Nal­cor CEO Stan Mar­shall sched­uled for pre­sen­ta­tion

To ap­pear as hear­ings get un­der­way in Happy Val­ley-Goose Bay this week

The Labradorian - - Front Page - BY ASH­LEY FITZ­PATRICK

Nal­cor En­ergy pres­i­dent and CEO Stan Mar­shall is sched­uled to make a pre­sen­ta­tion in the early days of the Muskrat Falls In­quiry.

In­quiry co-coun­sel Kate O’brien and Barry Lear­month of­fered this and other in­sights into the sched­ule of wit­nesses dur­ing a meet­ing with me­dia rep­re­sen­ta­tives last week in St. John’s.

Apart from Mar­shall, the open­ing days of the in­quiry are ex­pected to in­clude a pub­lic re­veal of the ini­tial re­port from foren­sic au­di­tors Grant Thorn­ton, and tes­ti­mony from Bent Flyvberg, the chair of ma­jor pro­gramme man­age­ment at Ox­ford Univer­sity’s Saïd Busi­ness School.

Flyvberg’s univer­sity pro­file notes him as the most cited scholar in the world on megapro­ject man­age­ment. He has pub­lished in the jour­nal En­ergy Pol­icy specif­i­cally on hy­dro projects and has au­thored pa­pers such as, “Mega Delu­sional: The Curse of the Megapro­ject” (2013), wherein he states megapro­jects have never been more pop­u­lar with politi­cians, “de­spite such a poor track record” and “re­peated fail­ure.”

As with past in­quiries in the province, the sched­ule for wit­nesses is not ex­act. The sched­ule is ul­ti­mately at the dis­cre­tion of Com­mis­sioner Richard Le­blanc. How­ever, the rough sched­ule for wit­nesses is ex­pected to be made pub­lic this week.

The pub­lic hear­ings for the in­quiry will be­gin in Happy Val­ley-goose Bay to­day at the Lawrence O’Brien Arts Cen­tre.

The first phase deals with mat­ters to and in­clud­ing the project’s sanc­tion­ing. The hear­ings, as cur­rently sched­uled, will move to St. John’s af­ter two weeks.

The sec­ond phase of the in­quiry will look at the project’s con­struc­tion and cost over­runs. That will in­clude a sep­a­rate piece of foren­sic au­dit­ing and re­port by Grant Thorn­ton.

The third phase will look at po­ten­tial sys­temic and pol­icy is­sues.

More than 100 days of pub­lic hear­ings are sched­uled in all as part of the in­quiry, be­fore fi­nal sub­mis­sions and the fi­nal re­port from the com­mis­sioner, the lat­ter due Dec. 31, 2019.

To date, the in­quiry co­coun­sel said, in­quiry lawyers and staff have dealt with more than 2.5 mil­lion doc­u­ments (that’s doc­u­ments, not pages, with some doc­u­ments in­clud­ing hun­dreds of pages). They have also com­pleted in­ter­views with po­ten­tial wit­nesses.

“We’ve had very good, ex­cel­lent I would say, co-op­er­a­tion from all par­ties,” Lear­month said when asked about the doc­u­ment pro­duc­tion on the Nal­cor En­ergy-led project.

The province has bud­geted to cover costs of the pub­lic in­quiry. Up­dates on spend­ing have been is­sued quar­terly by in­quiry staff, and posted to the in­quiry web­site at https:// www.muskrat­fallsin­quiry.ca/

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