Ottawa offers temporary debt relief for N.L.'s troubled Muskrat Falls project

Federal debt deal helps Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Furey avoid $884 million in payments for hydroelectric project with massive cost overruns. 

The Canadian Press

ST. JOHN'S, N.L. — Ottawa is providing temporary debt relief to Newfoundland and Labrador for its Muskrat Falls loan payments.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made the announcement today in a video call with Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Andrew Furey and federal Natural Resources Minister Seamus O’Regan.

Furey says the debt relief saves Newfoundland and Labrador from having to come up with $844 million in payments, most due this month.

The premier said the province would have had to borrow the money to cover the payments and added to the province’s staggering debt.

Trudeau also announced his government has appointed Serge Dupont, former deputy clerk of the Privy Council, to oversee the financial restructuring of the province’s troubled hydroelectric project.

The Muskrat Falls project was approved in 2012 at a cost of $7.4 billion, but with continuing delays and cost overruns, the price tag had ballooned to $13.1 billion as of September.

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