Auditor General's review of NB Power deal required: Fitch
Tyler Campbell & Jane Matthews-Clark - Office of the Official Opposition.
February 25, 2010
FREDERICTON – The province’s Auditor General should be given ample time to review the financial and legal details of the NB Power deal to determine if the utility will be able to carry the remaining debt after the sale, says Opposition Finance critic, Bruce Fitch.
The Opposition presented a motion today asking that the province’s top financial advisor be given time to review the deal and report back to the legislature regarding NB Power’s long-term financial viability.
“Our concerns regarding the short- and long-term ramifications of this sale remain. We, and the people of New Brunswick, are being given few assurances that these concerns will be answered,” said Fitch. “For this reason, we are asking the legislature to approve this motion requiring the government to submit to the province’s Auditor General all financial and legal documents associated with this sale so that he is able to assure New Brunswickers that the sale will not leave the “utility in a position where a structural debt exits with limited or no means of servicing that debt following the conclusion of any proposed sale of NB Power’s assets.”
The second MOU with Hydro-Québec will leave $1.6 billion of structural debt on NB Power’s books. Concerns about how this debt will continue to be financed abound since all of the utilities profitable assets are being sold. On top of the debt remaining, NB Power will be in a negative equity situation so it’s unlikely all of the $3.2 billion from the sale can be applied to the utility’s debt.