Canada Muskrat rate mitigation deal delayed until 2022, says Energy Department
High furnace oil, propane prices could leave some Canadians scrambling this winter
Low-income household who depend on heating oil and propane to warm their homes may start to face "tough choices about adequate food, medication and rent," says one advocate. It's not just gasoline and natural gas. The global energy crunch is also pushing up the price of furnace oil and propane, a harbinger of higher utility bills for many cottagers and millions of Canadians living in smaller and rural communities.
A plan to keep electricity rates from skyrocketing once the Muskrat Falls project is fully operational won't be in place until sometime in 2022 — well beyond the original deadline of Sept. 30.
In a statement sent this week to CBC News, a spokesperson from the Department of Industry, Energy and Technology wrote the "provincial government is working with the federal government to finalize and implement the rate mitigation plan in 2022. Work is continuing on the definitive agreements."
Muskrat Falls hydroelectricity project in Labrador falls further behind schedule
ST. JOHN'S, N.L. — Newfoundland and Labrador's Muskrat Falls hydroelectricity project is once again behind schedule. Documents submitted to the province’s Public Utilities Board say the project's overall Nov. 26 completion date is "not achievable." The Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro report dated Oct. 7 says problems persist with the transmission line that will carry power from Labrador to the island of Newfoundland. The report says GE Canada has not yet fixed all the bugs in the software required to operate the line.
Despite the delay, Hydro president and CEO Jennifer Williams offered assurances that electricity rates will remain affordable.
"I know that we're not going to have rates double as was originally predicted. I'm confident that the rates will be appropriate and fair for the people of the province," she said.
This is just the latest in a series of delays for a rate mitigation deal, and for the troubled project as a whole.
In late July, roughly two weeks before the official launch of a federal election campaign, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and N.L. Premier Andrew Furey announced a $5.2-billion agreement in principle they say will prevent electricity bills from doubling once the troubled generation and transmission project is commissioned.
Coal report on Albertans' views to be delayed one month, says panel chairman
EDMONTON — A report detailing how Albertans feel about open-pit coal mining in the Rockies will be delayed by a month, says the head of the committee preparing the document. Ron Wallace said the report, the first of two his panel is expected to generate, will now be delivered to Energy Minister Sonya Savage by Nov. 15. That's the same due date as the second report, which is to contain recommendations on coal development. "It was because of theRon Wallace said the report, the first of two his panel is expected to generate, will now be delivered to Energy Minister Sonya Savage by Nov. 15. That's the same due date as the second report, which is to contain recommendations on coal development.
The agreement was scheduled to be in place in late September, but just a few days before that deadline, officials said the provincial government needed more time.
"Work is continuing on the definitive agreements. Things are progressing; however, it appears it may take a little longer," an Energy Department official wrote in a statement to CBC on Sept. 27.
"The deadline was intended to ensure people continued to work diligently. The fact it will likely pass does not affect the work and the conclusion of the definitive agreements."
NFL draft 2022: Matt Corral, Aidan Hutchinson among 10 prospects on the rise so far this season
Several NFL draft prospects, including Ole Miss QB Matt Corral and Alabama WR Jameson Williams, have helped their cause in a big way.With the COVID-19 pandemic hindering scouting through shortened seasons and other changes, the last year has created a series of challenges still being sorted out today. It came as little surprise, then, that the upcoming draft class seemed to lack the same consensus that followed the likes of Trevor Lawrence, Justin Fields and other top 2021 prospects in the months before they heard their names called.
A followup request for information with the department this week revealed the timeline is now more open-ended, with the plan to be finalized and implemented some time next year.
CBC News requested an explanation for the new timeline but the provincial government didn't provide one.
This latest hiccup coincides with another setback for the project, with Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro confirming earlier this month that the scheduled completion date for the project — Nov. 26 — is no longer achievable.
Owning up to Canada's 'fair share' of the climate burden
In an interview before the publication of a new report he co-authored on how much developed nations are doing to help developing countries fight climate change, Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson figured he had relatively good news to share. The early reviews were less inclined to look on the bright side.The early reviews were less inclined to look on the bright side.
That's because GE, the contractor developing the specialized software for the Labrador-Island Link, continues to encounter glitches and bugs and has missed its own series of deadlines.
Muskrat Falls was sanctioned nine years ago at a cost of $7.4 billion, including financing and interest charges during construction, and was scheduled to enter service in 2017. However, the project has been beset by delays and controversy, with the final cost now forecast at $13.1 billion.
Without intervention by the federal government, electricity rates on the island part of the province would nearly double, to just under 23 cents per kilowatt-hour, according to a report from the Public Utilities Board.
Such an increase would be unprecedented in the history of electrical power regulation under the utility regulator, and perhaps unprecedented in North American, according to documents.
Under the new tentative deal with Ottawa, rates will still rise to 14.7 cents, about a 10 per cent increase, with annual increases of about 2.25 per cent.
Under the terms of the deal, Ottawa agrees to give annual cash transfers to Newfoundland and Labrador equal to what it makes from interest in the Hibernia offshore oil project. The federal government pegged that portion of the deal as worth $3.2 billion between now and the end of Hibernia's lifespan.
The agreement also includes $2 billion in federal financing, half of which comes in the form of a federal loan guarantee. The other $1 billion is billed as an investment in Newfoundland and Labrador's portion of the Labrador-Island Link, the transmission system that carries Muskrat Falls power from central Labrador and distributes it across the island.
COVID-19 updates, Oct. 27: Quebec may expand mail-in voting, add days to electoral calendar .
Updated throughout the day on Wednesday, Oct. 27. Questions/comments: firstname.lastname@example.org Top updates Tories to respect vaccine mandate but challenge board ruling that created it: O’Toole Court begins to hear challenge of Quebec’s mandatory vaccination for health workers Labour shortages, supply-chain problems weigh on Quebec entrepreneurs: poll Quebec may expand mail-in voting, add days to electoral calendar Majority of Quebecers think Legault doing ‘poor job’ on health care, poll suggests Quebec will not make vaccination mandatory for workers in schools, post-secondary institutions Video: Legault wants to give names of doctors he thinks should be working harde