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Wednesday, December 7, 2016

December 7, 2016

 

For Immediate Release

 

 

 

Liberals Block Review of Nalcor CEO’s Contract for Conflict of Interest

 

 

 

Keith Hutchings, Finance Critic for the Official Opposition, said, “The Ball Liberals in the House on Wednesday blocked a resolution to have a conflict of interest review of the contract of the new CEO of Nalcor Energy.”

 

 

 

Hutchings said a review is needed in light of the significant change between the former CEO’s contract and the new CEO’s contract in terms of the ability to own shares in Fortis, a company the new CEO headed and a company in a position to do extensive business with Nalcor.

 

 

 

The former CEO’s contract stated: “neither the Executive nor any member of his family …shall directly hold any share in the Fortis Inc. group of companies including Newfoundland Power”.

 

 

 

The new CEO’s draft contract in June 2016 stated: “the Executive shall… not acquire, directly or indirectly, an interest in any firm, partnership, association, entity or corporation, the business or operations of which would in any manner, directly or indirectly, compete or conflict with the business or operations of Nalcor or any of its affiliates”

 

 

 

The new CEO’s final contract in August 2016 contained a new provision that “the Executive may own 5% or less of the shares of a publically traded company”, which would include Fortis.

 

 

 

The Auditor General advised Hutchings in an August 31, 2016 letter that, under the province’s conflict of interest legislation, Cabinet must appoint a Conflict of Interest Advisory Committee and, among its duties, the committee shall “advise a head of an agency or deputy minister as to whether a public office holder is in a conflict of interest”.

 

 

 

Hutchings wrote to the Premier asking that the committee be instructed to review the new CEO’s contract in relation to the former CEO’s contract to see if the new contract is appropriate.

 

 

 

The Premier ignored the letter, so Hutchings brought a resolution to the House to trigger such a review, but the Liberals voted down the resolution to block the review.

 

“The conflict of interest legislation provides for a review to determine whether there is a conflict. This legislation is in place to protect the people of the province as well as the public office holder. It is shocking that the Liberals would block this process instead of allowing the committee to do its work,” said Hutchings.

 

 

 

-30-

 

 

 

Media Contact: Heather MacLean, Director of Communications, Office of the Official Opposition

 

(709) 729 6105, heathermaclean@gov.nl.ca

 

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