ED MARTIN’S HYDRO PURGE OF 2005

Guest Post by Ron Penney

In
my guest post of October 4th I explained how the 2002 Gull Island deal was scuttled by then Leader of the Opposition, Danny Williams, aided and abetted by
the then Chair of the Board of
 
Newfoundland Hydro, Dean MacDonald, and board member Mark Dobbin.
When
Mr. Williams became Premier in 2003 he proceeded to commence a series of
personnel changes at Newfoundland Hydro which has led directly to the Muskrat
Falls boondoggle.
The
first was the appointment of Gilbert Bennett in 2003 to oversee the Lower
Churchill project. Mr. Bennett formerly worked with Rogers Cable, whose work
experience is in telecommunications. He is no doubt a bright and competent
telecommunications engineer but it is hard to see how that experience readied
him for his current role.

Then
Mr. Williams appointed Ed Martin as CEO in 2005. He is an MBA whose work
experience is in the oil and gas industry, largely in finance.
The
first thing that Mr. Martin did when he assumed his new position was to fire
anyone at Hydro who did have relevant experience and replace them largely with
oil and gas people.
I
was reminded of that fact on Thursday, October 24, 2018 when the extremely competent Maureen
Greene gave her testimony to the Inquiry. She was legal counsel to the PUB when
it heard the Muskrat Falls reference. I highly recommend to the readers of
Uncle Gnarly that they watch the archived webcast of her testimony to see her
bravura performance.
During
her testimony she revealed that she was asked to apply for the position of CEO
when the then CEO, Bill Wells, retired. She wasn’t successful as we know and
the rest is history.
So
shortly after Mr. Martin was appointed he proceeded with a purge of the
executive of Newfoundland Hydro.
Former Nalcor CEO Ed Martin

At
the VP level he fired the VP of Legal Services and Human Resources, the same
Maureen Greene mentioned above, who had over 25 years experience, and the VP of
Planning, and the VP of Finance.  The VP
of Engineering retired at the end of the year. They all had in excess of 25
years of Hydro experience. He then proceeded to the next level of Directors and
fired another half dozen, including the Director of Generation Engineering and
the Director of Systems Planning, all with over 25 years of experience.  200 years of experience out the door as he
was preparing to proceed with the largest hydro project, by far, in our
history. Replaced largely by oil and gas people.

One
of these Directors made the point to me that no major oil and gas company would
hire hydro engineers to build an oil and gas project. 



Related to this Post:

Missed Opportunity: Scuttling of the 2002 Gull Island Framework Agreement
Just
imagine where we would be today if Maureen Greene has been appointed CEO.
Knowing her as I do I am quite confident she would have proceeded step by step
and incrementally to get us to the real prize – the end of the Upper Churchill
Contract in 2041.
And
she would have ensured that Holyrood was properly maintained so that Dark NL
would never have occurred.
Those
personnel decisions have led directly to where we find ourselves today with a
project which will cause great hardship to ratepayers and taxpayers and is a
real threat to our sovereignty as a self-governing province of Canada.

Ron Penney

GROUP SEEKS PUBLIC SUPPORT FOR CABOT MARTIN RESEARCH AWARD

Cabot Martin’s sudden passing, in September, has stirred his friends, colleagues, and others familiar with his work, to honor him and encourage continued work in applied research and public policy development.

GILBERT BENNETT AND THE CONSEQUENCES OF CRONYISM

$1 million is not bad farewell for a fellow whose work performance represents one of the principal reasons for a twenty million dollar Public Inquiry, and who failed so badly in his job so badly that NL Hydro is still trying to define the mess that he (and others) has left behind.

THE “ODE”: SHORT CUT TO POLITICAL CORRECTNESS LANDS MEMORIAL IN HOT WATER

As much as anything else, it is also a simple love song to a people and to their place. It is deficient in the language of inclusion, yes, sexist by the standards of today, too, but only those who misunderstanding the language of respect ascribe to it offense whether to aboriginal, to gender, or to religious belief.

125 COMMENTS

  1. Yes Ron your analysis is spot on but Maureen was passed over for the job and fired when the White Knight took over quite by design.

    She would have objected to the madness and been a constant burr under Ed's saddle. The operation was a command performance directed from the top and there was no room for a competent cog in the corporate wheel.

  2. From the article: "Danny Williams, aided and abetted by the then Chair of the Board of Newfoundland Hydro, Dean MacDonald"

    Then from the CBC: "A mystery numbered company that is leasing land to Canopy Growth for a government-supported cannabis production facility shares an address both firms linked to a prominent businessman with Liberal ties. … According to public records, at least three of MacDonald's companies — Newfoundland Growlers Inc., Deacon Investments, and Deacon Sports and Entertainment — all have the same Suite 301 address."

    It seems that a small group of generally wealthy people with family and business connections in this province cause destruction far out of proportion to their numbers. The province is just their personal playground to rape and pillage with impunity.

    • What will be done, Bruno?

      Nothing.

      The people don't care. As long as you keep conspicuously spending public money in their communities, and delivering make-work projects, of which Muskrat is the biggest of all time, the people don't care and won't care.

      They do not care.

      No matter what the long-term consequences might be, as long as people are fat and happy in the short term, they don't care and won't care.

      They do not care.

    • Anonymous 16:26. If you could just clearify for the people. Are you including yourself as one of the people, if so, then you might be saying " we the people do not care" If you are outside looking in, then you will no doubt say, "they do not care". Please clearify. Are you one of the people making that decision?

    • Anonymous10 December 2018 at 16:26, Do you think they will care when energy costs 23 cents and still there are rolling blackouts?

      Will they care when the LIL is destroyed by ice?

      Will they care when an earthquake breaches the north spur?

    • Bruno, the people of NL, overall, don't give a crap about issues of governance or accountability or the machinery of government. They really and truly don't.

      Bill 29? It was a media tempest and a few other activists. Most people didn't give a crap: the PC's were still popular and handing out cash.

      Will people care if any of your fantastic disaster scenarios play out? sure.

      But do people care about access to information or the competence of deputy ministers or the oral culture within government or the fact that Nalcor wags the dog or any of the other process-related scandals revealed so far?

      NO THEY DO NOT.

      If you were a Newfoundland Marocchio, you'd know this in your bones: AS LONG AS THE GOVERNMENT KEEPS DOLING OUT THE CASH, NO ONE GIVES A CRAP ABOUT ANYTHING.

      And on the flip side, that's the only thing that turns a popular politician into an unpopular one: there is nothing more likely to rile up the NL electorate than a politician who tries to dial back the flow of money out the money hose.

    • With characteristics somewhat likened to hired gun, the danger of elevated authority to chief is striking. Political motivation drove the PM process. There appears to be no abort capability. Absolute power. How could things go wrong?

    • Too bad that O'Brien is not up to the task of questioning Martin. She continues to get flustered and is easily knocked off her line by Martin. Her recovery is poor and she seemed happy to be able to call for an early lunch break. Martin, like Kennedy, has taken to addressing the Commissioner directly. He appears intent on telling his story regardless of what one O'Brien is trying to construct without much success to this point.

    • Your appraisal of Kate O'Brien's performance misjudges excellent work. This is a marathon not a sprint. I expect that she will deal with the evidence and with Ed Martin as skillfully as she has so many others Witnesses. A good many lawyers can learn from her abilities. Don't be too quick to condemn.

    • Let's see. For sure her approach is more respectful than Learmonth. I also understand she is a good lawyer. Of the two co-counsel, she is more likely to have witnesses talk more openly. Learmonth's approach is entertaining but I don't feel is productive. In fact, I think it is counter productive.

    • Des, Exactly what good is a good lawyer in a rigged game? In the long term if this is a marathon as you point out what can come of a single commissioner with TOR that can't point fingers of what use use is a competent co-council?

      The inquiry has so far pointed hither and yon but nary a mention of the D word. Will the inquiry ever get to the ironclad decision early to build a political legacy? No deviation from the plan from the clan chief permitted.

    • According to Ed, Gill's commissioning skills are above average. Stan must have been convinced also, as Bennett was retained and is gainfully employed to the task at hand. Why is the public, through the shareholder not getting timely updates; Budget/cost reviews, schedule, significant incident reports, overall cost to complete? Is Stan playing the shareholder like Ed did. Enough. Dwight is negligent, like the double D's were. To miss an opportunity presented by Trudeau/Legault to negotiate the years of acrimony away, and come up with a combined best energy policy for the Atlantic Region is unacceptable and unforgivable. Is he already getting set to run from tory ways down the rabbit hole.

    • PQ at $13 billion in equalization and $11 billion for 4 other provinces and none for BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario and NL and Quebec stands In the way of the energy east pipeline. What is wrong with this picture?

    • To Anon 19h46
      Etienne addressed that point pretty clearly not too long ago.

      Basically, when you add in all Federal spendings (equalization and other transfer payments, all good/services/salaries expenditures); the Feds spends way less than what it collects in Quebec.

      I can personally attest that situation from the 3 different federal departments I worked in.

      ————————

      Ideally, Quebec should collect alone ALL its taxes and just pay for the services it gets from Ottawa, PERIOD. (ie those svc under Federal jurisdiction like National Defense, Coast Guards, CBSA, ambassies etc).

      That would solve any ambiguities on equalization payments, wouldn't it???

    • By example, DND spends about 14% of its budget in Quebec (Basically an army base in Valcartier, an airbase in Bagotville and a logistical center in Longue Pointe/Montreal).

      That 14% should get much lower once we waste those billions in that shipbuilding program boondoggle (4 times the costs to obtain delayed subpar ships)

  3. Teflon Ed Martin: If the glove don't fit , you must aquit. Worked for Simpson.
    Edmond say CDM just can't work for Nfld, as no need to consider it. (CDM for heating offered perhaps the best opportunity of any plance in the world for CDM to work wonders). Can't work, says ED, because his internal experts, Humpheries and Bennett said so. About 4 external experts said it should be considered in a formal way. Also, I suggest not as a stand alone , but optimized with optimum wind and small hydro considerations; run all of these options, an IRP approach. So they ignored the external experts and went with internal experts , who Ed acknowledged had no expertise in hydro systems.
    Martin, the biggest bullshitter yet, and he tries to go over Kate to appeal to Leblanc with his stupid rationale and excuses, but Leblanc is taking his bait.
    Winston Adams

  4. What is the definition of "most qualified" and "right person" given that these people wouldn't be selected in an open job competiton? We see this pattern over and over ad nasuem. Does right mean "good foot soldier, loyal lieutenant, crony, family member, business associate and/or certified sycophant"?

    From Michael Conners on Twitter: "O'Brien asks why Martin didn't do an open competition for the project manager job. Martin says "that's the *last thing I'd do*" for a major project. "I would never do that." He says he would always seek out the right person for the job. #nlpoli"

    And from MHA Mitchelmore: "“I had made the determination that Carla Foote was deemed the most qualified person to fill the role" Carla apparently doesn't even have a university degree.

    Then there was the AG report on the school board talking about unqualified people getting positions in secret competitions and then given upscale hiring bonuses.

    The whole system (core government and its crown corporations) is stuffed with people that were not selected via professionally run job competitions. What we hear about is only the tip of the iceberg.

    I am amazed that Ed Martin had the nerve to admit that he would never do an open competition for anything important.

    • Put all the appointment process in place that you like. The CNLOPB still ends up with former liberal politician Grimes as its most recent appointment. A school teacher is just the sort of expertise that is needed for oversight of the offshore. Another farce.

    • Another example perhaps, the RNC is now finishing up it's 2018 recruitment drive, gone through hundreds of NL gals and guys and now down to a few dozen I expect. GOOD STUFF I am sure.

      Why then did they "reach out" to the young Jamacian kid who was about to leave the province and say "you are just the type we are looking for"

      I wonder did they "reach out" to any of the 700 others? Or just the dozen or so of friends and relatives who "Make the Cut"

    • The CNLOPB is and has always been a farce. It has a dual mandate to regulate and promote the offshore development. It is light on regulation and heavy on the promote mandate, particularly if problems appear.

      There has just been the largest spill in Canadian history and the CNLOPB has done little or nothing. The liability limits are a joke if and when they fine the polluter.

    • Maybe so Bruno but none of that is helped when the two current holier-than-thou Liberal governments, provincial and federal, continue to populate the boards of public bodies and executive positions with political hacks with little to no knowledge of the issues facing the organizations. I was foolish enough to expect better than the conservatives but the liberals are in fact worse.

    • I am afraid I can't argue with you Anonymous10 December 2018 at 18:03.

      Sunny Ways was a lib lie. Junior lied to everyone (remember the cheers in Dallas from the oilmen) and at the same time promised carbon cuts while he bought and/or promoted pipelines going east and west. In the end none of it will come to pass but Junior hopes the smoke will get him another majority.

      We need systemic change, and fast at all 3 levels of government. Being passive spectators is no longer an option. It may be time to charge that hill and go over the top boys!

  5. As the learned judge might say, I am just trying to get the lay of the land. Can't really offer any firm conclusions yet on Eddie, but he seems to shoot a lot of BS and opinions rather than facts. Was hoping he might say, the buck stops here, but seems he is saying the buck stops here, there, everywhere, and nowhere. Everyone is responsible for their own job and assignment,so spread the blame. Don't think that's what we wanted to hear. Think we wanted to hear from the real boss to be responsible and be accountable to the shareholders, the people. He is not a real man, or a real leader. I actually thought he had some form of engineer credentials, educational or otherwise, but seems they are only in the fincincial domain. But he knew all about rebar and cement, so all the same if you are building a dam or a GBS. Maybe he participated in Hibernia, WR, TN and Hebron oils fieds etc. but at what levels. Don't think it was at the level of go….no go and the top executive. Seems he was a maga project trying to find a place to happen. All we needed was a little bit of power not a maga project. Wrong man in the wrong place at the wrong time. If his maga project was based on economical returns, then maybe he would have attracted third parties…like private enterprise. But he went ahead …as the do it alone, on the backs of the rate payers and taxpayers. No don't think he is Teflon either, or honest, more arrogant and defiant, like I know best. Think by the end of the week he may be more like a bull in a china shop. So guess time will tell says average Joe.

  6. In view of the mess we are already in, can you believe this? Gull Island mega-boondoggle here we come !!!!! Be the boom!!!! Be the boom !!!!

    "Quebec Premier Francois Legault tweeted a picture of himself with Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Dwight Ball, and said, in French, that the two spoke about potential hydroelectric development between the two provinces to create jobs and build a strong relationship." https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/newfoundland-labrador/premier-ministers-1.4939023

    Seems it is the Liberal Party's turn at putting the screws to rate/taxpayers. Do anyone in their right mind think that NL is in any position — fiscally —- to negotiate with anyone? Is Quebec in need? Is Quebec the one on its fiscal knees?

    Never thought I would have to give thought to voting PC (or NDP) so early after booting them out of office.

    • As you know Maurice these megaprojects only work if a helpless rate/taxpayer is on the hook for the costs, costs a privately owned utility would never incur. Let us hope it is just Dwight having a photo op with that square chin (and square head).

      As you know I believe that the age of remote generation is over and will never again compete with sun, wind and battery storage.

      Even our addiction to megaproject jobs can't stand up to economic analysis. I don't think even a strongman can pull off Gull!

    • I would like details on Gull before assuming Quebec cannot make it pay. Remember Nfld put no money into CFs, and it is now worth about 13 billion to Nfld as 2/3 asset owner. Quebec first needs more markets for hydro power, and climate change should see that utilized, perhaps if the Feds assisted with transmission to NB and NS.
      Bruno believes remote generation is over, but never defines what remote means: 100, 300, 500, 700 or more miles?
      We have 12 years to turn around climate change or game over as feedbacks factors dominate, so no human solution is then possible. Quebec has 61 hydro sites, and consistently is within budget and schedule, including CFs. They are not boondoggle inclined. But who of Nfld is qualified to evaluate a good deal on Gull for Nfld?
      And when do we connect coastal Labrador to the grid?
      Winston

    • For gods sake Winston, the distance depends on distance and jurisdiction crossed. There is no absolute answer.

      You need to look at the big picture Winston. The point is too far is energy that costs more than the 4-5 cent KwH cost of wind and sun delivered to market.

      It is easy Winston, Gull for instance does not stand a chance of being delivered to market at 5 cents! Get it now Winston?

    • Winston are you still Gull(ible) enough NL or PQ or any damned body can build new capacity, ship it 1500Km through 3 jurisdictions and deliver it for 5 cents KwH.

      Can't be done, anywhere, anytime by anybody Winston.

      Has MF taught you nothing? Does that ring short circuit your logic circuits Winston.

      Gull is too far, end of story, lesson learned unless you want the poor rate/taxpayer to cough up 10 to 20 billion more to cover the costs?

      Don't you care about future generations?

    • WA @ 22:47:

      I doubt coastal Lab will ever be connected to the grid – distances and consumer bases make it not viable in my estimation. Any chance of that was lost when the MF line took the Anglo-Saxon route and varied from the highway, even if on the highway it still wouldn't be viable is my guess.

      For Gull, the only plausible answer I can see is for HQ to run 200kms line to CF – then upgrade (or worse twin) existing lines which are probably nearing mid-end of life. Noone in NL is qualified to make the decision to proceed with Gull – I don't expect it to go in my career.

      PENG2

  7. Dwight and Francois were out to dinner over the weekend, christ I hope Dwight turns all NL hydro over to QC to manage, we;ll all have cut-rate electricity and all the poutine, maple syrup and Labatt 50 we'll ever need YYAAAYAYA je me souviens!!!

  8. "It's not my job to keep him in the loop. If you're not in the loop, go get in the loop. He's the CFO of the company. Get on with it," Martin offered.

    So much for the team approach to completing the mission.

    If this was Apollo 13 the astronauts would've been doomed.

    How in the name of Christ were such ill-suited individuals put in charge of this ill-fated project?

  9. If you Google "CDM Directive-Ontario" you will see how simple it is to reduce power demand, because when there'w a will there's a way. This concept is not workable in Nfld according to Ed Martin, but ONT has been doing this for over a decade, Vermont maybe 25 years, NS 10 years robust CDM.
    By Energy Efficiency programs in 2017, ONT reduced an equivalent to taking 200,000 houses off the grid.
    Directives given by the Minister of Energy or DM, and so would have been by Kennedy or Bown for Nfld, once these directives become routine actions and govn policy.
    While Kate addressed this issue today, there was no quantifying the potential, but she pointed out 3 % or more should have been spent and less that 0.8 % spent, from a 2008 study for Nfld, and other reports since then. The public needs to know that our island power solution should likely have not exceeded 2 billion, not 12.7 billion.
    Perhaps even todays discussion exceeded PENG2 expectations?
    Winston

  10. Can't do CDM says Ed, because we need to be certain to keep the lights on. CDM does not give certainty as to results says Ed. This from a man that uses a P1 certainty for schedule of MFs, and P50 for risks! And he needs certainty for CDM to keep the lights on,
    Even Kate used his phrase about "keeping the light on" as a critical issue. The small 50 MW gas turbine at Hardwoods would keep all the lights on in Nfld, or a few of the small Nfld power hydro on the Avalon could handle that. It is not lights that are critical, but heat. An emergency is when there is no heat in winter. If residential lights take 35 MW , heat is 650 MW. As PlanetNL pointed out, heat load was both our problem and viable low cost solution. Light is a red herring, as Ed know electric heat was the problem, and he does not want to admit to an easy solution. 300 % efficient electric heat, Ed, forget lights. We use lights all summer long, with grid loads of less than 700 MW, and almost 1200 MW of hydro power. Lights don't overload the grid, heat is the issue. For years Take Charge has been promoting lights for fake energy savings, when you should have addressed heat. Kate, set him straight :Heat not light. Heat not light. Priority is heat. Tell Ed to read UG PlanetNL. We know DW and Tommy reads it,and were upset, as they called it Uncle Knoby, they told Leblanc.
    Gil told me he used a HP,and so does DW, does Ed use one? Maybe their's don't work? Or they just prefer AJs, or the poor not have them? Hope others will hammer Martin on his lack of assessing all reasonable options, as he is dishonest to suggest they did so.
    Winston

  11. This guy's job title should have been CIO, chief incompetence officer. He got rid of great people and gathered a bunch of incompetents around him, a bunch of square pegs in round holes. No leadership skills and does not understand that there is no 'I' in team. There is little wonder that we are in the mess we are in with this project. As dirty Harry's black friends would say, a stone cold waste of white.

    • I think maybe it is perhaps more important now to focus on all the various acts of incompetence including the low balling of estimates, the downplaying if not willful hiding of the risk realities to project budget and schedule, most of which have materialized. Then there are activities to modify consultant opinions in favour of the interconnected option. Then there is the seriously flawed CPW analysis relying on fantasy predictions for the price of oil and fantasy load growth predictions. Then there is the decision to manage the project inhouse without the necessary skills and experience. The list goes on…..

    • How about the water management agreement or disagreement and the loss of gravy. Perhaps Ed can show us where the gravy is hidden. Is it in the basement of Hydro Place? The water disagreement seriously impacts the so-called business case for the project.
      When the government changed in Nova Scotia and they put the squeeze on for a sweeter deal, why did we not pull out of the already poor deal, when we had that opportunity?

  12. News Flash: Nalcor is the most transparent company in the WORLD! (according to Edmond J Martin)

    January 2016: https://www.atlanticbusinessmagazine.net/18498/ Interview with Ed Martin

    DC: How do you respond to critics who seem to think you are hiding something from the people of the province, that you’re trying to push it through at all costs?

    EM: Consistently, we’ve had tremendous support for the project every time it’s been polled independently by CRA or somebody. Sixty to 65 per cent of the people support the project. Twenty per cent are against it. And the remainder are undecided. We know people are generally in favour of it. Apart from that, I don’t know how people think. Change is never easy. But we’re all Newfoundlanders and Labradorians and all of our children live here. We’re all doing it for the same reasons. The thought that someone in our company knew that we were doing something that wasn’t for the right reasons long term for the children, I guess we just don’t get it.

    We ask the same questions. I don’t think there’s anything to hide. Every number is out there. We’re the most transparent company in the world. We’ve got thousands of pages of documents in the public, we answer hundreds of queries every year. I’m certainly accessible to the public, explaining what’s happening. We’ve had independent review after independent review. At a certain point, you’ve just got to keep moving.

    >> Note that that public support for Muskrat Falls was based on deceiving the public with lies, propaganda. media bias and suppressing critics. Now that the truth is out, nobody supports the project.

    >> Anyone know what Ed's true background is? His bio states a business administration degree from MUN in 1980. He was born about 1959 so would have started MUN around 1976. I think someone told me he started engineering but dropped out — but I could be mistaken.

  13. Big bad Ed has as much attitude as he does hot air. Telling O'Brien to "proceed" with her questioning. I wonder if big bad Ed would say something like that to Little Danny W, hand that feeds him? Me thinks not.

    "Yes Mr. Williams sir, a hydro dam Mr Williams sir, brilliant idea Mr. Williams sir. Shall we proceed Mr. Williams sir?"

    • Yeah, he's behaving as if MF has no "Boondoggle" label, is on time and is on budget. If it wasn't so comical it be sad. However, $6million in your bank account would give you some swagger regardless of the facts.

    • In the interview at: https://www.atlanticbusinessmagazine.net/18498/ we have outrageous confidence from Ed Martin. Is this Dunning-Kruger in action? E.g. "In the field of psychology, the Dunning–Kruger effect is a cognitive bias in which people of low ability have illusory superiority and mistakenly assess their cognitive ability as greater than it is." – wikipedia

      Now back to Ed Martin's interview:

      "Since we sanctioned the project we’ve done an arrangement with Emera that gives us an additional market for some of that power. We picked up another $300 million in value there. We picked up an extra $500 million in financing value over and above what we expected and an extra $300 million in sales of excess energy that we weren’t planning for initially. So while we have some cost issues on one side, we have had some offsets on the other. We’re still in a very good spot with this project.

  14. Certainly, M. Martin puts forth a compelling argument to go, go, go, with regards to the total build out of the Muskrat, in one glorious binge. He was hired gun with full intent to proceed, regardless of obstacles., including counter argument. Win the war at all cost for a greater good. We Engineers in the 50's studying Engineering Economy analysis, were taught a more cautious approach to advising Owners how and when to expend the resources. We would arrive at a point where a question of doubt entered; Why build now? What would be the advantage of deferral of the major commitment say 1 year, 5 year, 10 year? Quite often Owners would rationalize short term maintenance, smaller capital risk projects, supported by annual cost analysis, to achieve satisfactory results; There seem to be near panic urgency to "keep the lights on". This seemed to lay heavily on the decision team. Doubt seemed to have been washed away by very compelling argument. Long range dubious demand forecasts were taken as matter of fact.

  15. Ed keeps deflecting to the CPW advantage of Muskrat over Isolated when asked about risk allowance.

    The translation of Ed's defence is this: bungling billions on Muskrat is worth it because he would have bungled greater billions on the Isolated alternative.

    Well that makes it just alright now doesn't it.

  16. Listening to Mr. Ed bob-n-weave, one can also hear the lawyers for Astaldi, Emera, any and all Muskrat contractors, aboriginal groups here and in QC, wire makers in US, and Chinese turbine manufacturers laughing with joy at the thought of all the billable hours are in their future as their clients sue and win mega-bucks from Nalcor. Ed's comments, particularly concerning the integrity of independent consultants will provide chapters of text in books on ethics.

  17. ED SAID

    These people are world class…… Mr Kean is a big boy………this is what they do, they work all over the world, they have so much experience

    Can Ed tell me where in the big wide world Mr Kean worked BEFORE Muskrat ? How many years of experience did he have ?

    He was still wet behind the ears in 2007……… hardly out of Uni.

  18. Worst case of perfection anyone has seen in this province since John C. Doyle of Nalco fame and Oliver Vardy. Doyle reached Panama but as I recall Oliver Vardy was fleesed out of his ill-begotten gains by Florida lawyers while fighting extradition back to Canada to face justice.

  19. Yes, think my first impressions of The 6$ Million Gatekeeper, or is that the 13$ billion boondoggle man, from yesterday still stands. Could add, the adage, " don't confuse me with the facts, I have already made up my mind". He admits that he made all the big decisions without consulting his management team. That was his job. I suggest that along with that job, goes responsibility and accountability, to his share holders, the people, but he wants no part of that. Prefers to work in secretecy, don't give out any information, keep the people in the dark. Mitigate all risk, at least in his mind, by spending more and more of our money prior to sanction. Relieve the pressure. His modus operandi. Should have stayed in the private sector, and spared us his irrational behaviour says average Joe.

  20. The developers of a long-delayed project to deliver hydroelectric power from Quebec to New York City say that construction will start in 2020.
    Looks like Hydro Quebec is ready to supply power to New York City in 2023
    First unveiled in 2008, the Champlain Hudson Power Express (CHPE) is a proposed 536-kilometre underground high-voltage line to supply customers in New York City with hydroelectricity generated in Quebec dams by provincial utility provider Hydro-Québec.

    https://www.nationalobserver.com/2018/12/06/news/construction-major-electricity-line-quebec-new-york-city-start-2020

    • Thanks for this article. It shows that northern power dams in Labrador and QC have potential to feed the southern grids. All it takes is some settling of political disconnect. Maybe NB premier Higgs will look around one day and see HQ transmission lines from both directions. Direct connection at Edmunston can cut out the Belledune coal fired with green pipe. Similarly, Trenton and Lingan. Voila, green pipe via the maritime link to NL.

    • Gosh Robert,They can deliver it at 5 cents KwH.They can deliver power at a loss! Hydro Quebec has lots of stranded power that they can sell to make some cash.

      Robert I thought that engineers were trained to do back of the envelope calculation to quickly determine if a project is viable. Can you build a plant, 1500Km power lines and make money when it fetches 4 or 5 cents KWH?

      Engineers are supposed to be a practical lot!

    • Bruno, in a general sense, we are trained in the application of "Applied Science". That's the practical part to which you refer. Too often, by my own experience, the base assumptions under which an Engineer is contracted can be in the realm of subjective bias on the part of the Employer or Owner. We are collectively and as individuals, within the contracts we sign on to, prone to stray from the code.

    • "Champlain Hudson Power Express (CHPE) is a proposed 536-kilometre underground high-voltage line to supply customers in New York City with hydroelectricity generated in Quebec". This is the cost of proposed project.

      HQ has oversupply of thousands of megawatts from its northern dams.

    • Sounds a bit like Albertans, mismanaging the rate of extraction, without a clue how demand/supply economics works. Maybe NL premiers, envious of Levesque/Kierns's fabulous run and legacy on HQ, deluded themselves to outsmart French Canada. Ego, I guess.

    • I don't doubt that most stray from the code but if that is true why do any of you wear that ring?

      For truth in advertising would painting your lips red as Roman whores did not be a better description of your status?

      Forgive the blunt talk.

    • Yes and I respect your integrity. The excuses you make for your profession are what I take issue with.

      Why are so many connected to this project willing to prostitute that ring, do the masters bidding rather than respect the ring?

  21. An autocracy is a system of government in which supreme power is concentrated in the hands of one person, whose decisions are subject to neither external legal restraints nor regularized mechanisms of popular control (except perhaps for the implicit threat of a coup d'état or mass insurrection).

    Ed is (was) an autocrat. He did what he wanted and controlled the agenda, made irrational decisions with impunity, took no counsel, and, given his demonstrated disdain towards the Inquiry, he continues in arrogance. He was removed by coup.

    He may be smart, but like most autocrats, that is debatable. Someone gave him the wheel and the latitude to do what he saw as his mandate to run NALCOR as he saw fit towards gaining the end (MF) despite the means.

    Obviously autocrats aren’t limited to nations, here is a case where a pseudo-state was thrust into an autocrat’s hands.
    Sad state of affairs unlikely to resolve favourably in any case.

    • Excellent summary, Tor.

      Governments are stringently monitored for how they tax, borrow and spend but Ed and Nalcor were given carte blanche to tax and borrow billions of speculative investment capital on the backs of the ratepayer. With Government striking down regulatory oversight, Nalcor could siphon and manipulate large sums of capital far easier than Government could ever attempt.

      It's shocking that Nalcor could get as far and as deep as it did and shocking also at how quickly it will all soon collapse and at least 13 billion in capital will be completely wiped out with never a cent recovered.

    • The saga of the SS Muskrat and captain Ed, I designed her, I took all the risk and partly built her, and then passed her over to Stan who kept on the same crew and on the way home a storm came up and sadly they all wrecked and sank her.

    • Well spoken Tor. Ed was exactly what his master wanted to drive his agenda. Us dissenters are just bottom feeders like gnats to be swatted. I was often coached to set democratic ideals aside when on project team building. Give the leader a strong hand so to speak. In the subject's case, Personal factors in management, seems not to have been part of the MBA curriculum.

    • Robert, you are so right when you say:
      "Albertans mismanaging the rate of extraction, without a clue how demand/supply economics works…"

      And still, they keep subsidizing exploration and extraction, widening even more that spread / price gap between Alberta crude and the market.

      Pipeline owners, CN, CP and the Americans are laughing all the way to the banks as they say.

      It was about time Nothley came out with the idea of curtailing extraction!

      FWIW, they should cap everyone to 50% of their current oil/tar sand production. For the rest, they (AB/SK? Feds?) should then sell "time limited" extraction quotas (similar to milk quotas, but time limited) to the highest bidders.

      That should bring back Alberta crude prices to reasonable levels. Keep that regime going until sufficient pipeline capacity comes online.

  22. I would like someone to question him in great detail about all the positions he has held in the oil industry prior to 2005, including his graduation from MUN. Seems if you add it all up…he could be near 400 years old.

    • Edmund Martin seems to be a nothing — internet and university archive searches are almost empty until he burst upon the scene with Nalcor. His Bloomberg profile lists University of Calgary, others show MUN commerce. So maybe tried engineering, switched to MUN business, got an MBA by distance, worked for Mobil/Hibernia in accounting roles and then late in his career, was installed as dictator of Nalcor and henchman for someone powerful. Unlike people like Dr. Bruneau whose intelligence and expertise is obvious after listening for a few minutes, Mr. Martin comes across as opinionated and well … not what you'd expect from someone at that position or salary. Rationally, you'd think people like this would not rise to the top and make millions for their failures. So much for the Peter principle.

    • Where ever M. Martin got his job training, he seems to embody the characteristics of "strong manager". What is becoming apparent, is that he was permitted to become all things and hands on for too wide an array of project activities responsibilities. This very much lead to one conclusion. As a project manager, he is a failure; wrong project strategy, lost control of his direct accountability. I sense that Stan, a consummate construction manager, found he had to dismiss Ed in order to gain the necessary levers of the pr role

  23. Ed's in full spew mode now. The more we incur in overruns, the more we can collect from ratepayers and give to government he says. In his view, overruns increase dividends and joy so what odds if the estimates were low and the risk was kept secret. He would even give back a few billion for rate mitigation so no harm done. The man is a genius even if only he can see it. He knows he only needs to convince one person of that this week.

    • Anony @ 11:09:

      I heard that to, again a nuance to determine his meaning – I need to get the transcript to properly interpret and dissect from weasel words of this for sure.

      But he seemed to imply that the overruns inturn increase the value of the MF asset – is this your interpretation of what he said?

      PENG2

    • I missed this morning's show,more of the mysterious logic of Ed Martin. Had to maintain my priority: wife's medical appointment for follow up Chemo Plan here, post liver surgery in Texas. I returned just in time to see Tommy Williams repeatedly try to have Ed to tout the benefits of MF's even at 12.7 billion, and Leblanc, to my great satisfaction, deny him more of that BS, saying it was repeated constantly already.
      Recall Tommy, who reminds me of the Marlon Brando Godfather, was upset that Bown put some blame of Kennedy, that Tommy wanted reversed, but Bown had no choice but stick with his prior testimony. The pressure by Tommy was immense on Bown , to protect Kennedy. The cameras caught Bown's expressions following that, he looked like a little boy scolded for wrong doing. Such is the pressure on individuals to comply and be yes men or yes women, and so incompetence in our governance prevails. And fear is everywhere in the public service and crown corporations.
      Ed constantly tries to ignore Kate's questions, and speaks to Leblanc, while often avoiding answering the question. Leblanc obviously sees and understands his tactics. Ed thinks he can manipulate Leblanc and mislead and fool him as he managed to do to the public for years, as CEO of Nalcor.
      Now does evidence show this whole scheme of MF is a PONZI scheme, as Vardy proposed? If so, Ed is due 150 year jail time, would not seem unreasonable, and all his bonuses and pensions and benefits seized to help RATE MITIGATION. This could be a small measure of justice. But PENG2 says the Inquiry has not got this jurisdiction to lay blame. Oh, well. Maybe there's another way, as Robert wonders if the Mounties are following this. Hope they recover more than that of the Hickman fraud, taking nearly 20 years and 30 Mounties recovered nothing of the 100 million.
      Winston Adams

  24. Interpreting Ed is impossible. He doesn’t use anything like reason, or argument. He has an immense self worth, which coupled with righteousness, means he can only state his articles of belief. His reality is his unshakeable faith in his own omnipotence. Not a humble bone in him. One wonders if he enjoys a beer and a hockey game now and then? What does he read? Does he like country music? Does he have a cabin? A quad? Has he ever shot a moose? He isn’t like us, no sir, not a bit like us at all, it seems.

  25. Just watching Leblanc trying to referee Martin and Budden. He's in way over his head. This fellow has $33M of public money at his disposal to try to shed some light on MF and all he has done is to produce a three ring circus.

    • Ha ha – with a pre-show double act of O'Brien and Learmonth displaying their bias witness after witness with the result that a key witness like Martin hardens up. Rather than speaking openly in a civilized Q&A that shed some light on what happened, Martin is on the offence out of the gate. LeBlanc seems to be seeing that this process is going nowhere thanks to his co-counsel backed up by a few more hit-and-run lawyers lined up to take home their share of the $33M as they rag the puck for months on end. We are learning nothing.

    • Anon 15:28 with your comments, we are learning that there are still some Kool-aid drinkers out there.. Mr. Ed is an arrogant asshat, we are learning that having somebody like that in charge of Nalcor can cost us $12 billion and counting.. methinks, however, that you too are an ambulance chaser and are pissed because you are either L'il Trump is hisself (or Misses L'il Trump), or your firm didn't get on the inquiry gravy train

  26. Under questioning by Budden about J Mallam testimony, Ed is making a proper arrest of himself. Ed has his p-factor understanding backwards now and has totally dismissed Mallam. Wow.

    We must nominate Ed for the CEO Olympics. Nobody can go high, faster, better, smarter than he.

    • This goes beyond ARSE, I was thinking, beyond stupid, and thinking Idiot, as several highly competent people appointed by Trump, soon described Trump, and parted ways with him.
      High P factor gives high assurance of your estimate, so risk of of overruns is reduced, as you can then allow less contingency. That is my understanding, and also Mallam, and Westney and others. Ed says Mallam got it wrong and got it back words.
      So Ed ignores those with knowledge and common sense, and applies his own false reasoning. Shocking. Unbelievable. Gave me a good beely laugh to hear Ed say he knew more about this P factor business than Mallam. Made Budden smile. Less surprised when claimed to be more knowledgeable than Westney, as now we all know that Ed is truly world class. Which world I'm not sure. Idiot world maybe. Harsh words, yes, but I am frank in that opinion. Any wonder we got a boondoggle?
      WA

    • Ed Martin is enjoying his 15 minutes of fame on the stand at the Muskrat (debacle/fiasco/boondoggle) inquiry. He and his master ignored all the warnings from qualified and capable people and here we are in the pickle of our lives here in NL and on the doorstep of energy poverty. There must be some way that justice can be extracted from the 6 million dollar man for his major role in this disaster of a deal. No smile necessary from ice-man, some bad deal bye, frown some more.

  27. Wow!!! The bully boy in the class room has just been called out by the teacher, and put in his place … You are not running the classroom, courtroom any longer, I have had enough. Well done learned judge. The 6$ million dollar man has been put in his place . The boondoggle bugger..says avera Joe.

  28. Well, the shit just hit the fan, so to speak, Leblanc has had enough. Slippery Teflon Ed may get his his coating scratched. And at high temperature, Teflon fails so expose what is underneath that natural white colour of Teflon.
    WA

  29. Looks like Da Judge has taken his soccer ball and run off the field. He lets the cadre of hit-and-run lawyers lay on the derision for 6 weeks and now can't accept a witness insisting on telling his story. He does not have to believe him and has the full authority to decide whether his answers are responsive or not. Instead he storms off like a child. Unbelievable.

    • Good on you LeBlanc, don't put up with this asshole's nonsense. Perps need to be put in their place. This bully and his bully puppeteer surely have come to the end of their line. The truth is obvious and will be told, the plebs are not totally stunned. PR and fake news be damned. Hang 'em high, bye.

  30. Ed and his buds had some book knowledge but little to NO experience in the jobs Danny hired them for.

    THIS IS THE BOTTOM LINE

    Would you take a kid from MUN who just graduated in May month and make him a project manager on a 2-3 billion $ job ???? Well he has book knowledge but no experience in project management.

    There will be 2 findings by the judge – this will be one of them.

    The 2nd will be the information passed by Ed to government and a lack of oversight by government over Ed and his buds.

    • How about "Would you put a decision about a project of this scale in the hands of Andy Wells ?" I hope that those advocating for that to have been done think that through a little more. No book knowledge nor experience.

    • Answer, yes! Andy has lots of common sense that Ed Martin obviously did not have and does not have even after the fiasco has been outed for what it is. And yes, the jackboots were marching in the suites. Don't forget the hit squads organized for the house of assembly. Has Ed Martin been asked about that yet?

    • Give me a break – I'm not for MF nor Ed Martin but the kangaroo court and the chief jester have clearly lost the plot here. They are ensuring that the $33M bill will lead to no real understanding of what happened. O'Brien and Learmonth have set the disrespectful tone for this charade and LeBlanc did not have the balls to put a stop to them early on. Martin has simply seized on that theme. As for Wells, putting him in charge of the PUB was an early sign of the sort of lunacy on the part of governments that has led to this fiasco.

    • Yes, right there as it was Danny that put Andy on The PUB. But have to realize there were others there that were engaged to do the nalcor work, as part of the PUB. Ms. Green if I recall the name correctly, and had many years in the hydro industry, and well respected. She had been asked to apply to be the head of Nalco, but guess she was not Danny's first choice.

  31. Last night on the news I saw a young man, if you can call him that, take off his shirt and with full body tatoos shake his male tits in the court room and apparently threatened the prosecutor and judge. Reminded me of Ed Martin on the stand at the inquiry, too arrogant to come across as anything but irresponsible bully. Lock them up! All of them!

  32. Think I could write a book on Eddie over the past few days but prefer to keep it rather brief. Just a couple of observations. He just doesn't get it. The project was a boondoggle then. And is still a boondoggle, as many pointed out at the time. The other things he rspouses are, look at all the jobs and income tax paid, the dividends we will be paying ourselves, and the carbon taxes we save. What hogwash. Not to mention the isolated option is based on 60 percent going to bunker C to run Holyrood. And think he is using running at full capacity for 4 months per year, and oil cost going up, and up and never coming down. More hogwash. And I gleamed he was coming up with a new kind of economics. We have all heard of Reganonomics, " trickle down economics" guess there may be some truth in that one. But think Eddie has a new " trickle up economics". He was saying that the more expensive a project is the more equity, and we have to borrow, and the more we borrow, the better it is for us. Because the government has to pay more, but we the consumers of electricity, pay less, or the rate payer and the taxpayer pay less, because the govt. pays more So guess that means that is a "trickle up economics" to the consummers. So we have Eddienominics. So if I did not get that right, you will have to ask Eddie to explain it again, and he said that several times, that was what he was best known for, the ability to explain. Think persons like Mr. Vardy, and planet NL (among others) has explained it much better in normal economic terms. He also refers to being hooked up both ways. Guess he is referring to the maratime link. Oh yes, and then he tells us all the money we are going to make on a known block of power we will sell to Emera, or ourselves directly into the US market. And then there is the unknown block of power we can sell when the River runs high on the spot market. Now that's what he use to call the gravy. But he doesn't know the gravy train has aleady left the station, and leaving most of us behind including the govt. says average Joe.

    • Vardy suggested that downsizing his house and chopping more wood are solutions to the pending electricity crisis. He seems a little befuddled, or more befuddled than normal, when he was asked by one of the lawyers how him selling his house did anything for the net demand for electricity – the buyer would still heat and light his oversized house while he rubbed sticks together to keep warm in his new digs. Vardy occupied a number of cozy chairs with former governments and no doubt had a hand in or turned a blind eye to some of the earlier monumental screw ups that define Newfoundland and Labrador.

    • Anon 18:10, you can try to deflect and distract and spin it anyway you bloody-well want in your pathetic attempts to funnel shit uphill… nonetheless, the glaring fact of the matter is thus…

      The MRF debacle was a massive bait-and-switch scheme perpetrated upon NL ratepayers and taxpayers by the highest echelons of Nalcor, under the Dunderdale government's watch.

      To try and spin it any other way is only deserving of derision.

      To gaol with those who would deceive the public into penury.

    • In support of Dave Vardy's comment on cutting wood and others moving to smaller houses:
      The Nfld power report showed that by 2011, so before sanction, that while on the Avalon new houses were about 85 % using electric heat, off the Avalon there was a decline in electric heat use for main heat source and a move to more wood heat, and rates then below 10 cents. Where did this trend fit with Nalcor expecting a continuing increase in heat loads with prices to rise to 16 cents ( immune to elasticity),with Mfs. So Vardy's comment agrees with trends happening 7 years ago.
      As for me too, with a larger house,3000 sq ft, and all kids having left the nest, now 2 bedrooms with heat at minimum, and 2 other rooms little used and heat load reduced. 2 occupants now and half the 3000 sq ft space little used. There are many of my generations who are cutting back like this, while still occupying the same house. How can such trends be ignored for forecasting. Once I install alternate heat source, there goes away more electric heat load, as Vardy says,and Planet NL says, but Ed Martin says is BS by critics. For the snowbirds with Florida houses, they set to minimum temp for 4 months and put the MFs burden on the poor.
      WA