Opposition Leader Roger Grimes says Premier Danny Williams has an obligation
to release more information about the Expressions of Interest (EOI) process
now that the deadline has passed and tell the public how the evaluation
committee will be selected.
"When the Premier spoke with the media this
afternoon, he hid behind a confidentiality clause in the EOI document," said
Grimes. "There is nothing in this document that prevents the Premier from
disclosing the names of the proponents and possible project configurations.
In the interest of openness and transparency, I am calling on the Premier to
release this information to the public today.
"Now that time for submissions has passed, there is no reason not to
disclose who government is considering for development of this multi-billion
dollar project. When government proceeded last year with talks for
development of this project with another consortium of companies, it was
discovered that serious problems existed. Greater disclosure will allow for
public scrutiny and ensure that all proposals are fully examined and the
interests of the people of Newfoundland and Labrador are protected.
"The Premier knows that once we file a request under the Access to
Information Act, government has an obligation by law to release more
details. A project of this magnitude should not be a political game for the
Premier and he should make details available immediately. We do not want
commercially sensitive details, but the public has a right to know where the
interest comes from."
The Opposition Leader is concerned about the lack of a formal process for
selecting a committee to evaluate the proposals received during the EOI
process. "Government has not released details about how it will put in place
the evaluation committee to select which proponents will undergo a
feasibility assessment. The composition of this committee if vitally
important for the development of the project and it should be a transparent
"I will continue to seek clarification from government about the
proponents of the received proposals, project configurations and evaluation