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Former premier Williams criticizes Muskrat Falls report that blamed his government

Former Newfoundland and Labrador premier Danny Williams testifies at the Muskrat Falls inquiry in St.John's, Monday, Oct.1, 2018. Williams says he still believes Muskrat Falls will be good Newfoundland and Labrador in the long run, days after an inquiry faulted his government for pushing through the "misguided" project.
Former Newfoundland and Labrador premier Danny Williams testifies at the Muskrat Falls inquiry in St.John's, Monday, Oct.1, 2018. Williams says he still believes Muskrat Falls will be good Newfoundland and Labrador in the long run, days after an inquiry faulted his government for pushing through the "misguided" project. THE CANADIAN PRESS/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.

READ MORE: Legal path forward unclear after Muskrat Falls inquiry report released

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

In a lengthy statement, Williams criticized commissioner Richard LeBlanc’s report as biased against the project, calling some of the judge’s conclusions “blatantly incorrect.”

The construction site of the hydroelectric facility at Muskrat Falls, Newfoundland and Labrador is seen on , July 14, 2015.
The construction site of the hydroelectric facility at Muskrat Falls, Newfoundland and Labrador is seen on , July 14, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan

Williams took issue with LeBlanc saying government failed in its duty to protect residents’ best interests, calling the insinuation “deeply offensive.”

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He defended his government and public servants’ decisions as based on good advice and years of planning, and defended the former Nalcor Energy CEO, whom LeBlanc faulted for misrepresenting the true cost of the project, which has nearly doubled since it was approved.

Ottawa won’t be ‘heavy-handed’ in Muskrat Falls hydro project dispute
Ottawa won’t be ‘heavy-handed’ in Muskrat Falls hydro project dispute

Williams says the hydro development makes the province “the envy of the world,” and people should stop using it for political purposes.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 12, 2020.