Nfld. & Labrador

$33.7M pricetag revealed for independent inquiry into Muskrat Falls

"We need to learn from that mistake," says Finance Minister Tom Osborne.

'We need to learn from that mistake,' says Finance Minister Tom Osborne

Finance Minister Tom Osborne says the millions of dollars for an inquiry into Muskrat Falls will be worth it, if the province can avoid repeating the mistakes made. (Fred Hutton/CBC)

The Newfoundland and Labrador government will be putting $33 million toward an independent inquiry into the Muskrat Falls hydroelectric megaproject.

In the 2018 budget be  Finance Minister Tom Osborne outlined $20 million this year for the inquiry.

In 2019, another $13.7 million will go into the independent inquiry, which will be led by Justice Richard LeBlanc.

The Muskrat Falls project in Labrador is both over budget and behind schedule, Osborne said, and was touted at sanctioning to deliver cheaper electricity than the Holyrood facility.

Those rates are now double what the original estimates were.

There will be an independent inquiry into the Muskrat Falls hydroelectric project in Labrador. (Nalcor)

"There's a lot to learn," Osborne said about justifying the cost of an inquiry.

"We need to learn from that mistake."

Osborne said there are plenty of places where government could utilize that $33 million, but an independent inquiry will be worth it, if it means the province can avoid repeating the same mistakes.

"It may not seem like a good investment today, but it will be a good investment in the future," Osborne said.