U.S. energy consultant John Dalton's report released yesterday suggests the Muskrat Falls hydroelectric project in Labrador is the cheapest alternative for Nova Scotia's future energy needs. Dalton however cannot tell us how much it's going to impact on our power bills. Actually, it's not that he couldn't make that assessment, it's just that we didn't pay him enough apparently to do so. Dalton told my News 95.7 radio show yesterday the cost of such an assessment would have been 4 or 5 times the $85,000 we paid him for this report. Until we know how much this will affect our power rates how can the Dexter government continue to insist this is the best deal for the province's future?
Dalton's report suggests the Muskrat Falls hydro project is just over $400 million cheapr over 35 years than importing power from Quebec Hydro. Dalton however never talked to the folks at Quebec Hydro, he says he made assumptions based on the utility's deal with Vermont that caught everyone's attention. It provides a long term supply of hydroelectric power at something like 5 cents a kilowatt hour. Dalton assumes such a deal would not be offered to Nova Scotia, for a variety of reasons, but again, without actually talking to Quebec Hydro how can he really know?
Halifax-based energy consultant Todd McDonald of Energy Atlantica also doesn't believe Dalton's study is thorough enough. He says it left out one other big option, using natural gas entirely. It sounds to me like there's lots of ammunition for Dalton's coming testimony on the stand at the Utility and Review Board hearing on Muskrat Falls. He will clearly be on the hotseat.
What short-sighted thinking there is on the management team at Metro Transit. The bus company says it won't extend nighttime ferry service beyond its last ferry run weekdays at 10:15 for special events like this week's CHL Top Prospects game at the Metro Centre. The last ferry sailed well before the end of Wednesday's game. Metro Transit says extending the service for these kind of events is a money-loser, missing the point of course about providing a public service on nights when folks are downtown at concerts or games, spending their money at businesses and topping up city and provincial tax coffers.
The Supreme Court of Canada will release a big decision today involving a Nova Scotia woman who tried to hire a hit man to kill her husband to get out of an abusive marriage. You have to feel for Nicole Ryan whose marriage was described by the Nova Scotia Appeals Court as a "reign of terror." It upheld her acquittal on charges but the Crown appealed the case to the country's highest court. It will release its decision today, a decision that hopefully clarifies whether someone like Nicole can and should be held criminally responsible when taking measures to protect themselves in cases of domestic abuse.
Have a great weekend. Get involved. And if you're not outraged, you're not paying attention.