Ball moves past Muskrat Falls decision

James
James McLeod
Send to a friend

Send this article to a friend.

Looks to the future of Nalcor, progressive thinking to benefit this province, he tells Rotary in St. John’s

The deed is done. The eggs are scrambled. Muskrat Falls is getting built. Liberal Leader Dwight Ball said Thursday that as far as he’s concerned, the conversation needs to move on.

Liberal Leader Dwight Ball laid out in detail what he wants to change — and what he wants to stay the same — on Muskrat Falls and Nalcor at the Rotary Club of St. John’s luncheon on Thursday. — Photo by James McLeod/The Telegram

Ball’s address to the Rotary Club of St. John’s was an expedition into the regulatory structures of the province and inner governance systems at Nalcor,  accompanied with a detailed PowerPoint presentation.

Ball is critical of the way the Progressive Conservative government has run Nalcor, and how the Muskrat Falls project is coming together, but he’s very careful to focus on specific issues, not just blanket opposition.

“Quite frankly, I like Nalcor as a company and we want to see the benefits coming from Nalcor,” Ball said.

Similarly, in his speech he made it clear that he’s not interested in going back and fighting the Muskrat Falls sanctioning decision over again.

“The way I look at it, the decision’s made now and we’ve got to make sure that we do whatever it takes to make sure that all the parameters around this project work for us as a province. If not, we all lose,” he said.

Ball has been accused of defining himself mostly as a critic, opposing the government without offering his own vision for the government. The Rotary speech on Thursday offered a clear window into what, exactly, Ball would do with the Muskrat Falls file if he becomes premier.

For the most part, it’s a matter of tweaks and beefed up scrutiny, as opposed to a radical change in course.

When it comes to disclosure, for example, Ball said that a $750-million company like Nalcor should be issuing public reports quarterly as opposed to annually.

In fact, the government has recently announced that change will be happening, starting later this year.

Similarly, Ball is happy to get into detail about the corporate structure of Nalcor and how it needs to be improved.

“When you look at the lines of business that we have in Nalcor right now, it’s important that we have a board of directors with the technical expertise to actually do the proper governance,” he said.

“You always get your best CEOs when they are challenged by an effective board.”

Ball would similarly tweak the regulatory structure, by giving the Public Utilities Board a role in the process, and encouraging open access to the province’s electricity system.

“I just don’t like the idea of anything in business where you have a monopoly,” Ball said.

“Right now, if we truly want open access to our energy markets, well then, we have to make provisions for people to get involved.”

Similarly, people should expect more information on Muskrat Falls out of Ball’s government if he becomes the next premier.

In recent weeks, he has consistently dismissed Nalcor’s claims that they can’t release project information because it’s commercially sensitive.

During his speech, he waved around a page from a recent report Nalcor released that’s been almost completely blacked out, saying that kind of thing just wasn’t good enough.

But through it all, Ball made it clear that he’s not against the Muskrat Falls development and he doesn’t want to see it fail.

“If this project doesn’t work, we all lose,” he said.

“It’s no sense in standing here today and coming to the people looking for support to be the next premier of Newfoundland and Labrador to find yourself with a project that is really not going to be able to provide the benefits for the people of the province.”

jmcleod@thetelegram.com

Twitter: TelegramJames

Organizations: Rotary Club, PowerPoint, Public Utilities Board

Geographic location: Newfoundland and Labrador

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Thanks for voting!

Top of page

Comments

Comments

Recent comments

  • Julie
    April 20, 2014 - 17:49

    Ball is the man, That Paddy Daly said was a straight shooter. LOL.. For three years this man mislead the people to believe he wasn't for the Muskrat Falls project, Now all of a sudden he spring this on to us, Guess this whats Ball call transparent. Ball coming out of hiding, because he think Frank Coleman hasn't got anything to offer the people. People its time to show honest Dwight what we are all about. the door in 2015, along with his turn coats.

  • Harry
    April 20, 2014 - 06:52

    LOL...People of the west coast, get ready for fracking.its just around the corner. Bought to you by Dwight Ball and Liberals. Here your great white hope. Stay tune, more to follow. People of corner brook, forget about the Hospital. Because this is the man who going to finish N & L off..LOL

  • Doug
    April 19, 2014 - 16:43

    Do you like me now?! I made it look like i opposed Muskrat Falls, do you like me now? I'll soon be the premier and I fooled ya all, do you like me now? Me and Cathy B. - we both think that we should move on - let Muskrat Falls continue, do you like me now? Just as well throw more money at it, do you like me now?! Mights as well let good money follow the bad, do you like me now?! It was the fault of the Conservatives and although there isn't any difference between them and us, they are the ones who started it! Do you like me now?! If Muskrat Falls happens to be a bad thing, it was their fault but if it does work out okay like Cathy B. tells me it will, we will some of the credit. Then you will like me. Bit i'm hoping that you like me now!

  • Doug
    April 19, 2014 - 16:43

    Do you like me now?! I made it look like i opposed Muskrat Falls, do you like me now? I'll soon be the premier and I fooled ya all, do you like me now? Me and Cathy B. - we both think that we should move on - let Muskrat Falls continue, do you like me now? Just as well throw more money at it, do you like me now?! Mights as well let good money follow the bad, do you like me now?! It was the fault of the Conservatives and although there isn't any difference between them and us, they are the ones who started it! Do you like me now?! If Muskrat Falls happens to be a bad thing, it was their fault but if it does work out okay like Cathy B. tells me it will, we will some of the credit. Then you will like me. Bit i'm hoping that you like me now!

  • Scott
    April 19, 2014 - 06:07

    What Dwight is really trying to say. Is sucker it up everybody, I'm for big business, where all my benefits will be coming from. I don't care about the little people, just myself. As for Bill 29. just has will for me to tell you now. Its will not be REPEAL by my party.

  • Corporate Psycho
    April 18, 2014 - 19:47

    Everyone on the Nalcor BOD was given their seat at the trough by Danny Williams. Time to clean house and get rid of some freeloaders.