Provincial Government Assembles Expert Team for Preliminary Discussions with Hydro-Quebec

by ahnationtalk on February 28, 202362 Views

February 28, 2023

The Honourable Andrew Furey, Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador, and the Honourable Andrew Parsons, KC, Minister of Industry, Energy and Technology, today announced the assembly of an expert team to lead high-level preliminary discussions with Hydro-Quebec.

The team includes industry veteran Karl Smith, Chair of the Churchill River Management Expert Panel; Jennifer Williams, President and CEO of Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro; and Denis Mahoney, Deputy Minister of Justice and Public Safety. The team brings together expertise in industry, utility and law to head up these discussions.

The expert team is responsible for leading high-level discussions with Hydro-Quebec to assess whether there are meaningful opportunities for future negotiations that will ensure the best value from the Churchill Falls plant and the Churchill River for the people of the province.

The expert team will be supported by internal and external resources as required, and will engage Indigenous representatives.

The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador has a strong interest in determining the full economic potential of the Churchill River. The Churchill Falls facility is owned by CF(L)Co and that corporation is owned 65.8 per cent by Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro and 34.2 per cent by Hydro-Québec.

Quotes

“The Churchill Falls asset gains more value every day. Following productive meetings with Premier Legault last week, we have assembled some of the top talent in our province to begin high-level discussions with Hydro-Québec to better understand our mutual areas of interest and possibility for future consideration. This team will consider every potential option in front of us, understanding the industry and our position in it, to ensure we are moving forward in a manner that is in the best interest of the province.”
Honourable Andrew Furey
Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador

“Despite the emotions of the past, we remain focused on Newfoundland and Labrador’s future. This highly capable team will help guide our province towards recognizing the best path in the lead up to 2041, and beyond.”
Honourable Andrew Parsons, KC
Minister of Industry, Energy and Technology

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BACKGROUNDER

Biographies of Panel Members

Karl Smith
Over the last three decades, Mr. Smith served in a number of progressively responsible roles within the Fortis Group of Companies, including Chief Financial Officer of Fortis Inc. (1999-2003), President and CEO of Newfoundland Power (2004-2007), President and CEO of Fortis Alberta (2007-2014), and Executive Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer of Fortis Inc. (2014-2018).

Mr. Smith graduated from Memorial University in 1981 with a degree in Commerce, and following retirement has assumed a role as Chair of the University’s Faculty of Business Administration Advisory Board.

Mr. Smith is a former Chair of the Atlantic Provinces Economic Council (2014-2016), past Chair of the Canadian Electricity Association, and a retired member of the Chartered Professional Accountants Association (Newfoundland and Labrador Branch). Mr. Smith currently serves on the Boards of Junior Achievement of Newfoundland and Labrador, Young Adult Cancer Canada, and the Genesis Centre.  He is also a Director of the Canadian Standards Association and co-Chair of the 2025 Canada Games Host Society.

Jennifer Williams
P. Eng, FEC, FCAE, President and CEO, Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro

Jennifer Williams was appointed President of Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro in February 2019 and assumed additional responsibility as interim CEO for Nalcor in June 2021. Jennifer is now acting as President and CEO of Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro. Prior to 2019, Jennifer had served as Vice President, Production, with Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro since August 2016. Earlier positions include General Manager, Hydro Production, as well as Manager, Regulatory Engineering. Jennifer joined Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro in 2014, having previously worked with both Newfoundland Power and the St. John’s International Airport Authority.

A Memorial University graduate, Jennifer has a Bachelor of Civil Engineering and is a member and former member of the Board of Directors of the Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Newfoundland and Labrador. Jennifer was awarded the Fellow of Engineers Canada in 2016 and was elected as a Fellow to the Canadian Academy of Engineering in 2020.

Denis Mahoney
Mr. Mahoney began his career working in the public service as a Labour Relations Advisor in 1987 with the Newfoundland and Labrador Hospital and Nursing Home Association. He completed his articles of law and was admitted to the Bar in 1994. He was appointed as Deputy Minister of the Department of Justice and Public Safety effective January 1, 2022.

During his lengthy tenure with McInnes Cooper, Mr. Mahoney served in a variety of leadership roles including inaugural board director, member of the firm-wide management team and Regional Lead Partner of the St. John’s office.

Mr. Mahoney has served on a number of committees and boards, and has volunteered with several organizations including Memorial University’s Board of Regents, the province’s Labour Management Arbitration Committee, the St. John’s Board of Trade, the Strategic Partnership Coalition, the 2025 Canada Games Host Society Inc., Newfoundland and Labrador Oil and Gas Industries Association, TaskforceNL Inc., and the Boys and Girls Club in St. John’s.

Mr. Mahoney holds a Bachelor of Laws (LL.B.) from Queen’s University (1993) as well as a Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) Co-operative Degree from Memorial University of Newfoundland (1987). In 2020, he received the ICD.D designation from the Institute of Corporate Directors.

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