Uncle Gnarley Has a Bee in His Bonnet

twenty-four hours had passed since I had posted my new Web Site, when the
urgent ring of my door bell spelled the arrival of an anxious Uncle Gnarly.
“Nav, have you got a few minutes to speak with a worried old man”, he inquired.  Ignoring his favourite slur, Nav, I replied “Come
in, Uncle Gnarley”. Even in a tizzy, Gnarly knew how to remind me of one of my biggest
shortcomings. “Nav” was short for “Navigator”. He and I knew that I couldn’t find
my way out of the woods with a compass; it was my one fear of the great
outdoors, where Uncle Gnarley and I spent many a weekend communing with nature.

“What’s up”,
I asked. Well, says he, I have been thinking about this Muskrat Falls thing and
frankly, I think I should be concerned, if what I am hearing has even a ring of
truth.  You are not the only one, Nav,
who has a lot of questions about this scheme. 
“Now look man, you know what politicians are like; well, don’t think
that bureaucrats are any more enlightened. 
I think, perhaps, I should take a closer look at the whole story. You’ve
copied all those reports, not that they were of any use to the PUB.  Give them to me, ol’ boy, I must take a look
at what those fellows at Nalcor are cooking; let’s see if they can fool ol’ Uncle

“That’s a
great idea, Uncle”, I was about to say, but he was already in full flight.  “You know, Nav, if there is a kilowatt hour
missing, there’s none better than Gnarly to see where it is hidden.  Some of my best students made the mistake of
thinking I was just an old crock.  But
that impression lasted only until they realized I was one Economics Professor
who was not going to stake his reputation on flimsy research.  I didn’t come through Harvard to be made a
fool of”, he spat. I saw his lip curl a little; I knew he was not just
serious.  He was engaged.

I didn’t
interrupt him anymore.  I handed him the
two foot tall stack of filings that I had downloaded from Nalcor and the PUB;
documents that I thought described, in a most uncertain way, something very
misguided.  I wondered if Gnarley would
agree.  I knew he was anxious to get home
and start work.

Privately, I
thought to myself, if Uncle Gnarley had been on the PUB, Jerome Kennedy would
never have had the temerity to say “no” to him. 
He would have demanded and received the time necessary to complete the report,
without being forced to use outdated information either.  Uncle Gnarley was a stickler for correctness.
As he was fond of saying: “it’s all about integrity, Nav”.  But, with respect, Andy would be a wimp
alongside Uncle Gnarley who would have insisted that his judicial status, semi
or otherwise could not corrupted by Ministerial meddling.  Gnarley wouldn’t stand for it!

I also knew,
Nalcor was about to get a better internal review than they would ever get from Manitoba

I was
already excited that Uncle Gnarley’s would soon return.


Des Sullivan
Des Sullivan
St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada Uncle Gnarley is hosted by Des Sullivan, of St. John's. He is a businessman engaged over three decades in real estate management and development companies and in retail. He is currently a Director of Dorset Investments Limited and Donovan Holdings Limited. During his early career he served as Executive Assistant to Premier's Frank D. Moores (1975-1979) and Brian Peckford (1979-1985). He also served as a Part-Time Board Member on the Canada-Newfoundland Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board (C-NLOPB). Uncle Gnarley appears on the masthead representing serious and unambiguous positions on NL politics and public policy. Uncle Gnarley is a fiscal conservative possessing distinctly liberal values and a non-partisan persusasion. Those values and opinions underlie this writer's views on NL's politics, economy and society. Uncle Gnarley publishes Monday mornings and more often when events warrant.


If a Big Mac costs McDonalds $10 to produce and it is sold for $1.50, McDonalds will go out of business. They would not declare a profit!


Bill left public life shortly after the signing of the Atlantic Accord and became a member of the Court of Appeal until his retirement in 2003. During his time on the court he was involved in a number of successful appeals which overturned wrongful convictions, for which he was recognized by Innocence Canada. Bill had a special place in his heart for the underdog.

Churchill Falls Explainer (Coles Notes version)

If CFLCo is required to maximize its profit, then CFLCo should sell its electricity to the highest bidder(s) on the most advantageous terms available.