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Coady tables Nalcor reports in House of Assembly

Natural Resources Minister Siobhan Coady speaks to reporters Tuesday outside the House of Assembly.
Natural Resources Minister Siobhan Coady speaks to reporters Tuesday outside the House of Assembly. - James McLeod

Minister acknowledges the government has broken law for nine years

Natural Resources Minister Siobhan Coady tabled two years’ worth of Nalcor procurement disclosure documents in the House of Assembly Tuesday, and acknowledged that the government has been breaking the law for the past nine years.

By law, the government was supposed to table summary documents on Nalcor procurement practices twice every year, but somehow, ever since the law was enacted in 2008, nobody ever bothered to do it.

Coady was asked about this strange situation by Opposition Leader Paul Davis in question period, but she repeatedly made a point of reminding him that it was a Tory government that passed the law, and then ignored it for most of the last decade.

Coady said this information has been routinely posted online, so it has been publicly available. Somehow nobody noticed the part of the law that said the Natural Resources Minister had to table it in the legislature as well.

The actual information is summary reports on Nalcor procurement, and if the spirit of the reporting is openness and transparency, the actual documents don’t really help that much.

In the most recent listing of Muskrat Falls purchase orders and contracts, the documents list Big Erics Inc. as a supplier. The description of what Big Erics supplied is simply “Big Eric Inc.”

There are no dollar figures associated with the contracts, and some of them are downright strange.

In one listing from late 2016, the Nalcor Lower Churchill Project subsidiary said it made a purchase from Nalcor Energy. The thing they purchased was simply described as “Nalcor protest.”

Again, there’s no indication how much money Nalcor’s subsidiary paid to Nalcor for a Nalcor protest.

Perhaps most strangely, in the first half of this year Nalcor’s Lower Churchill Project subsidiary listed the Public Utilities Board as a company that provided purchase orders or contracts. Apparently the PUB supplied a “Water Mgmt Agreement” to Nalcor.

When asked about that one, Coady said she’s got no idea.

“That’s a very good question. I’ll have to go back to Nalcor and ask them,” she said.

Coady said the pages filed in the House were only summary documents.

“There’s much more information online, and has been since the beginning of this whole process,” she said.

When The Telegram went looking for additional details later in the day, the only thing that appeared on Nalcor’s website was PDF copies of the same reports that Coady tabled in the House.

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