The CBC report of an anonymous senior
Nalcor engineer – who claims that low-balled estimates were used to obtain sanction for the Muskrat Falls project – has, again, shed light on a Crown Corporation that, sometime after 2009, went rogue.

The engineer’s allegations are now
well-known, but Nalcor’s response – specifically Anthony Germain’s interview – finds a retirement-minded CEO indicating casual indifference to what can only be described as the most serious accusations ever leveled at the government since Confederation. 

The CBC quoted the senior engineer using
the words “absurdly low” to describe the estimates. 
In my Blog Post of February 2017, the same engineer used the word “falsification”.

Nalcor CEO Stan Marshall described the
estimates as “unrealistic”.

“Absurdly low”, “falsification” and
“unrealistic” – any difference is fundamentally meaningless.

In this context it is important to remember that we are not discussing the replacement of a culvert
in Bung Hole Tickle. Estimating a multi-billion dollar project is complex work.
It also goes through multiple layers of review – each time by a group more

Undoubtedly project costs have risen,
in part, because the Nalcor management group were given a mandate far beyond their
capacity to deliver.

But evidence of calculated and deliberate
deception over several years – including to influence the 2015 general election
– are issues not of stupidity but of something far more odious.

It is a credit to the CBC Morning Show Host,
Anthony Germain, and to reporter Rob Antle, that they pursued the story. That it – and they – survived a likely lengthy process of rectal analysis by
CBC lawyers should be duly noted. Such a carefully researched and critical
story – confirming one of the underlying causes of Muskrat’s failure is long overdue for the NL media – including CBC. 

That said, let’s examine Stan’s Marshall’s
response, as CEO. He says some pretty strange stuff – some of which ought to have a certain
few taking offense.

A couple of things are especially

Though he claims not to have looked,
Marshall has let all the senior management at Nalcor off the hook for any
participation in creating the “unrealistic” project estimates.

Quoting the CBC story, Marshall allowed:

“What happened before my time,
that’s for others to talk about and decide and debate for many years to
come.”  He adds: “If they want
to do (a forensic audit) …by all means go ahead”. The only thing missing is the ha, ha, ha.

Germain must have wanted to send Stan a bubba rocking
chair and a pair of slippers – the cavalier response more fitting to one in cognitive retirement.

Misbehaviour – possibly on a
monumental scale – is not some philosophical issue reserved for morning banter.
The attitude, notwithstanding the fact that he heads a Corporation under a substantial cloud of
mistrust, ought to warrant the most ardent concern that no senior executive or member of the project team – or any other employee – has duped either the politicians or
the public.

Yet, he excuses everyone – ostensibly from the
level of Vice President on down. His rationale is that no one at Nalcor knew what they were doing.

“They were learning as they went
along….And they paid for their education” said Marshall – a most
peculiar statement because they have not paid any price; Marshall having
secured their jobs and their high six figure incomes.

Evidently, inexperience also excuses them
from culpability for the lost project schedule, the Astaldi affair, contracts
changed from “fixed price” to “unit price” to “hybrid”, contracts poorly written giving contractors a field-day for extra billing, a terrible health and safety record, a plethora of quality control issues,
the popped transmission cable, the leaky cofferdam, and a litany of management
screw-ups – the list go on and on.

But I digress.  

Marshall is incredulous for another
reason. He ignores the process history of the estimates and is blind to the
roles played by several senior Nalcor employees within the command structure of
Nalcor and of a megaproject.

It is worth reminding that SNC Lavalin
had a full team of estimators occupying offices on Torbay Road, in St. John’s.
Muskrat Falls wasn’t their first job. They were experts, not in pouring
concrete, but in the in the field of construction estimation. 

They understood
that the specific remote sub-arctic conditions of Labrador demanded a far
different set of assumptions than one made for a project, say, in Belize. They
understood all the local issues – from labour unit costs, poor labour productivity in a cold environment,
remote transportation challenges, labour scarcity, union benefits, housing costs, and hundreds of others.

Stan Marshall, or his predecessor, never
once suggested SNC Lavalin might be sued for faulty estimation. Why?

Likely because Nalcor
interfered continuously in the preparation of those estimates.

In addition, Nalcor had its own group
of estimators – some compliant perhaps, but not nearly as inexperienced or
incompetent as Stan Marshall would have us believe. Their job was to calculate the
costs that were not within SNC’s scope of work and to arrive at a complete project estimate.

Together, all those estimators can
make available to a forensic auditor a quite substantial paper trail – quite
possibly giving depth to one estimator’s prediction: “they are going to lose
their shirts on this project”. 

Don’t forget. This is a small town. People talk.

Now, let’s revisit what the anonymous
senior engineer said back in February of this year, in a piece entitled “Muskrat: Allegations of Phony Cost Estimates“. This is an excerpt:

“In the case of the Muskrat Falls project, the
problem of the budget dated back to 2012 when Nalcor learned that the cost
estimates — prepared by SNC — were not compatible with the “Scope” of the
project. Said the engineer: “we were satisfied on three levels:

Scope of the project — well defined,

Engineering — major parameters completed,

Quantities changes — minimal.

But the fourth — the budget process — was a

And this was not due to a lack of knowledge.”

“Nalcor knew”, he said, “that there
was a major gap in the project scope vs. the estimates. Nalcor simply took a
policy decision to understate the project costs.”

As a result, the budget allocation for
the project was also inadequate.

The engineer went on to say….that,
from the moment project construction implementation began, the crown
corporation was forced into “creative accounting on a massive scale”.

This is pretty heady stuff. 

It should concern every public institution – including the RCMP, and any CEO – including Stan Marshall.

Again, when has
the integrity of government ever been so seriously called into question?

The sheer magnitude of the allegations, considering their source, constitutes a demand for investigation –  not some vacuous debate Stan Marshall proposes – and it should be done now.

Marshall can ignore what his management
team has been up to, but without a forensic audit he can’t get rid of the stench
that hangs over the whole Corporation. 

There evidently was a “policy decision”
to understate the project costs. But that is too large a job to be undertaken without
collusion by at least some senior Nalcor staff.

There is another piece to the Marshall/Germain
interview that others must have parsed, as did I.

Said Marshall to the CBC: “there was a
failure in leadership, and Muskrat Falls should never have been built.”

“I don’t know who made the
ultimate decisions before my time,” the CBC quoted him.
“Whether they came from my
predecessor, whether they came from the Confederation Building, I have no

Marshall has confidently excluded all but one inside Nalcor. But he “don’t know” about his predecessor or the crowd in Confederation Building. Who else is there? Have the Martians already arrived?

Of course, Nalcor was a power unto itself. Even Department of Finance bureaucrats didn’t talk to them.

Marshall, wittingly or otherwise, does not leave open a very
wide field of possible culprits, does he?

Still, no one is talking. 

Perhaps, Nalcor, and the politicians, hope that the issue will be whitewashed by the Auditor-General – his Office possessing none of the requisite professional skills to conduct the kind of forensic audit the allegations require.

They expect it to be panned by mainstream media – in the way of the Telegram editor – and the others who ignored both the Uncle Gnarley and CBC stories. And why wouldn’t they?

They also have the full expectation that any such demand will be quickly forgotten by a compliant Premier – he already having allowed silence to substitute for the promised Humber Valley Paving Inquiry.

Still, despite Stan Marshall’s
haughty regard for matters unethical – and possibly illegal – I would not be
too quick to absolve the others on his list.

What did the anonymous senior Nalcor
engineer say back in January? 

He said: “Everyone knew” the project
estimates were completely unsustainable.

“Everyone knew” captures a pretty large crowd – far more than just the ‘directing minds’ – on whom the lawyers might eventually get the opportunity to focus – though under whose authority is anyone’s guess.


As enjoyable as Stan Marshall’s banter actually is – perhaps, Germain will put the whole interview on You Tube – it would be great if he started acting more like a CEO than a caretaker.

It is also time the Premier started acting – like a Premier. 
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. Sometimes I wonder if Des can keep up to shine light against the Dark Side………but he carries on to Fight the Good Fight.
    The word collusion, used by Des, caused me to pause and to go to Google. Just 3 days ago I came across my grade 9 school report,(now over 50 years old) where I did better in English than I had remembered, but having math as my strong subject, which helped carried me into the field of engineering.
    But collusion is not a word that I grew up hearing, or ever heard until Trump arrived on the scene as President.
    Collusion: conspiracy, connivance, complicity, intrigue, plotting, secret understanding, collaboration, scheming.
    Law: illegal cooperation or conspiracy
    Widipedia: to limit open competition by deceit, misleading or defrauding others of their legal rights… defrauding or gaining an unfair market advantage.
    They say simple small words are the best ones…….but I love Des` ability to cover a paragraph with one word. COLLUSION. What a word!
    Below the Google meaning of the word was an item of top stories…..the top was this: Trump (says) Russia probe will find no collusion.
    Here`s a heading for Russell at the Telegram : AG or Forensic Audit will find no collusion. Russell can dish out a piece on that in minutes. I seem to recall he does not believe in conspiracy, period.
    One of the Washington Post jounalists who exposed Watergate said that a journalists `must try to get the closest possible version of the truth`. And journalists there latch on like a dog on a bone.
    VOCM commenatorthis morning, Power, remarked on the fast pace of developments there on the Trump (Flynn) collusion story. There is journalism, and then there is JOURNALISM. We get the small j version, very very small J, and the new owner at the Telly has made no changes for improvement in that.
    Winston Adams

  2. I had bit of a restless night, awaking with the flooding at Mud Lake on my mind.
    I am not one to put muck faith in flukes, it there is a rational explanation that applies. So I Never buy Lotto tickets……Fortis shares is a better bet, thought that too may lack prudence.
    I watched very old people carried from Mud Lake by chopper, and who reported they lived there some fifty years and never seem the water in spring rise so high. So a fluke, one might assume…….or maybe not.
    Nalcor has reportedly held the water level at Muskrat at 19 meters or what ever……the purpose to protect their infrastructure. And it might appear that holding the water at higher than normal level there might counter flooding downstream instead of being a cause for the flooding.
    And so the quick report by Nalcor that they have not caused or contributed to this flooding…….and that weather conditions is the cause…….and as stated on VOCM, Nalcor is no more the cause than if Gander River rises this time of the year. Is this a rational conclusion!
    Now it seems that warm weather and higher rates of flow can cause a deviation form the norm from year to year, and can be expected. But something not before seen is rather unusual, but also that Naclor has interfered with the natural rate of flow by holding the level at Muskrat. Holding the level is an interference with natural flow. The natural flow is a time response, where mild weather would let the flow increase sooner, but at less sever rising downstream, and preventing a more sever rise later………or so one might think. And to hold the elevation steady at Muskrat, does not means the flow is reduced at this critical time, but rather more flow is going through as the melt upstream continues.
    Now I may be wrong on this, as it is an issue of water drainage that those in that field would understand better. So, I have a confidence level of say 60 percent that Muskrat infrastructure, as I suggest, is to blame, and would accept an expert view to the contrary. But should we accept the quick assurance of Nalcor!
    I can even put a technical term to this flooding, if caused by Nalcor. INTERACTIVE EFFECT.
    We are already being deceived on our power bills for years by the interactive effect, should anyone bother to report on it. So, I am not surprised by Nalcor`s quick denial on the cause of flooding.
    If Nalcor caused this flooding, then it may be a regular thing going forward. If so, no need to worry about the North Spur to fail, as Mud Lake may be flooded out long before the Spur fails.
    So, have we seen the last of Nalcor`s blunders. Is Muskrat back on track on shifty eyed Minister Coady declared, while holding back on the Oversight Committee Report. On track to what and where!
    Winston Adams

    • Do we know whether the remedial Work on the coffer dam is holding, (seepage and structural failure?), under Spring runoff conditions? Who is providing Professional Reliance, (Technical Inspection and Oversight ), on this very crucial dam stability issue?

    • Winston. I think you are right here. Nalcor has held the water at 21.5 meters during the course of the winter.

      When the water levels raise in spring, the elevation of the area above the muskrat falls area would also increase. So during short term flooding there is water which is effectively stored on a short term basis in the natural resevoir. This shaves off the peak flow downstream of Muskrat. By holding the elevation, Nalcor are in fact not allowing this natural backup of water to occur.

      Gilbert Bennet is exposing his own ignorance to hydrology by not acknowledging what is plainly obvious to anyone who looks at it.

    • Seems Nalcor has backed off a little on its claim : a spokesperson Fisher on CBC news said Nalcor is NOT in full control of the Churchill River. This imlpies to me that the Upper Churchill flow is also a contributor ( but may also suggest that Quebec hydro needs can be a factor and that coordination with them may be essential when there is risk at spring thaw), but more so, that Spring time need for water for generation for Nfld at MF site, in the future, can be a factor for downstream elevations as well
      And to that, when finished and fully flooded, the elevation upstream can only change by 18 in or 2 ft to protect the integrity of the North Spur or river banks. So this too looking ahead would seem to offer less buffer against spring flood downstream then the natural rise and fall of the river up to now, as the resevoir effective ability to temporarily absorb being diminished .
      And on top of that , Eddie Shear on NTV weather mentioned the quick rise in water elevation at the outlet of the river, into Lake Melville, suggesting an ice dam.
      Wonder what the river depth is there..if sediment from Muskrat construction has impacted that area and might need dredging………many variables.
      The spokeperson, Fisher mentioned they have a team who monitor all the river flows ……..but obviously did not prevent this…….and who is this team? Seems they never let technical people speak….always spin the thing with media people and hope the issue will die. Expect the Riverkeeper group will not let this flood issue die. It deserves a better response than so far given. Would not be surprised if Mud Lake town needs to be abandoned permanently.

  3. Are we ruled by sociopaths? Who would willingly bankrupt a society for their personal gain? I decided to google that and found a new term: Pathocracy. Wow.

    Consider this from the first search result on google and see if it rings any bells:

    "Throughout history, psychopaths, sociopaths, narcissists, and assorted antisocial-personality-disordered individuals have ruled societies.

    Psychopaths and sociopaths often exhibit glibness and superficial charm, have a grandiose sense of self-worth, are pathological liars, display extreme narcissism, are deceitful, cunning and manipulative, exhibit a lack of remorse or guilt, show a callous disregard for the feelings of others, have no conscience, lack empathy, and fail to accept responsibility for their actions.

    In a competitive world, the people who act immorally, who have no regard for truth, are going to have an advantage over those who play by the rules. The result is that those who achieve positions of power will be the most ruthless, the most sociopathic, the ones without conscience.

    In societies run by psychopaths, ambitious individuals and sycophants, who are not clinically psychopathic, are induced to model themselves after powerful psychopaths in order to achieve power. The result: psychopaths breed more psychopaths."

  4. Under Project Management protocol, it is now, and always has been, about the contract files. Will they ever be opened up to Public Tendering scrutiny? After all, we are talking about the Administration of Public Funds. Contract Conditions and Awards, Contract Changes, RFI's, Contract Disputes, Payment Certifications, etc. Forensic stuff. The CEO is accountable for the contract files he inherited, and which he now directs through to Final Completion.

  5. Are there any lawyers out there that can tell us if there is any legal precedence (or hope) for forcing a crown corporation like Nalcor to make contract documents available for public scrutiny?

    Everything about this project fails the smell test. I just bumped into a CBC article from Feb 2013 that states:

    Nalcor chose Quebec firm for Muskrat Falls work after owner testified at corruption inquiry

    "Nalcor Energy placed a Quebec-based firm on its approved bidders list for a significant Muskrat Falls contract the same month the majority owner of Opron Construction testified about handing over envelopes of cash for public works projects in his home province, but denied involvement with the Mafia."

    A huffpost article from May 2016 starts off with "Canadian construction and engineering giant SNC-Lavalin, already embroiled in corruption scandals in numerous countries around the world, can add one more black mark to its reputation: It has been named in the Panama Papers leak of offshore accounts, according to news reports."

    Why the accounts? Bribery?

    I suspect that the whole Muskrat Falls fiasco needs to be treated as a complicated criminal case with many bad actors. I expect we would find 1) deception to get project sanction 2) inappropriate sole sourcing of contracts 3) negligence (safety, lack of expert reviews, north spur) 4) various forms of bribery / blackmail / corruption 5) conflicts of interest 6) political interference.

    What a mess. Let the criminal inquiry begin.

    • I would start with legal advice on Public seizure of the contract files. What legal rights on behalf of Citizen's constituency to examine files, protect them from tampering, concealment, (redacting, etc.), and power to subpoena, etc.

    • There has been a stunning lack of interest in following the money and paper trail that many have been asking for on MF. I have railed against the secrecy and SNC Lavalin's business practices at home and abroad to no effect.

      It is particularly troubling that even the group of St. John's lawyers that have been vocal about the project have no interest in ferreting out the truth. The problem is systemic, feudal is more to the point. Apart from this blog the NL intelligentsia fear upsetting the status quo. What will it take for them to put loyalty to the people of the province ahead of loyalty to friends?

      I have not been able to find the Germaine, Stan Marshall interview online. Anyone have a link?

    • In my day, young lawyers; Corwin Mills, David Riche, Jim Chalker, would offer legal opinions to Non-Profit/Citizens/Tenant assoc. where public rights and privileges issues were in question. Are there not some lawyers left with a social conscience?

    • Robert, you acknowledge your advanced age:
      Young lawyers: David Riche. If this the same as Judge Riche who describes Smythe as a cowboy! If so, he, Riche, saddled me with a criminal record because I carried a tape recorder in a court room in 1990! Not much different to Blake who went onto Nalcor property with video equipment. But Riche seems to have a conversion lately.
      And Jim Chalker………when I was a lad , I got paid 2 dollars to go around Bishop's Cove to put his picture on the poles…….he was in government, an MHA. He used to visit what one might call cronies ( men who had some clout in the small community, as to votes, a member of the Orange Lodge), who lived next door……..and why I got that high paying job! My neighbour could neither read nor write, but knew a few letters enough to print his name, but a keen follower of politics in those days.
      Neither of these lawyers rank high in my books. But there are a couple now who seem fair and knowledgeable.
      Amazing none comment on this blog, or in the media on this subject.

  6. The lack of response and that broken promise to open the books by the Liberal Party speaks volumes. What is there to hide? Who is there to protect?

    I'm sure the Premier must realize they got the vote because they were the lesser of 2 evils? Having zero strategy to lead our province was overlooked for the chance to see how Nalcor and the PCs could've led us toward a future of despair and poverty… For most.

    At this point, 'THE (only) WAY FORWARD' is to go way back and open those books.


  7. As to Mud Lake flooding, I made my comment this morning but have since read the Telegram piece where Nalcor claims that there is NO WAY they are at fault.
    I am NOT convinced.
    1.They say they have maintained 21.5 meters upstream at Muskrat since the spring thaw. I assume this is higher than normal, if someone could advise……..
    2.They say no water has been released from the reservoir, but that increases flow from the spring thaw is passing through.
    3. They say "given the lack of storage capacity in the muskrat fall reservoir there is no ability to store water upstream of the facility and therefore reduce downstream flows.
    4. They say that the amount of water released by the spillway must be the same as the amount of water that flow into the reservoir.
    End of story…..except how concerned they are for the poor creatures at Mud Lake.

    Now the reservoir at Muskrat is not large , but about the size of Bell Island here in Conception Bay.
    I assume the elevation upstream of Muskrat is normally less than 21.5 meters, and would tend to rise with the spring thaw. As the elevation naturally rises upstream it likewise slowing rises downstream.
    Now if the 21.5 meter (maintained by Nalcor) is higher than normal, then this has already impacted the available enlargement of the reservoir upstream from spring thaw, reducing the buffer that is normally available. Such a buffer allows extra time for the water to reach the sea with less severe rise at Mud lake, me thinks.
    They say the amount of the water released by the spillway MUST be the same as the amount of water that flow into the reservoir. Is this a fact ? Is this true?
    This is true if the elevation remains constant as they say at 21.5 meters.
    But this is not true if the elevation varies.
    It is Nalcor who has decided to keep a constant elevation at 21.5 m., for their purpose. A constant elevation there is not natural, it is now an artificial level.
    Suppose the elevation was lower at the start of the thaw, and rose higher gradually as the thaw progresses, this would allow a different time factor for the drainage, and may very well have avoided the severe flood level at Mud Lake , me thinks.
    But, going out on a limb against the facts of Nalcor, and repeated by the Telegram, without question, can be a dangerous thing to do. And I admit, I am not at the top my game in analysis……….so, would some reader chine in on this. Set me straight, if so needed………..please. Lets blame climate change if applicable………once we know Nalcor is still not in the Fake News business. After all, Stan has a reputation of a straight shooter, bit no Annie Oakley, I suggest.
    Winston Adams

  8. The same half dozen commenting on each story and another half dozen contributing stories. In total on this blog call them the dirty dozen, whistling in the wind. The fraud goes on unchecked, and they call it democracy!


    • Maybe not but 1,151,804 page views is a lot, even accounting for search engine bots. This blog has far more influence than you might imagine. If corporate media VOCM, NTV, the telegram and CBC were into real journalism this project would never have see the light of day. The lack of real journalism makes spreading these blog posts on Facebook and twitter all the more important. Think of yourselves as "the resistance".

    • It seem hopeless to comment anyway because it falls on deaf ears….Its the newfoundland way isn't it…bend over rover and you will like it….Enjoy the ride I guess and get ready for a wicket power bill coming to a street near you….

    • Anyone who follows the energy sector in Ontario knows how disfuntional things are there. Suffice it to say that the outrage was muted for many years and certainly did not prevent the Ontario Liberals from repeatedly being reelected, The general public only started to cause a stir once utility rates started to skyrocket. Even then, recent plans to subsidize electricity rates through higher deficits has largely soothed the population. As Winston has pointed out on a few occasions, public outrage in NL will manifest itself as electricity rates rise, not before.

    • My recent review of the situation in Nova Scotia, of government reports, studies, input from residents, business and industry etc for their energy policy ….it came after several power rate increases with accumulative increase of 30 percent…… lots of anger by citizens.
      With modest price changes here so far, a little up and down, a little concern has been demonstrated. It is when significant increases kick in that are permanent that the "shit will hit the fan' as they say…….and we will then see lots of finger pointing and blame and anger.
      It amazes me that 1 or 2 cents up and down on gas prices, which is less than 1 or 2 percent, is a weekly NEWSWORTHY items on TV here, while 100 percent increase on electricity looming is not a concern.
      Indeed people will line up at a gas station to fill up to save 2 or 3 cents a liter of gas, but hold back on investing in home energy reduction, to prevent wasteful government mega projects.
      For older citizens, the reasons I hear to avoid investing 4 or 5 thousand dollars for efficient heating systems with a 6 year payback is "I may not live long enough to pay for it". When I suggest if you do not live , it is still an asset of their estate that they pass along…….. this then makes sense to them. I am not in the business of selling or installing such systems, but it is odd that it seems some chose to stay cold while living , and have a 8 thousand coffin to go out in!. So, rather inexplicable .
      So SHOCK power rates is what is needed it seems to focus the mind for most people. For Nova Scotia it was that 30 percent hike, and they smartened up.
      If we had a shock now of 30 to 50 percent, you may see a call to stop Muskrat to avoid another shock just as big. Shock pricing, I suspect is more effective than all the rational or emotional arguments we can muster, but a hard way to learn a lesson.

  9. Well, Pete Sucey, as Snook, on NTV news was priceless with his comic smack about Danny Williams, MF, and Dannyland, and Nflder's sheep like acceptance of such by our leaders.
    More than 100 commented on UG on the Snook firing at VOCM. Snook lives. Long live Snook.

  10. Hats off to snook been making me laugh for years….What the hell happened to pete on the radio I really enjoy him…Not sure if CNN and trump got me stund or people talk to fast now lol… I missed something…….Bring Pete back please…

  11. Further to the the Mud lake flooding and the cause……….
    Once the reservoir is completely flooded, the upstream water elevation will be higher than now. It is now partially flooded, at elevation 21.5 meter level, which I guess is higher than normal but less than intended later.
    The reservoir size when completely flooded will be about the size of Bell Island, with little seasonal change or ability to absorb additional water. When finished, the winter ice will form over this as a large frozen lake, and the water underneath the ice, by the powerhouse, will flow to the intake to feed the turbines……the ice will not enter the turbines. The spring ice break up that would normally flow down with the river will be held back and melt gradually to water to enter the turbines.
    Presently, this spring, the water elevation is at a level higher than normal, but less than when the reservoir is eventually fully flooded.
    In this present case, the volume of ice upstream would likely be much greater than normal, but is permitted to flow through the spillway, as the power house and turbines are not yet in place. This situation, with water at 21.5 meters, exits as a temporary measure to protect the infrastructure.
    Given the suggestion that a ice dam formed downstream, and water elevations downstream rose rapidly and flooded Mud lake…….has Nalcor's operations contributed to this?
    This to me raised the question whether the current elevation of 21.5 meters actually did increase by a large margin the volume of ice that formed upstream of of MF this winter. If so, did this (increased volume of ice?) flow through the spillway and cause the ice dam downstream?
    Not only ice flowed through the spillway with the spring thaw. Go to the blog site Vision 2041 and see the photo of an upright tree going through the spillway. This tree likely is attached to a frozen mass of soil that has broken off from the upstream bank. How much of this type of material, besides regular increased ice volume has been carried downstream to contribute to a ice dam?
    I invite anyone with knowledge of the operation of this system to indicate whether this is a reasonable assumption of what may have happened, in addition to the other views I have expressed on this flooding.
    Is it reasonable and too early to conclude that Nalcor's operations and decisions have not caused or contributed to this flooding? Nalcor has a team who understands and monitor these situation we are told. Can be hear from that team……and names who make up that team? Answers are due, if only to say we are assessing how Nalcor might have contributed to this situation.
    Winston Adams

  12. I would ask anyone to look at and capture on a PDf file the following by googling : Real-time hydrometric data graph for Churchill River
    You will see a google map and balloon figures showing the location on water level monitoring stations
    The most critical one showing the ice dam effect is at English point.
    Moving from east to west one can see the levels from May 11 to May 19 , at these 5 locations:lake Melville, English Point, 6.15 km below lower muskrat falls, mid pool, and below grizzle rapids(above muskrat falls)
    This provides good correlation with the flooding at various points and locations. I lack the computer skill to capture these, other than printing them, and at present they are readily available for the past week. I suggest M E Adams at Vision 2041 would find this of interest.
    The English Point one (at the mouth of the river into Melville Lake) seems to be that referenced by NTV Eddie Shear recently, and shows a sudden rise on May 17 , and another higher one yesterday afternoon, but dropping some overnight. Perhaps that upright tree floating past the spillway (on vision 2041 site), and much more jammed up down there at English Point.
    Winston Adams

  13. Hydro was treated like an unwanted child once Nalcor was Formed and they NEVER should've shared BoD members with one another.

    Power and Fortis were also given backbench duties on Muskrat Falls when their utility experience far exceeds the oil and gas focused management/executive of Nalcor. Fortis said they wouldn't partner with NL Gov if they didn't have majority control over MF, and for good reason. HQ-Ont-SNC joint proposal AND Fortis were both rejected for political reasons rather then financial ones. I still maintain Dean MacDonald resigned from Hydro as a favor to DW when Grimes was going to sign the joint proposal, another political move and disservice to NL. Dean McD was later reappointed as Hydro Chair under DW, was he the best choice at the time? Just like Ed and Gill, Dean severely lacked large scale hydroelectric construction and management experience.

    Forming Nalcor and merging it with Hydro was DWs biggest mistake to date. DoF rarely talked to Nalcor as they were also lessened by Nalcor being formed, municipal affairs never publicly questioned how did hell did Nalcor expect people to pay for an 50% increase in power bills? "price was going to go up anyways" so let's place a take or pay PPA on NLrs and not let the free market determine demand and price for electricity. DoJ didn't even go through the contracts to see if anything was amiss, AG banned from Nalcor.
    Will Wade Locke be sanctioned by MUN for his part in selling the falsified MF numbers to the public as legitimate? Locke's objectivity went out the door the moment he shilled for MF and for years as a paid PC consultant – look at the state of NLs finances after his 'advice'.

  14. Another nightmare yet to be realized will lie in the operations which, due to the poor calibre of electrical engineering, will undoubtedly lead to costly reliability and maintenance issues. These engineering defects and deficiencies are present and apparent at this moment and yet neither Nalcor nor any of their consultants are taking any measures to rectify them.
    No independent quality checks whatsoever on engineering and construction work. Hard to imagine that our government is so resistant to probing how this project became so screwed up.

    • Add to that, this DC system, as Liberty pointed out, is little used technology in North America, and required an additional level of expertise for operation, which is currently lacking. Given the problems with existing old technology that was let in disrepair that led to Darknl, now we have the need to cover both the AC and DC technologies..where is the expertise and what does it say for reliability! Idiots who has led on on this path so unprepared, and lack of revenue going forward to effectively deal with it….. does minister Coady have a clue what we are headed for?

  15. Just announced, federal imposed carbon tax rates to the tune of almost 12 cents a liter on fuels by 2022 or $50 per tonne of CO2 equivalent. Who gets the carbon credits from the big rat and can and will they be applied against the high cost of rat power to mitigate against increased rates post Muskrat transmission and then plant production.

    • If the carbon credit counts geographically Upper Churchill more then makes up for any GHGs NL emits. Carbon credit could be a workaround the UC contract because UC has 5428 MW capacity V HQs 36,908 MW representing 14.7% of their capacity.

  16. Off the top of my head, does this mean that Fortis gets charged 750 million dollars a year for their 15 million tons of CO2 per year! If so that wipes out their entire yearly profits, or will raise prices some 8 percent to cover these…..and must feed back the amounts to customers who reduce energy use……incentives for home efficiency, electric cars etc. Sounds great to me. Perhaps 50 dollars a ton is too low.
    Winston Adams

    • Watch carefully where the pollution taxes are expended. Here in BC, the Tory-minded government squandered the carbon tax revenues instead of providing better jobs in green energy conversions of fossil fuel energy waste. Subsidies of ff industries, (Corporate welfare bums), remains a major deterrent to reducing GHG pollution. The PM was in town recently fund raising to continue and perpetuate the FF industries. He and his ministers are not about to intervene in Muskrat. Regrettably, NL is stuck with a cable guys run project. Compare; Wynn's announced high speed rail in Southern Ontario at estimated $19B to MF $11 – $15B

  17. On the flooding of Mud Lake……did Nalcor cause or contribute to this……
    I asked the question of whether Nalcor had last fall raised the water level higher than normal levels (to which no reader answered)
    1. Nalcor says they have maintained the level at an elevation of 21.5 meters. That is false. These has been variation, last week, above and below that figure, which appears not insignificant.
    2. Nalcor raised the elevation level last fall from a normal 17m to 21.5m, about 15 ft higher than normal.
    3. Nalcor says MF has no reservoir…….false. While originally, with just the river, it had a small area. With full flooding at an elevation of 39 meters, it would have a reservoir of some 27 sq miles, about the size of Bell Island . The rise in elevatin last fall rose the elevation to about 20 percent of the final elevation. So this created a reservoir……the size dependent upon the lay of the land, and could be more or less than 20 percent of the final size in area. This would add significant to the volume of ice formed there this winter, as to a normal year.
    Des Sullivan has travelled this river by canoe, so may have an idea as to what an extra 15 ft in elevation wold add to the size. But satelite photos would show, but certainly Nalcor would have this data at their fingertips.
    4. last year there was intent to put a cable just upstream of MF (after the cofferdam leak) to prevent ice from coming through, as I recall, but was unable to do it. This was intended to protect the structure from ice damage, and I assume, could have held back ice during this spring thaw ( please correct me if this is not so). This would serve a function not unlike the chain rock history at St john`s Hr, whereby in WW1, a chain was installed to keep out submarines).
    5. The water coming through MF is a function of the spring thaw, but also the flow of the Upper Churchill generation plant. Was there a request to reduce flow at the upper Churchill plant to allow for the spring thaw increase, to help avoid flowing below MF. As CF production has not caused such flooding before, has some other factor changed……..a Nalcor factor…….
    Originally I had suggested a 60 percent confidence rate of a Nalcor factor , it is now over 90 percent, due to the above and other apparent evidence. Bur Hey……who would doubt Nalcor when they say not their fault.
    Winston Adams

    • Winston, you ask very good questions. Don't be discouraged by the silence of ignorance. There are real negative aspects to Hydro, as a "Renewable Energy Option". The Avalon's problem of insufficient Hydro to balance it's wasteful demand for electricity need not have resulted in the horrendous high risk waste of the Muskrat. The "Deep State" perpetrators will be punished.

  18. Having followed this entire fiasco over the years and now with the revelations of this engineer who appears to have detailed information, when is someone going to step back and ask why would anyone at Nalcor, Ed Martin or otherwise deliberately falsify the estimate numbers??? As employees of Nalcor what benefit would they gain for such action? The only reasonable deduction is they (senior management) were instructed to take the approach of jigging the numbers. The only source of that direction, had to have come from government. In order to get to the root problem, you have to start from the top in this particular case.

    • I agree! The two main reasons for the development of MF were:
      (1) To ensure a certain housing and business development on the Avalon would have sufficient power
      (2) Ego

      I am 70 years old so I will not be paying for the full term of this enormous dept,nor will my children, but my grandchildren and great grandchildren most certainly will.

      This whole fiasco stinks to the high heavens. Everyone (or most everyone)knows there has been a stench here for quite some time. We are definitely on the hook for the cost of MF.
      Those responsible must be brought to justice. The longer this drags on the more money is spent thus justifying it would be cheaper to continue than to shut down. Why these few people (sleeveens) are still enjoying their freedon has to be political.
      If and when it becomes close to a public enquiry, I think we'll see a few "Valdemanis" type culprits emerge and flee to where they can't be extradited.
      What has been inflicted on the population of NL is WRONG and must not go unpunished. A small number of people here have pretty well bankrupted this province. Those who have their heads stuck in the sand hoping the high electricity rates will not come to fruition are in for a rude awakening. Not only will the cost of electricity go through the roof, but everything else will as well. Those who have lined their pockets with yours and my hard earned dollars will be basking on a beach somewhere where they cannot be brought to justice, all because no one has the balls to stand up and say enough is enough.
      Out of curiosity, are those who were at the cabinet table when this was discussed compelled to cabinet secrecy by law?? I have not heard any of the current PC oposition members asked their views and if they agree with MF–not one! Has anyone approached 5th Estate or W5?–There is a scandal of monumental proportions waiting to emerge here.
      J—s Ch—t, we're a province of only 500K people who could have had the world by the tail, yet we find ourselves in this collossal mess with no protection from the grip of one or two people (mostly one) who thinks he's above the law.
      Why can't our justice system work like it appears to be what is happening in Washington. Robert Mueller has the authority to investigate with impunity. No one here has the courage to get the ball rolling on this and on and on it goes.

  19. Danny made NTV say they are sorry for one tiny bit of Pete Sucey"s piece…..which was priceless. He had said he got his land for nothing, which is slightly off…………enough I guess to get Danny's dander up. So, does this mean Danny could find no legal fault with all the rest, dozens of fun making remarks, that would be protected under the Charter!
    A salute to Soucey and NTV………do a rerun and change a word or two if necessary.
    And piss on Danny…….he needs a good shit knockin……oh, that is what Danny once said about Andy Wells. But if the shoe fits………

    • It looks like the bully still rules the roost. No fair comment even for a satirist in NL. The bully and his buddies had Pete purged from VOCM when his eyes opened and he started showing contempt for MF and the aquaculture disaster now unfolding in NL using Frankenfish and chemicals banned elswhere. Now Snook is being sanctioned.

      It seems accountability only cuts one way in feudal NL.

    • Petty. Is the generation of interest into a Forensic Audit making it uneasy for DW?
      Danny, how much did you pay per acre? Was it $2000? How much was 1/8 acre… a 50'x100' in Southlands at that time? So, I guess you got it for pretty much nothing. We know you bought a large parcel there before you went into politics… was Galway in the works back then? Peak power demand couldn't keep keep lights on during DarkNL… how could Galway be passed without a major addition to the grid? There should be an apology indeed… not by Pete or NTV however.


  20. CBC online item (IN HOT WATER) on the flood at Mud Lake: which shows some video of yesterdays meeting.
    "Them gates was open" says MF worker Darren Hill… applause of others, as it appears other were saying the spill gates were closed.
    At 7 pm yesterday, on a Friday, Nalcor released a statement (imagine, working overtime on May 24 th weekend…………must have cost another million or two and another half cent on our power rate)……… they (Nalcor) appear almost in as much shit as at the Whitehouse, where they are getting lawyered up for the investigation. Not easy to spin lies, (I mean falsehoods) and fake news to flood victims…… but they keep at it.
    Nalcor says "the Muskrat falls reservoir has limited storage capacity. Gosh, a few days ago they said there was NO reservoir there . Now it is a limited one!
    They go on: "There is no ability to store water upstream of the facility to reduce downstream flows" Is this a contradiction from the first sentence, ……….should they say there is limited ability to store water, or a small ability, ………….as the water gauge monitors seems to show such an ability, even if small, this past week………
    Nalcor says:"the utility says water levels at Muskrat falls are maintained at 21.5 metres and spillway gates are regularly adjusted so the amount of water flowing into the reservoir is the same as the amount flowing out , to maintain that level"………Liar , liar pants on fire
    Now if the data from the Churchill River MID Pool (030E015) is the correct data for water level there…..this is what I see;
    21.5 m is the level generally trying to be achieved..but
    It went to 21.65, and as low as 21.2…………
    It went higher than 21.5 for very brief period but lower for extended periods………meaning considerably more water flow going through at these times. And this correlates extremely well with rising levels down stream from MF.
    Nalcor says " Nalcor has however decreased production from the upper Churchill fall plant to help reduce water flows into the Churchill River'.
    Whoop de doo!. When did they do that………after the flood? Any thought of doing this before the flood, as waters levels were rising for the past week? Show us your emails when this was a planned reduction, or after the fact?
    Now why could the elevation at MF not rise a few feet above above 21.5 m……was it because the coffer dam was too fragile?
    Was it an issue of protection of the infrastructure or an issue of safety
    for live and property downstream , and infrastructure took priority?
    For Nalcor, this smells rotten. And they send politicians with no technical knowledge to calm the people. Nalcor releases what seems a statement to hide incompetence, yet again.
    Looking at the water gauge graphs, with hindsight, I can say this , this and this should have been done. But hindsight should not be the way to go…….foresight and common sense may very well have prevented this flood , me thinks.
    Winston Adams

  21. (Winston) "Nalcor has however decreased production from the upper Churchill fall plant to help reduce water flows into the Churchill River"

    Nalcor is pretending that when we all know it just doesn't control the water flow from upper Churchill. How about saying HQ cut CF production in order to help Nalcor manage its mess downstream?

    Above re-illustrate the dependance of MF of the water flow coming from CF, this time in flooding conditions.

    How full is the Smallwood reservoir those days?

    • HQ and the government of Quebec learned a lot about the importance of co-ordinated control of water flows all along rivers systems after the floods in the eastern region of Quebec and in particular in the Saguenay, Lac St Jean region in 1996 and the inquiries and commissions that followed. I expect they should fully understand Nalcor`s and the NL governments actions and their responsibilities to act in these situations.

    • I just found bizarre Nalcor taking credit for having "decreased production from Upper Churchill". I guess any positives about HQ is not Nalcor's cup of tea.

      I'm sure HQ is acting responsably at CF as they would anywhere else.

      As you know, HQ has a policy of lowering its reservoirs (including Smallwood's) levels before spring in order to capture that excess water. So obviously, CF decreases the likelyhood of floods rather than increasing it.

      If you read about the 1996 floods, you know that there was nothing HQ could have done with this suddent magnitude of rainfall. (Prevision models are continiously being improved to take into account global warming)

      Just curious, has HQ improperly managed CF in the past, to the point of causing undue floodings?

      And now, how MF (without a meaningfull reservoir) is affecting future odds of flooding?

    • Good questions, I expect HQ cooperated fully to avoid the flooding…….but what and when did Nalcor do in advance to help avoid this? And exactly, what does it mean for future years.
      I expect residents at Mud lake are somewhat in trauma, and for 15 million they can relocate everyone. I expect most prefer to remain at Mud Lake, but not in constant fear of drowning.
      Reminds me of George Bush who said "we will smoke them out of the caves"…………and so Nalcor flooded them out of Mud Lake, more than one way to skin a cat, as they say. Terrible to have to think that, but such is my disrespect for the integrity of Nalcor.
      See how quick they are to give rational and technical info on why this happened. The Liberal politician Jones, suggest the feds will pay 90 percent of damages………I wonder, especially if this is Nalcor caused.

  22. Did Nalcor take appropriate action to mitigate the flooding at MUD Lake?

    What can the water gauges tell us?

    I discovered last night that there are two gauges very close together at Muskrat Fall. The Mid pool one, I earlier referenced, and another a little further upstream, maybe by just a couple hundred feet up, called "above upper Muskrat falls, number 030E015. This appears to be the one used by Nalcor to regulate the water level.
    There appears to have been three course of action to mitigate the water flow
    1. Reduce the Upper Churchill power output by reducing flow at that location
    2. Let the water elevation at Muskrat rise some to allow more time for downstream flow to move through
    3. At the very early stages of the thaw, let the elevation at Muskrat drop some to give a buffer, via increased elevation there to counter the increased flow from the thaw that was coming.

    Here is what the data shows:
    1. Way upstream from Muskrat, at Below Grizzle Rapids. the water rose 3 feet from May 12 to may 17, when it peaked, so more water was flowing through.
    2. At Muskrat, from May 14 to midday May 16 ,the elevation was held fairly steady at 21.57 m. This means they were opening the spill gates more and letting more water past through, otherwise the elevation there would rise.
    At about noon on the 16th, the elevation rose to 21.58, about a half inch increase, meaning they closed the gates a little, and reduced flow a little , but this was NOT a meaningful change to slow the flow.
    3. Six kilometers below Muskrat, from May 12 to the 16 th, the water level rose steadily and peaked on the 16th, about 5 ft. higher, which suggests the increase flow through the spill gates had been considerable.
    4. At English point, at the mouth of the river, and near Mud lake, from May 12 to the 16th, the water rose just 1 ft. But, then, about 11pm May 16, the level rose quickly, now another 3.25 ft.
    Within hours Mudlake residents were scrambling at 3 am of May 17, where residents clain the water rose 8 or 9 ft, which seems likely.
    But this was not the peak elevation at English Ppoint. That came on the afternoon of May 18 , after the evacuation, when the water jumped another 20 inches at English point. In all, at English point the water rose about 6 ft.

    Some flooding occurred at Happy Valley Goose Bay on the 15 th.

    So when did mitigation of the water flow through the spillway at Muskrat kick in?

    The data shows the elevation there rose about 4 inches , starting midday of the 18th, about 36 hours after the flooding at Mudlake. This suggests they then started to lower the gates to reduce flow.
    Midday on the 19th, a much more rise in elevation took place, now about 28 inches above the original elevation, suggesting a significant reduction in flow and lowering of the gates to impede flow. This may have been a combined reduction at the Upper Churchill and also letting the water elevation at Muskrat rise to reduce the flow downstream.

    By midday of the 20th, English Point had dropped almost 8 ft, and was now 2 ft lower than on the 12th.

    It appears to this writer that mitigation of the water flow took place only after the flooding.
    So what plan had been in place for the spring thaw, as this was the first year that the flow at Muskrat had been kept at a constant elevation.
    Winston Adams

    • The CBC item says the Maritime Link is being built to take power from the 824MW Muskrat Falls to Nova Scotia.
      1. Impossible to get 824 MW of MF power to either Nova Scotia or St Johns. First of all, 65 MW or more is lost in transmitting to Soldier Pond near St Johns. And average MF power is aboput 560 Mw, and about 500 Mw after transmission loses. 500 is only 60 percent of the stated 824. But who's counting MW?
      2. Our island Power is going to Nova Scotia, so Nova Scotia will be getting our island power well before Labrador power arrives in Nfld.
      In addition, Labrador power, when we do get it, will be less reliable……ask Liberty!
      3. The perception that Labrador power goes to Nova Scotia is a mispreception: Nfld island power goes to Nova Scotia and Labrodor power comes to the Avalon to replace our island power going to Nova Scotia…………not exactly the same thing……… how many understand the difference.
      4. the mirage of importing power from nova Scotia keeps floating around to sooth the scope of this blunder:
      There is a power link between Nova Scotia and New Brunswick that has a capacity of 300 MW… might think a possibility to import power back to Nfld via that link and the Maritime Link . Nova Scotia has and does import some power from NB. But by 2014, NB own needs cut that import by 50 percent, allowed only 150 MW available via that link …….so not much help to Nova Scotia. That is why they are to import from Nfld. So Nova Scotia is was so short of power ,and needing to close coal fired plants that they needed to import from both NB and Nfld.
      So where is this cheap power to import to Nfld via the Maritime Link to come from? Marshall seems to be playng on the ignornance of Nflders by giving weight to this, as if a significant opportunity to mitigate our power costs. Bullshit, I suggest.
      We may even have to run Holyrood more to meet Nova Scotia needs.
      And when(not if) the Labrador power to the Avalon fails, we will be down for hours trying to curtail our isalnd power going to Nova Scotia and get emergency power from our own island generation to keep us from freezing here on the Avalon. With no Holyrood, St Johns will be on rotating outages, trying to get some emergency imports form Nova Scotia when they, nor NB have power to spare, especially in winter. Great prospects from this Maritime Link for Nfld! What a crock!
      What a game they continue to play, to buy time……without being transparent to the people here. Marshall now doing what Ed Martin did…spin, spin spin. He will likely spend his winters down south while here we freeze in the dark. Sickening how they cannot give straight talk on where we are headed. All on track says Coady.
      Nova Scotia is the only ones on track, as we can see.

  23. We have heard of Watergate
    We now call the Trump scandal with the Russsians , Russiagate… a comparison with the impeachment of Nixon
    On the local front we now have Muskratgate……….the spillway gates…….did Nalocr open them to allow more water through and contribute to downstream flooding, or close them more to mitigate downstream flooding?
    The spin doctors seem to suggest they closed them more, while workers at Muskrat say they opened them further during that critical time, thus leading to flooding of Mud Lake.
    What is the TRUTH . Seems Nalcor quibbles : pretend to tell the truth while they EVADE the truth.

  24. Readers with interest in the MF blunder and the recent flooding of Mudd lake should google "the " for the story "I have nothing else left to lose' by Justin Blake filed today.
    Protests there are ramping up again.
    Of interest to this writer : On Wednesday Nalcor spokesperson Karen O'neill said the spillway "did not stop the ice flows at Muskrat falls, generally all the ice that did reach the spillway went through with ease"
    I suggest that was part of the problem, that the rise in elevation since last Oct , made a large increase in the volume of the ice above MF, leading to clocking the flow downstream. I suggest the volume was much greater than normal, and that normal would see a rise at MF in the elevation at the spring thaw, and therefore a slowing of the ice and water downstream.
    Marjorie flowers says "nalcor's full of deceit, and lies, and trickery"
    Melisssa Best of Mud Lake said, she was informed by Nalcor the evening before the houses began to flood,"that things were maintained the same, there was no prolbem, with the water, and there was no water coming through and the gates weren't open-and 12 hours later we were being flooded."
    By Sunday Nalcor reps , including Jim Keating "never denied" the hydro facilities had anything to do with the flooding of Mud Lake when pressed on the issue.
    Where is our main media pressing for the truth from Nalcor?