Fredericton — There is an old saying that teaches, “Money can’t buy manners.” However, NB Power revealed last week that they are testing the theory that good manners can get them money.
Last Friday at the Energy and Utility Board hearing, NB Power surprised the attendees by announcing that there is no active lawsuit against Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL). Up until that point, the Board had assumed that there was ongoing litigation related to the multimillion-dollar Point Lepreau refurbishment blunders.
“God no, we aren’t suing them,” said NB Power lawyer Don Furry. “Imagine what they’d think of us! We used to hang out around the reactor and shoot the shit with these folks. We can’t just sue them for not living up to their contract, that’s just not not how we do things in the Maritimes!”
When the Point Lepreau refurbishment was announced in July 2005 by then-premier Bernard Lord, the wunderkind promised New Brunswickers that the province would “hold the federal government accountable for AECL’s performance.”
AECL’s liability was especially important considering that the refurbishment was an experimental pilot project, and it exposed the province to more financial risk than the competing bid from Bruce Power. However, the revised accountability plan seems to have a softer approach than originally envisioned.
“Our legal strategy includes a two-phase approach,” Furry expanded. “Phase 1 is asking AECL very nicely for compensation ‘pretty please.’ If that doesn’t work, Phase 2 is asking them again even more nicely — and say with ‘sugar on top.’ The ‘sugar on top’ part shows that we are totally serious about this.
“If Phase 2 doesn’t work, I think we just shrug it off and say ‘Hey, we tried,’ and skip the entire legal accountability thing altogether. Summer will be so short this year, we definitely don’t want to spend it sitting in a stuffy courtroom.”
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