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Alumni gather in Halifax to celebrate Memorial

Ed Martin, president and CEO of Nalcor Energy, delivered the keynote speech at the Halifax Affinity event.

By Bojan Furst

Some 150 Memorial University alumni gathered at the World Trade and Convention Centre in Halifax recently to celebrate their alma mater. The annual Affinity Newfoundland and Labrador Dinner in Halifax draws alumni from every corner of Atlantic Canada. The hallmark of the Halifax Dinner is a combination of Newfoundland and Labrador culture and strong keynote speakers that draw audiences with their deep knowledge of various social and economic issues. This year Ed Martin, president and CEO of Nalcor Energy, provided his insight into the future of the energy sector in Atlantic Canada.

“Newfoundland and Labrador has been blessed with more renewable and non-renewable energy than we can possibly use,” he said adding that Newfoundland and Labrador and Atlantic Canada together have a significant role to play in making Canada an energy superpower.
Mr. Martin urged a long-term view of regional cooperation on energy issues that will ultimately benefit all of Atlantic Canada.

“A broader regional perspective for planning and developing our electricity transmission infrastructure will facilitate development of Atlantic Canada’s wealth of renewable resources,” he said. He painted a vision of a future where “our children and our children's children will be in an enviable position.”

Dr. Christopher Loomis, president and vice-chancellor pro tempore of the Memorial University, also addressed the guests, emphasizing the close relationship between the two provinces.

Dr. Loomis noted that “Atlantic Canada has the highest concentration of quality universities in this country.”

He emphasized the need for regional cooperation. “In an ever-shrinking world where knowledge, creativity and entrepreneurial talent have become the most sought after resources in the world, regional advantage is something we have not yet fully exploited,” he said.

The close relationship between Memorial University and the Province of Nova Scotia was evident with both Nova Scotia Premier Darrell Dexter and Energy Minister Bill Estabrooks in attendance.

Mary Walsh of This Hour Has 22 Minutes fame acted as the evening’s emcee, keeping the event and discussion on track while providing her particular brand of biting Newfoundland satire.

The Affinity Newfoundland and Labrador Dinners are Memorial University’s premier alumni event. The dinners take place annually in Calgary, Toronto, Ottawa and Halifax. A group of dedicated alumni living and working in Halifax region organize the dinner.

A wide range of corporate sponsors made the event possible including Johnson Inc., Newfoundland and Labrador Human Resources and Labour and Employment, Nalcor Energy, McInnes Cooper and Ketchum Canada. Over the years, thousands of alumni attended the dinners across the country demonstrating their support for Memorial students and the province of Newfoundland and Labrador.