frenzy over how Premier Dwight Ball handled Ed Martin’s $1.4 million severance, the spotlight on the real culprits
seems to have been switched off.
obvious that Ball and his Natural Resources Minister have become embroiled in a
web of untruths to extricate themselves from the political fallout of the debacle.
race to parse who said what, to whom and when, the public and the media have forgotten, that beneath all the lies and half-truths, is the realty that Ed Martin used the
Crown Corporation he led, helped by compliant friends on the Board of Directors,
to enrich himself.
in the confused and often sorry narrative of a failed CEO, an amateur Premier
and his featherweight Minister, is there a single shred of evidence that the
Board did anything except facilitate a scandalous ransacking of the public
purse as it headed out of Dodge.
correspondence of the Chairman, Ken Marshall – though an attempt to tighten the political noose around Ball’s neck – is actually an indictment of his own leadership.
entire debacle is a story far more about the decisions Ball didn’t make than those
will want to remember that Ed Martin has not been a successful CEO of Nalcor.
Liberty Report describes one dimension of his failed leadership, namely as head
of NL Hydro. Another is manifest at Muskrat Falls, which is already several
billion dollars over budget and absent even a schedule. It is a project in disarray. It
threatens the financial integrity of the whole Province. There is enough
evidence in the public domain to confidently conclude that Ed Martin was a CEO who ought not to have been hired and who, having nonetheless gotten the job, frequently deserved to be fired.
a background, what is it that Ed Martin sought from the Premier?
in his recent public release: “I felt I had been effectively undermined – following
the comments made about Nalcor Management during the budget presentation…I suggested…two
the Premier: Endorse and praise me – if you don’t give me unfettered discretion
to do as I please, you are undermining me. And if you don’t give me over-weaning
power, give me a big pay-off. In addition, I want you to overlook all my incompetence and what my poor management has inflicted on the Province. Let me leave with my dignity, too.
never have met with Ed Martin. A busy Premier doesn’t waste time on poor performers.
In this case, the role ought to have been delegated to the Clerk of the Cabinet,
or to the Deputy Minister of Natural Resources.
experience and bad judgement. It exemplifies the degradation of the (once) normal government
processes used for dealing with problems which threaten the Government politically and financially. Ball’s decision to keep the very same senior bureaucrats who advised the Tories is just another of his failings.
The public and the media should come down from their lofty and rather tenuous perch.
ultimatum, he didn’t cut him off at the knees – that when the issue of severance, and his dignity, was raised the Premier didn’t take his keys and escort him to a waiting Jiffy cab!
treated him courteously and allowed him to return for a second meeting.
A more experienced Premier would have seen Martin
was playing him for a sucker. Before this Premier ever gets asked to leave for being untruthful, he needs to answer for his stupidity.
throngs of legitimately angry people forced to pay for Ed Martin’s luxurious
retirement. A smarter Premier should be basking in the glow of a real leader, having having forced Martin to grovel
in a court of law. He should have forced Martin to justify his entitlement in open court before a judge, not behind the walls of secrecy he built for himself.
|Former Nalcor Chair Ken Marshall|
is Kenny Marshall and the remaining members of the Nalcor Board.
that we know about Ed Martin’s record at Nalcor, you have to be pretty brazen
to write the Premier this kind of tripe, as Marshall did on April 20th:
masse resignation….Clearly, by reaching directly through to the CEO and
deciding employment continuation, and from the recent Budget speech, government
does not have proper confidence in the Board to continue in its duties and
role. I can speak for all individuals on the Board that to a member, all have
acted with proper and due care for the long term benefit of the organization
and the people of this province.”
cost overruns at Muskrat not cause them alarm? Was the fiasco over the “dome”
not a wake-up call? How many billion dollars did the project have to lose before the Board thought about the public interest rather than how much money they should stuff into Martin’s bank account?
awarded this man a $156,000 bonus even before giving him the $1.4 million severance.
performance – which is a word distinct from ineptitude, incompetence, unqualification, and uselessness – is unrelated to the payment of “bonus”, and if Martin’s failure to
achieve any project milestones associated with Muskrat Falls or NL Hydro has
no bearing on whether he should keep his job, what was the Board’s role?
basis can we say that Ken Marshall and the Board exercised good judgement, assisted
the Government in dealing with a problematic CEO, and protected the public
Government have been better off employing the janitorial staff of Nalcor to sit
at meetings and rubber stamp an unfettered Ed Martin, one who seemingly enjoyed an
overbearing sense of entitlement?
mass resignation because the Ball government would not kowtow to a CEO who had
performed so badly while an entire Province fears for its fiscal future?
with Dwight Ball over this affair. He has obfuscated the truth. His story lacks
authenticity. He is a disappointment and not just over Martin’s severance.
to step back from the media’s feeding frenzy and its self-serving aspects. We need to ask: when was truth
something we associated with Nalcor, and with CEO Ed Martin?
take the money; his failure was not preventing Ed Martin from grabbing it.
demand honesty from the Premier. We should hold him to account.
Martin has not earned the right to trump anyone’s integrity, including the Premier’s.