April 30, 2013
The following statement was given today in the House of Assembly by the
Honourable Tom Marshall, Minister of Natural Resources:
Agreement Reached on Compensation for Exploits River Hydroelectric Assets
Mr. Speaker, I rise today to inform this Honourable House of an agreement
reached between the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador and Fortis
Properties Corporation on financial compensation arising from the
introduction of the Abitibi-Consolidated Rights and Assets Act
. Through this
agreement, government is protecting the assets that belong to
Newfoundlanders and Labradorians. This is a fair settlement for the people
of the province, and is the appropriate course of action for us to take.
Under the terms of the agreement, compensation of $18.4 million will be
provided to Fortis, in addition to payments previously made which total
$22.4 million in all. This concludes all compensation arrangements related
to the expropriation of hydroelectric assets formerly owned by Abitibi.
A compensation arrangement has also been reached with a consortium of
lenders represented by Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada for the
outstanding loan payments and balance related to the Exploits River Hydro
Partnership assets. Nalcor Energy will assume a loan obligation of
approximately $54 million, which will be supported through the Government of
Newfoundland and Labrador.
Mr. Speaker, the government took immediate, decisive action in 2008 when it
became apparent that Abitibi was abandoning its pulp and paper operations in
Grand Falls-Windsor. We were determined to ensure that the province’s
valuable natural resources remained in the hands of the rightful owners, the
people of Newfoundland and Labrador. The Abitibi-Consolidated Rights and
was introduced to protect the people of central Newfoundland and
the province’s resources, and upon its passage, the hydro, timber and land
assets became legal property of the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador.
Upon introduction of the Abitibi-Consolidated Rights and Assets Act
indicated that the interests of businesses and people in the central region
would not be adversely impacted by our decision to expropriate Abitibi’s
assets. We told the independent third parties involved that they would be
protected and this settlement reinforces this commitment.
2013 04 30