There was a series of testy exchanges at the Muskrat Falls Inquiry today as former Nalcor board member Ken Marshall was grilled on whether Nalcor deliberately withheld key documents on cost projections from the board.
For example, then-CEO Ed Martin ordered his chief financial officer, Derrick Sturge, to remove two slides from the deck before a presentation to the board November 14, 2013, just a couple of weeks before financial close.
Nalcor’s new internal projections were showing a cost of $7-billion but the board was still working with the projection at time of sanction seven months earlier of $6.2-billion.
Lawyer Barry Learmonth was perturbed that Marshall could see that as anything but withholding information, however Marshall assured that nothing nefarious was going on at Nalcor.
Marshall explained that it would not be uncommon for a company to withhold such information from its board for a number of reasons, including commercial sensitivity. That did not sit well with Learmonth.
Things became more heated when Marshall told Learmonth that he recalls the board discussing the possibility of a $6.5-billion final cost even though Sturge’s notes, as well as the minutes from the meeting, showed they had not.
Marshall said he couldn’t recall the dates, but swore they had discussed those figures prior to sanction, while Learmonth emphasized the records indicate discussions did not take place until after.