Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism.
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
Just$1.99
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Cancel Anytime
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Just $1.99per week for the first 24weeks
Just $1.99per week for the first 24weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(select.open)}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](select.open),dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); } //

Former Newfoundland and Labrador premier Danny Williams testifies at the Muskrat Falls inquiry, in St. John's, on Oct. 1, 2018.

Holly McKenzie-Sutter

Danny Williams says he still believes Muskrat Falls will be good for Newfoundland and Labrador in the long run, days after an inquiry faulted his government for pushing through the “misguided” project.

A final report from the inquiry into the $12.7-billion hydro dam released this week faulted Mr. Williams’s government for deciding the project would proceed no matter what, and for failing to adequately oversee the Crown corporation running the project.

Commissioner Richard LeBlanc found that after Mr. Williams was first elected premier in 2003, his Progressive Conservative government “was determined to proceed with the development of the hydroelectric potential of the lower Churchill River and it initiated several activities to advance this development.”

Story continues below advertisement

The government “showed that it had predetermined that the project would proceed” and “failed in its duty to ensure that the best interests of the province’s residents were safeguarded,” Mr. LeBlanc wrote.

In a lengthy statement, the former premier criticized the inquiry report as biased against the project, calling some of the judge’s conclusions “blatantly incorrect.”

Mr. Williams bristled at Mr. LeBlanc’s assertion that government failed in its duty to protect residents.

“To insinuate elected officials or public servants ever wilfully jeopardized the well-being of our citizens is, from my perspective, deeply offensive,” Mr. Williams said.

He said government decisions were based on good advice and years of planning, and he defended former Nalcor Energy chief executive Ed Martin and other staff as working “honourably” and “in good faith.”

Mr. LeBlanc faulted Mr. Martin for misrepresenting the true cost of the project, which has nearly doubled since it was approved and now threatens to cause residents’ electricity bills to skyrocket.

Mr. Williams said while there are issues with the megaproject, the hydro development makes the province “the envy of the world,” and said people should stop using it for political purposes.

Story continues below advertisement

Mr. LeBlanc was to make recommendations and share findings, but not make judgments of criminal or civil liability.

Premier Dwight Ball said Tuesday that his government would refer the report to the police and the provincial justice department.

Mr. Martin issued his own statement Wednesday, defending his actions and standing by the project. He accused Mr. LeBlanc of making up his mind before hearing all the evidence and said in an interview he’s not concerned about the potential police investigation.

Mr. Williams echoed Mr. Martin’s tone in his statement, defending the project and saying his testimony “did not fit the narrative” of the inquiry. He said Mr. LeBlanc did not make findings of criminal activity, fraud or malfeasance because “it was not there to be found.”

Our Morning Update and Evening Update newsletters are written by Globe editors, giving you a concise summary of the day’s most important headlines. Sign up today.

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow topics related to this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

UPDATED: Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies