Politics is not so comfortable an arena that politicians need only do soft-sell through photo ops and nice-sounding press releases.

Sometimes public policy issues are complicated, require intervention at a high political level and demand considerable analysis. Solutions to the big problems require political shrewdness, dexterity and good relationships at the Cabinet level.

If the politician, even having been appointed to Cabinet, doesn’t grow in the job and fails to learn how to get things done in that highly competitive business, likely he/she will have little to report at the next Poll. While many politicians prefer the soft-serve of social media platforms, the savvy ones — and survivors — will spend a good deal of time making political alliances and setting the stage for when they will need support on a make-or-break issue.

I get no sense that the Minister of State for Veterans’ Affairs, Seamus O’Regan, either understands those rules or has the heft to position himself for the long game.

A lot has changed since the days when at least one NL MP could be guaranteed a major portfolio. Usually one of the MPs elected was gifted with both intellect and moxie. Since Confederation, Pickersgill, Jamieson, Crosbie, Tobin and Foote could be counted on as heavyweights.  

Federal Minister Seamus O’Regan and the other six federal MPs have escaped being hoisted on their petard even on issues like the Fisheries Minister’s confiscation of the surf clam quota or the arbitrary extension of the federal role in environmental assessments — which, according to one industry observer, will add an additional year onto the period required for environmental approval of the Bay du Nord oil field.

The current crop of MPs avoids major issues of public policy in favour of waves on Facebook. This won’t earn them stature, certainly not in the eyes of the Prime Minister.

Fact is, now that NL needs a “player” in Ottawa, the unready seven, including O’Regan, have been off the hook by a partisan Premier Ball for too long — at a cost to his own political image and to the larger issue of the Province’s sustainability.    

Ball’s belated acknowledgment that the Feds will be asked to come to the table on the Muskrat Falls debt is instructive in the context of this Tweet from the Federal Minister:  

This has to be one of the lamest acknowledgments yet of a request for assistance from Ottawa. It implies that O’Regan has accepted advice that the Federal Loan Guarantee has saved us $1 billion, so why can’t we be quiet and happy, too?

The Province made a terrible decision to sanction the project, certainly; but only the unread and the most naïve would conclude that there is no other dimension to the issue and therefore Ottawa is off the hook.  

Is that the most we can expect from our key man in Ottawa? Has he invested no time reviewing the file or thinking about the case for dragging the Federal Government into a discussion to which it has an obligation to be a party? Is this not the very job of “senior” politicians, unless Seamus is content to be counted among the pedestrian kind?

Of course, if the Federal Minister hasn’t done his homework, it is the job of the Ball Administration to help him out; even if it has to write the narrative for him. Even the Premier must know by now that Ottawa was negligent at the outset, allowed the $1 billion effect of the FLG to be wiped out by the Nova Scotia UARB in its demand for a Supplemental Energy Access Agreement, and that the Feds otherwise failed to give essential due diligence to the award of the Guarantee.

Just for Seamus’ edification, in Minister Peter McKay’s haste to secure for Nova Scotia the full benefit associated with the loan guarantee, Ottawa went so far as to approve the loan based upon DG2 or concept numbers, oblivious to the fact that there was no actual business case for the project. These are not new revelations.

Besides, can Ottawa provide any parallel file on which so much money was given over to the trust of people genuinely incapacitated by their own incompetence?

Worrisome, now, is that when O’Reagan should be exhibiting knowledge of the project and its dire consequences both for the public treasury and for ratepayers, he has Ottawa bureaucrats penning innocuous press releases and creating delay.

Following O’Regan’s interview with Paddy Daly on the August 29, 2018 edition of Open Line, VOCM summed up O’Regan’s comments to the Radio Host. It noted that the MP “is seeing a lot of anxiety among his constituents in his travels this summer. He says they’re open to doing what they can to help because the Liberals are the party of the middle class.”

It is reassuring that O’Regan is not oblivious to voter feedback, but what on earth does being a Party of the middle class have to do with Muskrat Falls or with him waltzing the Feds to the table with Ball and co?

This is a Minister unbriefed and unaware of his role as a Federal representative from NL.

And it is not a time for timid musings. This is an occasion for him to display his knowledge and political savvy, if he has any at all, and to give affirmation that he is engaged in the file. But O’Regan offers no such assurances. His press release even suggests that Muskrat is an issue for later.

It would be encouraging if one of the other MPs was working the corners, trying to compensate for this Minister’s delayed political maturity. But that is not happening. There was a time when Yvonne Jones had a voice, when the occasionally feisty MP Scott Simms was just that: feisty. But it seems that they don’t work big files.

And as to the others, I can’t even remember their names.  

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. Well said.

    Here is an excerpt from a letter I sent to The Telegram on August 11th and published August 25th:–

    "…while there is much navel-gazing focused on the N.L. tax/ratepayer bearing the full brunt of this carefully crafted fiasco, there is no evidence that our federal representatives, our provincial government and our brightest minds are otherwise putting up a fight.

    Who is holding the federal, the Nova Scotia governments, and Emera to account?

    No one."

    • The problem is quite simple. As the SC said a deal is a deal and all this rhetoric including UG should have been directed at Danny Williams when he concieved this boondoggle. I can just see DW now if Harper had refused to give the loan guarantee. It would have been Meech Lake ten times over and the airwaves would have exploded with the great patriot's words.
      Some men are born into greatness, others have greatness installed upon them. Newfoundland leaders demand that greatness be handed out from Ottawa

    • At 08:19 —- what a pile of crap.

      A Prime Minister and a real leader has the duty and will do what he thinks is right.

      The federal government did not do its due diligence and ignored/overruled the Joint Review Panel.

      There was (and to date there has been) no greatness, no leadership, coning from Ottawa, from our federal representatives, and none from the province.

    • MA:

      What is the argument to hold NS, the feds and Emera accountable? My memory tells me that DW said we would do it alone even if there was no FLG. We must also remember the mechanics of a FLG – ie it only allows us to access the feds lower interest rate, so how big of an influence would no FLG really be if the interest was 1-2% higher ( 1% only makes a difference of a couple million per year – not a game changer in my opinion)?

      The feds time to act would have be negotiating a RoW through Quebec for us to pass a line back in the 1980s. As for NS and Emera, they simply took a risk like we did – their gamble paid off, ours didn't.

      A deal is a deal – we are going to be looking like sooks again if we continue this. Yes the feds could have interjected harder, but granting the FLG wasn't the deciding factor – maybe they could have withheld equalization but we all remember how that turned-out before.

      We need to elect better quality people in this province – our provincial electorate allows pandering to decide our leaders, we are doomed. We are not unlike the rest of the country in that respect.


    • Didn't the feds collude with NS and Emera and NL ended up squeezed (not with the original 20 for 20 deal) but with an 'offer that they couldn't refuse'?

      All three became the principal beneficiaries and NL was screwed (albeit NL's lack of leadership also played its FAIR share of the fault).

    • Anon 12:47

      Slight correction here, if you read the (Nalcor) default clause of the FLG contract, my understanding was that all Nalcor assets are on the hook first (Nalcor is also forbidden to sell, "mortgaged" etc any of those assets without Feds prior approval)

      Can somewhat double check that? (My poor english might fool me sometime)

    • Ex-Military Engr:

      You are correct – also there is no cross-default effect if Emera failed(though a moot point now).

      From my reading, it is not a typical co-signer agreement that most are accustomed to, the effects of default mean to me that MF was committed to once the 1st contract was signed. I also don't see that Fed gov has any true liability-if we default it isn't only MF that gets taken, rather it is provincial assets to the whole value of the FLG; in other words the federal government carried no risk financially or otherwise.

      MA: I will have to look deeper into that, possibly but I don't know.


    • With those kind of default clauses, Nalcor/NL is better finding win – win solutions before insolvency or the Feds will be the ones negociating Nalcor's assets with the highest bidder.

      Unless those negociations are the facto going on now. (Under Feds supervision – aiming to safeguard those collaterals)

    • Ex-Military Engr:

      Among the other technical issues, it was primarily the potential effects of a default that lead me to suggest complete and not operate might have been the best course of action once the work was started and stopping was never a possibility.

      Default on the FLG is significantly worse than defaulting on a car loan – and from what I can see, the feds have no investment, only allowing us to borrow at their preferred interest rate.


    • PENG2 – two things:

      First, at 10:06 you state that the FLG interest reduction is insignificant and that you think 1% is only a couple of million. A correction is in order. On the original FLG $5 Billion – that's $5000 Million – borrowed, 1% interest is $50M per year, every year. 2% may be more realistic and that would be $100M per year. This is a huge amount to consider. Even the crazed NL leaders of the day must really have had cold feet about going it alone and bearing that cost for 50 years. By itself that would be equal to increasing project cost by about 50%. Perhaps the Inquiry will tackle this very question and demand to see the financial models showing that the go-it-alone cost was deserving of sanction.

      Second, your (and Ex-Mil) tunnel vision on the FLG is far too finite and literal. The reality is the project was a multi-lateral political creation and politics is a dynamic and never-ending thing. The same type of political necessity is capable of amending the project in wild and unimaginable ways. That's not to say it's guaranteed but it is always possible. It is only under those terms that a positive conclusion will be achieved. If the federal government is as against us as you suggest, then we need to give serious consideration to the unthinkable: let's just default and let chaos reign.

    • Anony @ 19:24:
      For your 2nd point, here is a link to the FLG terms:
      Granted, there may have been some revisions, but the terms are clear and not in our favor for default.

      For your 1st point, you are forgetting that the interest savings is sliding downwards over the payback period – I also understand that (can someone verify?) interest terms on a guarantee like this are simple, not compounded, so divide your $100M by about 50yrs to get the averaged annual interest savings. Also causing some confusion for most is the difference between present value vs future value of money – and the markets ROI effect on the actual debt. Even the federal and provincial governments don’t claim anymore than $1B savings by the FLG over the term, so your savings of $100M annually is very optimistic.


    • PENG2 you don't get a nickname like Danny Chavez and expect financial institutions to sign a multi billion 57 year loan with such an unstable leader. Nalcor would have to prove their business case and without the Federal Gov guaranteeing the loan MF is a high risk project with little return. Nalcors numbers and projections would've faced far harsher investigation without the FLG. COS 30c kWh, tiny shrinking population, ever increasing debt financing costs, no longer term PPAs signed – no legitimate bank would ever sign a loan with the NL Gov under these conditions. Go it alone was a Trumpian buzzword used by someone with far too many personality similarities with Trump himself, 100% bluff and bluster by a Gov that ran on a cult of personality. Playing up the Quebec bigotry hurt LCs only realistic and fiscally responsible joint offer from HQ-Ont-SNC back in the early 2000s, no transmission/WMA issues with HQ a partner in Gull Island – Fed Gov could build/pay for the required 3 province transmission infrastructure under the guise of Canadian unity. HQ would never have hired an Italian firm and NL would have benefited from their hydro expertise. Gull would've been finished a decade ago and the LIL long since operational, HRT would use 10s of millions less bbls of oil with the LIL from 2008-2018, savings could pay for most of the LIL.

    • PENG2, your math is very wrong. Borrow 5 billion and you owe 50 million per year for every 1% interest. You deny the accuracy of this most basic calculation. Why? Your positions are often twofaced but this one is unambiguous.

      As for the FLG terms, I know what they say. I'm also quite comfortable in expecting that political expediency is sure to eventually amend those terms. The question is to what extent and what material and useful assistance is ultimately delivered by the Feds. Anyone who refuses to recognize the potential for political actions in the next couple of years is a fool. That fools wish to say there is no way out of this because a contract is signed is quite annoying.

    • All UG is doing in this post is redirecting anger from the PC party and onto Ottawa. and the Liberal party. It has been a favorite tactic of the PC party in NL since Frank Moores. After all there is a bi-election soon and another provincial election in 2019 and UG is an avant PC supporter. What is interesting is now that we have come to realize we are faced with these massive payouts everyone is scrambling towards a solution that probably involves another bailout from Ottawa or a redirecting of scarce offshore royalties to pay for this fiasco.

      My question is "When is this ridiculous theory that we can solve our problems with Mega project spending going to end?" This is not the only "waste" of money that has been instilled on us as one only has to drive down Kenmount Road and see taxpayers money being paved away on the Team Gushue extension. It is not needed, not now or in the foreseeable future and would have been better spent on a new Mental hospital or a new jail or not being spent at all. There is an endless list of these make work projects that politicians refuse to kill at the planning stage because they are catering to the construction industry so much.

    • Anony @10:23:

      If you reread what I wrote 2x above, interest will be sliding downwards during the payback period – at the end of the term there will be $0 interest saved by the FLG. Being a simple interest calculation(ie not compounded) and dividing by the total term is how I arrived at a couple $M annual savings over the term of the FLG. Also, since the interest rate is only 2-3.5% for the FLG, it would likely be more advantageous for the provincial government to make minimum paybacks because the investment market generally pays higher returns, so the interest paid will be partially offset by those gains also.

      What is your basis that the federal government will step in and fix this? I don't remember that happening with UC, WMA for LC, the oil downturn, (or Keeysak and Site C yet) etc. Granted they did acknowledge some liability for mismanagement of the fishery(s) – but still not to the extent they should of and that was a revenue source external to our national economy when considering foreign sales. I am not sure the federal government will act to unbalance the economies between provinces since it doesn't affect our national economy externally and they would also risk annoying QC which they traditionally have not done.

      Nothing 2faced about anything I have said – just being a realist.


    • To Anonymous (3 September 2018 at 19:24)

      My daily work is about reviewing my Department activities and programs to ensure their efficiency, effectiveness and economy. I also ensure that laws, policies, regulations are adhered to.

      All this work (ensuring taxpayer’s money is accounted for and is properly spent) relies on clear assigned responsibilities, where executives are accountable for their acts and decisions.

      So don’t expect my comments / ethics to deviate much from the above. You might call it tunnel vision; I call it responsible thinking and accountability.

      Now I agree sometime politicians disregard those principles / bypasses controls and end up dilapidating taxpayer’s money. But most often than not (like after an OAG audit by example), the political costs just end up to be superior to the original “gain”.

      Particularly with this FLG (which contract/clauses are available to the public); any “free” bailouts would be making headlines / front page across the country. An immediate field day for national Medias, big time. Worst, that would also be perceived as the Feds commending irresponsible provincial government spending’s.

      So I would not be too optimistic here, the political costs would just be too high on the federal level.

    • Except,EX, when they can blame the other Party, in this case the Harper Tories who enabled the boondoggle. Just as locally Ball blames the DW Tories for the boondooggle. Is not the Pipline mess something like that?

    • And as to making media headlines, think of headlines"NL declares bankruptcy" or NL'ers deserting the rock at the rate of 10,000 per month. Or "Nfld in talks with Trump as the 52 nd state, good terms expected due to its stategic importnace and vast natural resources". Headlines of a fed bailout would be minor in comparison. And of course, "Free Trade deal between the US and Nfld while Canada us isolated by Trump"
      So i think the Art of the Deal may be possible within Canada.

    • About becoming the 52nd state, not sure I would trust any promises from those bullies, really… (Look at how they treat Puerto Rico) I would consider UK, France or an independent Quebec first – just joking here.
      Obviously, above is my personal opinion/sense of humour, definitely not my employer's – well I guess.

      About that BC pipeline; BC's quasi illegal obstruction was such that it would definitely have attracted a legal claim from its US owner – under NAFTA rules .

      So the Feds had to enforce its laws in BC, or face litigations under NAFTA. That should have been the Feds analysis at the time. They instead decided to buy the pipeline and get that extension built (which will happen much later we now know).

      Finally, I don't see how a default on this FLG can eventually cause "NL to declares bankruptcy" when we consider Nalcor's other assets…

    • Which,to use Peckfords words "they sold the shop" to put CFs and Nfld Hydro and God knows what else,offshore oil royalities?
      May as well be bankrupt,if the Feds don't have any liability. And maybe joining an independent Quebec might not be so bad, EX, as long as you help us avoid future boondoggles.

    • Hi PF,

      As for Qc helping you to avoid boondoggles… We offered you to develop GI and MF when it was time to do so, in the 70s, 80s and 90s. I think that even early 2000s we offered you some opportunities for that. Newfoundland rejected everything.

      When you asked for a transmission line over Qc for the actual MF, we gave you the right price : a price that was way too high for any economic plan. Newfoundland rejected everything.

      As for the Federal, we expressed how a bad idea MF was. It just added to the anti-Qc position at the time. Again, Newfoundland rejected our statements and claimed the opposite.

      So really, I doubt there is anything more that Qc can do to help you avoid your boondoggles. The only way would be to loose you your sovereignty : loose sovereignty over Labrador and the Churchill river, loose sovereignty on the water and under sea resources around the Rock.

      But as long as you keep your sovereignty, really, I doubt Qc can do anything more. We already try to help you in each and every way we can…

    • We needed transmission to the island from Labrador for upper CF power later on. So why put money into the Quebec system to carry it to market in the maritime provinces and New England and then into NL and be held to ransom by that route, when we could open up another route through transmission to the island. Quebec has done enough for us already, don't you think and thank you much for that?

    • Anon, 6 DC lines, 2 conductor each is not a problem? Say another 25 billion. And the right of ways , how much space. And as we have no load on the island for that, another 10 billion to get that to NS. And as NS don't need that much power, billion more to feed beyond NS. NO problem you say.
      Maybe you mean no problem, you can get a job advising Wade Locke?

  2. Well there is the strongman from Gall Way who is up to his strongman tactics in softball games.

    "Former Newfoundland Premier Danny Williams, the team owner of the Galway Hitmen was on the field during the first altercation, something which B.C. Manager John Bishop said “he had no business doing because he was not a coach or manager and was not in uniform.”

    Bishop added, “I will be looking into that and see if Softball Canada officials had taken note of it. "

    I am certain that Dapper Dan can make 8 or so billion dollars goose step out the door. Poof goes the debt……NOT!

  3. Maybe DW so shook up the Harper crowd, that they saw an opportunity to play; keep NL "bare foot and pregnant". After all, by some fluke of oil price markets, NL was getting too full of themselves, gaining for a few short months official "have" province status. What Seamus and Trudeau have to fear is that the Newfs may again return to "have" status. Trump is playing dangerous with China. An overnight crisis could very well occur with the price fixers, and Ball comes out smelling like a rose on oil revenues. Even Seamus must be in the know.

  4. Thank God for AC, someone with at least a click and a clue made a comment, the previous comments, especially by PENG2, were without one. What's the point in carrying on a conversation when your arguments are based on a fallacy. That's the same kind of arguments that got us in this mess, based on fallacies and pipe dreams. CD could parrot DW words as often as she wanted, "go it alone", that was jibberish. She could sanction muskrat and start it anytime she wanted, but she could not continue it and complete it without the financiers. Any fool knows that. And she would have been going to the money markets, with no note from the Feds, and about the time the price of oil was taking a nose dive. She had about as much chance of raising 8$ billion as a snowball in hell. So why not call a spade a spade and use that as a starting point in your argument in doing muskrat., or going it alone. First of all, with no loan guarantee from the Feds, Emera would not have been so gong ho. They would be holding back, and after realizing it was all a farce money wise, and otherwise, they would have pulled out. With Emera gone, Nova Scotia, with the election of McNeil would have vam-voosed, with the blessing of the URAB. It would have all come tumbling down around EM and CD. I could write on and on, about the loan guarantee, and it was given by Harper in bad faith, but will leave that for another time. And will also invite PENG2 and others to make their arguement of how CD and others, including Ball, could get the required funding, without the Feds loan guarantee. Of course, Ball et al wouldn't need it as it would have been shut down before he was in the premier's chair. The bottom line is the Feds were the enablers, and bonders, that held it all together. Without their glue and sanction, it would have quickly fallen apart….no money…no finianciers…end of story. Someone please tell me why I am wrong says Joe blow, average Joe, AJ.

    • Minor time out; With rising interest in this background information by general public, please communicate your important views in more readable terminology. Technical Report writing principles would be desired and be useful. Acronyms tend to confuse and mislead us. Be kind to the less informed reader. Thank you all.

    • Waldo as usual you're full of it; how's the dog by the way?
      Seamus answered the question and provided the Fed's view of the boondoggle. The loan guarantee simply chopped $1 billion off the costs that NL would have assumed if it went to banks on its own. There is no Federal obligation beyond that they said we were good for it as part of Canada, and WE would pay it back somehow. The NL government of the day was so fixated on Daniel "L'il Trump" William's legacy thingie they would have financed MF with money from loan sharks in Toronto if they had to. So at least with the federal loan gaurentee we can still get down on our knees when we go begging for money from Ottawa; with the loan sharks, our knee caps would probably be shattered by now.

    • AJ:

      Here is a MF timeline, maybe time for a refresher:

      The Emera terms and a significant amount of work was done well before the FLG. You also misunderstand what the loan guarantee is – it only allows NL to borrow at the federal governments 'lower' interest rate, the federal government didn't offer any collateral (or financial power) as would happen in a typical co-signor agreement. The FLG collateral is a NL asset – if you want to call Nalcor that.

      I never claimed DW et all could 'go-it alone', just that was the rhetoric; though considering that the financing for MF isn't like anything most have seen when getting a mortgage or a car loan from a bank; I don't necessarily think it is out of the realm of possibilities either.

      Also, it is interesting to note that in 2016 the liberal government on its own took out $3B worth of long term debt for between 3-3.8%, so even though some above don't want to believe that the FLG (interest rates between 2.5 – 3.5% I believe) isn't really a huge savings.

      As for the federal government helping out now, I still claim wishful thinking and no one has offered a valid fact based argument yet to my points above. We are 500k people (less than Halifax), the countries smallest economy and realistically must accept that considering equalization, government services etc already get a good share from Ottawa. I am NLer through and through – but I do say we have made our own bed over the years.

      By all means, if you want to challenge me fine – but at least review the facts.


    • PENG2 – we may actually agree on a lot of the hard facts. The issue is I contest that you hold out interpretation and consequence as facts when they are only your conjecture. I trust that many readers may hopefully be able to distinguish this. I can put my peashooters away (if you will) and say let's see what the Inquiry determines. My conjecture is this was a political farce with non-NL participants contributed immensely to the sham that tricked the public. Your conjecture is to blame the NL public only. I also disagree with your lowball potential cost analysis and importance of the FLG but it just isn't worth the space to address it any further – I've said my bit. If this can be the last word, I encourage you to separate fact from conjecture going forward. If you want to speculate, make it clearer what is speculation, perhaps by adding just a couple of words.

      Not AJ. Your other critic from above.

    • Thanks PEng2 for the refresher on muskrat, but I am quite aware what the FLG guarantee is, and was, a chance for Harper to put the screws to us. I read enough at the time that Dunderdale signed it and it made me puke, right there and then. Think Robert said it was like keeping us in the "kitchen barefooted…." It sure as hell kept us barefooted, as every person has to be down to no shoe leather before the Feds kick in to make any payments, that we fail to make. As Danny said one time, referring to health science people, she should be shot for signinging that loan guarantee. (I don't mean with a gun) And don't anyone give me that 1 percent interest rate, or that one billion as the Feds contribution, as UG pointed that was gone to Nova Scotia, by the time they made their second round of demands. Yes, I am mad as hell at Dunderdale and all her sheep in the legislature at the time for signing it without a whimper. And that's why she rushed to sign the MPR fish processing agreement at the time, to not up set Harper, and make sure he gave her the loan guarantee. But I am totally disgusted with Harper and the Feds that they would present such a document to us, except to screw us royally. Some people here knew it was a dud, if the financiers looked closely enough they knew it was a dud, the fed/prove joint committee knew it was a dud, our Qc. friends here tell us they knew it was a dud, so how come Harper and the Feds did not know it was a dud. They knew, that bugger Harper, and the only benificers if there are any will be Nova Scotia. Harper saw his chance, and socked it to us, including Danny and ABC. And you know as well as I do that KD stood the same chance as a snowball in hell, to get the 8$ billion in the bond or fincincial markets, as oil took a nose dive. Sure I knew that they had spend a billion or two on muskrat before sanction, that bugger Eddie, our oil and mineral money. So my main point, which you have to agree with, is if the Feds had not given the loan guarantee, or at least should have done their due diligence, then muskrat would have died on the vine, yes after we had spent our couple of billion, and that would have been ok, to teach the buggers a lesson, but Harper wanted to teach the entire population of a province a lesson. Well I can't find the words to describe the Prime Minister of this nation, who would be willing to do that to a people, not even Putin to the people of the Ukraine. Harper's sweet revenge. I may have been a late comer to UG blog, just over a year ago, but not a new comer on the muskrat shannigans says Joe blow. So, Peng, if I understand you correctly, you still think that KD could have raised the 8$ billion??? Who is in a dream world, you or me, or maybe Cathy???

    • Harper was a genius. Text book politics 101. Only wish he was back sticking it to Trump and squatting Ball like a grape just for kicks. And if we really needed the bailout the funds would be there. RE: From the Globe (2010)..

      "The federal government is taking a $130-million hit to compensate forestry giant AbitibiBowater Inc. for Newfoundland and Labrador's expropriation of its assets in the province.

      The settlement is believed to be one of the largest of its kind under the terms of the North American free-trade agreement's Chapter 11.

      "It's extremely significant," Riyaz Dattu, a partner at Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP in Toronto, said Tuesday.

      "This was an action of the government of Newfoundland and Labrador and it's the federal government that had to step up and pay the damages," he said."

    • Well, it seems the squabble between Danny with ABC and Harper with the FLG, Harper had the last laugh. Harper an economist, world class like our local Locke. And Harper had his pals in NS.
      Harper gave us enough rope to hang ourselves. Also, Danny took the flag to half mast remember, in disrespect of Canada, and many applauded him. Danny , the fighting Nflder, who says MFs is our legacy project! Some project. Some legacy.
      AJ, you hit it on the head. Peng2 says the average Nflder should have understood the complexities of MFs and should have known that all those wonderful assumption made to justify were just wild assumptions,if Peng2 knew the difference and MA knew the difference, than everyone should have. But even MA has some engineering and technical background, and other critics well read or informed. The average ratepayers does not know the difference between Nfld Power and Nfld Hydro, I would say over 90 percent does not, so how could they understand elasticity of electricity, demand forecasts, compound interest costs, Water Management agreements,and all the other fake assumptions that Crosbie now wants us to believe was just errors or mistakes based on the best information at the time. Baloney. But Peng2 has a point that we have a long history of being suckers for such mega projects. Is Peng2 two faced as some say? I suggest he has a face that changes some, and of course , he wears a mask.

    • so PF is really Waldo/Average Joe blowhard
      Peng2 wears a mask, I'm masquerading..
      Harper was a world-class politician? he persuaded Daniel "Li'l Trump" Williams to invent the whole idea of a legacy, goaded Li'l Trump into bashing Quebec, convinced the little guy to subvert the PUB, and then whispered in his ear that he could be King of the Rivers?

    • Anon@00:02
      DW, the messiah, didn't need anyone whispering in his ear, he was just full of himself, used anti Quebec rhetoric, but also a thorn in the side of Harper. The rest is history, and the making of a boondoggle. And DW now pleased saying Stan the Man confirms it to be a good project in the long run, what a laugh. The long run we are all dead and maybe all in the poorhouse. Of course Danny won't die, he will just rise into the heavens.

    • Anony @ 00:02 and others:

      Like others, maybe a history lesson is in order….

      DW announced NL would do MF before Harper was elected, probably about the time the federals liberals and provincial PCs were on the outs – also do you remember the Canadian flag coming down? DW was out of politics before Trump was elected so, 'Lil Trump'?? Though, I do know you weren't the first to state that here and I doubt 10k people calling him Chavez makes a dent anywhere.

      To the others that want to ostrich and take digs when someone states an unpopular opinion – that exact behavior is what has gotten NL into having the reputation of jumping the bandwagon at the start, bailing when it goes awry and then blaming everybody else and never looking in the mirror for the real culprit.

      Bottom line, over 70% voted DW in when he openly stated doing the LC was his goal, we continued to vote his party in with same idealogy and until 2yrs ago or so MF was still being polled as being a good thing. So, who is really to blame when we nearly exiled someone who had a bad word about MF in the early days, and just why with our history is the federal government going to help us when our total population is barely as big as Halifax?

      On point with the original story, we don't have the population weight and cry over our own mistakes far too often without trying to help ourselves to carry weight in Ottawa, we are our own worse enemy.

  5. The Legislative Assembly of Nunavut is one of only two federal, provincial or territorial legislatures in Canada that has a consensus style of government rather than the more common system of party politics.

    In Nunavut, all Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs) are elected as independent candidates in their constituencies.

    What we have now is horrible. Unacceptable leaders are pre-chosen to protect the interests of powerful and we have to choose the lesser of the evils. Even if we vote a good person in, they have to follow the leader or be outcast. Why can't we adopt the model that Nunavut uses?

    • It's a task to get two MPs/MHAs to agree that the sky is blue, so I imagine government would come to a grinding halt with a consensus style government on the provincial or federal level. The party system isn't perfect, but it shouldn't be scrapped – party leader power needs to be scaled back to a reasonable level so government can still get things accomplished but members can still stick to their principles at the same time. I'd recommend reading the book "The Unbroken Machine", very interesting read regarding the mechanisms of government and the party system.

  6. I see Crosbie calls the reference to the PUB a nothingburger. Meanwhile in the VOCM poll Ches leads Antle almost 2 to 1. At least Ches has vocal cords, Antle is muzzled by Ball. I overheard a discussion last week saying that Antle spent 450,000 dollars on his attempt to beat Ball for the leaderhip a couple years ago.

  7. As to the court decision against protestors in Labrador yesterday, when is an absolute discharge, as requested by their lawyer Gruchy, not an absolute discharge? When is reconciliation, suggested by the judge Murphy that he was doing, not reconciliation, but continuation of colonialism?

  8. Interesting that the CBC web site has a story where Seamus says they have been discussing ways to help out with the Muskrat problem but not ready to discuss details yet. NTV news tonight showed an interview with Seamus in which he says there are no talks ongoing on this subject. Perhaps Seamus should trade in his brown shoes for a pair of flip-flops?

    • People of NL with a sense of history and back rooms may recall that the 1933 decision to throw away Responsible Government was probably hatched in a kitchen cabinet kind of way. Believe it, your future, whether on power rates, and related financial matters, transfer of non productive assets, etc. is similarly being decided upon. This will not end well.

    • NLers and the culprits and dimwits they incessantly elect… are simply not capable of "responsible government"… this functionality is just not constituent in their genes.

      This has been demonstrated time after time after time immemorial… they're just like a bunch of naive little children in need of adult supervision…. their own worst enemies.

  9. How are their boondoggle plans and policy going….slow…stop…on hold…maybe UG will give us his informed opinion soon. Ball el al seems at least to be addressing or concerned about the rates, after he realized his last plan was exposed and elasticity would throw a wrench in the spokes, and as rate payers switched to other sources of heat. So, back to the drawing boards. Plan 2 seems to be serious but, slow, and can't tell you everything at once…. a little bit at a time. Call in the PUB, and give them their orders, and report back by Feburary. And a year after that a full report. Maybe during that time we can have a chat with the Feds, or maybe Seamus will wake up or disappear completely. Will be past the election, and looking forward to 2021 when muskrat comes on stream. Then we will see where we are. At least he is telling us.. But mainly repeating the same stuff…like pub, pub, pub. Now what's chess and his best up too…knocking on doors, mostly, checking what they have their thermostats set at this time of year….not bad …not complaining about the hydro bill. Chess echoeing ball, bring in the pub, and I said it first. But beyond that pretty quiet about his plan…gotta get elected first… And then we'll see. Ball is slow… But I am slower and a lawyer too…so that should count for something, not sure what. Now Roger the Dodger, is cautious too. People can't afford heat bill to increase… Period..end of story. Oh, yes, should be a joint committee… All parties to figure it out. Probably not a bad idea but our system usually don't work that way…but maybe it should… And who knows by 2021, maybe we will have only one party or a minority in the house… Both possibilities should be interesting. Just thinking out loud says Joe blow and may be way off base.

  10. Way back in the dark ages, the mid 1970's, when telephones still plugged into the wall with a big blocky plug, I asked the phone company to fix my set so I could call out but it wouldn't ring when someone called.
    No, no, the woman told me, when the phone rings it is for you and you should answer it.
    Like, because I have electricity I should leave all my lights on all the time, I countered.
    No, she said, why have a phone if you don't want people to call you, she asked?

    I opened up the set at took the bell ringing device out, problem solved.

    Now, similarly the bringers of higher electricity rates are telling me that if I conserve and reduce (using their own TakeCharge measures mind you)I am doing myself and my fellows a disservice because the rates will have to even higher to make up the difference.

    Hmmm, is it just me or does something here not compute.

    Now the minions are hinting rates won't go up and keep using electricity, heck even use more than before, because it is good and we will be protected from price outrage and power outage.

    No good can come of this; as Robert said, it will not end well.

  11. Some days it's hard to crack a smile. But AJ did it for me, " Maybe Seamus will wake up or disappear altogether". That improved my mood a little. Then "Chess, knocking on doors, checking what they have their thermostats set on this time of year", That caused my mouth to widen and corners upturn. Then "Ball is slower, but I am slower and a lawyer too, should count for something", and finally "Roger the Dodger…people can't afford the heat bill to increase….period, end of story" Even EX Military appreciates your style AJ.
    Beleive it or not, I dislike the words HEAT PUMP, and more so "Cold Climate Mini split heat pump" because the technology is hard to explain, and generally makes little common sense that heat comes from cold air. Not sure if Ball, Chess or Roger the Dodger promotes this stuff to the poor or those with heat poverty, when they check those thermostats, and wonder how they explain the technology and impact on elasticity (not fond of that word either,). And to think, over 100,000 of those suckers installed in NS since 2008, now we need to ban them some say.

    • Anon: perhaps you "doth protest too much" on Mr Browne. The CBC piece quotes him saying; "A team of rate design experts and economists will be assembled to investigate addressing the situation. Solutions will be multifaceted and will require research and innovation". Could one ask for more?
      As you know Minisplits can either be a Godsend for those with heat poverty, or a thorn as to elasticity. As the local expert on HPs (being the only one to do research for our climate, and especially as to our high humidity impact, as to ability to shut down Holyrood and MFs also), Mr Browne calls me for advice almost every week. Unlike Tom Johnson, who told me that he would seek no expert advise as to efficiency consultants, Mr Browne is leading the charge. NL Efficiency legislation is on the horizon, to assure Ball's promise to electrify everything in Nfld, but in an energy efficient way.
      Then again, I could be pulling your leg, and be spouting fake news. You decide.

    • Ha! Yeah,right… "doth protest too much" indeed.. Please, spare us the mis-applied Shakespearean cliches there, bud. They grate something awful.

      On another note. it does indeed sound like that partisan shill has succeeded in making you feel important… there you are nearly tripping over yourself running to his defense.

      Regardless, notwithstanding the too-late irrelevancy of the incessant and quite tiresome prattle on this blog about heat pumps and what-not in the face of the "take-or-pay" contract of the MRF fiasco, anything and everything one might be inclined to learn about any such Carnot cycle contraptions can easily be googled, like everything else these days.

      Still tho, Browne bothers to call you up for "advice". Sounds like he's just trying to butter up the UG blog regulars to me. Another strategic directive from his Liberal handlers no doubt.

      With reagrds to the bile Browne spouts in the CBC article, one need only note the zeal with which that obsequious partisan flack touts in the past-tense how his Liberal handlers saved the day by bringing the PUB back into the picture to clue in that that's exactly what the truth-challenged Ball and the rest of those goddamed skeets expect him to say.

      "Consumer advocate" indeed. What a bloody crock of shit.

    • Anon@20:25, Actually I was pulling your leg and so it was fake news that I thought for sure you would realise. I threw in the "local expert" bit for good measure. However as to local humidity effects, if not actually monitored, then what you goggle is estimated, not evidence based.
      Feel sorry you fell for the pro Browne bit. Generally I wonder how much Browne is a real advocate.
      UG allows "funny" for comments, and you made it more funny. And I'm not much a fan of Shakespeare either,but the few words had effect. I take it you might be something other than Liberal of the Ball variety. I should stick to technical issues and not try to compete with AJ as to funny.
      I have had no discussions with Browne on HPs.

    • Anon @ 20:25
      What was serious in my comment @ 18:44 was the question "as to the ability (of HPs) to shut down Holyrood or MFs?
      Feehan says yes that alternatives to baseboard, including minisplits can do that. Browne has run with that and also Vardy, and I do not dispute it, and even stated so in 2012.
      However, not so the power companies, they dispute and deny that.
      Both Nfld Power and Nfld Hydro use the assumption that ALL MINISPLITS will shut down in our adverse weather conditions, therefore needing Holyrood or MFs to meet the load of baseboards.
      This is , I suggest a false assumptions as of the date 2015 when adopted, and they are still sticking to it.
      Residential baseboard is about 650 MW.
      Now I would suggest about 5 % may shut down in adverse conditions. A conservative assumption, maybe use 20 % will shut down (assuming CCMSHPs are used). If 20% shuts down, this could mean perhaps equivalent to the new gas turbine to handle that, 123 MW say, not the 490 MW of Holyrood nor the 824 MW of MFs.
      Feehan nor Browne has considered that, but it is a key question: what is a reasonable assumption of the percentage of minisplits that will fail in adverse conditins, kicking in baseboard loads?
      Let me know where you Google to tfind that answer?
      Perhaps the other engineers on this blog, PENG2 etc can comment?
      Winston Adams

    • Winston, can we clarify "failure"? I don't think it means the units cut out or blow up but simply that their effectiveness drops and people start turning on their old electric heaters to keep the house warm enough. I'm a mshp user and last winter, I'd occasionally turn on the propane fireplace to give things a boost in those conditions.

      Some engineers like me and you know what coincident peak means but most people don't. They would just reach for their electric thermostats and then the grid would soon exceed available capacity. Every winter storm would have the potential for a widespread blackout needing a long time to get service restored.

      Getting by without MF or Holyrood is not immediately simple. One solution might be smartmeters that measure individual loads and warn people to cut their load or be automatically disconnected – I don't think the meters that have rolled out in the last few years have this capability though. That would cost a lot of money. It could be compared in a cost-benefit analysis to building new diesel turbine peaking plants that run only during the hours they are needed. There may be other alternatives but nothing is free. Electric hot water tank controls could be a part of it too. I've thought about but there is no cheap solution.

      Given the sunk cost in MF, are we condemned to find it is the least cost alternative going forward? Is this what Ball wants the PUB to tell us?

      BTW – I'm not the commenter from above but I too think the CA is a Liberal shill. I thought he performed adequately during the GRA hearing but this type of gladmouthing causes him to lose immense credibility and he shouldn't be the guy having input into the PUB MF hearings or the Inquiry (not sure whether he got standing or not).

    • ICF report for our power companies, addressed that issue of failure in a foot note, and so showed no grid peak load reduction.
      Nfld Power report on minisplits, which was discredited by themselves during a PUB hearing, suggested no worthwhile demand reduction, which is false.
      In reality: some units would automatically shut off if ambient temperature was lower than required by that model,(often -5F or lower), some would have reduced performance due to low temperatures of high humidity and moderate temperature ( but this is a modest decline), and keep operating, so do mot fail, that is do not shut down.
      Such failure, a shut down, is not a permanent failure of the unit, just temporary until the adversee condition improves. I would estimate 10-15 days per year when units are vulnerable. My unit has operated 7 years without any failure, just modest reduction in performance, which most would encounter.
      NB promotes Cold Climate models with the explicit rationale that these keep operating and do indeed reduce peak load on the grid ( so they disagree with our power companies). And NB temperatures are colder than Nfld, especially the Avalon.
      Agree getting by without Holyrood or MFs is not simple, and requires reasonable engineering analysis, not just wild guesses, like used to justify MFs.

    • I would add that sizing the units for full load at -15 C or a bit lower, would avoid using propane or baseboard backup. Many contractors size for partial loads, and so this leads to more fossil fuel burned at Holyrood. Homeowners and most contractors are not aware of the effect on grid peak load, and not made aware by Take Charge. TO the contrary, Take Charge, they do not even promote Cold Climate Models for residential, so contribute to higher peak loads. And do so additionally by set back thermostats, where HPs generally should not be setback, for best efficiency and least impact on grid peak load.
      As I write this an ad on the radio about the Scallywags (take Charge).LOL.

    • WA / Anony:

      Personally, I would say failure from an reliability engineering sense would be when operational efficiency of the unit dropped such that a user had to use other sources with such frequency that his word of mouth deterred others from using/investing in a heat pump. If I were doing the analysis, I would be conservative in considering the failure rate – but I don't have a good idea as to a number.

      I am not sure we can count on MF to displace Holyrood – now or ever.

      What I will offer on the MF cost recovery, we will pay to the tune of $500/yr for each of the 500k persons in NL for 50-60yrs:
      1) management wise – I don't think it really matters if we pay it in rates (ie use electricity to the hilt) or in taxes other than if government set a budget and rate recovery amounts drastically fall off it causes some issues
      2) engineering standpoint – it is always responsible to consider a conservative and eco friendly lifestyle

      To my mind, the only way to avoid a reduction in present services because of MF repayment is to find a revenue source external to the Canadian economy, otherwise it is simply paying Peter by robbing Paul. No easy way out.


    • PENG2, not sure if you read the Nfld Power MSHP report: the people using them rate them high as to reliability and other criteria. I believe some 65 % installed them from word of mouth from relatives and friends and 5 percent from information from the power company. That goes far to answer your question. So that bodes well for uptake that could be countered by low power rates that will deter many. I think any rate increase over the present will continue the uptake at a significant rate. And many will doubt Ball's promise to keep rates from increasing.
      As to a conservative number , much depends on the quality (whether Cold Climate) and sizing, that can impact a need to switch to baseboard or propane under adverse conditions……so a need to follow best practices. As to performance,I measures a COP of 2.7 at -17C, which is better that at +2 to -2C under high humidity conditions, which gives a COP of about 2, due to more defrosting. But at the milder conditions, our grid peak load is less than when cold. Generally a COP in winter of 2.5 seems reasonable, but not if many units are inferior quality and undersized: hence why NS and NB promotes CC models good to -15C. So here Take Charge is not following best practices.
      Your 500.00 per year is probably close to 1800.00 per family.
      In comparison, per family, we now pay a subsidy to MUN about 2400.00 per year, and our health care, 24,000 ( with poor results).
      As a outside revenue source, as a suggestion, that we import less processed oil and gas if we electrify car transportation (Ball wanting to electrify everything, but makes no such recommendation). Plus the reduction in GHG.Norway now 40 % of all cars are electric. The goal there is for all new cars to be electric by 2025.

    • WA:

      I would say any effort to keep rates lower corresponds to a resultant rise in taxes/fees – not much we can do there. I would also say, if we are committed to operating MF (and I don't agree with operation/transmission), we should also be ready to sell MF power at a loss, even less than QC does so we can at least recover some revenue – once we commit to operation and transmission fixed costs, the variable costs by full transmission/generation are minimal. I doubt most will understand this cost recovery concept and it will be poorly received – it will costs the same to generate/transmit 50Mw as at will 500Mw.

      Considering the individual cost of MF, I was actually figuring it would cost about $7-8k for those that have medium-high incomes. I cant figure any reasonable explanation for executing MF – even if the costs came in at originally projected $6.2B it still doesn't make sense….

      I have seen the report among others you quote, as you say our region cant even get recommending units right.


    • PENG2 assumes the NL population will remain constant over the next 50-60 years.

      However, most population projections by StatsCan over the next 20 years predict decreases in the NL population, in one model down to as low as 426K by 2038.


      So the $500/year per person over the next 50-60 years to pay for the Williams/Dunderdale "World-Class" Fiscal Catastrophe is actually unrealistically optimistic, and significantly so.

      Note also that the StatsCan models do not take into account the demographic impacts of the MRF Fiscal Catastophe which can only serve to accelerate the already negative NL population trend as hordes of MRF refugees flee the province in droves, heat pumps be damned.

    • Anony @ 14:13:

      Maybe actually read a bit closer – as I said considering probably closer to $7-8K for those with med-higher incomes, for such reasons as workforce variations, tax regime changes etc.

      Not sure why you think I through out $500/yr as a firm fixed number?


    • Anony @ 14:39:

      Potential population decline is included in my calcs – hence the $7-8k estimate I gave for higher incomes. Obviously as I stated $500/yr based on 500k people, it is inferred that the number would go up or down based on population somewhat, but more so on workforce.

      Since you like math and $s, if we give a decline of net population of 50k people every 10yrs for the next 60yrs (ie from 500k to 250k people), the average MF payment is then about $600/person/yr for the same 57yrs, still within my estimated $7-8k annually for med-higher income persons.

      Considering what will likely happen to our population (ie we are an upside down triangle) it is a wild estimate at best and no models are setup to accurately figure it out.


    • Your initial calculation made no mention whatsoever of NL's decreasing population trends, the significance of which cannot be relegated to mere "inference".

      With regards to your latest calculations, it sounds like you're attempting to apply basic arithmetic to a related rates problem. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Related_rates

      As per the Wikipedia entry, these types of equations require application of the differential calculus in order to obtain any semblance of a reliable estimate.

      So you'll only get half-marks from me because you didn't show your workings.

    • I am more astounded by our health care costs,(3 billion a year) which if 24,000.00 per year per average family, means over $50,000 for higher income families. Is not that the elephant in the room as to the big picture, for sound fiscal management, as UG says. Those are unbelievable numbers, so should be assessed if about right or not. Remember the 600 million a year savings from efficiencies talked about last year on UG piece, then reduced to 200 million, which got the nurses union all upset against John Abbott, was it, that Ball then silenced!

    • Anony @ 15:54:

      Applying any sort of continuous integral function is probably the type foolishness that got us in this MF fiasco in the first place – a group of chair warmers that couldn't see the forest for the trees and didn't realize that an estimation models with garbage inputs gave garbage output. A problem with 2 variables with opposite trends isn't a related rates, it requires a growth modelling solution (ie predator vs prey) but realizing the projected data is only +/-20% at best, it makes no sense to go beyond a basic math calc(or effectively an integral with a wide step).

      This is exactly the issue at Nalcor – trying to apply data without the right knowledge or experience.

      My statement(even if you didn't read or understand it) of ~$500/yr/person at 500k population base is clear by definition – if you want to productively contribute to the conservation, forget about the decimal portion and produce a calculation that shows I am out be an order of magnitude.


    • And off course the MF payback is ~$225M annually, not $225B and I mistyped…

      WA @ 16:23:
      the issue is that most people don't really realize just how big of a business government is – most of our population dont see beyond paying credit card bills and cant conceptualize projections for 50-100yrs out.

      Our HC bill is huge and only going to grow because of our 'upside down triangle' population I mentioned earlier. I am more upset with the fact that if a department can 'find' $10M savings tomorrow, why didn't they find it yesterday?


    • No, what appears to have gotten us into this mess in the first place was that an apparent cabal of scammers were effectively enabled to perpetrate a massive fraud on a naive province by indulging the selfish legacy-whims of a northern banana republic megalomaniac and his boot-licking minions… "just like taking candy from a baby".

      With regards to contributing productively to your conversation… unfortunately I cannot produce a calculation showing you're "out by an order of magnitude" because you still haven't shown workings as to how you've arrived at your sum.

      So from my perspective, the numbers you're bandying about may as well have been pulled from a hat.

    • PENG2, your numbers are a simple payback formula ignoring all cost of capital and debt and operations and maintenance? Oh my… If you can sell it, I'm with you, but I wouldn't give you a dime myself.

      You should take the PPA which you like to stress is a rock solid contract and talk about what costs might be deducted. I'm not doing it for you though because I really appreciate the entertainment you are offering here.

    • RE: PENG2'S calculation… $500/yr/person is pretty simple: $500 * 57yrs * 500000people ~ $14B

      This simplistically arithmetic approach is not realistic because for one thing it does not take inflation over the 57-period into account.

      Neither does it take interest charges over the period into account.

      And as I'd pointed out before, neither does it take decreasing populations trends into account.

      So the number you've generated is overly-simplistic and pretty-much meaningless.

      Talk about "productively contributing to the conservation"…

    • Various Anony:

      If neither of you like my number, fine – at least offer something else up that shows I am out by orders, instead of wasting the space UG is providing.

      I have several times stated my calc is capital only(its a qualified number I have thrown around for several months), based on 500k population – with a data input +/-20% and no ongoing ops/maintenance number which is a different issue, I'd suggest you try to provide a better number, otherwise I am prepared to standby mine with the limitations I have noted. So you know, its not a simple arithmetic like you think, quite bit more involved than that – see above when I discuss FV vs PV of money.

      Considering my background, verses your demonstrated abilities – I am confident in my number. Otherwise try to prove me wrong.


    • The way you are going about your calculations, only you can understand.

      Why not follow the PPA cost method as Nalcor and government intend to? That's over 800 million due in 2021. You don't want to operate MFs so some small cost savings may be possible but a drop in the bucket and no Holyrood fuel savings. The PPA amount stands unmitigated.
      So how do you knock off 600 million off it? Still waiting to be enlightened. If you can do it I'll sing your praises.

    • At nominal 5% interest rate over 60 years, the $14B MRF principle loan amount will in fact cost on average $1500 per person per year.

      NOT the $500/person/yr as your simplistically unrealistic linear calculation would imply.

      This assumes a static population of 500K… decreasing population trends would in fact put upward pressure on the overall amount.

      Nor does this calculation take into account inflationary pressure that erodes currency buying power over longer fiscal periods. This factor will most certainly impact the actual yearly cost per person to pay off MRF principle plus interest over a 60 year amortization period in that the buying power of $1500 in 2078 will only be about $170 in today's dollars (assuming nominal inflation rates).

      So I would proffer that adequately proves you're wrong in that your $500 is 300% lower than even this rudimentary calculation indicates.

      In fact it's actually much worse than you're suggesting.

    • Anony @ 19:50:

      Now we are getting somewhere, though check the amount of principle and interest rate you are using.

      Take your $1500ea/yr number and start to work backwards to what I suspected the med-high income earners would be paying (ie $7-8K annually).

      I think your numbers and mine are closer than you want to admit – it only a best guess since there are too many variables, ball park is all we can do.


    • Anony @ 08:16:

      Not quite, the annual payback for MF is on the order of $250M – so how that amount will be apportioned between rate payers and tax payers is anybody's guess. Either way, approximately $250M annually is what the 500k people in NL are on the hook for.

      I have said before, I don't believe there is a thing such as mitigation – unless we find an income source external to Canada, otherwise MF paybacks will results in less services, then the argument is why didn't we find that income source before etc, its never ending.


    • PENG2, there is still a mystery here. The PPA begins at over 800 million and rises. How can you say only 250 million is due? You've allowed for massive writeoffs or a federal bailout? Please spell out where the other 550 million went.

  12. How much will the PUB review cost?
    Just because it is the PUB is no guarantee of salvation.
    More staff, more experts, more paperwork, more offices, more photocopiers, more minutes, more live stream, more, more, more …

    • To think: the Mueller investigation, now 1.5 years old, and a big team of investigators, many criminal charges and some convictions already laid,cost so far about 17 million and estimated to run 25 million. Our mini Mueller here, for a province that might go tits up, we budget 33 million, and can't even look at crimes. Does this itself border on being criminal?

    • Good point Winston. And they are keeping and publishing a running account of the cost, 6.5 million in the first 4.5 months. Mainly in salaries, as expected. Can we demand the same thing, from Leblanc, or the minister of justice. How long now has the inquiry being working, time for an account of the costing so far, a breakdown and publish. If the inquiry wants credibleity, it at least needs to be transparent. We want actual cost, not just estimates thinks Joe blow.

    • WA:

      I think your comparison to Mueller and LeBlanc is way off – our legal/governmental system is distinctly different and investigation vs inquiries have very different mechanics. Gomery (circa 2003) explains quite well why criminal charges cant come out of an inquiry in Canada, unfortunately most are going to be disappointed by the inquiry – because they don't really understand what an inquiry is meant to do.

      Another thing most don't realize, is just what 'Good Utility Practice' as quoted in the FLG terms means and what its what its effect will be on any analysis.


  13. Way to go Keith!! You deserve congrats for you efforts in keeping a visible, yet small protest going, and because it is small, you deserve more credit. Anyone can have a protest with thousands or tens of thousands, but just a hundred or so, requires, dedication and resolve, as Tor said, it just takes one and an idea to change the world. Plus you are getting the attention of the mainstream medi! They are following you Keith b'y. And your Freenl partition is a good idea too. Keep on truck'en Keith we applaud you, says Joe blow.

    • Agree. Social message marketing is totally different than it used to be. Old school rallies and petitions will never be what they used to be but they need to be done as part of a multi-pronged effort. These folks are truly giving it their all and god bless 'em.

      It should be quite apparent to the key stakeholders that these are not fringe-interest protest issues either. Government's tediously slow strategy to dealing with the issues is proof they are trying to keep the movement on ice and they fear what it could become when (not if) government admits it has no answer but to raise rates. Government's only plan is to slow down on delivering the cold hard truths we already know until post-election.

      FreeNL and the UG blog are just about the only sources of truth and activism in this mess.

    • I too applaud these protesters. Too bad it never started years earlier and coordinated with the Labrador protesters, people charged and before the courts so to intimidate them.
      These protesters started with a dozen , now 100, and growing, but they represent the 15,000 who signed a protest petition, and represent the hundreds of thousands of ratepayers. Why only 100? Because of apathy that nothing can change. A change of culture needed there in Nfld, and these protesters do not accept the status quo. The main media is following, not leading the charge for truth and facts, but showing a little more guts.

    • Just wait and see what happens when the rabble starts receiving their horrendously expensive MRF bills… there'll be riots in the streets… government will probably have to look into mobilizing the reserves to maintain law and order…

  14. 2.97 million spent so far, and did not the whole Barry Inquiry run about 1 million?
    So for 2 lawyers, over 1/2 million each likely, and not 1 year gone yet, and no public hearings yet! Compare this to the British inquiry for Commission Govn in 1934, as to time and cost! A field day and jackpot, like Chase the Ace for these lawyers. Add they caught the ACE without much chasing. The Inquiry, the little gift that keeps on giving , and giving, to what end?

  15. To electrify everything, as Ball says:
    The Nissan 2017 Leaf electric is rated at 151 mile range with a 40 kwh battery. At 12.8 cents per kwh with tax in, this is 5.12 cents for a fill up, that is a charge up. It comes to a cost of 3.4 cents a mile. So for me , from Logy Bay to Bishops's Cove, 60 miles about $2.04
    The average American , I read , drives about 37 miles a day. I take a stab at 350,000 Nfld drivers, doing this, and get a cost of 38.00 per month in electricity, so 456.00 per year. This gives about 160 million per year in extra revenue for power companies. The govn would lose the gas tax, so some adjustment needed there. As this assumes the best ratings which will not be achieved, especially in winter, then the energy needed is perhaps about 200 million a year, and yearly energy about 570.00 instead of 456.00.
    Ok, so Heracles will accuse me of making money from electric car sales?
    But what do UG readers think of those numbers, which someone should double check .

    • WA:

      I think the gap in your calcs is 2 fold:
      1) do we really have 340k vehicles in NL? I am not sure, maybe but seems high to me.
      2) I don't think all of the 340k drivers/vehicles you quote will be able to go electric (ie Bay d'Espoir highway, trans Lab Highway, towing trailers etc)

      I don't have a feel for possible savings realized for electric vehicles – mostly because no one that I know has really considered it. Similar to the same lack of consideration for heat pumps, wind etc – NL did studies for what they wanted only.


    • You better ask Ed Hollett if you can borrow the magic wand. How many electric cars do you think will realistically be added by 2021? It's silly daydreaming to talk about electric cars. Maybe only 10% of households could meaningfully consider one and maybe just 10% of those will buy an e-car in the next 10 years. They are a nothingburger!

      I hate to say it but Winston, stick to minisplits which maybe 50% of households could use and 50% of those probably will get them by 2021 because our politicians are 100% certain to be lying about no rate increase.

      See the difference in those numbers? Only one of these topics has any merits. Talking up e-cars only supports the Dwight Ball distraction show which is intended to screw us all in the end.

    • Granted, this was a 30 minute estimate, and with many families having 2 cars or a car and a truck, the 340 is likely too high. And many have trucks that don't need trucks. I just put it out there to invite discussion, that we are behind where especially Europe is heading with electrics, and they lack the renewable hydro as we have, and as Norway has ( should be an example to us).
      I still use a 2005 Prius, gets about 60 miles to the gallon, and the Leaf, per EPA about 136MPG (Canadian gallon ).
      For longer range , there is the Tesla, 60 and 80 Kwh batteries.

    • Anon @ 17:11, last year during a walk at UIC, George Mercer, aged 69 asked me about heatpumps : What does it mean when they say a 1 ton unit"? Of course tonage has to do with cooling not heating, but most all contractors will talk about this in tons.
      Yesterday 85 year old Will Sharpe says a lot of people are putting HPs in, and says his son is a Red Seal certified electrician, so he can do the installation for him. In the recent past, older people, even at 70, would say "I won't live long enough to pay it off". Much has changed even in one year.
      So yes, basically electric cars are where minisplits were a decade ago in Nfld.
      You suggest even in 10 years only 1 % of Nfldrs would buy electric cars, whereas in Norway, now 40% are and expecting 100 % of new cars to be electric there in 2025.
      I expect 10 years for meaningful transition to HPs and 10 for electric cars. What would you wager on only 1% in the next 10 years?
      Maybe some politician would be bold enough to see the future where it should be: few baseboard heaters and few gas or diesel cars.
      Yesterday a rainbow for 5 minutes looking from Bishop's Cove across conception Bay.
      This evening a double rainbow, now over 45 minutes and not gone yet. Good luck they say. But for what? John Smith used to compare HPs with rainbows and pipe dreams. Will Leblanc out the troll John Smith? I might take the rainbows as symbolic that the minisplit issue is essentially won. Double rainbows are fairly rare.
      Of course I am a little superstitious,( that spirits may exist, even a Holy Ghost, who can prove otherwise, and can rationally explain the Nfld folklore of tokens, if you have heard of that?
      Or I may pull your leg.

  16. Winston Adams: Not only are you not taking into account the heavy government subsidies which drive the growth in Electric vehicles (which the government of NL cannot and almost certainly never will afford) or the heavy extra cost individuals in NL would need to bear in order to purchase such a vehicle (a deal-breaker to most inhabitant of NL), you are not taking into account NL's collapsing population, along with the fact that this future population will consist of an ever-growing number of retirees too old to drive, and that this future population will be increasingly concentrated in the Saint-John's Metropolitan area (SJMA), meaning that even those who can/need to drive will be driving much shorter distances, on average, than the average inhabitant of NL today. This will be even truer if the growing number of inhabitants of the SJMA and increased percentage of inhabitants too old to drive both lead to better public transit in the area (to say nothing of various share-riding and/or carpooling arrangements, which social media make a lot easier), making it less necessary for most people to drive at all.

    The last point above isn't pure speculation: I lived in Victoria BC for a year, and its population (circa 350 000) and percentage of retirees (over 20%) probably gives a fairly good idea of what the SJMA will be like a few decades hence (although my guess is that the percentage of retirees will be much higher). Now, Victoria is quite an awful city in many ways, but to be fair, its public transit is *quite* good, because such a high number of the inhabitants of the city rely on it.

    More broadly, heat pumps and electric vehicles, as a "solution", both suffer from the same flaw from the vantage point of the average inhabitant of NL today: it takes a great deal of time to get a payback on the initial investment. Meaning that, if you are uncertain as to whether or not you will still be in NL (say) five years into the future, there is no point in making long-term investments which will only pay off if you stay in NL over a much longer time period.

    • Etienne, Payback: at 10 cent power about 5.5years, and less than 3 years when rates double. A typical 1200 sq ft house, you pay off the unit and save an extra 15,000 (30,000 if the rates double).
      Electric car, for most now getting about 40mpg to get say 120 mpg is one giant leap, and I expect many will jump. You have Victoria for an example and I use Norway. I have expectations that Nflders will not abandon the Rock in droves.
      My time limit on this is exceeded, or I vex the moderator.
      Look forward to tomorrow morning on a new piece from UG.
      Cheers, enjoy the exchange with those that differ.

    • Good points Etienne, as always… many, many people will be better off financially in the long run by putting the funds they'd otherwise spend on heat pumps towards offsetting the cost of relocating to provinces that are competently governed.

    • Winston: Allow me to quote your words-

      1-"You have Victoria for an example and I use Norway"

      -and I will observe that in terms of taxation NL is much closer to Victoria/B.C. than it is to Norway: Indeed I would maintain that any provincial political party promising Norwegian-like levels of taxation to the inhabitants of NL would have about as much of a shot at getting elected as one pledging to make Swahili the only official language of the province. Hmm. The latter party might stand a better chance at getting elected than the former, come to think of it.

      2- "I have expectations that Nflders will not abandon the Rock in droves."

      Err, I hate to break this to you, but as I recently pointed out here, outmigration from NL is already accelerating (A net population loss of 0,3% during the first quarter of this year: I am sure you can figure out what this would mean over the next few decades). Are you seriously claiming that a doubling of their power bill, or tax increases to mitigate this rise in power costs, will have no effect upon Newfoundlanders' decision to stay or leave in the future? If you are, than not only do I disagree, but I think the reverse is likely: emigration will probably accelerate. If, in the near future, more and more young inhabitants of NL have a brother, a sister, a best friend or a former spouse leading a better life outside NL than would be possible within NL, emigration will increasingly be seen by the younger generation as a "default" option, and thus NL will need to become a *tangibly and demonstrably better place to live in* than alternatives elsewhere in Canada. Such will be the challenge that will have to be met if The Rock is to avoid total demographic collapse.

      I must say that seeing the wall of denial among so many otherwise intelligent and perceptive commentators here (including yourself) does not make me at all optimistic about NL's future.

  17. Here are two numbers that you may want to chew over, and jumped out at me. In 2012 there were over 633,000 cars and trucks registered in NL. Yes, more than the total number of citizens. And second, in 2016, 1.18$ billion was spent in buying cars and trucks in NL. So, if everyone kept their current vehicle for 12 years, we could buy muskrat after just 12 years. (Personally, I normally only buy a vehicle every 10 years.) Just saying says Joe blow, not really trying to make a point.