Here's to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the
round pegs in the square holes... the ones who see things differently -- they're
not fond of rules... You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify
them, but the only thing you can't do is ignore them because they change
things... they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the
crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that
they can change the world, are the ones who do.

Steve Jobs
US computer engineer & industrialist (1955 - 2011)

Monday, May 11, 2020

The Coronation of Andrew Furey - Part 3 - Paddick, Risley and Nalcor

On March 3, 2010, Doctor Andrew Furey announced (officially) that he was running to take the leadership of the provincial Liberal Party, and by ricochet the premiership of the province. The video of his announcement can be found here . He makes two very telling statements in his address:

at 8:49 on the tape:

"This change will not be just generational - it will be transformational" ; and

at 14:59:

"Our thriving technology sector has shown the world that geography means nothing when it comes to bold, new ways of thinking in areas such as ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE, ON-LINE SECURITY AND INNOVATION. Our brightest minds can be see as far as SILICONE VALLEY, the technology giants are taking notice."

I've capitalized the parts of his address that give a simple glimpse of the truth that Andrew Furey and his associates have in mind for the province, the country and the world. Before we start, I would like to draw your attention to Furey's promise of a new politics of transparency. You can listen to the whole spiel in his speech at the link above. The ink had literally not dried on the Liberal Party's postponement of the race when Furey deleted every leadership/Liberal tweet from his account. Almost insignificant if it didn't hint at a lack of transparency lying just over the horizon.

In Parts 1 and 2 of this series I outlined a series of business relationships between the people behind Furey - Paddick, Myles and Risley (to a lesser extent). It's time now to focus on that threesome, and their friendship with Furey. As mentioned before, Myles recruited a young and ambitious Paddick and mentored him. Myles and Paddick then partnered with Risley. All of which is detailed here . It all gets a little tangly after that. Suffice it to say that Risley acted as the banker through his Clear Water Fine Foods company, while Paddick acted as the brains and Myles as the facilitator. They became a very successful team.

However, and it's a big however, Paddick entered the realm of public life when he "volunteered" to become Chair of the Board of Nalcor Energy, the province's energy crown corporation, in November, 2016. It just so happens that Paddick and Risley have another business together. A big business in fact. An electricity based business to be precise. Yes, the current head of Nalcor Energy's Board, a crown corporation, is run by  a man who is, and always was, in a potential conflict of interest. You may be aware of a Salt Wire story last year on Paddick complaining he and the Board weren't being paid enough.  The story put it like this:

"Brendan Paddick volunteered and was appointed chair of the Nalcor Energy Board of directors in 2016. He says he took the position largely because he felt a sense of patriotic duty."
But is that true?

Paddick and Risley's venture into the electrical utility market started in 2014 according to their company's website, which you can find here . The website states:

"Mr. Paddick and Mr. Risley founded Cormorant and in 2014, purchased Power Tel and Power Traxx. 2 years later, the acquisition of Eptcon Limited and its fully owned subsidiary, One Line Engineering was finalized in 2016. With the addition of the two companies, our group is becoming one of the largest Ontario-based contractors in the power transmission and distribution industry, and the future synergies will allow us to become a significant player across entire Canada and North America"

(their English, not mine)

In reality, What is Cormorant Utility Services started out as 9099166 Canada Inc on November, 24, 2014. That corporation was amalgamated into another corporation on February 25, 2015 (one quarter later) named Power North Holdings Inc. On March 1, 2017, four months after Paddick "volunteered" to Chair Nalcor's board, Power North Holdings, and another Paddick/Risley company named Columbus Utility Services were amalgamated into what is now today Cormorant Utility Services Inc, Cormorant Atlantic Utility Services Inc. In addition to the four companies listed as controlled by Cormorant (above), it also has a controlling 50% interest in a Calgary-based electrical corporation named BowArk Energy Limited.

As of this time I cannot find any disclosure whatsoever of these interests by Paddick, Nalcor Energy, or the government. Their various press releases on appointments of Paddick can be found Here: Provincial Government here ; and Nalcor here . This failure to publicly disclose the energy/electricity holdings that Mr. Paddick does own creates a serious and palpable potential for conflict of interest. The question to be asked is why? Why don't the various bios and announcements include his experience as an owner in the electrical power/transmission industry? Would it not be common sense to show the man is just not a "cable guy" who got lucky, but also a man deeply experience in the power industry?

There are now some real questions here. Have any of Paddick's companies being doing business with Nalcor on Muskrat Falls or any other supply and services contracts. Given Paddick's business interests, is he steering Nalcor toward privatization? It is very suspicious that the President of Nalcor is a man who built and has holdings in a private energy corporation, and now the Chair of the Board has the same (albeit less). What are the Liberals planning to do with Nalcor and even the liquor corporation for that matter? After all, Wayne Myles, the Chairman of the Board of the Newfoundland Labrador Liquor Corporation also owns Terra Nova Foods Inc ( a large distributor in the province) and sits as Chairman of the Board of Distribution Group Inc (which he also owns).

That brings us back to Andrew Furey. For a man that claims to be bringing in a transformational change to the province, an administration based on "transparency" (can we not just say "the truth"), the facts say otherwise. Furey's biggest immediate, and most public backer (politically as well as to his charities) Paddick is most definitely not being transparent with the public. He is most definitely in a potential conflict of interest, which as the chair of the province's largest crown corporation is a big deal. Have you heard Andrew Furey talk about that? No you haven't. That may not be surprising from a man so concerned about health he starts mercy missions to Haiti, but also has owned a bar with two other gents in Harbour Main for decades - drinking not being the most healthy past time...

The next part to this series will involve Furey's involvement with artificial intelligence. Those Silicone Valley folks he talks up in his campaign address, Paddick, Myles, Risley and a few others will all feature in this. Their intricate web of companies have been established for years now, operating quietly on the sides. Now that Furey is attempting to become Premier of this province people must know exactly who they are selecting to lead them. This series is intended to do just that. They won't get in through the side door without scrutiny. The public deserves no less.

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