Pa­per chase

Nal­cor con­trac­tors may com­pli­cate Muskrat Falls in­quiry search for doc­u­ments

The Labradorian - - EDITORIAL - BY JAMES MCLEOD

Nat­u­ral Re­sources Min­is­ter Siob­han Coady is “rel­a­tively con­fi­dent” that the pub­lic in­quiry into Muskrat Falls will be able to sift through all the rel­e­vant doc­u­ments around the megapro­ject, but Nal­cor En­ergy is re­fus­ing to an­swer ques­tions about it.

Be­cause the over­whelm­ing ma­jor­ity of the Muskrat Falls project man­age­ment team is made up of “em­bed­ded con­trac­tors” in­stead of Nal­cor em­ploy­ees, it’s not clear whether all their emails and doc­u­ments are be­ing pre­served for the up­com­ing pub­lic in­quiry.

More­over, Nal­cor’s limited re­sponses to SaltWire’s re­quests for in­for­ma­tion raise more ques­tions than they an­swer.

Coady has been charged with mak­ing sure all doc­u­men­ta­tion is ready for an in­quiry, which Premier Dwight Ball has said the gov­ern­ment will call by the end of this fall.

The in­quiry is ex­pected to ex­am­ine many as­pects of the $12.7-bil­lion hy­dro­elec­tric project, which has gone wildly over bud­get and is be­hind sched­ule. SaltWire has re­ported that roughly 90 per cent of the man­age­ment team is made up of em­bed­ded con­trac­tors, who can cost Nal­cor more than $1,000 per day.

In a July 24 let­ter to Nal­cor CEO Stan Mar­shall, Coady re­minded him that the Man­age­ment of In­for­ma­tion Act re­quires Nal­cor “to pre­serve all records cre­ated or re­ceived by Nal­cor En­ergy, as these con­sti­tute Crown prop­erty.

FILE PHOTO

A pub­lic in­quiry into the Muskrat Falls project is de­signed to ex­am­ine many as­pects of the $12.7-bil­lion hy­dro­elec­tric project.

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