(Photo essayMuskrat Falls Integrated Cover System (the “Dome”) reduced to loads of junk     
steel. The Dome was the brain child of Astaldi. Most of which was never used. $120 million    
was budgeted plus the cost of demolition and removal. The steel was hidden in the back 
woods of Happy Valley-Goose Bay – but not away from the camera ready sleuths who thought the 
public might want to see how their money is being wasted.)  

(The title says it all.)
(A group of
professional engineers, connected with the Muskrat Falls project, weigh in on
how they   would “fix” the problem of “slippage” and address increasing cost overruns
and other issues.  

These engineers were “at their wits end” over how the project is managed.)
(Uncle Gnarley Blog reveals how this large new St. John’s school was allow to open in
September, 2015 as Government and School District officials failed to disclose that the contractor
had not installed lateral structural supports intended to keep the classroom walls from tipping
over. A later Post described how NLESD downplayed the issue. A new Post, to be published soon,     will reveal the extent of the School’s unfinished structural supports) 
(A personal trip across the Straits on the Ferry Apollo confirms that more than Muskrat Falls suffers
from a lack of oversight.) 
(In a Guest Post by Cabot Martin, the risk of a collapse of the natural dam, at Muskrat Falls,
known as the North Spur, is described. Martin asks the Minister of Conservation (responsible for
Dam Safety) to investigate Nalcor’s unsupported claims the Spur is safe, and demands that the
Minister pay attention to the need for an Emergency Preparedness Plan to protect the residents
living downstream of Muskrat).
(This recent Post by James L. Gordon, a Canadian professional engineer who has worked on 113
hydro dams throughout the world, 6 of which received awards for “excellence in design”, gained a large readership within a few days of publication. Striking for its clarity in describing a complex issue, it should be required reading for all members of the new Liberal Government, especially Premier Ball, who has already bent to Ed Martin’s determination not to have the North Spur issue and its plan of remediation reviewed by a competent Review Panel.)

(This story contains a warning. The Post describes why a concrete block wall measuring 25 feet by 50 feet collapsed; the contractor’s rep. having described the shoddy workmanship by masons in a Report obtained by this Blogger. The school was permitted to function even as the contractor rushed to support an adjacent wall which was part of the exit stairwell students used; it had similar shoddy construction to the one that collapsed. This Post should be read in conjunction with a later Post entitled Roncalli Revisited: More Shocking Revelations. The latter is based upon information obtained under Access to Information Legislation and on information received from two informants, one of whom worked on the construction site. It contains significant and shocking details. Two highly experienced professional engineers reviewed the information and advised on its presentation. I am no less disturbed, now, by the revelations in these two Pieces, than I was in the beginning. I am appalled no investigation was initiated on the heels of those two Posts. One day we will regret our willingness to defer to governmental authorities. 
Written, in October, by the anonymous “JM”, a frequent and valued contributor to this Blog, the Piece examines the latest Oversight Report on Muskrat Falls and makes this assessment: “when you consider the meager progress which occurred in the first three years of the project, full commercial power in Q4-2019 actually remains a stretch target…” If you are worried about Premier Ball’s latest assertion that “$3 billion” will be borrowed for the project over the next three years, you might want to read JM’s Piece. 
Written a full year ago, this first Piece of a two part series described the folly of Nalcor’s investments in hydro and in the offshore; it suggests they are akin to investments in dotcoms. The Piece asserts that the government needs to get back to the job of governing.


In addition to the the “TOP TEN”, which received the highest number of pageviews, there were others that got plenty of notice, but also had particular resonance, with me, either because of the sentiments expressed, as in the Don Dunphy tragedy, or the research and insights offered (JM in his excellent Budget Colloquy Series, and Cabot Martin, David Vardy and Ron Penney with respect to Muskrat.  Then there is Agent 13 who gave advice to the Premier, via this Blog, on negotiations for a new oil revenue sharing regime. In my own case, the Pieces most challenging to write get a rerun. 

In no particular order, they are:

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.


  1. Happy New Year Uncle Gnarley. The posts on this site are always enlightening. Thank you.
    If we can only get the press to ask some of the questions raised here, we might have a better chance of a less depressing outlook for the coming years (and years).

  2. Thanks Uncle Gnarley for your awesome post in 2015, I am looking forward to your post in 2016 and especially those with respect to Muskrat Falls. Keep up the good work and again thank you… Happy New Year…

  3. People have said to me that the only real commentary and debate on current events in this province exists on this site. This does not reflect well on other media. I would urge Uncle Gnarley, though, to look beyond Muskrat Falls, centrally important as that issue is.