Natural Resources Minister Siobhan Coady announced the slate for Nalcor’s new board of members on Tuesday, including its new chair, Brendan Paddick. The latter decision has been taking some flak, as Paddick lives in the Bahamas. He says he will commute to NL for board meetings, and do his best not to burn up too much tax money in his travels back and forth.
In addition to the potential costs for Paddick to travel back and forth to Newfoundland, the new board is under fire for having no Labradorian present, nor any Aboriginal presence. Though Premier Ball claims he is making an effort to resolve that.
“Nalcor’s major development projects have significant environmental and social impacts on the people of Labrador, yet the Premier has not appointed a single member to the Nalcor Board of Directors from Labrador nor from a Labrador Aboriginal Community,” says NDP MHA Gerry Rogers.
Premier Ball is also the official Minister of Labrador and Aboriginal Affairs, and Rogers was quick to ask him in the HoA, “How can he justify this glaring omission and what is he committed to do about it?”
Though he was not a part of the Independent Appointments Commission (IAC) process that selected the board, Premier Ball has said that adding another member to the Nalcor Board is entirely possible, and that the IAC has been asked to seek out Labradorians for an appointment on the Nalcor Board, and preferably a Labradorian with experience in Aboriginal Affairs.
Rogers has also raised issue with the fact that only 3 of 11 board members are women, and that only 1 board member has oversight experience specific to major hydroelectric projects.
“The Liberty Group identified lack of experience in big hydro projects as a weakness of Nalcor from day one,” she said. “Why does the new Nalcor Board not include someone with major hydro development experience other than the CEO?”