Life might be so much simpler if, like innocents on Christmas
Eve, we would only believe.  

Stan Marshall, Danny Williams, Siobhan Coady — each one has a
narrative that doesn’t fit with the facts, that can’t stand up to the scrutiny even
of youngsters. Interestingly, the truth could easily favour Marshall and Coady,
but they are unable to resist “spin”; other versions, supposedly, are more
worthy of gratitude and acclamation. 
For Marshall, it’s this comment to reporters following Nalcor’s
AGM: “Any megaproject in the world would be happy to be where we are.” Presumably,
the CEO is referring to the progress made on Muskrat in 2017 which he,
ostensibly, influenced. Problem is, he omits that productivity for its major
contractor is still only around 22% (that’s an average 2.2 hours of work on a
10-hour shift) and that much of this performance is related to poor management
by Nalcor. Should we await another multi-million dollar claim by Astaldi?

Marshall certainly isn’t worried about budgets, having
negotiated a 4.5% wage increase for Muskrat in 2018 when other industrial
workers — and public servants — are taking 0.0%. He is employing Ed Martin’s
management team and they are still running the site out of St. John’s! Where is
the evidence that this CEO is running things differently? 
Marshall is also talking up “rate mitigation,” as is the
Minister of Natural Resources, Siobhan Coady. He, at least, is honest with
respect to the utility of making the Labrador Island Link operational so that
it can access Upper Churchill Recall power, substituting oil at Holyrood. The
CEO told reporters that these savings are not going to “change the big picture,”
that it’s “going to help mitigate the rates and smooth the transition.”  And, he adds correctly: “Rates are expected to
double over the next couple of years.”
Coady, on the other hand, is far less forthright. She was
quick to piggyback on Marshall’s comments using his phraseology and, amidst the
verbiage, talked up her desire to “smooth” rates, too.
But, as in the Buckley’s Mixture ads, she wants us to think
that something that tastes awful is good for us. She invokes a cost per kWh “target
range for Atlantic Canada” of between 16 and 18 cents per kWh, in contrast Muskrat
Falls’ power at 21 to 22 cents per kWh without mitigation. She suggests that “government
is aiming to have rates that are competitive with the rest of Atlantic Canada.” 

Coady is talking apples and oranges. She fails to note that
household use electric baseboard heating is close to negligible in PEI and less
than 30% in Nova Scotia, in contrast to around 70% in NL. By and large, 16–18
cent per kWh has a far larger impact here than in the Maritimes.

The Nova Scotia UARB was insistent on the supplementary deal
with Nalcor (else it would not approve the FLG) to make sure rates in that
Province were kept as low as possible. Nalcor agreed to put the cost on NL to
keep NS happy, which included virtually all of the cost-overruns.

In addition, Coady fails to note that the savings are very
short-term, ending when Muskrat is commissioned and Holyrood is shuttered; the
savings from Recall power end then, too. 
Coady, like Ball, won’t admit a grim truth to the public: the
plan they are hatching is not about “mitigation” of rates, it’s about “smoothing”
their way through the next election.
That’s Marshall and Coady. However, they’re not in the same
league as Danny Williams. They are Bantam players by comparison. 
Danny isn’t content merely to “spin” a narrative so that it fits
nicely with what he wants people to believe; he has to rewrite history. 
Williams forgets that the best search engines — Google, Yahoo!,
Bing — and even some of the worst are at the ready to disavow what some
believed were “truisms”.
Marshall said a few positive things about Muskrat and Williams
was on him like fly spit in agreement. Williams’ Press Release ran: “I have
always said the logical way to keep electricity rates from doubling was to use Nalcor
profits from oil and gas and hydro, and eliminate the return on equity to the
Problem is, Williams didn’t “always” say anything of the kind.
What he said, on that heady day in 2010 at the Fairmont Hotel — when he and
most others thought he could walk straight across the Narrows to Fort Amherst
and not get his feet wet — is this: 
“Our priorities have remained steadfast; that is to achieve
maximum benefits for our people, and to secure stable rates and markets with a
good return for the people of this province.”

“Stable rates” (he wasn’t talking 22 cents per kWh, else he
would have gotten his feet wet for sure). “A good return”? That’s not the term
one uses when a $500 million subsidy is required just to secure 17 cent per kWh

And, don’t forget, 22.9 cents per kWh is achievable only by
blending the cost with existing depreciated assets. In fact, the cost of
Muskrat is so high that I refrain from going into the “back-end loading” implications
on which the whole scheme is based — which exposes the need for a $1 billion subsidy
within just a few years after commissioning.  
Williams began talking about applying dividends from Muskrat
and other revenues to lower the impact of Muskrat’s cost in January 2017 but he
made no more sense then, than he does now.
would have the public believe that nothing is at stake in doing what he
proposes. But the truth is otherwise:

1. In
order to pay off the $3.7 billion we borrowed to invest in Muskrat Falls, we
need those dividends he now wants to forgo. If we don’t get them, the debt will
have to be serviced by the taxpayer. So either the money we need to pay for
health, education and all other public services will have to be diverted to pay
off the money borrowed for our equity in Muskrat Falls, or our taxes will have
to be increased.

2. Last
year we made a paltry $9 million from our oil and gas investments. That should  
a long way to lowering our electricity rates! As we have discovered, oil and
gas revenues are volatile and can’t be depended on to provide a stable stream
of revenue for rate mitigation.

The public may, in time, applaud Marshall (though he is coming
across as a tad too needy) and Coady too. But, as for Danny, I’m far less
The truth can, indeed, be inconvenient. But shocking is the
pain that awaits all those innocents when the bills arrive. Having stopped believing
in Santa, pretty soon people won’t even care what Danny says.

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


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

Churchill Falls Explainer (Coles Notes version)

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


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


  1. UG says the Atlantic power range of about 17 to 18 cents vs Muskrat at 21 to 22 cents,without mitigation, but later says this is the Nfld blended rate.
    For clarification for me and others, I understand that MF power delivered to Soldiers Pond is over 60 cents per kwh? That figure is so high that it is hard to believe and worth confirmation by UG, as it reflects the madness of the economics of Danny's Legacy project for the province. Our existing island hydro assets produce at about maybe 3 cents per kwh and Holyrood at about 13 now, and about 28 if using the gas turbine. So all the mix would result in about 22 cents without mitigation.
    As island hydro is about 85 percent of the total, we are largely using existing 3 cent hydro power , being mixed with over 60 cent MFs power. So MFs over 20 times more expensive as an hydro source?
    Is this the economic reality that Danny Williams is so proud of?
    Winston Adams

    • Best to look at the NL energy requirement from Muskrat which is simply to replace Holyrood. Presently that quantity is about 1600 GWh per year. At a PPA total cost of 800M, this works out to 50 c/kwh. There is negligible revenue coming from the remaining maximum 3000 GWh that might flow to NS.

      When NL consumers undoubtedly reduce energy consumption, things get worse. Say only 500 GWh is needed in NL but the same 800M must be raised. Then the delivered rate must be 160 c/kwh.

      Nalcor averages the entire maximum power delivery of 4600 GWh across 800M to promote a delivered price of 17 c/kwh but it's a garbage number unless all wholesale customers paid that rate for every bit of energy. The reality is NL customers only must pay it and they will hardly need it but must pay anyway.

      Nalcor acknowledges the allocation to NL allocation of costs in their blended rate forecast of 22 c/kwh. They base this on negligible reduction of consumer demand which is insane. If they'd reduce their forecast by at least 1000 GWh, they'd have to deliver a blended rate estimate of 26 c/kwh. This is also insane so they are unable to tell the truth.

      In the GRA hearings this week, Hydro President Jim Haynes acknowledges they have not hired an economist to study the rate elasticity effects.

      It is quite apparent they do not want to be told the truth so they can plausibly deny it into the future. Scallywags!


    • Amazing numbers, thanks PlanetNL: MF power will be somewhere between 50 and 160 cents per kwh , depending on the reduction in island energy use from increased rates. So if existing island hydro average 3 cent costs, then MFs will be somewhere between 17 to 53 times more expensive. WOW. Can someone hang that on Wade Locke's office door?
      Is this (17 to 53) about the same multiple that Danny Williams gets for his Galway lots vs his cost? And if so, why could he not do a deal for the public like he can for himself?
      And Nalcor still avoids having an expert evaluate the elasticity issue for electricity. And why did Dennis Browne not have an expert to address this issue? Or address energy efficiency and conservation? Even Tom Johnson stated our power companies had failed in this regard, and then he got the boot. Poor bugger, he even suggested "rebates for minisplits"….but like Browne, had no expert to back up his statements, so all was ignored by the PUB, to Nfld Power, and Nfld Hydro delight. Fun and games the Scallywags play. Wonder how many attended the PUB hearing to see Browne perform?

    • WA / PlanetNL:

      My thought is that since operating MF and/or transmitting 1MWhr vs 1GWhr incurs the same cost, internally I suspect the Nalcor plan is to operate MF at whatever capacity they can get and idle cheaper sources on the island to limit over capacity as the populace begins conserving or possibly recoup some revenues through sales at a loss. If the decision to operate MF is made, I would opine that sales (even if at a loss) are better than spilling.

      I have no internal basis to make this assertion, just my gut and business experience. In the end, it will little difference to the big picture-we NLers owe $15B plus operational related costs and that cannot be changed.

      WA: yes, the ice boom is meant to help keep the inlet ice free to allow for modulation during flow changes-its meant to perform the same as a trash rack.

    • Hi Anon 15:29,

      There are two kind of loss in the MF fiasco. One is the capital cost of the boondoggle itself, the money paid to build the fiasco. That loss is and must be paid for. The other kind of loss is by operations. Many posts explained how operation cost themselves are higher than the value of the power produced by MF. That means to operate MF increases the loss because to recover an extra dollar, you must pay 2 (proportion is not right here, just to illustrate the point…).

      So at the end, it may very well be cheaper to let the white elephant sleep all year long instead of waking it up. Spilling may end up a better choice than running the plant.

      The fiasco is that bad….

    • Heracles31:

      You are 100% correct.

      I have advocated completion to avoid default and giving serious consideration to not operating since that is also a losing proposition-I still don't advocate operations since we will lose additional monies.

      However 'if' the plant needs to be operated for 1MWhr and the operational loss is wholy incurred I would suggest that better to operate at capacity to recoup some revenue. The question to be answered is does it make any difference to operational/transmission costs if we generate 1MWhr or 1GWhr? I have not seen this question answered to date and I think needs to be considered in the bigger picture.


    • PENG2 "….. Give serious consideration to not operating….." I understand you comment, and Hercules too. You do not advocate operation since we will loose additional monies, so how do you square that with NS, and the contracts signed to supply power through the ML. I prefer you to answer, as I think I already know Hercules's answer, lol. Cheers, AJ.

    • AJ:

      Granted the guaranteed supply contract to NS is an issue, but there are probably some alternate ways to close the gap. I wont ever say a $4B plant on the Churchill for a theoretical 824MW is a good idea, and the Anglo-Saxon transmission route is only marginally better than a poor idea.

      Having said that, and considering where we are now probably the best option is to buy from HQ and resell to NS.

      Going forward I'd suggest that further island generation and conservation needs to take priority-unfortunately that doesn't change from 2006 when MF was conceived even after we spent $15B.


    • Hi AJ, Peng2,

      In summer time, the Rock is already producing too much, to the point of spillage and wasting power. As such, during these months, NS can be powered from the Rock.

      For the rest of the time, the Twinco Block has been returned to CFLCo and the Recall block is also partially sold outside of Labrador as of now. Together, they add to 525 MW ou which about 350 MW that can be redirected to NS. This power will not be sold to outside market anymore, but it was barely neting 1c per KwH.

      At then end, should that not be enough to honor the power NS is entitled, to buy from HQ and forward to NS will probably be cheaper than running MF.

      Always nice to talk with you,

    • Well, guess it is not really that simple, once you get into the actual contracts, plus possible new contracts with HQ , and conservation on our part etc. NS is entitled to some free power for building the ML, so that means we would buy from HQ and resell to NS at 0$'s. SM must be able to negioate something better than that???? How about the pending SCC ruling, any hope there??? Cheers, AJ.

    • Heracles31:

      My gut tells me the TwinCo block is dedicated to IOCC, so we have the 300MW recall only-does NL Hydro have the right to peddle TwinCo for other means?

      Also, I don't think there is much (once the 75-100MW for local use is accounted for) transmission capacity from Churchill to Goose. I am not sure it matters much anyway-once power leaves MF it is DC and must reach Soldiers prior to distribution; that in itself will be a big task to occur uninterrupted.


    • Hi again AJ,

      About the ruling, there are few cases that have been released already while being completed only after the one between CFLCo and HQ. A case that got its signatures feww weeks AFTER CFLCo vs HQ was released while there are still no dates for the release of CFLCo – HQ. I consider this is evidence that the parties asked the court to delay the release for them to negociate. As such, there is no way to know when this secret negociation will be over, so when and if the judgement will be released.

      But again, considering CFLCo's counsel himself completely ruined his own argument at the end of the audience, you should not expect anything from that audience.

      During its entire speech, CFLCo argued that the contract should be considered as a joint venture because the parties themselves refer to each other as partners. At the very end, when asked if the judges should look at the object of the contract which says it is an agreement to pruchase and sell, he said that they can, but the mere fact that parties call a contract one thing does not mean they are bound by that.

      The entire audience was like that. There is nothing to hope from this judgement for CFLCo.

      About powering NS, the local surplus you have in summer time, the Twinco block and the second part of the Recall block are all yours. As such, you do not have to buy anything. Also, NS is entitled for only 20%, so 20% of 845 = 169 MW. The Twinco block byitself is more than enough for that.

      Have a nice week-end,

    • Seems to me that while Conservation and energy efficiency to reduce baseboard heating has been ignored, and largely contributed to the MF fraudulent, least cost forecast, for power needs, if MF is not operated, the case for robust efficiency again seems necessary:
      1. to help meet NS power needs
      2 to conserves the island water resource.

      Last year and this year we have seen it necessary to burn oil or diesel to conserve water, least the water levels get too low.
      We generally have excess hydro in summer as Heracles says,that could power NS, but this past year our rainfall has been low and now looking dry so far………so banking on historical data may not hold up.
      So yes, we lose 13 billion on the fiasco and must now invest in efficiency. But such investment has substantial payback as to electric heat energy reduction. So, while the "powers" (Nfld Power and Nfld Hydro) that be, could not promote efficiency to help its own residents reduce the yearly power heating bill, we likely will need to do so to help our commitment to NS.
      Winston Adams

  2. Dannie says, "….the logical way to keep hydro rates from doubling is to use Nalcor's profits from oil and gas and hydro……" He may as well included and all taxes etc. currently collected by government go to nalcor as well, and we will call our government Nalcor and be done with it. I am not aware of any profits coming from gas, or any gas developments, I mean the useable kind, that go to anyone, much less nalcor. As for hydro profits, well when we consider what nalcor owes, profits are aughable, lol. So it only leaves oil profits, and that has become our bread and butter for the last two decades, and I say thank God for oil. So he wants to call oil profits, nalcor profits. Oil was developed and turning us a profit, long before nalcor the monster was conceived, and we all know that. Nalcor has been skimming the top off our oil profits since it's conception, and thank God they have been removed from the ability to continue doing that. But there you have it Dannie's solution. And the brave fearless media, reports that, swallows it hook line and sinker without question. Will you swallow it too???? Cheers, AJ.

  3. I just received my light bill and the rate was 10.64 cents per kwh for 645 kwh’s
    my bill came to $96.92. I decided to see what it would be at 17 cents per kwh
    my bill would come to $142.14 an increase of $46.49 a month or over $500 a year.
    This is with MF power rate mitigated. How can low income or fixed income survive this?
    PS I don’t have electric heat.
    Gerry Goodman

  4. Aug 23 is my anniversary date, so the date on Peckfords "about the blog" caught my attention. Aug 23, 2015 was when the first comment was posted on Brain Peckford's blog.
    Now UG gets more than 100 comments a week now, yet Brain, who his father nicknamed "digger" because he does a lot of research and digging, has received only 12 comments in almost 3 years. And this despite the fact that UG has a link to his blog, which is how I became aware of it.
    12 comments, and as Trump would say:SAD
    What if Peckford wrote more about his home province, his upbringing,or something more interesting for Nfld readers and Nfld issues? What a waste of talent, as he does have talent, but perhaps he is beyond redemption?
    Winston Adams

    • Lol Winston, funny you brought that up. I left a couple comments on our Brian's last year, about Trumpie, and he delegated me. So unless your are right up Brian's alley, he don't want you commenting. Of course besides that, as you say, no one considers his postings worthy of a comment. I told him, just keep up the Trumpie praise, and he would eventually get a job in the White House, because he will have fired all the rest. Plus I also gave him a comment on crediting him with the work he did on bringing about the Atlantic accord and the part he played in us getting a big share of the offshore oil. So I was not all negative towards him. I always like to try and call a spade a spade, without being biased. So he must think of Trumpie as his buddy. Cheers, happy anniversary, Joe blow.

    • Give it some time, Anon, and watch how friends, working for respective governments look to "mitigation of price rise", are hidden in secrecy behind the pre-election review. Does NL have an Auditor General with matching qualifications to Ms. Ly..? Beware of future events, Muskrat is history, somewhat shady and sordid.

    • I am sorry for your hurt Anon. Are you of the Party? Things and issues will become more clear next year prior to Election, well before the Inquiry winds down, power pricing strategy and public perception will finally show up. Maybe a Doug Ford type will promise radical change, firings and stuff. Relax, this is just the preamble and consideration of the alternatives.

  5. Average Joe may be interested: we can see a small tick upward of the water elevation upstream of the spillway gates, maybe just a couple of inches, but downstream a further decline in water elevation. So no lowering of the 23 m level at MF prior to the melt, but rising slightly instead. A missed opportunity? Or lots of time yet?
    Now Pinus river has a large increase in water elevation, but with the reduction at CF, no contribution of increase from there yet to the main body of water. And Pinus is likey a relatively small flow but increases quick in elevation, but overall the flow further up toward CF is more of an impact when the melt advances.
    Now the weather shows rain for today, that seems to follow the CF river if it goes as predicted. And with snow on the ground , the river flow could pick up a lot in the next day or two. See what happens. I wonder if GB or ML residents are following the monitoring stations, or just look outside and see the local conditions? Good time for Eddie Joyce to visit there, where he may get less heat than here?

  6. The estimate that 70% NL ratepayers have allowed themselves to be dependent on electric baseboard heating, is a two edged equation. Like Quebecers, thinking that cheap hydro will sustain such wasteful energy practice, NLers have been duped to support the mega dam at Muskrat. But a positive of expected doubling in power rates, this indicates that there is real possible scope for ratepayers to avoid rate rise, by converting to renewable, off grid solutions. This is essentially the Winston experience. Across the globe, as gasoline prices spike, (Vancouver, $1.59/l), and fossil fuel consumption diminishes, alt energy vehicle use may rise. Vardy has given economic examples. Those with means can and will avoid the price impact, but what about those without means?

    • Hi Robert,

      There is a big difference between Newfoundland and Quebec : Quebec ended up with an over supply of hydro power and it is that surplus that pushed the prices down, with the consequence of wasting going up. Newfoundland tried to artificially create such a surplus but the thing is, to create it, it costed them multi-billions of dollars they do not have. Hydro-Quebec always built within its limits and using its own money.

    • Heracles, homeowners in NL, thinking we were rich in "cheap and abundant" hydro power, bought the baseboard heating, (low capital cost, low energy cost, low maintenance BS), just like Quebecois. Cost is about to catch up in both provinces.

    • Hi Robert,

      Baseboards are indeed low capital and low maintenance and that is true for everyone. For Quebec, they are also low cost and will stay so for at least a solid 10 years. Just add that in Quebec, because our electricity is hydro, they are also very clean and very green.

      As for Newfoundlanders thinking it was low cost for them too and would stay like that, that's another story and I can not tell much about it because I agree it does not sound right…

  7. How could or would Galway have ever been permitted to start development without adequate electricity on the grid? We hit peek demand each winter so I'm sure approval of a new small city must have raised eyebrows… I mean, there are municipalities that require a permit and note from God to paint your fence. I'm not saying MF was pushed through just to ensure the development of a large land acquisition in the 90s and another later by a blind trust Sunday dinner family member but the optics just do not look good. Surely, if there were no large-scale electricity plan in place, Galway don't exist. Billionaire dreams are dashed. Galway would've been quite the expensive potato garden. Just a thought.

    • Galway? Pfffft. Even if it were to be entirely populated (how are sales, Danny?) and by energy hogs, that one subdivision is not going to make up the residential load that is being shed through rural depopulation.

    • Mark my words… in a decade or less the Galway crowd will be loading up the U-hauls and their aging, rust-flaked Dodge pick-ups and fleeing to the Maritimes or points west… the vanguard of the hordes of Muskrat refugees streaming out of this tortured, fiscally-crippled rock.

    • Lol….there is no one living in Galway yet…and suspect there won't be many in a decade, if so they will be the elete, that can afford to pay their hydro bills et al. Get a grip by….Joe blow…

  8. At the EOD, the total cost for MF will be bourne by NL taxpayers-we can redirect government revenues from other allocations but that will meant less money spent there. Unless, the government can find an external source of revenue for MF power we the public are paying 100%-for DW et al to suggest otherwise is foolishness in an effort to try and save face for making the biggest blunder in our history.

    I will argue with UG, I would say that SM has done a good job-he took something totally off the rails and somewhat righted it. To be clear, there was no righting the ship to make it good-just barely possible to stop the blood letting of our provincial coffers and I think he has done that. The litmus test you need for this is would we be better off now if EM stayed in control after May 2016 or are we better of that SM took over?


    • You are probably quite right, with SM vs. EM, in terms of running and completing a maga project of this complexity. And from my understanding, too bad SM wasn't in charge of the project from the beginning, because if he were that project would not have gone ahead. Hopefully he would have presented more realistic cost figures right from the beginning, so that we could have all realized that 20 or 60 cents, or whatever the number was, despite what the locks projected, it was just too expensive to build. I think the record shows, that at the time the fortis hydro bosses, SM refused to get involve in any way in promoting the project. Maybe they should have come out much stronger, despite DW vilifying them and told the people, don't do it, it's not a realistic project for many reasons, including fincincial. And the bottom line is that is one of the purposes of political parties, to give the other side of any public undertaking, but especially a maga project. That would have shown real leadership, and concern for the province and it's people then Stan boy, and not in completing the boondoggle, because you still end up with a boondoggle. Where were our NL leaders when we really needed them????. What the hell did DW and EM know about hydro projects anyway, where as, to my knowledge, Stan the man spent all his life in the hydro business, didn't he? Of course this is all what might have been. And I stand to be corrected on any thing I have said, as I am not a hydro man either. Tell me PENG2 and others.

    • Ah, Joe,
      Stan was number 62 of the top paid 100 CEO in 2015 with a base salary of 1.2 million a year. Of course when you add in the extras, his yearly compensation increases just a tad, to 6.5 million a year.
      So, I suppose not the same concern as Gerry Goodman commenting on his power bill.
      Can you really expect Marshall to have made a fuss to help inform the public as did say Des Sullivan of Dave Vardy?
      His obligation was to Fortis shareholders, and he likely the biggest then, and fundamentally in a conflict of interest as Nalcor CEO, I would think……now assuring the old Nalcor directors legal protection, it seems to me. Granted Marshall made 10 times more with Fortis, but said little to hinder MF sanction….. did he fear DW would take over Nfld Power? Why does the photo of Stan look like the grinch that stole Christmas?

    • Notwithstanding anything you have said Winston, it does not explain, why SM jumped at a moments notice to complete the boondoggle, as he immediately called it. Why would he not jump in a couple of years earlier just prior to sanction, and advise the people or some other political party that it should be stopped. Or as you implied, he placed his personal interest first, or the timing was wrong, or no political party asked his advice, or just stand by and watch, and be able to say, send the fools farther, and then jump in to save the day. But regardless it was still a boondoggle, dead or alive, and too late to save. I don't get his reasoning, if you believe PENG2 who says that SM was much better at the helm than EM, hands down. Which I have no reason to disbelieve. Why get in at all, not for the money as you say, it is still a boondoggle when finished, so why have his name attached at all, and the public criticism that he has to take for at least 3 or 4 years. There is no lagacey in it for him, no matter which way you slice it. If he had jumped in to save the day, and make muskrat a success, turn it around, turn a profit, and the best thing since sliced bread, then I would understand. Maybe PENG2 can enlighten us a little. If SM had not jumped in, who would have and maybe the project would have ended there, which was as good as any. Unless Gil took it on with Eddie Joyce as back up, now imagine that. Cheers, AJ.

  9. Off the topic, but remember the issue of whether lots dog berries in the fall meant a hard winter, as folklore indicated. Well, there were so many dog berries that as of a few weeks ago, some trees still had plenty, and many recently fallen on the road from high winds. And our winter was tame, low of -13.6 C, and not much snow in this area.
    So, let it be said, apparently little truth to the myth…….unless we need to monitor for several more years.
    And then, a few months ago I suggested that with climate change we would have Bermuda weather here in 30 years time. Part as a result of jet stream changes, and the ocean currents.
    Our present warm and very dry weather is due to what they call a Bermuda high. Out average humidity in Nfld is 84%, but set a record a few weeks ago at 17%, and recently at about 29%. This is almost Arizona conditions as to dryness.Not good for our hydro energy.
    So, my prediction may be way off as to 30 years, and like most climate change issues, the changes are being underestimated by the climate experts continuously. Actually this has been good week in Nfld for solar panels…… Bruno out there somewhere? Last spring we had record breaking freezing rain.
    My HP heating costs has dropped from a dollar a day to 50 cents this week. Not a big help for Muskrat debt.Usually April is rather cold and damp.
    Did Gil Bennett allow for our weather warming, as to future power needs? Show us the risk analysis for forecasting.

    • Spring thaw has barely started on the Island system as well. It'll be another month at least before we have a good idea of hydrology for the year. Given the low precipitation and the January and February mild spell, there probably isn't much ice and snow to charge up the reservoirs.

  10. Again, Canada ends in NS.
    The Canada green Building Council promotes its latest Zero carbon Buildings, saying it spans the country from Dartmouth to Kelowna, 16 pilot projects, 6 in Ont, 1 in Que, 1 in Alberta, 2 in BC, 1 in NS, 1 in Man.
    These buildings include retrofits of older buildings, for example in Vancover , their oldest Fire Hall was retrofitted to meet this standard. New building includes schools and office buildings etc.
    But…….. spanning the country ends in NS
    What efforts did Eddie Joyce make to get such a project in Nfld, so spanning the country could include Nfld too. He WAS Misister of the Environment and Climate Change.
    Robert homes often cites MUN aging infrastructure as needing retrofits. This standard includes the building impact on the power grid peak loads. Did Balls mandate letter to Joyce expect such action on building upgrades? Targets and benchmarks and certified performance ?

    Winston adams

  11. The Grand River (also called the Churchill) spring thaw:
    Here is what happening:
    1.The river, 221 km upstream from MF , has seen the flow reduced 12 percent, at a time when more snow is melting and entering the river.
    2. The output from Churchill Falls plant is reduced 20 percent, so this explains why the flow further downstream is reduced instead of increased.
    3. Art Grzzle Rappids, 57 miles upstream form MF, the water elevation is actually increase by about 4 inches. This is a key indicator, since although the flow further upstream is reduced, the added melt over this distance of 164 kw is rising the elevation and flow at Grizzle , gettting near MF, just about 35 miles upstream.
    4. Now at Pinus River , , just 42 kw upstream from Mf, the water flow has increased 10 percent in just the last 2 days. But this river is just about 3 percent of the total Churchill River flow, so is a small contribution to the MF reservoir.
    5. MF revervoir has risen about 8 inches from this increased flow, with elevation at 23.2 m , up from 23 m.

    So what is happening below MFs?
    1. at 6.15 km bekow, the water elevation has dropped about 16 inches
    2, At happy Valley, the water elevation has dropped about 18 inches
    3 At mud lake the water elevation has also dropped about 8 inches.

    What does this suggest about the spillway gates? They are letting the water rise higher at the reservoir and go lower downstream. The are not increasing flow downstream, at a time when they could do so.
    If the North Spur is at risk for a breach, due to quick clay, at 21.5 m, then letting it rise higher must trouble those who are uncomfortable with it going higher. But if safe up to 40 m, then why worry…be happy, and grin like Stan Marshall.
    Winston Adams

    • Was checking the station data as well Winston and concur. I have not been able to locate the ice thickness charts, guess you have them. What is happening there, especially downstream of MF and across from ML. Tks. AJ.

    • Joe, ….Ice thickness;
      1. Google Churchill River stations
      2. At the top of the page click HOME, which takes you to the dept of Municipal Affairs and Environment. At the right you will see someone smiling at you, an Honorable person, but not the same person that was smiling at me yesterday. Yesterday it was Honorable Eddie Joyce, who today, is lacking honor, and so is replaced by a smiling Honorable Andrew Parsons. That didn't take long. Does he look honorable? Should there be an honor evaluation……maybe monitor him and all MHAs for honor standard, instead of an automatic assumption. Can we get that as a bill to the floor of the House? But I digress.
      3. Click the yellow triangle symbol
      4. the fifth item down is the Ice monitoring link, click there.

      Can't say Eddie was asleep at the wheel or in a stupor all the time, as he got this online. If only now he could get manners and respect for the females alledgedly harassed or bullied. Poor Eddie.
      Is there more rascals hiding with honorable titles? Me Too is bringing them down…..even America's Dad. Cosby, released on 1 million bond, and may get 10 years. Here for worse sex crimes , 5000 dollars will get you out on bail……….as the smiling Parsons knows.
      Perhaps Parsons can bring us into the 21 century on this…..but first the smile must go, as it is not a laughing matter.
      But now if the North Spur fails , Parsons is the man to answer not Eddie……… Hope he is following the river rise, like you and me, Joe.
      If the Spur fails, Ball will have his hide, and then we may have that crooked looking Ball smile on this Dept website. Then I will puke.

    • Joe, in the last couple of hours the MF reservoir level has dropped a few inches, maybe 4 inches, not much, but suggest they lifted the gates a bit higher.
      Not sure if they know that you and I and few other maybe are watching? Or they are getting a bit nervous? Or the new Minister parsons is cracking the whip? Too soon to tell, but if they keep the gates up as indicated, we should soon see the water elevation at the 6'15 km downstream station show a rise, so stay alert Joe.
      Maybe a false alarm, as it such a tiny tick down, but seems to me to go from 23.2 to 23.0, and if so, an 8 inch drop at the reservoir.

  12. This snippet from Frampton's column clearly demonstrates this Joyce individual's lamentable ignorance as to the disgraceful circumstances he now finds himself in…

    "Talking to reporters, Joyce countered the claim of bullying against him by saying he had helped students get jobs and helped other MHAs leverage government funding, as if one had anything to do with the other."

    Bloody-well ridiculous that such a quantity is elected to public office time after time… one can only wonder at the mentality of those who continue to vote for him.

  13. The suggested approach to the debacle surrounding alleged bullying by Eddie Joyce would require sophisticated level of competent, proactive governance.

    Good luck with that.

    Doesn't the editorial writer realize by now that NL politicians are by and large a bunch of naive bumpkins and/or cynical culprits who wouldn't their arse from a hole in the ground?

    Mr./Ms Editorialist, unfortunately you've raised the bar way too for this sorry lot.

    The river water elevation has risen slightly , just a few inches, both at Happy Valley and also Mud Lake.
    It has also risen just a few inches upriver between Muskrat and Churchill Falls, so more water is entering the reservoir.
    But the reservoir above MF has been allowed to drop a few inches this past day or so.
    So what does this mean as to the spillway gates? The gates must have lifted some, that is opened further, and so permitting some increase in flow past MF. Otherwise the reservoir would be rising.
    So, if more water enters, and the reservoir is dropping, it means more water must exit, and this happens only if the gates are lifted( opened) further.
    Nalcor may say, like last year :What water comes in, goes out,( if the reservoir is held at a fixed elevation). That statement can be true, but it also means that the gates must be lifted(opened) further, and so permitting more water to flow toward Mud Lake.
    For Nalcor to say :water in equals water out, and that that are "doing nothing" was false last year and will be false this year (if the reservoir is held at fixed elevation). What they were doing , and must do, is to lift the gates and increase the flow toward Mud Lake.
    Keeping ice back this year with the ice cable in place may prevent excessive ice going down and contributing to an ice jamb like last year.
    We will see how well it works. Churchill Falls plant flow is still reduces 20 percent from a month ago.

    • Yes winston, so guess the plan must be to keep the reservoir at 23 meters this year, but to achieve that as the amount of water coming into the reservoir must be achieved in two ways, 1) opening the gates gradually by trial and error to find that sweet spot that keeps changing to keep the elevation at 23 meters. 2) as the water gradually rises above 23 meters, say 4 or 5 inches above, the gates are opened for a period of time, until the level falls to 23 meters , and continuing to do that. 3)guess there is a third way where technology takes over and controls the gates to keep the level at 23 meters. Guess you would have a better idea Winston which is used than I do, as I am more of a lay person. But would think if the second method is used, the flow rate would vary and could do more damage downstream. Just my thinking, cheers AJ.

    • Ah Joe, Grizzle rapids now showing a vertical rise on the chart, so a much faster rise in elevation in last few hours. And the loss of snow cover at Metchin Riven area (shown in equivalent mm of water) suggest about same as 2 inch of rainfall, in snow loss, so this causing rapid rise at Grizzle Rapids and heading downstream, so generally a brisk pick up in water flow, heading to the MF reservoir.

    • Also , Joe, you might notice that the water elevation at MudLake and Happy Valley is picking up , but little change yet at station 6.15 km downstream form MF. I suggest that the reason maybe that at 6.15 site it is about 6 ft higher elevation that Happy Valley, so if water continues to back up, then it will also rise at 6.15 site a bit later. If not much resistance of flow to get to Lake melvile , that 6.15 site may not rise much, unless they lift the gates a lot and a big dump of water flow. I expect that water will back up and that 6.15 will rise.

    • Joe, based on present river conditions, with little water rise, the charts show how far the water has to rise to go to the top of the river bank
      Mud Lake…. 25 inches, so about 2 ft
      Happy Valley…. 117 inches, so about 10 ft
      Station 6.15 km downstream from MF… 94 inches , so about 8 ft

      So, while no concern yet, it shows how little the water has to rise at Mud Lake to top the river bank as compared to Happy Valley or further upstream.
      Seems the Churchill plant may have reduced the flow another 8 percent , or a temporary blip.
      Upstream from MF, it seems 20 percent of the snow has disappeared in the last 3 days, of if it continues at this rate, all the snow would be gone in about 15 days. This would put us to May 16, the day before flooding of Mud Lake last year.
      Hopefully this year the river rise will not be severe, and the cable holding back ice likely to be very beneficial to reduce ice jambing near Mud Lake.

    • Yes, Mother Nature has forged out a very delicate balance in that area, with ML having not flooding every year, until last year. So shows man's interference in the delicate balance, even if ever so slight can cause a catastrophic event at MD lake. Guess it remains to be seen if the reservoir up stream not been in perfect harmony with Mother Nature Will baulk to cause an ice jam at the river mouth and cause the river to overflow its banks at ML and there is not a single thing they can do now, but monitor and advise the people, in time before it happens. Cheers, AJ.

    • ML elevation has been trending down for the past 3 weeks, hit bottom a few days ago , and trending up now for about 3 days.
      Seems to me that for past few weeks , if more water was permitted to flow, it would have kept ML water stationary instead of declining, and the MF reservoir elevation dropped some, in advance of the main water inflow yet to come. And seems possible to let ML actually rise a little over the past few weeks, to drop MF reservoir more. This may present some problem with crossing with skidoos if the ice is not tight to the river bank. But still if that was acceptable, it would be precautionary, in mitigating a higher rise in the river later, if a sudden thaw and rain or warm temperature melting the snow pack suddenly.
      Optimum control seems maybe an art as well as a science.
      Just wonder what person has responsibility for the flood mitigation plan? No doubt Gil Bennett and others watching this more carefully than last year, but it would be nice to hear from engineers assessing this , instead of PR people doing spin, like last year. But staying quiet, as they do, permits spin, and avoid transparency, and to make up excuses if things don't go as planned, especially if there is really little plan existing.
      Compare this to frequency control on the power grid: frequency is 60 cycles per second, and if it deviates beyond 1 cycle, say lower than 59 or higher than 61, everything automatically shuts down, as it must to protect the equipment. Frequency is constantly monitored. But the Grand River flow is not so easily regulated.

    • Yes Winston, can understand your suggestion to drop the water in the reservoir a few weeks earlier, to have less water flow later, seems prudent, and may help. But I think, their main concern is to cause as little turbulence at the reservoir as possible, by dropping the water, then up again, as they conclude that it might cause river bank erosion at the reservoir or up stream, or maybe even worst….at the dam site…like a breach that could be catastrophic for the site, so don't rock the boat, as it might upset the apple cart….and bring it all toumbleing down….Joe blow…

  15. WA:

    To claim water in = water out and thus 'we are having no effect' is ignoring the natural backwater effects induced by the shoreline and mudline topography and icing floes of the Churchill.

    To me the unknowns are the effect of the causeway (which did cause sand deposition) and the topographies combined with a new dam-all these changes have occurred in the past 15yrs. I would offer, like the Spur, there is a deficient information database to effectively control the river-very little before 2006-2010 and little since showing representative cycles of what the melt range can be.

    The melt in Central/Western Lab can/does occur quickly-I am not confident in the ability to respond quickly enough to changing conditions, particularly if water is spilt from Smallwood and alternate spillways are not used.


  16. At least they got someone in there now who might understand the financial concept of compound interest…

    As much as many may be loathe to vote for Ches Crosbie's PCs, it's either that or blow yet more taxpayers' dollars on pensions for a bunch of re-elected MHAs.

    Samuel Clemens was spot on when he said… "Politicians are like diapers… they must be changed often, and for the same reason."

  17. I fell on the floor laughing when Ches Crosbie gave his acceptance speech and "…restore democracy…" was one of his lines. A bit arrogant of this person considering he wouldn't run for a by-election when given the chance to try and cram us with his all of sudden new found hobby of restoring democracy.
    There is no end to the "fake" politicians newfoundland can produce.

    • Read this from the CBC website reporting on Paul Davis retirement speech:
      ""What they've done to people with taxes and fees is just simply not acceptable, and people are looking for an alternative and we have to be that alternative."

      This from the leader of a party that bankrupted newfoundland for generations to come for their unbridled support of a Donald Trump type demagogue because of his legacy project.

      And I say Newfoundland because Labrador was never part of the province not in either the St. John's civil service eyes or the politicians minds.

  18. Are we not blessed to have another Townie elite as leader of the Tories? It follows a long line of Crosbie's in our political system.
    Now Ches is going to reign in public spending , and where better than health care. We spend 3 billion, and spend more per person than any other province and end up with worse results for our health.
    Last year it was suggested that 20 percent could be shaved off as waste and inefficiencies, so we can save 600 million there. Recent figures has rolled that back some to 400 million savings.
    Now take the issue of nutrition and health. Hospital food is based on taste more than nutrition, so you are admitted to hospital sick , and you get served food that has poor nutrition.
    For cancer patients, a primary cause of cancer is excess body fat, that causes inflammation, which is a breeding ground for cancer cells to over take ones immune system. Good nutrition boosts our immune system and counters that.
    Now even the cancer clinic has no nutrition as a regular part of cancer treatment program. Surprising but true.
    And for kids, those staying at the Ronald McDonald House? Same thing, Nutrition is not part of the set up there. Plenty of sugar and sweets is standard. Maybe not surprising.
    And what of the Janeway in-patients? Surely nutrition is part of their standard treatment for kids cancer patients? Sorry to say …..No.
    So we have a system that promotes poor health.
    Our health care system promotes poor health by neglecting the evidence based science of nutrition. Why is this? And will Crosbie make changes?

    • Let me cite a recent case, a mother of a neighbour of mine.
      She was transported from a seniors home to the Gander hospital, in very bad shape. She was about 90, didn't sleep , was losing weight, and in diapers. The family thought she would not survive.
      Fortunately a doctor there made changes; she had been on 18 substances which included 11 medications and 7 supplements. He took her off the supplements and 8 of the medication,leaving only 3, one of which was for blood pressure control.
      Her issues of memory and incontinence of bowel and bladder all got resolved. She was telling hr childeren that the hospital was not kept very clean, that if she was younger, she would have swept up the ward(apparently food scraps, tissue paper etc on the floor etc there for several days.
      After 3 weeks she was back to the home, as fit as a fiddle . She is even leaning to use a computer, and a bit about facebook to communicate with her children. I was a photo, a healthy looking woman wit a big smile.
      It seems doctors will readily add to medication for some issue, but then is forgotten, and left on unnecessary medications long term. And another doctor is reluctant to take a patient off a med that some other doctor percribed. And only when they go to ER is there a chance, if you are lucky enough to have a good doctor review all this and make changes , that you will not die.
      And this case is, I suggest very typical of what happens to our old people.
      In the USA, such doctors prescribing unnecessary medications are called "candy man" . I expect we have a lot of candy men and women doctors in Nlfd.
      Will Crosbie solve this problem? Haggie has done nothing about it.

  19. I would like to point out that the level of the river at both Mud Lake and Happy Valley is going to, if the system remains open, be virtually identical to local sea level and that it varies with the tide in the Bay. Small variations at these locations are therefore of no consequence. I don't know how far upriver the tidal effect extends. It probably does not affect anything past the causeway, because that is, in effect, a partial dam. There might have been tidal variations further up before the causeway was built.