outraged by what they are doing," fumed NDP Leader Lorraine Michael. "They have manipulated this process right from the beginning and they're continuing to use manipulation."

In the House of Assembly on Monday, both opposition parties continued to accuse the government of ducking a regulatory review by the Public Utilities Board. The government continued to reject that idea.

Liberal Leader Dwight Ball said he still wants a full legislative debate.

"You know the process that we outlined is still on the table," said Ball. "We are still more than willing to debate."

Full debate not happening

Dunderdale made it clear to reporters that such a full legislative debate will not happen.

"As you know I've said this project has undergone more scrutiny than any other project in the history of this province," said Dunderdale.

However, Muskrat Falls could already be sanctioned before the debate.

Dunderdale said if the federal loan guarantee is finalized before Dec. 5, the project will likely get the formal green light.