When Premier
Dwight Ball kicked off the Windsor Lake byelection claiming that ratepayers and
taxpayers – both – would be spared the burden of the Muskrat Falls project he
wasn’t being fanciful; he was being dishonest. Hyperbole is seldom a sidebar in
any election.
  But this time the sheer
size of the promises surely made them the main event.
  Particularly disconcerting is that Ball’s rate
mitigation claims lacked any proof of viability.

Sincere and
sensible politicians will avoid over the top promises especially when they know
that they are playing a limited hand. The Premier squarely placed himself among
the less disciplined. Likely, for that reason, the public seemed to treat them
with something ranging from scepticism to derision.    

Ball’s dark
side has been exposed before. His doubtful narrative around the sacking of former
CEO Ed Martin and how the latter still ended up with a multi-million-dollar severance
package contains the same insincerity.

What makes
the Muskrat moment disconcerting, too, was the reaction of Liberal Candidate
Paul Antle – from whom more was expected – and the disclosures of NL Minister
in the Federal Cabinet, Shamus O’Regan, who is a politician best kept on watch.

First, Antle.
The Liberal candidate need not have attached himself to Ball’s claims even if he
 found the electioneering irresistible. Echoing
the Premier on Twitter Antle stated that, “ratepayers and taxpayers will
not pay for Muskrat” adding that “Muskrat is Nalcor’s liability”
– as if the crown corporation was as disconnected from taxpayers as he seems
from the reality of a $12.7 billion debt on a handful of citizens . Does the
bigger lie always offer the best leverage on the hustings?

A savvy
Antle might have tempered expectations raised by Ball’s implausible claims. He
might even have helped Ball define the terms of his promise to re-impower the
PUB to rate-set Muskrat Falls power, and show some mettle by testing O’Regan’s
already shaky assurances that the Federal Liberals will help out.  

But it seems
that public ignorance is always counted on for cover. Only the Premier and a
handful of Muskrat watchers are aware that the power purchase agreement (PPA) –
and its explicit requirement for revenue that fully covers project costs – must
be enforced unless the Federal Government first agrees to the changes. 
Equally, Antle,
from whom much is expected, could have helped Ball lay out the case for
Federal involvement in the issue – putting Shamus O’Regan’s feet to the fire.

To that
point, as Uncle Gnarley discussed in a 3 September post
the Federal
Minister was quick to issue a Press Release in response to Ball’s assertion
that at some point the Feds would have to be brought to the table to help with
the overwhelming MF debt. Tellingly, O’Regan did not concur with the Premier’s
latent invocation then. His response – tweeted by NTV Reporter Michael Connors
– served only to remind us that the Feds had provided the FLG which presumably ought to have sufficed.
The release made no mention of another active Federal response.

Yet, following
Uncle Gnarley’s broadside, O’Regan had more to say. The CBC’s Terry Robertsfiled a Friday 7 September story on an interview he conducted Thursday, 6 September.  The reporter stated:
“He’s not
ready to provide any details, but Liberal MP Seamus O’Regan says there’s plenty
of discussion about ways Ottawa can help shelter electricity users from soaring
rates during the Muskrat Falls era.” 

The CBC’s Roberts
put the Minister on the record responding to suggestions that the debt problem
might be alleviated by “the possibility of more federal money in a renegotiated
Atlantic Accord (and) transfer of the Feds “lucrative 8.5 per cent equity stake
in the Hibernia oil field to the province” to which the MP allowed that behind
the scenes talks were ongoing: “I’m trying to be as creative as I possibly
can be. I don’t want to talk too much about it yet”. O’Regan added: “We’re
working on all of it”, he said, having been asked about the various

But for NTVO’Regan had a different story. ‘There’s no talks ongoing’ with Ottawa, Seamus
O’Regan says of Muskrat Falls’, NTV’s headlined story by Michael Connors,
reported on September 7th

Evidently O’Regan had been sent back out
to the media to lower public expectations of a Federal bail-out following the
Premier’s late awakening as to the indispensability of their support.

possibly the Liberals want the Windsor Lake Seat too badly.  In the mad dash to hand neophyte Tory Leader
Ches Crosbie a loss and the resulting embarrassment, they are willing to make
Danny Williams-sized claims – which will come back to haunt them, as his claims
will haunt him. Perhaps, the possibility of creating the momentum that has
eluded Ball these past three years, in advance of the general election next
year, is preferable to risking condemnation of the electorate after the vote is
out of the way. 

The matter
of integrity aside, if the Feds via O’Regan abandon playing tag with Ball once
their electoral needs have been sated, NL will be left with some vague promise
that the PUB will “be brought back” to set “consistent,
affordable” electricity rates. Knowing as they do that the PUB has no authority over revenue
creation – except to jack up rates – the Liberals will surely have extended their
ownership of the Muskrat Falls mess – and earned the enmity of the public in
the process.

Ches Crosbie Sending Wrong Messages
When NL Needs a Heavyweight There’s Only Shamus O’Regan

Of course,
when it comes to Muskrat, the big lie has many manifestations. For example,
Ball claims that “at some point in time” – when the “gap” in revenues is known
– he will approach the Feds. Nalcor already knows those numbers and has
reported them publicly. Ball is merely doing what he does best – delay.

All those
issues ought to be front and center in this byelection and daily in the public
media. But our democratic deficit is such that the Tories won’t raise them
because they would reflect badly on them, too.

Seems the
voters of Windsor Lake are in for a tough few days.

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


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

Churchill Falls Explainer (Coles Notes version)

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


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


  1. Here's what you're getting from the Feds….NOTHING!! With Reconciliation, PipeLines, NAFTA mess, they are up to their cranium in debt/ headaches. The last thing on their agenda is bailing out this backwater. Whats the worst can happen? Lose 2 of the 7 seats? Whoopdie Doo. I said it before, anyone making money in this backwater will be FORCED to pay (maybe pay more /kWh dependant on your T4- same as the levy with no incentive to better yourself). Im sick of seeing Lie-Ball on TV with the greasy grin as if all is chugging along just fine. Move if you can!!!

    • I totally agree that we are getting absolutely nothing from the feds. And without them we are doomed. Premier Ball, Mr. Crosbie and the N D P fail to see this. The NL M P's in Ottawa
      may just as well be on the far side of the moon. I am afraid there are hard times ahead for a lot of people in N L. And it's high time the powers that be.
      Are honest with us . And prepare for the worst.

  2. The Liberals have gone into the past to resurrect a JR Smallwood trick from the 1966 provincial election. Then the Bell Island was closing and Smallwood held out the promise that a deal with a firm to take over the mine was sitting on his desk waiting to be signed (this is the essence of the promise). Of course he needed to be elected to sign the deal so please vote Liberal, although in that case it was more a wish to shut the PCs out of the legislation (he came close) rather than win the election. Of course no such deal ever materialized.
    So now we have Premier Ball repeating that approach by telling us what we want to hear. Their vague (understatement) plan will make the MF debt disappear but you must vote Liberal if you want to see the details. How gullible are we at all? Fall for this and we deserve what we get. Of course the alternatives are hardly attractive. These are the times that try men's souls (Thomas Paine).

    • Likely I crossed a line as to Mr Antle's smile, so it was removed. As as black humour, I suppose not acceptable as being funny.
      And it may have implied I was pro Ches, as to the smile.
      But Ches has an issue with his cone shaped head, I suggest. It may suggest a lot of grey matter , and a big brain, being Rhodes quality and all. Bit I suspect , as to genetic links, it may suggest some trait of the moose, not the shark or a croc. So, underneath, maybe antlers about to emerge I wonder? Ches himself is fond of moose and moose meet, and would not take offence, would he?
      I think he would only smile at this, whereas Antle may take offence about his smile.
      Oh well, maybe this too will get censored, maybe not.

  3. Even though I realise that the the public so badly wants these platitudes and Promises to be true, for the love of God folks…give your heads a good swift shake. Ball and Antle are strutting around Windsor Lake as if they have discovered the cure for cancer.

    Surely by now, most have come to the realization that when something sounds too good to be true, well surely it is. Until such a time as the PPA is rescinded and other forms of repayment of this 57 year mortgage on Muskrat is agreed upon, we, the ratepayers WILL pay for it. For Mr. Antle to suggest that this is a NALCOR DEBT,does he not know that we, the taxpayer of NL are indeed NALCOR?

    Has common sense been evacuated from our brains as surely as honesty and any semblance of a moral compass has left those that take office in the West block?

    • So true Jsmes. And what of DW latest solution: the 50 billon barrels of offshore offshore oil. At 100 dollars a barrel, that is 5000 billion worth, so 5 trillion, and with than we can buy the whole USA. Now DW estimate is 150 times that deep water one recently announced. And Danny can fool us again, he is honest is he not? And he loves the average Joe, right?

    • The latest one in deep water was 300 million barrels and projected to bring in about 3 billionin royalities over the life of the project, so if over 20 year, 150 million a year? This Half of what we subsidizethe failing MUN each year. Where is mitigation for power rates from that?
      And the what of mitigation of climate change? It requires 80 %of all reserves to stay in the ground, and 100% of tar sands oil to stay in the ground. Or we get lots more of Florence , some will hit here surely.

    • "Oil in their vessels the wise Virgil's kept lamps burning brightly while the foolish ones slept". Some of you may know that quote, yes right from the good book itself, and right of the top of my head this morning. Yes, so easy to multiply, divide and substract, but not so easy to get that oil from the water depths. Some were going to use a GBS, to get the oil from a mile deep…Tors said "some GBS". Agree with him, so has to be a floating structure. Now some think Danny, including Danny, think that he not only took the oil from the ground but put it there in the first place. But, Hibernia, Terra Nova, and White Rose were pumping oil before Danny arrived. But he did get 2$ billion from Paul Martins hind pocket over the Atlantic Accord. Have to give credit where credit is due. But he came at a good time, just as these oil fields were turning a profit, and oil prices were soaring world wide. Maybe Danny caused that, you never know. Then Danny got Hebron GBS going, and after a decade from announcement it started pumping last year. They say maybe a decade before any real profits to the NL treasury from that venture. And all in relatively shallow water, 40 to 50 meters. Now most of the other oil discoveries are off the banks and into the depths of the Flemish Pass. A whole new quintle of fish. Going from water up to you knees to way past over your head. But it can be done. It's being done elsewhere in the world, like Gulf of Mexico and other places. But the environment is not quite so hostile as here and as far offshore. But the technology exist. Will the price support the cost? We can't really do a boondoggle there, because the oil companies get to make that decision not those on the 10th. Floor. Yes, I want to be optimistic too, but also have to be realistic. What is the time period to extract those vast amounts of oil from the deep water?? Think we are going to need a solution for the boondoggle long before those extractions. Now maybe our creditors will give us credit based on the oil in the seabed?? Wow!!! Well not really. Well maybe we can sell the Flemish pass, fish, oil, and the dam works to the highest bidder. Any buyers!!! But I digress, yes oil has become our bread and butter for the past couple of decades, and no doubt for decades into the future, depending on the world demand and world prices. Will the oil prices and rate of extraction, in the short term be sufficient to pay for more than bread and butter, and things like health care and the boondoggle. That is the 13, 000,000,000$ question???? ….says Joe blow. How about Gas developments, now that's an idea…..

    • A good piece Joe, of the danger of putting all your eggs in one basket. But you leave out the part about speaking out of both sides of your mouth (not your mouth),but Ball saying we can have sustainable development while doubling our oil production. Is AJ a climate change denier, maybe not.
      This week we have the Global Climate Change Summit in California. Many countries preach mitigation but do the opposite, and those with oil, want to pump more and faster least legal binding restrictions kick in. So too here. Did you see the letter in the Telegram, but actually from a lawyer with one of the big firms here. His timing with danny yesterday right on, 2 lawyers in sync, better than MFs AC/DC
      What is the word for those that speak out of both sides of their mouth? Hippa something or another?
      Now if UG might be worth 13 billion, as someone said, then you should be part of that valuation. I laugh much "Danny must have put the oil there in the first place" Etienne has a job to understand you, but I'm sure all AJs get your drift just fine. And even Eric too, no doubt. Cheers AJ

    • Yes PF, UG is worth every cent of it, in gold bullion, lol. And as you know I am not a Trumpian follower, so not by any means a climate change denier. But you can't cut of your nose despite your face. As I said, we have to be realist. We are small, and tiny, on the world oil stage even with the Flemish Pass reserves and the possibility of recovery. So we won't set idly by as the Middle East, Russians, and even Alberta, and the Americans pump to their hearts content. We or Canada cannot out law it here., especially when we are in dire straits. Plus our oil is sweet and clean, especially when compared to oil tar sands of Alberta, and the Feds are pushing that full speed and buying pipe lines. So maybe many are talking from both sides…so we have to go with the flow says Joe blow.

    • 🙂

      And don't forget the adjacent coastal waters!

      But most importantly, the whole Gulf of St-Lawrence – so nobody messes up with this Old Harry oil field.

      But we're kind enough to leave you alone on the Rock. Not sure we could handle all those average Joes trouble makers 😉
      (Not you AJ, the others… )

      Disclaimer: We can't produce enough Skidoos for you all, just yet anyways. (An old joke about a free yearly Skidoo to avoid a power corridor to be bulldozed through QC)

  4. Anon 12:51 and 12:58,

    When Newfoundland asked for 800 MW of power in the 1970, HQ agreed. The only condition was that as the 1969 deal was the we buy your power instead of producing our own, Newfoundland would buy back the power at our own replacement cost of about 5 mills. Newfoundland refused.

    When it was time to develop Gull Island and Muskrat Falls, HQ offered and Newfoundland refused just to say No to HQ.

    When you tried to develop MF by transporting its power over Qc, we gave you the right and honest price tag. Newfoundland denied and went for its great fiasco.

    When you asked for FLG, we told the federal that they should not because the project was not sound. Again, Newfoundland blamed us of everything.

    Clearly, you still did not free yourself from the anti-Quebec brainwashing that you suffered for decades.

    As it is impossible to help the one who do not want to be help, stay by yourself and die with your province because you will rather die than acknowledging Qc / HQ have always be honest, fair and supportive of Newfoundland.

    • Heracles31 – I do not understand your motive for participating in this UG Blog regarding little old NL and its current political and financial problems. What is your motive to continue to poke and prod the readers of this blog, and now wishing us to die here? You have no skin in the game in NL. Is there nothing happening in Quebec that could use your expertise this year, like perhaps an upcoming election? And a debate in English coming, nonetheless! Please explain your motive on this blog to us, because you are becoming tiresome.

    • Hi Anon 14:30,

      My goal here is the same that is for basically everything else I do in my life: to help people. Here, there is also a second aspect to it, which is to improve the perception people have of Qc / neutralize the anti-Qc trend that is even more presents in Newfoundland than it is in the rest of Canada.

      If people would rather die than receive help, then so be it. It is impossible to help the one who does not want to be helped.

      But I do remember other comments like Tor who once acknowledged that the fact I exposed to him convinced him that Qc never tried to abuse Newfoundland and that the 1969 contract is and has always been a fair deal.

      Here and there, other people posted their approval after reading the explanation I gave on few subjects, like acknowledging that when one abuses Hate as a force to reassemble and do, the situation will explode and can destroying anything.

      Here, I think that it is crucial for Newfoundland to understand that Qc and HQ never were against you and never tried to abuse you. It is crucial because support from Qc – HQ is, in my opinion, by far the best way for you to go out of this fiasco.

      But how can that be a good way out if anything Qc / HQ is doing is abusing you ?

      How can you avoid another boondoggle like this one if you do not realize it was created by these unjustified emotions against Qc ?

      So my goal is to help Newfoundlanders to understand the situation they are in, what created it, what they need to modify right now, which paths are opened and which are closed, how to open those that can be opened, how to mitigate the consequences of actions that can not be undone, how to avoid more consequences in the future, …

      Not everyone is ready for such a help, but that does not prevent me from providing that help to the ones who are interested to receive it.

      May the best be for you and Newfoundland,

    • OMG Hercules, give it up. You are using the oldest trick in the book. Reverse psychology. It won't work. Do you think we were born yesterday. But not bad , after beating your gums for almost a year on UG, you convince one guy, Tor. TOR….buck up boy…lol. Cheers, Joe blow.

    • At least, most UG readers have now a less drastic opinion of this 1969 UC contract. Believe me, that was not obvious when I first came here, almost 2 years ago.

      From "our" point of view, that was a win – win agreement then, and still is now.

      About this whole MF boondoggle, you (and UG) definitely figured that one out w/o any outsider's help…

    • Hi Anon,

      Please, explain to me how a 50 – 50 split of the value of the project, when HQ assumed all the risks, is unfair for Newfoundland ?

      Because Yes, the value of the project has been splitted 50 – 50 for the first 40 years and will also be for the second 40 years.

      Considering that the risks were far to be 50 – 50 (HQ took almost all of them), if the deal is unfair, it is unfair to HQ : for well over 50% of the risk, they have been limited to 50% of the value.

      So how is that unfair for Newfoundland ?

    • So anon, how differently should Brinco have set up that 1969 contract (ie with which different terms?).

      And who would have signed it those different terms?

      Or maybe Brinco should have waited for better market conditions ? (I hope not after the steep inflation years…)

      Please entertain us with your insight…

    • Heracles,

      The last paragraph of your comment was simply vile. You should not write such garbage telling us to die with our problem.

      Everything that preceded that paragraph was a repeat of a comment you must have left here 50 times before. You are a broken record. UG laid down some ground rules last month that especially the regular commenters should follow. One of them was about not repeating something over and over and over and over again.

      Your tactics have grown very tired. That you must now tell us to die on top of it is a step too far. I'm ready to vote you off our internet island.

      If I'm going to be critical of Heracles, I'll simultaneously commend Winston for treading fairly lightly on his favorite energy topic of interest. Actually he's not completely reformed but compared to where he was, much progress has been made;)

      As for ex-mil and the anon on the CFLco contract: let's just drop it until the Supreme Court releases it's judgement. It's a complete waste of space to keep dredging this up right now. This needs to be a non-topic until the SCOC has its say.

    • If I look for synonyms of "vile", I find "foul, nasty, unpleasant, bad, disagreeable, horrid, horrible, dreadful, abominable, atrocious, offensive, obnoxious, odious, unsavory, repulsive, disgusting, distasteful, loathsome, hateful, nauseating, sickening".. rather than representing the comments of our friend from Quebec, those synonyms seem better attached the MF boondoggle… the ones to expire will be the ones whom can't afford the poisoned fruit from our boondoggle in the north.. Heracles simply explains that we did this out of our search for a scapegoat for our own errors; perhaps it is better if we own up rather than blame others

    • Yes, reform or die comments by Heracles cross the line, but also reflects negative on good people of PQ.
      As to Winston, I saw him, I think, as posting often up to apr or May as he was monitoring for a year and posting progress, but mostly as energy savings. Since then not so much, until some when Feehan made it an issue in his report. WA implied that, what I think, he calls grid peak demand savings varies for heatpumps because the temperature and humidity changes, saying Feehan ignored that. That a bit technical, and maybe only Peng2 commented and sort of agreed, if I recall. Heracles and Ex Military, engineers ignored that.And seems WA moved his focus a bit to the benefit of surplus electricity for our transportation, cars etc, which Etienne dismissed but again, PQ engineers Heracles and Ex again ignored. Not sure if this all accurate but as I see it.

    • Can someone explain just why the UC deal isn't as good for NL as for QC? When doing so, drop the rhetoric provided by our politicians since the 1970s, we showing ourselves to be gullible. The job was in trouble, QC took on the risk, QC had money, NL had no money – so QC finished it and rightfully so got the lions share of profit. I think it is very unlikely we will ever win a court challenge and it makes us look bad as a province; we have a history of being led like sheep since confederation.

      I think we got a fair deal, much more than most realize.


    • pENG2…can't say I really agree or disagree…but a few months ago, when I referenced a few things from not only Joey at the time but two of the QC premiers of the time, and their comments, and there was no way they were going to allow any hydro power across Quebec, unless it was owned and controlled by Quebec. So they held the ace in the hole. Now as for the fincincial arrangements, cost, profits etc. It takes an unbiased, independant auditor to give us these numbers, not you or me, or our QC friends to say. But I would accept an independant audit, taking all factors into account. It's almost like saying if NL or any other province is a net benificer within this confederation. Not easy to come up with those numbers. So I won't argue unless I have the figures and know what I am argued get. So on that account I set idly by and just let the rethoritic pass me by, and take most of it with a grain of salt. So unless you are a fincincial accountant, and auditor, and have all the data, don't bother replying to me, as it is in one ear and out the other. Simple as that says Joe blow.

    • "no way they were going to allow any hydro power across Quebec, unless it was owned and controlled by Quebec"

      Is this your interpretation of no, Brinco can't bulldoze a power corridor through Quebec w/o its permission?
      Then sure, you are right.

      Let's say Quebec says yes. How Brinco would have found a way to finance such a power corridor? And to where, up to the US border? Who would have bought this energy? (HQ could not presell to either Ontario or the US. Brinco could not either) .
      And using what, 415kv transmission lines???

      But hey, keep blaming evil Quebec…

    • Here you go again..EX…impossible to carry on an intelligent, informed conversation with you. You immediately adopt the dog in the manager attitude .. About evil Quebec…when have I ever said that, or any where close to it. And I am not disagreeing with not wanting a power line across your province, I can see that point of view.. But there are many ways to negioatiate, but as soon as one party adopts that kind of attitude …then it is end of story. Cheers, Joe blow.

    • Well, your "no way they were going to allow any hydro power across Quebec, unless it was owned and controlled by Quebec" (and other comments in the past) was clearly toward this "Québec blocking the way" kind of logic.

      Do you want I retreive some of your past comments?

      Unless you altered your position since then.

    • Nope, my thinking has not changed.. Nothing offered to change it..but you can check all my comments and no evil Quebec in mine. If I did say a block .. I also said I could understand that. But my starting point would be, QC would own and build the piwer line, on your lands, NL would build and own the hydro dam, and both parties would negioations from there. How many million did Brinco spend before going bankrupt? How much did the power line cost? How much did the hydro dam cost? All very important questions. But at least a basic on which to negioate. Cheers, jb

    • Also, power controlled by Quebec, meant power bought at the Qc boarder and resold at the US boarder. Do you buy the ore at the QC boarder and resell it at Sept Isle, where it is shipped to foreign markets. Now I know that is different in that private interest control that, but the principle is the same. You only needed to buy what you could sell. Now I know it is more complicated than that. But that should be the principle from which to negioate. Then no esclitation clause was necessary, you are partners in a joint venture, rather than one controlling the entire operation, including one person on both boards. But don't think we are renegotiate the 1970 contract. And I would want to see all of this by an independent arbitrator, and accounting firm, in knowing if it was a fair contract, and not after before the courts, that is just deciding if the contract is being followed, rather than if it is a fair contract. That's basically all the courts said is a contract is a contract. But all water under the bridge now. Except if the accounting were available, then people like me, could see the fairness or unfairness of the contract. And I don't mean your or my accounting. Cheers, Joe blow.

    • The court decisions detailed pretty well how the process occurred.

      Early 60s, Brinco first made an offer. (X price, for X quantity, during X many years, delivered to the Quebec border close by – take or pay).

      HQ found it more expensive than its next project in the pipeline. So HQ skipped that offer and started work on Manic/Outardes, with Qc contractors and workers.

      A couple years later, Brinco came back with a slightly better offer.

      Negociations dragged on. Financing + interest rate spread garanties were included. A contract was finally signed and we know the rest.

      Is this the type of negociations you're talking about?

    • Yes, that type of negioatiates, and the environment under which the negioations took place. It was sorta like Adlie Stevenson, saying to the Russians in the necular weapons in Cuba, " we are willing to wait for hell to freeze over for your answer". So HQ could wait us out, as you said move on to other projects, but we couldn't wait. Smallwood's only recourse was to ask Pearson, to allow a corridor. He wrote the letter asking, but never delivered it official. Because PM Pearson said don't ask officially, as I can't ensure it, as it will split the country apart. So, the environment was such that QC was willing to do that, but Smallwood was not. So as you say, another offer was made, that HQ could not refuse. So that is the history, and environment of the negioations. But let history be gone, and just do the auditits, and total accounting of that day, and during the past 50 years, including today, and we can see the fairness or unfairness of the contract. I know hindsight is 50-50, but foresight is worth something too. Now personally, I would not take a power line through QC or any other province, if you gave it to me. I would say you do the power line and put it's cost on the power rates, but don't fleece me. And that's the kind of thing the accounting would show, if anyone was fleeced. Will be away for a couple of days, so will not comment further, cheers, AJ. I get a kick out of PENG2, a NL'er through and through he said, and said he thinks it was a fair contract, without presenting any facts or figures, or audits, or accounting. But maybe he knows a hell of a lot more about that, than I do.

    • Well said AJ, so in the end if we ended up fleeced, then business is business, however DW will have us fleeced worse than PQ, And Peng2, laughable sometimes on his opinions. So is he or is he not a Nalcor employee or agent?

    • Waldo (aka Average Joe Blowhard) you accuse somebody else of not "presenting any facts or figures, or audits, or accounting", yet you and many others trot out the old line about Smallwood wanting to ask for power corridor and Pearson telling him off the record no, because QC wouldn't like it. That is a myth, a made-up story without any proof. So you say HQ told Brinco they would wait them out, because, because…. Brinco didn't have the money to build UC. So if they couldn't build the dam, how the hell were they going to finance a power line through QC?
      I saw the Daniel "L'il Trunp" Williams on NTV suggesting that we shouldn't sell crown jewels (e.g., UC) in this time of low money because there'll be "billions and billions" coming in from offshore oil. Once a snake oil salesman, always a snake oil salesman.

      We need fresh air and fresh ideas, not more of the nativist tripe we've been fed for 40 years

    • Anon@1025. You make a point, but perhaps too hard on AJ. If both EX and AJ rehash past history, to no benefit, then the truth is often some wherewhere in between.
      You are right on as to, DW, as I'm sure AJ will agree to some extent, but AJ (he said DW thinks DW put the oil in the ground there. If that was blowhard, then I think it was a good blow, and very hard against DW character. And you call Dw a snake oil salesman. That too is in line with AJ.
      Your chief point "We need fresh air,and fresh ideas, not more of
      the nativist tripe we're been fed for 40 years" That is a good point anon, as even Heracles grows state on his harping on and on about the past and anti Quebec ancient history, I hope , as how many now believe DW and his snake oil stories? DW has exposed the whole province that we may lose CFs and more. He would invest in MFs he said. Let him now invest. Make public what he would pay for a portion of MFs and how much he wants?
      Have you new ideas anon, or what new ideas presented here on this blog or elsewhere do you think are good?

  5. As long as we have nothing more than a two party (the NDP seems to be in limbo here) and the candidates are prechosen by the party, we will get undesirable people in office. When people like Paul Antle get elected, they will have significant influence over departments like municipal affairs and environment which will influence environmental assessments or who gets government contracts. They don't even have to request favors – sycophants in government will do it for them, either hoping for advancement or future favors. The telegram wrote "Antle, through his Pluto Investments, is currently working in partnership with Marbase Marystown Inc. to potentially lease the former Marystown Shipyard and turn it into an aquaculture operation." Humber Valley paving is another example (bond not called, Frank Coleman considering PC run for leader) of favors to businessmen.

    Wealthy businessmen once elected have endless conflicts of interest in a province this small and blind trusts are generally a farce.

    We cannot overhaul the system overnight, but we could start with never voting for an incumbent, supporting independent candidates, or perhaps organizing the elder movement to take over the province by fielding candidates.

    If this ever succeeds the next problem is the civil service. It is so full of cronies who are unqualified for the positions they hold that the entire system has to be purged. That means managers, directors, assistant deputy ministers and the deputies need to be fired in mass and a new job competitions held. The HR Secretariat is also corrupt, so an outside firm would have to oversee it. The elected officials can certainly provide wisdom and direction, but it is the civil service that makes it happen. The current civil service is corrupt and incompetent.

    • Cronyism is part of our culture it seems. Helps explain the silence of Nflders as mentioned by Dave Vardy.
      We have the crimes committed by some of the English School Board, while teachers fund raise via students and families. And failing MUN is an operation unto themselves, now the president retiring early, finance shortfalls on the horizon, while 300 million being spent on a new building with 400 million backlog of maintainence not done on existing buildings. Pension plans their big worries. Failing? Well as to heathcare, more mone spent and worse outcomes. As to engineering and MFs, a boondoggle to drag us all down…where was the MUN research that is important to the well being of our province. They want an hand off on how they spend the 300 million subsidy each year, and here too cronyism is likely the culture. When will the shoe drop as to this? Some getting ready to leave a sinking ship?

    • Cronyism from the Auditor General's Report on the school board:

      Employee 1:
      In 2010, the individual appointed to the position, through an external competition, did not meet the job competency requirements, as they did not possess a Certified Engineering Technology Diploma as required by NLESD’s own standards.

      Although not qualified, the individual was appointed and approved as an “upscale hiring” at a higher salary level which is only permitted when an individual is the sole qualified candidate for the job.

      Employee 2:
      In 2012, the individual was appointed to the position without a job competition and the individual did not meet the job competency requirements, as they did not possess a degree in engineering as required by NLESD’s own standards.

      In 2013, this individual was promoted to a progressive management position, again without possessing the required competencies, following an internal competition where this individual was the only applicant. Given that this individual did not possess the required competencies as set by NLESD, consideration should have been given to proceeding to an external competition.

      All government agencies are like this!

    • If there is not outrage about this type of activity,it suggests Nflders condone this type of activity,and so it reflects on our culture, and we make no progress and are much like third world countries as to poor governance. It perhaps help explain the silence of Nflders as to the whole MFs boondoggle that could have been avoided.

  6. Seems curious that neither Ex militiary or heracles, both engineers, makes no comment as to using surplus hydro power here for our transportation system. WA estimated some 350,000 vehicles?, Peng2 suggested that was too many, and then AJ says over 600,000 registered in Nfld.
    Further, Ex, says he would like to put restrictions on Winston's comments on EE (energy efficiency I think he means) on this blog.
    Now EE encompasses a whole array of measures to save energy costs for the customers, and EE is big in NS and other jurisdictions, but little here. I may be wrong, but WA seems alone in advocating this for customers, but acknowledges it must be cost effective, but meaningful measures, taken prudently.
    But why the silence by Heracles and EX especially as to transportation and hydro power use?

    • AG,

      The problem with electric transport are the autonomy and the temperature.

      In winter time, heated seats can help to make the driver and passengers comfortable, but it does nothing to prevent the humidity to condense on the windows. People can not stop breathing because they are in an electrical car… To neutralize that humidity, you must heat the air itself. That requires too much power and drains the battery, the car dropping from an already low range to an even smaller one.

      In summer time, it is frequent to have too high temperature at which venting is not enough. You need air conditionning, even more if you are driving in a trafic jam. But again, AC drains the battery way too fast and the range drops to nothing.

      As for trucks on highways, the distance and range they need is again out of the range of electrical vehicule.

      The time it takes to recharge is another problem. Most of the chargers that you can find here and there will give you back a significant range only after a solid hours, or at least 30 minutes. This is not acceptable for many commercial functions and beyong annoying for personnal usage.

      Montreal's bus service is testing an all-electrical bus system. They can because to do a run is only a few kilometers and the bus always stop at the terminal where it can recharge. I don't know how interesting the results of that pilot project are, but that is one of the rare context where electrical vehicule may be optimal. As for heating, there is enough people in the bus to heat it naturally.

      Personnaly, I tested drive a Tesla and would really like to have one and its auto-pilot feature. Unfortunately, I can not because I have family about 475 Km away from my place and the last 200 Km are in the middle on plain nowhere. I can not go that long with an electrical car, even less when there is just plain nothing on such a long stretch.

      Electrical cars may be good for 80% of the needs one can have. Still, this one must fill 100% of its needs. Either he do it with a single gas car or with 2 cars, one electrical and one gas. As for me, I am not interested to have 2 cars, so I do with a single one using gas.

      So that is my opinion about electrical vehicules…

    • AG @ 13:37:

      I have a lot of difficulty taking AJs 650k number on its face – does that include trailers, commercial vehicles, construction equipment, RVs/ATVs etc? We are a province of 500k, doesn't make sense that there are 650k road use vehicles that could be considered for electric replacement.

      I am not sure that electric vehicles make sense for some 100% of the time; so then the question becomes what uptake is needed to make investing in the infrastructure worthwhile? It really becomes a chicken vs egg argument, and I am not sure NL will really convert for a number of years, nor does it make sense at this point in time.


    • I"m not really into that stuff PENG2, but happened to look on line at the time, from motor vehicle resignation, and saw 633,000 cars and trucks(the words used) registered in NL for 2012, or whatever I posted at the time. But easy to google yourself. Cheers, Joe blow.

    • Joe @ 14:55:

      Stats can has a table showing in 2017 that there are 391k road vehicles(som of all typical passenger, commercial etc), I saw the CBC article quoting 633k 'vehicles', that's why I asked – the 633k included construction equipment, trailers etc; effectively it anything DMV has on file.


    • Has either one of you engineers, Peng2, Ex, Heracles, WA, Peng3, read Quebec Plan for electric cars and infrastructure that is active now for a few years?
      If not please do so and advise whether this changes your outlook for NL, even if at a slower pace?

  7. Lol, ok I'll jump in.

    Use of electricity in transportation is indeed interesting.

    But as of now, we all know it needs considerable capital just to acheive the critical mass that would create that consumer shift / mouvement. Capital $ that NL doesn't currently have.

    Even in Qc (having considerable hydro surplus to the point of wasting it), we're strugling and still far from acheiving that critical mass (in recharge infrastructure;
    particularly in rural zones)

    However, on another front, we have a great project in Montreal called "REM" (an electrical train system, with frequent service like a subway) that will remove many cars/buses from the roads.

    So, in conclusion, I'm not sure NL has the capital to subsidized this shift just yet. Also, its rural nature might make it more expensive/capita.

    It will happen, but just later.


    However, I see a growing potential for plug-in hybrids; but those are still costly up front.


    About WA and EE, I was half joking yesterday. As I told him some time ago, I was quite impressed with the savings he acheived with his setup.

    But I just don't agree in spending taxpayer's $ to acheive hydro savings via HPs or other means. (FWIW, he seems now refraining from spreading that idea)

  8. Ok, are you engineers climate change deniers or accept the science of climate change and fossil fuel use? Are we doing enough, doing our part to mitigate?
    Here are some figures I read: that moisture content for hurricanes increase 7% for every 1 C rise. So already up 1.5C so 11% more moisture. That wind speed from hurricances increase according to the cube of moisture content, so now up 33 %, so seeing more Cat 4 or 5 storms.
    Other factors: the conveyor belt ocean Gulf Stream has slowed 15% over last few decades. The jet stream is more north south component then before, so stalling of pressure systems. Harvey last fall stalling for about 5 days in Texas and dumping 52 inches of rain. Now Florence stalling, already 30 rain and another 12 in expected, and rivers there cresting 6 ft higher than past record.
    Now AJ says we should go with the flow as to drill baby drill, as we need the dough. What is the view of you engineers?
    And Florence originated in a place where normally it's path would curve north and toward Iceland to peter out. Instead it headed for North Carolina, never seen before to take a path like that from where it originated.

    • I see about 30% in NC, on the coast has flood insurance. As soon as you move inland it is just 1 %. Now many have hurricane insurance, and I suppose they think that covers flood, but it does not. Flood comes from the surge, but also from huge rainfall and then too flooding rivers, and this can be a 100 miles or more from the coast.
      In Nfld 4-6 of rain has caused big problems, imagine if we got 20 or 40 inches of rain. At my house 2 inches of rain causes my sump pump in the basement to cut in, otherwise my basement floor would get saturated.

    • Hi AG,

      About climate change, are you aware we have hard evidence that in the past, the average temperature on earth have been much higher than actual ? Just as there was also periods of much lower temperature ? Are you aware that these past changes were significant enough to move rivers out of their beds, to dry lakes and more ? And all of that was already a reality before mankind ? The climate never was and never will be fix.

      As for the speed at which it changes, lets compare this with the stock exchange : do a comparison on how the values change on stock market today versus how it did in the 1920s. How big a difference it is right ? Well, no. In these days, the value was recorded once or twice a day. Today, it is thousands times per minutes.

      It is the same for temperature. Today, we have measurement precise to tenth of degree every minutes and we compare with measurement precise to degrees over years or even decades. You can not compare the two.

      So for the absolute measure of temperature, we know we are still well inside the known margins of highs and lows. For the speed of the change, we have only one measure, so it is impossible to make the difference between 1 and 1.

      About the environment, Yes the human is stupid enough to destroy its own environment, the very one he is 100% dependant to survive. That for sure must not be and the environment must be protected and preserved. The thing is, it is not up to the thermometer to define the goal or how well we do.

      I think reality like Pacific Plastic Patch and similar are much more relevant to how bad we have been so far on the environment, what we have to fix, what we must stop doing, etc. The way we destroyed forests all over the globe is another evidence I consider million times more relevant.

      But to fight the thermometer, that I never considered it was the right thing to do.

    • OK , we have one engineer who is a climate change denier, in that he does not attribute the rising temperature trends on both land and the oceans, and ocean rising, to man made from fossil fuel burning:oil, gas, coal and then feedback loops from methane discharge from perma frost melting, less reflection of the sun energy as ice caps disappear etc (about 10 feedback loops identified by scientists).
      Is this summary correct Heacles? So we understand why Heracles is a fan of the internal combustion engine.Maybe he owns shares in GM (joking)
      Now what do the other engineers on this blog think and say?

    • AG,

      No, you are 100% wrong.

      I do not deny that climate is changing : I said that climate always changed from the moment the planet started to exist and that it will keep changing.

      Neither did I said that human had no impact. The kind of impact humankind created vary from the examples I gave to many more.

      What I do say is that as clear and evident the human impact can be measured as amount of plastic in the ocean or the destruction of forests, as much as the human part is blurred with the natural part of the normal-to-be temperature changes that always happened and will keep happening.

    • Heracles, I think everyone agrees that the climate is constantly changing, from before the last ice age and since then, and so too the temperature and also CO2 levels. The issue is whether since the industrial revolution and fossil fuel use it has accelerated the change that is very dangerous.
      As to the risk, what do I know or you, but Stephen Hawking, who recently passed, nd a guy something like Einstein said climate change is the biggest danger to civilization, more so that nuclear war. He meant man made change, not the slow natural change. So temperature and CO2 are main scientific factors, not just plastic bottles and forest depletion. Now cows too generate a lot of methane,so maybe you lump that with plastic and forests and still ignore man made from fossil fuel burning. Maybe Hawkings understands the cosmos, but not our fragile little planet as much as you Heracles?
      Do I still misinterpret you?

    • Hi AG,

      Yes, you still misintepret me.

      About the agreement on the point that climate always changed, that's a first step. So now we both agree that the sole fact of climate changes is not, by itself, anything exceptional. In fact, it is so natural that to prevent any change in the climate would be impossible.

      But you do misinterpret me about the rest.

      Ex 1: Is CO2 rising more because of using fossil fuel or is it rising more because nature's function designed to recapture and recycle it (vegetation) has been removed / destroyed ? CO2 re-capture is something nature can do very quickly but for that, we must let it do. Instead, we removed forest and vegetation everywhere.

      Ex2, amplitude of the change in temperature. Let say that by using whatever methodology that pleases you, you establish an increase of 1 degree. I maintain that you can not conclude anything from that.
      –You say that it proves mankind forced an increase of 1 degree.
      –But what if by itself the nature would have drop 1 degree instead ? That would mean mankind's impact is 2 degrees and not 1.
      –What if nature's itself would have raise by 1 degree ? That would mean mankind had no impact.
      –What if nature would have increase by 2 instead ? That would mean mankind's impact would be to decrease by 1.

      Because we have no valid reference to determine what nature would have be without the human effect, we can not make a difference between a non-existing value and an actual value.

      Ex3: About repeating what the "experts" said
      Can you tell me the codename for the military operation on D-Day during WW2, the day the allied attacked the beaches in Normandie ?
      Just for you to know, I expect you answer me Overlord and for now, I will just tell you that No, it is not. Still, you will find Overlord cited by million of experts and references. Just because once, someone got it wrong and everybody just repeated whatever they heard, now that error is million time more frequent than the actual answer.

      (Ex-mil, do you know that one ? 🙂

      Now that I told you that Overlord is not the answer, you will surely keep looking for something else and should eventually find it. But admit that you found the wrong answer way faster than the right one.

      Ex4 : The ozone as attacked by CFC
      In the past years, we measured an impact from CFC and how they destroyed the natural presence of ozone in high atmosphere. We stopped using them / regulated them and the nature started to recover. That was a situation were nature by itself would not have reduced the ozone, so it was man made for sure. CFC are not natural and are man made. Also, a complete cycle was observed within few years, so it was reasonable to associate all of it with the CFC. The same way, regulation proved itself efficient and nature started to recover. That one was based on a true logic, as opposed to the logic of the thermometer.

      So we must preserve the environment because once we destroyed it, we will not be able to fix it ourself to survive. Nature itself will recover in no time (considering that for it, a century is a flash second), but mankind will have self-destroyed before that.

      But to preserve the environment does not mean to regulate the thermometer, nor success or failure are to be called by the thermometer.

    • Heracles, I think you use a lot of false argument so not logic.
      Man made climate change is via the green house effect which increases temperature. Scientists are most all in agreement on the causes of this green house effect. Yes nature, the sun, sends energy to earth, and energy radiates out, and largely in balance, but some natural variation. But when burning 90 millions barrels of oil a day, much heat generated, into the atmosphere, and Co2 also a green house gas trapping more heat,and methane gas 10 times worse than CO2, and yet you want to ignore CO2 rising and temperature rising, and put all this on poor old mother nature, and all the forest we lost. We are told that if all fossil fuel was stopped usage now, it would take hundreds of years by nature to see any reduction from the elevated CO2 , it is a slow process. If we regrow all the tree in 100 years, it can absorb CO2, but how does it absorb all that from fossil fuel that took millions of years to form, and gone in a century by burning. So what you say makes no scientific sense so not logical.
      Scientists have separated the components of temperature rise from natural and man made causes, so temperature is indeed a valid measurement to use. You say nature can recapture CO2 very quickly, but that is just BS. Millions of years for oil and gas to form by mother nature.
      As to Overlord, which you say is false but many believe, what about Eve eating the apple? Eve did not eat an apple. That is not in the good book, but many believe it. So to your false statement that nature can quickly absorb CO2. Perhaps many will believe you, as they want to believe you, so they not act to make changes.
      Many believe Quebec screwed Nfld on CFs, they get 27 billion profit so far and Nfld 2.7. But if a fair deal, as you say, how do you convince Nflders if they do not want to believe? Such is your logic, emotion not rational, and not logic.
      As to the thermometer, many confuse weather with climate. Weather is quick changes in temperature, and climate is slow changes. So now climate is changing fast.Records being smashed. Freaky things happening. Even the Pentagon acknowledges the peril of man made climate change. But Heracles has the mind set of Trump: a hoax from China this man made climate change! LOL

    • AG,

      So for you it is false logic to consider that reducing the capability of absorbing CO2 has the direct consequence on increasing the quantity of CO2 in atmosphere. Keep your logic then.

      About the codename Overlord, know that the right answer is Neptune. Overlord was a thousand time bigger than Neptune. Now that you have the actual code name, you should be able to find references using the proper name.

      As for the value derived from the Upper Churchill project, you proved yourself still under the curse of the brainwashing techniques used by your province for decades. In your statement, you discarded the biggest value and main goal for Newfoundland for doing the project : Getting the power plant built and connected to a grid big enough to absorb its output. That power plant is valued at 20 billions. So you must add that value to your benefit when you consider your gain. The result is that over the first 40 years, both Qc and Newfoundland will have a gain of a little more than 20 Billions and so it will be for the second stretch while HQ will get most the new value up to the end of the contract and CFLCo will do the same after the end of the contract.

      This being my last reply to you, I will just write one last time that indeed humankind is at risk of destroying the very system it is dependent to survive and once destroyed, it will be too late. Environment is to be protected and preserved. People should just stop using the thermometer to define their goal, measure their achievements, etc.

    • Heracles, of course reducing the capacity of absorbing CO2, like less forests is a factor, but a lesser one. Increased Co2 in the air is now also going into the oceans. The effects are manifold, including the temperature. You speculate that temperature is just from nature not fossil fuel. Poor logic I think.
      As to Overlord or Nepture, who cares? Now the apple is an important in that Eve never ate an apple, so that story is not understood.. She ate the fruit from "the tree of knowledge of good and evil", after being told not to do that. Now that is much more important that Overlord or Neptune. So Trump eats from that tree,and uses evil, and those that destroy the environment that even you have concern about, uses evil.
      Now as to being under the curse of anti Quebec, Ron Penny here says the 27 vs 2.7 billion figure and ignores the value of the asset. But I know you must consider the value of the asset, so you misjudge me, but many Nflder do not what you and I know. But you use emotion to try and convince: that we must get hurt very bad to learn a lesson. Perhaps that is from the tree of evil instead of good? But you do not preach good, when you preach hurt, big hurt. Your logic as to asset value is correct, but your logic to make others see that is wrong, I think. You do not convince me on your hurt language. I know it form other ways.
      So Heracles, Nflders are misled to see Quebec as the enemy. But have you not heard that you should love even your enemy?You do not want to see someone you love to be badly hurt, and that goes two ways. So you must change tactics,and we change our opinions, and stay engaged. But as AJ might say, perhaps you believe nothing from the good book, but even the frog and ox is a fable, and maybe Heracles too?

  9. I see the lawyer Ralph for the Nfld Govn filed almost 200 pages with Leblanc to try have govn ability to redact and keep any document they want from being public.(So acting for Ball to protect Ball and the Liberals part in this boondoggle) Leblanc had one of his lawyers discuss this with Ralph and so Leblanc dismissed that.(what was the nature of that contact, is there a paper record ). Must have been an important discussion. Ralph then said it was intended as only a "working paper" or some BS to assist Leblanc.
    Meanwhile Leblanc has made known his own extensive intention to censor and keep secret any offending document. Expect many "in camera " dissussions which means out of sight of cameras, and tape recorders and phones of the media to be turned off, and not even sketching to be permitted". How revealing can a sketch by media be? Is this not Stalin type of democracy? And he says we must protect the Indigneous people, so that too a reason for cencorship! Laughable. Is this to keep the people of Labrador ignorant of what thuie leaders did or said?
    This Inquiry to be a circus or a farce it seems, and not a cheap one at that.
    Surely UG will have something to say.So, does MFCCC lawyer get to see all those offending documents but are then silenced too by the heavy hammer of Leblanc? Vardy, Sullivan , Penny will not be pleased, nor the public , I expect. Documents sealed for 75 years?