While suturing a cut on the hand of a 75 year old farmer, whose
hand was caught in the squeeze gate while working cattle,
the doctor struck up a conversation with him.
Eventually the topic got around to Politicians and their role as our

The old rancher said, “Well, you know,
Mike Duffy is a ‘Post Turtle’.”

Not being familiar with the term, the doctor asked him, what
a ‘post turtle’ was.

The old farmer said, “When you’re driving down a country road and you come across a fence post with a turtle balanced on top, that’s a post turtle.

The  rancher saw the puzzled look on the doctor’s face so he continued to explain. “You know he didn’t get up there by himself, he doesn’t belong up there, he doesn’t know what to do while he’s up there, he’s elevated beyond his ability to function, and you just wonder what kind of dumb ass put him up there to begin with.”

Are there Post Turtles in NL? I’m sure we have a few; well, one anyway.  When the Provincial Minister of Finance (he’s a Post Turtle) brought down the Budget, it included a deficit of $564 million, elimination of 1200 public service positions and a commitment to keep a tight rein on expenditures.  The Premier’s junket, to China, may be legitimate.   But, one needs to be reminded that, as part of the Budgetary process, Premier Dunderdale (she’s a Post Turtle for sure!) announced that, by June 2014, she would take over responsibility for Intergovernmental Affairs, a position now held by Minister Felix Collins.  The end of June is advancing, quickly. 

Now, it has just been reported that the Minister is off to Qatar to speak with the Qatari graduates of CONA’s Campus.  This is not a cheap ticket. In this year of ‘austerity’, one could easily argue such discretionary travel is truly unnecessary.  Still, austerity must not be allowed to impinge on a redundant Minister, who needs his own junket, before easing into retirement.
Quite likely, Felix Collins is a Post Turtle, too.  







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?