Opposition members of the legislature say they want full disclosure of details surrounding former NB Power president David Hay's severance, after a Liberal spokesperson said the government could not discuss the matter beyond the settlement figure.
NB Power has acknowledged it paid former president David Hay more than $1.7 in severance, equivalent to four years of his salary, after he abruptly quit his post with the utility in January 2010.
Hay left his position with one day's notice after objecting to a controversial attempt by the Shawn Graham government to sell the utility to Hydro Quebec.
In response to a request from Information Morning Fredericton, Tina Robichaud of Premier Brian Gallant's office said the Liberal government could not participate in the program's panel discussion on the topic because of a "confidentiality agreement."
When CBC News pointed out the information regarding the settlement is now in the public domain, Robichaud said that additional information "over and above the compensation amounts released continues to be afforded protection pursuant to [provincial legislation] and NB Power's confidentiality obligations."
Calls for disclosure
Brian MacDonald, Progressive Conservative MLA for Fredericton West-Hanwell, said the the Liberal government should disclose the additional information "if for no other reason than to defend themselves."
"When we don't see that information come forward, it does breed these kind of conspiracy discussions," he said.
"You do have to wonder what's going on."
Green Party Leader David Coon said New Brunswickers have a right to know how their tax dollars are being spent.
"We have a big problem with governments who say 'no this is none of your business, New Brunswickers,'" he said.
"It's not the managers and it's not the politicians who are paying out this money, it's New Brunswickers."
People's Alliance Party Leader Kris Austin said the secrecy around big payouts to former government employees makes the public cynical.
"I often wonder why people feel so disillusioned with politics, and I think it's years of this sort of thing," he said.
Robichaud referred a request to respond to these comments to NB Power.
A spokeswoman for NB Power said the utility has not received any requests from opposition parties for information on this matter.