Executive Council
Natural Resources
Justice and Public Safety
November 20, 2017

Premier Ball Announces Muskrat Falls Public Inquiry

The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador today announced that it will be proceeding with a public inquiry into the Muskrat Falls Project.

The Honourable Dwight Ball, Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador, announced the appointment of Justice Richard D. LeBlanc as the sole Commissioner of Inquiry, in accordance with Part I of the Public Inquiries Act, 2006.

Justice LeBlanc will begin his work as Commissioner in January 2018. A biography of Justice LeBlanc can be found in the backgrounder below.

The inquiry will provide a greater understanding of:

  • Whether all options were considered at the time of sanctioning the project;
  • Why there are significant differences between the actual cost of the project and the estimated cost at the time of sanction; and
  • Whether it was justified and reasonable for the project to be excluded from oversight by the Public Utilities Board.

The Muskrat Falls Inquiry responds to concerns to have the project reviewed as soon as possible and represents the best option to independently review the Muskrat Falls Project. In addition, the public inquiry maximizes transparency and provides for an independent assessment of the issues raised in the terms of reference.

The terms of reference for the inquiry, also announced today, can be found online at www.releases.gov.nl.ca/releases/2017/exec/NLG171120.pdf PDF Icon

The inquiry is expected to take approximately two years for completion with the final report due December 31, 2019.

“Through this public inquiry, we will learn if the project today, is the project the people of the province were sold in 2012. While we cannot undo the past, we can learn from it and make more informed decisions as we take actions to minimize the impact of this project on ratepayers. I thank Justice LeBlanc for his commitment and dedication to this inquiry.”
Honourable Dwight Ball
Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador

“The inquiry will address project sanctioning and execution, previous exemption of the project from PUB oversight and project cost and schedule. We will continue to move the project forward as effectively as possible despite the challenges we inherited.”
Honourable Siobhan Coady
Minister of Natural Resources

“The magnitude of this inquiry is significant. It will provide a thorough and detailed review of the facts and circumstances, in their entirety. I am extremely confident in Justice LeBlanc’s ability to achieve thoroughness and accuracy in addressing this enormous task.”
Honourable Andrew Parsons
Minister of Justice and Public Safety

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Learn More
Terms of Reference for Muskrat Falls Public Inquiry: www.releases.gov.nl.ca/releases/2017/exec/NLG171120.pdf PDF Icon

EY Reviews: www.gov.nl.ca/mfoversight/EY/

Muskrat Falls Oversight Committee: https://www.gov.nl.ca/MFoversight

Follow us on Twitter: @GovNL external link icon, @NR_GovNL external link icon and JPS_GovNL external link icon

Media contacts
Michelle Cannizzaro
Office of the Premier

Chrysta Collins
Natural Resources
709-729-5777, 690-4436

Lesley Clarke
Justice and Public Safety
709-729-6985, 699-2910


Biography of Justice Richard LeBlanc
The Honourable Justice Richard D. LeBlanc of the Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador is appointed as the sole Commissioner and will conduct the inquiry, which is expected to take approximately two years.

Justice LeBlanc started his career as a provincial court judge in Wabush, Labrador. For the last six years, Justice LeBlanc has been serving as the senior administrative judge with the Family Trial division of the Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador.

In his years in private practice, Justice LeBlanc focused mainly on Aboriginal, criminal, civil and property law.

2017 11 20                              12:15 p.m.