Guest Post by Cabot Martin

amend the Muskrat Falls Inquiry
Terms of Reference

Way back in the 1980’s when I was hanging out in the Premier’s
Office on the 8th floor of the Confederation Building as Senior
Policy Advisor to the Premier, I noted that there was one group that everyone
respected – the Legislative Drafters.

As politicians with policy to implement, the Cabinet (with the
help of the Cabinet Secretariat) would draft, debate, amend and finalize what they
thought the proposed new Act or Regulation should do and contain.

As a next step, the measure was put into the hands of the
Legislative Drafters, as specialized a group of legally trained professionals
as you will find.

Mr. Justice Richard LeBlanc
They were to work out the precise wording that would express Cabinet’s
wishes in terms required by any governing Acts including the all-embracing
Interpretation Act.

This latter Act set out basic rules that determine how the
Courts would interpret the Act, Regulation or Order-in-Council in question.

The cardinal rule, as I remember it, was that all such
instruments are to be strictly interpreted as to their scope and intent.

Once the legislative drafters were finished, the polished
document would once again go to Cabinet and be approved and promulgated as an
Order-in-Council – every word and comma the genuine law of the land.

All this is important stuff because, as matters presently
stand, Judge LeBlanc may well find himself boxed-in amidst cries from some
lawyers that “Judge you can’t go there. Look at the limitations of the wording
of the Order-in-Council”.

The Rules for the Judicial Inquiry into Muskrat Falls are set
out in Order-in-Council O.C.2017-339 which was passed pursuant to the Public
Inquiries Act.  

Various politicians have said in answer to public concerns
about the wording of the Order in Council —  Oh that’s up to Judge LeBlanc – he can decide
to do that ; Oh that one too is up to Judge LeBlanc – he can decide to do that
as well.

Trouble is Cabinet, let alone the Legislature, has not made
Judge LeBlanc some sort of judicial Generalissimo with God-like powers. He too,
and he especially, is bound by the strict requirements of the Legislature’s
Acts and past judicial decisions.

He simply cannot do whatever he likes.

So, with that in mind, here, in general terms, is my initial
take on the deficiencies in the Muskrat Falls Inquiry Order in Council:

(1) Judge
LeBlanc Needs to be able to Go Back Further in Time Than Presently Allowed

To start with, the Government needs to deal with one of the
biggest problems.

Section 4  by referring
exclusively to the actions of “Nalcor” restricts the period which Judge LeBlanc
is entitled to look at to that after Nalcor was created; i.e. after Nalcor was
formed by an Act of the Legislature on June 14,2007.

Trouble is there is every reason to believe that the crux of the
Muskrat problem, the genesis of the dilemma we find ourselves in, took place before

For instance, the Order in Council as written would exclude
Judge LeBlanc from examining the documents and discussions surrounding the
initial SNC Lavalin Feasibility and Financial Plan study commissioned by the
Province in 2006 or any of the discussions or arrangements that flowed from it or
were connected with it.

(2) The North Spur
issue must be included within the specific ambit of the Inquiry

The words North Spur are not uttered anywhere in the Order in
Council. Not surprisingly, and without need to expound on the matter, I feel that
should change.

(3) The Order in
Council supports the Nalcor position that the public’s right to know is not
superior to Nalcor’s right to keep “Commercial Considerations” secret

No tool has served Nalcor better to the detriment of the
public interest than the “commercially sensitive” clause that was written into
their founding act in 2007.

It has been used to deny access to critical information not
only to the public but also just recently to the Premier himself when he went
looking for something as simple as who are all these private contractors you
have on the payroll?

Moreover, under the 2007 Act, the Nalcor Chief Executive
Officer (CEO) – once Ed Martin and now Stan Marshall – has the unfettered and
unchallengeable right (subject only to an amendment of the Act by the House of
Assembly) to declare any matter to be “commercially sensitive” and thus beyond
the reach of any governmental demand let alone an ATTIPA request by a private

To see the Order in Council instructing Judge LeBlanc to be
guided by “ the need to balance
commercial considerations and public accountability and transparency”
4(d)) was truly jarring given how we got here.

Limitation on Inquiry with respect to recommend further investigations is too

The Province has engaged Judge LeBlanc to do a job of
herculean proportions; let’s hope he has the wisdom to surround himself with
the best and brightest legal and technical staff.

What we can be confident about is that at the end of the
process, he and his team will know more about what went on regarding Muskrat
than anybody else. And their expertise will be literally irreplaceable

While the present language in Section 7 of the Order in
Council has been used before (for instance in the Dunphy and Cameron Inquiries
Orders in Council), this case seems totally different.  

To restrict the Muskrat Falls process as to further civil and
criminal investigations (unless required by law) is to handcuff this society as
it tries to find a way forward.

No society can bounce back and grow with a big question like “Was
Justice Done on Muskrat?” hanging over its head.

We need closure and we need it fast.

But no, Judge LeBlanc should not be asked to recommend that
criminal charges be laid against a specific X, Y or Z or that a specific X,Y or
Z be sued in a civil action.

But he can properly be asked to recommend to the Attorney
General, if he feels it desirable, that specific incidents, decisions, contracts or transactions related to
Muskrat Falls be separately investigated by the AG as to whether civil actions
or criminal investigations should be initiated before his Final Report is
complete – as much as 2 years from now.

As with my other concerns, I
have tried below to come up with some compromise language in that regard.

(5) Need
for Judge LeBlanc to have access to all necessary expertise

Notwithstanding Judge LeBlanc’s powers under The Public
Inquires Act to put together a team to assist him, Cabinet has included wording
in the Order in Council to make it clearer that Cabinet considers  that the broad nature of the inquiry will
require specific types of expertise.

Presently the relevant section, Section 8, reads:

8. The
commission of inquiry may engage the services of persons having special
expertise or knowledge including those with financial, engineering and
construction expertise.

This, with respect, is insufficient.

For instance, in spite of the critical nature of the North
Spur problem, there is no specific mention of geotechnical or Quick Clay
expertise; I have included below a specific amendment in that regard.

The same can be said for the term “project management” which
as a discipline is critical to proper project execution and to unravelling what
did and should have gone on.

I say this despite the fact that in the case of Muskrat Falls,
the term “project manager” seems to have been used very loosely with regard to individual
employment contracts – this is an issue the Premier is very familiar with.

Finally, it is apparent that Cabinet finds the words “forensic
audit” and “forensic auditor” distasteful, all the while saying – Oh yes Judge
LeBlanc can do one if he wants.

Not good enough.

The tools of a forensic auditor are formidable – ask Donald
Trump with Mueller’s team of lawyers and forensic auditors closing in on him.

Forensic auditors are as far as you can get from “pencil
pushers” overwhelmed by detail – they get to the crux of the matter fast.

Only the most partisan will not allow for the possibility that
significant commercial crime has taken place with respect to Muskrat Falls.

Judge LeBlanc must be given specific powers and full rein to engage,
if he feels it desirable, the sort of team that was recently put together by
Madame Justice Charbonneau in the case of her inquiry into corruption in the
Quebec construction industry.

These 5 suggestions would take changes to 5 sections or
subsections of the Order in Council.

But these 5 changes would help ensure a much more productive

How much change in wording would be needed to cover those 5

Good question!

So I’ll try something I would not dare try back when I was on
the 8th floor.  I will propose
some “precise” language by way of amendment to the 5 relevant clauses.

I am sure the Legislative Drafters can improve this language
further if given positive political direction.

For the convenience of readers here is a link to the MuskratFalls Order in Council as presently constituted.

Don’t be intimidated – it is really pretty short and
Legislative Drafters are trained to use plain language and make things clear –
within the direction given to them by Cabinet.

Here I go.

The proposed changes in wording are in red.  

1.  Section 4 should be
amended at the beginning by the addition of an entirely new subsection (aa) to

4. The commission of inquiry shall inquire into

(aa) All discussions and decisions by the Premier,
Ministers or provincial officials with any party in the period 2003 to 2007
prior to the establishment of Nalcor, relating to the development of the
Muskrat Falls project including all feasibility, economic, banking, corporate
structure, marketing and financing studies and in particular the SNC Lavalin Muskrat
Falls Feasibility and Financial Plan study dated 2006.  

2.  Section 4 should be
further amended by the addition at the end of an entirely new subsection (d) to

     4(d) Whether Nalcor and its contractors have acted on the
basis of adequate technical studies and prudently with respect to the
geotechnical and engineering investigation of stability issues at the North
Spur and in the preparation of Dam Safety Analysis and Evacuation Plans for all
components of the reservoir containment system. 

3. Subsection (d) of Section 5 should be amended to read

(d) the need to ensure that
“commercial considerations” do not override basic
public accountability
and transparency in carrying out a large-scale publicly-funded project; and

4. Section 7 should be amended to read

       7. The commission
of inquiry shall not express any conclusion or recommendation regarding the
civil or criminal responsibility of any person or organization except that the Commission of Inquiry may recommend that the
Attorney General focus on specific incidents, agreements,
decisions, contracts or transactions related to the Muskrat Falls for further
investigation by the Attorney General as to whether civil actions or criminal
investigations should be initiated and may do so in any Final or Interim Report.

5. Section 8 should be amended to read

             8. The
commission of inquiry may engage the services of
persons having special expertise or knowledge including those with financial,
engineering, geotechnical expertise (including Quick
Clay expertise),
construction project management
and execution
expertise as well as persons
experienced in forensic auditing and with all relevant areas of construction
and commercial crime.

Some may say, as they have about most aspects of Muskrat Falls
– It’s too late for any change now.

Nonsense – it is never too late to do the right thing
especially when there is so much on the line.

And any Order-in-Council that Cabinet has passed, Cabinet can also
amend – I am sure Judge LeBlanc will welcome the added mandate – no one likes
to be boxed in.

I am encouraged in this respect by Section 3 Subsection (3) of
the Public Inquiries Act under which the Muskrat Falls Inquiry Order in Council
was issued.

Subsection (3) reads as follows:

(3)      Where it is in the public interest, the
Lieutenant-Governor in Council may by order revise the terms of reference for
the inquiry and revise the dates set for the termination of the inquiry and
delivery of the commission’s report.

In summary, we have an inquiry and Judge LeBlanc has been
chosen, well and good – but let’s give him the appropriate mandate.

The above suggestions and comments are meant to assist him in
his task.

As are my sincere hopes for the success of his Inquiry.

Much rides on it. 


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. Way back when in England's history, and I might add French to as well as many other European countries. Civil wars and establishments had long struggles and much blood shed to limit the powers of kings and emperors, and to be answerable to parliament and the people. But seems under Danny rule that was all reversed, parliament choose rather hastily to create a king, and and an entinity greater than itself. I have previously called it a Frankenstein, of which it had no control over, by its own action. It was called nalcor and king Eddie. When the government changed Eddie reminded ball et al of the powers bestowed upon him and his nalcor empire that he was above cabinet and elected government. Ball et al hesitated and said well we have to see. King Eddie balked and resigned. The rest we know about severance, pension, etc. And now we have Stan the man under the same nalcor empire, operating according to powers granted when nalcor was conceived. And that also applies to judge lablanc. You are to be congratulated Cabot for bringing this to public view.

  2. I was disgusted when I saw the initial terms of reference. So restricted as to be nearly useless. Most of the issues that need to be looked at and the powers to do something about it were left out. Unless there are changes no one will have any faith in the current "inquiry".

  3. Cabot,have you given any consideration (along with D.Sullivan,D.Vardy,D.Dumaresque,(to name a few)–those who are passionate about the well being of NL and its future and not in it for personal gain) to organizing and challenging the established parties in the next general Election. We desparately need a viable alternative to "lead" us, not what we have to choose from now.
    Your above suggestion should (must) be adhered to. Government has the authority to change legislation by passing it in the House. I feel that the terms of reference as they are now will not get to the crux of the problem and expose the true ones who are responsible for the desparate situation we are now in. Unless the mandate of Justice LeBlanc is widened, this Inquiry will be nothing but an exercise in futility.
    Corrupt politicians and business people must be held accountable or else the rot will continue to plague us.

    As a sidestep–I was floored by the comments of Danny Williams when he said the Commission should look at the positive side of MF as well ??? Mr. Williams, please elaborate!! What are the positives of a $12.7B (and counting) colossal boondoggle where the province (ratepayers) cannot afford to pay for it??

    • The one person with absolute authority over what goes into this smokescreen inquiry is Dwight Ball. And in the House of Assembly shortly after the news conference announcing the inquiry Ball said:

      "The PC Party, if they did anything right, Mr. Speaker, was to lock up this project and take it out of the hands of the future decisions for Newfoundlanders and Labradorians".

      So we know where Ball stands. Is this the thinking of a democrat, or dictator?

      Even without being asked, he is offering up so-called 'positives' to Danny (and prejudicing the independence of the inquiry).

    • You may be right, but in my books ball et al owners this project, lock, stock and barrel by not stopping the project on immediately being elected and calling an enquiry then. Ball cannot disclaim ownership, and we must hold him accountable as much as any other person or government. He had his opportunity and he failed. Now ball et al get that through your numskull.

    • Yes, in my opinion it is locked up by creating a monoster called nalcor that was given special powers to do as they pleased, thanks God king Eddie resigned. Now the next job for the sake of our democracy is to dismantle nalcor, or its powers. What government creates only government can put assunder. How can we have a crown cooperation in charge of all of our resources, oil, minerals and hydro. More powerful than the government that created it. At least make it into three cooperations, otherwise we have Dracula in charge of blood transfusions, as the old saying goes. Nalcor will just skim the cream off the oil money and full speed ahead with gull. Give the control back to the people, through their elected governments, not an entinity unto itself. That's what got us into this muskrat mess. So called world class experts and lies. And the government swallowed it hook line and sinker, as the government of the day saw nalcor as an extension of themselves. Elect people that put the province before their petty politics and their egos. Until we as a people can do that we are doomed.

  4. 'How the Petrobras scandal worked…

    It worked in four steps:

    1. Construction executives secretly created a cartel to coordinate bids on Petrobras contracts and systematically overcharge the company.
    2. A select group of Petrobras employees turned a blind eye, allowing the construction companies to charge Petrobras outrageous sums.
    3. The construction executives then pocketed the proceeds from these inflated contracts and rewarded their partners inside Petrobras with big bribes.
    4. Some of the proceeds also got sent to friendly politicians, as either personal gifts or donations to their campaigns. Because Petrobras is partially owned by the state, politicians can install people as executives — who then turn around and reward that politician with a bribe….'


    'A corruption scandal wrecked Brazil's economy. … Many Brazilian workers who had no direct involvement in the scandal have paid a steep price. …'


  5. Great Piece. I too fear that this inquiry will end up in a quagmire of self preservation & cover for those responsible for this mess. Ironically some of the biggest winners will be lawyers like former minister Kennedy, who will challenge the inquiry at every opportunity, while gleefully billing the taxpayer at $300. per hr. At the end, I expect no one will be satisfied except maybe the ditherer in chief, who will have secured a second term as premier. Man, it is so frustrating to see a govt blatantly manipulate the public & know they can get away with it. How they can convene an inquiry without beginning at the beginning boggles the mind.

    • Anonymous 10:23 What he/she is saying is that Ball made the end report after the next election so as he can say something like "can't talk about that – it's before the inquiry." That way he dodges the whole Muskrat mess during the election & after he's elected, he can just shelve the report.

    • 14:52… Have you not heard of what's good for the goose is also good for the gander. Ball or no other party will be running against theirselves, there will be other parties and leaders running. How about the party that is mainly responsible for the muskrat mess, while they not utter the same words and do the same thing…shelve the report. Until we, as a people, can get above petty party politics our democracy is doomed and we deserve more muskrat boondoggles.

  6. To expose, thwart and hold accountable the despicables, before the next election we need to form a grassroots political movement comprising every sector of Newfoundland and Labrador society, with Cabot Martin and other courageous, great minds leading the charge. We also need to overcome our small-minded differences with and bigotries toward our Labradorian indigenous peoples if we are to bring Newfoundland and Labrador from the brink of socioeconomic ruin. Let's begin networking. And for the love of God and province we must leave our egos and self-interests at the door.

  7. Perhaps (given the time restraint that the province is under) Cabot should consider throwing his hat in the ring for leadership of the PC Party (or would he too come under the control of the party establishment)? I don't think so.

  8. Cabot you have identified the shortcomings of the terms of reference for the MF inquiry. What you fail to notice is that a single commissioner, politically appointed, is left with absolute discretion on the inquiry. Even a forensic audit is not guaranteed, nor does LeBlanc have the background (or some would argue the political independence) to conduct one. At a minumum the "may" wording should be replaced with "shall"

    You seem to put absolute faith in the commissioner doing the right thing rather than demanding independent expertise on engineering, forensic accounting and electrical demand forecasting. Considering the obviously political timeline, reporting after the next election, are you not yet suspicious that MF remains a testament to political interference and corruption?

    "sincere hopes for the success of his Inquiry" are not enough Cabot. This is yet again a political smokescreen that avoids the fundamental issues.
    1.The spur is unsafe and poses a grave risk to life and the asset.
    2.A forensic audit, completed in 6 months, shall be conducted.
    3.Free, prior and informed consent has not been obtained from first nations.
    4.Does completing MF make financial sense? Will it be a stranded asset even completed?

    Cabot weak kneed supplication to feudal masters is how NL got into this mess. The political and legal institutions have failed to defend the most basic tenets of democracy. Is putting blind faith in a political appointee with an inadequate mandate the best you can do for NL?

    It is long past time for strident political action from the intelligentsia who have roamed the 8th floor of the Confederation Building. Will you champion democratic renewal in NL or remain a compliant feudal serf?

    It is time for decisive political action Cabot, not polite platitudes that ignore the continuing political subservience to feudal bullies. Are you capable?

    • Quit wasting time and resources, trying to get the powers to do the right thing. Set up a Shadow Inquiry and get on with it. Follow the BCUC format, Report in 6 -8 Weeks. If the Gov. blocks this citizens/ratepayers initiatives, you can always call on the Land protectors to make a stand and do your dirty work. Enough!

    • Challenge the limits of the Access for Information Legislation to the fullest. Show the public the obfuscation in effect. Provide methods of discreet exposure of inside info. etc. Hire the LSPU Hall, have a roast, hootenany, moose soup pow wow.

      Power to the People

    • Robert a crowd funded Peoples Inquiry may be the only hope. The problem remains how does one move those that have spent time "hanging out in the Premier’s Office on the 8th floor of the Confederation Building" into political action?

      For the second time in 25 years the mettle of these self promoters is being tested. The first time they cut and ran and abandoned the struggle to protect rural NL despite accurate analysis and a stated commitment to inshore fishers.

      Is history repeating itself?

    • Enjoy your innovative ideas, and if all fails, we can rant and roar. like true Nflders. We need the preserverence of the Land Protectors approach.
      Gosh, if the hootenany at the Toronto Airport with Nflders with a GUITAR, AND ACCORDION , AND A YOUNGSTER singing Grey foggy Day, got 800,000 views, that your idea might be better than Chase the Ace. After all, our Rock is at stake. Perhaps use the slogan, No More Dole. I take on Idle No More.


    • OK Anon 14:36, UG acting in the best interests of a public inquiry into the Muskrat is now in session:

      First question;

      Gov. Ministry responsible for NALOR;

      What Procurement Policy was followed with respect to the appointment of Consultants, starting with the EPC contract?

      What do the Records show?

      Public Tendering compliance?

      Call your witnesses:

  9. Have to agreed with Bruno…..
    The word MAY instead of Shall, to my knowledge became rather fashionable under the reign of Clyde Wells and Bern Coffey……anyone remember Coffey. Anyone remember Wells?
    I had an encounter with Coffey back then, early 90s, where he squirmed to explain what the word MAY and the word COURT meant. The phrase "the COURT MAY decide"…….did the word court mean the presiding judge, or the word may could mean discretionary?
    The issue arose as to one's right to enter a victim impact statement against a peadiplile………..and Bern wanted to keep it out.
    Three years earlier the Criminal Code of Canada had allowed for such VISs, but not in Nfld, here it took 3 years to get an Order in Council in place for it to become law in Nfld. Such is the manipulation of the law here! And that is criminal law.
    So no small matter , these terms of reference and what or can't the judge do.

  10. Cabot, in Section 8 you state"…construction project management and execution expertise…" It is more appropriate that it read, "…engineering, procurement and construction ("EPC") project management and execution expertise…

  11. 'The contractors they were paying had formed an agreement to ensure they were guaranteed business on excessively lucrative terms if they agreed to channel a share of between 1% and 5% of every deal into secret slush funds…..
    After diverting millions of dollars into those funds, Petrobras directors then used them to funnel money to the politicians who had appointed them in the first place, and to the political parties they represented….
    But it wasn’t just politicians who benefited. Everyone connected to the deals received a bribe, in cash, or sometimes in the form of luxury cars, expensive art works, Rolex watches, $3,000 bottles of wine, yachts and helicopters. Huge sums were deposited in Swiss bank accounts, or laundered via overseas property deals or smaller companies. The means of transfer were deliberately complicated, in order to hide the money’s origins…'


  12. For a glimpse into the future of energy see this CBC piece on a kids hospital in Puerto Rico that Musk set up a solar/battery storage facility in 10 days.

    This week Musk also won his bet and installed 100 MW battery storage in South Australia in less than 100 days (or it would have been free). Nimble and efficient is the way of the future, not boondoggles that can't break even even after commissioning.

    • But Bruno, as much as Musk is doing, it is but a drop in the bucket of needs to be done to counter global warming…….
      And my Tesla i ordered over a year ago, and expected around now, I find they produced about 260 cars in the last quarter, made by hand, as the assembly line is not yet operational, it will be a t least another year before my number comes up, and even then, for Nfld they have so local service…….I expect to cancel soon…….Musk is a master of promotion, and can do the things you state……but you seem to have not heard about our great local song:Grey foggy day……..so I am more worried about our local low rain fall this winter…….and good grief, think of installing a propane backup, in case….when we could have been chipping away cutting our peak demand by 100s of megawatts.

  13. Cabot:

    To me, I am 2 sides of the fence for the working of the Inquiry order–there are a number of issues that haven't reach the media yet so I would prefer vague at this time, we really don't know where this needs to go yet; I would prefer as much latitude as possible given to Justice LeBlanc at the outset. I understand hard to ask someone to reach for a bouncing ball, but we need some investigation first.

    Having said that, I would suggest leaving the current wording as is, but it is essential to add clauses to the effect:
    1) the direction/focus of this Inquiry can be altered by LG-incouncil providing reasonable timelimits are offered
    2) interm reports on a given aspect can be requested by LG-incouncil at any give time given a reasonable timeline for submittal

    I understand a high goal to be reached—but we only have 1 shot in my estimation.

    My reasoning is that I am not confident that the true issues are known to date—I always word my contracts the same to give me leverage as needed.

    Please comment.


    • Robert:

      Not sure what I could be more plain about—-there are issues that the media has either ignored or not caught. I have done my part in trying to air, but am limited in what I can do with certain issues.

      I am not sure why the antagonizing comment—my opinion is simply keep the terms vague so the Justice has some flexibility in how he guides the Inquiry, otherwise it simply becomes a waste of time and a paperwork exercise and the populations needs more.

      Also, as to Justice LeBlancs back ground you asked about, a simple Google of 'Justice Robert LeBlanc' give several stories on his recent past excluding the MF Inquiry.


    • You get more hilarious PENG2 with every intervention.

      Give the sole politically appointed commissioner absolute discretion with an inadequate mandate that is time limited and excludes the major risks, the spur and mercury contamination of the food supply. Is that it? What could go wrong with putting absolute faith in a politically inspired process to report post election?? Please get real PENG2.

      I did not ask about Le Blanc's background.

      Just how are you " limited in what I can do with certain issues". In case you missed it this blog has become a vehicle for bringing Nalcor malfeasance and incompetence to light. You need not be the messenger, only the anon source of the material you claim is germain. If you are sincere and not just interested in self promotion you WILL make available what you know to UG or others like Maurice Adams that have informed and empowered an abused population.

      You are fond of proclaiming loyalty to your roots. Prove it!

    • Bruno:

      What I said is that the inquiry needs no direction at this point—LeBlanc needs to be able to review all aspects and a limiting the inquiry scope could jeopardize that, infact my previous post was rewritten to be simpler as initially I addressed each of Cabot's points individually and it became more like a blog posting than a response. In my mind the inquiry needs to start with the assessments of the Anglo-Saxon routes that were done in the 70's and work forward from there to today and into tomorrow.

      Finally, you have made several posts that disparage my reputation without acknowledging my background—FYI, I have an advanced degree in geotechniques supplemented by an MBA and almost 30yrs practice, combining that with my current work posting I would suggest that I do have a good understanding of MF and what is vs what it isn't (there are also some good points so you know).

      My last point is that how are you so sure that I am not one of the sources Des, or James and others speaks of? I have also committed to connecting with Maurice and Winston offline to fill them in on some questions they have posted.

      Please read and comprehend an opinion be shooting off.


    • Looking forward to your views re the underwater deep hole (very steep slope) adjacent to the downstream side of the North Spur [as well as Nalcor's use of average liquid index values to conclude that a flowslide (progressive failure) cannot occur even if there were a slide at the deep hole].

    • The scope is limited PENG2, temporally and the scope, remember? A free hand with a narrow mandate is rather useless at best, political obfuscation most likely.

      Your academic qualifications are offset by a long career working on and justifying boondoggles in at least two provinces. I am flabbergasted that at this juncture you still have secret MF "good points". Please do enlighten us unwashed proletariat with the MF virtues. Without your lofty academic credentials we missed the untold virtues, please do educate us.

      One more thing. What does your advanced geotechnical knowledge have to say about tieing a dam to glaciomarine clay? A good idea? Does it have precedent? What does your MBA say about stranded assets in making decisions on whether to proceed or not? Has the vanished need for the power or lack of a viable market for 60 cent kWh energy entered your calculus yet?

      Apart from maintaining the ethics free lifestyle you have engaged in professionally what on earth are the MF virtues?

    • I must say Bruno, good to try and pry more out of PENG2 than he is willing to say. Maybe you have better radar as to his characteris he a double agent type, trying to sway the anti-Muskrateers?…….but I try and give him him the benefit of doubt…..
      But as the song goes:where have all the flowers gone? Where have all the soldiers gone? To grave yards everyone.
      Where have all the engineers gone? where have all the architects gone, where have all the Board of Trade members gone? Muzzled everyone. Gone to Florida , everyone.
      No ranting and roaring over this boondoggle, and as UG says, the racket has not yet started.
      Keep pumping PENG2, for the public good, he is an insider, and most all others say nothing.

    • Bruno:

      My stance does not change—the inquiry needs to be free for LeBlanc to assess backwards to the 70s analysis of this the potential of the work to beyond tomorrow otherwise it is a waste of time and money–in short LeBlance needs a free pen to guide the inquiry how he see fit(granted if he is politically motivate no matter the ToR it is a complete waste).

      With respect to the Spur and clay, what most dont realize is that the transmission line was a bigger effort(cost and risk wise) than the Spur is. Yes the clay is an issue at the spur, but to my mind silt is a bigger issue—and I have not heard a single word from anyone mentioning silt.

      For my MBA saying the work needs to go to completion it is simple math— $8B spent with $2B committed and if we add on $1.8B for remediation (form the Site C report for remediation up there) we are already at the published cost to complete MF. I have never one time advocated operation, just completion to avoid default.

      To my mind we must avoid default at all costs—it would be worth your while to review the FLG to see what default actually means for the province.


    • Locals complained about silt and changes to the river downstream, but yes, no big talk on that.
      I believe a limit of 18 in on elevation change during opertion was to avoid bank erosion?
      Ok, I take your word , we will have a serious silt problem. And agree the transmission is a big risk, but quick clay and mercury is less of a problem , if not flooded and operated.

  14. "Much rides on it."

    Uh? Nothing rides on it. The inquiry will only tell us what we have all known for to long and that is:

    "Newfoundlanders, their government, the business community and labor are all to addicted to big expensive construction Megaprojects that haven't solved our economic woes, indebted us forever and produced only short term jobs and contracts that will need another round of spending in the future where we either give up taxes, royalties or other revenue sources or borrow the money to build them and let future generations worry about paying for it."

    By the way the latest buzz word is Gull Island in the construction industry.

    • Anom @ 05:58

      I think you have hit the nail on the head. A large part of the problem with Nl is our dependence on construction jobs and Mega Projects to develop our economy. Muskrat Falls was first and foremost a job creation scheme to absorb the construction workers ast they were laid off at Hebron and this is not uncommon in Nl where one project finishes and another has to start or the economy tanks. We have to get away from these schemes and develop a more basic, long term approach to the economy or we will perish.

  15. Omg…have to comment on the silly brave media again. We all know that we sometimes have so called kitchen parties or screech-ins, and had one at Pearson airport, so what…but the news media, mainly promoted by local media, tried to make it an international event. Did they perform any miracles, did anyone accend into heaven and arise again….or did they relieve us of our 30$ billion debt…..no just a couple guys willing away a bit of time and a few others joined in by clapping their hands and and shuffling their feet…would have joined in most likely if I were there… But would not be expecting any medals. For any minor detail we might do, the brave local media go bunkers, as they know not what they are supposed to do, or their job. Ok for mark Critch to join in, as that is his job, he does it for a living….but the other brave, useless, silly media, my God get a life, report on something that deserves your attention, for Christ sake, amen.

  16. Bruno@23;39 Nov 23 , Bruno asks
    1. Is your message that all is lost and the world can only be saved with minisplits.
    ANSWER; Is it your message that only Musk can save the planet with solar panels and energy storage?
    Guess you never bothered , like wade Locke , to read my 3 pieces published in the Telegram in 2012. For Nfld , it stated the isolated option was best using customer energy efficiency including heat pumps, and additional wind and additional island hydro. Same message for Nfld for 2017
    For the planet, we need a thousand Musks, as the problem is so huge. A solution starts with a single step , yes, but the turtle beating the hare is a fairy tale. Global warning from fossil fuel burning was predicted some 150 years ago. Our Clyde Wells traveled to Rio , I beleive in the early 1990s……..we still want to pump more oil, as the glaciers melt, the oceans rise, hurricane desimate many areas,and our local climate is changing big time; effecting fish, the ocean temperature, record sleet, and…… did not UG just warn about severe rainfall shortage this year, causing the gas turbines to burn more fuel……..time is running out, as we tackle a solution……… at not a turtles pace, but only a snails pace……..Musk cannot deliver an electric car to me…..fact, way behind schedule by more than a year. I like him , but do not worship him.
    Maybe you missed Architect James b Case Telegram letter: Let necessity be the mother of invention citing innovative thinking, that geothermal heat pumps installed in every nfld household could ahave been done with 8 billion and saved 4 billion over Muskrat.
    Case is 5 years late. And minisplits are more than twice as cost effective, as I pointed out 5 years ago. And neither type is all that innovative, as gnd hps available this 50 years and minisplits for 30 years. Guess they both need a better messenger than me.
    Other than Robert Holmes , and maybe PENG2, Dave Vardy, and the Uncle, I am not aware of any regular on this blog is sold on this Energy efficincy approach, especially for Nfld. You seem to rank it behind solar and wind and storage……all supply technology instead of efficiency technology.
    A minisplit 350 percent efficient, a solar panel 20 percent.
    Just need to get priorities and cost effectiveness aligned Bruno. We are on the same side, i think, but with differences. ……….and I am better looking than you……, and looks almost as good as Dave Vardy……..so there…take that. Is it not evidence based that ideas from peopl ewith good looks are just bright ideas. I mean who disagrees with Vardy? And even the uncle is pretty snazzie looking. Should you get your hair cut, just a little, that you might see the light, so to speak?
    Joke, joke Bruno.

    • I repeat, that without a coherent Gov. policy, based on 1980's knowledge, which points the way to Electrical and fossil fuel Energy demand management, while maximizing the use of Renewable energy, history will repeat. NALCOR and the Government, with commercial fossil fuel support, produced the assumption that a Lower Churchill hydro mega project was mandatory. Which was and is false. If there is no will to go to basics in Renewable Energy, Demand Management, Smart Technologies, there is no hope to avoid a repeat of Muskrat.

    • Yesterdays VOCM Question of the day : What sort of measures have you taken to reduce your energy consumption costs?
      Turn down the thermostat, reduce energy use…….30 percent
      Install energy efficient windows , appliances …..7 percent
      Install/improve insulation……………………..6 percent
      Rely on wood…………………………………29 percent
      Put on a sweater and hope for the best …………27 percent
      Total votes 5587

      This tells us:
      1. that turning down the thermostat and putting on a sweater and hoping for the best is the message promoted by Ed Martin, the power companies, our govn , Take Charge, and together is 57 percent, so the public in not well informed.
      2. That efficient windows, appliances and insulation is all together only 13 percent, so it tells us that Take Charge is very effective in promoting things that customers don't want, or they already have, or save little energy
      3. That wood burning is up, considerably . This trend started before MF sanction.
      4. That heat pumps are not even on the list, nor oil nor propane.
      5. That as a messenger for heat pumps……..I have failed miserably….and my monitoring is at a snails pace, one hour, one day at a time. My message is, but at at a snails pace. But the snail may pick up speed once power rates doubles. Necessity for efficiency and conservation is not yet here……but time is running out, and minisplits are being installed at at exponential rate……so stay tuned, Bruno, monitoring is an important first step………unless you prefer assumptions…….have we not seen enough of false assumptions?

    • Your humour and your facts are both off colour Winston. I have repeatedly told you that DSM comes first. For a case study of how to do that research Germany DSM and yearly inspections for mandatory maintenance and upgrades to efficiency systems in homes.

      You are pissed at Musk for not delivering your new shiny Model 3 on time, I get it. Ask for your refund, he has guaranteed it. Musk is not the only visionary creating a survivable future, he is the most innovative and gets more done in less time than any human alive.

      Again all I can glean from your rant is that your 2012 analysis and mini splits is all that can save the world. They are part of a very large picture that you have a hard time framing Winston. Your analysis is outdated as I have pointed out. The price of solar and wind and battery storage have tumbled and will continue to do so through the economies of scale that are emerging for renewables.

      Besides all that Winston Musk et. al. are the only hope we have for smashing the oil hegemony before it is too late.

    • Now to my off colour humour :off colour: means indecent or poor taste, overly vulgar -as many comedic genres, vulgar elements as concerned with sex, gender, violence, domestic abuse, pedophillic,…usually the point is too incite laughter and is related to other postmodern humour. Am I all that? Maybe I'm a off colour guy, Bruno, but no one suggested that before.
      UG has a check list if something is funny……and I suppose off colour humour is better than no humour. To become an honourary Nflder, a sense of humour is essential , Bruno. Pray tell, how did I offend you? Are you that sensitive…I thought you said you had a thick skin…your biting comments suggest a crocodile character, but you are probably a pussy cat.
      Now my facts: Ok DSM comes first, that's good to hear, but DSM comes in many colours ….I mean many forms. DSM (Demand Side Management)…that is reducing demand instead of adding generation….Nfld Power uses rotating outages to limit demand..remember DARKNL, and then there is turning down thermostats, putting on sweaters (the Take Charge TV ads), turning off your hot water tank for a few hours, etc.
      Then there is the good stuff…insulation, heatpumps, triple glaze windows, passive design houses…so DSM has the good , the bad , the ugly…you chose your favourite and I mine.
      As to Musk….I am pissed because he must smell Musky, like Muskrat…a deceptive fellow…he has my 2000.00 as deposit for 2 cars, and paying me no interest, and has not honoured his promise, as no ethics, or low on ethics. But I will give him more time…..but leaning toward the Chevie Volt.
      I drive a 12 year old Prius…and never even washes it, the rain does that…so you misjudge me for shiny objects. Efficiency man……not shine.
      Musk ….you say is more innovative and gets more done than any other human alive…sounds like worship. My God…you think he does more than Trump…wow…..Trump is bringing back coal, making it clean even, and plans to refloat the Kyle in Riverhead, which has coal burners. Big things happening there…and this will be ahead of storage batteries for ferries, keeping our island communities from being isolated.
      As to my rant ….NOOOOOOOOOOOO comrade Bruno..the world will save itself, indifferent to ice ages and global warming….as ancient history shows. Man may not be saved …first you must repent! Repent for your sins, comrade Bruno. as I do.
      Minisplits cannot save the world, as you say, but can help some…but can save 390MW on the 650 Mw of Nfld domestic space heating…can you give me that?
      Solar, wind and and storage is important , I give you that, important worldwide….but for Nfld, the boondoggle issue, the cause to arms and this blog….minisplits my man….the main solution passed up. You agree .right? Made in heaven to suit our climate, especially the Avalon. The energy 6 inches outside our house envelope, day and night, fog or rain, sun or blizzard….and hurricane, if attic mounted, in a house that can keep its roof. Can one ask for more….yes….the grid must stay up, ,or a SMALL solar array will feed your minisplit moderately. We agree right…like ducks, I'm sure, not in your humourless character.
      But I keep trying. I did say you were a tad like that 400 million painting….a tad , mind you…..the long hair bit….oh my, off colour again, am I?
      Musk .smash the oil hegemony you say…..did you see the photo of Charlene Johnson, our new ambassador for the Oil and gas Industry appointed here yesterday. Past environment minister under Dan ….and hair longer than yours….a pretty woman who loves fossil fuel….Musk got his hands full , as to Nfld offshore. She is as flashy as Musks model 3. How efficient….that's another story. And I'm an efficiency guy. Shine and flash and looks come behind…but I have grown a small whisker as of late, seems fashionable….A hint of vanity,perhaps, or laziness, the latter I think.

  17. What a disgusting display by Premier Ball. Our Ancestors, the colony of dear old NFLD, exploited the intuit and indigenous for centuries, and continue to do so even today. Premier had an opportunity today, but chose to defer a provincial apology oil another day. Let's give support to the Land Protectors.

  18. As an individual you are doing a super job of informing the people and promoting mini split pumps as a means of reducing energy consumption, but the brilliant, brave media, have no idea and dint attempt to inform or educate them, they have been too well trained as parrots by government and nalcor. They come up wit great questions of the day, but their selections as responses are petetic. Imagine, hope for the best…you mean that the poor and elderly don't freeze to death. Why don't they add as responses, put on two sweaters, to keep in tune with nl power. Another answer is adding more scallogwags. The buggers…all of them.

    • OMG……if i had any hope for the Inquiry being above board, this appointment has scuttled that. Not Kate……tell me is ain't so…..my Christ, sorry folks, down the tubes with this inquiry.
      And can anyone tell me judge Richard LeBlanc's claim to fame?
      I was hoping for Judge Green, who has some good record I thought, but I really know nothing of LeBlanc……..can anyone shed light on his selection and qualifications?

  19. Section 4. of the Terms of Reference states in part:

    The commission of inquiry shall inquire into

    a) the consideration by Nalcor of options to address the electricity needs of Newfoundland and Labrador’s Island
    interconnected system customers that informed Nalcor’s decision to recommend that the government sanction the Muskrat Falls Project, including whether ….

    (iii) Nalcor’s determination that the Muskrat Falls Project was the least-cost option for the supply of power to Newfoundland and Labrador Island interconnected system
    over the period 2011-2067 was reasonable with the knowledge available at that time

    Now the institution responsible for such a determination (the PUB) already made the judgement (as late as 2012) that Nalcor's information was not sufficient and its cost estimates lacked the level of detail necessary to 'reasonably' conclude that Muskrat Falls was the 'least-cost' option.

    Now as I understand it, the PUB is a quasi-judicial body whose decision should not be overturned unless it made an error of fact or law.

    Why therefore would government ask a judge to (in effect) review that PUB decision?

    Undemocratic? Illegal? Immoral? Or just plain fishy?

    • I agree with your statements, but the pub had been excluded from make the decision if muskrat was the least cost option, and the pub did not say it should not go ahead, as you clearly pointed out it said we do not have sufficient information to give an opinion. Nalcor really only concentrated on one area, muskrat falls visibility, as a least cost option, the others were febel attempts to conclude that the other options were more expensive and could not meet our needs. Of course the comparison was around 6 billion then not the 12 plus now. So will the enquiry try and assertain how much wind energy, or small hydro, or having an LNg tanker drop off parcels and store if holyrood was converted to gas rather than bunker c, or a new gas facility in the deeper water of placentia bay. These were some of the options available, but not really investigated. Or some might say an aggressive compaign on energy conversation, with mini split pumps etc. But am sure the bottom line is if nalcor and govt. had not low balled and plain lied about muskrat cost then, with the info at the time they could have conclude it was not the least cost option. Think the only illegal, immoral, and down right lies were by govt and nalcor at the time, so can't see why it would be illegal or immoral now by the inquiry.

  20. Maurice…the item you quote seems to limit the issue to the least cost "interconnected " system and not the "isolated" options……….as if to exclude options of Demand Side management, Conservation and Efficiency etc, as part of the isolated options………so does other term of reference state to examine that.
    One one compares to Nova Scotia, it is clear NS considered and implemented the best Efficiency Plan in Canada in 2008 and up and running well before MF sanction….and we continue with the second worse, Sask being at the bottom.

  21. Thank you Anon. for you thoughtful comment.

    My thinking is that whatever knowledge was "available (to Nalcor) at the time" for its Muskrat Falls "COST" estimates, they would have had to have been, e.g. DG1, DG2, — i.e., less accurate than what the PUB had available to it [DG3(?)], and what the PUB had was an accuracy of + 50% or minus 30% — which the PUB concluded was not sufficient to "reasonably" conclude that Muskrat was least-cost.

    Nalcor's earlier knowledge [Muskrat's (DG) cost estimates] could only have been LESS RELIABLE than what the PUB used.

    So how then could the inquiry ever "reasonably" reach a conclusion that at any time prior to sanction Nalcor had a sound basis to reasonably conclude that Muskrat was least cost — when all that Nalcor could have had (at that time) was lower DG estimates?

    Almost no matter what the cost estimates would have been for 'other' options, the Muskrat estimates early on, prior to the PUB hearing, would not have been sufficiently reliable to conclude that it was —- 'least-cost'.

    Am I missing something here?

    • It was apparent from the outset maurice that the "least cost" claim was a fabrication. The financial analysis compared the understated MF costs with oil starting at 120 a barrel in 2020 and climbing steadily to 260 by 2060 or so. This was ridiculous on its face. The cheaper and incremental costs of wind farms were excluded. They also had to ignore Manitoba Hydro advice that looking only backwards at consumption increase was not industry practice. This overstated demand to again come to only one conclusion.

      And the band played on while regulatory and democratic controls of the NL treasury were obliterated as the NL ship of state slowly sank.

    • Bruno, they afterwards considered wind, with storage, but not as you suggest. They assumed 600 MW on both the east and west coast, and at about 43 percent energy factor, gives about 636MW ….that cost many billions, wanting to trick the public that wind was not cost effective. It was a foolish and inappropriate assessment.
      Incremental wind was what was needed plus other cost effective measures. I would suggest a 50 MW increment each year for wind, whereby at least a couple of hundered megawatts could have been ramped up. What is your figure?
      And for DMS, I had proposed, I think , a ramp up to a 50 million a year fund for efficiency and conservation measures……..at a cost on rates of not more than 1 cent and reducing yearly bills, from energy saved. Your views?

    • The beauty of wind Winston is that it can be staged with a growing demand and keep upfront costs and supply in balance. It does not satisfy the megaproject lust as the comparison you outlined shows. Controlled costs with wind and DSM put no lead in the pencil of megalomaniacal narcissists.

    • Bruno, we are getting closer to a discussion with a coffee,maybe.
      There is beauty in wind, and in heat energy from geothermal and the air around us, and some solar gain in foggy Nfld.
      Stagings and ramps ups for these, some are better than others depending on the climate, certainly.
      DSM with energy efficiency, wind in stages, allowing for intergration for grid stability.
      For which is best and the amount, evaluate the cost effectiveness…….. of wind and customer efficiency, …….wind adds to supply, DSM, efficiency reduces demand, they work together to solve a energy problem
      I believe You see wind with storage as probably most cost effective, I see DSM with efficiency as most cost effective, and can actually reduce billings it can be so coat effective.
      But both together work wonders…..so we quibble a bit over which may be most cost effective and reliable…….but we are not far apart….and there is reliable evidence for each…..compared to the boondoggle approach, wild false assumptions.
      If I can find time, Would you like me to size you a minisplit in case you run low on wood? But I do not supply or install. If you use best practices and saving less than 60 percent over baseboard, then call me out, and I will, like Musk, pay for your unit free of cost. I must accept your choice of unit and installer.

    • Good to hear you use little carbon fuel, big on wood , which is good, but not convenient for many. Any even energy for HP in NS is largely from coal , where in Nfld we are about 88 percent hydro, so location matters. How much oil for your house, for your house, gas for your car per year?
      But I have never seen you advocate for Efficiency Corp, and Efficiency NS, being the best in Canada……..do you not like what they do?

    • It seems tough to convince you that I know DSM is the first step Winston. I don't need an energy audit from you thanks.

      I have tailored my demand to my (meager)income. I also grow, process and consume as much of my own fruit, nuts and vegetables organically as I can. This week I juiced and canned 30 liters of apple juice and husked the Black and Japanese Walnuts I planted from seed forty years ago. I garden organically. How much fossil fuel does your food consume? You could significantly reduce your carbon footprint by growing your own food. Potatoes, carrots, turnip and cabbage can thrive even in the Avalon climate. In central NL even more crops are possible.

      Winston this story outlines Musk's most recent claims of a semi pulling 40 tons 500 miles between charges and a new 200K Roadster that will do 0-60 MPH in 1.9 seconds! Will you put down the 50 K down payment for one? Vroom, Vroom.


      Joking aside Winston most of the story (complete with graphs) shows how battery energy density and costs will/are tumbling to make this possible. He will subsidize energy costs at charging stations capping cost at 7 cents kW using solar collectors on site and massive battery storage to even out consumption to control energy costs.

      In other words see a sustainable transportation future unfolding from a visionary that gets outlandish seeming things done. My only criticism of his "reaching for the stars" is literally his reaching for the stars. His plan to become a multi planet species is folly. We need to save the only planet within reach that can guarantee our survival, planet earth.

    • Need I tell you Bruno of the 25 barrels of spuds I poked into our cellar when I was but a boy. And most of Nfld was self sufficient in food production in the Depression. Now we produce 5 percent.
      And i have a green house on my to do list……to grow food and to increase mini-split efficiency from solar.
      I abandoned Vroom in 1983 when I cancelled a new Corvette as detrimental to the environment.
      But you use the poor mouth , as Russell at the Telly, who must use bolona sandwiches. You tailor your demand to your income, wise but had you the income would you use 50k deposit for a Vroom?
      I would share my carbon footprint, why do you hesitate? We can all do more. Musk is very smart , but i would not equate him with the real Tesla, would you? With a 1000 Musks, and fewer Muskrateers , perhaps we can save our species on this planet.
      As a wood lover, see my comment on UG Bard latest piece.what do you think?
      Love, (wood love) Winston

    • No Winston I would not buy a red sports car even if I could afford it. I satisfied the urges of a mid life crisis with a relationship with a much younger woman. It was a lot more satisfying and was cheaper too.

      Tesla and Musk were similar figures for their generation. Tesla was a visionary responsible for AC power, induction motors, radio (he finally got credit for the patent) etc. They both transformed the world.

      Tesla was a visionary, not a businessman. He gave away to Westinghouse the patent for AC power because theory, not money motivated him. He ended up broke, living alone in a NY hotel, feeding pigeons for entertainment. Musk has the business sense to change the world, rockets, PV, autos,hyperloops, now boring tunnels under cities for multi level "auto skids". He won't end up feeding pigeons.

    • Musk .a business man, Tesla just a visionary…….his visions were used and stolen by others and changed the world. No doubt Musk admired him.
      So, you like adore businessmen…….like Musk. That ok, i like him for innovation and moving quickly (but the model 3 is slow on delivery while he plans trucks)……lets hope he stays solvent.But Musk has a vanity factor, and self promotion that Tesla never had. Musk has a huge fan club. i wish him much success.
      Sounds like you lost your love …..sad to hear.

  22. Yes, I agree.

    But given that even the later time frame (the time when the PUB concluded that the MF info/cost estimate was, even then, insufficiently accurate and complete to conclude that MF was 'least-cost') why then have the inquiry consider (a time when MF estimates MUST HAVE BEEN even less accurate) —"whether …. Nalcor’s determination that the Muskrat Falls Project was the least-cost option … was reasonable with the knowledge available at that time"?

    The answer (pre-PUB time-frame) can only be that it was not reasonable for Nalcor to say that MF was least-cost.

    It seems to me that there is only one, already obvious, and institutionally-affirmed answer to that question.

    So why ask it? (perhaps only to have the inquiry find a way to justify Nalcor's UNREASONABLE position. i.e that it was based on the 'available knowledge at the time'.

    But if the 'available knowledge' was UNREASONABLE due to its lack of accuracy, precision, reliability (as the PUB already concluded), then the inquiry can only also RATIONALLY so find.

    No? So, why ask it?

    • As I recall, DSM was not properly evaluated, but Nalcor said "we looked at it " and Ed Martin said Nflders were not interested in Conservation……so lame excuses for no proper evaluation.
      As i understand it, government itself had ruled out DSM as an option, so does Ed Martin say they were instructed not to properly evualte that, or does govn (Danny) say that nalcor siad it was not a viable component, so just finger pointing?
      As late as last year Andy Wells wrote that any serious incentive efficiency plan would require government sanction………so Andy went thumbs down on incentives recommended by Tom Johnson.

    • "Available knowledge at the time", yes suspect we have not heard the last of these words, as lock was on the radio in the last couple of days trying to justify muskrat, with those very words. Well, guess what if you don't have enough knowledge. Don't you wait until you have assertained that knowledge to make the right decision. There was no deadline to start muskrat except by those that were responsible for getting enough knowledge, as the scantion date was arbitrularly set by govt and nalcor, and hinged a lot on when Harper approved the loan guarantee. So maybe the inquiry will determine how much knowledge was available and if nalcor cherry picked the available knowledge just to justify the cost as least cost to try and validate their decision. Seems that's what lock was trying to do. And let's not forget what their oil estimates were, totally unreasonable at the time, as anyone one following what was happening in the us of a, they were predicting self sufficiency in oil, and their fracking program, so once the us demand for Arab oil dropped, the world prices would follow. Alberta should have seen that too, but think they had their heads in the tars sands. So just watch these words "available knowledge at the time" they wil become house hold terms the same as "least cost option" was in the past number of years. Both are garbage, baloney or as Kathy d would say hogwash.

  23. Is it not appropriate to know if there is conflict of interest with anyone involved with this inquiry, from the judge down?
    Any one or a close family member with shares in either Fortis or Emera? Telegram , CBC, NTV, VOCM….do your duty and ask that!

  24. Let me borrow the thoughts of our foremost ambassador, an anti-muskrateer, who wrote:

    This Inquiry has to combine a forensic analysis into past mistakes with a progressive analysis of future solutions. In my opinion the greater part of the effort has to identify options which will make the future better.
    They bet that consumer demand for electricity would increase. The latest projection from Nalcor shows a decline.
    A combination of energy efficiency and a better rate structure would have weaned us off electric space heating which is exacerbating peak demand in winter. Demand side management would have enabled Holyrood to be decommissioned as a source of base load power. Yet we committed to an additional source of high cost power, against all the warnings.
    The 2011 reference to the PUB was flawed. Now we have an Inquiry which has been given a similarly limited terms of reference..with no mandate to explore future options.
    Are we not repeating the same mistake by restricting the terms of reference?
    Surely the main focus of the Inquiry has to be to find out what options can be pursued to mitigate the risks and to keep rates as low as possible.
    Do you agree that the main focus should be on the future, learning from the past….and to explicitly address environmental impacts, the failure of democratic institutions, and that its mandate should explicitly include these matters?
    If you agree, can we as citizens ensure that this happens and that the mandate of the Commissioner is expanded?

    Winston Adams

  25. What can we learn about Judge LeBlanc, Peng@ says do a Google search.
    I find he served at Corner Brook then transfered to St John;s recently back and forth from the Trial to the family Court. Wife of Danny past law partner replaced him at Corner Brook.
    That he approved Ches Crosbie moose class action going ahead, which Ches eventually lost. Ches had expert testimony on moose issues that was false…that didn't help him.
    That he was a judge for Leo Crockwell, and didn't believe Crockwell that he couldn't hear well, and didn't care that Crockwell had paid thousands of dollars to other lawyers that did nothing for him. Crockwell once worked for Nfld hydro and seemed to be improperly dismissed. The Mounties made a mess trying to get him out of his house in Bay Bulls, costing taxpayers half a million and destroying Crockwell's house. Crockwellwas jailed for more than a year waiting trial.
    For Dunphy , they just took the short cut, and later paid a million into an Inquiry that changed nothing, and most disapproved Barry's findings… for what judge Riche said was cowboy style killing.
    Kate O'Brien as co counsel is the same for both inquiries……….must be a short list of potential candidates!
    That lawyers do this, take money and walk, is not unusual…….one can complain to the law society maybe, an organization to protect layers mostly.
    That's what Google, and memory tells me
    Sound reassuring that we are in good hands to unravel a 12.7 billion of tax payer money lost or possibly gone by fraud?
    Not reassuring at all. Maybe PENG2 can add to this meager info, as he seems content with LeBlanc

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