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MUSKRAT FALLS INQUIRY: Nalcor Energy provides evidence of reports sent to Nunatsiavut

Justice Richard LeBlanc at the Commission of Inquiry Respecting the Muskrat Falls Project.
Justice Richard LeBlanc at the Commission of Inquiry Respecting the Muskrat Falls Project. - Joe Gibbons

Reports related to methylmercury also in evidence

HAPPY VALLEY-GOOSE BAY, N.L. —

The Muskrat Falls Inquiry began Friday on new exhibits, with Inquiry co-counsel Kate O’Brien getting approval to enter a new email into evidence — one showing Nalcor Energy did let the Government of Nunatsiavut know about work relating to methylmercury, completed after the final report of the Independent Expert Advisory Committee (IEAC).

Whether or not the Indigenous government received the reports is significant, since two witnesses representing Nunatsiavut were at a loss on Thursday, when asked about new reports since the IEAC. Lawyer Peter O’Flaherty asked why they would not have read the reports and was told they were not aware of them.

The email now in evidence is from an employee of the Lower Churchill Project (Muskrat Falls Project) to Nunatsiavut president Johannes Lampe and copied to three others. None of the recipients were former minister of Lands and Natural Resources Carl McLean or Nunatsiavut director of environment Rodd Laing, who were the witnesses on the stand Thursday.

The subject line of the email was: “Reports relating to methylmercury accumulation and transport from the Muskrat Falls reservoir.”

Apart from the email, the reports themselves are in evidence. The relaying of the reports to McLean and Laing may have come down to an internal communication issue.

There was no representative for Nunatsiavut on hand at the Inquiry on Friday morning. Commissioner Richard LeBlanc asked that Nunatsiavut be made aware of the new evidence, in case there was any response.

While the reports caught up McLean and Laing, they also spoke to communication generally on the issue of methylmercury, noting recommendations from the final IEAC report (April 2018) still have yet to receive a response from the provincial government.

The Telegram plans to review the methylmercury issue again, including post-IEAC reports to Nalcor, during the break in public hearings that begins Monday.


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