Nfld. & Labrador

$33M for Muskrat inquiry 'significantly' more than commission asked for

The judge in charge of the Muskrat Falls inquiry wants the people of the province to know he'll only spend what's necessary.

Justice Richard LeBlanc says public will know how money is spent

The judge in charge of the Muskrat Falls inquiry wants the people of the province to know he'll only spend what's necessary. (Twitter/Nalcor)

The Supreme Court Justice in charge of a judicial inquiry into the Muskrat Falls hydroelectric project is assuring the people of Newfoundland and Labrador the commission will spend no more than what's necessary on an inquiry. 

Justice Richard LeBlanc's statement, released Wednesday afternoon, comes on the heels of Tuesday's budget announcement that the province is putting $33 million toward an independent inquiry into the Labrador megaproject. 

Justice Richard LeBlanc says he intends to provide public summaries of the costs incurred by the Muskrat Falls inquiry. (Commission of Inquiry Respecting the Muskrat Falls Project)
According to LeBlanc, the budget submitted to government was "significantly lower" than the $33 million allotted.

"It is the inquiry's understanding that, in addition to the amount it submitted, government added costs to cover its participation in the inquiry, as well as a contingency for unforeseen expenditures," he wrote in the statement. 

He added that the commission sought government's advice "to ensure the items purchased for the inquiry could be used for future inquiries or other government needs."

LeBlanc said he intends to provide public summaries of the costs incurred by the inquiry, and those figures will be posted on the commission's website. 

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