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Newfoundland and Labrador mine announcement cost less than $7,000

Former Newfoundland and Labrador premiers (from left) Roger Grimes, Brian Tobin and Clyde Wells attend Vale’s announcement Monday in the Sheraton Hotel Newfoundland’s courtyard.
Former Newfoundland and Labrador premiers (from left) Roger Grimes, Brian Tobin and Clyde Wells attend Vale’s June 11 announcement in the Sheraton Hotel Newfoundland’s courtyard. - Joe Gibbons

Province didn’t cover travel for any former premiers

The event held in St. John’s on June 11 to announce Vale Newfoundland and Labrador would extend the mine at Voisey’s Bay underground cost the provincial government less than $7,000.

The total was $6,770.05, including taxes. That includes a $5,252.05 bill for Eastern Audio services (including a live stream), a $1,288 bill from the Sheraton Hotel Newfoundland for the atrium space and associated service (including refreshments), and $230 for a pianist, taxes in.

Invited guests gathered in the atrium — including representatives for the company, Indigenous governments, and federal and provincial governments — to hear Premier Dwight Ball and Natural Resources Minister Siobhan Coady confirm an extended life and new opportunity for the nickel-copper-cobalt mine.

Work on Vale underground mine to peak in 2020

The event included former premiers Brian Tobin, Roger Grimes and Clyde Wells. The Telegram was told these premiers were invited as part of a recognition of the history of the site to date, including comments from Ball and Coady on Voisey’s Bay, from discovery to the newly announced, continued development. But the province did not pay for any travel or perks for the former premiers.

The special event did cost more than the October 2013 announcement held at The Rooms for a $400-million fisheries fund that never materialized as initially described (the total cost for that event, according to a response to an access to information request filed the same year, was $5,204).

But the event to celebrate the Vale mine cost less than the gathering on the official sanctioning of the Muskrat Falls hydroelectric project, also known as the Lower Churchill Hydroelectric Project, Phase 1. That signing, on Dec. 17, 2012, cost $16,202 (again, based on information obtained through an access to information filing, now available online).

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