Only ‘slight delay,’ Dalley says
Natural Resources Minister Derrick Dalley said the government will start its review of the electrical system soon, and it is dealing with only a “slight delay.”
At the same time, he wouldn’t put a timeline on how much longer it will take, now that the government has blown the original six-week deadline it set for itself.
“I can’t give you a time frame because if I do, and I don’t quite get there, then you’re coming back again,” Dalley said. “That’s not fair to you or to me.”
Back on Jan. 9, in the fallout of rolling blackouts and a solid week of power disruptions, then-premier Kathy Dunderdale promised an independent review of the province’s electrical system, including the role of the Public Utilities Board (PUB).
The provincial review was on top of a PUB inquiry already announced, and a third review being done internally by Nalcor Energy.
At the time, Dunderdale promised that the government would draw up terms of reference and announce details of the review within six weeks, but six weeks later — Thursday, Feb. 20 — came and went with no announcement.
It was only Wednesday of this week when the PUB released the outline of its inquiry, and Dalley said he’d been waiting to see that before he made any firm decisions.
“These things are really expensive. I’ve got no idea what the PUB review is going to cost,” he said. “So we’ve got to be cognizant of all of that stuff when we make our own decisions. I don’t want to duplicate it.”
But Liberal Leader Dwight Ball said as far as he’s concerned, Dalley should abandon the independent review altogether.
“Let the independent review be done by the PUB, and just step aside, get out of their way and let them do their work,” Ball said. “There’s no added value to what the Department of Natural Resources is going to bring to this.”
NDP Leader Lorraine Michael was similarly unconvinced about Dalley’s proposed review.
She said she’s not too bothered by the government missing the six-week deadline, though, so long as they explain why.
“I think what’s important is that they’re accountable. So I don’t mind a deadline being missed if government announces that it’s going to be missed and why it’s being missed,” she said. “Everybody can understand a deadline being missed, but they don’t understand silence about that.”