gee.  Wasn’t it so nice of former Federal
Tory Cabinet Minister, Jim Prentice, to pay the folks down in “Newfie” a call?  What would we have done without a visit from
‘ol Jim?

NOIA delegates
showed up, in droves, to hear the words of the good ‘ol boy, from Calgary, now CIBC’s
energy expert.  Reporters wrote down his every
word; the newspaper and other media gave him precious space.  Jim must be thinking: what they say is really
true: ‘they’re a bit dull but these Newfies sure are nice folks’!  Even the reporters were nice.  Yes, everyone was nice…they just loved what
ah had to say…my bank buddies will be so pleased, ah shucks, ah sure hope we
get to sell some of those Muskrat Falls Bonds. Why, I’ll get a bigger bank
bonus if ah can turn that little trick.’

Yes, Jim, in
Newfoundland and Labrador, we’re all rooting for you!

Oh my, Oh my! 
We have never properly celebrated Discovery Day.  Maybe Newfoundlanders should use it, each year, to
check their political maturity.  We could start the Day by repeating one thousand times: “let’s ignore people like Jim Prentice”.  Maybe a thousand times is not enough; like
hockey players, we might have to take the chant into overtime!

So, why do
we let imposters, like Prentice, spread propaganda like spring pollen? People
must know it’s all bull shit.  Yet, what
do we do?  We thank him for it. He gets
paid for it, too.  Like one lightweight
to another, for this address,  Jim
Prentice probably received more than Justin Trudeau charged the senior
citizens of St. John, New Brunswick.  NOIA
and CIBC have money far in excess of brains.

In case you
weren’t there, let’s look at Jim gibberish. 
Of course, he comes from Calgary, so that automatically makes him an energy expert.  What does he say? “Newfoundland and Labrador
needs to develop the Lower Churchill — not just Muskrat Falls, but the larger
Gull Island site as well.”

Said he, “consumption
of oil in the United States has plateaued and is even beginning to decrease.  And the price of continental natural gas will
for many, many years be the lowest in the world, providing an incredible
industrial advantage for North Americans.”

This information is well known.  But, when you are just a
pseudo expert, you are liable to get the analysis wrong. 

Some, in
this Province, have been telling Kathy Dunderdale these things for a couple of years.  She can’t make
the connection and recognize that these are the very reasons we ought to be looking at alternatives
to super expensive and risky power from Muskrat Falls.

Jim Prentice
couldn’t make the connection, either.

Wrote the
Telegram reporter, “Already, with the development of the Muskrat Falls and the
relatively small amount of surplus electricity it provides, critics are saying
that plunging energy prices mean that there will be nowhere to sell the power.”

But, of
course, Prentice got a solution.  He tells
the NOIA audience, “the electricity should go to Ontario instead.”

Let me think
this through…….an acknowledgment of plunging energy prices…Muskrat power that
will surely cost in excess of 30 cents per KWh…!!!!  So after we give Nova Scotia 20% of the deal
for NADA, we’ll sell the rest, to Ontario, for a few pennies a KWh.


This wasn’t even
the best of what Jimmy had to say at NOIA.

The Telegram
quoted him again: “We as a country need to seize every advantage, and the Lower
Churchill represents a significant advantage for this province, for the region,
and for Canada as a whole,”.

continued: “Now is the time for the provinces of Ontario and Quebec and
Newfoundland and Labrador to come together in partnership.”

Telegram: “Prentice, a former cabinet minister in the Harper government, said
he doesn’t see a role for the federal government in making that happen;
instead, he said it’s a job for the premiers to work out.”

What on-line
scribe writes this nonsense, for Prentice? Does he not understand that
Newfoundland would rather blow its own brains out (as it is well on the way to
doing) than “sit down with Quebec”?

But that’s
not all……

Go back two
paragraphs:  “he doesn’t see a role for
the federal government in making it happen…it’s for the Premiers to work out”.  The fact that Alberta cannot get oil across
B.C.‘s provincial boundary is a national crises; but Mr. Prentice, bet your
bottom dollar, won’t spill that same line in Alberta.  No, Sir, as far as Jim is concerned, the Feds
should get their booties moving and get this oil transportation problem
resolved, pronto.  But as to electricity,
no, no, no; that energy is different; it doesn’t go through pipelines, there’s
no role for the Feds here.  

This is exactly
the same tripe Trudeau (the father), Lalonde and Chretien and others used to slide
out from under Feds national responsibility, in the 1980s; their
successors, including Prentice have done nothing to change the script.  

Maybe you need
a lobotomy to stand in front of the very people affected by this kind of
offensive bull-shit, which lobotomy Mr. Prentice must surely possess.  The Newfoundlanders, in the audience, should
have walked him to a waiting plane.  They
are supposed to know the history of being refused transmission rights and the denial of the
Feds’ obligation to exercise its responsibilities for fear of pissing off
Quebec. They ought to remember its impact on energy development in this Province. Likely, they don’t; likely, they see only the dollar signs of a megaproject whose time is long passed. Likely, they paid Jim a level of deference not due him.

 Walk Jim to a plane? Absolutely!

It should
become standard operating procedure, in this Province, when some ignoramus
CFA, shows up to tell us how we can pick our own pockets, that someone will run to
the podium, grab him by the ear and march him down Portugal Cove Road until he
arrives at the Airport.  Don’t put him in a
limo.  No. No! Walk him all the way out
to the plane, his ear firmly within grip.  After a while, no one will even wonder what
the commotion is all about.  Do it a
few times and they will readily understand that another silly mainland
politician is getting an earful.  Occasionally,
someone should run out of their house and give him a boot in the arse, for good
measure.  When a few Jim Prentices are
put on a plane, with proper ceremony, then and only then, will the script

If Kathy Dunderdale
and her Ministers had the ability to recognize bull-shit (except they can’t even recognize their own); if they had a modicum
of courage and self-respect, they would fight with each other for the next opportunity to
the Jim Prentices of Canada an earful; they might not be first in the Polls but they would not be last. 

But, they
don’t see that, do they? Why, you may ask? Because, they spend too much time listening to people, who
listen to people, like Jim.
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.


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.


This is the most important set of negotiations we have engaged in since the Atlantic Accord and Hibernia. Despite being a small jurisdiction we proved to be smart and nimble enough to negotiate good deals on both. They have stood the test of time and have resulted in billions of dollars in royalties and created an industry which represents over a quarter of our economy. Will we prove to be smart and nimble enough to do the same with the Upper Churchill?


  1. The NL Government is a sorry sack of resource tycoon types. Danny started a business with a built-in monopoly of people who wanted to watch TV, it required no real business strategy. Why is he even considered to be a businessman? Hot Dog Vendors are in a riskier line of investing. There is no business sense among any of them. They would be the type to pawn the family jewels to buy a flat screen tv from Easy Home Rental. We need people who can bring business here, not people who can ship all our resources out. The NL/Federal Government would be happy to see NL quietly slip into territory status.

  2. And the rationale for MF is ever changing. Sell/give the power to Ontario. Can we go north over the pole to China and Japan? Oh… China has overbuilt and now has a lot of vacant space. Like Nalcor, they didn't use best practises for forecasting. Dunderdale is gone to China to teach them how to improve their Secrecy Act.
    Your suggestion to use Discovery Day to advance our political maturity is a good idea. A century ago it was said we were to green to burn. We haven't ripened much.