There is a urgent need to improve management at Nalcor Energy.
Although apparent for years to concerned observers throughout the province, the litany of damning facts independently underlined in two recent interim reports, by Liberty Consulting and the Board of Public Utilities (PUB), leave no doubt that the entire provincial population must now insist on radical reform.
Those reports clearly demonstrate the current Nalcor team does not have the competence necessary to conduct present operations at its subsidiary, Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro.
The ongoing public debate over Nalcor’s worrisome Muskrat Falls subsidiary reflects the same problem.
In each case, basic errors very unlikely stem totally from individual missteps, but rather from an upper level want of the competence needed for planning and implementing the work to be performed.
As the same upper-level Nalcor team controls other subsidiaries including those running Upper Churchill (CFLCo) and our stakes in offshore oil operations — on both of which the entire future economic welfare of the province largely depends — delay and inaction in reform can no longer be risked.
Nonetheless, there is a problem. Time and again, ministers in recent administrations have officially stated they defer entirely to presently appointed top Nalcor officials in all matters of energy policy and legislative undertaking. This attitude is, of course, the exact reversal of recognized governance procedure, and almost certainly constitutes the root of the present problem.
Will whoever runs the incoming new administration do a corrective 180-degree about turn? Who knows? But early indications point to the contrary.
The answer? Possibly widespread pressure for a Royal Commission of Inquiry. Will the public speak up through their votes?
Dr. J.F. Collins