31 August 2012

Public hearing into secrecy request #nlpoli

It’s not just that the Muskrat Falls project is a bad idea;  the process by which the current provincial administration is forcing it through stinks as well.

If you want to see the problem take a look at the way the provincial government handled the public utilities board – it had no legal authority to conduct its own review of Muskrat Falls  - with what is happening in Nova Scotia on another matter involving that province’s utilities regulator.

CBC carried a news story on Thursday about a  hearing into an application by Emera-subsidiary Nova Scotia Power to keep secret an audit that alleges the company paid too much for oil and over-charged customers. 

The hearing is part of review by the regulator into whether or not Nova Scotia Power owes customers a refund of $22 million.

From the CBC report:

Nova Scotia Power said information redacted in an audit alleging that it overcharged customers shouldn't be released because it's defamatory, would violate the privacy of employees and break contractual confidentiality.

Peter Gurnham, chairman of the board, warned Thursday that granting Nova Scotia Power's request to keep portions of the audit secret would have a "chilling effect" on the board's ability to examine the prudence of its spending.

Meanwhile in Newfoundland and Labrador