June 22, 2017
For Immediate Release

Stan Marshall’s Interest in Fortis a Very Big Issue If Province Talking With Fortis on Gull Island Development

Keith Hutchings, Natural Resources Critic for the Official Opposition, said, “Nalcor CEO Stan Marshall’s interest in Fortis is a very big issue, particularly if the province is prepared to talk with Fortis about partnering to develop Gull Island power.”

As reported by NTV on Wednesday: “Premier Dwight Ball floated the idea of developing Gull Island at the Fortis Energy Exchange on Wednesday…. But Ball says a hypothetical Gull Island development would have to be driven by partnerships with the private sector, and Fortis CEO Barry Perry sounded open to the idea.”

Hutchings said, “The province’s lead on Gull Island development would be Nalcor, whose CEO is Stan Marshall. We know that the terms of Mr. Marshall’s contract were changed from those of his predecessor to allow him to have shares in a company such as Fortis. If Nalcor is talking with Fortis about developing Gull Island power through a partnership, then the CEO of Nalcor, Stan Marshall, will be in a direct conflict of interest. In the role as CEO he could hardly remove himself from discussions on one of the most significant projects for Nalcor (as the Minister of Natural Resources has alluded to as the safeguard against conflict of interest).”

“Has Mr. Marshall already had discussions with the Premier about this possible development? Or, is the Premier speculating about Nalcor’s future without consulting with Nalcor’s CEO or the Board of Nalcor Energy? Both scenarios are troubling,” said Hutchings.

“It was Premier Dwight Ball who created this conflict of interest by allowing the terms under which Mr. Marshall was hired to change so that he could retain significant shares in a company with which Nalcor may have discussions. Nalcor’s Hydro branch and Fortis’ Newfoundland Power are already linked. Fortis has entities across North America with which Nalcor could potentially deal on the sale of power from Muskrat Falls and any future development of Gull Island. The Premier is now talking at a Fortis event about partnering to develop Gull Island. The Official Opposition has continued to ask the Premier and Natural Resource Minister to demonstrate how a CEO of Nalcor could hold a financial stake in Fortis and not be in a perceived or actual conflict under the province’s Conflict of Interest Act. I also requested that the Auditor General review the details of any holdings in accordance with the Act. This current reference by the Premier related to Gull Island and a private partnership with Fortis is raising even more legitimate concerns on the Nalcor CEO’s possible conflict of interest,” said Hutchings.

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Media Contact:
Heather MacLean
Director of Operations and Communications, Office of the Official Opposition
(709) 729 6105, heathermaclean@gov.nl.ca