New N.S. premier wary of Muskrat Falls

Nova Scotia's new Liberal premier says the Muskrat Falls project won't have his government's support unless the price of power is cheaper for customers in his province.

Dunderdale not worried, says precautions taken in deal

The incoming Nova Scotia premier says he won't support the Muskrat Falls deal with Newfoundland and Labrador unless rates drop. (CBC)

Nova Scotia's incoming premier says the Muskrat Falls hydroelectric project in Labrador won't have his Liberal government's support unless the price of power is cheaper for customers in his province.

One day after winning a commanding majority government, Stephen McNeil said that's the message he will deliver to Premier Kathy Dunderdale of Newfoundland and Labrador.

McNeil said he agrees with a decision by Nova Scotia's Utility and Review Board that his province needs access to more of the power from the development at a better price.

He said Nova Scotia private utility company Emera, which is proposing to build the $1.5-billion Maritime Link that would ship electricity to his province, is free to proceed with it. 

Darrell Dexter, the former NDP premier of Nova Scotia, was a proponent of the $7.7-billion project that would transmit power from Labrador to Newfoundland and Cape Breton through subsea links.

McNeil's Liberals won 33 seats in the 51-seat legislature, while the New Democrats were relegated to third-party status with seven seats.

The Progressive Conservatives become the Opposition with 11 members elected.

No change in deal

According to Dunderdale, there's no concern that the deal with Emera will fall through.

Premier Dunderdale says she's not worried that the Maritime Link deal won't go through. (CBC)

"Our contract — our agreement — is with Emera. They're going to sell the power to Nova Scotia," she said.

Dunderdale said that during negotiations, the province took into consideration the possibility that a different government may take over in Nova Scotia.

"When we plan these kinds of projects and enter into these kinds of agreements, we always examine every possible challenge [or] occurrence that might have some significance or impact on the piece of work that we're agreeing to do together, and we provide remedies to that before it even takes place," she said.
 
Dunderdale said she's not worried that legislation could be drafted in Nova Scotia to stop the maritime link component of the project.

With files from CBC

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