Osborne floats idea of referendum on Muskrat Falls
Independent MHA Tom Osborne says the decision on whether to proceed with the Muskrat Falls hydro project should be put directly to citizens.
"I'm wondering whether or not we should put it to a referendum of the people," Osborne said Tuesday.
"After all, it’s the people of the province that are going to be the rate payers. They should have the final say."
Osborne said many people he’s spoken with are still concerned about the price they will pay for power in the future.
He noted cost and time overruns are routine on such major construction projects.
"We’re saying that this is a 2017 project with a $1.2-billion overrun at this point," Osborne said. "What does it mean for ratepayers?"
He pointed out that other issues — such as education reform, and Confederation — were decided by referendums.
"This decision, as far as I’m concerned, is considerably larger for the people of the province than education reform," Osborne said.
"It’s perhaps the biggest decision that the province has made since the Upper Churchill project."
Osborne left the Tory caucus last month, citing the leadership of Premier Kathy Dunderdale.
Before his departure, he had spent 16 years as a Progressive Conservative MHA.
Osborne said he still hasn’t made up his mind on how he will vote after Muskrat Falls is debated in the legislature.