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Natural Resources
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 Assets Act 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, we 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.

Thank you.
2013 04 30                                        4:25 p.m.

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