June 2015, as a General Election beckoned, Abacus Data reported that only 3% of
those polled perceived Muskrat Falls/electricity as “the most important issue
facing NL”. Just 11% expressed concern over the deficit.  

election gave vent to a public which had watched the P.C. Party languish in a
succession of “amateur hours”. They ran the gamut from Dunderdale’s #DarkNL
moment to Frank Coleman’s transparently self-serving attempt to become First Minister for all the wrong reasons. 

Marshall left behind a legacy of deficits and not just those related to the
Budget. There was the Humber Valley Paving affair and the charade of Muskrat
Falls’ oversight.

public was forced to suffer bemusement with the Corporal Premier, Paul Davis,
as a confused mind miscalculated the preeminence of justice in the pursuit of public
safety. They saw a neophyte giving appointment to an unelected Minister who
wouldn’t run; an innocent advancing public policy which had been handed to him
by narcissists and connivers about which he feigned knowledge but didn’t
understand – and still don’t. 

those events gave confirmation that the Tories were both intellectually and
morally bankrupt. Public opinion, while docile about the Government’s worst
manifestations, seemed seized only with seeing the arse end of that motley

Abacus Data has released
details of a January 2018 poll describing attitudes among the same — but far
less comatose — body politic. The firm reports that 53% “think it is likely
that NL will go bankrupt”. The deficit and the province’s finances top the list
of issues facing residents. Three years ago, 3% of those surveyed were
concerned about Muskrat — a figure that has now mushroomed to 62%!

were a variety of other questions asked in the survey, but most are meaningless
because political opinion is fluid now with leadership contests awaiting both the
Tories and the NDP. 

one number — the one showing that the Liberals have failed to get traction at a
time when the other parties are in a sorry state — earns special interest. Voter
intentions, as indicated by Abacus, puts support for the Liberals at just 22%,
compared with 18% for the Tories: a spread within the margin of error. The NDP,
at just 12%, barely clings to the political radar. A whopping 48% are in the “undecided”
column, confirming — as much as it might anything else — that the Liberals are not
just weak, but that political rigor mortis has set in.

for this fact, voter support for the Liberal Party might be approaching the
fortieth percentile. Liberals should be enjoying the deafening sound of a
procession of culpable Tory leaders being run out of town. They should be
watching NDippers embarrassingly admit that they are irreparably lost. But the
Liberals can’t get a leg up on either the naked or the dead.

those “holed up” in the “bowl” that is the Premier’s Office think the Liberals are

Absent the myopia of partisanship the poll numbers suggest that, at the first
opportunity, the public will hand them an anchor and allow them to be
mercifully dropped overboard. As unlikely as it might seem to some, the
Liberals can be tipped over by a featherweight. And they only have themselves to blame.

they hope that, when the Muskrat Falls Inquiry begins, the public examination
of witnesses — exposing the cabal of bootlickers and self-aggrandizers preying
on the tribe — will turn the tide. I think the Liberals are wrong. 

Abacus numbers confirm that the public has no public sympathy for any group of politicians. All
they see — and who can blame them? — is a Liberal Administration indistinguishable
from the group that was run out of office less than three years ago.

high number — 62% — who believe we are headed for insolvency suggests that they
have not been persuaded by the “not a crisis” Liberal leadership. The strategy
employed to soft-peddle our financial predicament is not working. On the
contrary, a sleepy electorate has not only awakened. Voters feel threatened,
perhaps even cornered, by the sheer magnitude of our collective financial
insecurity. Just wait until they get mad!

is an environment that does not excuse the vacuous or the flat-footed. Left with
so few options voters could interpret any change, even Ches Crosbie (boring as
he is) as a welcome alternative to the status quo.  And to that point, I have looked for signs that
Tory leadership hopeful Tony Wakeham is still with us. What I found was barely a
metaphor for Groundhog Day; even Wakeham’s shadow eludes capture – except literally within the last couple of days.

see two possibilities. The first one is a repeat. The Liberals will experience
a “night of the long knives” when Dwight will be thrown out with the stale

the public will turn to “boring”.

Des Sullivan
Des Sullivan
St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada Uncle Gnarley is hosted by Des Sullivan, of St. John's. He is a businessman engaged over three decades in real estate management and development companies and in retail. He is currently a Director of Dorset Investments Limited and Donovan Holdings Limited. During his early career he served as Executive Assistant to Premier's Frank D. Moores (1975-1979) and Brian Peckford (1979-1985). He also served as a Part-Time Board Member on the Canada-Newfoundland Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board (C-NLOPB). Uncle Gnarley appears on the masthead representing serious and unambiguous positions on NL politics and public policy. Uncle Gnarley is a fiscal conservative possessing distinctly liberal values and a non-partisan persusasion. Those values and opinions underlie this writer's views on NL's politics, economy and society. Uncle Gnarley publishes Monday mornings and more often when events warrant.


Bill left public life shortly after the signing of the Atlantic Accord and became a member of the Court of Appeal until his retirement in 2003. During his time on the court he was involved in a number of successful appeals which overturned wrongful convictions, for which he was recognized by Innocence Canada. Bill had a special place in his heart for the underdog.

Churchill Falls Explainer (Coles Notes version)

If CFLCo is required to maximize its profit, then CFLCo should sell its electricity to the highest bidder(s) on the most advantageous terms available.


This is the most important set of negotiations we have engaged in since the Atlantic Accord and Hibernia. Despite being a small jurisdiction we proved to be smart and nimble enough to negotiate good deals on both. They have stood the test of time and have resulted in billions of dollars in royalties and created an industry which represents over a quarter of our economy. Will we prove to be smart and nimble enough to do the same with the Upper Churchill?


  1. Debt and Muskrat Falls will result in 30% reductions in housing prices, higher taxes, freezes to wages and increased unemployment. Not to mention doubling of electricity bills.

    The public will awaken very quickly, and their mood will not be pleasant.

    • I agree.
      However, when the Liberals were elected there were quite a few measures enacted to address the overspending and the lack of revenue.
      Increase in gas tax, deficit levy, etc..
      I recall a damn near revolt in the streets over that as the public did not to feel any pain
      Everyone complained about the taste of the medicine and could not accept any measures that addressed the worsening financial state.
      I am not at all defending the inept NL government but the public were already awoken , were not in a pleasant mood and just wanted the problem to go away with no skin off of their noses……..and now we are where we are years later when it is all but too late to do anything but take it on the chin full force.

  2. Yep….all showing the after effects of a Hugh party….some call it a hangover, others may call it awakening from death as a zombie, and others as a reality shock. And maybe all are right. Yes we had a Hugh parry, a binge, that lasted a decade or more. When did it begin, we are not sure, but around the time that Dannie proclaimed, "we got it, or I got it" the 2 billion that Paul had in his hind pocket, and a little later, when Dannie proclaimed "we are now a have province". The part began around that time, we were the oil Capitol of the world, there was no seas too wide, no place too far, no mountain too high we were in an afforia. The race had begun, no more have nots, no more no sunshine, no more no rags, but just riches and all that it brings. High rollers all, our day in the sun, all new trucks, cars, houses, toys, the best was not even good enough…and drugs of all descriptions, we had it all, with no end in sight, just bring it on, muskrat, hiring frenzie by government, loans, who cares that it has to be paid back, spend at all levels, as if there is no tomorrow. We were in a frenzie to get to the top of the mountain, dragged, pushed, hauled shoved, by God we had to get there, and we did, and in such haste, we didn't even realize we were there, and we started to slide down the other side, almost as fast as we were shoved up. Since only 3 percent recognized muskrat was a boondoggle, and 11 percent that our finances was a problem, 97 and 89 percent didn't even notice, the slide downhill was too fast, including personal financies. And we are stil sliding, and people have had a chance to catch their breath, and realize we are again nearing the bottom, some are bracing for it, others are hopelessly just sliding, including our politicans, maybe the full shock will be felt when we finally hit. Yep, we could have had it all, but too dumb and poorly led to realize it. This is the reality check, and what will we do about it?????

    • An excellent take on things.I couldn't agree more.we are all responsible for what has happened in this province.I wonder how many will be able to take the nasty medicine that is coming, with the same smile on their face that they had when they were racing for top of the heap.

  3. Sadly, we have no elected person in either party with the guts to take the bull by the horns and do what has to be done. There are a few who show some promise but unlikely to come forward as they are expected to tow the party line and will be strangled by the people pulling the strings to keep the status quo. Towing the party line keeps the money flowing to big business.
    UG's assessment of those who are in the running for party leadership is correct. We are doomed to a "steady as she goes b'y" mentality. Those who (in my opinion) have the leadership capabilities (Vardy, Penny, Sullivan etc) and know what and how to do what it takes to get us back on track have shown no obvious interest in putting their names forward.
    Back when Danny Williams took the reins of the PC Party, there was hope that we were headed for our rightful place in Confederation until after he suddenly resigned and threw the reins to a disasterous "leader" and we found out exactly what we did have- a self serving little man with a napoleonic ego who with his "my way or the highway" mentality started us going forward into this mess in the first place. His control over a naive leader paved the way to sanctioning the MF disaster. His controling type "A" personality was also the catalyst for getting what we now have in the form of a severely bloated Public Service.
    Then along comes Mr.Nice Guy who in the couple of years he has been at the helm of Government has shown exactly what we didn't want. Someone has to be pulling his strings as well or else he would have at least put MF "on hold" until a good assessment was made as to where we stood. But no–he allowed it to proceed with what we now know was an unqualified head of Nalcor. When he was "fired" and was given an astounding severance for the mess he perpetrated caused a lot of heads to shake. Then Stan Marshall was put at the helm and we had high hopes of at least someone who knew what he was doing. After he mad a few public comments which confirmed what we had suspected, he, as well, was told to shut up and keep the status quo and on it goes.
    The state of affairs we now find ourselves in is straight out of a Laurel and Hardy skit, and we still have people with a Bowery Boys mentality steering the ship. If it wasn't for the fact that we are teetering on the brink of insolvency because of blatent mis-management of the public purse, it would be laughable. But knowing that there is a very real threat to life and limb of the people downstream from the North Spur and still it proceeds,is incomprehensible. Is there no way at all we, the people of NL,can get some protection from what we have "leading" us.
    It's almost as if we are deliberately being lead to insolvency.
    NL's population of 500K people cannot afford to pay back the debt we currently have and still the money keeps pouring. There are two ways only for the debt to be repaid–(1) declare insolvency and let the feds take over, or (2)Turn over our rights to the Upper Churchill to HQ ,and Labrador as a whole to Quebec and the supply of power for the people of NL will be handled by HQ and Emera all in exchange for relinquishing our responsibility to pay back that which we are unable to.
    What a legacy for Williams who started it, Dunderdale who sanctioned it and Ball who allowed it to continue!! Way to go b'ys! You are exactly what this province didn't need.

    • Nice summary Wayne. Everything about this project is suspect. Your line "It's almost as if we are deliberately being lead to insolvency." is rather interesting. Imagine if someone had the clout/smarts to engineer such a plan that delivers the full rights of the Churchill with both power plants to HQ in a backroom deal… Some plot hey? Far fetched i know, but about as far fetched as believing the key people involved here could be so incompetent on a project of this magnitude. Or was it deceit? Bill 29 and removal of PUB oversight makes one wonder. Either way, history will not look favourably on Danny, Cathy, Dwight and Ed.

  4. I have been saying all along, the future, and how we can influence it, should be the key element for our public focus.
    Hand wringing, mewling and puking isn't going to cut it, of course it never did, why haven't we learned this?

    Is it too late, are we too close to the bottom of the crevasse to ever get back?

    Forty years ago I interviewed a St. George's resident, who, when a young man was a painter of a huge round gas tank somewhere in Quebec. He climbed up the spiral staircase to the top with his paint can and his brush, there weren't any safety devices or PPE in the 1930's.

    While moving around the top he slipped and found himself sliding on his belly, feet first, down over the curve, heading for oblivion. He pulled his fingernails out trying to grab the rivets and as he neared the place where the curve became too steep and he would free fall, he prayed the staircase might be in the area and he had one chance to grab the rail with his bleeding hands.

    Just then, he was caught between the legs by a 4" vent pipe and hanging there was soon the object of rescue. He was three moths in hospital.

    "I would rather have gone over the edge and died", he explained, than be saved by the crushing of his genitals on the pipe. Luck always has a downside, it seems.

    So, should we blindly hope for something small to stop our slide?
    Can we try to arrange something, anything, to halt our slide?

    I am certain Justice LeBlanc won't figure out anything in time;it isn't in his mandate it seems; and, poor old Dwight isn't on the ball enough to do anything.

    Hey, if we can turn the whole mess over to Quebec, Hydro Quebec, or anyone else, why not? The alternative, the current situation, is not acceptable!

    What are we going to do?

  5. There is an alternative solution. We demand independence and insist that all the offshore resources, oil and fish belong to us. We also threaten to default and adopt the Chinese or Russian currency. Canada won't like that, nor the USA. Then we either carry through with the threat and rebuild from scratch or Canada makes us a deal so that we are the beneficiaries of the oil/gas and marine harvest.

  6. The next election will be a great chance for the public to make a statement, turf out all sitting MHA's this will save us millions in gold plated pension payments. We cannot do any worst than the present "Cast of Incompetents". Create an ABC campaign(anyone but current) And watch their attitudes change.

  7. The Abacus indicates that 48% of NLers are in a helpless rage as to who to vote for… the dimwits and culprits who put us in this horrendous situation? Or the dimwits and culprits who've kept us there?

    It is an unfortunate truth that many, many NLers are their own worst enemies when it comes to the dodgy farce that is provincial partisan politics… they're unfailingly suckered in by the political bait and switch scam that the vast majority of NL politicians have been pulling ever since the first vote was cast on this godforsaken rock.

    Now, what to do about it…

    One possible solution might be to encourage the electorate to always vote ABI… ANYONE BUT THE INCUMBENT.

    This would serve to eventually weed out the vast majority of skeets and opportunists who have constantly bedeviled NL politics since time immemorial.

    It would also result in more cost effective government because those culprits wouldn't be eligible for a pension when they're voted out of office, thereby saving taxpayers from the ultimate insult of having to support those vile SOBs after they leave politics.

    • I thought about the same thing (one term and get rid of them-no pension). But then I realized, they would see this trend and just change the rules to make it eligible for a pension after just one election win. They're too cute by half.

  8. I am of the opinion that MF will be one of the largest financial disasters that we as a province will face. I am also of the opinion that we may very well default on the MF loan and that we will be ripe for the picking from Hydro Quebec to bail us out. Will we take the meager scraps offered by HQ just to keep us afloat? And we thought we got a bad deal with the Upper Churchill? That will be a joke compared to the lopsided deal we will be forced to take with MF. All because Danny's ego would not allow him to consider alternatives.

  9. "Did we need the power and sabotage". Sabotage meaning, deliberate damage, obstruct, impair especially politically or military. Impede meaning delay,prevent,obstruct, disrupt. At the time of sanction nalcor and the government had to convince the people or the average Joe that we needed the power. How did they accomplish that?? The Liberty report advised us that the main reason for the 2012 dark nl was lack of maintaince at holyrood, hardwoods and stephenville. Someone on this site mentioned that Liberty mentioned the word impede some 70 times in their report. The lack of maintainse especially at holyrood was the major cause of dark nl in addition to the transformers fire at sunny side. Jerome predicted brown outs as a prelude to it happening. The third line to the Avalon was delayed and cancelled. This was all a deliberate plan by nalcor and the government to prove to the public that we needed muskrat power. So in effect nalcor and the government committed sabotage against the people to prove their point, at least in their mind, that we needed muskrat power. How low could they go. They caused undue suffering on the people, and put lives at risk , to make their point, and Cathie proclaimed it did not cause a state of emergency and resigned.

  10. I had mentioned the use of the word IMPRUDENT by Liberty some 70 times. That number may not be exact, but I remember counting them in one of their reports. The term is important, because when imprudent decisions and actions are done, the costs, usually paid by ratepayers, can be denied by the PUB, and must be absorbed by Nfld Hydro, of Nfld power , if they are imprudent.
    Yes . lack of maintenance and delay of the third line all helped to advance Muskrat. Even worse was delay of energy efficiency and conservation in Nfld.
    I have submitted to the Inquiry on that aspect; NS reducing peak loads now by 40 MW a year, starting this in 2008, and big benefits to residential customers, and reduced or delays new generating plants.
    One example: reducing peak load by efficient heatpumps, our power companies said no reduction likely when the weather is cold, and not more than 0.3 kw per house>
    My findings from monitoring: for a 4000 sq ft R2000 house, 21 times more than they say, and when comparing to programmable thermostats with setback, we found that method, setbacks, increases peak load (contributed by a single house) by a factor of 46 times what they say, being 13.8 kw extra instead of 0.3 kw .
    For a smaller house the difference is about 10 times what they say, 3.0 kw instead of 0.3 kw. When looking at 170,000 houses, the grid demand reduction potential is about 510 MW. For 2.2kw per house reduction= 374 MW reduction. Small details?
    Winston Adams

  11. Liberals did not do a good PR job showing the extent of the mess the Tories had left. As a result they took the brunt of the criticism when they had to roll their sleeves up and tackle a catastrophe of epic proportions. I guess if the public wants to put the finishing touches on the financial viability of the province they can reelect the Tories to finally sink Titanic Newfoundland.

  12. There is only one way to show dissatisfaction in the next election…Voting in another corrupt Government doesn't make sense…I plan on voting but will be drawing a large black X through all the names on the ballot…

  13. If costs for Imprudent actions should NOT be charged to ratepayers, and it is well established already that MF was imprudent, and should be easy for the Inquiry to show that, then a finding of imprudence by the Commissioner should enable the PUB to do likewise and disallow any of the 12.7 billion to ratepayer. Is that logical?

    • That is total logic, and I agree with you that the inquiry will see it that way, and we will be saved by the fickle finger of fate. That is the power of positive thinking. I always knew Stan the man was capable of pulling a rabbit (muskrat) out of a hat.

  14. I heard snippets of Stan Marshall's comments on VOCM, and reported how he was calm starting off, but became excited in an irritated way as it moved along. The Telegram photo shows Wade Locke in the background. Seems Marshall was invited by the head of the economics dept, which is of course Mr Economic Boondoggle Locke himself.
    Marshall who seemed open to the idea of an Inquiry, now very upset, impeding his key people, like Gil Bennett I suppose.
    The big news is that soon we can import dirty coal power from Nova Scotia, and save 10 cents per person per day, and spend 50 cents a day on more health care from the pollution that flows our way with westerly winds. This is not even clean coal like Trump talks about, where you can send the CO2 and other junk deep underground. This is like smoke from the Kyle stuff. But our weather is so warm, and peak demand so low, do we need to import that dirty power? Cheaper than Holyrood he says……can they instead send some low cost wind power?
    Now Stan is still convinced that the Spur will hold. So who to believe? I had doubts and offered 4 to one odds that it would fail. No one took the bet. Stan's assurance and other events has caused me to reconsider, and I now withdraw the offer. And 4 to 1 odds was a bit timid of me. My new offer is 10 to 1 odds,to 10,000 dollars, that the North Spur will fail within one year of full elevation rise, if not before then.
    One should not dismiss Stan's opinion, but then Nalcor does not have much of a tract record for world class engineering so far, and there was the slide a few days ago within a gun shot of the so called stabilisation area…..the Kettle drainage area.
    Don't want to add to the anxiety of Mud Lake and Goose Bay residents, but a wall of water and ice and mud seems a real high risk to me, and I don't even buy a loto ticket, as the odds are so bad. So 10 to 1 odds should see lots of confident Nalcor engineers take the bet, right?
    Winston Adams

    • MINUTIAE………that is the problem with that crowd of UG naysayers, we are all obsessed with minutiae, says Stan Marshall. We should be focused on the big picture. Minutiae worries and torments Stan
      They say the devil is in the details.
      I suppose minutiae are small things, of no consequence, like
      Do we need the power?
      Were costs falsified?
      Does salt contaminated lines on the GNP or not
      Do we need HQ consent for proper water flow
      Will mini-splits decrease power sales and reduce Stan's dividends?
      Will the north Spur hold up?
      Is life and safety of people and property downstream of value?
      Can we import substantial power from NS during a cold snap if MF goes down and no Holyrood for backup?
      Will ice loading take down the DC lines taking weeks or months to repair?
      Will the local people have food contamination from methylmercury?
      Is quick clay really quick or is that a myth?
      Will blended rates be 17 cents or 23 cents?
      Will MF turn a profit in 57 years , or never?
      Is the elasticity factor for electricity to be .3, .5, .7 or more?
      Will power growth on the island be 0.8 percent long term , or no growth, or negative growth?
      One could go on and on, but one hell of a biggie minutiae is the impact of paying off 12.7 billion, on a population of .5 million, is it not?
      Stan Minutiae Marshall………says we should focus on the big things, the project as a whole….there's benefits to this , he says. What are the benefits, and To whom goes the benefits?
      Is there minutiae details of the devil's making that he would prefer to stay hidden, that Leblanc might expose?
      Stan and Wade Locke, birds of a feather……….by garr, Bruno was right. He warned about Stan when UG and even I was about to give him a chance. He could have shut her down with only 6 billion wasted, so it seemed. Take comfort, 12.7 billion is still good, with 3 years yet to go, and unknown unknowns yet to surface.
      Such nonsense being preached. Did someone once say …The truth will set you free? We get the same quality of truth from Stan as from Wade. Stan used to be considered a straight shooter, ……was he really?
      Winston Adams

    • WA:

      I wont take your bet. However we must also define failure—there will not be a dramatic failure the media like to dramatize, the failure will be of excessive movement and seepage—typical earthen failure is what will be seen.

      On Marshall, I have a different take than you—he was clear in that there are engineering(positive or fact base reasons) and political reasons for MF–he was brought in to stop the sinking and try and right a failed project. MF execution was beyond the stop point in 2003 and was a forgone conclusion—its sanction was 100% political, just remember why Manning/Marshall/Sullivan et all were ousted from Dear Leaders cabinet. To fully understand what went wrong we also need to understand who was in government at the time and their history, present and future.

      I would offer that he has succeeded in his task to improve the status to date. Cancelling/mothballing was never in the cards or feasible after 2003.


    • Seems you are better informed on the politics than I, PENG2, and to say that MF was ordained 9 years before sanction, means a lot stayed silent on the issue and the risk, including many engineers. A lot of skullduggery, misinformation, misleading information, kept from the public, up to sanction time and still today.
      If this failed project is to be righted, I do not see it, and even you suggest it may never operate.
      You previously were evaluating whether the Spur might quickly fail, suggesting data and testing was inconclusive, now you seem to have made up your mind that dramatic failure cannot happen. And yet you will not take a 10 to 1 bet! You may not want to lose 1000,nor win 10,000, but your pay scale should allow a 100 bet, same odds?
      I spent time writing a submission to Leblanc, on technical issues that I have experience with, not knowing if it will ever serve any purpose. I hoped you were doing likewise with your knowledge and experience, and apparent concern.
      You and I know Bruno dismissed technobabble, but technobabble it critical to sound engineering design and sound economic solutions……which we both know should have shelved MF. To be silent on technobabble is to permit all those false assumptions, known to be false, go under the radar by the Commissioner. Nice and easy for engineers to blame politicians and DW only, but what of the enablers and those who turned a blind eye to this tragic blow to our economy and our future?
      Truly, this is an engineering failure of a major scale……think of the engineering projects that 12.7 billion could buy that serve a useful purpose to our province.
      So I expect you made no submission to the Leblanc Inquiry?
      I used to think engineers had higher ethics than lawyers, but little difference it seems. Marshall….lawyer and engineer, he should have shouted from the rooftop against Muskrat before sanction, perhaps no one understood the boondoggle in advance more than he did…….he could have warned loudly, if only he had warned like Vardy and a few others. I suspect his self interests kept his tongue still. Pity and I have lost what respect I had for him. Can he pull a rabbit out of a hat? I hope so, but doubt it. And to give absolute assurance that the Spur will not fail, fail dramatically…….I think is irresponsible. Like the shuttle that exploded, that could not happen. I truly would like to have such assurance, lives are at stake. Science and sound engineering is essential, not opinions swayed by other motives.
      I am pissed with this deception and the impact on future generations here.
      And DW only worried whether Costco starts their foundation soon,not losing sleep over Mud Lake, but whether his net worth might be more or less than Marshall.
      Winston Adams.

    • You sometimes talk in riddles or certainly not very explicit. We all know it was Dannie's brainchild, we know most of his history, present and some idea of the future. He signed the term paper, all on tv and who was there. We know who he picked as his successor, his energy minister. Cathie scantioned muskrat and resigned a couple of months later. We know something of her past, and present. Not sure who you are referring to. Eddie was the main man as we all know, till the money was all gone then he resigned. Not sure what other point you were making. Yes, we all know it was not meant to be stopped, unless we elected a government that had the intestinal fortitude to stop it, but guess that was not in the stars. Can't see how the status has improved much, just that we are more than two years further along in the project, and some things would be coming together, as one might expect. Please explain further.

    • I would suggest that there were many people in-the-know from 2003 until Ed's departure that could've leaked damning details to heighten the publics awareness this project was not exactly as sold. Whether it was no morals or no balls… there were no takers. Bruno was on the airwaves regularly warning of everything from water management rights to financing issues, contract types to a problem North Spur. If he had this much insight to a flawed project before sanctioning key players involved must have too. I bet there are many people who wished they had come forward 5, 6 years ago. An 'informed' angry public back then may have made feasibility much easier and saved us billions. That's just my two cents.

    • WA:
      I am just not convinced that my past construction experience allows me to believed that the reservoir will fully filled and then experience a dramatic failure 1-2yrs later. I am more of the opinion that indicators will be present during impounding that would effectively amount to a failure and halt impounding—if we even get that far.
      My memory tells me that NL Power said (Marshall or Ludlow, I cant remember which at MUN presentation) at the time it was a ‘misguided exercise to consider MF’. NL Power by their absence in the partnership to build MF should have warned many—a private profit driven company wanted no part of this fiasco with too many uncertainties.
      In saying that Marshall made MF better, I am simply making a statement that he has executed better in the past 2yrs than Martin et al did in the previous 5-8yrs. Make no mistake, mothballing was never an option to him (nor should it have been in my look over progress vs balance sheets)—he was simply put there to execute completion better than his predecessor and I suggest he did.

      Anony @ 20:57:
      The important name that I mentioned was Marshall—not Tom but rather Elizabeth. Did anyone now or then think about why she left politics in the way she did? Little was said in the media, but similar to Manning and Sullivan, the most astute probably could figure there was no way to work in His cabinet—but I am not sure anyone really understood how restrictive it really was then.
      Simply put, a full political analysis of incomers, departees and the how/why would be revealing for this period in Confederation Building.

      dm @ 22:01:
      I have said before that the info was always there (or at least enough to question the motives)—but most chose to ignore and evidence by the governments approval ratings at the time. 9/10 approved of the government and 2/3 approved of the project—either we were lemmings or willfully blind.

      I am not 100% convinced this is a simple ethics issue anymore–in simple terms, when this was sanctioned, the client (ie NL government) directed Nalcor (the contractor with its various subs) to provide a product. What scares me most is that as a results of the Inquiry I expect it to be said that the populace doesn’t have the ‘right’ to dictate to elected members and that we lose our ability to control government when we elected them—I know some maybe feel that way now, but I think that would be democratically devastating country wide to have it on the record.
      I am not sure how influential of an input engineering was into MF design, sanction, and execution-and for that reason, I agree with WA that this will likely be the engineering fail of the past 100yrs or so.


    • Thanks peng2, and I did know which Marshall you were referring to, think she made some statement that had not been approved by Dannie, so out she went. Manning had a similar disagreement about fisheries, I think, and he was out. For get why Sullivan left. But not sure what that has to do with muskrat, since that was all before muskrat was conceived. So the only point was Dannie was a one man show, which we all knew. But that is all politics, and I know muskrat was political too, but it also include the beginnings of nalcor. So we all know Dannie announced it and resigned soon after. What involvement he had after, I guess, is all speculation. But I would prefer to talk about our own company, nalcor, and the muskrat boondoggle. Know they are political too, but a lot of players there that are not politicans. But agree mostly with WA in his comments to you.

    • PENG2, I agree that possible failure of the North Spur may give indicators during impounding that would permit halting impounding.But that dramatic failure may also result, given the nature of quick clay, how much is there and the location and the technical properties and analysis.One would hope that evidence of a failure would permit avoidance of a catastropic event. The risk lies in the uncertainty of which may happen. Without appropriate testing and analysis, there is mere opinion, and unreliable safety factors.
      A local resident who sees slides in these areas can form an opinion from his observations that suggests the North Spur is not save. But through testing and proper analysis by expert engineers in this field, or engineers like you, having significant knowledge to questions the safety, would be important to the Inquiry, which otherwise likely would not view this issue as important. your opinion is an informed one, that may result Leblanc to order or recommend an expert panel to assess and report prior to impoundment.
      This but one,(but likely the most serious one) of many technical engineering issues that will contribute to MF be the failure of the century.
      Yes, Marshall executes much better, and now cites safety first, like Ed Martin, but issues of methlymercury on local food, importing coal burning power from NS, 15 million ? tons of CO2 per year from Fortis operations, lack of safety assurances for the North Spur stability……….., these suggest ethical deficits for Marshall, not project execution.
      And to suggest we now will look to New York for our MF power instead of Mass, is grasping for straws to make a silk purse from a sows ear……..to try and convince the public,that he can turn the boondoggle into a success. Sounds like Jerome Kennedy promising one dollar a kwh sales at times of Boston peak summer loads. Marshall says it will permits Nalcor to make a dollar. How many dollars? We have an albatross around our neck with MF.
      I think the Inquiry should expose how much influence the engineering had in permitting the sanction of MF. And in this Stan and Nfld Power should have led the charge to inform the public of a boondoggle in the making…….Vardy may have seen the poor economic case,but Marshall, also the technical problems and false assumptions being fed the public. That they were just a private company is but an excuse, and now hurting Nfld Power and Fortis reputation.
      Winston Adams

    • So if I understand your bet proposal correctly, if I put up $10,000 and the North Spur DOES NOT fail within one year of full elevation rise, you would pay me $100,000? How is failure defined exactly?

    • You put up 1000, and if no failure , I pay you 10,000
      You put up 100, if no failure, I pay you 1000
      For now my limit with those odds is 10,000 total.
      10,000 would allow 100 people to bet 100 each.
      It more takers, I would consider it.
      Failure: within 1 year of full design elevation rise, to 39 m., Failure to be either major breach failure or incremental leakage etc sufficient to cause lowering of the level for repair or upgrades to avoid worse failure.

  15. Now what to make of power from ns dirty coal!! I smell a scam, says Joe blow, may take a while to make scense of it. So we are spending 12$ billion to get power for ns, we won't really need it by the time it gets here in 2020, but we will still have to pay the entire cost, around 23 cents or migrated by a special hydro tax. Ns will get free power or maybe at 5 cents for some. We are now getting dirty coal power from ns, when we don't need it, but cheaper than holyrood if it were up and running. Yes clear as mud for sure. Well that's the kind of scams you get on line, send me 500 dollars and I will send you 5000 but don't cash it until I have spent your 500 and then send me 5000 of your money, because I need to come visit you since we met on eharmony dating site and we can have a romance on the 5000 I sent you. Yes, that seems like a scam, but should I go for it. Seems so sincere, think I will. And I am looking for true love. So we have Stan the man communicating with ns, a sister province that wants to romance another sister province on the power line. But how does he know if he is communicating to ns, it could be one of the former premiers of this province, or even the current one, or maybe the six million dollar man, or maybe the Russians, or maybe online to lock, and it could be wittingly or unwittingly, we really don't know. And of course it is all by Twitter, Facebook or eharmony, so can't be really sure. But I like to call a spade a spade and I think it is a boondoggle scam. And I know what to do, I am calling the rnc, the rcmp and the fbi. Muller and Leblanc will sort this all out and they will all end up in jail with Trumpie. Fool me once, shame on me, fool me twice….well it ain't gonna happen. Now uncle, that makes about as much scense as muskrat ever did, so you have to publish this or shut down your blog and mothball muskrat without an inquiry.

  16. And here's yet another lamentable example of the so-called "transparent and accountable" governance of NL, this time compliments of Minister of Finacne Tom Osborne, yet another in a long line of partisan gutless wonders who've found themselves totally out of their depth when it come to competently administering the affairs of the province:


    Mr. Osborn, it's common public knowledge that when "world-class expert" Ed Martin left Nalcor he was instantly transmogrified into "The Six Million Dollar Man". We even know all about how your premier, DWIGHT BALL, played a leading role in that ridiculous sideshow known as the ED MARTIN SEVERANCE PAY SCANDAL.

    So as Ms. Frampton clearly points out, your cynical attempt to cover up the severance pay of yet another horrendously overpaid public servant from your hideously bloated public service by citing "privacy" concerns… is just another red herring motivated by your vile game of partisan political expediency, the common good be damned.

    DON'T continue to insult our intelligence with your politically-motivated BS.

    I for one will be cheering the day that these partisan fools and skeets are effectively relieved of their responsibilities of governance when this financial basket case of a province is finally taken over by the feds or commission or whoever is appointed to clean up the fiscal wreckage left by these idiots.


    • The indignation by Anonymous 12:32 and Pam Frampton that somehow the current legislation requires such disclosure is misplaced and is much too late. I will grant that the severance should be available and could be of concern but NLC (and the taxpayer) were on the hook for that whenever he departed, if not now then later.

      However the decision to show Mr Winter the door without cause and without notice meant the taxpayers are on the hook for a cost that did not have to be incurred had not he lost favour with the Liberals. The legislation states

      (i) "total compensation" means the total amount of compensation paid in a year to an employee, but does not include leave payout or an amount paid in lieu of notice upon termination of employment.

      Note the exemptions particularly "an amount paid in lieu of notice upon termination of employment."
      So when Government decides to rid themselves of someone they do not like then the taxpayer does not get to see how much it cost. "Openness and Transparency" – not in our time.

    • Winter was fired "without cause"??

      That's not the narrative Osborne was telling:



      Winter was fired and proper bloody thing I say, in view of these allegations of nepotism… one doesn't have to "break the rules" to behave unethically.

      So it comes back to Osborne's double-speak and the "vile partisan political expediency" anon 12:32 refers to… they wanted rid of Winter but they didn't want to risk the political damage like the uproar that resulted from the Ed Martin severance scandal.

      What I find astounding is that these partisan politicians actually think they can get away purveying such a blatant load of BS to the public. It truly indicates the colossal level of naivety they operate at.

  17. The danger of Trump to democracy in the USA is real. It has been pointed out that those who work at White House take their cues from the top, and so deceit and deception is the norm.
    Here with Nalcor, under Ed Martin, that was the mode of operation, with all taking cues from the top.
    Unfortunately, under Stan Marshall, that seems to have continued,even if not to the same level as before, it is a small degree of change. And those underneath Marshall,, take their cues from the top.
    So PENG2 seems aligning himself with Marshall more and more. And all the other engineers? Silent as a mouse. Focus on execution of the boondoggle, as the Inquiry a is thorn in the side of job execution. And a thorn to Wade Locke and MUN as a whole.
    Truth, transparency,and exposure of the process and the incompetency of people who inflicted and enabled this madness which threatens our economic well being, be dammed. Such is the "minutiae" that torments Marshall, that might negatively impact execution of a boondoggle.
    MF was supposed to be delivering power 5 years after sanction in 2012, so by Dec 2017. Our low cost island power was delivered to Nova Scotia last month, but produces no revenue for Nfld.
    Marshall says we can import dirty coal power next week, but not free power, just cheaper than Holyrood. This is a mere PR statement rather than much of a practical benefit, Nova Scotia being a net importer of power, not an exporter. Cost effective, reliable Muskrat Power to offset Holyrood is still a pipe dream.
    Marshall, when he came on board, said he wanted For Muskrat to finish strong.
    A 12.7 billion boondoggle cannot finish strong. Indeed, PENG2 has questioned if it will finish, or even make sense to finish…..if finish is defined as including impoundment to 39 meters,… as it may not be prudent to do so.
    Can someone better define what a "strong finish" looks like?

    Winston Adams

    • Yes, we live in a democracy…I think, or thought. So the two cables across the Cabot strait is up and running, is that a fact, just asking, because our sharp informative local news media is not keeping the average Joe informed. Are we now exporting free power to NS on one line and importing coal produced pay for power on the other??? We at least need to know. Can someone confirm or deny this. Not expecting secretive nalcor, our own company to advise us, but should not the brave local media not be telling us this loud and clear. Can they not inform us of their plans for the next three years, until muskrat starts pushing electrons across belle isle strait. Or are we all under Trumpie control. Ball et el told us about this strong finish as well as Stan the man. Come on CBC, ntv, vocm, telegram and others, where are you besides at the court house, or chasing an ambulance.