Paul Lane Wants Accountability for Nalcor
By: Ryan Young
In the spirit of openness and accountability, Independent MHA Paul Lane is calling for the Auditor General to complete a full investigation into Nalcor. According to Lane, the people of the province have lost faith in their crown energy corporation and it will take nothing short of total disclosure to start earning it back.
In addition to calling for a full investigation into all of Nalcor’s activities, Lane is also looking for an investigation into all former board members to ensure that no conflicts-of-interest occurred during their tenure. That might be a tall order to expect the government to fill, since Finance Minister Cathy Bennett was chair of the Nalcor board in 2012 when the project was sanctioned. Paul Lane believes that a full investigation, including accountability, is the only way to restore the people’s faith in Nalcor.
Lane is also asking questions about why large bonuses were paid out to Nalcor executives despite the findings of the Liberty Report that concluded that the infamous DarkNL blackouts in 2014 were a direct result of negligence by Nalcor.
With all of the controversy surrounding the Ed Martin departure, the government had a great opportunity to open things up at Nalcor and regain some public trust. We all know how that went. Then the former chair of the board, Ken Marshall, started talking about gathering ammo against the government. If Dwight Ball had any cajones, he would have called in Terry Paddon right there and then, calling Marshall on his bluff and putting the actions of the board under the microscope. But as we all know, that didn’t happen and the premier has found himself mired in controversy and scandal. That moment was another perfect opportunity to seize back the power and to shift the public outrage back where it belongs, Nalcor. Instead Ball has decided to let the entire board and the CEO walk away with absolutely no accountability for their actions. Even worse for the government, he has allowed this new government to be dragged down into a boondoggle that they didn’t even create.
But why should we open up Nalcor to such scrutiny? Some would argue that what’s done is done and it is best to leave the past behind and look ahead. Generally, I agree with such sentiments, but in the wake of nearly $6 Billion in cost overruns, this blogger thinks it might be a prudent time to start looking at how we got here. When it became public that former CEO, Ed Martin, had lied about fixed-term contacts at Muskrat Falls, alarm bells should have been ringing and the premier’s office should have been taking a much closer look at the actions of the Nalcor brass. What else were we lied to about, and how much is it going to cost us?
Bringing in the Auditor General is not only a good move, it is the only move that this government has left to regain any credibility in the eyes of the people. The cloak and dagger politics of Muskrat Falls have reached a tipping point and the people want to know the truth. Sooner or later that truth will come out. Wouldn’t it be nice if it would come from the government themselves…
If you would like a hard copy of Paul Lane’s petition, please email firstname.lastname@example.org