ORA would like to express our concern over the appointment of Arnold Chan, Vice President, Aboriginal Affairs and General Counsel for Xeneca Power Development Inc. (Xeneca) to your Transition Team. Xeneca is currently awaiting the disposition of 33 waterpower proposals which are moving through the approvals process, 19 of which are pending completion of the Environmental Assessment (EA) process, and the remaining 14 awaiting Electrical Transmission Connection approval. While Mr. Chan undoubtedly has valuable experience in government, his position with a company that is currently highly dependent on government approvals raises our concern.
Our concerns are well founded as Xeneca has earned a reputation amongst stakeholders, First Nations, Ministry of Environment, and Ministry of Natural Resources staff of causing a lot of problems while trying to fast track through the EA process, and for not meeting its requirements under the Class EA. Arnold Chan’s appointment to your advisory team provides an opportunity to advance self-interests, and has the potential to undermine your attempts to build public confidence in the fairness and wisdom of this government’s decisions. ORA objects to Mr. Chan’s appointment, and requests that it be cancelled. At the very least his duties on your transition team must not include advice on issues that affect his business interests in the waterpower industry – although this will not remove the perception of a potential conflict of interest.