Former Nalcor CEO Ed Martin issued a written statement Monday evening defending the Muskrat Falls project and the role he played in it.
On Friday, Premier Dwight Ball released a 2013 risk assessment by SNC Lavalin that identified high risks and predicted cost overruns for the project. But Martin says he never saw that report.
“Last week the Premier and Minister of Natural Resources released a risk report dated June 2013,” Martin wrote. “The Premier said that I was in receipt of this report and implied that I either wilfully or otherwise ignored it and the risks outlined therein. Let me be clear: I did not receive this report in 2013; it is an internal SNC Lavalin document that was neither presented nor sent to me at Nalcor.
“More importantly, having now read a copy of the report, I am satisfied that all of the risks identified in the report released on June 23 were identified and mitigation plans put in place within in the Muskrat Falls Project Team. … I want to state that during my entire time as the CEO of Nalcor, I never once ignored risk factors and our team consistently worked to mitigate all risk factors.”
Martin also called on his successor as Nalcor CEO, Stan Marshall, to stop criticizing the project. Martin says Marshall and Premier Ball need to acknowledge the cost overruns that have happened on their watch.
“I would say to anyone in a leadership role, it is time to stop looking behind, and start focusing on the future,” Martin wrote. “The best advice I could offer is the following: lead, follow, or get out of the way.”
Finally, Martin says he would participate in a review of the project, provided it was “clearly independent.”
“Regarding the potential for a review of Muskrat Falls and/or Nalcor overall, I would support and fully cooperate with such an undertaking, provided it was clearly independent,” he wrote. “Actually, it may be helpful for Nalcor staff and the province as a whole, particularly the young people, to once again re-visit the rationale for the project, the robustness of the processes, comparisons to other large projects, best practice assessments, the impacts of a change in government on major projects, and a change in CEO while the Project is ongoing.”