Guest Post by Cabot Martin

We now
approach the Muskrat tipping point.

It will be
painful – a prospect emphasised by the recent release of the SNC-Lavalin May
17, 2013 Risk Assessment Report following on the revelations of the “Anonymous
Engineer” on pre-sanction “book cooking”
as first revealed on Uncle Gnarley.

Stand by for
more and escalating leaks.

But the
surest sign of the coming storm is the return to public airways of one Ed
Martin, former Nalcor CEO.

Like a character
in poorly made sequel of a powerful horror movie, Mr. Martin continued on CBC
TV to spout the same sort of World Class nonsense that has helped put us in our
present terrible Muskrat bind.

Of particular
inadvertent hilarity was his attempt to say that nothing that has occurred since
his departure can be blamed on him.

Reminds one
of an arsonist who tries to tell the Court:

“Don’t blame
me Your Honour if the building burnt to the ground. It wasn’t half gone when I
left the scene; blame the rest on the Fire Department who did a poor job of containing
my raging inferno.”

No, Ed, you
and your cohorts will be held accountable for the whole Muskrat mess.

And soon if the
recently released and decidedly curious SNC-Lavalin document of May 2013 is any

It’s a
pretty damming document – even if it doesn’t cover all the bases; for instance,
nothing on Nalcor’s use of crude oil prices wildly unrealistic by industry
standards even at sanction in December 2012.

in part understandable as the SNC Lavalin report’s orientation is engineering.

But the
parts on the lack of geotechnical support for cost and safety analysis before
sanction are hair raising enough by themselves.

Anyone who
has built or been in on the building of a sub-division, warehouse, office
building or dream home (let alone a Multi-Billion Dollar hydro dam in the
wilds of Labrador) knows that the very first and critical thing you do in
planning a project is find out about the ground on which you plan to build.

For an
ordinary building, if you ignore or get the ground conditions wrong, you can
expect to face big cost over runs.

But when you
are building a massive hydro dam, if you ignore or get the ground conditions
wrong, you will not only face big cost over runs – you will also put peoples
lives at risk.

It was
incumbent on Nalcor and it’s technical advisors to strictly ascertain the risk
of catastrophic failure because of soil chemistry, insufficient soil strength, poor
load bearing, the flow of water from fractured rock and other critical aspects
of the Muskrat Falls ground conditions.

And this
could only be done by measuring and judging those factors by means of a
comprehensive geotechnical program carried out by qualified independent
engineers and geo-technicians.

So what does
SNC-Lavalin say about the amount of geotechnical work that had been done when Nalcor
asked for and received Project Sanction from the Dunderdale Government in
December 2012?


(1)   No geotechnical work under the location of the critical concrete North
Dam and its associated coffer dam
– you know, that’s the place where all winter they have been grouting,
grouting, grouting to seal up cracks in the riverbed rock to stop water coming
up through the exposed “dried up “ riverbed behind the coffer dam.

       (2) Limited
geotechnical work
under the Muskrat Falls switchyard

       (3) No
on the Trans Labrador Transmission Right of Way

AND unbelievably on the safety
critical North Spur

(4)   “ Insufficient geotechnical information for the North Spur area . As
limited geotechnical investigations have been performed on the North Spur
adverse conditions could be discovered during construction leading to major
rework, cost overruns and delays.
COMMENT: Because of Geotech uncertainties ,
we could find bolder (sic) or unstable soil which could result in a major scope
change .–
all quoted
verbatim from the SNC Lavalin May 2013 Report

Now “major scope
change“ with regard to an admittedly unstable dam component like the North Spur
is engineer code for “Your proposed North Spur stabilization design could be unsafe
and to make it safe will require as yet unknown and un-costed extra work.”

And also unstated
is that geotechnical conditions may be found (like Quick Clay) which will in
effect be impossible to cure.

And if you
can’t cure that problem, you will have to cancel the whole project because use
of the North Spur as a key (nearly 50%) component of the overall dam system is
an essential element of the project.

This was the
situation at the date of sanction (and still is) a real and present risk .

Because for
all Nalcor’s bluster, the amount of geotechnical information on the North Spur is
still totally inadequate – for instance, the drilling density on the North Spur
itself is still far too low and large areas (particularly upslope toward the
Trans Labrador Highway) are totally devoid of test drilling locations and drill

Yes – that’s
correct – right up to this very minute when the reservoir is partially filled
and lives downstream are in increased danger – catastrophic failure of the
North Spur is a real and present risk.

Plainly put –
Nalcor has built a potential timebomb regarding whose character they have big
information gaps.

Let’s focus
on this.

At sanction
in December 2012, SNC Lavalin knew of Nalcor’s reckless position; and so did at
least some key Nalcor officials who were working side by side with SNC Lavalin.

What about
Premier Dunderdale? or the Minister(s) of Natural Resources in her
administration? How about the Minister responsible for Dam Safety ?
  How about those who stand to benefit most –
say like Emera ?

And why
didn’t SNC Lavalin speak up before Sanction instead of after ?

Ah Yes!
Bring on the Forensic Audit.

And don’t
forget to take the audit all the way back to Danny’s original Muskrat Falls
feasibility/financing contract with SNC Lavalin in 2006.

SNC Lavalin
– now all cleaned up they say – but back in 2006 what a lovely lot they were —
with CEO Pierre Duhaime and VP Riadh Ben Aissa dealing with Muskrat while at
the same time running an international corruption scheme including McGill
hospital construction contract bribes up in Montreal.

Charbonneau could, I am sure, suggest someone familiar with these lads to help
in the Forensic Audit.

Anyway, make
no wonder there was talk just before sanction in December 2012, that the
Dunderdale Cabinet was getting cold feet and originally wanted to give Ed Martin
and Muskrat only a very qualified “sanction” – one conditional on no actual
construction contracts being let until further information was forthcoming.

But the 8th
floor drama surrounding how that particular near revolt against Nalcor was
defused is a story for another day.

On the other
hand, a discussion of the contents and SNC Lavalin’s purpose and timing in the
preparation of the recently released May 2013 document and Ed Martin’s “Report?
– what Report?” defence deserves immediate comment.

First, the
SNC Lavalin report is clear in stating that SNC Lavalin accepted that it had an
obligation to come clean to it’s client Nalcor on the fact that Muskrat was really
not ready to move ahead even if it had been “ sanctioned” by Government.

Second, this
report, however revealing and thus helpful, has the distinct air of a
self-serving attempt by SNC Lavalin to construct a Firewall regarding it’s legal
liability regarding the Muskrat screw up after sanction had taken place.

The geotechnical
deficiencies set out above and the other serious defects the Report points out are
glaring and they obviously weren’t discovered by SNC Lavalin all of a sudden in
March 2013 ; they must have been obvious to SNC Lavalin (and to at least some
of Nalcor’s engineers) in November 2012 prior to sanction.


And then
there is Ed Martin and his “Never saw it” defence.

Pro Muskrat surrogates
are all over this on the airwaves; spinning, spinning, spinning.

Ed, they
say, was “at most in a room” when SNC Lavalin (in SNC Lavalin’s own words)
“attempted” to give Nalcor their damming document.

to give someone a critical document with billions and lives on the line?

How can
someone fail in an “attempt” to deliver such a document with Ed Martin across
the Board Room table?

Were there
cries from Nalcor of “Report, no, no ! Not a Report! How dare you try to give
us a Report! Out with you.”?

Or did Ed simply
put his hands behind his back and say “I see no report; nice talking to you; have
a good day.”?

Why didn’t
SNC Lavalin, in the face of such or similar behavior,
  simply slide its Report across the table and
say – “Here it is – don’t read it if you don’t want to – but we’ve done our
duty and you have been warned – Good Day.”

Or was all this
some sort of ritualistic co-operative pantomime with SNC able to say later:

Honour, we can’t be blamed – we “gave” them a report saying the thing was all
screwed up”

And Nalcor,
on the other hand, would be able to say at the same time

“Your Honour,
don’t look at us : what Report? there is no proof we ever took any SNC Lavalin
report or ever saw it.”

Oh Dear ! Oh
Dear !

Oh what
tangled webs we weave !

Lawyer up
Boys. Lawyer up.


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. Note to forensics: search network shares at Nalcor as well as the entire e-mail system (Outlook, blackberries) including attachments for the SNC report of 2013. I suspect it was a hot topic when it came out.

  2. How are Emera's shares doing? Do any Nalco board members who quit on mass own any shares? What Newfoundlanders actually own Emera shares? And when did they start purchasing them? Why haven't local corporate media, including CBC, asked these questions and investigated this possible story?

  3. If it can be proven that Ed Martin refused to accept this report, there should be liable action taken against him personally and as well the backroom boys who counseled him in not accepting a copy of the report. You don't have to be an engineer to understand what went on in this situation. If Martin had accepted the report, it would then have fallen into the public domain which would have been catastrophic for him and those counseling him.

    Dwight Ball must now step up to the plate and insist that a forensic audit be completed ASAP. The people of this province deserve no less. And as for Danny's attempts to smear Stan Marshall who has more than proven his ability in his field of expertise, is nothing more than an attempt to distract everyone from the real issue and that being the root source of how this all came about. Any audit performed must go back to initial planning and who knew what. Then let the chips fall as they may and the people of this province can once and for all decide who is really telling the truth.

    • In his scrum yesterday, Danny looked and sounded deranged. The jig is up and he knows it.

      I imagine "countries without extradition treaty with Canada" is a hot google search in certain quarters these days.

    • A commission of inquiry may be more useful. Before any work along these lines is conducted the most appropriate medium must be selected. It should also be started now while all or most of the players are still in place. Once the project is completed I suspect many of the participants will "scatter", and it will be difficult to obtain their cooperation.

  4. Well done to Stan Marshall for exposing this information. Good luck to Stan Marshall and others in their attempt bring the mistakes of the Muskrat past to a successful conclusion. It will take a hell of a lot of good to great management going forward to make up for the atrocious leadership in the past 10 years in the province and at Hydro/Nalcor. Also a pile of NL dollars as we should all know by now.

    • Yes, the former ceo and they led us badly astray and now they are being asked to manage our way out of it. Perhaps we would have a better chance,if they were all canned asap? We need to differentiate between leadership and management because there is quite a difference in these two imposters.

  5. Ed Martin has spoke about that the risks identified by SNC were in Nalcor's own risk register. What Ed Martin did not clarify was whether the cost associated with these risks, were included in his cost esimates.

    SNC stated that the likley over-run would be 2.4 Billion. Nalcor had a similar risk register, yet their own contingency was 300 million (or there abouts).

    So Ed Martin has acknowledged that there were 2 Billion in likley risks which were not include in his 2013 cost estimate.

    • So, MF was supposed to be 2 billion cheaper over the 57 year time frame, versus the Isolated Island Option……this was the economics of it, false as it was. They ignores other alternatives for the island, so even this 2 billion was a cooked up number.
      Yet within 6 months of sanction, they had identified extra cost risks of some 2.4 billion dollars, which more than offset their 57 year expected savings as so the Isolated Option.. And as we know now, extra costs has gone up way beyond 2.4 billion…..and keeps climbing still.
      Their lie of least cost was exposed in the report of May 2013, and must have been known well before sanction in 2012.
      This fiasco is finally blowing apart. But the damage continues to escalate…….heading to 15 billion, and many risks are still not resolved. Even now……put it on ice makes sense.
      Winston Adams

    • I agree its been known for some time that there was considerable risk associated with the reservoir. If it fails it could be sudden and catastrophic. The risk is real and not insignificant as stated in the 2013 SNC report. The current forecasted cost will also likely continue to escalate. It is already beyond the ability of most of the public to afford it. When our hydro rates double or even triple it will cripple our economy for decades. Its possible we might be bailed out by offshore revenue, but this is not certain.

  6. I read in the an evening telegram story that one of risk factors that snc-lavalin indentified was a limited amount of experience, in hydro/nalcor, with major projects of this kind. Incredibly, I have been told that the former ceo got rid of a whole level of the organization comprising mostly engineers with good experience in building as well as operating and maintaining hydro-electric projects!! Cool move, go figure, is it any wonder???

  7. While most of the blame goes on Williams and Ed Martin, as Cabot Martin says, yet with costs heading toward 15 billion, and no solution to the North Spur risk,(and other significant risks) Cabot overlooks Stan Marshall`s failure to halt MF pending a review, as called for by UG, Dave Vardy and others.
    And did Stan Marshall sit on this 2013 report for a year before passing it to Ball last week……………
    `Boondoggle buffoon` Williams calls Marshall.
    Williams unveils his sign at Galway: BEAUMONT HAMEL WAY.
    July 1, 1916…..the largest single event loss of life in Nfld history, and a great tragedy. Yet Williams, in my opinion, seeks to use that as a way to promote his Galway project. That we Nflders(Williams says) should have the same pride in Galway, a world class project, as we did for the gallantry of those kids in 1916.
    I read the history of this event as a great blunder of the British generals, and lack of concern for the common soldier.
    To link Galway with youthful gallantry to sell your project, …… me is a new low and suggest desperation at this time when Muskrat Madness has crossed a threshold……..even the Telegram calls for a public inquiry.
    How can the integrity of Ed Martin be restored, as Williams says, when this project, Danny`s Legacy Project, is beyond boondoggle.
    And Williams stoops to name calling ……boondoggle buffoon…..this seems to come back like a boomerang, a halo above Danny`s head, as he, almost alone now, still calls it a world class project.
    This little project which can deliver only 500 MW of power on a continuous basis. All of Nfld Hydro and Nfld Power assets, built up over 100 years, both hydro, thermal(Holyrood and gas turbines) and all the 230 kw grid, dozens of substations, and transmissions lines for distribution……..a total of 2000 MW, 4 times Muskrat Falls continuous power delivered……..all those assets built up over 100 years is worth but 3 billion dollars.
    And Muskrat,likely to go to 15 billion, claims Williams, is world class.
    Danny must be from Another World, where class has a different meaning.
    We need disclosure, truth and facts……and accountability….. to counter our culture of corruption.
    Winston Adams

  8. Cabot, who will force the audit? The Government is not interested, the opposition PC's less so. The NDP is lost in the wilderness and can't see political opportunity when a dam lands on their head.

    The stories told contradict one another. Who will do something about that? One would think that the cadre of St. John's lawyers that expressed concerns early on would have a legal strategy to force an audit and public inquiry.

    Time to go from opposition to action, even if it means stepping on powerful toes. It is the future of your province or your complicit friends. Which path will you take?

  9. I wrote a story for about the 2013 SNC-Lavalin risk assessment report that was published yesterday. I talked with Tom Marshall who was the Minister for Natural Resources in April 2013 for the story. He told me he never saw the risk assessment report, Ed Martin never told him about it, nor did Ed Martin say anything to him about Nalcor receiving a warning that based on bids received within four months of sanctioning the project could go over budget by $2.4 billion. Tom Marshall said it would have "rung alarms" if that information had reached his department. The question is did it reach Nalcor's board of directors or was it buried at the Nalcor staff level?

  10. Good set of notes. The genie is out of the bottle now and it should be a matter of when the full blown inquiry is called and not if. It should take more than a few boondoggle buffoon and other personal attacks to slow the march to the truth now. The people of NL who will pay the massive costs deserve the true facts and sooner than later.

  11. If you expect Ball to rise to the occasion on an audit/inquiry… forget it. Uncle Gnarley labelled him early as a ditherer, & oh boy was he right. Ball seems content to sit in the big chair & be dictated to by the 1% ers of this province while the whole place goes down the toilet. Meanwhile Minister Bennett is scurrying around trying to find more debt financing to keep the lights on. Remember when she based the budget on $56.00 oil? I don't think it's been above $46. since. Then there's Minister Coady. What can you say except Duhhh! We are well & truly in a pickle, led by a guy who use to count pills for a living & a finance minister who use to count chips.

  12. As more and more information comes to light on this catastrophic boondoggle, Ball is going to be forced to show some form of leadership and do what the public is demanding. I still contend that Danny Williams has been pulling the strings in this province and Nalcor/Muskrat Falls for a long time. He has all but bankrupted this province all to appease his monumental ego and I suspect his bank account.
    The pitiful bullying comment "boondoggle buffoon" is a typical Danny WEilliams style attempt to show he is still the boss.
    Danny, how in Christ's name can you still publically promote Muskrat Falls with a 60cent/KWH production cost to be sold on the market at 2 cents/KWH and with the people of NL to pay double(and heading higher) electricity costs. Is there not some time when you have to admit you were wrong. Your name will go down in infamy as the person who orchestrated the demise of a province of Canada.

    A public inquiry will focus on Ed Martin first and the paper trail will ultimately lead back to his boss–"the exalted one" Danny Williams, as Martin did not do this on his own and will not take the full brunt of this.
    Heads should roll but wait and see which players in this scheme will gradually head to a non-extradition country before the full story is known. There are more that Williams and Martin involved in this and Dwight Ball knows it.

    The other story the linking Beaumount Hamel with Galway is SHAMEFUL. Danny, have you no sense of decency at all?? Trying to profit on the backs of those who died at Beaumont Hamel!!!
    Is there nothing sacred to you at all??
    The Canadian Legion should step in here.

  13. Martin never read a report in his life. Sat thru a few presentations from his 30 000 foot view from the skies over fantasy island, eating a few boston cremes with danny boy sipping a take-12, stashing cash in offshore accounts.

    Here's a legacy Danny boy, donate land and five gas turbines to the province so we won't freeze to death.

  14. There have been fortunes made from this boondoggle by a select few, & there are yet more fortunes to be made. How many of these people "in the circle" have shell companies working on site, or have purchased shares in Emera? The game seems to be to run the construction cost so high that we will have to sell the whole thing at a bargain basement price after it's finished. Then Emera will swoop in & their shares will rise. Consider where their share value was at the beginning of this project & look how it has risen since. Lowest cost option we were told. Ironic that Nalcor has run a cable to the island to access the cheap Upper Churchill power to offset this boondoggle. Imagine if they had done this at the beginning. We could have paid for it in cash & have access to cheap power – our power – forever. Hindsight is 20-20. What could have been… all but for the ego of one man & his obsession with 'evil Quebec'.

  15. At his honours meltdown this week at a news conference the brave attending media cheered and laughter when he said he was spending his money and didn't give a "shit"what people said about it. Should one of the brave media persons attending at his honor not responded that we don't give a "shit" how much of his own money he spends, but we do give a "dam shit" about our money that he has spent on the boondoggle. We borrowed with a loan guarantee from the Feds some 8 billion, where is the other 5 billion coming from. How many billion have we put in, in equity, where did we get the other few billion. Where did the province or NALCOR borrow that. I want to know ….do you…does the brave media want to know. But I digress, the poor media is be holding to the (fishing) fincincial admirals that own our feudal system. We have not progressed in our cap in hand to the fishing admirals and merchants in over 500 years. Muskrat is living proof, the common man reaction and the brave media is living proof of this. Right on Pete, you were a public victim that we all know about, how about all the others that dared to raise their heads, and were paid a visit at the dark of night or a garnade set of in front of them. Those who know, or first hand knowledge, let us know, sure do it anonymous, your neck is worth more than that. Anonymous d.

    • You say `how about the others that dare raise their heads`
      As a electrical engineer that once worked with Nfld Hydro, I knew more than the general public about our power grid, peak loads, our high baseboard heating problem, and cost effective mitigation, that did not require Muskrat Falls.
      I made a presentation to the PUB in 2012, that was ignored, except for Dave Vardy. Gilbert Bennett, I recall, sat reading his copy of my present, head down. He knew it suggest a risk factor against Muskrat. He was silent as to this presentation.
      The powers that be, must have hoped that it would be my one shot,it had no impact, and my views were at a dead end.
      Some months later I was served with a summons that put me out of action on Muskrat for 2 years, and from which I have not fully recovered. This summons had nothing directly to do with Muskrat, but was timed, it appears to me, to cause impact to me.
      17 years before, my mother had been given medications that caused permanent brain damage. A claim, against Eastern Health, relating to this dragged out and went nowhere, as lawyers are reluctant to take on the medical system. By 2012, the matter had been dormant for the last 7 years, and appeared would remain a dead issue, as I was unable to proceed with it, due to personal health issues.
      Following my presentation on Muskrat at the PUB in 2012, an opportunity to address our energy and power issue again arose at a Nfld Power rate application.
      This time I filed a scathing assessment against Nfld Hydro and Nfld Power`s failure to assist residents with meaningful energy saving options. Essentially I said that Nfld Power, Nfld Hydro and the Consumer advocate were in bed together to deceive the public on these issues. The PUB wanted my written comments in advance, and upon reading it, I was informed it came close to crossing the line in acceptable language…….but that they would permit it to go forward.
      I read it at the hearing, to the complete silence of those whom I had directed my attack. Not one of them questioned
      anything I stated.
      Not a word in any media mentioned my written attack on why our conservation and energy policy gave no meaningful benefit to customers. (This past year, seeing what Nova Scotia accomplished, my assessment could have been more critical, if I had that comparison).
      Yet, two weeks later I received a summons…….relating to this old unrelated event, the government owned Eastern Health high profile legal firm wanting it dismissed.
      On examination, I discovered the summons was drafted within 48 hours after my presentation at the PUB.
      The action had the effect of having me tied up in court proceedings and so silenced me for a long time on Muskrat.
      The timing was not accidental, I suggest. A matter that was dead for the past 7 years, came to light, most effectively within 48 hours after my comments were deemed ` near crossing the line` describing the skullduggery of how our power companies methods, embraced by our Consumer Advocate, worked against power consumers and homeowners.
      Early on, it was reported that Nalcor kept a list of the naysayers of Muskrat Falls. I must have been on the list.
      No doubt others have felt the blow back and sting from going against the world class experts.
      My experience reminds me of what one might expect in Putin`s Russia, and their devious ways of dealing with freedom of expression, and methods even helping bring Trump to power.
      In some ways, methods here, are indeed world class.
      Winston Adams

    • Amen Winston! Some of us felt the wrath of the clan chief more directly with legal action.

      Onward and upward Winston. The truth will always win the day…eventually. If the trickle of truth tellers swell the reality will finally see the light of day.

  16. A quick review of the Nalcor and Public Utitities Commission compensation lists certainly leaves the impression that Muskrat and related projects have become a huge make work program. Soft project costs seem to be well above the norm. The other comment I would make is that with such an abundance of technical skill and experience on the team, one would have expected a better result.

    • On second thought, think of Muskrat as a training school of Applied Science for all this young Technology Workers. Now, as they become unemployed from the last of the Boondoggle stream of projects, what future use are they to Society?

      Winston, we need you to generate a list of worth while projects to reduce dependence on Electricity for home and industrial/institutional/commercial buildings. NL has a lot of catching up with the Western World's reduction in GHG and fossil fuel dependency. Your valued knowledge and experience is needed, my friend and colleague.

    • Robert, it may interest you: that seeing residential heating reductions , from my monitoring, of up to 80 percent at the ideal late spring season here, thought still cold, I suggested to Nfld Power that they may be interested in aiding my research and monitoring. They refused.
      I then emailed them so suggest a pilot program of 5 to 10 houses to confirm best practises for optimum results. They refused. I then suggested I would personally pay the entire cost of such installations and monitoring: an offer you might think they could not refuse……….but they turned down the offer. Conclusion: they want to slow down and keep best practices from installers and residential owners. Heard to believe; except that it goes against the case for MF and against Nfld power revenue and shareholder profit.
      At the end of June I still monitor small heating loads ,m typically 200 watts from 2 to 7 am (which would be about 1000 watts if baseboard heat.)
      Yesterday I had the first AC load for cooling , from 5 to 8pm. Start was about 600 watts, and dropped to 330 watts load. This from a attic mounted unit with the attic at 82F
      Some question if attic mounting is inefficient for AC, but for coastal Nfld, not a problem, as these low loads show.
      I expect small heat loads for night for July and Aug, but from past monitoring , the ground level here maxes out about 63F early Aug, and will likely see little if any nitetime heat needed for a few weeks.
      My summertime AC energy likely will be about 10 bucks, for larger houses away from the coast this might be 30 or 40 dollars for AC.
      The problem with having a list of projects as you suggest, is what purpose would it serve as long as our government ignores the value and cost effectiveness of such efficiency.


  17. Obtained a copy of the SNC-Lavalin risk assessment from and read it last night. It appears to be as close to a smoking gun as one can get without getting powder burns. An inquiry might find out who all in Nalcor and government knew about it at the time and did nothing, besides the consultant people who signed the report. It kind of has a very bad smell to it since the timing was close to when Nova Scotia put the squeeze on for a better deal and it could have been shelved easily and while we still had a shirts on our backs.

  18. I had a quick scan through the report as well (got it from the Liberal party website). On the cover page it indicates the report is for SNC internal use only. Nalcor may hang their defense on this saying it was not a contracted project deliverable and that they had no access to it being it was an internal SNC document. As it was indicated in the blog story this report was likely generated to absolve SNC of any liabilities. Perhaps Ed Martin is correct stating he never read the that particular report but I bet the information in it was relayed to Nalcor in some other way (face to face meeting, presentation, emails, letter, etc) or in a different report altogether which has not yet surfaced. Withholding the report itself or the risk information and costing from Nalcor would not absolve SNC of anything. No doubt SNC has a small army of very smart lawyers. I am sure they would have ensured Nalcor was made aware of these risks and their costs to absolve themselves of any liability.

    • One can see where honest Ed would have stopped reading right away once he saw that is was for snc internal use. After all it might have been commercially sensitive information. I stopped reading right away, didn't you!!

    • In project management, it is proper protocol that project risks are to be assessed right from the start before the project can proceed. These risks were identified (2013) and Martin, acting CEO and board were to assess these risks and then a risk management plan should have been implemented before giving the green light for the project (2014). It is highly unlikely the project manager had the authority to kick start the project especially when the risks and costs identified were so high.

    • The present government needs to get on with the big inquiry so that they don't get tarred with this ongoing fiasco. When the government changes this scandal will be buried forever and make no mistake this history can be repeated.

  19. I have just read the first 10 pages and it seems to be more of the same. This project never made sense, even if it was on budget. Was poorly planned and desperately managed all along the way. Having had experience in the engineering world, I would expect this was written out of desperation and to go on record, as SNL were likely already stating every where they could in meetings etc. that there huge white elephants in the room everyone was pretending they were not there. So what other choice does one have, put it on the record so at least there is some defense. We need to look at this as if someone has stolen $7 billion from us and we need to know who that is…anyone want to start guessing….

  20. Hi Robert, you must have a list of boondoggle projects that we are not aware of, please enlighten. The oil projects, long harbour, c-by-c oil refinery, lab west, and paper mills have not been called boon doggies as we put very little of our money into them, that was all private industry money. Sprung greenhouse may fall in that category, but that was on 20 million or so, a drop in the bucket, and the fishery has a few bailouts mainly by Ottawa, but that is a another quintile of fish. So why muddy the waters when we are talking about a 12 plus billion boondoggle, no other like it in our history, and all public money. If private industry was building muskrat I would say spend all you want., love it.

    • Think of putting your hard-earned capital into a secondary industry, (refining) in tidewater, Torrington Basin, to utilize the surplus hydro power from Muskrat. Think economic benefits to Labrador. You could be the private sector partner. Some of the overpaid staff at Nalcor might even move to Mud Lake, and keep an eye on the earth dam.

    • New commercial or institutional or industrial building not using heat pumps is crazy, when residential is fast adopting these. Yet Long Hr Vale Inco has huge warehouse and other buildings use resistance electric heat. I was amazed, and I guess they get cheaper rates, and seems intended to create a load to help justify Muskrat. But one example. Robert is right…….there are many instances of electricity waste.

    • Since the conclusions made by Architects and Engineers in the 1970's, based on "peak and expensive costs" for fossil fuels, buildings and transportation design and operating Standards have only scratched the surface in applications in energy conservation, and re-engineering our mechanical systems, based on substituting renewable for non renewable.
      Some of us have adopted different philosophies of living differently. In the main, Society is going along, in denial, about the pollution of air, water, soil, and accepting that all is well with fracking, extracting dirty fossil fuels, and burning them until they are gone. NL is but one small opportunity to change.

    • I believe the loss of, and the slow recovery of the cod , capelin , is closely related to water temperatures around Nfld, and climate change. I monitored temperatures from 2000 to 2010 ………and was amazed I could find no one doing research on that ( for me a part time affair of interest, yet some 500 people with fisheries dept). Beyond belief that they could not know the relationship to capelin spawning time and water temperature, and appears not to want to acknowledge climate change in our waters here. How else to explain their silence.
      Winston Adams

    • Winston I have been at DFO since 1990 to do capelin science. As a cornerstone species their life cycle in understanding trophic flow of the ecosystem. Despite making noise about multi species management and an ecosystem approach they ignore capelin.

      They are both impotent and incompetent. There should be no harvest of this cornerstone to ecosystem function, especially for a roe fishery!