Friday, December 29, 2006

Anne McLellan

Anne McLellan is a maritime law professor and liberal sweetheart. That is until she recently lost her Edmonton seat in the last federal election.

As Minister of Natural Resources, Ms McLellan made friends in high places


Ms. McLellan was Minister of Natural Resources (November 1993 - June 1997), as natural resources minister, it was her job to oversee the regulation of the nuclear industry in Canada. In 1996 she introduced the Nuclear Safety and Control Act, which replaced the Atomic Energy Control Board with the inaptly named Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission a move touted on the grounds of efficiency. The Commission is notorious for its lack of transparency and poor safety record.

She also oversaw the sale of CANDU reactors to China (built by Crown Corporation Atomic Energy of Canada Limited or AECL) during her term as minister. The deal included a $4 billion contract between Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd. and the China National Nuclear Corporation for the building of two reactors.

A Crown corporation, Export Development Corp., negotiated the financing. This financing included a 1.5 billion dollar loan to China to finance the reactor purchase.

In 1996 Energy Probe reported that Over $22 million in bribes disguised as agent fees were paid by AECL to secure sales to Argentina and South Korea. As recently as 1994, AECL's agent in South Korea was arrested and jailed for paying bribes to the head of South Korea's nuclear utility. Since AECL was first compelled to disclose "Agent Fees" in 1977, about $60 million has been paid out for dubious purposes. AECL also handled the “commercial arrangements” for the Chinese purchases.

The sale negotiations began in 1994 and throughout the 1994-1996 period, China continued its nuclear weapons testing program.

Now at the trough

Since her election defeat, she was appointed to the board of Cameco corporation effective December 7, 2006. Cameco Corporation is Canada’s largest producer and refiner of nuclear fuel and part owner of the Bruce Nuclear Power Plant in Tiverton, Ontario. Cameco, with its head office in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, is the world's largest uranium producer. The company's uranium products are used to generate electricity in nuclear energy plants around the world

Cameco benefited to the tune of around 3 billion dollars from the Chinese CANDU sales and as the world’s largest uranium producer, sells its uranium to China.

Oil and Gas

In June 2006 she signed on to serve as a Director on the Board of Directors of Canadian oil and gas conglomerate Nexen Inc., effective July 5, 2006.

A Nexen representative was quoted as saying "She was a strong Natural Resources Minister and in addition to her many accomplishments, has a good understanding of our industry. The tremendous range and breadth of her experience enables her to make a strong contribution as we position Nexen for future growth."

No comments: