ahead. See how quickly you can name the Province’s seven Federal MPs. Can you
name even just the one in your riding? If you are having difficulty, it might
not be due to memory loss.

could be that traditional media does not readily seek out our MPs for public
policy comment. Or that MPs prefer the non-confrontational media presence afforded
on social media platforms. Possibly the whole lot are better suited to images than
words anyway. Either way, the seven MPs are seldom part of the narrative of political
life in this province. And that is too bad.

the years, NL has been represented by some very strong parliamentarians who,
while giving plenty of political room to the Premier, rarely shied away from
contentious issues.

think for a second that Brian Peckford did not have disagreements with Federal Tory
heavyweight John Crosbie, for example. While they shared the same political
stripe, some of their disagreements still spilled out into the public domain. The
Federal Minister and at least some of the MPs were expected to play a role in
advancing NL’s public policy aspirations. Some of them actually wanted to.
properly, even if criticisms need to be meted out to either level of government,
serious public policy debates can be conducted without affecting their Party, their
legislative role or their ability to grease the wheels of bureaucracy for their

a small province, the pursuit of issues which may run counter to the national
interest — as Ontario and Quebec define them — must forever be advanced.
Otherwise, backsliding is inevitable. Proof is found in the steps the Feds are taking
to reassert control over offshore oil and gas development through the back door,
via the environmental approval process. Some battles simply never end.

that reason, the Province’s agenda at the Federal level needs to be
relentlessly pursued. Weak premiers will forget that fact at the Province’s

one time I recall Brian Peckford having the Intergovernmental Affairs Office
prepare a formal briefing book for NL Ministers and MPs on priorities involving
the Government of Canada. That was thought necessary to ensure that they
understood policy rationales and to, as far as possible, ensure that they were “on
the same page” as the Provincial Government. 

the current Ball Government has laid out any such agenda, we are left to guess.
It may, in part, be the reason our MPs are so silent. A proactive Premier would
constantly prod them to help reinforce locally overarching themes and

recently, successive Federal Governments have made it clear that discussions
around constitutional issues are not on offer. That is unfortunate, especially
given the Province’s failure to exert better control over fisheries
jurisdiction. That approach may be thought to maintain a longer peace with
certain provinces, but it doesn’t make the problems go away.

the past year, the Federal Minister of Fisheries used his arbitrary power to reassign
25% of the Arctic surf clam quota in open violation of the adjacency principle —
which confers rights to people and communities having geographic, cultural and
historic links to the resource. The Minister chose to give the quota to groups
that have no history of fishing the resource or any other traditional attachment;
Nunatukavut having been included seemingly to justify its award to native
groups in other provinces. The case confirms why we should worry just how
tenuous our hold is on resources deemed to be in the provincial domain, rights
which are not constitutionally inscribed.

surf clam issue exhibits the brute force of an arbitrary political agenda and
the little influence which weak and highly partisan MPs bring to bear on the
national stage.  With this Province in
economic decline, especially on the Burin Peninsula, one might expect more from
our Federal Reps. But, like the Coast Guard sub-centre, the surf clam issue was
only kept alive by sparse local leadership.

weak Premier could be seen giving licence to the seven Federal MPs to stay mute.
As to Gerry Byrne, the Fisheries Minister, he was out of breath long before
anyone thought that he might be building a head of steam. Former MHA and MPBill Matthews — who was elected as a Tory locally and a Liberal in Federal
politics — commented that Burin Peninsula representation is the weakest it has
been since Confederation. He could have extended that criticism far beyond the
local MHAs.

our MPs claim leadership on any other major issue of public policy?

Maritime Rescue sub-centre is the exception but, truth be told, ex-federal
official Merv Wiseman performed much of the heavy lifting on that issue. In
proportion, as important as it is for marine safety, it was arguably a small
accomplishment anyway. In no way is its reinstatement suggestive of a group having
confirmed the real political power that follows a provincial sweep of Federal seats
in the province.

it stands, the public will have to be satisfied with tweets that advertise $2.6
million for road paving and widening in St. John’s and Mount Pearl, $3.19
million for sewers under Kenmount Road, $3.94 million for the Goulds Pumping
Station, $45.4 million for paving the TLH, $100 million for Memorial’s new Core
Sciences Building — funding which in its many incarnations is claimed by every
MP across the Country. MPs representing rural ridings have similar boasts.

our MPs post lots of photo ops that promote everything from seal products to school

about the hell-hole that the Federal Loan Guarantee for Muskrat has created?
What about fiscal solvency issues? Do the MPs have any ideas for goosing this
economy with Federal support? Are Seamus O’Regan and the other six MPs suggesting
by their silence that those are matters solely in the provincial domain, and
not for mention by them?

the current Lieutenant Governor, Judy Foote, sat to the left of the Prime
Minister in Parliament, one could be confident that major policy issues might
get dealt with even if she, too, wasn’t exactly willing to vocalize some of the
more pressing issues. She had earned that place not because she represented NL
but because she possessed considerable intellectual heft and sound judgement,
as well as political influence.

contrast, Seamus O’Regan is still showing off his training wheels. His close
relationship with the Prime Minister will account for little if he is unable to
articulate critical issues or is content to follow the lead of Premier Ball;
helping him, in the process, keep a lid on issues that are integral to our
economic survival.

public should be wary that the era of the ‘selfie’ hardly requires any MP to
stand, let alone take a stand.

seven MPs should be concerned that when the economic climate really turns sour,
their decision to pass over major issues in favour of smiles might be the image
that the public best remembers.
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.


If a Big Mac costs McDonalds $10 to produce and it is sold for $1.50, McDonalds will go out of business. They would not declare a profit!


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.


  1. Our regional minister in the federal cabinet Seamus O'Regan only tweets about restaurants and celebrities. That says a whole lot. Nick Whalen only gets himself in trouble with asanine comments like NLers should stop eating fish. Little Scottie Simms votes for his constituency or conscience and is then kicked off committees. Gudrid Hutchings speaks out of both sides of her mouth while getting zero done because she does not take a position on anything. Yvonne Jones is punching in time towards another public pension while stating she would like to see the capital of the province moved to Happy Valley. Churence Rogers obviously does not know what a surf clam is or the employment it generates to his riding. Ken McDonald is still counting his lucky stars Scott Andrews was caught being a pervert and forced out of politics.

    NL's seven Members of Parliament for ya.

  2. "The Federal Minister and at least some of the MPs were expected to play a role in advancing NL's public policy aspirations. Some of them actually wanted to"

    When do you think we actually had a clear public policy in this province?

  3. Right on UG, our useless 7 little MP' s giggle and smile both here and in Ottawa while we inch closer and closer to a fincincial cliff. They count their few paultry million here and there as if to justify their existence as being of some benifit to us of their being in Ottawa, and close to Justin. Haven't heard a comment from one of them on muskrat except a couple of them claimed that they were the enablers for the second loan guarantee, similar to our Labrador PC, MP ( his name escapes me at the moment, but he was our representive and Harpers pet) claimed that he had single handedly wrenched the first loan guarantee from Harper. And Simms gave up his position as chair of the fisheries committee because funding for community projects was gender based or religious based or something similar to that. We need a guy on the fisheries committee, sounds good at least. Even back in the days of Dannie and Harper and the ABC and the big fat goose egg….what baloney. Why did Dannie not go for the return of our 3 mile, or 12 mile, headland to headland provincial fisheries ownership around the entire province that we had prior to confederation and for several years after. That would have been a hell of a lot better than the goose egg. We could in addition retain our rights under adjacency and historical fishing rights as we still claim. It would have to be someone like Danny that had the gull and gumption to claim a fisheries limit like that, and be taken seriously in Ottawa, and take steps to enforce it. Ball and a lot of other premiers would just be scoffed at in Ottawa if they were to mention something like that. At least with a zone like that we could control things like inshore fishing and food fishery, without be holding to Ottawa bureocrats to tell us if we are allowed one cod fish this year. Guess we can expect more giggles and smiles, graduation, and garden parties at least until the next federal election rolls around. Keep on swearing and smiling….says average Joe.

  4. Selfie King Trudeau doesn't have much to choose from in Newfoundland. Very real economic and social problems are not happy things like rainbows and unicorns. Canada means Quebec and Ontario, always has and always will.

    • Most good people cannot afford to quit their jobs and run nor would they be accepted by the established political parties. Look at the recent bulling allegations — as soon as you vote against the party line you are sidelined and harassed by the leaders henchmen. If you had a reputation for having a backbone, you would never be accepted by the parties. I'd run for politics if I could take a leave of absence and have a salary while running. Otherwise, it would be financial suicide in this province.

  5. You state: "In the past year, the Federal Minister of Fisheries used his arbitrary power to reassign 25% of the Arctic surf clam quota in open violation of the adjacency principle — which confers rights to people and communities having geographic, cultural and historic links to the resource." There are many problems with this. The "geographic, cultural and historic rights" assigned to people are not specifically defined anywhere. In NL, 'adjacency' seems to cover off a myriad of meanings depending on the issue at hand.

    For example, think of 'geographic'. Does it extend to the limit of the territorial sea (12 nautical miles), the edge of the continental shelf, beyond the 200-mile limit, etc.? The fishery for surf clam takes place on the southern Grand Bank including outside 200 miles. And the highest proportion of the TAC is on Banquereau Bank off Nova Scotia not NL. Fishing effort was concentrated on Banquereau during 2006-2015 and full quotas only caught for both banks for the first time in 2016. Hence ‘open violation’ seems to be a bit of a stretch.

    What is 'historical' attachment? Does this include processors or only apply to harvesters? For surf clam, if it does not include processors then NL has no historical attachment at all as the only harvesters have been Nova Scotia based. If it includes processors, is China developing an historical attachment to some of the resources off NL because they process some of the catch? Sounds rediculous doesn’t it. Again, ‘open violation’ seems a stretch.

    And what exactly are 'cultural' rights? Does this refer to processing jobs? Yes, there will be possible impacts on Grand Bank but exactly how much remains unclear. The existing quota is 35,656 t so a reduction of 25% results in 26,772 t remaining for Clearwater. If the full employment over 12 months in Grand Bank extends back before 2016 then the losses should be minimal unless Clearwater changes its operations. The Reason? It’s quite simply that prior to 2016 total catches only exceeded 26,772 t in one year – 1997, and then only by ~500 t. If the full 12 month employment only began in 2016 does that constitute ‘historical'? Once again, ‘open violation’ is an overstatement.

    Collectively the issue of the quota reassignment and 'attachment' is not as simple or clear cut as NL pundits would like one to believe. As such, it is a rather poor example for you to use as there was clearly no 'open violation'.

    You might read:




  6. Members of Parliament are not only NOT delegates or emissaries of the provincial government to Ottawa, they should not be that, and should not be pressured to be that.

    They are elected by the voters in their own ridings. Those are the only people they are beholden to.

  7. Whatever happened to PENG2 and his interests in the MFs fiasco…since the Leblanc hearing on Apr 6, he has disappeared, has Stan given him his marching orders if he stayed engaged on UG…

    • Anony @ 15:50:

      I follow intently-I wont comment unless I am asked and see something unfactual I should correct.

      With respect to my 'marching orders', it is a condition of my employment(and is very common to most professionals) that making public comments is grounds for dismissal.


    • Helps explain why the false assumptions to justify MF went unchallenged……the engineers and others who knew the truth had no balls to go public, if they did they would be dismissed, that is fired. And only the PR types and Ed Martin types could make false statements and collect 6 million for doing so.
      And so goes the ethics of so called professionals……or am I missing something here. Would better whistle blower protection have helped then grow a set!

    • Anony @ 16:45:

      Not sure I agree 100%. The MF issue was well described and presented as being ill advised by many prior to sanction/execution for years—there were a group of dissenters prior to sanction who were shunned for their opposition, as a population we got what we deserved.

      Unfortunately the same God-complexed individual who failed to get a law school in his name for Corner Brook pandered to 70% of the population and dammed us all. The population got what they what was promised when we elected an egomaniac who had MF as his legacy—I am not sure stronger whistle blower legislation would have helped.


    • PENG, that god with feet of clay wanted the law school in "the province", i.e. in St. John's. Grenfell University is what he dangled in front of Corner Brookers (along with the still imaginary hospital). And what he got was his name on the courthouse. That should come off.

    • So, Peng2, even now , with the inquiry underway, to find the truth we hope, professionals with Nalcor or within govn are muzzled, if they know of wrong doing or fraud etc, just because it is within their contract to stay quiet and go public. and it appears not even go anon to the media, who could protect their source, or the media as enablers do not seek out such informers. What does this say about our society…..
      You say there were are group of dissenters before sanction who were shunned for their opposition…..if you refer to the UG types yes, but were there inside dissenters that we are not familiar with……..

    • Anony @ 19:57:
      Maybe he did suggest for main campus, but my memory was that he wanted a reorganization by moving more programming to Grenfell along with a starting a new Law School—either way a poor concept and naming the courthouse after Him was bad on Marshalls part(I agree with Justice Osborn on that for sure).

      Anony @ 21:07:
      I posted 5-6 questions on this blog about 2-3 months ago (infact it was a repeat of several posts of mine over the past couple years) addressing ethics and legalities of professionals working on the project and to whom their duty of care was to—it had little commentary. I would offer that it is not the job of an Engineer or other professional working on the project to assess the social impacts of a piece of work once an owner has approval of his stake holders(ie Government/Nalcor as the owner), though some of us did anyway.
      There was significant dissention on MF and multiple engineering reports dating back to the 70s outlining issues with the dam and line routing(several premiers dreamed of MF power, but none executed), dissention was more than just on UG-once ‘God” was elected all this previous work was ignored, MF executed and dissenters outcasted. MF didn't just become a bad idea in the past 3-4years, it was always bad—too bad nobody listened.


    • You say it is not the job of an engineer or other professional working on the project to assess the social impacts…..though some of you did anyway.
      Can you clarify how some of you did, what did you and the others do. Did you have a coffee among yourselves, and say this is not a smart idea. Did you individually write to your superiors to summarize the flaws and false assumptions, and leave it at that. Did you jointly write your superiors, as to give more weigt to your disagreement with the project, showing why. Or after your coffee, say okay , not a good idea but I`m onboard anyway, as God, that is DW is hell bound to sanction, or have Dunderdale sanction, and your professional ethics and contract says we cannot go public with our concerns, so all aboard. Does such ethics not make you enablers if this is what happened….if you can clarify. Is there a paper trail even of the internal dissention, even if you did not go public. Can I picture a risk report by the dissenters, like the SNC report that Ed Martin was offered, but refused to take, and surfaces 3 years or so later.
      Your insight to these questions can assist the UG Shadow Inquiry I would think.

    • Peng2, you further say the dissneters were outcasted. WHat does this exactly mean: shunned, demoted, fired, muzzled…..
      You say too bad nobody listened……this is another vague statement. If concerns did not go public, who were the public to listen to.
      If the media were contacted about the concerns, evn if anonymously, and ignored it, then that is a media fault.
      But I recall Russell saying private companies were reluctant to talk about it, but gave no specifics. I do not recall him saying anything about internal dissention on MF, or if they ever sought out opinions.

    • Just want to add my 2 cents worth, and I am not defending Peng2, as I guess he can defend himself or not, doesn't matter to me, and I certainly don't know him. But I can see his point, muskrat decision was made by the Main Man and there was no normal way to stop that. Then I make a distinction between the decision makers and the workers, whether they be engineers, contractors or any kind of workers. Let's put the real blame where it belongs, with the decision makers, like those who scantioned muskrat, they include the premier of the time, all the MHA' but those especially on the government of the day. They could have done their homework and stood up on their hind legs and voted it down, simple as that. And where are most of them today, mainly in hiding. How about all the deputy ministers of the day, their silence was defining too. We already criticized our institute of higher learning. So now we want to place some blame on a worker- contractor etc. We'll, it as simple as this, if you won't do the job we are paying you to do, we will dam soon get someone who will do the job for us, says Eddie and company. I don't give a dam about you morals, and ethics, take them some place else, this project is now scantioned and going ahead, come hell or high water, as another Martin said in Ottawa a few years ago. That's the reality as I see it says Joe blow.

    • Joe, You are right as to where the main blame lies, but most o fth eidiot MHAs who went along can say we didn't hear from any internal dissent, and engineers who voiced or put in writing as to the flaws and false assumptions. They only knew of the Nalcor PR and their favorite consultants , including Wade Locke.
      Now the viability of MFs is a numbers game: power demand, short and long term , risk factors, technical and environmental ones. It is the engineers who come up with the numbers, and economists too as to population changes etc. So when you crank out all the numbers, they must be reasonable and fairly accurate, and not be fudged. Even Stan said the assumptions were false, or did he just say they were just wrong?
      Sure fast Eddie could say your morals and ethics be dammed, we will get someone else to replace you. So , if faced wit that you roll over, then it means you have no morals or ethics, sufficient to take a stand. You are either a part of the problem or part of the solution.
      As to the contractors rolling over, that is a different quintal of fish. Their ethics is not to evaluate the viability of the project, but to do the job in a professional manner and make a profit. Except of course where those contractors were promoting MFs in the first place. Outside and foreign contractors were not promoting this. But our local Board of trade was.
      So, I suggest Peng2 defend the issue and question I raised, as you give him the benefit of doubt, too much so , I think.
      We know the explosion that killed the crew going into orbit was caused by a leaky ring at low temperatures, and the engineer, I do believe filed his warning in writing , and they tried to cover it up, but he was right the Inquiry showed. The engineer had morals and ethics, joe.

    • Annon:16:46, I follow you point to a certain extent, but there are suttle differences in comparing safety of lives with the fincincial success of a project or company. Yes I applaud the Challenger engineer that noted the oil rings, that was the safety of lives directly not the fincincial viability of the space program, and as you would immediately recognize. Or if an engineer intentionally dismissed his ethics or morals on a flight that a couple of 100 people were about to possibly loose their lives, then if found guilty he or she should be locked up. But would we use the same standard or expectations of an engineer, or accountants etc. that made decisions that might bankrupt a company, which is not always as direct as in the other case. Usually the company, province, country etc. Dies of a thousand cuts, not one single action. There may be many engineers, accountants, MHA's, media, general public that should have spoken up including engineers, so many to blame Think in that case the altumiate responsibility of success or failure lies with the ceo, board of directors, and decision makers of the company. But also realize at some point we may be splitting hairs. Cheers, average Joe.

    • Now as to safety, at MFs we saw the collapse of the form work with shocking oversight brought to the public via UG, and no engineer spoke up in advance. And there was the laeky cofferdam, and needing to release a lot of water that led to thick ice, and then ice jams last spring and flooding and lucky many did not drown. Luck only prevented deaths. And the North spur lack of stability that even Peng2 says build but do not operate. So lots of safety issues, besides the boondoggle economics that could bankrupt us. And lack of reliability is on the back burner as to transmission.
      Now you are an exception to see through the PR from day one, and most thought this project was essential and sound, despite being expensive at 16 cent power, not 23.
      Now if more of those engineers , accountants etc had made their views known, more average Joes would have been like you, and the sanction may have stalled, just like the proposed sale of Nfld Hydro 25 years ago.
      So how many hairs are there to split, how many dissenters does Peng2 refer to, 2, 20 or 100…..and will UG or Leblanc find out how many and their rationale to oppose but stay quiet.
      Peng2 wants to blame just DW and the 70 percent that voted for him and MFs , but exclude the other enablers. These enablers hope to keep a low profile now. I say :split hairs. Most of the public were ignorant of the false assumptions, but what of those that knew, beyond the obvious merry bandits. And notice Peng2 not so quick to defend on this, leaving me and you to debate it.

    • Lol anon.19:01. Can't disput all those things you mentioned, and expected this is where it might be leading, and I might end up trying to defend Peng2, which I clearly stated at the beginning, that it was not my intent. And as well, might ending up splitting hairs, as to who to blame for the other screw ups like you have mentioned and where to lay the blame, Peng2 or as you say the other unknown number of engineers. So, the boondoggle may die of a thousand cuts. So think you have made your point to me, as I hope I have made mine as well, or my 2 cents worth. Cheers, average Joe, maybe we might hear from peng2 now.

    • Being blissfully ignorant, or allowing oneself to be kept uniformed isn't an excuse–search google shows enough on youtube, cbc.ca and other media sites that there was a significant opposition to MF. Unfortunately, checking the comments or listening to the next openline caller shows just how willing the populace was—it was 70% of the population that enabled MF, the info was there but nobody wanted to believe anything negative about it.

      There were engineering reports dating to the 70s, known info gaps and even the 2013 EPCM risk analysis that was all ignored–make no mistake, the fix was in on MF in 2003, nothing to debate there.

      On point with the main article, an example of how politics is manipulated provincially and federally is our own dear Senator Manning—2x refused as an elected federal member but still returned to the senate and still honored here, some even think he was ousted(along with Marshall, Sullivan, Taylor and others) provincially because of opposition to DWs plans for MF.


    • Peng2, even today, the majority of Nflders , I suggest, more people know of the Spur on Trumpie`s foot that let him evade the draft 5 times to avoid Vietnam than they know of the North Spur, and the danger of quick clay. Likewise with most all the false assumptions, which you say was all the info was out there. Most people know there is something, or lots of things rotten with the whole project, but are not clued in like you or others that follow UG. So when you say the info was out there, what was out there by the handful of naysayers stood no chance against the Nalcor and govn PR machine, and a lax media, like VOCM Daley, and others. Nalcor paraded their so called world class opinions and consultant reports. And the Nalcor and the power company internal dissenters rolled over and stayed silent. By your feeble defense, it seem they want it to stay hidden. How many, peng2, desenters were there, approximately. You avoid the question.
      What is true and I agree with is that being blissfully ignorant or allowing oneself to be kept uninformed isn`t an excuse. That begs the question, how does one become informed with the snow job that was masterfully done by Nalcor, and still being done but now less successful.
      Russell at the Telegram cited 3000 items over the years, but most are letters by a small group of naysayers. No indept analysis or investigative journalism to dive into the false assumptions that Nalcor, you, and a group of internal dissenters knew about, you say, but rolled over rather than GO PUBLIC. This was no Peckford Pickle Palace, costing 20 million. For Christ sake, or the sake of all the average joes out there, acknowledge this is a likely 15 billion fiasco that could set back this province and our children and grandchildren for 50 years.
      Curse the God, as you call him DW, who indeed is most to blame, but time to end the defense of numerous engineers and others who knew the details of the false assumptions. The devil is in the details, and the true details were 90 percent buried, the info was not OUT THERE, and the bit that UG etc got out was too little and too late to be effective to inform the public in time, and what was put out on UG was constantly discredited by World Class Engineer promoters that the public actually believed they were world class.
      Now you likely know that Liberty constantly stated that the power companies here need a Culture change. That need to come from the top, but when it doesn`t , others must make it happen. Rolling over and enabling corrupt and incompetent leaders does not change the culture. Now will an Inquiry without teeth to punish, or hide the full truth.
      UG has taken a shot at the engineer association, but surely the action or inaction by the internal dissenters is important. They know the details. They understood the devil that was in those details. The public did not.

    • Peng2, having ranted on the Culture bit, the CBC national just reported that Starbucks was closing 8000 outlets for a day for training to attempt to improve their culture (over arresting 2 black men who was in one of their stores and arrested for no good reason). Compare Stan Marshall talking down to David Vardy recently!

    • Anony @ 23:47:

      What needs to be understood is the sanction process—a political decision that ignored all available data. Ignored were previous reports on the Anglo-Saxon route, commentary on the lack of geotechnical investigations, commentary on questionable financial analysis, exclusion from the PUB for a 2ndary cold-eyes look and probably the most damming was the implementation of dated power consumption data analysis methods—there weren’t decisions made by the PDT, or made without knowledge of the populace. These decisions were discussed in the media, were made in clear view of the public and when/if someone did question what was being done there were chastised (eg google cbc.ca for KD response to dissenters, or review comments on cbc.ca from any MF story in 2005-2010)—what is probably most telling is that until 1-2yrs ago a majority of the population still supported MF and to this day, the powers that be will still stand and publically claim it is a good piece of work.

      You ask about a number of dissenters, I can think off-hand of 5-6 groups who made active commentary questioning the wisdom of MF prior to sanction, in addition to a number of individuals—all of their words were ignored and they were labeled as being ‘down in the mouth’. As you say, the media bought the PR machine propaganda, to me this meant the anti-MF faction had very little chance of a fair assessment by the public from day 1. Once the population bought the PR on MF there was nothing any professional group could or should have done—the owner/government had actual and apparent authority to give approval of sanction/execution of MF; the persons working at MF had a duty of care to Nalcor/Government, not the voting public.

      If you want to understand my opinion on public policy, maybe review some of my UG posts going back 3-4yrs or so.


  8. Agree UG…some battles never end…..the Feds are trying to reassert their control over the off shore through the back door….through the environmental phoney process. We fought hard and long over the off shore rights to get something out of what we brought to the confederation, the Grand Banks of Newfoundland….not the Grand Banks of Canada. We fished those waters, along with other nations, and the only other province that ever went to the Grand Banks and the Scotia shelf, were the Nova Scotians. From cape Chiddley in the north to the tale of the Grand Banks to George's banks off Maine. Except the Nova Scotians never went north, except well maybe in recent years. But our forefathers, fished to the northern tip of Labrador for a hundred years and more. For eg. Alberta and Saskatchewan own their flat lands of the prairies, our flatlands, the Grand Banks just happens to be covered with water, a more hostile environment. And the seabed is littered with our brave souls that prided those waters. The latest in claiming the lives of over 80 brave souls on the Ocean Ranger, and the cougar flight. We forced and enticed the big oil companies to come take the oil from the ground, and through the Atlantic accord and CNLOPB we had considerable control and share of that resource. And dint anyone tell me about the Feds 10 percent share in hibernia to get the first project going, I know all about it, and they have their investment back ten fold and still hauling it in. So now they see how lucrekive the off shore oil is they want to grab a greater share through the back door, by short circuiting the Atlantic Accord, the CNLOPB and do it through the phoney environmental process. They want to do a similar thing with fisheries management. Because we fished cod, halibut, and crab etc. And other species, but you didn't fish surf clams, you have no historical rights. That's BS. Do they say that out west, you grew wheat and now you grow, quinoa so you don't own the land anymore!! You grow or fish the grounds for the crop or species that is most lucrative and economical at the time, and of course that changes with time. So buck up ball et al, and 7 little Mp's as they are stealing the eyes right out of your heads, yup, mainly the Ottawa bureocrats, says Joe blow, average Joe, AJ.

    • Solution for Muskrat; Feds set up another crown corp, "buy the assets", build, build, jobs jobs, charge the ratepayers, turn assets back to corp. (a some future discount). Everyone wins… except ratepayers!

    • We can now refer to this desperate trans mountain move by the government, (including your 7 NL MPs, "Independent senators"), as "Boondoggle West". No Business Case, no market, no Energy Plan, waste of public and natural resources, financed by the taxpayer for the benefit of the Enron master from Texas! Some of you who are brave can invite your MP/senator for a Tim Hortons, and suggest that you won't go along with this shit, or be prepared to come on here with your dissent. Be radical in these times, your grandchildren deserve a better deal than you are getting. Are you with me, PENG2, Heracles, Etienne, Bernard, Ex Military, et al?

    • Hi Robert,

      From what I can see, the opposition to Trans-Mountain is basically "Not-In-My-Backyard". This argument is not receivable for a situation like this because such a pipeline will always have to be in someone backyard. Considering the project is about upgrading an existing pipeline, the argument is even less meaningful because it is already in that very backyard.

      About the business case, there was one good enough for a private company to do it. The government took over it to help get it done despite the "Not-In-My-Backyard" attitude of people in the west.

      So from what I see, I disagree with you and I think the project is legitimate.

    • I agree with Robert and disagree with Heracles.

      If I wished to draw attention to the remarkable anti-Quebec bias in the Anglo-Canadian media I would draw Uncle Gnarley readers' attention to the remarkable contrast in the press coverage of this nationalization of a Texan company's (quite possibly non-profitable) pipeline and the loans given to a Canadian company which actually generates far more jobs within Canada than said Texan company ever did (I am referring to Bombardier, of course): since, however, I wish to examine the merits of the project I will do no such thing.

      Heracles: you are right that this is a "not-in-my backyard" type of opposition, but there are three things that must be stressed: 1-It is unclear whether this pipeline project will actually ever yield any kind of profit (see below), 2-It is a much riskier project from the environmental point of view: what is being carried is Bitumen crude, which is heavier than water and which no known process can clean up in the event of a spill. A major spill, thus, would be catastrophic for the economy of coastal B.C.: B.C. stands to lose MUCH more money than Alberta or the Federal government stand to gain (even IF the project turns out to be profitable, which is uncertain). Finally, 3-, the business case was made back when oil prices were much higher than today, so the relevance of said plan today is, to say the least, dubious.

      There's a nice saying in Quebec, "Mieux vaut être riche et en santé que pauvre et malade" (Better to be rich and healthy than poor and sick). In like fashion, I think Ottawa had a choice: to waste public money taking over a project which is an environmental risk, or kill two birds with one stone by neither risking the environment nor wasting public money. That King Selfie the first, who has obviously inherited Daddy's humility and Mommy's brains, chose the former just goes to show one thing: Newfoundlanders have nothing to feel ashamed about. Really. Your provincial political leadership can stand tall: Indeed, as an outsider, I think it fair to say that Dwight Ball is a true political giant, with Justin Trudeau's intellectual depth and Andrew Scheer's charisma.

    • Don't you all get the feeling that the government move on TMP is spookily similar to the sanctioning of Muskrat; private corporate interests not prepared to take on the economic/environmental/Indigenous rights risks so Gov plays the political card? Granted the difference; Buy/expropriate an income producing asset, existing KM pipe. Then spin a construction project with preliminary budget of $7.4B. Are you not concerned with a gov run project management/EPC team, (SNC-Lavalin??). Amazingly setup to parallel the Muskrat. Taxpayers at risk. Boondoggle or smart Investment? What are your MPs telling you of the great "Smart Move" by M. Trudeau?

    • It is my understanding that oil revenues go a long way towards the 10 billion or so dollars in equalization payments that Quebec gets each year from the federal government. Are the Bombardier jets, recently sold to a US airline, still to be manufactured in the airbus plant in Atlanta, Georgia.

    • Hi Etienne,

      The arguments you mentioned, beside the Not-In-My-Backyard, may be valid. I did not researched the subejct before… If indeed there is more to this than Not-In-My-Backyard, the opposition may have a point. I may do some research on the subject if I have time but for now, I will leave that subject to others…

    • To anon09:43

      Another way to look at it:

      Equalization per citizens 2016-2017

      Provinces / Per Citizen / Total
      PEI / $2,573 / $380 million
      NB / $2,259 / $1.708 billion
      NS / $1,822 / $1.722 billion
      Manitoba / $1,328 / $1.736 billion
      Quebec / $1,206 / $10.03 billion
      Ontario / $166 / $2.304 billion

      FWIW, above figures are still peanuts when you compare that to the whole amount of money spent by the feds, and where that money goes.

      About 21% of federal fiscal revenues come from Quebec, and on average about 17% of the federal budget is spent back into Quebec (all transfers, public servants, military spending, shipbuilding, light armoured veh, office building rent/maintenance you name it).

      So while Quebec is slightly poorer than the Canadian average, it gets even poorer with this bizarre federal spending redistribution.


      About Bombardier;

      "Since 1986 (when Bombardier entered the aerospace business) BBD received a total investment of $586-million, repayable ([b]excluding the C Series[/b]), from the federal, Quebec and Ontario governments. This investment supported the development of innovative new aircraft, mainly the CRJ regional jets, the Global Express business jets, the Challengers business jets and the Q400 turboprop aircraft.

      Thanks to the success of those completed/mature programs, Bombardier has returned $733-million, 125 per cent of the original investment, to its government investors.

      This number (dated early 2016) will continue to grow as Bombardier keeps delivering additional aircrafts."

      I just wish all subsidies would be set up this way.

      Now, compared that to the auto bailout, where we actually lost Billons, to save US companies that doing little or no R&D in Canada.

      Also, compare that to subsidies for bitumen extraction, which just mean we subsidize a faster extraction/depletion of our natural resources – which in turn further exacerbate stupidly the current pipeline bottleneck.

      But hey anon, keep the Quebec (or bombardier) bashing, it feels so much better to blame others…

    • Hi Ex Military
      Maybe 2 weeks ago I stated my preference for BBD stock, that is holding for a while on seeing value in their excellent engineering capability.
      Still down about 20 percent then , when I commented. This stock about 1.05 in Apr 2016, and your comment prompted me to review the status. The stock today is 4.81. These stocks now turning a profit as to purchased price . My source shows analysts shows : 5 says Hold, , 10 says Buy, 2 says strong buy. Some says the stock will outperform and pegs at 5.86 soon.
      Of course being an engineer, I evaluate on their past and present engineering capabilities. I make no recommendation that others buy the stock, as this depends on one's risk tolerance for investing, but just I would never bash Quebec or BBD, and rather proud that we have such Canadian and Quebec capability and skills in this field, with BBD. One of their planes is listed as the top mile per gallon per passenger, as to energy efficiency. They quit paying a dividend a few years ago, but anyone lucky enough to have bought 2 years ago now see 400 percent gains! But then too , Montreal, was my favorite hockey team as a kid. World class is world class , whatever the language.

    • Ex-mil missed the points of anon 09:43, May 30, that the revenue for equalization payments comes largely from Canadian oil sales and that jobs for the recent Bombardier jet sales to a US airline are going to Atlanta, Georgia to help make America great again.

    • anon 09:37
      Actually, future "USA" CSeries sales are to be assembled in Mobile, Alabama (and not Atlanta; that's where the customer Delta is located). This trick is very clever as this ensure the CSeries to enter the US duty free (remember those 300% countervailing duties?).
      The alternative would be to eventually lose the entire US market.

      Final assembly of "green" CSeries represent a maximum of 5% of the plane value (more likely about 3%). Most costs are into the design&certification (sunk costs), subassemblies/parts/avionics/flyby wire, engines, wings and finishing of the green aircrafts.

      Pretending that oil sale revenues somewhat pays for jobs going to Atlanta (well, Mobile) is at least misleading, if not fallacious.

    • Yeah, I know good trick, give away 51% of your product to another company for free to get the contract and avoid USA tariffs. Jobs go to Alabama or Atlanta both in the USA. The result is the same, make America great again. Canadian oil sale revenues pay for equalization payments to Quebec and other have-not-provinces and support federal and provincial subsidies to Bombardier and others. Let us not kill the goose that lays the golden egg. Let us build pipelines and transmission lines across this great country so that we all can prosper, even environmentalists and other naysayers.

    • Anon, I agree that this pipeline bottleneck is a national disgrace. We must find economical / safe ways to get bitumen to tide water – presto!

      In the mean time, Alberta is stock to sell its heavy petroleum at a 30% discount to our "good" southern neighbor / "ally"… That also gets more petroleum to be transported by rail (at the expense of grain?) which is infinitely more risky. (witness the Lac Megantic death toll / environmental disaster – which Quebec is ending up alone to repair/pay for the most part).

      About Bombardier ceding 50.01% (not 51% as you say) of the CSeries program to Airbus;
      In exchange, Airbus will provide access to its supply chain economy of scale /discounts. From those economies alone, Airbus expects to shave at least 15% from the CSeries costs.
      Airbus will also integrate the CSeries into its worldwide after sale support, exponentially bigger than Bombardier's one. And finally, integrate the CSeries into its marketing Dept (Airbus will also cancel its brand new A319NEO in the process)
      The expected value of above Airbus's contribution has already been reflected in BBD share prices. BBD stock has more than doubled since the Airbus partnership announcement.

      ==> FWIW, most partnerships involve asymmetric contributions from each from the partners. Each partner provides what they are best in, in order to obtain an even bigger/more efficient entity.

      Again, pretending that BBD gave away 51% of its product to another company for free is incomplete/misleading, and does not reflect the actual contribution of each partner.

  9. For those who missed the logic of Peng2, above, he says there were 5 or 6 groups of dissenters, engineers we assume, at Nalcor or Nfld Hydro who made ACTIVE COMMENTARY" questioning the wisdom of MFs.
    Now this implied none of them went so far as to put their concerns in writing. So coffey time talk, and not active talk to the the media or public.
    Peng2 further says that "once the population bought the PR on MFs, there was nothing any professional group could or should have done, as those working on MFs had a duty of care to Nalcor/Govn, not the voting public".
    So there you have it folks. Gil Bennett who wasa PR guy, and all the engineers who saw through this sham are off the hook, as their duty of care was not to the voting public, it was to Ed Martin and the sleeveens.
    They stayed under the cone of silence imposed by their duty of care to the culprits.
    Reminds me of the Boy Scouts whose duty is to God and the country, but usually puts country before God.
    Ok , so by the wisdom of Peng2, Leblanc can pass over the brave engineers who kept quiet, nothing to see there, just DW and the few top sleeveens to assess. That is what 33 million will deliver, what we already know. MFs, first and foremost an engineering project, but engineers not at fault. Right! What does others on this blog think?

    • Anony @ 17:18:

      Please quote correctly—you have misrepresented my comments.

      MF was a political decision—the backgrounder engineering reports and accounting reports were ignored and rewrote to suit a political end game. Those technical reports date from 1970 through 2001 when Grimes nearly had a deal done with Quebec-however the populace elected God and gave Him a mandate for a couple terms in which he was reelected on his MF mandate. Memory also tells me that there was at least 1 technical proposal submitted by Hydro1 and Hydro Quebec to develop lower Churchill but He decided against that option also in the guise of provincial pride.

      My memory tells me there were 5-6 groups that actively advised the public against MF—a couple that come to mind are 2041, Cabot Martin et al, Nunatuvat, Hydro Quebec etc-too bad we were too proud to believe we were in over our head. It was you that said I was noting internal dissention at Nalcor-I never implied that.

      At the end of the day—the facts were there, but the public ignored and accepted the Kool-Aid from DW et al. Sorry if you were a part of the 70% that endorsed MF and are now trying to backtrack-I have always been a dissenter, though I currently earn an income trying to limit the damage.


  10. Echoing Robert G. Holmes' comment on the similarities between Muskrat Falls and the Trans-mountain pipeline, here is another similarity: both projects, as well as that of a fixed Labrador-Newfoundland link, have all recently been described as "nation-building projects":




    I would like to offer a tentative translation: "Nation-building project", in this context, appears to mean "A project which is wholly unprofitable and which private companies will undertake if and only if they are given large amounts of taxpayers' money".

    I am also reminded, for some mysterious reason, of Samuel Johnson's wise observation, that "Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel".

    • History seems to repeat with respect to "Nation-building projects".
      CPR, Churchill rail and grain, (Sorry Winston), Hibernia, Churchill Falls, Cape Breton Heavy Water, (Sorry Bruno), TMP expansion, etc. At least the current buy back craze of foreign owned infrastructure assets gives scope for the "Canadian Way".

    • Hi Robert, you have a sharp memory: "Churchill rail and grain"
      Some may recall my mention of the Manitoba boondoggle a century ago where many Nflders worked : Port Nelson on the west side of Hudson Bay, a rail line there and a terminal for shipping grain out of Hudson Bay to Europe, a scheme to by pass Quebec via Montreal shipping.
      For me, this is an historic year, one century ago, in 1918, My father was now gearing up to travel to Manitoba , as far north as The Pas by train, then to go by some 200 miles by canoe down the Neslon River , to reach an abandoned schooner , that had been owned by the NWMPolice, he purchased salvage rights and intended to bring her out under sail, which the the Mounties and Royal navy felt was impossible, and so they sold the vessel when the engine got damaged. For many years I sought a photo of this vessel, but could not find one.
      Robert, Google "image schooner village belle" then under the first photos hit "more images" you should see the second photo , a black and white one, and hit that to enlarge it, and see VILLAGE on the stern.
      That is my father and Nfld crew who sailed her out of Hudson Bay in 1918. He was a master mariner, then 27 years old.
      His unpublished journals describes the boondoggle there where he worked several years. Perhaps like PENG2 he felt the waste was a political Canadian decision, without prior proper evaluation, and not his concern, but he made his fortune with that successful salvage.
      Winston Adams

    • Churchill re-build, now that the Feds have discovered resource development moneys;


      I thought that Voisey Bay nickel was a lost opportunity to build a rail head in Nain, interconnected with Sept Isles, not Long Hr. Think of the different development ideas QC would bring to Labrador. Remember, NFLD offered to sell for a few million back in the 30's. Do it now, to save the Avalon :-). Plunk the hard won $$$ in a bigger and more gentrified Galway, buy cheap Venezuelan crude, refine in Come By Chance, send the fuel trucks to distributers in Mt. Pearl.

    • Hi Robert,

      I find interesting this idea of "ENERGY-EAST-DETOUR", especially using the Churchill port (Manitoba), coupled with state of the art Ice Breaker tankers. (the sea route would be considerably shorter compared to Irving's terminal)

      I view this Churchill port as a strategic asset, and that could be a win – win possibility to save its existence (Rail link currently washed out…).

      Obviously a proper business case is required, coupled with a robust environmental assessment evaluating the risks, and feasible mitigation measures.

    • Ex-Mil.
      Just yesterday, a Canadian Co. bought back the rail asset from CSX. Canada, through the new crown corp. can act as CD Howe did back in the time when we had surplus prairie wheat to ship to Europe, built grain elevator storage at Churchill, and shipped through Hudson Strait during Summer months. Harper killed the Wheat Board, which removed the economic benefit of CSX. We already do not have the capacity to handle all the grain, coal, potash, lumber and oil through the Crow's Nest, (CPR).
      What is needed is a better delivery system with diversity of routing to World markets. The opportunity is now, Americans are taking Canadian resources for granted, (Today's flare about tariffs and Trump hardball BS). Time to build back our sovereignty and statehood. Churchill completes our "Mari usq ad Mari usq ad Mari.

    • "What is needed is a better delivery system with diversity of routing to World markets"

      Can't agree more Robert.

      Furthermore, that Churchill Manitoba routing could be environmentally better (??) than the original Energy East routing – crossing multiple rivers used by literally MILLONS as their main source of drinking water…

  11. From the 600+ page Newfoundland Royal Commission 1933 Report (aka Amulree Report)

    228. It should be appreciated, in the first place, that there is now no real distinction of principle between the political parties of Newfoundland. The names of Liberal, Conservative or Tory and Labour are in use but the division is rather one of persons. Secondly, the population of the Island is so small, and its financial resources are so restricted, that the choice of political candidates is severely limited. There is no leisured class, and the great majority of the people are quite unfitted to play a part in public life. As a rule, the Parliamentary Session only lasts about two months, and it might have been thought that the necessity for attendance during this short period would not have been an insuperable handicap to the members of the commercial community. In fact, however, very few of the business men are prepared to enter politics, even though members of the Government are permitted to carry on their businesses
    while in office. This is not due to the lack of public spirit, but to the personal abuse to which candidates are subjected and to the feeling that, if elected, they would be suspected of being associated with corrupt dealings. A certain number of the legal profession have been ready to embark on a political career, but the professional classes generally have not responded. "Politics" have come to be regarded as an unclean thing which no self-respecting man should touch; the very word "politician" is virtually a term of abuse which carries with it a suggestion of crookedness and sharp practice. Many of the working people have a contempt for the politician. The so-called "modernisation" of politics, and the
    introduction into political life of men who sought to make a living out of their political activities, have been responsible for this deplorable state of affairs. At the last election, in 1932, the national danger was such that men offered themselves as candidates to whom the prospect was otherwise abhorrent. In normal circumstances, we are given to understand, it would not be possible for either party to count on the services of a greater number of candidates than would be required to fight each seat; and even this could only be achieved by lavish promises of election funds and subsequent rewards.


    • Very good dig in history Keith. People I got to know, who survived WWI, the 20's boom, and 30's collapse, tell of the Elites of St. J, fearful of the others and ragtag Baymen, went crawling to West Minster for bailout. Reminds me of what AB has done to get Fed intervention and "Nation Building" on the TMP. Keep historical precedence in mind as we re-invent Reciprocity with our gun loving Christians to the South. Maybe we jump up the price on all resources sold too cheaply through export deals.

    • Keith, what did you expect the Brits to write, lol, but agree in most cases they were right. And the tradition as handed down from the fishing admirals and merchants, not only of St. John's but around the island in the other places of rule, like conception bay, trinity bay, bonavista bay, etc. Harbour grace, carbon ear, bonavista etc. And the working class, mainly fishermen had very little regard for the ruling class, as one lived in dire poverty and their richer masters lived in better conditions. And that was the way of life then and the rule of law of the times. How do you think the others in North America lived a hundred years or so earlier. The same, with a ruling class and and a slave and working class. Except they had more more territory to expand into. The rule of Justice there was by the sword, the gun, and public hangings, was common in NA, and yes a relative few occurred here as well. But we were a scattered, isolated population around all the crooks and crannies of the coast so as to have easy access to the rich fishing around the coast. So my point is that was the way of life a couple of hundred years ago, not only here but all over NA, as well as many other parts of the world. And still exist today in many parts of the world, especially poorer countries, that are ruled by dictators. Have you not seen the swaller camps of especially rufugees around the world today. Seems your point was we were ruled in a different way, no, not really that different, except we lived on an island, but lots went to the Boston states as we called it then. Just my 2 cents worth. Average Joe.

    • Joe, get to be 80 fast:-). Start with BBC on line+radio, MSNBC, FOX, CNN, CBC, Bourque Newswatch, Local library, Uncle is just a joy to read your comments. Life is good. Oh yes, the older you get the less time in bed. Cheers.

  12. Yes. and in 6 months or so, the Commissioners had travelled much of Nfld and to Ottawa and back, took testimony of hundreds , had hearings, and wrote the report, end of democracy, 6 cent day dole. etc, They were efficient, yet in the same time frame now, the Leblanc Inquiry barely starting.

    • Robert Holmes: Thank you for that list of boondoggles above (your 10:22 comment). MF seems to differ in scale rather than in kind from those you listed.

      Another very popular weasel term (with all due apologies to those fine mammals) is to say of something that it is required in order to be "world-class", especially a "world class city": here too the meaning appears to be very similar to "nation-building project" (AKA "Subsidized white elephant which politicians find useful in order to give their voters the illusion that constructive accomplishments are on their way to becoming reality").

      I cannot recommend the following article on the topic too strongly:


      If Newfoundlanders do not feel a real sense of déjà vu upon reading this, I would really suggest going out and reading local news more…

    • Robert…certainly agree that Fox has quite a conservative bias. The one key point in defense of Fox would be the other three (CNN, MSNBC, Bloomberg) have a quite a liberal bias. All four can hardly be called "news" channels.

      In Canada both the CBC, including CBC Radio, and CTV have a huge liberal bias which is unfortunate. As a viewer I do not want spin from so-called news channels. Down here on the rock, for example, hardly a day goes by on the CBC Radio afternoon show "On The Go" without some cheap comedy aimed towards Trump. Rarely if ever do I hear any cheap shots towards our PM and there is a fair bit of material. Why is the publicly-funded broadcaster so blatantly obvious in their programming? Would it be fair to say that the CBC is acting as the Pravada of Canada and the Liberal party?

      Would you not agree?


    • Omg Keith. I am neither left or right, up or down, conservative or liberal, democratic or republican, red or green or blue, or what ever label you want to put on someone. I refuse to be labeled as you seem to think everyone is and must be. But I am anti pathological liar, whoever that might be, Trumpie does it hourly. I was turned against Trumpie when he mocked a disabled reporter during his campaign, on tv in fron of millions of people around the world. And if that was not bad enough, he denied it a few weeks later before the same, or similar audience in front of him. And that is just one simple example, there are hundreds of other examples. Yes, everyone lies, or tells the odd lie, we are all human (besides Trumpie) but we don't lie every time we open our mouth. But for the odd Joe that is ok, we can over look it, like you over look the loud mouth in the corner bar. But we are talking about the leader of the free world, the president of the USA, the most important person in the world. How can he be accepted by normal rational people. Imagine if pope Francois lied every time he open his mouth, be a pathological liar, (and I am not RC) but I do and have always respected the pope, because of who he is, what he represents, and his honesty that we all know. And yes, I may also be an hateious, but I will still respect all good people whether they be black or white, red or green, right or left, or up side down. My God, most of us have a brain…why nort use it just a little. I think Trumpie should be allowed to live, but not in the White House. My 3 cents worth, Joe blow…please some one explain to me why I am wrong….

    • Seems to me Joe that you have some sort of infatuation with Trump for some reason. You seem to mention him quite a bit.

      For what it is worth everyone has some sort of bias (see your own comments as an example) but I am not sure where I labelled anyone. What I did say was when various media has an obvious bias and loses objectivity we all pay a price and become even more skeptical of the source. The danger, as I see it, is ordinary discourse goes out the window and this was happening long before "Trumpie" came along. Cheers Joe. Perhaps you should come out and identify yourself. As Winstom Adams correctly pointed out your points have more credibility.


    • Thanks Keith for your response. So Keith Who??? Maybe I missed it. So if you are Keith, I am Joe. Nice to meet you. Yes, guess we all have some bias, and sometimes we don't realize it until it is pointed out. But yes, maybe some infatuation with Trumpie, but not with many other people that I know. But, you explain to my why I should not, who wheels the power over you and I and the entire world as we know it. He can blow this place we call home to splinterens with a a necular halcouse in minutes. So we should all take note of this pathological liar, and that's not my name for him, many others have said that, including Bernie Sanders, and those who have recorded and varified his falsehoods, everything from where Obama was born to the size of the crowds at his inarguation. Just to mention that others have recorded as many as 3000 lies since becoming president. He has earned the name. So why should I not, and I think we all should be infatuated with Trumpie, as I am sure we were or would be with the fuerer if we were around at that time. And thanks for your comment…. Appreciate it says Joe.

  13. Who are the bloggers that are up to date, in the know, take a great interest in the tarrifs imposed on Canada by the US and how will Canada retaliate???? Interesting times. Heard a guy, bobby, on paddy open line yesterday, that cherishes Trumpie. Now imagine that. So guess he doesn't like Kentucky bourbon, but it will affect more than that, groceries, cars, anything made of steel that we import from the US, with their tarrif plus our retaliation tarrif will see increases in those good sold in Canad. Guess we will have to buy more from China, may be lower quality but cheaper prices. Trumpie…make America great again!!!! Cheers, Joe blow…

    • The NAFTA renegotiation, and those aluminium / steel "security" branded duties has already halted investments in Canada. Furthermore the Trump administration wanted to impose a sunset clause into the new NAFTA, which would have created a permanent insecurity to investors – thus rendering permanent our current investment freeze.

      At some point, we have to face the music, and confront the bully – otherwise it will never stop, until total submission to eventually become a US possession like Porto-Rico… (not exaggerating much here).

      Luckily we just signed a free trade agreement with Europe, were bullying is not part of their DNA. We have to prepare seriously to a strategic shift in trading partners. (Has already started in Mirabel, with Airbus).

      Our southern ex-buddy might have to shop around for new allies / trading partners, more tolerant to bullying…

      (sorry, my military background doesn't tolerate bullying – better suffer short term losses than being raped the rest of your life)

  14. From the previous UG piece, there has been commentary as to the prudence of conservation of electricity on the island going forward, by myself , Heracles and Ex Military. I generally disagree with them on some or most points, and it is a complex issue. And Heracles accuces me of promoting products , heatpumps , that I install or sell them , and so profit from my opinions, and another saying I should be banned from UG.
    Ex Military is much more professional and I value his opinions more than Heracles, (from who I await "I was wrong as to your motives"
    So how did Heracles , An IT guy get this wrong? I searched Google to find out about what they say about my company(Engineering Specialties Ltd) which I assume Heracles did
    One item says a member of NLCA (Construction Ass)….correct
    Yellow page says "no one has rated this business yet"
    Another says the company "is a merchant within the ventilating equipment and supplier sector, fans, industrial and commercial sales and service. This is partly correct.
    Another says "ventilating equipment (wholesale)" …this partly correct.
    Another called Web local dated 2008, lists 11 products, 6 of these are correct and 5 are wrong. The last product is Rosemex Heaters, which is correct.
    There is one review showing a 5 star rating, dated Sept 12, 2013, and says"Winston and Cliff provide first rate technical support to industrial customers in this part of the world (brought to you by Googleplus), and shows a map of location. We deal in commercial and little industrial, and no residential products. If one clicks REVIEW , it brings you to an outfit called YellowBot, which when you click "about us" shows they are an ad promoting outfit, and gets revenue from that somehow.
    As I advertise nowhere, this is what they have, part correct, part fake news. And Heracles must have went astray. How?
    On several of these site about my company there is an insert ad by AIRSERV. (we have no association with them) They promote them selves as "Heating , Cooling, Installation , Replacement repair and Service., of all brands. They are owned by The Dwyer Group, one of the world's ;largest franchise holders companies, 1100 franchise business in North America.
    The google map identified us incorrectly, showing my neighbour's small house near by!
    Rosemex Heaters, our main product here, for 40 years is a Quebec company, which has excellent products, but not heat pumps.
    We have no sales , service or installation of HPs. Sorry Heracles, for a IT guy, you make false assumptions , like Nalcor.
    Winston Adams

    • Serious, not Fake Energy Efficiency: to be or not to be, that is the question.
      May 4 Ashley Fitzpatrick's piece in the Telegram, In Depth: option for Nfld and Lab power rates still unclear. She says Committees are working on rate mitigation, but no details, and no input from the consumer advocate or other consumer groups. Hayes and Minister Coady says they need to be "finding ways to encourage people to stay on the electrical system as power rates rise and ADD MORE to the local system. (doesn't sound like conservation or efficiency to reduce loads) A "step change" in power rates is unavoidable " says NL Hydro Jim Hayes. Generally speaking , Hayes says"the more energy used on the island the better" Ashley says power imports would be a small action in the face of the monster of forecasted power costs"
      Then today we have the piece "Projects to reduce energy use lower costs businesses, municipal leaders told in Carbonear". Nfld power energy management engineer Peter Upshall, talking up the energy savings with LED ligts , under Take Charge rebate programs. He says "energy Efficiency is a great way to control their cost today and into the future , because they're lowering their energy use and requirements through efficiency"
      Jerry George writes to the telegram,"should we stop upgrading insulation and windows…it borders on the ridiculous. ..we are being guilted into doing nothing because if we act it will make the situation worse. So very soon we will live in the only jurisdiction in the developed world where wasting energy to keep rates down will be encouraged"
      Then yesterdays Telegram piece "Nfld Power applies for rate increase", it says they are working hard to manage their costs. And says their rate application includes ways it is being responsive to customer's changing service expectations, including a proposal to introduce a new energy-efficient LED streetlight service as the future standard to provide better lighting quality and improved reliability while reducing overall costs to customers . When approved, all new streetlight installations and replacements will use LED technology".
      Take Charge is co-sponoured by Nfld Power and NL Hydro.
      So are they talking out of both sides of their mouths?
      Serious Energy efficiency, for the homeowner, …. to be or not to be? Are we again being misled by the power companies and government, with no overall sound analysis?
      Energy Efficiency , A prudent use for rate mitigation for households or not? Is the "we need the revenue to pay for MFs a red herring, to discourage conservation, and will it work ?
      Winston Adams

  15. Winston, a local minisplit owner here… your posts involve considerable championing of heat pumps that may lead many readers to think you have more skin in the game than you say (and which I knew from being around here almost as long as you but I rarely post comments and my professional affiliations mean I must be anonymous as my job would be at risk if I attached my name to some of my opinions). May I respectfully suggest you reduce your minisplit reports and analysis to appear in just one post a month. It may be a tough ask but I speak in person to other readers who like me appreciate your views but could do with less repetition.

    Also keep in mind that many ratepayers will turn to firewood, pellets or even oil. Some have these alternatives still installed but barely use them. At 20 cent or greater rates, even minisplits are not cheap heat and some people will turn to these other energy sources. I've noticed there are high efficiency condensing oil-fired water boilers with multiple radiatiors that would probably compete well with multizone minisplits at about the same cost of installation. They would be totally quiet and wouldn't be affected by low temperatures or inclement weather, and don't need a big ugly appliance parked outside the house. I've already got my minisplits but if I was waiting for rates to spike first, I'd give great consideration to this style of oil alternative – the ugly oil tank is the only negative I can think of.

    BTW – I also agree with you that energy policy going forward should include pricing signals to mitigate energy growth. I'd hate to see us needing to continue to overinvest in silly upgrades to transmission, distribution, backup generation etc in ways that fly in the face of the direction the rest of the world is heading. Energy should be sold in a manner that reflects its cost of supply – perhaps I'll stew on that for another time and not make this comment overly long:)

    • Winston..I say keep on trucken'. You are the only one here that promotes conservation and alternate heating in the form of heat pumps, and started that many years ago, before muskrat was scantioned, but no one listened, as you have outlined a few times before. And if others say you write too much and too often, then they surely are not compelled to read it. And as you have pointed out, you have no fincincial gain from heat pumps, you do it as a public service to those who want to read your post. I suspect those that accuse or insensate you gain from your comments on HP may be the persons with ulterior motives. I guess the exception would be the blog adm. If he suggested you stop or reduce your comments then I would respect his prerogative. That's my 2 cents worth says average Joe.

    • You are right, to the point that I get offended with comments like Heracles that I sell or install these units. "John Smith" posting at the Telegram took those tactics for several years, do discredit all naysayers and praise DW's vision.
      My pieces to in the past to the PUB cite benefits of insulation, quality windows , south orientation for new construction , wood stoves and pellets. I have myself considered condensing boilers, but for climate change and GHG , steer away from it. I have a new wood pellet stove now 7 years not taken off the crate.
      You must admit that we stand almost alone as a jurisdiction with no Efficiency NL, unlike other provinces, and no one ever seems to call for it, now or in the past, and being misled by Take Charge giving little benefit to homeowners.
      Other factors are low rainfall this past year and 2 years ago , icing problems that limited hydro production at some island sites, one year causing 20 million extra for fuel burning and likely this past fall and winter more than that due to low reservoir levels, much more than 2 reasons foe efficiency that Heracles notes.
      You mention only HPs , I mention it not at all in the last comment, more so LED lights
      Outdoors for a house, one or two bulbs , they save 75 percent per bulb, also for all street lighting, as they are outdoors. Indoors for a house they save little if anything due to interactive effect.
      Heracles may not know that Nfld power has about 100 MW of generation, all other by NLHydro. By using LED street lighting they save energy on that in all towns, and reduce the grid load. Their cost of production is about 3 cents per kwh. This frees up purchases from NL hydro and MFs, and allows them to sell their saved energy to households for the 17 to 23 cent range. It is good generally, for their shareholders and overall, but such an approach is not encouraged for household efficiency. Correct me if this is wrong?

    • On second taughts…..My only other comment to you Winston, is if there are or you feel there a vailed threats being gently made, then guess you should not be guided by my comments or opinion. Cheers again, average Joe.

    • Thanks Joe, I most always, (almost 100%) like your comments and consider them good. As to veiled threats, if such is intended to shut me up, then I have no real freedom. What did our boys on July !st die for? But if our blog administrator says to me enough, I will take heed. I intended a formal presentation of data and charts to UG, but seem never to get around to it, but still plan on it. Planned to touch base with the New Consumer Advocate , but have not done so either ( had only a little success with Tom Johnson, and it may have helped get him fired, once he saw the light, and spoke up, gone he was. ).

    • Excellent post anon 14:03

      I share your views.

      I also agree with the principle that "Energy should be sold in a manner that reflects its cost of supply".

      However, in our situation, the "marginal" costs of supplying energy is zero if we are in a surplus/unsold hydro (and that NL already paid for that hydro, whether it is sold/consumed or not).

      Indeed, if demand increases to the point of requiring "upgrades to transmission, distribution, backup generation", then I agree that rates must be increased to reflect those new marginal costs.


      I'm glad Winston realises the value of his comments, as we all appreciate his contributions.

      Now, I find too bad that Heracles disappeared from commenting. Despite what I feel is his misunderstanding/misreading pertaining to Winston's intense HP coverage, I also appreciated Heracles's unique HQ inside knowledge and technical skills.

      I just wish everyone comes to terms.

  16. Blog readers may recall my debate with Bruno who advocated solar /battery systems to replace the Nfld hydro grid, And I offering 500.00 to someone to write up on UG refuting the idea, as we have so much fog and rain and snow, and wind is more beneficial in Nfld than solar.
    Now what about all our isolated diesel powered communities run by Nfld Hydro? On the Labrador coast , some have wood for winter heat some do not have wood, and I assume many use oil for heat, as electricity is so expensive.
    So what about wind/ battery, and maybe some solar to offset diesel fuel , plus, need I repeat, heat pumps for houses, as these are 300 %efficient as compared to baseboard heaters.

    I read with interest of the local team winning the CanInfra challenge with the idea that Nunavut be powered by wind/solar / batteries, with a 8 year payback.
    So, as I feel generous today, or foolish, I propose a 25,000.00 award to have such a system evaluated or whatever, something like the CanInfra challenge. Fortis is now partnered with First Nations in Ontario for powering the remote communities. Why not here, Fortis? Perhaps Fortis (Barry Perry)would add to this 25,000.00 or others to get something moving. We have talent here on the Rock, as the IceGrid team just demonstrated.
    Of course, no one took advantage of my past proposals, at least 3 prior ones.
    Winston Adams

  17. Joe, as you followed the Churchill spring thaw, my observations;
    1. Late melt compared to last year as to max flow.
    2. MF Falls reservoir has been held pretty constant at 23m water level with variation about 8 in max.
    3. Mud lake was at about 0.7 m on about May 15, now about 0.9 m, highest so far, but still about 0.1 m below the top of the river bank, so excellent so far, as compared to last year, or I suspect excellent as to most years, which reflects good gate control and CF flow cutback and slow melting season.
    4. Happy Valley was 1.6 m early in May, then dropped to o.75 m by May 23, but now up again to 2.0 m, but this still 2.0 m below the top of the river bank.
    It gets interesting at 6.15 km below MF, the elevation there was 4m May 3, then down to 3.2 m by May 18, but now surging high at about 6.0 m, to the top of the river bank. This suggest that the spill way gates are well opened up to let a lot of water through, otherwise the reservoir above MF must rise, which they do not want. With the ice all gone , this increased flow is not yet any problem downstream , , just some modest rise.
    Above MF, the Pinus river is surging again, gone from a flow of 38cubic meter per second to now at over 130, so 3 times the flow. But this is small compared to the Churchill, and feed into the Churchill.
    Grizzle Rapids is 57 km up from MFs, and here the flow is most dramatic, it was 1841 cubic meters per second on May 3, now a whopping 5000, a vast flow, coming into the MF reservoir, so you can see why the spillway gates must be opened to let this through , or , up she rises(the reservoir elevation)
    Meanwhile from the CF plant, the flow is just 1300 (was down to 1000) earlier), but if we subtract, 5000 minus 1300, it shows that 2600 cubic meters per second is coming from the MFs water shed, twice what is coming through CFs plant.

    • Yes Winston, was looking at the charts a couple days ago, and it appeared that the critical time had passed for max. River flow. But also noticed that air temps were relative colder in the area this year than the past couple of years. As it is only in the last 2 days that the air temp in lab city – GB are much above zero, reach 17 or so in the last two days. So seems the major spring thaw arrived a little later this year than the previous couple of years. Yes, as you observe ML is at its highest for the season at just .1 meter below the river bank. Was checking English point where the three graphs are sumper imposed on each other for the last 3 springs, but only go to may 24th. But, as this graph monitors rise in water level due to ice rafting, but guess the ice has all pasted and just open water all the way, so no need to show water levels as ice jam or rafting won't be a factor this year as it was last year around may 17 th. So guess this is the critical time but with no ice then there should be not much chance of any flooding. Tks. Average Joe.

    • anonymity causes replies on any blog to approach flaming. It is best to keep in mind the fitdt Rule of Listserv use:

      Do not "flame," challenge or attack others. The discussions on the lists are meant to stimulate conversation, not to create contention. Flaming includes the making of derogatory comments, ridicule, excessive sarcasm and innuendo. Let others have their say, just as you have yours.

      As mom would say, if you can't say something nice, say nothing.

    • Joe, since last night, the water is now at the top of the river bank at Mud Lake and also at the top 6.15km downstream of MF.
      The elevation at the reservoir is about the same, so a tremendous amount of water going through, and would likely be on track toexceed the top of the riverbank, as the flow upstream of MF is still slightly increasing for the Pinus River and the main Churchill river, but seem to be cresting at or near max. Now, as they said last year, for the reservoir, water in equals water out(saying they weren't doing anything with the gates), but in reality to keep water in as water out means you do a lot with the gates. Anyway, as Nalcor knows you and I are watching,(and no doubt everyone at Mud Lake, who just need to look outside), I notice that at the Churchill Falls plant, they reduced the flow by 200 cubic meters per second since last night, as fine tuning, and they may keep the elevation at Mudlake from exceeding the top of the riverbank. Maybe Judge Leblanc gave them their marching orders and all taking this very serious, and shows how well proper control and some good luck can accomplish. Meanwhile, Pinus River adds to the Churchill, so inflow into the MF reservoir is about 5200, and CFs plant flow now down to 1100, so water from the MF watershed now almost 5 times that of the CFs plant. The cutback overnight of 200 at the CFs plant actually exceed the flow of the Pinus river, so helping to reduce the flow overall.
      If the MF plant was operating, they would produce a full 824 MW, and with a bit from the CFs plant send 900MW toward the Avalon , with about 800 MW getting here, due to transmission losses. If one checks our current daily use on the grid, one could calculate how much we have in excess to send to NS, at the present time probably more than the 500MW the ML can handle. Of course, MF can on average only supply about 500MW landed at Soldiers Pond, although this always promoted as 824 MW capacity, and few understood the difference, as Dunderdale really does not know what a watt is,or explained the difference, and said Ed martin was the expert on that! In reality the average capacity of MF is Mickey Mouse relative to the cost.

    • Yes Winston, agree with you. Also noted that the peak height at ML was between 3 and 4 am this morning, and seems to have dropped a few inches since. That might be explained by high tide in the area occurring around 3:30 this morning. The range of the tide between high and low…just under 2 feet at this time in the month. And with no ice effect…then think ML will be ok this year, because as you say, the river has crested or near it for this year..

    • Just wanted to add one more comment. How can one rationalization the flooding at ML , last year, once in over a hundred years as the locals have confirmed? And assuming no effect from the Upper or lower dams. Then one might conclude, from either of two reasons, it was the 100 year flood occurance, or the climate change we are experiencing, or a combination of both. Guess a natural occurance of the 100 year flood, brought together the perfect conditions for the flooding. As outlined elsewhere; there was heavy rains in late fall, followed by quick freeze up, making ice thicker than normal. Then quick thaw in early spring, with more than normal rainfall at the time. Since thicker and more ice, ice raftering, and ice jam bigger than normal at English point, all occurring at the same time, and caused the water level to be elevated in that area, and causing the flood at Mud Lake in 2017. So assuming dams have no effect, then may occurred in anothe 100 years, or who knows when. Now if we assume another new factor entering the picture, climate change then we migh expect, heavier rains at times, thicker ice at times, quicker thaw at times, so if these and other factors occur at the same or similar times, then we can expect flooding at ML to occur more often. And of course if the Muskrat dam has any effect, especially when raised to 39 meters, then only time will tell how much that superimposed effect on the natural forces will influence any future floods. And of course that is all assuming that the north spur will hold for years down the road. Cheers, Joe blow, average Joe, AJ.

    • Joe, the other , and i think the correct answer, is that it was primarily caused by Nalcor.
      No ice cable in place to hold back ice
      Coffee dam leak needing to discharge more water the prior fall and so thicker ice at English Point ( have not personlly checked timing of that.
      3 Improper control of the spillway gates to minimize flooding
      4 No letting the reservoir level rise above 21 m to lessen impact on downstream rise.
      5 Cockyness of Gil Bennett, who on May 16 hours before the floor, said not to worry , no flood will happen.
      PENG2 says the study gave plausable deniability to Nalcor, in other words , he believes it was Nalcor problems as the primary cause ( perhaps he can address this)
      This years performance , so far , shows what proper control can achieve and would aid a law suit to prove Nalcor was at fault.
      The higher the reservoir , the better the contol is possible, as the area gets larger to accomodate temporary storage.

    • Well Winston, guess one of us is right. Or maybe the real answer is somewhere in between. But the common thread seems to be: What caused the ice jam at English point??? It never happen before, or at least to such an extent, in a 100 years. And that led to the flooding at Mud Lake. If we knew the reason for the ice jam, to such an extent, then we may have solved the puzzle. Was it the heavy rain in the fall, and then a quick freeze, causing the ice to be thicker, or raftered later, or was it the release of water from muskrat at various times as you mentioned, and then froze on top of the ice already there, or a combination of all of the above??? Guess all 3 of the reasons are plausible, or maybe a combination of any or all of the reasons stated. Guess it is like the reason for the sinking of the titanic, many plausible reasons were given, and after both inquiries, and al that has been written since, there is still no conclusive agreement on the cause. ( well guess the watertight bulkheads failure has much agreement ) But the main difference is the titanic can only sink once, but Mud Lake may flood again, and maybe several times. Cheers, average Joe.

    • Joe, while this year has been favourble for the weather, ice and melt, last year was not, so that is a factor, but that to be weighed against water control both at MFs and CFs, and changes from the original MFs configuration vs the spillway with water elevation raised, larger reservoir, more ice flowing through, and and fixed water elevation instead of proper modulation of the gates, and due care considering the heavier ice and risk for flood.
      This would require an in depth analysis to determine if there was no construction at MF and the site as original, and Cfs reasonably managed for flow, wheter this flood would have happened, and with the changes at MF, if the flow could have been controlled to still reasonably avoid the flood to such extreme levels.
      A conclusion may not be absolute, But I feel 90 percent confident that Nalcor negatively impacted the situation and the flood could have been much less severe. On the balance of probabilities, Nalcor seriously at fault. So they mislead the public as they did from day one, and still do, thought maybe less so now.
      As to independence: the govn hired aan environmental consiualtant, who then hired another consultant who was already working for Nalcor, and these guys did 90 percent of the work. So they played the same old game, my opinion.

    • No Winston, not by any means trying to shift any blame away from nalcor, or their consulants that they hired to do the work. Because, we, the public are not privy to how the gates were used to control the flow. And how they did that might be a major contributing factor to the flooding. So can't say much about it with any certainty. And know that nalcor is quite capable of documenting lies and half truths to deflect any blame away from them, as that has been their mode of operating from day one, like do we need the power. So just trying to use common scense and logic based on the information that I know, which may not at all be complete, and applying it to the over all situation. So just saying, average Joe.

    • WA:

      To me the knowledge gap is the change brought in on the river channel due to the causeway(only there 10-15yrs and easily visible) and the dam–I suggest that plausibility deniability because of this knowledge gap.

      Maintaining level control isn't the same as maintaining flow control–couple that with a changes in the downstream flow channel with no info and ML is the result.


    • PENG2, there are many things at play at the same time , including what you mention, and I suggest, many beside what you mention, that led to ML flood. Certainly knowledge gaps, as too with knowledge gaps on North Spur stability , transmission line reliability, and on and on.
      Nalcors stance from the start on ML flood: "water in =water out, so Nalcor not at fault", was, I suggest, deceptive, and deliberately so, presented by PR people. And not just what was done, but what wasn't done matters. I think some of the knowledge gaps could be assessed after the fact, if worthwhile to do so, but eventually may be "water under the bridge " as they say, why bother? Almost like the Inquiry, whether 33 million will be well spent? Truth matters, if we can get the truth.
      Have you given thought to what happens once the Plant is completed, built but not operate as you suggested, to avoid default.. What do you will eventually happen?