N.L. hires Saskatchewan professor to conduct review of Mud Lake flooding
Karl-Erich Lindenschmidt will write the report, Premier Dwight Ball hopes to get it late September
The Newfoundland and Labrador government has recruited a specialist from outside the province to investigate the flooding in Mud Lake.
Premier Dwight Ball, who is also the minister for Labrador and Aboriginal Affairs, was announcing the hire Wednesday morning in Happy Valley-Goose Bay.
We want to get this done as quickly as possible.- Premier Dwight Ball
Karl-Erich Lindenschmidt is an associate professor at University of Saskatchewan's school of Environment and Sustainability and Global Institute for Water Security.
"We just need to get to the bottom of this," Ball told CBC's Labrador Morning before the public announcement.
"We want to get this done as quickly as possible."
The flooding in Mud Lake affected about 100 people, some of whom said their homes were completely lost. A Halifax-based lawyer surveyed the damage on Tuesday and met with residents to talk about a class-action lawsuit.
Did Muskrat Falls play a role?
Banks of the Churchill River swelled overnight and into May 17, flooding homes and prompting the evacuation of residents, some of whom are still staying at the 5 Wing Goose Bay military base.
Some residents believe the flooding was caused by the Muskrat Falls hydroelectric megaproject happening nearby.
It will be Lindenschmidt's job to find out what exactly caused the flooding, and whether or not Nalcor Energy's project is in any way to blame.
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- Happy Valley-Goose Bay wants inquiry, not just investigation into Churchill River flooding
Ball said the province wants to "get to the bottom" of questions being asked, and needed to ensure the investigator was neutral and fully independent from the provincial government and Crown corporation Nalcor.
He added the province will continue to support Mud Lake residents "every step of the way," but the first step that needs to be done is this report.
Ball is hopeful Lindenschmidt will have a report to government by late September.
With files from Labrador Morning