The Impossible Dream Part I: Financing the Labrador Transmission Link

Guest Post by David Vardy

This is Part I of a series on the financing of Muskrat Falls
and will focus on the 1150 km transmission line from Muskrat Falls, across the Strait of Belle Isle, and down the Island to Soldiers Pond, outside of St. John’s. Part
II will deal with the financing of the generation component. We will refer to
the line as the Labrador Island Link (LIL), which is the only high voltage
direct current (HVDC) line in the province. It is owned jointly by Emera and by
The LIL’s direct costs, not including financing costs during
construction, amount to $3.7 B of the $10.1 B direct costs of the LIL and the
generation assets combined, representing 37% of the capital assets which
comprise the NL components of Muskrat Falls. Cost of financing during
construction brings the total LIL cost to $4,959 or 39% of the overall $12.7
billion estimated cost. 

The Economics of Public Utilities
In a hydroelectric project like Muskrat Falls both
transmission and generation are capital intensive, which means that operating
and labour costs will be relatively low during operations while capital costs
will be high. For the LIL the main annual costs are the return on equity, the
interest on guaranteed debt, followed by depreciation and then operating and
maintenance costs (including fuel).
Public utilities often require large investments in order to
provide services to many users, such as transmission and communications lines.
They tend to come in large units, such as long distance transmission lines,
hydroelectric dams, and nuclear power stations and cannot easily be replicated,
certainly not in a small province. The LIL is a perfect example of such a large
indivisible unit which cannot be replicated without placing new towers and new
wires. Monopolies tend to form in an industry where it makes no sense to
duplicate infrastructure and where competing firms find it hard to gain access.
In order to control such monopolies governments establish public utility
tribunals to protect consumers and to simulate the impact of competition.
There is a balancing act that public utility boards must
achieve in keeping rates affordable for consumers while at the same time
allowing investors a competitive rate of return, sufficient to encourage the
large investment in infrastructure that is necessary. Power rates need to be
affordable to consumers yet high enough to cover costs, including a return on
equity investment. 
Public utilities boards set rates through a hearing process
which involves a lot of technical data, including demand projections and
projections of costs. Fuel costs must be estimated, along with labour costs and
other operating costs. The cost of borrowed capital is estimated, based on
projected borrowing and forecasts of the interest cost which must be incurred. 
The concept of a “test year” is used to avoid having to
undertake costly hearings too frequently. Included in the rate-setting exercise
is an estimate of how high the return on equity (ROE) must be to ensure the
investment capital is forthcoming. The estimate is comprised of a risk free
component which is normally 30 year government of Canada bonds. To this an
estimate is added an estimate of the risk premium appropriate for the electric
utility industry. The regulator compiles all of these costs together and sets
power rates to generate the allowed rate of return. These costs are compiled
annually and equity investors receive their return while those who invest in
bonds receive interest payments. The yearly costs are known as “revenue
requirements” and they include capital costs (ROE, depreciation, interest
payments) as well as labour costs and the cost of fuel purchases.

Public Utility Accounting 
The methodology applied by regulators to calculate these
revenue requirements is known as “cost of service” regulation, because in each year
the costs are added and the ratepayer is called upon to pay for all costs
incurred, as verified by the regulator. The methodology used for Muskrat Falls’
generation assets is quite different, mainly because the province’s equity
return is not paid out on a yearly basis but is instead recovered over the 50
year life of the project, leading to rising payments toward the end of the
project’s life. This is in contrast to the normal declining revenue
requirements of a typical public utility following COS methodology, as
exemplified by the LIL. The reason for adopting this non-traditional approach
was to avoid rate shock. However, as we all know, this lofty goal was not
achieved and monumental rate shock is staring us all in the face. 
The charts below show the impact of combining COS and non-COS
accounting. Chart 1 shows the full revenue requirements to be recovered from
customers on the Island for generation and transmission assets. Because
generation assets are more costly than the transmission assets, and also
require an equity rich (35%) capital structure, their revenue requirements
dominate the picture. Revenue requirements for Muskrat Falls will in the first
year more than double the $700 million in revenue requirements prior to Muskrat
Falls coming on stream, adding costs exceeding $800 million and raising utility
cost on the Island to a staggering $1.5 billion, higher than our spending on
education and 50% of health care spending. By 2030 these additional Muskrat
Falls costs will rise to $1 billion annually and by 2069 they will amount to
over $2.5 billion. 

Each chart demonstrates the dominant importance of dividends
(ROE), depreciation and interest costs. Charts 1 and 2 show how ROE is the main
driver of rising costs.

Chart 2 shows the cost of service (COS) of the LIL which
follows a more traditional pattern, with slightly declining costs over the 50
year period. Unlike Charts 1 and 3 the cost of equity capital declines
throughout the 50 year period as equity investment is repaid and ROE declines
as a share of total revenue requirements for the LIL.

Chart 3 shows costs
associated with the Muskrat Falls site and the transmission line from Churchill
Falls to Muskrat Falls, without the LIL costs. They rise very sharply over the
period due to the back end loading of capital costs flowing from the ROE and
redemption of equity.

In Part II of this series the rationale and implications
of this departure from COS accounting will be explained.

Nalcor, which is the sole owner of the generation assets and
which shares ownership of the LIL with Emera, is a non-regulated crown
corporation. The generation assets are allowed to earn an 8.4% ROE, as set
forth in the Power Purchase Agreement. Equity investment in the LIL is allowed
to earn an ROE equal to the ROE earned by other regulated entities in NL,
currently 8.5%, even though LIL is not a regulated entity.

Federal Government Loan Guarantee: Who bears the risk?

The 2012 federal loan guarantee agreement provided $5 B in
loan financing and this amount was raised to $7.9 B in December of 2016. The
original agreement established minimum equity levels for each project
component. For the LIL the minimum equity was set at 25%, leaving 75% to be
financed by debt. For the generation assets the minimum equity was set much
higher, at 35%. The higher the equity share of the capital structure the more
protection there is for the bondholders. Shareholders are left bearing huge
risks because their investment will be the first to go into the void of
business failure.

This is based on the notion that the equity shareholder must
absorb the loss if the investment is not successful or if the entity is facing
bankruptcy. Under the loan guarantee the province of NL is out front, placing
its investment of $4 B at risk, with the federal government somewhat less
exposed. The 35% equity minimum for generation is a signal that the generation
component was always seen as the riskiest part of the project, riskier than the
LIL, for which 25% equity was required and riskier than the Maritime Link, for
which Emera was required to supply 30% of the risk capital. 
The loan guarantee agreement and its call for a 10% higher
equity component for generation, 35% instead of 25%, was more than fully
justified. This has been borne out by the escalation of direct costs for
generation, which have risen by 123%, compared with 81% for the LIL. The
project delays have arisen largely because of problems at the site rather than
because of transmission issues. Earned progress on the LIL is 97.7% compared
with 78% at the generation site, an indicator of the slippage in the schedule
at the site.
The cost of equity capital is much higher than the cost of
borrowed funds. The Oversight Committee report for the period ending September
30, 2017 discloses that the average interest rate on the original 2012 $5 B
loan was 3.8%, while the effective rate on the 2016 guarantee was 2.9%. The
allowed ROE on the LIL is 8.5% while the ROE on generation assets is 8.4%. The
additional 10% of required equity adds to the capital cost of the generation
project by calling for funding an additional 10% of its capital cost with
equity, costing 8.4% rather than debt financing with a weighted average cost of
The federal loan guarantee was vital to the financing of the
Muskrat Falls project. The federal government made its financing contingent on
certain key conditions. One was the need for participation by Nova Scotia,
infusing the project with an inter-provincial rationale and tied to the closure
of coal-burning plants in Nova Scotia. The benefits to Nova Scotia claimed in
the 2010 Term Sheet were enhanced in subsequent negotiations. The original 20%
of Muskrat Falls power for Emera, in exchange for 20% of the total investment,
was improved in 2013 when the public utilities regulator in Nova Scotia
rejected the Term Sheet and demanded additional power at market rates.

Power purchase agreement pledged as collateral

The federal government also required a pledge of repayment
through a Power Purchase Agreement under which power consumers in NL would
repay the guaranteed loans. The PPA was a take-or-pay contract between Nalcor
Energy and its wholly owned subsidiary NL Hydro. In addition the province
undertook to provide a completion guarantee which committed the province to
inject any additional funds required in the form of equity. In the event of
further cost escalation it would be the province who would be most exposed,
injecting new funds if necessary and agreeing to bear the full loss of its
equity in the event the project encountered stormy weather.

The province also enacted new legislation to ensure that
consumers in the province would not be able to seek alternative sources of
power, whether through buying from outside sources, once the Island was interconnected,
or by buying from independent power producers in the province. The legislation
forced consumers to deal with Nalcor and strengthened its existing monopoly
powers. It is hard to imagine more regressive legislation strengthening the
evils of monopoly power while exempting Nalcor from the jurisdiction of the
PUB. The legislation is also in defiance of the Open Access policies mandated
by the American regulator, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). If
Nalcor plans to export power it has to be in compliance with FERC rules and the
legislation is an affront to those rules.

Limits to Revenue Recovery

Legislation can only go so far in removing consumer choice. In
a rapidly changing energy world consumers have more and more options to substitute
alternative forms of energy other than electricity. The first electricity use
to be displaced will be inefficient resistance-type space heating as people
introduce heat pumps and engage in serious energy efficiency. With the prospect
of doubling of rates and with advance notice to consumers of major rate
escalation it is likely that demand for electricity will collapse. New research by Dr. James Feehan at Memorial provides an estimate of long term electricity
demand, using NL data, showing that consumers are likely to demonstrate an
energetic resistance to rate increases

Export revenues from Muskrat Falls are likely to be low. In
fact Nalcor has assumed small export revenues in their response to ATIPPA
requests. Revenues from domestic sales and from power exports will not come
close to paying the substantial obligations the province has incurred.

Dividends: the Impossible Dream

The PUB can establish an allowed rate of return on equity but
they can offer no guarantee that it will be achieved by increasing rates. If
consumers are determined to find other substitutes they will simply refuse to
buy Muskrat Falls power. This is not just likely; it is probable. Demand will
collapse and revenues may decrease, rather than increase. Attempts to raise
rates to offset this collapse will be counterproductive. The result is that the
8.5% ROE on the LIL may not be achieved nor will the 8.4% ROE on generation
assets. In fact PlanetNL in Can Muskrat Falls Float After a Bailout? has shown that the revenues from Muskrat
Falls may not even cover interest cost, let alone ROE. This means that the
large investments, by our province, by Emera and by the federal government, are
in jeopardy. Revenues are unlikely to come close to covering costs.

The promised dividends spoken of by former CEO Ed Martin, by
Premiers Dunderdale and Marshall, by former Energy Minister Kennedy and by
Finance Minister Wiseman may be simply a delusion, a mirage. 
We turn in Part II to the financing model used to finance the
generation assets and to how this model deals with power rates, dividends and
the uncertain prospect for placing Muskrat Falls on a sound footing.
David Vardy


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. So, it is much worse than anybody thought or knew; too late, maybe, but this analysis is clear and unambiguous, the boondoggle is ruining our way of life, our lives, and the place of the province in the world.

    The disrespectful Newfie joke takes on new meanings and nuances.

    It is a little like indentured servitude on a provincial basis.

    • Newfie-think:
      Public utilities often require large investments (financed by China if we were lucky) in order to provide services (MusicNL is the New Rooms) to many users,(bitcoin fish farms) such as transmission( Long harbour was there all along) and communications lines.(get Trump on the sat phone) They tend to come in large units, (big loans!) such as long distance (tely10)transmission lines, hydroelectric(824Mw) dams, and nuclear power stations(Rigolet maybe?) and cannot easily be replicated, certainly not in a small (tiny) province. The LIL is a perfect (best kind of) example of such a large indivisible unit which cannot be replicated without placing new (bidders) towers and new wires. (I tuned out this far in)

      This is how this Newfie thinks. I have my memes to keep us warm.

    • A superb article written such that an average person can see the mess created by William's government, perfected by Nalcor's "world class experts" and allowed to grow worse by subsequent governments, including Ball's.
      No doubt Leblanc, a judge with experience, mostly in family courts,will read this and learn much from Vardy's article, on both finance, economics and some engineering. The Inquiry could use much of this piece as a background introduction for his final report, and a guide to what rocks to look under as to who and how
      this fiasco ever got to be sanctioned to proceed. And this pro bono.
      And, as usual, UG's parallel Inquiry is still ahead of the official one. Good job.
      And the error of mentioning Cabot instead of Belle Isle Strait, well, shows that Vardy is just 99.9999 percent correct. Not much Fake News here.
      Winston Adams

  2. Where is the minister of natural resources, the minister directly responsible for the crown cooperation, nalcor. Where have all the other ministers responsible for nalcor been over the years. Is it not their job, as our elected representative to look out for our interest, or have they been too busk checking the stock market every day to see what the price of oil is by the minute. We need people like Dave Vardy that understands finincaning, or comphrends it when it is explained to them, and then advises the premier and cabinet of that status of projects under taken by nalcor or other crown cooperations. We see the minister of finance directly involved in the crown cooperation of the liquor commission. Or is nalcor too big to be involved with and not understood by the minister responsible, and yet the only crown cooperation capeable of bankrupting the province. Is our system of government broken, and the elected people responsible, incapable of understanding finincaning any better than the average Joe.
    If I may, and maybe Mr. Vardy may appreciate, in the first paragraph of this posting, the Cabot Strait should read Belle Isle Strait. Cabot strait is between NL and NS, where as Belle Isle Strait is between NL and Labrador.

  3. I would like to know when the Government is going to explain exactly where the money is to come from. We as ratepayers simply cannot afford the huge bills which will come—we just don`t have the money.
    Rate mitigation is smoke and mirrors as taxes will be driven up to the point where we cannot afford to pay.
    Perhaps Danny, Kathy and Tom can explain where we will get our money as it was under their "leadership" this all came to pass! Dwight et al obviously don`t know given their lack of explanations. This blog alone is sufficient in asking for what we rightfully deserve yet we continue to wander in uncertainity.
    It is obvious that they are kicking the can down the road in hopes that "someone else" can deal with it. It is bordering on criminal negligance by all those who conceived, sanctioned and allowed continuance of this monumental travesty.
    The only way (as I see it) is that The UC will be 100% under the control of HQ in 2041 and NL Hydro under HQ in 2-3 years time where we will have to turn over our on island generation and transmission facilities. We will get our power bills from HQ and then we will still be paying a lot more than we are paying now but hopefully less that what we are currently facing.
    Lets face it we are all but insolvent now in that we are borrowing $2-3 million per day just to pay the bills.
    We were always a mismanaged province from Confereration on but when Danny, Kathy, Tom and Dwight came on the scene, mismanagement took on a whole new meaning. We were thrown to the wolves to satisify egos. What a price we will pay while those who enabled this, lie in the sun on a sandy beach with laptops checking their stock values.

  4. This gets quite interesting. The $5B LIL seems to have been hidden from view when the Muskrat Project was sanctioned. The Public were duped about what was included in the early Budget estimate, $7B to bring Muskrat on stream. One might ask, what was the purpose of the Dam and Power House without an Island Link?!! What other option would Muskrat serve? HQ Link? As Ball would say, "This doesn't pass the smell test.

  5. Everything would have turned out so much better if Roger Grimes remained in power. He had it figured out. Made some good deals but was torn down by the townie elites. Only option we have now is to move. Take a big loss on the house but may in fact retire some day without govnl picking every last cent from our wallets/ purses. Cold days ahead folks, if you decide to, or have no choice but to stay.

  6. To Levy;

    No need to leave; UC should be worth about $20B in 2041. 66% makes it at over $13B cash, dept free.

    Not so sure what will be worth MF thought. I don't know who would be willing to assume the North Spur liability risks…

    • UC worth 13 billion to Nfld in 2141, but MF 13 billion boondoggle now, mostly worthless, so heading for a net loss many times 13 billion by 2041.
      The result that the good asset of UC, (which I worked on), is more that wiped out by this fiasco.
      Our dream of a pot of gold in 2041, is wiped out, and no fault of Quebec, unless the jurists of the Supreme Court says otherwise, which I doubt.

    • Anon:14:36 is right about the value of UC versus Muskrat Falls and that both will basically end up to 0$. To use the value of UC to wipe out MF is one of the very few options. It would then be possible for Newfoundland to be powered from HQ, at HQ prices instead of 20, 30 cents per KwH (or more). Newfoundland's debt would be "reduced" to just its actual debt, which is already astronomical but does not compromise its sovereignty.
      In all cases, HQ has now big surplus and there is no suggestion that these surplus will disappear any time soon. Should we have surplus power down to 2041, we would not need to buy more power from UC and Newfoundland would not be able to sell that power to others, just like HQ would not sell its own power. Just like MF today: there are no buyers for MF power today. Everyone around has surplus power… To cash in such an asset at a moment it still has value would make sense. To wait for that asset to loose its value would not make sense and to survive long enough (2041) for the cash flow to come from it will not be easy to do, if possible.

  7. By coincidence, today, I think, is exactly 1 year since I started monitoring my attic mounted heat pump. But I also intend to go to the end of March , as otherwise it has a partial month for 2017 and 2018, on the charts.
    Vardy says customers have options and "the first electricity to be replaced will be iefficient resistance-type space heating as people introduce heatpumps and engage in serious energy efficiency"
    For houses this picked up in 2009 (about 50 unit, and now thousands per year) and is growing exponentially.
    Yet Ed Martin said Nflders are not interested in efficiency and conservation. Should we believe Martin or Vardy?
    My expectation was $300.00 for a full year of heat for 1000 sq ft.
    I will see by midnight.
    Winston Adams

    • I sold my snowblower in the Fall and did not bother to buy another one. I need to repair my dishwasher…maybe…it is a fine drying rack as it is.

      I don't need to run a heat pump, or two.
      I don't want to maintain one. Or two.

      A couple hundred could be nice, as service contact's zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

      Let the cash roll in as I sleep. I can get rich off of you crowd.

    • Anon 17:33, unfortunately, energy efficiency is of no benefit in a case like the one Newfoundland is. The reason is that revenue from powers must totals a fixed amount. Say you need to collect 200% of what is collected as of now. First reaction is to charge twice the rate. When people starts to reduce the quantity of electricity they use, say down to 67%, the rate will be increased to 300%, so 67% * 300% = 200% as required. If people reduce their power down to 50%, rate will increase to 400%. At the end, as the financing is designed, the power bill will total twice whatever you pay as of now. The only thing efficency will do is define if that amount is twice the rate on the same volume, 4 time the rate on half of the volume or any combo. In no case efficiency will actually reduce the total.

    • @Heracles
      Agreed. That's why we must not jack up rates to an insane level. It would definitely be counterproductive to attempt to recover all MF costs via rate increases. (it would not work anyways)

      There's an optimal rate, to be determined, that would still ensure a maximum total revenue, while still minimizing the reduction of electricity consumption (via this demand versus rates elasticity graphic).

      So indeed, rate increases will be mitigated, and other $ will have to be found (via other additional taxes, spending cuts, or default).

  8. The effective date of the initial federal loan guarantee was Dec 13, 2013. That was the day the legion of Lawyers signed the financing papers for the loan guarantee (millions in legal fees and 10 cents worth of business analysis). The term sheet for the loan guarantee was a year earlier on Dec 4, 2012.

    This is a very important distinction because the SNC Lavalin report was dated April 23, 2013 almost eight months prior to legal commitment of the guarantee

  9. Many people from Newfoundland would like to find answers and solutions. It is easy to understand. So here is a part of that answer, despite it is not one that is easy to accept nor does it offer any solution…
    Democracy has always been known as the worst system that can be. This was known by the philosoph from the old Greece thousands years ago. The thing is, democracy may be the worst system in theory, it is the only one that is doable at large scale in practice. As opposed, communism is the best in theory but in practice, end up the worst.
    Why is Democracy the worst in theory is because most people are unable to take a decision that benefit themselves. That includes chosing the proper leader to follow.
    Why is communism the best in theory is because only the elite is in charge of the most difficult elements and everything is shared equaly between everyone,
    Why is communism the worst system in practice is that the elite and most powerful people in the society are its worst victims. They are levelled as everyone to the lowest level, so ended up the biggest loosers. Being the most powerful, they can abuse and damage the system easily,
    Why is democracy the only system usable at large scale is because its worst victims are its strongest defenders when even the poorest and ones in the greatest difficulty insist to keep their freedom, autonomy and more.
    The consequence is that democratic leaders are elected based not on qualification, experience or skills, but on popularity. To speak against Quebec was popular in Newfoundland, so the ones giving that speach were elected on that basis.
    Here, in Montreal, our latest mayor rebuilt the city as a master chief after so many things went wrong. Despite his huge achivements, a more popular one has been elected instead and he lost his function. People start to realize their new mayor is not at all as capable as the previous one, but too late.
    So as of now, Newfoundland is experiencing the very reason why democracy is problematic. You elected people on the popularity of their speech and not their skills, knowledge, etc. You did it in the same way everyone is doing it in all democratic system. What is different is that most people in Newfoundland grouped and focussed on a speech that was more against someone else than about being in favor of themselve. That is more unusual and that is the root cause of the actual situation. Few time in history people grouped behind hate or envy and everytime, it back fired with terrible results. This is no different.
    As I said, this part of answer is of no use for a solution but because so many are looking for answers, I thought it could satisfy that part. Should part of the solution be taken from it, it would be to stop considering Quebec as an ennemy and accept that from the beginning, we offered you the best possible:
    –we recommended you nationalize Brinco before signing the contract
    –we allowed you to build a great asset at no cost, no risk and with a return on investment
    –we offered you to rebalance the cash from the contract while developping lower churchill
    –we gave you free money for you to save UC (the GWAC) and keep control of it
    –so should we offer you to take both UC and MF at no cost (because together, they add to 0$), see it as an effort to help you instead of an effort to rob you
    Good luck in that terrible mess you are now in,

    • ""We offer to take both UC and MF at no cost" equals a kick in the gut when you are down, who needs friends like that. John Cabot came in 1497, we have survived for over 500 years, and will survive another 500.

    • anon@ 08:46—we'll survive but not at the same standard of living if we have this monumental debt on our shoulders. "Mary Shortall must be teaching a course"
      At the rate we are borrowing now, by 2041 we'll have at least another $19 Billion piled on top of what our current debt is.
      How in the name of God can a small province of 500 thousand souls (and decreasing) pay this off!?–Just not possible!!!

    • Great points Wayne, and agree with what you say, but we can't adopt the defeatest attitude that Harper used to describe us, and Atlantic Canadians in general. I know we are between a rock and a hard place with an albrotross around our neck, but we must have hope, the will to survive, and dig in to get it done. If it causes our standard of living to decline, then so be it, we will survive, but it will require the best efforts of us all. And this is one median that we can all use to dig in our heels and develop ideas and plans that will move us forward. This is not the dark ages, just another set back in our 500 year history. Don't forget Ottawa owes us a hell of a lot yet, if we include the Grand Banks, which we brought to the confederation, we are probably the largest, territorially, in the entire confederation.

    • @anon 08:46
      It is impossible to help the one who does not want to be helped. If it is your choice to die under the pressure of a debt too big for you, than so be it.
      Do you have any idea of what would be of help to you ?
      Just know that more money is never the solution to a money problem. The reason is simple: it is always possible to spend more. When one spent too much, to give more does not help because he will still spend too much.
      As I said, it would be a miracle should Newfoundland recognizes Quebec is not an ennemy because you have been breainwashed with that idea for over 40 years now. I just still hope because that kind of idea will only hurt you more and more until you get rid of it.
      Best wishes

    • Nope you got it all wrong, I think for myself, and no one will brain wash me, not even you. And I have alway taught of Quebec as our nearest neighbours, our good friends as I think of all Canadians. Of course there are exceptions in every group of people or province, but think in the main all NL's think of themselves as friends of Quebeckers, or québécois, and think it should always be that way. A strong Quebec makes us all stronger as Canadians, and that is good for us all. I have had and worked with many from Quebec and think of them as best friends. But all people have pride, and thanks but no thanks, to try and save us from ourselves. Have a great day.

    • Are you the true Heracles?

      Labours of Heracles

      The fight of Heracles and the Nemean lion is one of his most famous feats. (Side B from a black-figure Attic amphora, c. 540 BCE)

      His eleventh feat was to capture the apple of Hesperides (Gilded bronze, Roman artwork, 2nd century CE)
      Main article: Labours of Hercules
      Driven mad by Hera, Heracles slew his own children. To expiate the crime, Heracles was required to carry out ten labors set by his archenemy, Eurystheus, who had become king in Heracles' place. If he succeeded, he would be purified of his sin and, as myth says, he would be granted immortality. Heracles accomplished these tasks, but Eurystheus did not accept the cleansing of the Augean stables because Heracles was going to accept pay for the labor. Neither did he accept the killing of the Lernaean Hydra as Heracles' nephew, Iolaus, had helped him burn the stumps of the heads. Eurystheus set two more tasks (fetching the Golden Apples of Hesperides and capturing Cerberus), which Heracles performed successfully, bringing the total number of tasks up to twelve.

      Not all writers gave the labours in the same order. The Bibliotheca (2.5.1–2.5.12) gives the following order:

      Slay the Nemean Lion.
      Slay the nine-headed Lernaean Hydra.
      Capture the Golden Hind of Artemis.
      Capture the Erymanthian Boar.
      Clean the Augean stables in a single day.
      Slay the Stymphalian Birds.
      Capture the Cretan Bull.
      Steal the Mares of Diomedes.
      Obtain the girdle of Hippolyta, Queen of the Amazons.
      Obtain the cattle of the monster Geryon.
      Steal the apples of the Hesperides (he had the help of Atlas to pick them after Hercules had slain Ladon).
      Capture and bring back Cerberus.

    • Hi Robert,
      Indeed, you got it right. So many people think Hercules is the son of Zeus… The thing is, Hercules was a Roman god and Zeus, a Greek one. So for sure, Hercules was not son of Zeus. Heracles is.
      You are also right about the 12 tasks which are not all the same or in same order from one reference to another.
      Considering the Roman copied the Greek, I chose the original instead of the copy 🙂

    • Glad to make your acquaintance Heracles, now to the business at hand; I gather you speak with some knowledge of HQ/QC operations today, is there not already a deal, involving the Feds/QC, pending the completion of Muskrat + Transmission Lines, to take the stranded asset off the books of NALCOR and the NL taxpayer.

    • Hi Robert,

      I do not have evidence about the existing of such a plan being in progress, but there are few elements that I can tell you.

      One is from a recent article in a newspaper where energy minister from Quebec said that he had a talk with his Newfoundland counterpart. The agreement was to wait for the Supreme Court to publish their judgement first. That should be anytime now, I estimate a week. The judgement is ready (has been for almost a month) and they are planning special information session before its release. The planning should be done, so release can be any time soon. Considering how unimpressed the judges were and the very short time to produce the judgement, I consider it is clear CFLCo failed to convinced them.

      Once the judgement against CFLCo is published, Newfoundland would be ready to put an end to their legal saga and stop trying to discharge themselves from their obligations from the Power Contract. That will allow the two provinces to work together.

      Hydro-Quebec has surplus that are expected to last for next 10 years. As such, we can provide clean and cheap power to Newfoundland and the maritime easily. Only thing needed for that is transmission lines. Muskrat Falls project will have built many, but more between Quebec and NB would be needed.

      That is where I expect the Federal to come and help. To build more transmission lines between Qc and NB.

      As for the debt associated with MF, that is still problematic… HQ has surplus power, so do not need more capacity. Also, we already have access to UC capacity up to 2041. HQ is in better position to absorb the cost and the power produced by both sites, but does not need MF at all.

      The only option that would make sense to me would be to transfer to HQ both extra capacity and extra clients at the same time. That way, it would remains actual business for HQ, so not a direct loss. Newfoundland would escape the gigantic debt associated with MF and would have a new opportunity to fix their global finances. Not easily done, but at least possible. To absorb MF is impossible. It would also permit Newfoundland to escape the gigantic increase for power rate, an increase that would kill all businesses.

      For the transfer to be permanent, some elements would be required from Newfoundland like a price determined by HQ' standard, ex: cost is the same as for people in Quebec. Newfoundland would have to define its tax position about the new situation. Can not put any kind of tax, but would deserve a return in proportion of the power provided.

      I am pretty sure there are discussions like this one in progress, but it is only personnal feeling. I have no evidence of such discussions, nor do I know how advanced they would be if they are.

      What is pretty sure is :
      –Newfoundland can not survive with MF's debt and the expected power rates
      –Qc or the rest of Canada will not just pay blindly
      –UC is one of the rare asset with enough value to counter MF
      –UC is the only asset that can re-use what has been built by MF
      –To provide Newfoundland and Maritime with clean and cheap power is win-win
      –HQ would be in position to provide Emera with the power they are expected from MF

    • At the end, the gigantic catastrophy of MF would be handled with limited impact. The worst one would be for Newfoundland to acknowledge their problems and do the effort to fix them:
      –Fix budget and expense and stop spending more than what you collect
      –Acknowledge that such projects are too big for the population of Newfoundland
      –Acknowledge that by doing something like that, Qc and Canada are doing their best to help you

      Obviously, some like anon 08:46 are not ready to agree. But what else can we do ? Let Newfoundland go bankrupt under this debt.? You would loose UC in the process because that is what a bankruptcy is : cash in the assets you have to pay part of the debt. Should we pay for your debt and let you run free ? To recompense such poor management is encouraging it and is not sustainable. Cash in another asset ? Which one ? Should we transfert Labrador as a whole instead of just UC ? I don't think it is required to go that far.

      At the end, Newfoundland will have to face its own reality. One that it created itself, one that it tried to deny for way too long, one that, once acknowledge, may be wonderful and Newfoundlanders can be pride of. Until that happen, Newfoundland will remain disconnected from reality, so will produce things like MF, Peckford Pickle Palace and more.

    • Hi Heracles,
      As you referred to anon: 0846, think that might be me from earlier this morning. You are too funny. As you said a personal opinion , and for every person in every province has one of those, as a matter of fact some individuals may have several. So they are usually not worth very much in the grand scheme of things. But agree we are all entitled to our opinions and our right to express them in a democratic way. So yours is appreciated, but my opinion is that your opinion is a long way from reality. Not in terms of the Supreme Court ruling, as I think you might be right on that one. But let's bring it down to this level. If a not so friendly guy that you know offers to consign a loan for you, and encourages you to buy a lemon, and you do, and the car is a real dud, and doesn't work. What would you do? I think you would park it in his driveway, and tell the loan company you don't currently have any cash flow. So the loan agency would go collect from your co signer. And of course it is quite obvious to the loan agency that you are experiencing money difficulties by checking your other creditors. And it is well known that your consigner has no problem repaying the debt. Might add what is going on with you and your consigner is no business of your other neighbours, it is all between you and your consigner and loan agency. Our co signer was a guy named Harper, and he hated us, and encouraged us to buy the lemon, so now he is stuck with the loan and the lemon. And repeat that is no concern of your neighbours. So I think you get my drift, and where I am coming from. Have a nice evening, and I might add, in the night sky Heracles is not a predominant constellation, it has no stars of the first magnitude, nowhere near as the brightness of Orion, that has 4 stars of the first magnitude. A little bit of trivial. Lol.

    • Hi Anon (now) 21:11,

      The opinion you expressed is the most common one from Newfoundlanders. Not only from this site, but from many sites, from the medias, from the results of who Newfoundlanders elect as leaders and more. As such, this opinion is not only yours, it is a very common one.

      Actually, the owner of this blog himself has this opinion and Uncle Gnarley himself wrote in his texts that Quebec is no friend to Newfoundland. In a private e-mail I exchanged with him, he acknowledged that this situation is complex, but he explained and justified as, according to him, Quebec was not friendly to Newfoundland and how Newfoundland is justified to stay away from Quebec.

      About encouraging a friend to get a loan to buy a lemon, please show me where / when / how Quebec did that ? Actually, when Newfoundland asked the Federal for that loan, Quebec argued that it should not be granted. We tried to prevent you from getting that loan and going into that mess. Never did we encouraged you to do it…

      As for the Feds, they ended up agreeing to provide you that loan, but when did they pressured you to go that way with Muskrat Falls ? About UC, Newfoundland complained for years how they did not received support from the Federals, how they where diminished, neglected because they are small and more. Now that you received the support you asked for, the one giving the support is the culprit according to you.

      UC was too big for you and the only way to do it properly was with help and support from Quebec. That is how it happened and you complained about it.
      LC was also too big for you and the only way to do it properly would also have been to do it with the support from Quebec. You denied that and rejected the option, insisting for doing it all yourself. Instead of saying NO, the Feds told you the kind of warranty you will have to provide. Instead of acknowledging you could not support such conditions, you said Ok and Lets Go! When one is so desperate to harm himself, you are left with two choices : You take him his freedom and have him supervised by someone who take care and is responsible for him, or you let him hurt himself until he has enough. Instead of taking your freedom, we let you harm yourself.

      Did you had enough of it or are you looking for more ? If you are looking for more, you will not have to wait for long and you will have much more very soon. If you are done, then stop blaming everyone else and start being more rational than emotional…

    • A spirited debate indeed. The feds were certainly irresponsible and some form of debt support would be justified IMO. However, that is not typically the way these things work. First, at current interest rates, MF debt of $12.7 billion generates annual debt service of about $500 million annually. Is that an amount that will bankrupt NL? Others might wonder why NL doesn’t start by cutting Program spending per capita which remains the highest in the country. In fact, if you consult the RBC document below you will see that if NL were to bring program spending per capita to levels seen in, say, Ontario, NL would save around $1.5 billion per year, roughly 3x the debt service for Muskrat Falls. Moreover, the obvious question the loan guarantor would ask is what other assets do you have. If you include the value of UC, which is of course very difficult to establish, it is not clear that NL debt/GDP is any higher than Quebec or New Brunswick. Now of course the risk is that borrowing spreads increase but there are solutions to that. If we look at what happened during the Irish debt crisis, the EU financed Irish borrowings in return for draconian austerity measures. If, on the other hand, you are suggesting that NL should simply declare bankruptcy well that would have far-reaching consequences, notably an inability to finance your deficit and to roll over existing debt.

    • Hi Bernard,

      Thanks for your input. Indeed, there are still ways for Newfoundland to get out of this, but time is short. For how many years now should they have start throttling their spending ? Too many and with the new conventions agreeing to no lay-off, no one sees the spending going down…

      The second part is with a demography going in that direction, the active workforce in Newfoundland will soon be unable to sustain an economy. Once the public service will be reduced to a lower and sustainable level, these people will not instantly turn into private employee generating as much economic activity.

      Debt service from MF, operation and maintenance cost vs revenu, power rate that will inflate everything, most active and capable people already running out from this mess, the one staying behind getting older and older, … The sole numbers from MF do not translate to bankruptcy. The overall situation is not an instant obligation to go down to bankruptcy. But the debt, combined with the situation and the static state of mind will end up in bankruptcy, one that will be avoidable only if cashing in assets like UC.

      Lets hope the state of mind will progress sooner than later to avoid Newfoundland turn into the kind of war zone Detroit City ended up…

    • Hi again big guy, lol
      Thank you for the discussion. You must have read my 11:44 from this morning, following your 11:13. As you can see from my comments to you I have my own opinion of Quebec, and québécois and my comments are quite friendly towards Quebec. UG may have his own opinion, and I guess he was talking personally, and generally too maybe, to some extent, but he does not represent my opinion, or a lot of other NL's and am sure he would be the first to admit that. And my opinion is this is between NL and the Feds, any other province can have their say, but it is somewhat irevelant. And as you may note, in my last, I blamed only one person, as head of the govt. of Canada, and it is a well known fact that he was no friend of nl, or all of Atlantic Canada for that matter. As his statement still follows him, in that we were all of a defeatest attitude from his prospective, and that was Mr. Harper. He actually hated us. Now that has nothing to do with Quebec, or the people of Quebec. Just wanted to make that clear. As you might re-read my 11:44 from this morning. Personally, I was opposed to muskrat from the very beginning, as others were too, but the majority rules, so now we all have to accept this blunder, we are all big boys and girls, in NL as well as in Quebec, of course as you point out we are fewer in number. And we will have to stand up to the Feds, as they were more responsible for this blunder than we were. And the other provinces, on this matter will have to take a back seat, and redress your concerns directly to Ottawa, and not us. We are not asking you to save us. My personal opinion of course. But thanks for your thoughts and opinion.

    • "…we will have to stand up to the Feds, as they were more responsible for this blunder than we were"
      Anon, you are kidding right?

      Wow, DW who got us in this mess, must by laughing (and that, all the way to bank).

      I recall, when Quebec protested about that loan, we were treated as being "Un-Canadian" (well, I've seen much worst descriptions circulating…)

      Not sure Feds knew what they were getting into…now being held responsible for this boondoggle…

    • We must admit that 40 years of being told that HQ/Quebec are evils (and that the Feds are not much better) will be difficult to change in NL.

      Any changes will have to be initiated at the top. It'll take many years of convincing, and NL politicians won't win any elections in doing so. I'm not optimistic.

    • No, Ex-military Engr, no I am not kidding, I say that in all sincerity, that the Feds are more responsible for muskrat, than if not the majority of Nl'ers and Labradorians, then certainly the minority. As some of us were praying that the Feds would not give the loan guarantee, as our only way of hoping to stop muskrat from going ahead. We were also glad Quebec opposed the loan, to stop muskrat from going ahead, but certainly not blaming you, when it did go ahead. Yes, the Fed, Harper was only to happy to give the loan, because he knew muskrat would fail, and it was his punishment to us and DW as his arch enemy. Thank you for your comments, and have a great day.

    • Sorry Anon@ 08;40, but Ex Military Eng is in line with my thinking. Nflders and our leaders most to blame. We need a culture change, and may take a long time to see that. So easy to blame outsiders, even Harper. I had no use for Harper, but we, more than Harper to blame. Ordinary people not informed and misled by our leaders. Blame our leaders and those of us who foolishly believed them.
      Winston Adams

    • Thanks Winston, I guess we all think differently, and that is ok. But I like to call a spade a spade, and you know as wel as I do the persons, leaders, responsible for muskrat, and they were local as well as federal. The joint federal/provincial environmental committee recommended against muskrat, yet our local and federal leaders, went against the joint committee. So may as well name the persons responsible, both locally and nationally, and it did not include Quebec or their leaders. And we all know of the war between DW and SH, during the election, and the ABC campaign, and the no conservative Mps went to Ottawa, all 7 liberals. So who do you think approved the loan guarantee. And you know the saying, give the fools enough rope and they will eventually hang themselves. And no, not all NL's are against Quebec, some are because of the UC contract, but I am not one of them. Not sure what you mean by, we need a cultural change.

    • Harper may have been helping NS with their coal problem more so that out to do in Nfld, but most all the risk with Nfld, and DW and Ed Martin promised the GRAVY.
      And "give the fools enough rope and they will eventually hang themselves" implied we Nflders are the fools, is that what you mean? If so, even that requires a cultural change. We certainly elect many fools. Is the debate at the House by MHA ever anything but a display of buffoons?
      Yes, we need a cultural change……keep the good and ditch the bad…….lets make a list of the good and the bad.
      Start with anti Quebec bashing…..bad , bad , bad. T'was never good. Unless maybe we go back to 1696 and the De'Iberville destruction on the Avalon. Even then they were probably more compassionate then the English would be….they deported Nflders back to England. Let by gone be by gone, we are all one country and neighbours.

    • You got it right Winston, not from UIC for nothing. Don't suppose SH is from there too, pretty smart, and lots of loan rope. Yes, guess some of us need a culture change, but I am not one of them, lol, and have said on this blog a few times before, we are incapable of governing ourselves, too stuck in politics. And we proved it in the thirties, and may prove it again. But hope not. But will require sacrifices from us all, and leaders that put the province first, before their politics, party, and self interest.. Yes can make a list, and some are getting that public flogging here as well as other places.

  10. Not sure if I understand your last sentence, Mr. Vardy, of this posting. Am I right in saying that your next post, Part II, your presentation will be how to place muskrat on a sound footing? Should be interesting. And yes agree 500 years is a long wait.

  11. The problem with open line shows just demonstrated again on paddy with Mr. Vardy. Paddy cut him off, as am sure he had more to say, very informative. And paddy ended with, maybe I can break it down and explain it better. No paddy you can't, you are just the host, and leave it to the expert to explain. And not the first time I have listened to this kind of conversation. I know open line is a public service to all its citizens, but there are times when some things are more important to the public than, paddy, I got a bad toe. And that's why we have been ill informed about important things, like muskrat, the media in general, rather talk about the weather, and who won the game, than important things. Media….do your job…inform the people, or allow others to do it.

    • Good question. The president of the USA, can be called. Not sure what our laws are in Canada . But would just say, I think ms. Foote is a honourable lady, and would give the entire truth, as either an MP, a private citizen, or the lieutenant-governor. But would be interesting, if she were called, or what is the law of the land. Of course when the second loan came, under Trudeau, it was just a continuation of the travesty. But should have been paused, and evaluated. But guess that was really in ball et al domain.

  12. Of course, Ex-Military Eng is correct (see discussion above) more so that Heracles on whether it is prudent to promote efficiency and reduce demand.
    Heracles says the more you reduce , the more the price must go up, and there is no real benefit.
    Ex-Military says there is an optimum price for power beyond which there is diminishing returns.Ex-Military agrees with Vardy, and James Feehan agrees, and he is to promote a price not more than 17 cents even thought 23 cents is needed to pay for MF. The shortfall will need to come from elsewhere, and it must, which is the problem to solve. But make no doubt , efficiency will prevail, and is happening. This is both prudent and common sense, I submit.

    I am just showing the optimum way for consumers to cut costs on heating, which also reduces the grid peak demand, as I stated in 2012.
    That I estimated heating cost for a year would be $300.00 was not a mere guess. This house was enlarged since 2010. The first year, at 750 sq ft , the heat cost was 243.00, then at 810 sq ft, it was 268.00. This was measured by less accurate means, and not monitored and recorded as at present, but the figures were passed along to the power company : Nfld Power.
    The area heated by this one unit was increased further to 1000 Sq ft, about the practical good limit for that unit, so $300.00 seemed reasonable based on prior data, and detail monitoring started last Mar 19, 2017.
    To midnight last nite, the total year consumption is 3,178 kwh, which at 10 cent rates = $317.80 for a full year of heat, with efficient heat pump use of electricity (So why was this not undertaken as a strategy by Ed Martin instead of MF?)
    This yearly cost includes some summer AC, perhaps not more than $10.00 , and also a few times I used baseboard heaters to get a COP reading.
    I need to go over those to make adjustments, and expect a final figure maybe as low as $295 .00 to slightly over $300.00, this of course being an attic mounted unit, an hybrid which get advantages compared to outdoor mounting.
    Winston Adams

    • June was 23.00 for heat, 14.60 for other
      Aug was 6.59 for heat or A/c, and 53.00 for other (including a trailer plugged in
      Dec was 43.800 for heat , 4.20 for other
      Jan was 48.50 for heat, 21.00 for other
      Feb was 42.60 for hat , 5.30 for other.

      The house is occupied more in the summer, but only for about 10 days in Jan, and not at all for Dec and Feb.
      So when not occupied the only load is a fridge and deep freeze, so with the doors not being opened, for both of thee just 4-5 dollar per month. This contributes a little heat to the space. Hot water is off when not occupied.
      If occupied more , the actual heating load would be less due to heat from TV , light etc. heat load for the winter is about 91% of total when not occupied, and temp at 22C constant, no setback. Max nite load this winter 1200 watts or close to that, with unit rating of 1575 watts. So about 1.2 watts per sq ft. As comparison, I monitored a R2000 that showed 0.9 watt per sq ft at -17C, 4000 Sq ft. Huge demand reduction for the R2000, it used 3.7 kw at -17C vs 17.5 kw when using baseboard with setback.

  13. As an FYI the definition of the LIL is incorrect. It has nothing to do with Emmera. The LIL is only the connection from MF to soliders pond, zero relation to Emmera's scope… It's actually a different project. Des Sullivan needs to start using actual facts for his ridiculous post.

    • Unfortunately, Anon 21:55 is wrong. Emera's equity interest in the LIL is a generally unknown "giveaway"; one of the sad stories of the MF project and NL history. And Emera receives a very high guaranteed return. I will do a post on it later – after the Budget.

    • I thought Emera had part ownership in the cable under the Strait of Belle Isle, and that their percentage got jacked up more when Nalcor needed an injection of some more money, and so Emera makes 8 percent or so on power coming to Nfld, for that portion, but not the entire line.
      I am sure UG will set it straight.

    • Reading, and to some degree accepting Heracles' plausible scenario of a HQ routing of power via NB to Atlantic Canada, the whole LIL feed to Soldiers Pond becomes redundant, does it not? The 2 way submarine cable cross the Cabot thus becomes the lifeline to the declining demand, (Thank you Winston), on the Colony of Avalon.

    • Hello… long time reader, first time poster.

      Found this somewhat recent article RE: LIL/ROE/Ownership percentages

      "Originally when the deal was struck in 2010, Emera was to own 29 per cent of the LIL. But because the Maritime Link has remained largely on-budget and the other transmission lines have gone over-budget, Emera has had to kick in more money for a bigger share of the LIL in order to maintain that overall 51-49 per cent ownership ratio.

      The part of this that’s causing real consternation for the government is that contractually, the LIL pays a rate of return of 8.8 per cent once it comes into service."–muskrat-transmission-line-ball-says-1600/

    • Hi Robert,

      About the redundant link (LIL and Maritime link), such redundancy is essential for reliability. Another DarkNL could me close should you have to rely on a single link. Also, by experience, under sea cables have their problems… To have 2 connections is a minimum for redundancy. As such, it is not complete waste.

    • Thanks, Heracles. Your background knowledge and candid comments bring a refreshing point of view to the Blog. Having been born and raised in NL, we children of the Rock are a somewhat sensitive lot when it comes to "cold eyes" perspective. Your scenario of a West to East feed through NB to serve Atlantic Grid, interconnecting with NL has long been my own best use, best routing of renewable power supply from Northern Quebec and Labrador. At the time I worked on the campaign to elect NS's first and only NDP government, I had a conversion with the newly elected Premier regarding this constructive option to coal fired generation. I was surprised to learn that a deal was already in the works to have Emera, in behalf of the ratepayers of NS, sign on to Muskrat. The rest is an unfortunate history of political intrigue, producing a totally big mistake, regarding Energy supply management in Atlantic Canada. Thanks again for your erudite contribution to this very important open discussion.

    • Heracles: You say the Maritime Link is not a complete waste, and may be a help to avoid another DARKNL …….HOGWASH
      For Nfld , it is a complete waste.
      That multiple feeds is good instead of a single radial line is correct. I have designed ring bus configurations terminal stations up to 230Kv, so that multiple feeds comes in and permit operation and feed to loads if a line goes down. Burin Peninsula is an example of a single line feed, which is not good for reliability, so they (Nfld Power) have a gas turbine on the far end.
      But Nfld has multiple hydro generation sites. The biggest load is on the Avalon, whereby not one but 2 line have long fed the Avalon. The Holyrood plant is a third feed.
      We now have a third feed almost complete from our island hydro to the Avalon, at let to WESTERN AVALON. The DC line from Muskrat will be 4 lines, the DC likely to be not very reliable, and less so than Holyrood.
      So what does the Maritime Link provide for Nfld? A small amount of dirty coal power,and likley not available during very cold weather in NS and Nfld.
      2 connections for redundancy for who and where? For NS, one proposed from HQ via NB, and one from Nfld, so NS gets better reliability, for little invested. For Nfld………and the Avalon. essentially no benefit. And with declining demand, even MF will see little need, except to replace our island power going to NS. Who are you trying to fool Heracles? Are you a consultant to Nalcor?

    • I understand the concept of redundancy, when building a power grid. Assuming the HQ Smart Atlantic Grid extension goes to Cape Breton, could you not just add another undersea cable to get said redundancy? The Transmission Line up the Northern peninsula is already considered unreliable by experts on this Blog, due in part to weather patterns.

    • Hi Anon:19:01,

      I said the link would not be a –complete– waste. It does not means it was a hard requirement. DarkNL happened when the Rock's local power generation capability dropped below the minimum. With MF and a single link, the local power generation on the Rock will be reduced because Holyrood will be decommissioned. Some other reduction are also possible. As such, power from outside the Rock becomes part of the required minimum to avoid another DarkNL. Power from outside being now part of the required minimum, loosing it may impact up to the level of DarkNL.

      The other point is that subsea cables may be harder to fix and put back online. As such, to be dependant of a single one is not ideal. A second link on a shorter path would have make more sense but now that Maritime link is in place, better to use it…

      As for being a consultant for Nalcor or someone else, I am just an engineer from Montreal with an interest in many domain including legal, technology and history. These combined to lead me to learning a lot about UC and everything in the file up to now.


    • Robert , what in the hell are you talking about bringing Labrador power to NB then to NL. First of all we didn't need it, no not even 3 years ago, when you were in NS. And certainly not now, as our power requirements are diminishing. We don't need to be connected to the NA grid. As I have always said for the little bit of power we need on this island, with no heavy industry, and a small population, and no where on earth with so much wind and rain and a relative big island, do we want to get poet from the mainland including Labrador. This is the problem, for the past 10 to 12 years some have this in their noggin, that we need power from the mainland, or need to send power to the mainland, or both. And it makes no scense. And I am not an engineer, but was against muskrat right from day one. Can you explain.

    • Let me tell you why we had dark nl, it's is called sabatage. Nalcor etc. Was trying to make a case for bringing muskrat power to NL, and they told us we needed it and it was the least cost option, all false of course. So just to prove to us non believers, they decided not do maintaince on holy rood, and other smaller plants, and cancel the third line fro bay despoir to the Avalon. Then a storm hit which is not unusual, and we had dark NL and they said …so we told you. And the Liberty report told us clearly, it was lack of maintaince, and imprudence, that caused darknl. And that's why I call it sabotage, intentionally neglected, to cause a black out by nalcor.

    • Hi Anon:20:00,

      You are right when you say that the Rock had no need for power from outside. That's why Muskrat Falls should never has been started. The thing is, people started to build it and the 2 transmissions lines are now in place. So now that they are there, are we better to pay more money to remove them ? To ignore them and do as if they were not there ? Or are we better to use them for what they can do : bring power to the Rock at prices HQ can produce ?

      If you would rather pay more, go for it….

    • No easy answer, but when you put it that way. My answer is we basically have all the power we need, and paid for cheap power, like bay despoir. And we pay just 10 cents at our houses, and it could probably go down a bit. Can you deliver power to the Avalon, St. John's area for less than 10 cents a kWh.

    • But big guy, here is my other answer since the power line is there, and the muskrat power soon, and we don't. Need the power, and the Feds have put 8$ billion in, in the form of a loan guarantee, so the power is mainly to benefit NS. Let the Feds and NS take the works including the loan guarantee, and we will just charge them for a power corridor through our territory for the 1200 km. Yo may have a better idea of the charge for power corridors than I do.

    • Hi again,

      There are things that you did not considered here… One is the fact that by itself, Muskrat Falls can produce only about 17% of its nominal power. To produce at his capacity, it must be synced with UC. As of now, UC is controlled by HQ and Newfoundland explicitly pushed HQ out of the equation. The result is that HQ operates to answer its own need without any relation with MF because HQ have been excluded from MF. That is one of the reason why HQ is the only way to extract any value out of this boondoggle, so why MF should end up under HQ's control.

      The second point is that Yes, HQ can surely deliver power to Newfoundland for less than 10C per KwH. Actual costs for transmission using these new lines must be identified, but I trust that Yes, HQ can offer a better price.

      Another point you excluded is Newfoundland's own responsability. I understand how you feel betrayed by the ones you elected but still, Newfoundland's liability can not be denied. In one way or another, Newfoundland will have to assume the part of responsability that it can assume and that is way above Zero. So maybe HQ would be able to deliver below 10C but Newfoundland will tax his citizens up to say 15C to pay back part of the fiasco.

      Very sad when we know all of this is coming from hate speech, envy and denial…


    • Thanks Hercules, for your reply. ok, on your second point seems 10 cents, third point 15 cents, if we use any of the power, understand that. But if we use no power at all, we just sell the power line, under sea cable, and power plant for the value of the loan guarantee, 8$ billion, and then we have no obligation to the project. So seems it's normal to then charge. For the power corridor for those then owning the assets. As for you first point, not an engineer, but understand it has to do with river flow, and water management agreement, so guess that's why you say, without it being run by HQ, then it can only operate at 17 percent. Yes, that's one of the reasons why I knew it was a great risk. The oldest trick in the book, and why we were stupid, remember from my school years reading about cattlemen and ranchers, especially in the USA, the guy down stream better be on good terms with the guy upstream, as water could be cut at any time, or a real trick, put something in the water and the cattle would all die down stream. Of course realize we are not dealing with cattle, but really in all cases, Finances, in the thousands then or billions now. Yup, cooperation as friends is always so important, and not as enemies. And of course, personally I don't have that problem, on a personal level, always got along well with guys from Quebec. Thanks for you comments, Big Guy.

    • Heracles, if you go back some months you will see that I suggested Nfld and Quebec be one province. We get your power rates of about 7 cents. HQ operates all our power grid. And, with consent of Labrador peoples, all one province including Labrador. Labrador can only do better than centuries of neglect by Nfld.
      We all share the offshore and also the fishery….the largest fishery resource perhaps in the world. Develope it properly , as we never have.
      Of course many details to be worked out, with our resources and your population and financial and engineering clout………we could be like California….a powerhouse in the real sense.
      But your proposal that we pay 15 cents for your 7 cent power ,and you take the UC……..not so good from this angle. Think bigger and better, for all.
      Winston Adams

    • Hi again,

      In your answer, you wrote :
      we just sell the power line, under sea cable, and power plant for the value of the loan guarantee, 8$ billion, and then we have no obligation to the project

      The entire problem is right here : All of these assets together does not worth the amount of debt associated with them. That's why Newfoundland is in so deep trouble. Newfoundland contracted for more than 8 Billions of $$ for an asset that worth basically nothing.

      In the articles posted / linked from this blog, you have explaination about how MF can not float even after a bailout. Even after is it marked as a value of Zero, it would not work because operation costs alone are higher than the value of the power after only a few years.

      So No, you can not sell that boondoggle, not even for a single dollar. It does not worth even a single dollar…

      That is all the problem…

    • And I too wish people would use a HANDLE as the trucker say,for Pete's sake, if not your name , then a fake identity, as a job to follow all anons, and so many in fear of their identity being known. Let's have a Dick , Jane, Spot, rover, etc and be consistent, and if you have a great idea, we might know that Spot the dog is the genius, instead of just anonymous.
      Winston Adams

    • Hi Winston,

      The potential solution I talked about was for one that would let Newfoundland & Labrador keep their sovereignty.

      What you are talking here is a potential solution of a completely different category.

      Both are potential solutions and up to each one to evaluate which sounds the best. If you would rather loose your sovereignty, it may be possible but I am not the right one to talk about this kind of solution. I am more about technology, numbers, etc.

      May the best solution be the one that will materialized, no matter which solution is best,

    • Well, guess it becomes a political question, and a political answer. We are all Canadians, in a confederation, so no one will starve in the dark and cold. As a province we have not been receiving equalization for some 10 years or so. So guess we will end up on that scheme again, as it it helps level out, and creates a level playing field or similar standard of living throughout the country. And in the confederation, our population at half a million, we would only be a drop in the 35 million bucket.

    • Lol Winston, can see you are peeved. I sometimes write as average Joe, or Joe blow, or sometimes just anony… Bruno tried to change me on that, he couldn't, so may not be worth anyone else's effort to even try. Yep, we are all different….guess you know the saying you can't corner the devil in the dark….lol

    • In a new Qc&NL prov, anon promised to not attempt to bulldoze thru a transmission corridor (if he gets a new BRP Skidoo every years).

      Referring to an old anon's project here; don't try to undestanding that one Heracles 😉

    • "without being run by HQ, MF can only operate at 17 percent"

      Wow Heracles, you need to have access to pretty accurate data to come out with such percentage.

      During the winter peaks, it should often reach close to 100% shouldn't it?

      And close to zero during the summer time, when HQ fills up the Smallwood reservoir. (And CFLCo performing their heavy maintenance program)

    • Hi Ex-mil

      This number is from Nalcor. I got it from another blog in an article titled Water Rights, Muskrat Falls, and the Muskrat Falls Disaster, published in Aug 2016.

      Nalcor knew that for MF to work, they needed to control the water. Unfortunately for them, under the Power Contract, it is HQ who controls the water. They designed a new legal claim, the Block Theory, trying to take back the control. They lost that case.

      That, in my opinion is the worst of the worst in all the stupidity of MF. To go with a project like that without any control or agreement on the water rights was the ultimate of all stupidity. They just gambled that they would win their legal case…

    • In theory the output max for short duration is 824 MW. Without water agreements, it can go down to 220Mw or lower. PENG2 says finish and don't operate, meaning zero power, and the North Spur is a risk anyway.
      So , likely go for more than a dollar, but not much more. Maybe I should practice my French, having taken Latin in School.

    • About the 17% : I went back re-read the texts.

      That represent the fix amount the power plant can produce reliably all year long. That is, the maximum amount that can be put in a power purchase agreement. The power plant may produce more power time to time, but not in a reliable or controlled fashion.

      Because it is not under control and not reliable, it can only be sold on the spot market as scrap, if available, when available, for very short term, … So very "low quality" and "unreliable" power. When so many have reliable surplus, who will go for such scraps ?

      That would be true for Gull Island also. It would run at 17% of its nominal capacity should UC operates as it does, without syncing production between the plants.

      Water take a few days to flow from UC to LC. MF's reservoir is so small, it is almost inexistent. So water flow (ie: power produced at UC) must be carefully planned not to send too much water downward, or not enough.

      All capacity of UC is sold to HQ by the Power Contract. A water management agreement would save water in the Smallwood reservoir for future needs. Saving water in the Smallwood reservoir means an increased capacity for the UC power plant. All capacity being sold to HQ, that extra capacity is HQ's, just like the rest.

      CFLCo tried to get control of the reservoir for them to release that capacity when they would need it. Unfortunately, the power plant can not answer both HQ's needs and CFLCo's needs at the same time when HQ is taking all the capacity. (problem in winter time)

      Should there be capacity available at the moment and not used by HQ, it is because HQ is saving water for the next season. To release that water would also goes against HQ and against the Power Contract. (problem in summer time)

      Lastly, HQ is the one responsible to pay for the consequence in case of shortage of water in the reservoir. That's why they are in control of it. They can not be responsible for a shortage of water if CFLCo can release it at their will…

      To put all of that in order, one would need more generators at UC to process more water at the same time during winter time. During summer time, the steady flow of power (and water) would be more from the LC. UC was not designed to buffer water for more than itself. To optimize this would require modifications to the plant.

      There was discussion about this in the past between CFLCo and HQ, as far as in the 1980s. Unfortunately, Newfoundland refused to hear anything than a complete re-opening of the contract, so that project never materialized.

  14. Winston:

    Thank you for informing us that your test was run on a
    temporary residence. It's possible that others, like
    myself, thought you had been speaking of your permanent
    residence. This changes understanding of how your results
    would affect day to day living standards for heating a
    house that is used all year around.

    • I have referred at times to this as a cottage. Normally occupied about 40 percent of the time, even in winter, but this year little occupied in winter, but heat on steady.
      Normal hot water energy use is $400-450 a year for a family of 4, about 15 percent of energy for a house, with heat normally 60 percent. This system has heat at about $300, so less than what hot water would be. If fully occupied heat would likely be about $250 per year. Also, this unit is an older model. A new model could reduce $300 down to $240, I suspect.
      Not sure if you consider peak load reduction impact on the grid, which of course is paramount for Holyrood shut down.

  15. To Every PC MHA and our current Finance Minster who sanction MF I have to ask "Why couldn't you sit down for a few hours and review the Merits of this project before voting on it”? It took me no less than a day of reading and a excel spreadsheet (2010) o come up with a final price tag of around 12 Billion dollars .
    My latest spreadsheet is title "BTU's, Why you may asked on BTU's, well I have to calculate how many BTU's it will take to heat my home. The winner per million BTU's is Oil!(Lowest Price) cheapest .. Yes folks oil heat, guess will be the most expensive “ electric heat.. 80 percent of homes in NL are heated with baseboard heating .
    The seniors are going to take one hell of a hit on this as are all of us.. Imagine heating your home with half you income going towards your power bill. One thing for sure, MF will not see one penny from me or my three boys. Last few dollars I have will be given to my sons in the form of a Grant to relocate out of NL . That 200 to 600 dollars extra a month for Heat/Lights is going to relocate many of us to another province.

    • So Dave, where were you in 2010 with this knowledge of cost of 12 billion and said nothing until 2018? And Oil the cheapest…….BS, for in Nfld, electric efficient heat is cheapest , and that is not baseboard. In 2010 I was installing such a unit, and reported performance to the powers that be. $300.00 a year for efficient electric heat. Tell your boys to stay on the rock.
      Winston Adams

  16. TREASON? this country. UG what I am writing here if it is hogwash delegation it immediately, but if it bears any resemblance to the truth, then we have TREASON in this country for the past 10 years. This should hit the floor of the House of Commons today. I am not an engineer and write as the average Joe, or Joe blow, so what do I know. You read the blog along with many others, so you know the discussions. Is the engineer from Montreal just a Menanse, if so he should be locked up, if he is just the messenger, no no point in shooting him. Or as Trumpie would say he might be a 400 lb man lying in his bed, hence, Hercules, or Big Guy. If he is just the messenger then he should be at the premiers office, not a blog. The information he is giving if known today, was known 2 years ago, 5 years ago and 10 years ago, and our leaders not telling us , including right up to the prime minister. That's why I call it TREASON In this country. And we should demand, a 12$ billion cheque be deposited in our account today by Ottawa. Yes, that's right, if muskrat is not worth 1 $ today, and it's now 90 percent complete, and this has been known for 10 years, then shit will hit the fan. We need answers, from the highest levels. What do you have to say UG???

    • While at it, why not $50B 😉 ? So NF can start constructing Gull Island with the same "honest" MF contractors…

      Ottawa should also pay a $1M/yr pension to DW. He deserves it; he created so much wealth/value around here…

    • Hi Anon,

      Indeed, these informations were known long before I wrote them here. FYI, there is in Newfoundland a group a lawyers calling themselves Vision2041. They told about that water management and the impact on Muskrat Falls. They recommended this legal issue be answered and cleared before going in construction. They were dismissed and ignored…

      So Yes, MF being limited at 17% without Water Management was known long time before I wrote it here and even before the construction.

    • Thanks Heracles, yes I have read all about vision2041, and similar figures for 17 percent. But all on blogs like this. Blogs are great for chatting, exchanging information etc. But not official information. Even most of the information is opinions, like a lot of the postings here. I am just an average citizen, Ex- military eng, is retired military, Winston retired engineer, I think, etc. So most here are similar to that. Was even questioning your status, lol, so anonymous in blogs or even names just to identify doesn't mean much. So, think it should be entering the political status, and official status, like the premiers, and Prime Ministers offices. Can this country afford 12$ billion, that becomes worth 1$ when it is built. That's my question, and is of national importance, especially when the Prime Minister is in for 8$. But as I said, I am just an average citizen, so what do I know, besides my opinion. Thanks.

    • We have a few engineers , mostly retired or semi retired here. From Quebec, Ex Military and Bernard (economist?) seem people of good will, toward Nfld and our situation. Heracles, an engineer, not so much it seems, unless I misjudge him, but interesting. What type of engineer?
      Winston Adams

    • Hi Winston,

      My first expertise is IT Security. You doubt my good will toward Newfoundland… Sorry to hear but in a free country like Canada, you are free to have your own opinion.

      I would say instead that I am very realistic about the situation and honestly, there is not much good thing in that situation for Newfoundland. Also, because the solutions I talk about go directly against the hate speech and anti-Quebec positions that have been repeated over and over in Newfoundland, they look as compatible with that hate speech.

      I think that what would be good for Newfoundland would be to acknowledge that its demography is the one with the weight and power of a ciry more than a province. That is a fact. To ignore facts is what produces resultats are MF.

      I think that the UC was a win-win and by denying this, Newfoundland pushes itself towards projects like Muskrat Falls. These projects are too big for you and put you in serious danger.

      I think that the first step to get out of this is to stop hate speech, envy and denial and start acting rationaly and on facts.

      I acknowledge it will be hard because, by definition, dreams are so much more comfortable that reality. Unfrotunately, reality will catchup and is catching up right now. Better for you to be ready to face it or the wake up will be even more brutal…

      Best luck

    • I just wish the next SSC decision spells out clearly that the 1969 contract was intended to be a win-win agreement, and that it achieved just that.

      That would then be a good starting PR tool for both provinces to get on a reconciliation process. And help convincing Nflders that HQ was not such a monstrous evil after all, only a little evil… 😉

      Ex-Military Engr – using my work PC, instead of my mobile

    • Heracles, Ex-military Engr, (et autres compatriotes québécois qui se trouvent ici…si on peut dire "ici" dans le cyberespace, bien entendu!), Winston and other interested parties:

      I'm the same Etienne who left a remark (at Uncle Gnarley's January 25 posting) on Quebec-Newfoundland relations and on (lack of) knowledge of French among Newfoundlanders.

      First, may I second Winston's recommendation that everyone leaving a comment here adopt a consistent name/pseudonym? That would simplify matters greatly.

      Second, to those Newfoundlanders who on-thread deny having any hatred or animosity towards Québec: I'm sorry, you do not know what you are talking about. Unless you master French well enough to compare French- and English-language coverage of events in Québec and elsewhere, you cannot begin to grasp the degree to which anglophone "journalism" in Canada (including within your own province, sad to tell) is hysterically, blatantly and nauseatingly biased against Québec. I assure you Heracles31, in speaking of "Hate speech", is not exaggerating in the slightest.

      Second, I'm no engineer (I'm a linguist by training), but it seems to me Newfoundland and Labrador is in an even more dire situation than most people here seem to realize. That is because both studies linked to above seemingly treat the *number* of electricity consumers as a constant (or constantly changing) set of units, whose only option, in the face of an increase in prices, is to either cut expenses elsewhere or reduce their consumption of electricity.

      But a third option exists: leaving the province altogether. This is true for companies as well as for individuals, and of course the two are linked: the more companies leave, and unemployment increases, the more of an extra incentive people have to leave.
      Which in turn means that getting your money back on your initial investment in electricity producing-facilities becomes even more difficult…

      Third, in answer to somebody who suggested upthread that Québec and Newfoundland + Labrador become one province: actually, the idea was (half-seriously) proposed a while back by Lise Bissonnette, one of our better journalists: I might be able to dig up the exact source/reference, if someone asks for it…

      Fourth, I think that we québécois who are interested in and indeed like Newfoundland (Incidentally, is there a word for this in either official language? Terranovaphile?) looking in on this are suffering from a kind of tunnel vision: we see Newfoundland and Labrador as a Québec-like society: smaller and more ocean-oriented, and English-speaking of course, but otherwise very familiar-looking.

      But I recently realized that both the collapse of the cod fisheries and the MF project make disturbing sense if we assume that Newfoundland + Labrador in fact differs quite, QUITE radically from Québec.

      I am willing to sketch out what I mean by this…with one hope: that somebody proves me wrong. I mean it. Because if I am right, then MF is just one symptom of a much deeper and probably insoluble problem which sooner or later will leave the entire province uninhabited. An outcome which I would find quite sad.

    • Ok. I am not seeing much opposition to Que+Nlfd +Labrador = Quenewland, something like Queensland in Australia
      1. 7 cent power for Nfld and Lab
      2. One province with many similarities except a bit of a language issue. The European Countries have maybe 30-40 languages.
      3 Area from the Grand Banks to St Lawrence to Hudson Bay, one of the richest resource areas of the world.
      4. We have the greatest hockey team from Montreal……a deal breaker for some?
      5 A few more details to work out.
      Winston Adams

    • Hi Hercules, your comment on "power and weight" of a city, and not a province, is a matter of opinion, and recognizing the country for what it is. The country is not a perfect homogeneous population and tterritory. We are sometimes compared to the city of Hamilton, ON, population wise, but think the comparison ends there. The distance from St. John's to Port aux Basgues, via TCH is 1000 km, or 10 hour drive non stop. That would be some city, and does not even include Labrador. So we are a large geographic area with a small population. Some say if we had all stayed, the direct descendants, and generations, we would have a population of some 4 million, almost as many as your province. So they are scattered across the country, the USA and the world. And we do have an immigration policy, that bring in your persons from around the world, but most leave for other parts of the country, after they finish university, college etc. Wher they can mix in with their ethenic groups, like Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver etc. But you are welcome, to come stay, along with your friends, says the average Joe, as I usually write under. Not sure how familiar you are with our province, as we are a big island, plus an even bigger Labrador. We have 4 world, unisco sites on the island alone, so we are more than a rock, and more than a city. I don't know a lot about your province, but have visited it a number of times, maybe like before you were born. I was at expo 67 in Montreal, also Quebec City, up and down the river, which is quite beautiful. So we are a vast country and the stronger any province, makes the country stronger. I have son and daughter here plus grandkids. My daughter is a linguist teacher, major in English and minor in French, has a good command of French language, have spent some time in st. Pierre, and the linguistics seem to come to her easily, I did know some conversational French or québécois years ago, but have lost most of it now from non practise. As you might know our ancestry is mainly from southwest England and southeast Ireland, with some mixture of others Europeans, like French, Spanish, Portuguese, and some others, plus some mixture of aboriginals. So NL'ers are not anti anyone, except a few here and there, which happen everywhere. But as we discussed earlier, the UC did cause some to pause, and say we did not get a fair deal, but others like my self say, you win some and you loose some, and that's reality, and life. What am I writing all of this for, you won't read it all. But yes, we all know this muskrat was a real blunder, pushed by a few, and supported by the majority, until recently. But a lot of us recognized it as a dud, right from the start but could do little about it. So we are not just a little band of merry people looking inwards, but average people looking outwards, and despite our current problem, are looking towards a bright future. Our ancestry is not by any means shrinking violets. And maybe you knew all of this before, but just giving you my prespective. Cheers, have a nice day. The average Joe .

    • Anon, see my ask of Etienne, and other QC based bloggers, to suggest ways forward for a more enriched community with our fellow Canadians, across the Land. There are benefits to how we react to the crisis at hand. I say Bravo to the progressive spirit within your own family.

    • Hi Anon,

      Sorry but No, the fact that a population of about 500K is the size of a significant city is hard number and hard fact. It is not an opinion.

      As for the distance between point A and point B, it just put in evidence that Newfoundland's capability is even lower than the one of a city because, for the same workforce of a city, Newfoundland has to do more on many subjects like this one. So the same pool of resource spreaded over bigger needs means you have even less resources for big projects.

      About me going in Newfoundland, I looked for it during a moment. Unfortunately, when reading about Newfoundland in medias from Newfoundland, I found so much hate speech against Quebec and me that I elected not to go and do anything else.

      About the immigration, it is the same everywhere. There have been a lot of people who left Quebec also and they too are all over the world.

      Newfoundland makes me thing about a kid story : The Frog and Ox. Trying to be as big as the Ox, the Frog puffed himself beyond his limits and finally burst. Newfoundland, trying to do as much and as big as other provinces is about to burst. So please stop trying while it is still time (if it still is…).

      In all cases, I appreciate the respect you express in your text and I hope more and more will join you in this respect because it is the first and unavoidable step toward a better reality for everyone.

      Have a nice day too and a nice week-end,

    • Not riting to you specifically Hercules, just commenting, because your mind is made up. You have a very closed mind, maybe with time, reflection, and life experience you may see the country and the world in a different light. In your present world you see things as black and white, I see many shades of grey, which has come with an open mind, and life experiences, which normally forms our opinion. So my opinion is quite different from yours, but as we say, that's what a democracy is all about, and the ability to express one's freely, and at the same time respect that of others. No, not giving you a lecture in how to think, just expressing mine as you freely do as well. And think of all the discussion on this blog in the past few days, think our discussion, has been more extensive, comphrenesive, and cordial than most. Thanks very much for your contribution. And maybe we end up where we started, talking about opinions.

    • Have to agree with Heracles that there is too much dislike of outsiders by Nflders in general, including Quebec. I would say dislike instead of hate, thought some may be extreme. I read that because we are mostly small rural communities, we were little exposed to other cultures or languages or colors even. I have some family members who I think that English background and history and Empire is superior. So, I say an improvement in our culture is needed. Odd that the Broadway hit about Gander…….maybe it being an international airport, and our long association with America (bases here), that they did so much to help outsiders in need.
      I disagree on some of his technical opinions, an engineer, but lacking in electrical grid systems, I suggest, but correct on the small size of our population and large area and the impact and extra costs associated with that.

    • Hi Winston, yes agree with you too, that w have a lot of rural communities, maybe in the past they were not so exposed to outside cultures but think that has changed in the past couple of generations mostly. Still some that have not travelled mush. But if you go to St. John's airport, it's a bustle of people and flights coming and going, not sure of the number of flights, but in the hundreds daily, and is the number of passengers last year over 2 million, ( stand to be corrected on that number) four times our entire population, not to mention the other 3 airports on the island. As for bias against against Quebeckers in general, think you will find more in the St. John's area than rural areas. Just my opinion, of course. AJ (average Joe)

    • Hi AJ
      You may be right, at least a MUN study that was little reported showed a lot of prejudice by students there, whether from St John's or rural, unknown.
      An experience of mine:
      About 1983 I went to Davis Inlet, returning on the Bonavista I saw an Innu man and his wife and a small child standing in the cafeteria area, looked poor, poorly dressed, and I invited them for a sandwich and to talk, which they gladly accepted. The staff on the boat locked at me as if I crazy to do such a thing. My purpose of being on the trip was to learn more of the Innu people.
      About 7 years ago, my wife and I travelled from Nain to Goose Bay on the Northern Ranger, a Woodward coastal boat. It was expensive, poor quality food, and cold rooms, no drinking water in the room, and no face cloths. We inquired as to the facecloth issue and was told they gave up on that because the locals steal them. Back in St John's Pipers had roadside ads for facecloths 4 for a dollar. I considered writing the Telegram and offering Woodward to send him several hundred free of charge for his boat, but never followed up. Mel passed a while ago, the media noting he was doing about 700 million a year in business, if memory serves. Such is the consideration and treatment of coastal Labrador,and it's people. Over 60 percent with food security issues, and all on expensive diesel electricity, while Labrador power warms the asses of people as far away as Boston.

    • Hi Anon,

      Does acknowledging facts for what they are is to be close minded ?

      When it's time to discuss about a subject, it is essential to establish a common ground to start from. That common ground include vocabulary and facts. Should two people not speak the same language, they can not discuss. Should two not talk about the same fact, they can not discuss.

      It is possible to end up with different opinion about the same fact and that happen all the time. When one rejects facts and hard evidence, it just makes the discussion impossible.

      When two end up in incompatible positions, they have to start back from the common ground to identify where did they split up, It is from that split that either one can recogizes his mistake or both can see the reason why the other took another path.

      Here, I tried to establish that common ground from hard facts and numbers. You dropped before we could agreed on these facts. Many time, people do so because they see what is further on that path and they don't want to face it. In all cases, not being able to start from a commong ground makes discussion impossible.

      If you are interested, we have some fact : population the size of a city ; proportion of the population older than average makes the total workforce smaller than average ; distance and geography requires more resources than an average city which benefits from being more compact.

      To reject facts is called denial and is one of the few thing I think Newfoundland is doing and should stop to do because it only ends up in results like MF, where facts were discarded and now reality is coming back big time. If you are ready to go with hard facts, the discussion can keeps going.

    • Lol, when Peter came out in support of muskrat a few years ago, I thought his dad might roll over in his grave, muskrat being a PC initiative. But guess it was great for goose bay and area and him. Yes, the treatment of innu and others have been deplorable, so a totally important conversation of its own. But we are not the only whites that have mistreated aboriginals, right across the country for sure. Some make amends are being instigated but certainly not enough, hope fully changes in our culture in that regard will improve. You are to be congratulated on your unselfish efforts on that trip, despite the staff surprise at you action. I did Google passengers at St. John's airport 2017 and it was approx. 1.6 million., so 3 times the population, Hamilton, ON about 0.5 million, and YQB, Quebec City, about 1.6 million, but know it does not mean a whole lot in comparing anything. Also if you get right into it, may include domestic as wel as international flights. Of course we are at the end of the domestic routes, so most flighs originate and end here. And Montreal and Toronto flights are in a catagory all their own, guess comparable to Vancouver, Calgary etc. Guess some of the prejudice you mentioned at MUN is tuition is the same for local students, (may change in new budget) as for those from other provinces, but especially international students, and sometimes competing for the same work terms, and jobs after graduation, especially in the oil and related industries. AJ.

    • Hi Hercules, no, I did not quit before we discussed the facts, and I am quite familiar with the population demographics of this province. We discussed for 2 days muskrat, UC etc. And I did not dispute any of your facts, as a matter of fact I relied almost totally on your numbers, especially for UC and related figures. As for vocabular, I am completely unilenguial, and congratulation you as being completely bilingual, so have no problem with your vocabular. But in a discussion, two people can start from the same facts and vocabular, and still end up disagreeing in the conclusion, or their opinion. Otherwise there would be no need for political parties, as an example, as we would all agree on the final conclusions.

    • Hercules, I used to, at one time, think that rational behaviour was superior to emotional, as you mention the problem of hate speech, envy etc, and say people need to stop that as a first step, especially Nflders toward Quebec.
      But you refer to the negative emotions. Opposite that is positive emotions: love for example, some kind of chemical reaction in the brain they say, but promoted such as Love thy neighbour as thy self. Then there is love of family and children, love of country, or province, or village. But all is emotional, is it not? So the argument for rational thought as superior over good emotional thought, is false, is it know? I mean some emotional thought may be superior to rational thought? Or that good emotional thought may actually be rational? Sound like fuzzy math, or something?
      Winston Adams

    • Hi Anon,

      Yes, two people can have different opinion on the same subject. But there is another thing that is important and it is the difference between an opinion and a fact. There is not interpretation in fact. Facts are absolute.

      Fact : about 500K is the size of Newfoundland's population
      Fact : about 500K is the size of a significant city's population
      Fact : these two numbers are the same
      Fact : Newfoundland population is, in average, older than the rest of Canada (I can go and grab the numbers should you wish), and the unemployed rate is higher in Newfoundland, leaving a smaller ratio of Active people (the ones who can work and actually work)
      Fact : A smaller proportion of the same number gives you a smaller total of Active people in Newfoundland than in an average City
      Fact : Newfoundland covers a much greater area than an average city
      Fact : To cover a wider area translates in higher costs than a city
      Fact : Removing a larger chunk from a smaller amount leaves an even smaller amount of resources available

      As such, it is a fact that Newfoundland, as a province, has less economical power than a significant city.

      Do you think there are facts that I forgot about that would change that ? Which facts would increase Newfoundland power above and beyond the one of a city ? (Example of such a fact would be that Newfoundlanders are X time more productive than average ones, allowing a smaller group to produce more than a bigger group. I did not found any evidence of such a fact, but that could be one if you have the evidence for it).

      As a matter of opinion :
      My opinion is that Newfoundland is in denial about its own reality and is convinced that is has everything needed to go after multi-billions dollars project by themselves. That denial back-fired many times in the past (Peckford Pickle Palace) and keeps back-firing today (Muskrat Falls).

      As for your opinion, you did not put any fact that would demonstrate how / why Newfoundland would have a capacity larger than the one of a city. You mentioned that Newfoundland is called a Province and not a City, but that has no relation with the actual economical power. There are countries that are smaller than cities…

      Again, to do, think and act while ignoring the fact is called denial and denial do exactly what happened at MF : To deliver something completely disconnected from reality.

    • Thank you Hercules, as I mentioned I am quite familiar with the demographics of this province, so agree with what you have stated, but so what, that does not change anything, including my conclusions, or opinion. As I mentioned before this province is quite often compared to the city of Hamilton. Hamilton has it's steel mills, 500 thousand population, approx. So would you say Hamilton is greater, more prosperous, contributing more to the nation than NL. If so why not go and try adding Hamilton to your economy. As for Peckford, am sure he can defend himself, now in BC, but his cucumber project was just over 20 million, a drop in the bucket. I just wish he would have located his greenhouses in central and western areas of the province, as they were suited to growing hydroponics, other than cucumbers, and the number of hous of sunshine is greater there, than on the Avalon, where he located them, would not need a lot of power to grow, and would help in our food sufficiency. I am never in denial, and as I told you, from day one, I was always opposed to muskrat, not necessarily to maga projects, as the oil industry is a maga project, and very successful, but always depends on the world price of oil, as you know we have very little control over. But I am opposed to maga projects that governments do alone, but in favor when taken on in conjunction with private industry, like big oil companies. And we are doing quite well with royalties from off shore oil mega projects. Thanks again, A J.

    • Hi Winston,

      Thanks for your post. About rational being superior or not to emotional, I agree with you. Rational is useless when talking about HR management and many other subjects. The thing is, emotional is useless when talking about project management, finances and many others.

      On a subject like Muskrat Falls, it is exactly why it ended up as such a fiasco. This project was 100% emotional and 0% rational when it should have been the opposite. About Newfoundlanders emotions, I agree they are important and they are to be respected. That's why in a previous post I asked you if you had enough of it or are you looking for more… For as long as you are looking for more negative emotions above rational, we only can let you go and do more of these disastrous projects (or to handle this one because this one may be disastrous enough for you not to survive it…)

      The kind of emotion I perceive from Newfoundland are negative and I think positive emotion would do better. That's why I would like people from Newfoundland to see Quebec and the rest of Canada as friendly and supportive. I hoped for that in many of my posts…

      For these emotions to change, the root cause of the emotion is to be reviewed. The root cause being a misunderstanding of facts (Newfoundland sees UC as a robbery instead of a Win-Win), I try to help you understand these facts and the rational behind them for you to be able to adjust your emotions.

      As long as you consider UC as a robbery, the only things you can do are either to keep going after your negative emotions, or to deny yourself your own emotions. These are two wrong answers (as for me at least…). That's why I hope you can review the rational, understand the error, adjust the emotion and start doing by a new positive emotion.

      I keep hoping such a miracle can happen…

    • Of course , with me, you are preaching to the converted: I opposed MF at the PUB hearing, and a few others. I have called on this blog for a change of culture, keep the good , drop the bad. I go as far as suggest Quebec join Nfld and Labrador, or vise versa may seem better to you, and fine with me also. We agree the positive emotions are rational. Great. I like your Ox and frog story.

  17. Just read a recent article on about mould in heat pumps and loss of efficiency due to being dirty and therefore they require annual deep cleaning. Does anyone know the cost of annual deep cleaning and filter changes for heat pumps?

    • This is overblown, and sure to be broadcast by scallywags.
      1. Filters in the indoor units ate cleanable. My experience : 4 times a year, say nov, Jan Mar June. In summer with reduced use and reduced speed they didn't get very dirty
      Vacuum the filter , 2 filters takes about 15 minutes to to the job. After 6 years I then also washed the filter under the tap with hot water.
      As to mould. … not confirmed as mould. But in AC mode on warm days moisture forms on the fins and drains out via the piping. Good practice to tilt the unit about .25 in to the side that it drains on. As most installers may not do that, some small amount of water can linger in the plastic tray, and show as blackness. But questionable if mould. I have drained directly from the unit into a white pan , and the pan gets a coating that is dark gray in color, and appears to be from the aluminum fins, perhaps disolved from the fin surface. I have not tested it, as to be sure, but the tilt on the unit get rid of most all moisture after in the ac mode. If you put in heat mode after, that too quickly evaporated any moisture.
      When basement humidifier, a fridge bottom drain pan, etc, stagnant water should be avoided.
      Lowering your hot water tank below 120 F is a much more serious problem.It can cause Legionaires disease, a type of pneumonia , that can kill you, if taking showers and deep breathing the mist.
      If in Florida and AC operating year round, I'd be more concerned about heatpumps . Last year I used mine about 10 days over the 3 months for AC. Send me a donation for this free advise.
      Winston Adams

    • This story on is out of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick and not Florida. The annual deep cleaning would be a requirement for me and I need to find out the annual cost for it to do a proper analysis of the cost of heat pumps.

    • Of course if you are in the deep cleaning business and wish to promote fears, way to go. If you prefer deep cleaning, suggest you take care with a basement humidifier and your fridge and colon. All above 50 are at risk for cancer with should have a deep clean and then inspection of the colon. Not kidding.Very serious. Recommended every 5 years starting at 50.

    • Winston – you made my morning and cheered me up! A bit of humour helps with all this serious stuff. I do agree with you that one's colon needs far more regular care than a correctly installed heat pump.

  18. A little black humour, I guess.
    My colon exam was done 19 years "past best before date" and just got 1 precancerous polop.
    Two close relatives , in recent months, one with stage 4 colon cancer, so spread to lymph nodes and liver. Her GP recommended against the colon exam screening a year earlier.
    Other relative now stage 3 colon cancer, and had not had the colon screening. So, essentially fighting for their lives, , in a 3rd rate, inefficient health care system,yet staff , some almost overwhelmed with coping.
    Glad it made you smile, and appreciate your comment.
    Winston Adams

  19. Etienne, Go ahead, I'm listening, along with Bernard, Heracles, Ex military, others. I can even get my 11yr old Grandaughter here in Fernie French School do some translation. One possible future for uninhabited lands Northern QC, Labrador, NL isle is to donate it back to indigenous, from who we white European invaders. They do a better job of stewardship over the "Crown Assets".

    • Heracles31: It's a good thing you had already written that you work in Intelligence Technology, because on the basis of your exchange above with Anon I would have guessed you were either an engineer or a mathematician.

      Robert G. Holmes: Thank you for your kind words. Well. Allow me to offer my explanation: I have repeatedly heard, among people who know Canada well, the joke that Canada consists of two nations: Quebec and Newfoundland. Other Canadians are simply Americans in denial. The joke is uncomfortably close to the truth, in my experience.

      This, of course, means that at first glance people from Québec such as myself (and others here in the comments) tend to think we "get" Newfoundland. But here is where I think there is a core difference: Québec is a society whose inferiority complex vis-à-vis the outside world (Anglophone North America and France alike) has been steadily decreasing, even as it has asserted its distinctiveness over the past couple of generations. And my hunch is that, ever since it entered Confederation, Newfoundland has been Québec's mirror image: it sees its identity evaluated in an ever-more negative fashion, with each passing generation, by Newfoundlanders themselves.

      This would explain quite a lot. MF, as a project, seems to involve sacrificing long-term (fiscal) sustainability for the sake of short-term profit (jobs). But if the bulk of the inhabitants of Newfoundland see Newfoundland distinctiveness as something to avoid, to flee, i.e. to migrate away from, and not something to nurture and cherish, then why should the long-term future of Newfoundland be of any concern to them?

      Indeed, from the vantage point of any Newfoundlander who takes it for granted their future life is outside Newfoundland, it makes perfect sense to accept MF: after all, the jobs created certainly are a good thing, and the long-term consequences are irrelevant to you as an individual…if you personally do not count on being in the province once the noxious consequences of MF can no longer be kicked down the road.

      The same logic applies to the collapse of the cod fisheries: this could have been prevented had some restrictions been applied to fishermen and ship companies early enough: but again, why should you sacrifice short-term profit for long-term gain if you do not expect you or your offspring to be in the province over the long term?

      There is, in fact, a Québec separatist named Robin Philpot (he is an anglophone Ontarian by birth) who, in a fine 2005 book, LE RÉFÉRENDUM VOLÉ ("The stolen referendum": it refers to the 1995 Quebec referendum and points to some quite shocking behavior by the feds. Is it necessary to add that the book has never been translated into English?) examines the strange divergence between Newfoundland and Iceland since the mid-twentieth century: Iceland voted to become a separate country just a few years before Newfoundland voted to join Canada. At the time Newfoundland was substantially richer than Iceland, and today Iceland is substantially richer than Canada. Tellingly, cod fishing remains a core part of the local economy.

      And this fact fits with my theory: for Iceland went overboard in protecting its cod resources, unlike Newfoundland. If you assume most voters in Iceland saw Iceland as a society worth preserving over the long run, as a place they pictured their children and grandchildren growing up and living in…as, in short, a nation, then indeed short-term pain (i.e. strict quotas for fishing) was acceptable to the Icelandic electorate, in a way it isn't and cannot ever be to the Newfoundland electorate.

      So: Comments? Criticism? To repeat myself, I would really like to be proven wrong on this one…

    • Omg, Etienne, you are so off on this one, difficult to know where to start, but would just make a couple of points. Compare Iceland to NL is valid, yes before w joined the confederation, but since, very difficult. Would Iceland fall into the catagory of city or province…by size and population…Hercules. We considered the Grand Banks of Newfoundland to be ours, as we were the country at one time nearest and a part of our contention shelf, and it was the very reason for our being. But admit it was a difficult life to earn from the sea, a very inhospitable environment, as Mother Nature really showed any mercy to those who ventured in her presence, but in some times very nurturing. COD was king, but in our case salted, as we were far from markets, and icing could not do it. So as you know salted cod fetched low prices on all markets. But we did later get into secondary processing, and cold storage, for a couple of generations after confederation. Confederation was the demise of our fishery. The Feds took complete control of the Grand Banks that we had brought to the confideration, and that include, quotas, local and international, and so called inforcement and protection I might add. They gradually reduced our quotas, in all species, while increasing foreign nations. At that level it was run mainly by international affairs dept, rather than the fisheries dept. they traded off all kinds of quotas in exchange for sale of Canadian products into Europe markets. Another example, they made Caplin, the food of all species, an unregulated catch, so in the 60's 70 and 80's the Russians, or USSR, Poles, and Japanese, to name but a few, fished the Caplin of the seas 10 months a year, day in and day out until it was destroyed. When you destroy the fish food chain, you destroy many species, including Cod. But those guys in Ottawa didn't know that, until it was too late, and most do not even know it now. I could go on for hours on the fishery, but will leave it at that. The Feds destroyed the fishery, rather than protecting and conserving, and then mainly blamed us, until we have no, or few quotas in any species. Maybe shrimp, and crab. But most shrimp is in the foreign northern companies, with so called joint ventures with people in Canada. And our smaller off shore 65 footers are left trying to scrape the bottom in a few unrestricted areas. So just to finish, who was responsible for destroying the cod in 92, the Feds and the foreigners, as they were aided and abetted by Ottawa. And I am not trying to place blame, or in denial, the facts are there for anyone who dare to get to the bottom of it. But will also say the large local offshore companies of the last half of the last century are not completely innocent, but they were still operating under the Feds quotas, rules, and regulations. Thanks everyone, AJ.

    • Wow, Etienne, that was a piece of art you just wrote. 

      (I'm afraid I'll have to improve my English writing by a big margin if I want to keep pace)

      About Heracles, his experience in Intelligence Technology  definitely shows.

      So with you, Heracles, Bernard, Robert, Winston and more (including colorfull "AJ"), this comment section will definitely be a must to read everyday! 


    • Thanks Etienne for your commentary. Suggested reading would be;
      The Beothuk Saga, translated by Wayne Grady, 2000, (La Saga des Beothuks, by Bernard Assiniwi, 1996) McClelland and Stewart.
      2) Old Newfoundland, A History to 1843, Patrick O'Flaherty, 1999
      3) The Cod Fisheries, The History of an International Economy, Harold Innis, 1940.
      4) White Tie and Decorations, Peter Neary, 1996.
      Anything by Farley Mowat about NL; Whale for the Killing, Boat who wouldn't Float, etc.

      There are many other recent writings on the Newfoundland experience. Not to be arrogant, but Newfies represent a long and distinct culture, somewhat separate from your typical "Canadian", but which has become "watered down" as more assimilation set in after 1949. I was there at the time of this version of Confederation. Thanks and best Regards.

    • Hi Etienne,

      On your text, I considered your story started from the right place and also ended at the right place. Unfortunately, it is almost everything in between that I disagree with you.

      Short-term gain means long term lost. That is almost always the case.
      Long term gains means short term lost. That is called investment.
      Short term lost ending up in long term lost can be different thing : speculation gone wrong, lack of planning or more.

      As for me, MF can not even been considered as short term gain because a lot of the money involved left Newfoundland. It would have been easy to keep much more of this money inside Newfoundland. MF was presented as investment but was not. It was speculation done to satisfy emotion. The only thing I can compare this with is addicted gamblers.

      For MF, the emotional need to do something that would impact Quebec was the recompense Newfoundland was looking for. That is why they disregarded the water management and tried to do it all localy. For that long term benefit (getting a revenge against Qc), they were ready to do some sacrifice.

      Also, think that many jobs at MF were specialized workers from outside the province.

      So no, I don't think the motivation was individual interest over social interest as you put it.

      Do you get that as being proved wrong ? 😉

    • I see some truth in each of the above comments, but
      Nfld had some 1300 small communities (now about 600), scattered over 6000 miles of shoreline. Many were at the mercy of St John's merchants. For a time Coaker started a fisheries union, in 1908 and soon gave the St John's merchants some competition……some labels him a communist. He made a lot of progress in parts of Nfld, Claimed to be 20,000 strong, and like Moses as a leader. In the end he got into government, was knighted, bought a place in Jamica, had his own power company, which kept him rich, as far as I can tell, as the other business faltered. He built a memorial to himself, with a bust, and looks much like Lenin in Moscow, whose body was preserved. Religion differences kept the union from being bigger.
      The business elite in St John's still rule today, and so the boondoggle, and some of the profits go there……St John's Board of Trade MFs biggest fan.
      The outport people have little idea of the complexity of MF,(readers on this blog see some of the complexity) they were told it was the lowest cost, and we would go cold with no electric heat if we hesitate (all false, but how to know, when the media seems to be enablers rather than investigative journalists). And along comes Uncle Gnarley to educate and expose……but the horse was out of the barn. For the average Joe, I think little was anti-Quebec, but some of this was used by politicians.
      Now, as to fisheries, my father, had a fishing operation on the Labrador, in 1939 wrote a letter to the Telegram as to the potential of Labrador fisheries : a 1000 men could be employed, he said, and that the Depression Days, that already fish were being flown fresh from northern Manitoba to Chicago, and that the distance from Labrador to Montreal was no longer. AJ speaks only of salted fish potential.
      And as to the loss of the cod and capelin, I had monitored sea temperatures for 10 years , year round,from 1999 to 2010, and felt most certain that changing temperatures had much to do with the fishery collapse and the little recovery. Finally, after 25 years, fisheries is now saying changing ocean conditions is at play and likely mostly at fault: climate change.
      That short term gain is not investment, is correct. MF was nothing but a gamble, as DW said we "must roll the dice". The roll based on assumptions most all false, and many deliberately must have been known to be false. No reasonable certainty that a real investment requires.
      We are a small population that was fragmented over a large area. The rural population voted in for Canada, being tired of being exploited by St John's merchants……what was there to lose.
      With MF , the game is the same, only the faces change. Those that got the gravy , like Coaker, will have properties in the South , like Florida. They are satisfied to screw their fellow man and vammose with their plunder. They did a first class job. A world class racket that Muskrat Falls fiasco. Will Leblanc expose their cunning ways and their lies and deception? Time will tell.
      Winston Adams

    • Can't disagree with anything you have written, Winston, it's our history. Your comments are about the inshore and Labrador fishery, mainly pre confideration. My comments were mainly the off shore fishery, that included foreign overfishing, post confideration. Yes, and as you implied, history repeats itself. Maybe your trip on the Labrador, that you mentioned before, was an attempt to retrace footsteps, as you mentioned your family involvedment on the Labrador fishery. Yes, thousands made the trip every summer to the Labrador coast to heak out a living from Mother Nature, a tough one, but all a part of our history. A few made it their permanent residence on the Labradors coast. Think that's where the Rooms in St. John's got their names, from the rooms on the Labrador, as well as the island, in their memory. That's why the Rooms are sacred and belong to us all. Hear, Hear, Rooms There…….I think, around the 70s there was some fresh cod being flown directly to Toronto, or Ottawa, of course in relatively small amounts, may have been Moores in Carbonear, or FPI. But nothing big to it, and guess it fizzled out. True the dice was rolled on muskrat, and their gamble was the oil prices would continue upwards, forever. And there would be lots of that newfound wealth to pay for muskrat many times over. But fate was not on their side, and we know what happened to oil prices, and are not likely to return to the 100$ a barrel anytime soon. As we always say, what goes up must come down. And the stock market is a good example. Of course the stock market covers all commodes and will have mountains and valleys, and trending upwards, unless Trumpie causes a major crash in world trade. Thanks everyone, AJ.

    • Would just mention Heracles, as you mentioned many high skilled jobs were from outside the province. You have to know, that in the last decade there were three mega projects occurring on the island and overlapping each other, so it did put a strain on high tech jobs. The 10$ billion Hebron project just put to sea to the Grand Banks, in oil production, built or assembled in Bull Arm. The Vale nickel project in Long Harbour, for refining minerals from Voiseys Bay on the Labrador, was just completed, that was on going for a decade, and was around 10$ billion, and then muskrat overlapped these two projects. So 3 maga projects occurring on the island, all at the same time. Yes, there should have only been two. Muskrat should not have happened. The other two were privately funded by big industry, with a little government involvement. Nalcor has 4.9 percent equity steak in Hebron, which I don't think was a good idea, so only time will tell if it will pay off. We should have relied on royalties only, and the construction jobs. Of course while these 3 maga projects were underway, the other three major oil fields on the Grand Banks were still pumping sweet crude, and being serviced by the supply boat industry, along with transshipment to Placentia Bay, and to markets to the US east coast ports, NY, Baltimore , etc, as well as some to eastern Canadian refineries. Along with some exploration continuing on the Grand Banks. So with muskrat we do not have all our eggs in the one basket, thank God. And thanks everyone, for reading. AJ.

    • We are now advised via the media, that cod stocks have collapsed again. Does not appear to be much future in the traditional inshore fishery. Resettlement of remote communities? to mitigate the Gov.'s modus; No problems with Revenues Bye's, we just have to tighten up a little on Expenses, No cutbacks to Unions, check out the MP letter to Editor in Telegram, "We're working hard for NLers", mentions $2.9B for Muskrat to "save" NL on interest pays for Ch—-t's sake. Also. Pam has embedded contractor saying the EPC contract run by NALCOR on the "Public funded Muskrat" did not permit payroll over "contract". Talk about tax avoidance, will Grant Thornton get to the unpaid GST? unpaid CPP, UI, WSB, etc?

      My Saturday Rant. Keep it going fellow bloggers;

      "Each and every one of us can do something about it. We can make a case and say to people sitting in those positions of power, 'That is not acceptable. You cannot continue to do that on my behalf". – John Ralston Saul, The Comeback. Viking Press, 2014.

    • Anon (at 19:53): The federal government utterly failed to manage cod fisheries. Agreed. But that is not the issue. The issue is: Why didn't Newfoundlanders DO anything during this time? During the so-called "cod wars" Icelandic fishing ships regularly rammed British Royal Navy ships, or sliced off non-Icelandic fishing boats' trawling nets. And, incidentally, in the end Iceland won.

      I cannot believe that an electorate which voted for premiers such as Brian Peckford or Clyde Wells would have hesitated to use such tactics, especially if such tactics had already been shown to work…*had said electorate cared enough*. My point above was that the thoroughly negative perception Newfoundlanders have of their own identity means that most of them didn't care about the long-term future of Newfoundland, and sadly most still don't today.

      Robert G. Holmes: thank you for the reading list. Newfoundland is a very distinctive culture, not a doubt: as a linguist I can tell you that Newfoundland English is one of the most distinctive varieties of English in the First World. But whereas in Québec a Michel Tremblay, or in Acadian New Brunswick an Antonine Maillet, both made heavy use of non-standard French in their work, Newfoundland English has never been so used by any major playwright or writer and thus seems never to have lost its stigma. Which fits with my theory very nicely, wouldn't you agree?

      Heracles31: I expressed myself poorly (*Gros soupir*…C'est classique: les géographes se perdent tout le temps, les psychologues sont toujours fous, et les linguistes ne peuvent jamais communiquer…) I meant short-term gain *from the vantage point of the average individual Newfoundlander*. If MF means that there will be more jobs, the average Newfoundlander will be for it: whether MF is good for Newfoundland as a whole, over the short or the long run, is simply not relevant if Newfoundland distinctiveness is perceived in a negative light and if,thus, the average Newfoundlander does not believe that they or their offspring will, or indeed should, be motivated to building their lives in Newfoundland.

      Winston Adams: the opposition between the Townie elite and the bulk of Newfoundlanders is certainly a reality. So are class oppositions elsewhere. Let me ask you: why hasn't the Townie elite recently faced a mass movement, comparable to, oh, say, the Québec student strike of 2012? You know, the mass movement that was opposed to a proposed tuition increase and…err…WON?

      The question above is rhetorical: I think you know what my answer is.

    • The only journalists with guts , Justin Blake , of th Independent, charge with both civil and criminal charges, for doing his job, following the Protctors at Muskrat, and streaming live.
      This piece says such charges "is incredibly dangerous for press freedom in Canada.
      Blake says the charges has a huge chill effect for other journalists.
      Some think things like this doon't happen in canada…….Hellooooo.
      The judge: Wynne Anne Tracey, our provincial court…. a name to remember…..did UG praise our justice system , in a moment of the retirement of one of our good judges, Green? Maybe got carried away?
      Winston Adams

  20. Some good questions Etienne, probably can not answer these questions to your satisfaction, but will comment. What goes on in the freishry on the Grand Banks, is not totally known and understood by the average electorate, not even in NL. Any illegal action done taken in international waters, Grand Banks, by NL would be seen as Canadian action, not NL action, and an international act. Tiny Iceland can get away with it, who is going to go to war with tiny Iceland, they would get international pity, and sympathy, which they did so they won the war of public opinion., Canada would get no sympathy as you know. The things I mentioned, were unregulated species, quotas, and lack of enforcement of quotas, conservation and protection. Back then there was no law on Caplin quotas, so Russians etc. we're not breaking any law. How do I know they fished and destroyed the Caplin, I saw it with my own eyes, the average person did not know that, and a lot of fisherman did not know it either. As for international affairs dept of Canada, giving European countries big fish quotas in exchange for Canadian products in the European market, try and prove that. Yes several NL premiers, and others screamed blue murder at the time, so what, Ottawa was boss, and what can 7 little mps do in Ottawa. Could leave it at that, but since you mentioned NL premiers by name will comment just for the heck of it. Wells, was a legal begal, after being premier, he became the Chief Justice of the NL Supreme Court, he probably never got a parking ticket, went right by the law. Yes, he opposed Meech lake, and that was not illegal, so opposed on principle, so can you imagine him doing anything outside the law of the land. Peckford and Tobin, both premiers, may be considered the bad boys, premier. Peckford was too busy fighting Ottawa on off shore oil rights, and fishery too, I guess, in the media and in Ottawa, to be doing any practical thing on the Grand Banks. As for Tobin, he had has his day, as fisheries minister in Ottawa, in fighting the cod wars. You remember he did authorize fisheries protection to fire on a spanish vessel, which they did, and chased it half way across the Atlantic, arrested it and brought it back to port. That was under, his boss, pm Chrétien. Probably the only two that had the guts to do anything like that on the world stage. Then DW came later, too late then to take much action, the damage was done. But he did take action, and when he considered that Ottawa wasn't doing enough scientific work to protect the stocks, he hired an Irish research vessel to conduct research on the stocks, and paid for the work by NL. He also hired additional NL wardens, on the salmon rivers, a totally Ottawa responsibility and jurisdiction. So as you know only one level of government can have jurisdiction over anything, very rearly joint jurisdiction. So, I have given my prospective and opinion, and a few facts. Will make just one more comment, you have implied and said that Nl'ers, just want to take what they can, in the short term and get out of NL. That is totally, totally, wrong. No other people, except Quebeckers maybe, love their beloved home more than NL'ers. Will leave you with this joke. When we all die and go to heaven. How will you know they NL'ers? They will be the ones that will want to go home. As a matter of fact, when you consider our population demographics, you will find that our ageing populing is contributed to , by a lot of Nl'ers after retirement age are coming back home. They may have worked in Ontario and elsewhere, have good pensions, and coming back to enjoy their retirement here. They are no burden on the economy, as most have their life savings, plus work pensions. But yes, in time they will put a greater strain on the healt care of the province. Thanks everyone for my ramble. AJ.

  21. I agree with AJ that an illegal action from NL would have been received as from Canada and that makes the situation very different when compared to Iceland.

    As for everything related to fishery, I would need to do research on my side before talking more about it…

  22. AJ, Heracles31: Yes, because Newfoundland was and is a Canadian province its tactics would have been different from Iceland's. Before engaging in actual violent actions against foreign ships in international waters it could have first threatened to do so, thereby getting Ottawa's attention.

    But this is a secondary issue, regarding tactics. The core question is: why did the Icelandic electorate care enough about the issue to threaten to vote out any politician who did not go all the way to secure the future of the local cod fishery, whereas the Newfoundland electorate plainly did not care?

    Blaming politicians is easy, and common. But here's what people forget all too easily: in a democracy you cannot ever expect politicians to use political capital to solve an issue or problem their electorate does not care about.

    AJ: The average Newfoundland fisherman may be ignorant of international relations…but the same could be said of the average Icelandic fisherman, especially in the seventies (Iceland is far more isolated than Newfoundland, geographically as well as linguistically, after all, and for most of its history was about as poor: read Jules Verne's VOYAGE AU CENTRE DE LA TERRE, he describes the extreme poverty of Iceland overy vividly). Your objections leave unsolved the problem: whence the radical difference between Newfoundland and Iceland regarding its fisheries?

    As for Newfoundlanders' love of their province…why does the Newfoundland electorate keep re-electing members of the same political establishment? The same one which presided over the collapse of the fisheries, mismanaged oil revenues, and came up with MF, to merely list the most disastrous decisions made in terms of Newfoundland's long-term future…

    Again, I'm afraid my theory explains the data very well: and if you find it distressing…well, join the club: I too find it distressing.

    But that is no argument against its being true. As I have repeatedly told my better students: do not ask questions/explore topics unless you are certain you want to find the answer: for reality is under no obligation whatsoever to fit within your emotional comfort zone.