Guest Post by PlanetNL

Island Load Forecast Still Wrong

To sanction the Muskrat Falls project, Nalcor relied on
their development of a steadily growing electricity load forecast on the Island.  The assumptions used have proven so weak that
in 2016 Nalcor decreased the total Island energy load forecast out to 2040 by
25%.  That’s a major error for any
self-respecting utility to make.  By
putting forward the 2016 revision, Nalcor has quietly admitted their prime
reason for Muskrat sanction, needing a lot of power soon, was untrue.

This posting will challenge why the latest Nalcor load
forecast still includes 10% net load growth leading up to 2040 instead of declining.
 Does Nalcor believe this province has
insatiable electricity demand at any price? 
Do they remain shockingly ignorant of global trends and energy
alternatives?   It appears their revised forecast was a
significant step toward reality but not all the way there.  The analysis also begs the question,
shouldn’t a proper pre-sanction load forecast have also pointed to declining
power needs instead of increasing?

Data Review
Below is a chart from an exhibit document  recently reviewed at the Commission of Inquiry showing Nalcor’s Isolated Island
pre-sanction load forecast.  Steady load
growth was predicted to occur despite their simultaneous acknowledgement of substantial
electricity rate increases, no population growth and an already high level of
saturation for electric space and water heating existing in the market.
Pre-Sanction Isolated Island Load Growth
Nalcor would rely on this forecast in their Isolated Island
option to justify a series of costly generation developments including the
refurbishment of Holyrood, the build of many new CCCT and CT diesel thermal
plants, three new small hydro sites, and some increase of wind power.
  The heavy reliance on thermal power sent
forecast fuel costs skyrocketing to the billions annually.
  Little wonder it finished second best in the
two horse CPW race with Muskrat – Nalcor designed the Isolated Island scenario to
be too fat to run.

Nalcor CEO Stan Marshall

Jump forward to 2016 and 2017 when Nalcor released revised
load forecasts up to 2040 as part of then-new CEO Stan Marshall’s annual
updates on the Muskrat project.  The
chart below indicates the 2040 total Island load forecast at about 7500 GWh, a
28% reduction from the pre-sanction forecast of about 10,400 GWh.  No apologies were noted from the utility for
having made such a grievous error – no staffing changes, and no new consultants
were announced as performing their forecasting either.  All was done “in-house”.

Island Load Forecast Revisions 2016 and 2017

While the decline in energy sales toward 2022 seems to be at
least going in the right direction, if not steep enough given the threat of
doubling rates (an expectation reconfirmed in a new Cost of Service study
submitted by NL Hydro to the PUB on November 15), what could possibly be the
justification for projecting 10% load growth – averaging just over 0.5%
annually – between 2022 and 2040?  Why wouldn’t
the load decrease trend simply keep continuing as would be consistent with
well-known price-elasticity behaviour?
Load Forecasts Elsewhere – No Growth
Prior PlanetNL postings have frequently referenced the US
Energy Information Administration for statistics and forecasts.  The EIA 2018 Annual Energy Outlook  provides a long-term reference forecast that indicates total electricity
consumption out to 2040 at a growth rate that matches population growth
estimates for the same period.  US
electricity growth forecasts therefore are flat on a per capita basis.

A detailed United Kingdom energy forecast out to 2040 was
published by Bloomberg on November 21.
 As seen in the chart below, total 2040 UK
utility-supplied energy needs are the same as 2015.  In the UK case, there is zero net growth
despite projected UK population increase of 11% over this period.  On a per capita basis, UK electricity usage is
projected to decline by 10% to 2040.  Simultaneously
released by Bloomberg was an identical study on Germany that yielded a similar
declining energy per capita trend.
Load Forecast 2015-2040

Take note also that nearly 20% of all energy in 2040 is expected
to be used by the emerging electric vehicle (EV) segment on the assumption EV’s
capture 50% of market share by then.  The
lowest line on the chart therefore shows that traditional electricity
consumption needs (other than for EVs) is forecast to decline about 20%,
suggesting per capita electricity usage rates declining by 30%.

In all these major markets as well, the projected long-term cost
of electricity is flat (other than ordinary inflation) because the industry has
found that new capacity additions are tending not to increase utility costs and
can actually sometimes reduce costs. 
Take for example the results of a recent call for bids to replace
coal-burning power plants in Pueblo, Colorado where the median bid price for
wind power was USD 1.8 c/kWh and wind with storage was just USD 2.1 c/kWh (footnote
1).  This is an example being repeated in
many jurisdictions where thermal plants are yielding to wind and solar
renewables because the cost of the new project is less costly than the fuel
cost of the thermal plant.

Trends in the US, UK and Germany, G7 economic powerhouses,
cannot be ignored.  People and business
are generally not expected to use any more electricity than they do today and
may likely use less.

Why then should Nalcor still be forecasting increasing
electricity usage on the Island?
Leading up to 2040, this province expects to double the cost
of electricity, has a stagnant or declining population, modest to weak economic
prospects, and electric vehicles are likely to be adopted here at a far slower
rate than elsewhere.  Besides that, the
high saturation of electric heating usage gives both domestic and commercial consumers
considerable opportunity to decrease their electricity consumption through
energy substitution or high efficiency electric-heating alternatives. 

Nalcor’s latest load growth forecast continues to be entirely
unrealistic and should feature significant and steady decline.
Load Forecasts Should Have Been Far Lower
The pre-sanction Isolated Island forecast is subject to much
the same assumptions as presented here for 2018.  Yes, we all know more about power generation
alternatives and costs in 2018 than we did in 2012 and some non-hydro renewable
technologies have definitely become much more affordable.  But to the true experts in the energy
industry, none of these developments have come entirely out of the blue.  Utilities are expected to have expert staff
or hire the professionals capable of assessing such long-term trends with
reasonable accuracy.  Predicting the
short-term trends, such as what might happen in the space of only a few years,
should especially be far easier.  No
utility, including Nalcor, could reasonably say they didn’t see these changes coming
in just six short years. 

This comment is made not to blame particular individuals in
Nalcor middle management who perform forecasting work.  It was the executives responsible for a
multi-billion dollar project that needed to assess their risk and ensure they had
obtained the best quality advice possible before proceeding.  Those executives could have mitigated their forecasting
errors with professional external input but they chose not to.  As Nalcor’s own revised load forecast has eliminated
80% of the load growth essential to justifying sanction of Muskrat, there is simple
and clear evidence of their disastrously poor judgement.

It’s becoming plausible, however, that not only should the
Isolated Island load forecast have had a lot less growth, it might well have naturally
tended into a steady decline toward 2040 and beyond without even needing much
of a push.  With a forecast of load
decline, not only is Muskrat infeed power not needed but neither is any of the
series of new small hydro developments, additional wind developments and
certainly not all the fuel-guzzling combustion turbines as Nalcor had included
in the Isolated Island scenario.
With Nalcor’s first reason for sanctioning Muskrat – need
for power – clearly proven untrue, their second objective can be evaluated: to
eliminate the emissions and costs associated with the Holyrood Thermal
Generating Station.  This objective has
merit but could have been solved in a much more efficient way than the brute
force high-cost generation replacement alternatives proposed by Nalcor.

In the next post a model is
proposed in which Holyrood energy output could have been eliminated without
substitute energy requirements.  The
analysis also predicts electricity rates would have remained stable and
low.  Relatively simple policy changes
were available but completely ignored by Nalcor and Government.
Footnote 1 – Colorado data
sourced from a Nov.22 article on The Narwhal that will interest many Uncle
Gnarley Blog readers 


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. These forecasts are deliberate — a lie. A pending shortage of electricity was one of the drivers of the MF fraud. Nalcor could have hired an independent firm to look at demand growth but it would have said things they didn't want on the record.

    Demand will continue to decline for many reasons:

    1) closing of old industries like pulp and paper low industrial growth, if any at all.

    2) An aging population that is moving in to smaller dwellings.

    3) Newer homes built to code have better wall insulation. You will notice exterior insulation on new homes.

    4) Advances in power electronics that allow tiny power supplies with efficiencies of 95% or more. These are turning up in light bulbs, TVs, USB chargers, microwave ovens etc. You often see "Inverter" on new heap pumps. These create high efficiency variable speed motor drives that use far less power. The end result is that every time something electric dies in the house (washer, dishwasher, TV, HRV) the replacement will use less power than before.

    5) Energy poverty. People will turn down the heat to lower the bills.

    6) Substitution. I have solar hot water, propane fireplace, heat pump and baseboard. The solar takes care of hot water but only when sunny. The heat pumps are a winner. Propane is the same cost as baseboard but my old bones like the radiant heat.

    Note that TakeChargeNL has misleading comparisons to "average / efficient homes" and promotes trivial energy saving ideas. Had this been a real program with rebates for pellet stoves and heat pumps it would have been another reason for declining demand.

    I do blame Nalcor for these forecasts. I can't believe it is due to stupidity. They probably fear a backlash in the press – "Nalcor forecasts huge demand, spends billions and now says we don't need it after all".

  2. There is now and never has been any doubt about it, we had a mouse of a problem and those responsible decided to clobber it with the elephant that is Muskrat. Now we all will have to pay for their seriously flawed decisions and deals and their damn the torpedoes full speed ahead attitude. They on the other hand have benefited greatly and may never have to pay for the damage they have done to the people of NL whom they were paid to serve.

    • Excerpt from my February, 2012 PUB Written Submission:–


      Load and Forecast Accuracy

      Nalcor has said repeatedly that the island’s 40-year average growth rate is 2.3% annually and that therefore, its forecast average compound annual growth rate of 0.8% is ‘conservative’.

      But is it?

      About 98% of that 40-year average annual growth rate of 2.3% resulted from pre-1990 demand. Clearly there has been virtually no average growth over the more recent and more relevant 21-year period, and furthermore, there has been on average an annual negative growth rate of 2.5% over the most recent and most relevant 6-year period.

      So, is a 0.8% forecast average compound annual growth rate for the next 57 years really, as Nalcor claims, “conservative”, when 0.8% is 8 times more than the 0.1% average growth rate that the island has actually experienced over the most recent and most relevant 20-year period? ….

      And if the forecast growth rate is reduced by 50% (from 0.8% to 0.4%) annually, as shown in Nalcor’s “sensitivity analysis”, how meaningful is that — when a 0.4% average compound annual growth rate is still four (4) times more than the 0.1% average growth rate that the island has actually experienced over the most recent and most relevant 20-year period? UNQUOTE

      And for the 6 year period before Nalcor's 2010 forecast, there was an average 2.5% yearly NEGATIVE growth rate.

      Yet, and in spite of these facts being known to government, less than a year after this information was in the public domain, Muskrat Falls was sanctioned.


    • Omg was just watching, the nice friendly chat between Caitlin and gillies, so much for public floggins, make you want to throw up again. But, as for future demand for energy over the next period, 30 or 50 years, I have been quite generous to nalcor and their claims for more and more need over the coming years. I was saying maybe we need 200 or so Mgh of power over the next 50 years, I gleamed that here and there, not being an engineer. Winston has place a figure of less than 2 billion on the island isolated option requirements for power and think he admits he is being quite generous. Then we have two other engineers, saying there will be no growth in our power needs in the foreseeable future, as a matter of fact they see a negative growth in energy needs. And PlanetNL said this was forseeable 6 years or so ago. WE DID NOT NEED MUSKRAT POWER FOR OUR ISLAND NEEDS!!!! Now those lying, half truth experts, spin the truth, fudddle duddle, brazen pathological liars from nalcor and govt. assholes what do we do with them now??? Ask Joe blow.

    • Thank you Maurice, for the clarification, my mistake, I taught you were an engineer. But my recollection now tells me you were more fincincial, and clearifiy that if incorrect. As you know I don't write as clearly and concisely as some on this blog including you. But my reference was not in quoting or reference to you, in quoting 6 short years, but rather to PlanetNL, where under, Presanction Load……..he referee, to information know in 2012 as opposed to 2018, and calls it just 6 short years. Thank you kindly for the correction. Cheers, average Joe.

    • No problem AJ (agree with much or even most of your comments and Yes, wasn't sure about the 6 year reference , so I mentioned it anyway.

      Some (litte) engineering, (1 year MUN) and NO financial training —- mostly my best efforts at trying to understand this fiasco and to convey what I learn to my fellow citizens in understandable language.


  3. PlanetNL you are much too charitable when you conclude "there is simple and clear evidence of their disastrously poor judgement". It was not poor judgement but wilful manipulation that led to the MF least cost determination.

    At the JRP I asked Gil why the Nalcor projection of a steadily increased demand was the only North American utility that was projecting increased demand he responded he was comfortable with the demand projection.

    As you point out the two variables that could be manipulated, the demand and the cost of the fuel for a ridiculous number of CCCT units on the island. Nalcor manipulated both to get to the required answer.

    It was fraud not incompetence by Nalcor that led to this boondoggle. Is it not time we called a spade a spade?

  4. This issue demonstrates how equally incompetent and politically misguided the Liberal government has been since 2015. It's been a three year long masquerade ball since they were elected. What has really changed? Anything? They committed to continue MF and bury us all because they think we still need the power. Stan Marshall has also been agent of non-change. Finish strong, test the North Spur and we will figure it out from there. What a fine group of honest, caring, fearless leaders we have in charge.

    • There is little difference between the political parties. NL is a feudal theocracy. Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee stroke the same backs. Elect either major party and nothing changes. In NL the orange crew is impotent and worse than the other two!

  5. CBC news has reported that Ed Martin is back from away and attended the inquiry today. He says no low balling of estimates despite the testimony of Gil Bennett. It is clear that Hydro/Nalcor have been poorly run and managed under his leadership. They were not on the same page. There is no I in team. The left hand didn't know what the right was doing. Not world class and perhaps not even second class and a long, long way from best in class.
    The estimates were clearly poorly done and very inaccurate

  6. Is there anyway that ratepayers and taxpayers can launch some kind of class action suit against the parties responsible?

    With the exclusion of the PUB and the dismissal of the findings of the federal and environmental oversight boards, it is quite evident that the interests of ratepayers/taxpayers were not protected, and from what has come out of this inquiry so far, it appears there was a massive type of fraud known as "bait-and-switch" perpetrated on the ratepayers and taxpayers of this province.

    The MRF debacle would not have seen the light of day but for the deception of those who kept both government and the public in the dark as to the real cost of this boondoggle.

    These vile schemers must be held to account!

    • Not sure if government was really in the dark or chose to be. The sweetheart deal provided for Ed Martin certainly shows that somebodies(vile schemers) knew where this dream scheme might likely end up.
      How about a few months house arrest for the perpetrators of the 'then largest' fraud case to be prosecuted in Canadian history?
      White collar crime goes either unpunished or at best lightly punished.

  7. With the dramatic testimony at the Inquiry today, this post is a timely one:
    PlannetNL says the question of "Did We Need the Power" is busted. Seems self evident. Nalcor has already revised the load growth down 80 % of that used to justify Muskrat Falls, and that a true forecast would reduce that further.
    That on it's own , without much of a push, long term demand would have declined, citing other jurisdictions demand forecasts. Energy substitution and efficient heating would be significant.
    So, not only was Mfs not needed, but also certainly not all the fuel guzzling combustion turbines Nalcor priced in to inflate the Isolated Option, nor even the small hydro or wind additions says PlanetNL
    Part 2 will propose a model to eliminate the emissions from Holyrood, and have stable and low rates, and include simple policy changes that were available , but ignored.
    So, maybe we will soon see a "real least cost" option that will bust the myth of needing a 6.2 or 12.7 billion dollar boondoggle. Then the question will be how did Nalcor not foresee such an option? We learn daily from the Inquiry testimony, dragged from the lips of the scallywags.
    This next post should be very interesting.
    Winston Adams

    • UG readers may recall that in 2012 Nalcor stated that our island was already 85% green hydro energy, and that MFs would make us 98%, with only 2 % for some isolated diesel and small amounts of other thermal needed. So 6.2 billion dollars plus interest charges to increase our green energy by only 13 %, was their solution, that is now 12.7 billion.
      Holyrood on rare occasions was going all out producing 495 MW (of a 1750 MW peak) during cold snaps (so almost 30% of the peak load). MFs on average only matches Holyrood power delivered to the Avalon, as is on average capable of producing less power than Bay d Espoir hydro plant, and much less reliable, yet was sized for 824 MW peak to address our winter heating load, and the DC line sized for 900 MW, for a extra shot of CF power if needed. Now we learn (as some critics stated in 2012) that we did not need that power!.
      PlanetNL, in this piece, discusses only the energy needed. An optimum solution to reduce fossil fuel burning at Holyrood must not only address the energy use by reduction of load, but also the peak load reduction during the cold snaps. Otherwise Gilbert Bennett will state the obvious: we need enough capacity to handle the cold snaps without triggering gas turbine or fossil fuel use.
      PlanetNL, I trust, does not overlook that issue, of winter peak load reduction, in their proposed model.

  8. Perhaps UG readers tuned out early on today's testimony by Gilbert Bennett before the end, and did not see the re-direct by Kate O'Brien? Just before that, Nalcor's Dan Simmons, in his usual calm methodical style, led Bennett with pre-rehearsed questions to suggest that Nalcor played by the book, nothing to see here. Then OUR Kate was primed and ready.
    Poor Gilbert! Despite his arrogant style and evasive answers for 4 days, and the fact that he has played a central role in this 12.7 billion boondoggle, at the end, I had sympathy for poor Gilbert. I must be a softie.
    Kate was unrelenting, yet not unfair. The pressure was getting to Bennett, as he was tripping up in his answers and couldn't remember statements he had made a day or so before, which Kate recalled clearly. Earlier Bennett was showing signs of desperation, it seemed to me. One could observe during his pauses, his eyes balls going from side to side, as if struggling to answer. Ed Martin says Bennett is a very focused guy. Yet the truth should flow easily, and evasiveness, even for a focused guy can cause overload. Near the end, Bennett mixed up words, repeated saying "retired" instead of "retained", which Kate had to correct him. Simmons came to his rescue, saying Bennett has had 4 days of testimony and should not go on. As Kate had only one more question, they promptly finished, but not before Bennett anknowledged he had blood pressure problems.
    Emergency blood pressure is a reading of 180/110 ( normal being 120/80). I have endured 220 /117, and got kidney damage when this endured on and off for months. Stroke and heart failure is a risk. On rare occasions , with B/P very high, I have had trouble to follow conversation and temporary memory problems, so B/P control is essential to reduce risk. Simmonds was right to intervene, and Kate to finish up. RISK: seems Gilbert was much too accepting of high risk, on behalf of ratepayers. No doubt his health is suffering. Bruno may call it Karma?
    Bennett, I think, received a pubic flogging,that was well deserved. She did a first class job today, or so I thought. Two engineers, but Bennett was no match for our female engineer, who like Stan Marshall, is also a lawyer.
    Winston Adams (commenting form Houston)

    • WA @ 03:01:

      These are the nuances I referred to awhile back. What I have seen is several witness trying/struggling to remember the BS they previously offered, high BP has nothing to do with GB missteps. JK was a prime example – counsel asked who he was looking at, and none of them are willing to make steady eye contact.

      Also, as I have said, LeBlanc has all the leeway he needs – whether or not Commission counsel goes into the area to show the real underlying issues is on counsel.

      To date, counsel is doing OK, but I think they have backed off too quickly with a couple of witnesses.


    • Almost misted your comment PENG2, and important as I fell I was too exuberant in my praise for OUR KATE, and your appraisal of being OK is more appropriate. As I expected little from Kate, I was therefore impressed with her improvement as things progress.
      And I ask, is Bennett deserving of sympathy? He has shown no remorse, and has not admitteed to any wrong doing or error, but just shifts blame. While high BP can play havoc, you are probably right, that tripping up in one's story, if not honest and factual, can be expected,( and yes, avoiding eye contact), even Trump would trip up, and so fears Mueller. We have no Mueller.
      I have time to read little of the vast exhibits filed, but since yesterday I see enough that the legal beagles could expose much more that we see from just the testimony, which just touches the surface. Other than trying to keep a tight schedule, Leblanc has had few restrictions on questioning.
      Can you elaborate on the "real underlying issues", as you see it?

  9. Winston: Have a look at recent exhibit postings overnight relative to water management plan in camera session about to start now by CIMFP. I’ve been probing many questions about LTA over past several days. They lead to water management “agreement” and its status. Also have a look at recent filings by Nalcor (Hydro) on cost of service studies coming up. You’ll be interested in what it says about CDM, etc. A myriad of info to digest there. Watch your bp. FW

  10. So next week we hear from JaK, the man that wanted proof positive, and predicted brown outs, as a prelude to black outs, which led to DarkNL. Yes, and always said that was sabatogate by nalcor and company, by doing no maintaince on Holyrood etc. And varified by Liberty Report, that was the cause of DarkNL, and thus the departure of KD, after giving birth to the boondoggle. Yea, and while overseas JaK had a falling out with KD and returned prematurely, to announce his resignation if my feable memory serves me correctly. So guess we are gearing up to the 12 days of Christmas….on the first day of Christmas…my true love sent to me …one…calling bird…says Joe blow.

    • Our own little soap opera at a production cost to the taxpayer of $34M. We will figure out who to blame but spend precious little effort in focusing on solving the problem. It's not hard to figure out why NL is the most backward province in Canada.

    • How about producing energy at 60 cents per kilowatt hour and selling 20% and more of it for 5 cents a kilowatt hour while domestic rates are doubled or tax money is used to pay for mitigated rates for 50 or a hundred years when smarter solutions were available. Could this cause NL to become more backward than it is already? I'd take the 34 million soap opera anytime if it could be traded for the grandiose scheme and the boondoggle/fiasco could go away.

    • Exactly, no blame and no way forward.
      Everyone, including Dunderdale, throw Ed Martin under the bus, lick our chops and then suffer the consequences anyway.

      No plan is worse than a bad plan.
      Anyone got a plan?

    • And, hey, now, calling names like backward isn’t helpful.
      Isn’t positive.
      Instead, propose a way forward.
      A survival plan is badly needed.
      Dwight and Ches don’t have one.
      NALCOR for sure doesn’t.

      Young Pierre is blowing it.

      The QC crowd are, excuse me Heracles for offending, lurking in the shadows, waiting to pounce, secretly erasing boundaries off the naps in anticipation of overturning the 1926 Privy council decision.

      All these obvious threats to the province, and NO PLAN.

    • Simple plan: Prepare a sustainable budget and cut unnecessary spending to allow us to survive as a province (without starting a mass exodus due to excessive austerity) and then default as necessary. The federal loan guarantee is already in technical default (due to lies) so we negotiate a political solution. We actually have a lot of leverage — just threaten to go independent and take the oil, 200 mile limit and fish with us, consider joining up with another country etc. From the chaos, something better will emerge.

    • "The QC crowd are lurking in the shadows, waiting to pounce, secretly erasing boundaries off the maps in anticipation of overturning the 1926 Privy council decision"

      Tor, I just can't believe you seriously wrote that.

      You were joking, right?

      If not, that again reinforces the arguments of our "evil" 😉 Qc UG contributors…

    • Tor,
      HQ is ready to buy MF at the same 0.2 c/kwh as they get it from CFLCO. No joke. Nalcor's failed WMA would result in surplus MF energy going into CF. Only HQ can take it out and the price is written in stone until 2041.
      Bern Coffey is probably ranting on this point today at the Inquiry.
      HQ can thank CEO Martin and his world class team for delivering that on a platter.

    • "HQ is ready to buy MF at the same 0.2 c/kwh as they get it from CFLCO"

      I don't believe HQ is interested to buy continuous power from anyone; they are just swamp with surpluses.

      I do however see a potential to use MF in winter time, to help (indirectly) replenish the Smallwood reservoir. I'm sure a win / win scenario is possible.

    • Haha, I like your enthusiasm Robert!

      I order to convince Labradorians of this grand boundary free trade zone, I must find a way to barter a deal with BRP to produce many thousands Skidoos for free. Worst case, would last year unsold models work?

      That trick worked a couple years ago.

      It saved us from someone here that wanted to bulldoze through a power corridor across Quebec. He did not specify up to where thought; to the NY border probably 😉

    • Tor,

      I can only speak for this Quebecer. I am not lurking anywhere. This is not a topic that Quebecers know much about. But since you called us out – here goes. I will continue to read the interesting blog entries because I care about NL. However, I have and will continue to limit my comments. IMHO, most ( though certainly not all) of the arguments by Quebecers were presented respectfully. However, I think we have made our point, ad nauseum no doubt. Judging from the comments section and Des' blog entry on the recent Supreme Court decision, it is clear that we haven't convinced anyone. I respect that and hope at least some readers can respect that most of us have simply tried to explain our perspective. Of course our perspective is biased and I found many interesting responses from comments from people like Robert and Winston. I can deal with a difference of opinion but all too often the discussion degenerates into a litany of personal insults rather than a discussion of facts. Also, I have had purely factual, frankly uncontroversial and respectful comments removed by the blog administrator for no apparent reason. Probably best we allow this blog to continue as an echo chamber allowing Newfoundlanders the right to pound sand among themselves, though anonymously of course. Go ahead Bruno, call me a bigot and a racist.- it just wouldn't be complete without that.

    • Always appreciate your respectful tone, Bernard. Interesting that Gilbert Bennett thought a Nalcor strategy for political interference in Nfld, to advance MFs, was not appropriate (though that was listed as a possibility), but he thought that anti-Quebec strategy was ok!.
      I still think that anti Quebec in Nfld is a small factor, and comments here from Quebec are useful, but Heracles and Etienne go to far to beat that drum, and so some kickback here. But I think if one did a check of all comments on UG, the proportion of anti-Quebec is rather low.
      I thought my praise for Quebec, stated truthfully, would cause some local kickback against me, but that never happened at all, another indicator that anti-Quebec is not that significant, except when whipped up by politicians or Nalcor, I suggest.
      Surprised to learn that UG deleted some of your comments.
      As for Bruno, he has a short fuse, and I overlook his outbursts, and suggest, half in fun, it might be the WEED. He can't be all that bad, he admires John Lennon.
      Hope Heracles and Etienne stays and eased up on the anti Quebec stance, as it tends to suggest anti- Nfld,( to lump us all together).
      Cheers to all our Quebec neighbours.

    • Anon 12:53… "just threaten to go independent and take the oil, 200 mile limit and fish with us, consider joining up with another country etc."

      HAHhaahaa!!! what a laugh, what BELLY-laugh, GUFFAW GUFFAW GUFFAW… NLers can't even manage their own affairs in a half-ways competent manner and your suggesting independence??

      The last time NLers had "independence" they wound up were riddled with TB and n'ar toot in their heads, scabbed over with scurvy because they couldn't even maintain themselves with a minimal proper diet!! Lord Amultree had to step in to save the poor, destitute wretches from themselves and their corrupted and incompetent self-governance.

      And you're suggesting they threaten "independence"???


      G'way b'y, yor too foolish to talk about..

    • Anon 20:36
      Gee whiz you're some fart smeller.. sorry smart feller
      the judge, UG, will decide whether this comment remains or doesn't
      and if it is deleted, he decides if the comment has a trail
      cheers AJ, Average Joe, Joe Blow

    • Bernard, your cadre of commenters from PQ have systematically called NL residents bigots directly or indirectly. You and others make long winded demands that people respond to the presented bigotry. I am from neither province and the demands are insulting, self serving and without basis.

      Give it up!

    • Wow, you are accusing me?

      Don't associate those comments to me.

      ==> Again, UG should have the capability to comfirm this via the IP adress.

      Anyways, your anxiety is now bordering insanity. Too much of that now legal stuff maybe?

    • Waldo my man..I live in St. John's, not QC.. born and bred here, so leave poor old Eric, Ex military, etc. alone .. I might sic Bruno on you, or better still a Harvey Road lawyer
      LOL Joe Blow, Average Joe, AJ

  11. Does anyone have access to the current Energy Plan for Holyrood?; Assessment of remaining service life, Upgrade/extension options, Conversion to Green energy technology, etc. Is this available for public information?

    • Here are some interesting excerpts:

      Notes: synchronous condensers refers to using the generators not for generation capacity but for "special power" needed to support transmission line operation. They actually function as giant capacitors (aka condensers).

      Excerpt from the AMEC report:

      Holyrood Units 1 2, and 3 are approximately 41, 40, and 31 years of age respectively. However, given their historical seasonal based, lightly loaded service, the operational age for the majority of its equipment and systems is more like 20, 19, and 16 years, respectively.

      Holyrood is capable of supplying approximately 33% of the Newfoundland and Labrador electricity demand. Typically, the units operate during the late fall to spring peak period and supply a minimum load of between 80 MW and 150 MW. The Unit 3 generator is also capable of synchronous condenser operation for grid voltage control.

      As indicated above, there is no reason why the plant cannot continue to generate electricity reliably to the year 2020 as identified. Similarly, if and when Units 1 and 2 are converted to synchronous condensers (current plan is conversion in 2014) to provide system support, the units and the plant should be able to fulfill that role to 2041. There are several pre-requisites to this, including continued and enhanced inspection and maintenance programs, planned major equipment refurbishment such as generator stator and rotor rewinds, controls and alarms upgrades, and switchgear and breaker refurbishments and replacements.

      A key to extending plant life will be the generators, transformers, and switchgear. Units 1, 2, and 3 have major generator inspections scheduled for 2012, 2014, and 2016 respectively. They also have reliability issues that may require a near term need for stator and/or rotor rewinds and possibly later in their life core or rotor replacement. Transformers are at the point in their lifecycle where significant degradation also occurs. More frequent or continuous monitoring of their condition is required to forewarn of any problems arising. Existing switchgear is in many cases at or near end of life and refurbishment and replacement is required.

    • Do we have intent to extend the service life to 2041? options? annual cost? conservation measures? demand management? moratorium on base board heating at municipal building permit level? development of district energy sites? diversion of heating to solar thermal storage and wind on the Avalon? Put our minds to more enhanced energy policy for the incoming elected reps.

    • Russell at the Telegram recently had a good piece noting, I think, 41 instances of malfunction at Holyrood this past year. While not extensively used and possible longer life is possible, some parts are obsolete or hard to get, and breakdowns are frequent. So like depending on an old car over 20 years old (Holyrood about 40 years old)
      We expect power reliability of 2.8 hrs downtime on our grid per year. During a minus 15C cold snap, who wants more than 2.8 hrs without electricity, especially for heat.
      For the Avalon, Holyrood is essential, but not reliable, and only one new gas turbine of 100 MW, 123 MW peak. Things are so bad for this winter, they plan to try for 130 or so MW from that if an emergency, which risks frying the units, and doing likewise with other units. Talk about Bennett and risk appetite! This seems insane. That our DC line may supply no more than 100 MW this winter, or less is of little help. And if MFs operates in the future, if at all, reliability is very questionable, I and others have suggested that , and recently stated by Liberty. Imagine 12.7 billion and possible not to get reliable power! So neither MFs nor Holyrood is reliable. SO we are likely worse off than before MFs got sanctioned, and now no money to make Holyrood reliable, And we need Holyrood or equivalent for backup for the Avalon.
      I suggest we need to seriously drop our power demand by design, or rest on wishful thinking and hope that Holyrood stays operational.
      This is a very serious issue.

    • I should add that we the people, cannot rely on our elected reps, the civil servants they direct, including some of us 60's engineering grads, to do the right things. Step up and make a difference. Working in your own neighbourhoods, become active in providing solutions to evident infrastructural gaps and social problems.

    • Winston MHI NOTED THE POOR MAINTENANCE, made reccomendations and waned of the dire consequences. They have been ignored.

      The Nalcor engineers are incompetent or complicit in a crime against the people of NL. Too bad the regulatory body is impotent and complicit in the ongoing deception. You should do something about that to restore the integrity of the badly stained profession.

  12. Let us keep an eye out for yet another Bombardier, failed venture, bailout as well as a bailout for the failed GM plant in Oshawa. Let us understand how the Canadian democracy actually works. There is are elections in our near future and we just signed a not done yet NA free trade agreement while US tariffs are still in place on steel and aluminium.

    • Suggest you watch Bobby Rae and Christie Clarke on Power and Politics today, on Government bailouts. Harper and Trudeau sure were/are slow learners. Notley running for her political life, and seems clueless on supply management theory. Albertans made the problem by aggressively over producing the non-renewable Canadian resource, and expect us to bail them out. And we think NL is the only province in crisis.

  13. This telegram article is worth reading

    Many of great arguments from Cochrane, McLeod et al. with Jerome Kennedy. You can really argue with people like Kennedy. People like this are either ignorant/arrogant or just evil.

    "I mean this is about 50 years of electricity rates and financing on a project driven by a monopoly company that has been exempted from regulatory oversight check."

    Everything point these reporters made came true.

    • And here are some of the positions I took and posted on my website several months before the above-referenced interview with Kennedy:–



      Ratepayers NOT PROTECTED — WHY NOT?

      In 2007, Premier Dunderdale said:

      “the (oil) companies needed some downside protection if the price of oil went very, very low.”

      Now why would offshore oil companies need to be "protected" against low oil prices?

      If multi-billion dollar oil companies need protection against low oil prices, what will low oil prices mean for Muskrat Falls, for government, —– for ratepayers ?

      70% of the so-called cost advantage of Muskrat Falls is due to Nalcor's 50-year, high, very high, oil cost forecast.

      In short, the viability of Muskrat Falls depends on oil prices going HIGH, and staying HIGH — VERY HIGH.

      So if oil prices go lower, (and oil companies are protected), will ratepayers also be 'protected' from the "locked-in" take or pay 50-year rates imposed by Muskrat Falls?

      In short —— NO.

      If oil prices go low, ratepayers are still LOCKED IN to Nalcor's 50-year "take or pay" contract. That way, Nalcor is protected — AT THE EXPENSE OF ratepayers!

      So, since the Premier recognizes that oil companies (and Nalcor by way of its 50-year, 'take or pay' contract) need protection from low oil prices, why is that so? And why then is there no protection for ratepayers?

      Since ratepayers are not protected, how then (and for whom) does Muskrat Falls make sense?

      NOT HAVING "low oil price" protection for island ratepayers is the Muskrat Falls EQUIVALENT of a not having an "escalator" clause in the Upper Churchill contract.

      Surely, that should be a non-starter.


      Ratepayers NOT PROTECTED — WHY NOT?

      In the case of Muskrat Falls, ratepayers/taxpayers are doubly at risk. While Nalcor is also protected (through its 'take or pay' contract) against 'low demand', there is NO PROTECTION for ratepayers (and taxpayers) against low demand.

      If demand is lower than forecast, Nalcor still MUST HAVE the hundreds of millions in cash flow every year to meet its debt servicing and operating costs ($14.5 billion over 50 years) — and those BILLIONS must come from island ratepayers or taxpayers.


    • Kate O'Brien is busily preparing a sumptuous feast of crow for that goddamned bloody fool JEROME KENNEDY to dine on down at the Beothuck Building this week.

      Kate! Make sure you add plenty of castor oil, compliments of ratepayers, to Jerome's meal of crow!


      You bloody fool.

    • You can tell by the very reasonable questions posed by the reporters in 2012 and the responses from the Minister of Natural Resources that this evil project was rammed down our collective throats by force. It is the very definition of regime debt or odious debt. It was as fraud, a wholesale rape of public funds, did not benefit and harmed the public but did benefit the regime.

      "In international law, odious debt, also known as illegitimate debt, is a legal theory that says that the national debt incurred by a despotic regime should not be enforceable. Such debts are, thus, considered by this doctrine to be personal debts of the regime that incurred them and not debts of the state.
      " – wikipedia

  14. Canada has 36 million people. Ontario has a population of 14 million. We are have been holding at half a million people for the last 50 years and will be facing a rapid decline due to an ageing population.

    $12 billion in fraud scaled up to Canada's population of 36 million is like $864 Billion. It is huge. A poor, declining, ageing population population with a unemployment rate of 15% is NEVER going to pay back $12 billion for Muskrat Falls.

    This is the debt of criminals. Prosecute them.

    • Ratepayer shouldn't oay one penny per kwh more than what they were told power rates were going to be before these vile culprits perpetrated the bait-and-switch scheme upon t=ratepayers.

      If that means an organized refusal by ratepayers to pay exorbitant, unexpected and outrageous power bills, then so be it.

      Let's see NL Power try to cut off everyone and terminate what revenue stream they still have. Not likely…

  15. I agree that reporters asked many of the right questions.

    I would add however that months before that interview, Cochraine attended what was (if memory serves) the first media conference held by Group 2041, and I came away thinking that Cochraine, instead of trying to ask questions of the G2041 group that would enlighten listeners about the problems that these informed lawyers saw in MF, Cochraine seemed to be prosecuting the messenger.

    Furthermore, one of the lawyers suggested that Cochraine speak with me at the end of the session. He said I would be able to address Cochraine's questions in more detail (as I was in attendance and by that time had had about a dozen articles/letters in The Telegram addressing some of issues raised).

    At the end of the session I approached Cochraine, who brushed me off in less than 30 seconds (It seemed as though it was a case of — "who was I to try and enlighten" this top CBC reporter?

    You will note however that a number of the questions raised by Cochraine in that interview (especially about "who protects the ratepayer") pretty closely matches the points I had raised and posted in my website months earlier.

    Furthermore, more than a year earlier, another CBC reported approached me at the end of a Nalcor AGM and asked what I thought to the planned MF Project. I replied that "we don't need it, we can't afford it, and it's too high a risk".

    This was early 2011 I think. The CBC did not air my comment.

    So much for our public broadcaster.

    • Agree Maurice, that's why I call them the brave fearless, useless media. And as you say Cochraine was one of the greatest offenders of the naysayers and promoters of the project. He was in with the high flying nalcor and oil on the brain crowd of the time. But as soon as he saw the errors of his ways, he vamvoosed the province and is now a favourite and the blue eyed boy of the CBC in Ottawa, and keeps his distance from any thing NL. Like a lot of others a real rogue of the free and independent media, a rat and a scroundrel. Cheers, Joe blow.

    • And by the way, in that CDM now seemed important and was intentionally avoided by Nalcor as it would benefit the Isolated option, I seem to recall WA had published pieces in 2012 on this in the Telegram, mostly about energy efficiency for heating loads. I have searched the Telegram for this and can find it nowhere. He later took up the cause on UG.

  16. Mr. Ed the talking horse. Is it horse sense or is it horse shit that he is spewing.
    Did you hear fast Eddie's attempt this week to justify his blunders while at Hydro/Nalcor.
    It is the greatest falsification of information in the history of this province. It is little wonder that we needed bill 29, was it?
    There are lies, damn(or is it dam) lies and then there is Ed Martin.

  17. This from the ever valuable Wikipedia: “Definitions of the word 'weasel' that imply deception and irresponsibility include: the noun form, referring to a sneaky, untrustworthy, or insincere person; the verb form, meaning to manipulate shiftily; and the phrase "to weasel out", meaning "to squeeze one's way out of something" or "to evade responsibility.”

    • Weasel words is what I see to describe politicians. Indeed, a "statesman" has been described as a politician who can lie in a clever fashion, so a "word class" weasel.
      Now Tor,my observation is that most of these Nalcor and government official witnesses behave with weasel like answers and evasiveness. Contrast that to Stephen Bruneau, and a few others who are not at all weasel like. But what Rule of Law punishes weasel like behaviour?
      And has Gilbert Bennett broken his professional code of ethics?
      He says that government should have been advised of the 497 million hidden risk allowance, but he did not tell government. He says that was the job of Ed Martin. But did he have a obligation to say to Ed Martin : "Ed, if you don't tell government, then I have an obligation to do so, or I will resign. My ethics and obligation to ratepayers require that government at the highest level know about this risk allowance".
      And is there not other instances of Bennett breaking ethics code?
      Is the engineering profession following this and considering action, or waiting for an outside complaint to be filed?

  18. How about some forward planning – how might we change the status quo?

    Assume that a new political party was hatched, won the election and fielded a collection of decent, non-sociopath, intelligent candidates that had backgrounds that were unrelated to any ministerial portfolios. These new officials are given portfolios (health, education, works etc.) and are briefed by the existing deputy ministers important issues of the day. The do a lot of reading, internet searching and try to get up to speed.

    So far so good, except that the Deputy Ministers are partisan bureaucrats that have allegiances to previous parties, are connected to powerful people and in some cases, pretty stun under performers. Under them are assistant deputy ministers, many of which are useless. Useless because the are “good foot soldiers”, consider important political issues “above their pay grade”, and often have files requiring their signature sitting on the desks for 180 days or more – so nothing gets done. Under them are incompetent directors that are also politically connected. Them there there are managers – some of the are good, others have no management skills at all. Everyone below them is protected by a union. Probably about 10 percent of the more senior unionized personnel would be competent to be a manager / director / assistant deputy minister or even a deputy minister however they are not politically connected and never had the chance and even if they did, would have been fired if they served the public interest. There are many more good people that quit long ago because excellence in serving the public is something that attracts harassment – only excellence as a sycophant is valued.

    I’ll expand this last though here : Say you find that products are being marked up 800% instead of the acceptable 10+10 (10% for the hassle + 10% profit). You draft a letter to a few assistant deputy ministers advising them that they could save $400,000 a year by simply enforcement regulations. Instead you end up on a black list, the suppliers are tipped off and attempt to bribe you, and you tell yourself that if a job outside government materializes, you are out of here.

    In parallel with crapping on true public servants below the management level, management is often unqualified for the job. We saw that with the lieutenant governor's daughter getting a $130,000 job. A prior competition had selected a more qualified person with better education, and significantly lower salary but this was cancelled to free up the position for a political favour. The auditor general found two positions in the school board for which unqualified people were given positions and then rapidly promoted and given up-scale salaries. These weren’t trivial position either.

    So that brings us pack to what happens if a new political party gets in power. If it was to be successful, EVERY person in management of core government and ever crown corporation (including Nalcor) would need to be fired immediately. Non management personnel could keep the status going. This would have to be followed by a Canada wide recruitment for people that could run a health care system, run the K-12 school system, operate a highway and ferry system etc. These people would then have to recruit appropriate staff to run their departments. Most of these people are available in the Union ranks, but you’d still need to recruit nation wide to test the waters and make sure you had the best people available. You might even get a few elderly former civil servants come back for the challenge.

    Our problems are more than corrupt or stupid politicians. Decades of corruption have also ruined civil service management. There many have been a day when people like Des Sullivan, Dave Vardy and Ron Penny were typical – but those days are long gone. We have a major mess and it will take extreme measures to fix it.

    • Des proved himself as being from the same line as Danny Williams and Brian Peckford. Same hate-based philosophy, endorsing trash talkers like Bruno while censoring factual and respectful Bernard Lahey and more. If he is your model of an appropriate leader, do not expect any change in NL.

    • Is this your Sunday hate rant anon? "censoring factual and respectful Bernard Lahey" shows your bias Bernard!

      For what it is worth Des has deleted many of my posts but I know that does not fit your agenda.

      Post your name and take it like a man or leave this informative blog.

    • Bruno (aka AJ)
      The comments on this blog have degenerated to Jerry Springer/Bill Rowe levels. The same thoughts are regurgitated ad nauseam. You repeat your anti-capitalist mantra, your alter ego AJ repeats his/her incoherent rage against the world. UG smiles on those comments that he supports, but shuts down anything that disputes his anti-HQ leanings or impugns the judgement of our local supreme, Mr. Malcolm. And some debate heat-pumps. Disillusionment arises because this might be the only place where serious discussion might be conducted, but it gets lost in the echo chamber. We are doomed.

    • Anon@ 23:23, agree that comments are sometimes rather coarse,maybe 10%, and it is easy, at times, to get on that bandwagon. But I find Bruno's heart, if not always his head is usually in the right place, and prefer if he toned it down. But then again, should there not be anger at the waste of 12.7 billion? As for AJ, I love most of his down to earth style, and has a good grasp, even of many technical issues, for an AJ. True , Bruno seems extreme anti-capitalist, but expect we will eventually see the jellow jacket revolt from the low and middle class, as now in France, so maybe we are doomed from many quarters.
      UG has not deleted any of my positive statements about PQ, but I hear he censored Bernard, and wonder why.
      I lie low on heat pumps since April, as I was giving a running tally on performance: technically End-Use research, most valuable for best method of power energy and demand forecasting, but some readers interpret as a fixation, but many now see the issue in terms of CDM.
      PlanetNL tomorrow I expect to present Part 2, of a least cost power option, that may yet be of value, and also I hope expose some of Nalcor's false assumptions. So, as Robert Holmes says, this UG Shadow Inquiry moves forward, despite some echo effect.
      I think anon @ 20:13 makes a good summary of why we are doomed if governance remains as described, it is not just Nalcor.
      Winston Adams

    • Winston how did you conclude I am anti capitalist? It is time we started talking about 15 billion as the cost of the MF debacle.

      Has being in Huston made you wear that red MAGA hat? I hope things are going well for your wife.

  19. Finished reading P-01518, HQ position on Nalor and Cflco on the Block Theory. Seems to me that the Block Theory was advanced by a Nfld Blockhead. I wonder if Gilbert Bennett had a hand in that, was a first thought. I am open to counter argument why the Block Theory would have legal merit, but I do not see it. And MFs was sanctioned that Block Theory would hold up?
    Winston Adams

  20. Hi Bruno, yes maybe you are not extreme anti-capitalist, and on reflection a job to know where you are: certainly Lennon's anti Vietnam stance you and I share, and war and capitalist profits go hand in hand. You adore Musk, a high stakes capitalist, who, like Nalcor, put extreme risks on his shareholders, and recently got punished. You align most with the poor and downtrodden, which I like. And 15 billion wasted, yes , insanity, and many businesses supported it, the BOD
    So, I withdraw my comment, but you seem to like Musk over W. Buffett, because Musk is into renewable energy products, somewhat understandable.
    Here In Houston, should have brought my long johns, a touch of frost when we came on the 14th, and the tree turned yellow and orange and many leaves have fallen, so much like NS or Nfld in Oct. But the temperature alternates and some days reaching 23C. There is no running away from this climate change, as this is unusual for Houston for NOV.
    A Cat Scan here at Anderson is $10,000 US. a 15 minute walk up the street a private clinic, A cat Scan is 700.00!. In St John's a scan following surgery was 12 weeks scheduled, and should have been say 2 weeks. Here at the private clinic you can walk in, see a doctor, then get blood tests prior to a scan, then the scan. In all 2 hrs. So 2 hrs instead of 12 weeks. So, no monopoly for the health care nor power generation, and wind power here is very big.
    My wife had liver resection, first in St John's in June, and now again here. The oncologist, one week post surgery said she is "remarkably well" , and the surgeon said she was good to travel. Liver surgery was on Tuesday, the 20th, and she was down to the hotel resturant here for supper Sunday night, the 5 th day. Walking about 1 hr per day, and we fly home on Wed.
    Technically now a NED (no evidence of disease) but some more chemo needed Jan to Mar to mop up any residual cancer cells that scans do not detect. Smaller than 3 mm they cannot see.
    There are no guarantees, and follow up checks is essential, but it is the most optimistic I have been for her health for the past year. With aggressive tumors, timing of treatments is most critical.Her colon reversal never got done,as planned, so that may follow in St John's, so even here the are not perfect.
    Appreciate the good wishes from you and others. The treatment proposed for the liver back home was RFA (radio frequency ablation), so like a heat probe. It is inferior to surgery, and can damage more of the liver, has higher risk of cancer recurrance, and so worse cure rate or survival time. The tumor was in a tricky place, which presented problems for doing in Nfld.
    So, this morning I followed J Kennedy a little. He is more or less disappointed at the boondoggle result, but shows no anger, not like when he represents criminals in court, he gets very upset, but not at this mess.

    • Thanks, Ex Military. To recap, I had 4 relatives come down with cancer, an older brother and sister are doing relatively ok, but not cured. My grandson, aged 13 had very aggressive cancer, that needed emergency surgery within 24 hrs, a tumor wrapped around his spine, and migrated to some lymph nodes. Very aggressive cancer of that type is more treatable with 85 % success rate. He was thought to be curs after 3 months, but then found they used the wrong drug protocol, meaning a higher risk of recurrance. So more aggressive chemo, another 2 months of treatment, in isolation for several weeks, very harsh, but came through it ok, and now back to school and swimming and bike riding, necessary to regain some muscle control. So doing fine, also a NED, very lucky as many kids are not so fortunate. The Janeway hospital, in my opinion, has twice as good as care and service as adults in the main system, partly because they raise a lot of funds and attention.
      My wife is also very fortunate at this point. Risk factor for success for stage IV is P10-P15, to use Nalcor type risk factors, so much as to go right to succeed; important factors include nutrition, exercise, stress reduction, support, spiritual, besides chemo and surgery. I have learned much about this dreadful disease, and see that complications along the way is more risk than cancer itself.
      This morning I abandoned watching Jerome at the Inquiry, and agree with anon@ 14:49 and 15:12. Every few minutes addressing the counsel as Mr Learmonth, rather meek and mild in attitude. So we went for a 2 hr walk in a park area near by. I was very impressed, Eric with a bridge, instead of parallel arches on either side, the arch, of 30 in dia pipe, went diagonal across to the opposite side, so these arched met at the centre point of the arches, and cables dropped at intervals to support the weight.Haven't seen that before, and very stable and seems immune to vibration. I also admire the compact gas fired power plants here, in the heart of the city, combined with cooling cooling towers, and spray water evaporation, seems rather clean and efficient, and think of the dirty old Holyrood plant, and what 12.7 billion could have done. A high crime on our citizens by these scallywags.
      Last week I was stressed more than Gilbert Bennett on the hot seat,as to the surgery outcome. Now I get a chance to walk and observe things of interest, and what might have been.
      My wife is pleasantly amused that I report to Eric, or Bruno of her health condition, and she is constantly updated on things back home, informing me that Eastern Health had lost or misplaced some 600 test results. Seems every week a new low for our Nfld health care, under MR Haggie,who, with that British accent, that gives me shivers, rather than assurance.

  21. Here at Houston, I walk about 4 times a day, there is much green grass and trees, and when warm, a few small lizards dart unto the side walks, like in Florida. But I see very little wild life, just a few squirrels. Yesterday I saw one small bird on the side walk , dead. Today at the park area, walking there for more than an hour I saw one bird. So, in all, after 2 weeks, 2 birds, one alive and one dead. This evening, at dust, near the hotel, I saw something at first I thought a partridge size bird, about 50 ft from the sidewalk in a low lying area, moving through fallen leaves. Then it looked my way, and I thought it was a possum, which I have never before seen, and it then went into some shrub underneath a large wooden bench area.
    What I described to my wide to be a small river that snakes it way near here , they call bayous. A sign in the park says Houston area has 2500 mile of these. The one here is all concrete lined,the sides sloped at about 30 degrees and the bottom also concrete. I guess 180 year ago , in Davey Crocket days and Sam Houston, these bayous were all natural, not concrete lined, and lots of fish and birds. In Logy Bay, in spring, by my house you see 3 or 4 robins on the lawn daily, and now the winter birds arrive. And the crows are regulars, every day. So here, what is like paradise as to warm weather and flowers, and lots of green , but no birds. But lots of workers with gas powered trimmers and blowers, and near constant 6 lane traffic. I guess the air quality is not so good. A sign in the hotel back garden says "Do not feed the birds" What birds , I wonder?
    We Canadians call ourselves snow birds,those that winter south. A real bird knows better. Houston, ok to visit, and extremely friendly people, but the ROCK, wit all it problems, is still number one, but we leave the next generation with a awful mess with this Muskrat Falls. I try and picture all these cars being electric some day, and maybe birds in Houston, but Nissan has top CEO problems, something like ED Martin. Got millions that is in question such that they cancelled their big promo for longer range on their 2019 LEAF electric. And too GM stopping production on their Chevy VOLT . Americans wants bigger gas trucks and SUVs. Climate change be dammed. So we have but 12 years for a solution to that problem, so why worry about the 57 year Nalcor Take or Pay?