“Spineless” best describes Premier Ball – having helped undermine the Premiers’ united
front on federal funding for health care.

It is one
thing for the Premier to exhibit poor character locally – having wimped out on
both the deficit and Nalcor – both threatening our solvency.  It is quite
another to allow this behaviour to reflect on the whole society that elected
him or permit it to go unnoticed when the risks of doing just that are significant.

Ball chose
to join the Premiers of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia – the two perennial
toadies to the federal government. Their decision to break ranks came mere days after the Premiers met with the federal health minister
and affirmed their united stand against her offer.

During my
time in the Premier’s Office, in the 70s and 80s, those two provinces could
never be counted on – except to be dishonest brokers. Then, the most notorious Premiers were John Buchanan of Nova Scotia and Richard Hatfield of New Brunswick. Buchanan
would consistently sell out the other Premiers when the Feds wanted their own way on one funding program that was in the area of provincial
jurisdiction. He would sell his soul – some said his mother’s, too – for another
mile of highway construction.

standards weren’t even that high.  Those
with long memories will recall that when Pierre Trudeau sought approval
from the SCOC to repatriate the Canadian Constitution unilaterally, he had the
support of only Ontario and – you guessed it – New Brunswick.

Well, little has changed. NB and NS have been in confederation a lot longer than has NL but they some maturing still to do. NL is doing itself no favours by becoming a toadie along with them.

Let me be
clear. The Government of Canada has every right to play hardball with
provincial governments – as long as the process is respectful – which is rarely
the case.
No government
has a monopoly on what constitutes the public interest. But the typical federal
strategy is to get its own way using well-known “divide and conquer” tactics:
the fiscally weak provinces and the most spineless Premiers are offered a funding
carrot – just enough to create a “wedge” allowing them to claim some small
(provincial) and short-term political victory. The feds are masters of the
game; Trudeau the elder didn’t invent the scheme but he helped perfect it. It
seems Trudeau the younger has learned it well.

The timing
of Ball’s cave-in is noteworthy. Over the last few days the local media have been filling the airways with news that the one billionth barrel of oil has
been pumped from Hibernia. As is often the case, the important point was missed.

The real
story is that this province actually got substantial royalties from this resource. The quantity of oil produced is a number – nothing more. But the revenues to the province are  critically important, And they did not transpire due to  the leadership of a quisling Premier – one willing, at the
first opportunity, to throw in his lot with provinces that would screw him in a

NS did
its best, in the 70s and 80s to undermine NL’s position on the achievement of a
management regime for the offshore – and NL should never forget their treachery. 

NS has more
MPs in the House of Commons than NL, enjoys more political clout, and is viewed
in Ottawa as the center of the universe in Atlantic Canada.

NS has always
regarded its destiny as head of an “Atlantic Region” because the
status would assure them more federal entitlements. Hence, NS was content
if their offshore, and the far more oil prolific Newfoundland and Labrador
basins, were under federal control. Under such a regime the development
decisions would be administered in Halifax anyway.

Yet, the local toadies – including Premier Ball – could never imagine that the supply vessels navigating out of St. John’s to the Jeanne d’Arc basin could just as easily steam into and out of Halifax Harbour.

The Trudeau
and Chretien Administrations were happy to help undermine the NL position by
offering a carrot to Nova Scotia to sign on – making NL look greedy and
unreasonable. Of course, the carrot was that, if NL eventually got a better deal than
the one NS helped undermine, NS would get it, too.
I cite this
little bit of history because Ball’s own treachery ought to have been met with
swift condemnation from the same groups who then supported the federal position or remained silent– the St. John’s Board of Trade, the NLTA, the Unions (public sector and industry – given that the media still
trots them out as paragons of public policy. There is always the hope one or two learned something from that earlier time. But such an expectation is nearly always excessive.
No one – except Steve Kent representing an entirely discredited Tory Opposition
– was prepared to take the Health Minister John Haggie to task for this comment
reported on CBC:

“Atlantic Canada … have the same
kind of problems, and those are different in emphasis than other regions in
Canada. So just as we, as an Atlantic group, have found an accommodation that
works for us, I think other jurisdictions are going to have to look at their
own needs.”

Of course, the Minister’s comments are arrant nonsense.

province of Canada, from B.C. to NL comprises significant rural populations – some far larger than ours. And they don’t squander their health care dollars,
spending as we do -per capita 150% of the national average.

The NL
Health Minister is a fool for another reason. Imagine stating “we, as an Atlantic group….” The irony
is that it is the very shite Nova Scotia wants to hear – music to the ears of
the Government of Canada, too – because it reinforces the view that Atlantic Canada
needs only one government.

Premier Ball
allowed himself to be “bought off” with federal pennies – not because the
enlarged offer he accepted was so compelling – but because he can’t perform the
calculus that cooperation with Nova Scotia and New Brunswick is a fool’s game –
that it will only diminish NL’s ability to deal with Ottawa and our economic
prospects.They can’t be trusted.

Ball still
thinks there is value in political partisanship. Ontario, Quebec and the western
provinces can only feel bewildered by such amateurishness. More importantly, this
Premier has no “world view” of the policies needed to sustain our survival as a
society or as a jurisdiction within the Canadian constitutional context.

Besides, what Premier
would trust him again? The Feds, too, know he can easily be bought.

Now, this same Premier is negotiating with Hydro Quebec!
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. Good analysis. As usual, Ball fails to disappoint…in disappointing those who elected him. He has no foresight and appears to bumbling around in the dark burning the furniture just to keep the house warm long enough to get to that 'Premiers Pension'. My Premier, The Fighting Nflder. As my kids would sarcastically say "Yeah, Right". Ironic how at this time of year, he would play a starring role… as Judas.

  2. Peter McKays' vision of Atlantica, a union of all four Atlantic provinces with Halifax at its political center, is well on its way to fruition. As federal minister he convinced former PM Harper to approve the loan guarantee for Muskrat, provided NS could secure a Churchill Falls type deal from NL. The puppetmaster foresaw the fiasco MF has become. Now as predicted, NL is on its knees crippled financially by this mess. Yet our Premier, seemingly unaware of the financial tsunami this province is facing, bumbles along whistling past the graveyard. The idea that he would stab his fellow Premiers in the back, on Tibbs Eve no less, for a few federal dollars sadly does not surprise me. As soon as NB broke ranks, I speculated that our weakling Premier would be next. At the same time, we find out we have to pay NS 20 Million for completing their undersea cable on time & on budget. Additionally, we hand over almost 800 million above their original contract to Astaldi for NOT finishing on time or on budget. All borrowed money that will never be repaid. Ironic that Ball may have to rely on those same Premiers he betrayed to save us from our impending bankruptcy.

  3. Bob,speaking of Judas, at my late stage of life, I find it amazing that my religious education in school and church was so superficial. I had no idea until about 10 years ago that Jesus had brothers and sisters (4 brothers and 2 sisters). And if I raise this subject, everyone seems ignorant of this also. And that there were other gospels, those of Thomas, Philip, Mary Mageline,and even Judas, that got thrown out and so not included in the New,Testament. But after 2 thousand years, these have resurfaced and are important documents.
    Of course, Jesus`s brother James had a big part in the survival of Christianity, and was also put to death. All the early followers of Jesus were Jews and believed the teachings of Christ was to be limited to Jews. Paul, who did not even know Jesus, argued that the teachings were also for the Gentiles, non Jews. James finally agreed with Paul on this, at the displeasure of the head of the Jewish church, who then saw James too as an enemy. Of course, these early decisions meant that as Christians , we need not to be circumcised. Thank you Paul and James.
    As to the Judas, who you mention. Apparently this gospel confirms that Judas had a demon, and the gospel, written in the second century, shows or predicts that the church leaders were on a course to distort the true message of Jesus`s teachings.
    Interesting that Judas was the treasurer for the first 12. Was it Watergate that the phrase`follow the Money` was used. Guess it applies to Muskrat:follow the money, and the wheeling dealing on health care too: follow the money.
    Ah… the true meaning of Christmas, Santa, and Christ, and Judas.
    Merry Christmas Bob.
    Winston Adams

  4. Actually, Atlantica makes real sense. Half the Government waste in administration could be eliminated. Power grid efficiencies would be enhanced, management of resource industries; agriculture, fisheries, forests, mining would also benefit the common worker/taxpayer. It's not about the personalities its about common purpose. Read Reports by Savoie and others.

    • Your analysis is somewhat suspect.

      The Atlantica movement is a thinly veiled attempt to turn Atlantic Canada into an American colony. You really should look a little beyond press releases from proponents for your information.

    • Bruno, as for sources of information, what is your source that Nalcor lost hundreds of millions of dollars wheeling power through Quebec. As your comments are sometimes rational, keep this blog at a decent level by admitting an error or give the source……….we have memories longer than a day or two.

    • Robert, with respect, I cannot see power grid efficiencies from the Muskrat scheme.
      1. Here on our isolated grid we needed the third 230kv line to the Avalon. Ed Martin said no rush as it would have little benefit. During the recent outages(DarkNL) and we had only one line operating to the Avalon, it was later determined that transmission losses on the single line jumped almost 40 MW. That is a huge inefficiency, due to not having 3 lines.
      2. Demand reduction offers huge efficiencies to our isolated system. Other Atlantic provinces have long had demand reduction programs for customer efficiecies. We do not. We encourage demand growth.
      3. We improve NS efficiencies with the Maritime link, to allow them to mothball coal plants. They have no power to supply us should we need power in an emergency. So we need to rely on Holyrood, according to Liberty.
      4. There is no suitable power corridor between NS and NB. If the North American grid cannot even feed NS, what chance is there that it will be upgraded to feed NS plus Nfld in our time of need.
      We incur a cost of some 60 cents per kwh for MF to bring efficiencies to Nova Scotia………..
      5.Least cost for Nfld was doomed from day one……..so it seems to me.
      6. On top of that, customer residential efficiencies with heatpumps etc,at our personal expense, frees up more MF power for NS at 5 cent costs.
      Efficiencies went out the window a long time ago, and is a concept foreign to our power companies here, I suggest.
      Winston Adams

    • Robert I am not your monkey. As I have already pointed out I am not incorrect about Nalcor losing money on wheeling through Quebec. Do your own research and go back more than one year in your darling Nalcor's books.

      Is trolling the best you can do to rebut the obvious truths that you continue to deny?

      You have nothing to say to defend AIMS goal of turning Atlantic Canada into a colony for the US.

    • Bruno, why should anyone just take your word , for anything. It was your allegation that Nalcor lost not just money, but hundreds of millions of dollars! Now you want someone to prove you wrong rather than you prove you are right. How silly. You only put to question your own character not to clarify your position or one can only assume you wish to put out disinformation. Is this what a troll does! Come clean on this point.

    • Bruno, you attack the person whether anon or not, rather than deal with the issue.
      You want analysis!. Then state clearly whether Nalco lost any money wheeling power through HQ (rather than make excuses about too much trouble to do this). Your analysis makes seemingly a wild statement with no backup….this is what counts for analysis in your world.
      Something substantive to say…….Your statement that Nalcor lost hundreds of millions of dollars was substantive……..substantively wrong I suggest.
      And cowardice……where is the cowardice is calling on you to tell the truth. If cowardice is a vice, and honesty is a virtue, dishonestly is a worse vice, I suggest. Show you are honest with the facts, and I may resolve my cowardice.

  5. Good commentary as usual Des….Bankruptcy would be a blessing maybe….. I remember my grandfather cursing confederation and confederation cursed us in return it seems….
    He predicted way back then that the liberal protestant vote would be the death of our province….Now don't scream at me those were his words that I recall back when I was a little boy…If we look at the past 50 years he wasn't much off…..When I look at the state of this province compared to 40 years ago when I left here its sad and could bring tears to the eyes of any Newfoundlander…..Every thing from schools to roads to our way of life and now health care are gone by the way side…..They say we are a have province now ,id like to say we are a developing poor province ,Canadian made, who needs out side help….

  6. Hello??? "…that the supply vessels navigating out of St. John's to the Jeanne d'Arc basin could just as easily steam into and out of Halifax Harbour." It is quite apparent that UG knows little about marine navigation, and even less about fleet management. That's like saying supply vessels navigating out of Lewisporte to Lake Melville could just as easily steam into and out of Port aux Basques. The notion is ludicrous.

  7. It is sad to say but we don't have a single politician in NL that exhibits an ounce of competency. Unless saved by the oil this province is in serious trouble and no one is prepared to address the real long term issues. A geography we cannot support. Provincial consolidation is the only long term solution.

    If we don't start we will never finish. The fact is that without an increase of about 5 million people in our population (highly unlikely), there just is not enough infrastructure and tax base to sustain this province.

    But this would be political suicide. Better I guess to let us suffer a slow painful death. Or maybe someone out there will come to our rescue. Lol.

  8. Are we getting value for the health care dollars we are spending!
    A few examples I know of
    1. A neighbour of mine was sent from St John`s hospital to Carbonear, after one chemo treatment for luckemia. He was sent to pallitive care and given 3 days to live. At Carbonear he told his wife he preferred to die at home. She was reluctant at first whether she could care for him, but did so. 3 days came and went, then a week or two, and there was indication he was improving not dying. After another week he had made a trip to the supermarket with his wife. He was still incontinent of bowel and bladder. The St John`s specialist heard that he was still alive and wanted him to again visit the St John`s hospital. He refused, telling his wife that was the doctor that sent him home to die. But if the doctor wanted to visit him, he would see him.He heard nothing further from the doctor. After about 5 weeks the man isnow resuming his hobby, making cast nets. Recently his bladder is now functioning again….the word went out, with a laugh, TWO SHOTGUNS. I gather it indicated good urine pressure.
    Some 2 percent of Nflders make more than 100,000.00 No doubt this specialtist is close to half million per year. And how often is this sort of thing happening. I personally know of two men recently released early from hospital and sent home and died within a day from septic issues! And no follow up or explanations, seems routine happenings.

  9. To understand why Ball betrayed his fellow Premiers, you simply have to look at the numbers. He needs cash NOW. Like some crack addict, Ball will 'sell the shop' in order to borrow or beg every red copper he can lay his hands on to feed his beloved Muskrat. Just grin & tell everyone things will get better. Gotta' keep those investors happy. Follow the money, baby.

  10. Ed Hollett has a good post on Sir Robert Bond Papers blog……..on the thinking behind the Muskrat falls: that whatever is good for business (board of Trade members) is good for the public. And under Ball, it continues this way, so a doubling of electricity prices is just fine.
    That there are other interests to consider, and people with other ideas is not in the cards. So no changes are being made. Of course Hollett has pointed out the nutty idea and thinking behind Muskrat from day one.
    Winston Adams

  11. The Telegram has two good editorials:
    One says :we have created a monster……. self analysis about newspapers not doing enough research, that ad profits are to important, that online sites are now creating fake new stories that take off and have big impacts. Conclusion: we (newspapers) have seen the enemy and it is us.

    Second one: Fake facts……ignoring scientific evidence on global warming and the impact that is happening now. An important subject for an oil producing province like ours.
    Russell seems to be gearing up to address some of the serious issues facing our province, and hopefully improve interest in TELLY readership. Go Russell. We can do with more analysis by the Telegram on important local issues. A higher quality of journalism is badly needed.
    Winston Adams

  12. Anyone interested in how to reduce heating costs with higher electricity rates heading our way?
    I have been an advocate of mini-split heat pumps, that can reduce cost for heating by more than 50 percent.
    The main question for power companies is whether they can reduce the grid winter peak load ( there is no question that they save a lot of energy). This is a valid question, as the units are temperature dependent and lose some effectiveness as the temperature drops off.
    For this reason Nfld Power and Nfld Hydro speculates that at our cold snap conditions , say -13 to -15c conditions, they do not reduce peak load but actually increase it slightly.
    This is false of course. But the question remain how much will they reduce peak load? By suggesting that they will not reduce peak load gives the power companies an excuse not to give customers an incentive to install these.
    Accurate performance testing of these under harsh conditions is the only way to answer the question of their effectiveness. This is called END-USE research. Manitoba Hydro faulted Nalcor, Nfld hydro and Nfld power for not doing this, as it is a best practice , which they still will not do.
    I have gone somewhat high tech to answer these questions.
    We monitor the units for energy use on 6 second intervals. The monitor calculates energy used hourly , daily and monthly. The test monitors all 3 units separately and combined.
    In April we only got a little data as temperatures were turning mild, but still recorded to -8C. Even though this was April, actually for St. John's the coldest month, Feburary. has a average night time temperature of -8.6 C and daytime avg of about -1C. So April data gave a very good indication.
    We now have 2 occasions this past week with minus 10C. In addition, we monitor the Torbay airport weather date, for temperature, wind chill, relative humidity, and dew point, as well as wind direction. They post the data for changes every hour.
    Today with near blizzard conditions, it was ideal to monitor these units under adverse conditions. Of course there were no malfunctions and showed significant energy reductions. But there was a surprise:
    It is generally assumed that lower temperatures are the main obstacle to overcome as far as efficiency performance. The surprise is that relative humidity seems more of an issue than temperature, at least at for temperatures from freezing to -10 C.
    As it gets colder still , relative humidity may be less of a factor than temperature……….stay tuned. Just love this weather for what it can offer on these unit performances. Ryan Snodden would be all smiles to observe this, no doubt.
    The aim is to get performance to -15C or lower (last year the low was only -13C.
    Within a month or so, I hope to report on our findings. I dp not think it will disappoint. It's performance as compared to baseboard heaters under severe conditions is the key test. That is key for reducing fossil fuel burning at Holyrood.
    Reductions anytime Holyrood is running is an asset and saves fuel use, but if they can do it under severe conditions, then this is awesome, unless you are a Fortis shareholder, or a Muskrat lover.
    Winston Adams

    • Winston, I have a Daikin four zone mini-spit that is about to have its 3rd winter in St. John's. It has never cut out because of low outdoor temperatures. I believe that it has a COP well above one even in the coldest of temperatures here on the Avalon. All the major manufacturers of mini splits are improving their cold weather performance so the old argument of heat pumps being no good when you really need them to reduce electric demand (peak cold spell) no longer holds.

  13. To clarify: I stated that in April the testing gave a very good indication as to performance.In April our testing showed:
    That for 0 C outdoor temperature, when baseboard heaters used 4kw, these units used 1kw (a 75 percent reduction)
    When the outdoor temperature was -8 C , baseboard heaters used 5kw and these units used 2.0 kw (a 60 percent reduction)
    There are some makes that are unsuitable to perform at lower temperatures than this. There are many that perform well below these temperatures . Some manufacturers statee their units operate to -27C. Many that are rated to -15C will operate to lower temperatures.
    Units that operate with good performance to -15C or lower are referred to as Cold Climate Mini-split heatpumps. Efficiency Nova Scotia listed 10 or more manufacturers showing about 75 different models that comply to this standard. For Nfld Cold Climate models is a must for good performance for our climate.
    As to my comment that relative humidity is a concern, this has some negative effect , but only during very high humidity which may happen once or twice a month, so not a serious problem so far. Monitoring at temperatures below -10C will determine the effect for humidity under very cold conditions.
    Winston Adams

  14. Todays Telegram editorial titled "o Return" deals with Muskrat Falls, saying the average electrical user in this province is going to get a financial kick in the teeth….for decades. It further says we'll either have to come up with more money or separate from the grid.
    It further says "investing in other electrical technologies may become a new reality-the irony being that for every person who reduces their consumption of electricity, the price of electricity will have to increase". And that…… "it's a nightmare".
    As I assume this is Russell"s piece, let me comment:
    1.This promotes the idea that energy efficiency and conservation is a useless idea at this time. I disagree.
    Power rates will not automatically go up to compensate for all the reduced energy use and revenue reduction. If so, then businesses, fish plants, our refinery, households will cut back so much that the economy will be ruined. Instead, other means, reduced health care services, higher taxes, levies,etc will be imposed, adding to those recently imposed, and so will transfer some of the cost of Muskrat from the ratepayer to the taxpayer.
    2. The IRONY is that efficiency of new technologies to save on energy was ignored by the power companies and the media, especially the Telegram.
    3. That Russell seems fixated on LED lights, which save very little on the yearly power bill, and has ignored the big energy savers….mini-split heat pumps ( until recently saying contractors are going flat out installing these). He gives no data on the scale of savings and impact to the grid. Russell, on this does not see the difference between a mouse and an elephant.
    3. That we have spent 6 billion that will need to be paid for, on a boondoggle and nightmare, but this does not warrant spending another 6 billion or more to make the boondoggle and nightmare worse.
    4. If everyone moved to efficient technologies, the savings on power bills, for reduced energy consumed, could offset much of the waste on MF so far, provided we halted Muskrat, as Uncle Gnarley and David Vardy and others advocate.
    5. Acknowledge the fact that ratepayers are moving in a big way to energy efficiecny, and advocate for incentives to speed up this process. Do what other provinces started a decade ago. Help halt Muskrat and reassess! Otherwise the grid will remain connected, but all other services and costs will increase. This will be the reality. And we need to chose the road we will take. Those going flat out have made the choice. We all need to get onboard.
    Winston Adams

    • Has everyone died, or hung over…… or just taking a break to gear up for the new year. I checked the Telegram and not a single comment posted on yesterday editorial NO REFUND, on the nightmare of Muskrat. I then posted a comment, but referred to the Uncle Gnarley blog for my more substantial comment above. Wonder if they will post it!
      Meanwhile on VOCM Judy Foote says everything she read (the detailed review that Vardy requested, I guess, also called Marshall`s Plan B by Pat Daley)indicated that it was too late to stop Muskrat, hence the extra federal load guarantee.
      And besides, she says this project is good for the climate change problem to help Nova Scotia get off coal. I`m all for helping a neighbour……but our low cost island hydro will go to NS, most for no cost, some for 5 cents, while we get 60 cent Muskrat power blended with some island hydro that in the end doubles our power from 10 to 21 cents. And the benefit of being connected to the mainland grid ….well, they have no power to backfeed us, when Muskrat goes down.So Holyrood is still needed for backup. Some benefit.
      I mean, there is helping your neighbour, then there is letting yourself being screwed by your neighbour, with the assistance of Judy and company. Reminds me of the Beatle song….Hey Jude,don`t let me down…..
      Russell calls it a decades long nightmare…….sound like being screwed.

      Winston Adams

    • If Winston is going to quote the Beatles I am quoting the Supremes:
      Stop! In the name of love
      Before you break my heart
      Stop! In the name of love
      Before you break my heart
      Think it over
      Think it over
      David Vardy

    • This tangential thinking stuff…. as I previously mentioned to Bruno, is not so bad.
      After my last post I Googled "Song Hey Jude: Up came the lyrics. So fitting , I thought, for our Jude. Adjacent to that Google item was a link to the the Beatles song, on You Tube, Hey Jude. Awesome video. Didn't know this stuff was there. Thank you Judy, your words on VOCM put me on this track. I spent the next one and half hours letting the other Beatle videos (mostly John Lennon) play out. Hey Jude has had 40 million hits.
      I was a Beatle fan in my youth, and remain so. Seems the words of their songs say a lot. Lennon 1940-1980. He describes Judy, Danny Williams, God, the Devil, you and me.
      I have an English born friend, who moved to Nfld and married my niece. he recently gave me a book "Quotations of Winston Churchill". Churchill was not long ago voted, by the British, as the greatest Britain. I would put this title on John Lennon. His music and lyrics can still give me goosebumps, at my advanced age. Churchill, very good o words too, but a war monger at heart.
      Happy New Year Dave, if that is possible, as the boondoggle worsens. You are a Fighting Nflder. How did the fake, Ryan Cleary get that title? When is ball going to appoint you to head up the PUB to straighten out this Muskrat racket? Or Vardy for Premier….but by then another 6 billion will be wasted.
      Winston Adams

    • I took a job hawking pop at Maple Leaf Gardens to get in to see the first Beatles shows in Toronto (What else can a poor boy do?). I attended both shows and the press conference (and made about $3).

      It was an experience that changed my life.

      From Lennon
      A working class hero is something to be
      A working class hero is something to be

      Keep you doped with religion, and sex, and T.V.
      And you think you're so clever and classless and free
      But you're still fucking peasants as far as I can see

      A working class hero is something to be
      A working class hero is something to be

      There's room at the top they are telling you still
      But first you must learn how to smile as you kill
      If you want to be like the folks on the hill

      A working class hero is something to be
      A working class hero is something to be

      If you want to be a hero well just follow me
      If you want to be a hero well just follow me"

    • Darn, I knew, or was afraid that I had something in common with Bruno……..the Lennon connection. That is Lennon, not Lenin.
      But I must go off on a tangent: Say you heard about this on Uncle Gnarley.
      We have a person of the elite status who is not pleased on the Nfld situation.
      A quote from this person:"What I see happening in provincial politics is why I'm angry".
      He goes on "Ball has told us that we are in a financial crisis. But the current Liberal government is failing to govern. People have no confidence that the government has a grip on our spiraling debt and what to do about it, and our young people are wondering if they have a future here.That's why I'm angry.
      Only a few years ago we had confidence in our future. The liberal government makes excuses instead of taking action. We need action. That's why I'm angry.
      We need someone with the courage to take control. Someone with a cool head in a crisis. and the determination to steer this province back on course to a bright future."

      At this point I thought he was volunteering for the job. But no.

      He goes on:"Find me that leader and I will vote for them. Someone who will make us confident again. And I'll stop being angry"

      Sound like Trump: Make us great again.

      As a final shot he quotes the ancient Greek statesman Pericles;"Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn't mean politics won't take an interest in you"
      He then adds"Can we get an Amen"?

      Who is this angry man, who then tells you how to stay cool: "exercise, walks , deep breathing". And then tells you how to make a "caribou casserole with redcurrant wine sauce". And that "if you need to file a medical malpractice lawsuit" look him up.
      This angry man is no less than Mr Ches Crosbie. All of the above is from his newsletter.
      Good to see Ches angry. His newsletter is interesting and entertaining. But is Ches angry about Muskrat Falls? What kind of action does Ches subscribe to? Revolution, like Bruno? Does he support Dave Vardy's and Des Sullivan's views? Can we get a picture of an angry Crosbie, posted on Uncle Gnarley?
      Winston Adams

  15. I'm not quite sure why UG has it in for NS. I've lived in both NS and NL and I can assure you that the affairs of the NS people are handled in a much more competent and professional manner by their government than their counterparts in NL. In fact, I would suggest NLers would be better off being administered by the Bluenosers rather than the naive dimwits comprising the homegrown crowd. The lamentable history of this god-forsaken rock has proven time after time that Newfie politicians are incapable of providing competent governance to the poor wretches forced to endure it.

  16. Agreed Uncle Gnarley is tough on NS in this piece, but tougher on local politicians on mismanagement of our affairs. There has been much on UG to say if our PUB had the clout that NS has we would not have the MF boondoogle (which we pay through the nose for for decades, much to NS benefit. Nor do we have assistance to residential customers here for energy efficiency like NS. Pretty bad when we get sympathy from Nova Scotia, which we do. But in the main NS looks out for NS. Who could blame them. I suppose we may get some relief from carbon tax pricing (bonus for MF energy so NS can shut its coal generation)…….but can't hold my breathe waiting for that.
    Our problems are 90 percent our own. Our short lived Have Status is being reversed to Poor Wretches indeed.

  17. What is the risk of instability of the Muskrat North Spur causing a breach of the earth dam and a total loss of the Muskrat asset that is costing 12 billion or more?
    Cabot Martin's book Muskrat Madness deals with the issue. The blog Vision 2041 has posted extensively on data from aerial photos to Nalcor charts and the views of the Swedish quick clay expert and the Canadian engineer Mr Gordon.
    From these sources I estimated it would require a very expensive fix to this problem, because there is a very deep hole (almost 200 ft deep) just downstream of the North Spur, and a slide would have to fill in this hole and then material build up with a low slope to provide resistance to a massive slide of the Spur. An earthwork to fill this hole and have a low slope to stabilize the Spur would be a massive earthwork, and much more than is planned.
    Having worked at dam construction on the Upper Churchill, but not being a civil engineer or expert on quick clay, I have no comfort level with the present design and lack of transparency for the present design. I would not live downstream from that dam.
    To understand the complexity and risk, I would recommend a look at the charts and commentary and analysis by Maurice Adams on the site Vision 2041, especially the slopes of the critical area, and of missing data by Nalcor in their testing, all combined with concerns raised by others who are experts in dam design, as well as the concerns raised by the Independent Engineer.
    Bruno, a commentator on Uncle Gnarley, says just a view of the site raised alarm for him. The aerial photos, and technical data raised alarm for me. Maurice has put the data under a microscope, sufficient to have Nalcor formally reply to the concerns raised by him and others. The stability of the North Spur is no doubt the most important of many of the complexities of this project being put on track from a boondoggle that is escalating in scope and cost, and requires a halt and rethink. Yet on the North Spur question Nalcor is silent.
    Winston Adams

  18. I do recall that the Feds under Pierre Trudeau and his then energy minister Jean Chretien used an agreement with NS complete with "me too" clause , on their insignificant offshore resources, to put pressure on NL to accept a lesser deal on our more significant offshore resources. Shameful behaviour on sometimes called honourable people. I guess its the office that commands respect and does not reflect on the behaviour of the individuals who occupy the office at any given time.
    This Trudeau/Chretien tactic was later bolstered by the unilaterally sought supreme court of Canada ruling that our offshore resources belonged to Canada. Mulrooney to his credit ignored this SCOC ruling and negotiated a fairer deal with NL which unfortunately we managed very poorly in later years.
    The divide and conquer tactic uses the old "me too" clause, which should never be used in honourable/respectful behaviour, there's that word again, honour??
    Here in NL you may see this clause used in upcoming labour negotiations in the public sector as government attempts to move towards a more balanced budget for the future and living within our means.

  19. T`was the silent night, when all talk on Muskrat seemed at rest, at least on Uncle Gnarley. When all of a sudden, from the Wilds of Labrador, the words goes out. Big protest and celebration, to honour the Grand River and Spirit Mountain. Time: Jan 1 in the afternoon.
    Why do I feel good about 2017, despite Nalcor and Donald Trump.
    Meanwhile a contractor has filed a lawsuit against Nalcor for 90 million.
    All in all, a good way to end 2016. The protectors says it`s time to shut down Muskrat for good. Sounds like what Dave Vardy, Des Sullivan and others are saying. Wish I were there…….fire works planned. Maybe they will get Northern Lights as a bonus………now there`s power for you.
    Winston Adams