Cabot Martin,
lawyer, the former senior advisor to several Premiers, and Muskrat Falls critic,
has just published a new book entitled “Muskrat Madness”.   

The book is
self-published and available at Afterwords Bookstore, 245 Duckworth Street, St.
John’s for $16.95.

Martin is a prominent
spokesperson on the perils of the “Quick Clay” instability problem at the ‘North
Spur’; a point of land that extends into the Churchill River forming a natural
damn structure on which the Muskrat Falls hydro project relies.

He has
researched the issue extensively compiling a variety of technical studies
conducted since the 1960s, offering an analysis of the problem, its threat to
the geological integrity of the Muskrat Falls project and the dangers to
residents downstream in Goose Bay and Mud Lake. 

While the
issue of “Quick Clay” is a major preoccupation, “Muskrat Madness” engages in a much
larger overview of the Muskrat Falls project providing keen perspective on the
history of the project and an intelligent analysis of the many technical,
market and financial risks Nalcor ignored in order to obtain project sanction. 

Readers wondering if basic regulatory oversight has been given the project by our own Department of Environment and Conservation might begin at Chapter 17. 

Madness” is about hope and despair. It will invoke serious questions about this Province’s future.  It is truly a fine read.

Finally, this won’t
be my last word on Cabot Martin’s Book.  I
want to give it an in depth review soon. 
Martin says of Muskrat Falls: “it is not too late to stop the madness”.

Martin is

Not only is Muskrat Falls a product of faulty political leadership and a lack of oversight of our uncontrolled energy agency, my regular
Monday Post will offer photographic proof there’s little going on at Muskrat, anyway.  Nalcor is spending a lot of public money with little to show in return.  

If there are readers still around who
studied Latin, you may wish to become familiar, again, with the phrase “Res
Ipsa Loquitur”.

Meanwhile pop down to Afterwords, on Duckworth Street, and pick up your copy of “Muskrat Madness”.  Your hammock beckons.  

See you tomorrow.
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. I read the book over the weekend. It told the story of a very personal journey of one of the provinces elder statesmen. Mr. Martin has spent countless hours trying to expose the weaknesses of the project. All while undergoing personality attacks by politicians. (The hack job by Steve Kent in December of 2012 is one of the main reasons he will never get my vote).

    It is worth the read, and it should be a call to action for people to say time to pause the project, look at the costs, relook at the alternatives, and lets truly put the facts on the table about the North Spur.

    Cabot Martin will be linked to the Muskrat Falls debate. His skewering of the government of how they have sold out to Emera, and the feds, should be read by everyone before they go to the ballot box this fall.

    Cabot is a true patriot. He like Vardy, Penney and others have done a yoeman's service to the province.