Nfld. & Labrador

Severance saga: A chronology of the controversial departure of Ed Martin

Who knew what, and when?
Dwight Ball, left, and Ed Martin both held press conferences on April 20 that did not address Martin's $1.4 million severance package. (CBC)

Who knew what, and when?

That's the question many are asking amid a controversy which has pitted Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Dwight Ball against former members of the Nalcor Energy board of directors and the Crown corporation's longtime CEO, Ed Martin.

It surrounds the details of Martin's severance package given to him after his questionable departure from Nalcor last month.

Here's is a summary of events. 

March 3

  • Natural Resources Minister Siobhan Coady requests a copy of then-Nalcor CEO Ed Martin's employment contract.

March 4

  • Coady receives copy of Martin's employment contract.

April 14

  • Finance Minister Cathy Bennett comes down hard on Nalcor Energy management and the Muskrat Falls project during the 2016 budget speech.

April 17 and 19

  • Meetings are held between Premier Dwight Ball, Coady, the premier's chief of staff, Kelvin Parsons, and Ed Martin.

April 20

  • Ball and Martin hold separate news conferences to announce that Martin is stepping down. Ball stresses Martin's departure was a "personal one." Martin dismisses suggestions he was forced out of the position.
  • While Ball's news conference is underway, Nalcor's board of directors unanimously votes to terminate Martin, thus triggering a $1.4-million severance package.
  • Entire Nalcor board resigns in wake of Ed Martin's departure, with members saying they had lost the confidence of government, which is the lone shareholder in Nalcor. 

April 22

May 4

May 5

  • This is the day that Ball would say he learned the details of Martin's severance package.

May 24

May 25

  • Ball comes under criticism in the House of Assembly."I was not part of any discussion around what any severance would look like," Ball stated.

May 29

May 30

  • Martin issues statement claiming Ball knew of and approved his $1.4-million severance package.

May 31

  • Former Nalcor board member Leo Abbass backs Martin's assertion that Ball knew of the severance package. 
  • Opposition Leader Paul Davis calls on Ball to "come clean" on Martin's severance deal.
  • Martin releases a second statement, including a copy of his severance agreement, which states Martin received a lump-sum "supplemental executive retirement plan" payment of about $4.7 million on top of his $1.4 million severance.

June 1

  • The province issues a statement at 1 a.m. to counter Martin's news release, again denying that the government approved the severance deal. Coady claimed the statements made by Martin were not accurate.
  • Former board chair of Nalcor Energy, Ken Marshall, issues statement saying Ball and Coady were informed of Martin's severance package in an email prior to the board's April 20 meeting, but Marshall refuses to provide the email to reporters. Marshall said he was preparing a package of information for the auditor general.
  • In the House of Assembly, Coady says she and the premier did not see, review or sign the package. Coady says the government did not give direction to the Nalcor board. 
  • The premier's office releases the April 20 email exchange between Ken Marshall and Ball.