'Weasel words and evasiveness': NDP leader calls for Ball, Coady to resign
Newfoundland and Labrador's NDP turned up the heat in the brewing Nalcor severance scandal Thursday, calling for the resignation of Premier Dwight Ball and Natural Resources Minister Siobhan Coady.
NDP Leader Earle McCurdy charged the Liberal government was incompetent, and screening the truth about its involvement in former Nalcor CEO Ed Martin's severance package.
- Ex-Nalcor chair says Dwight Ball knew of Ed Martin's severance
- Ed Martin says Dwight Ball approved severance pay
"What they should do now, in my view, is resign," said McCurdy. "I've had enough of the obfuscation and the weasel words and the evasiveness."
"I think the public trust in this government has gone down the drain."
Petition gaining steam
McCurdy referenced a quickly-growing online petition — which passed 4,000 signatures on Thursday afternoon — calling for the resignation of the premier.
The petition started late Wednesday evening, and McCurdy said got "thousands of signatures in jigtime."
But Ball laughed off the suggestion to reporters on Thursday, saying resignation hadn't crossed his mind, and defended his government's performance.
He said they were doing what needed to be done for the province: They were handling the Muskrat Falls project, fixing the deficit and they were handling the Nalcor severance scandal, he said.
"Obviously we have lots of questions about this severance package. That is the very reason why I have sent this to the auditor general," said Ball. "I believe that's the appropriate and professional place for it to be."
Ball also said he was setting the record straight when he responded angrily on Tuesday to accusations he approved the severance deal.
"Because simply I will tell you, that we have integrity as well."
Could have intervened, says McCurdy
McCurdy and the Liberals have very different views about former Nalcor chair Ken Marshall's emails to the premier on April 20.
Marshall wrote that a Nalcor board meeting was taking a pause to "advise action and pending action," regarding Ed Martin's termination without cause.
In the House of Assembly on Thursday, Ball said the decision to terminate had already been completed at that point, and it was exclusively a board decision.
The NDP said the premier could have intervened to stop the Nalcor board, but failed to do so.
"They later expressed all kinds of concern about it, and got indignant about it," McCurdy said. "And yet when there was time to intervene before the payout was made, they didn't lift a finger"
"I think silence is a sin, quite frankly."