NEW NL HYDRO CHIEF SHOULD START OVER

Denial
and deception came easily to the politicians and bureaucrats who had the
audacity to sanction Muskrat.
  Jennifer
Williams, the new NL Hydro President, should decide now if she will take a
different path than that taken by the recent Hydro Executives who helped enable
the project.



Hydro
management remained quiet as Hydro’s Board of Directors imposed a 50-year “take
or pay” contract on the province’s ratepayers — for the full capital cost of
Muskrat Falls. This contract flies in the face of Hydro’s obligations to
protect their customers and to supply power on an effective and efficient
basis. The Board shares in the blame for the
creation of an economic condition that threatens our economy and the
affordability of basic heat and light. 



Ms.
Williams faces a troubled legacy that extends beyond even Muskrat, however. Who
doesn’t remember DarkNL?


In a 2014 Report, the Liberty Group,
the PUB’s Consultant, blamed Hydro for mismanagement of the province’s hydro
assets and the lengthy blackout. Liberty cited
failures in areas as
basic as the “operation of key transmission equipment,” including a failure to
replace transformers and maintain major circuit breakers. The litany of neglect
continues in this and later Reports.

The
appointment of Jennifer Williams to the executive ranks in 2019 does not
automatically repair the public’s loss of faith in Hydro. The sooner Ms.
Williams recognizes that inescapable fact, the faster she will begin the mending process that still awaits the Crown utility. Several executives have been replaced; the job is not complete. She also needs to exhibit a better understanding of the damage done by her predecessor. The enlightenment might create
a wider perspective on what customer service really means.

Last
week, Ms. Williams wrote to the media in response to “a great deal of
commentary… about the reliability of our power system and decisions we may need
to make for the future, once both the Labrador Island Link, Muskrat Falls and
Maritime Link are fully operational.” 
The Hydro President’s press release was a commentary on an Uncle Gnarley
Blog Post written by PlanetNL and reported by VOCM News. 


PlanetNL
had undertaken an examination of two recent Reports filed with the PUB, dealing
with system reliability after Muskrat is commissioned. 


The
Reports raised the possibility of the need for rolling black-outs should the
Labrador Island Link go down during the winter months. They uncloaked two
falsehoods used to shore up the thoroughly vacuous business
case for the project. One was that the Maritime Link would act as a loop,
bringing power to the Island from Nova Scotia in the event of an LIL breakdown.
The other is a premise of Muskrat, that Holyrood would be shuttered. If the LIL
goes down, both Nova Scotia and Newfoundland lose power. The notion that Nova
Scotia could provide emergency power at such a time is naïve, if not deceitful.


The
new Reports address those assertions and warn of a third problem. 


PlanetNL
states: “Nalcor admits… they cannot assure any firm energy could be imported
over the Maritime Link during winter” and adds “even if it could… transmission
constraints won’t get the extra power to the Avalon anyway.” 


PlanetNL
notes that the constraint causes a transfer of the Avalon’s full 1100 megawatt
requirement to be short by 500 megawatts. 
It is one more reason (in addition to province-wide rolling black-outs)
why thermal back-up at Holyrood is the only safeguard against our freezing in
the dark. Only last year, Nalcor completed a brand new (and much delayed) TL to
Bay d’Espoir. Why wasn’t this problem addressed then?


Seemingly,
the new Hydro President thinks PlanetNL’s recitals from
Nalcor’s Reports are a tad too truthful for tender ears. In a covering note,
she tells reporters, “While we don’t always weigh into the public dialogue, I
felt it was important to try and clarify for the public — our customers — that
we remain committed to ensuring we are listening to their expectations,
providing them with the reliable electricity they can depend on and being
conscious of the impact of our investments on electricity rates.” This is at
best sophistry.


When,
in the last decade, has Hydro cared about the expectations of its customers?
In
addition to the problem of poor maintenance, a later 2017
Liberty Report noted inadequately-researched load
forecasting, concerns over the management culture at NL Hydro, and problems in
measuring system reliability. Who is reading these “independent”
observations as a commendation?


What
has changed?


Interestingly,
Williams is comfortable asserting the claim that an outage on the LIL has a
“low likelihood of happening”. On what basis? On Nalcor’s construction
management skills?
The
more than 3000 towers along the 1100 km TL were installed without Nalcor having
conducted any geotechnical exploration. At the
Muskrat Falls
Inquiry, evidence has been given that, already, some are
tipping. It takes only the collapse of one of those 3000 to crash the system. 


When
Ms. Williams’ rhetoric is held up against the facts, we are left to conclude
one more: denial comes easily to those who use deception to perpetuate public
ignorance of Nalcor’s unwarranted representations.


At
this late date Ms. Williams opines: “… we will continue to negotiate with our
counterparts in the Maritimes for longer term reserve sharing.” 


Not
only is her response absent the character of certainty (which a modern utility
should have plenty of) she offers this familiar refrain: with the PUB looking
on, she wants to “strike the right balance between reliability and cost before
we make additional substantial decisions on future investments (like gas
turbines, commercial contracts for imports, or continued thermal generation).”
She has no comment on, or even makes reference to, the grim reality that a
re-tooled Holyrood will cost another $1 billion or that the PUB is already
preoccupied with “mitigation” of impending unaffordable rates. 


Eight
years after NL Hydro sold out its customers in pursuit of a legacy project for
Danny Williams, the Hydro President assures us that they “will make decisions
in a cautious and prudent manner, with great consideration for costs and
impacts on customer rates.”
What
do those words even mean to people who have so shoddily treated their
customers?
Ms.
Williams is perpetuating a view, polished by her Vice-President of Regulatory
Affairs and Corporate Services when she was writing Ed Martin’s press releases,
that the public are easy pickings for a good line.  


Ms.
Williams is new to her role. She would do well take a pause and decide if she
is content to be part of the “old boys’ club” in the frame of her namesake. 


If
she is both responsible and smart, she will recognize that Hydro’s
institutional culture has been corrupted and will want to change it. She will
represent a new generation of leadership that is values-based — beginning with
honesty and integrity. She will treat transparency as an essential underpinning
of her leadership and push back against those who lie and deceive.  


Perhaps
her next press release will examine those values and how she will be guided by
them. She could begin by assuring the public that, on her watch, they will
never be duped again.


In
short, Ms. Williams should try a new beginning.

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

THE PROOF MUSKRAT FALLS IS NOVA SCOTIA’S PROJECT

The substance of Hydro’s mission is to satisfy the contracts with Emera to get large amounts of power flowing into Nova Scotia for the betterment of that province and its ratepayers.  The Island could easily live without the Muskrat Fals project and in fact, other than for the onerous Emera contracts, NL ratepayers would be best off if it was abandoned and left to rust.

FIRST YEAR OF OFFICIAL ENERGY DELIVERY NOT QUITE WHAT EMERA BARGAINED FOR

PlanetNL52: Happy Anniversary Emera on 1 Year of Official Energy Delivery Not Quite What Emera Bargained For Despite all the bad news related to Labrador Island...

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.

133 COMMENTS

  1. She needs to clean house, and maybe bring back a few good people from retirement for their deep knowledge of current systems and why things were done the way they were.

    This also parallels government and its institutions. The provincial government still has an "Ed Martin" leading it which makes repairing from within impossible. A wholesale purge of management is required because after decades of cronyism and nepotism we have nothing but incompetence, stupidity mixed in with few smart psychopaths. It is an ugly mess that must be torn down.

    • How little things change over at Nalcor/Hydro even at this time when their pet mega-project and all their key assumptions have proven to be BS. By attempting to stifle public debate and concern for issues the utility refuses to acknowledge, Williams confirms she is ready to be as big a game-player as any of her executive predecessors. Collusion with Government to quell criticism has come remarkably quick since being given the soap-box. All hail, Ed Jr! Thanks Stan for leaving us in good hands. At least we know right away what we're dealing with.

    • There will be no riots until the average person is physically hungry. Newfoundland has a safety valve — the ability to legally work anywhere in Canada. Continuous emigration for employment has resulted in almost zero population growth since 1970. If we were an isolated country and backed into a corner, anger would rapidly build and it would be like the #GiletsJaunes, now it its 20th week.

      Integrity is dangerous to employment in Newfoundland Government and its institutions. It gets you fired. Then might have to emigrate.

  2. Learmonth is providing Marshall much and repeated opportunity to say/affirm that he did not know at the time of financial close that there was a new $6.5 billion number.

    Yet, he just affirmed in response to a question about the time period around Dec 13, 2013 (time of financial close) that he "knew that there was a new number coming"!!!!

    Learmonth just moved on.

    Why not ask, 'so u knew there was a 'new number coming'? Did u ask what that new number was? Did u make sure you would get that new number BEFORE financial close? etc.etc.

    Marshall seemed to confirm that in that general time period he knew that there was a 'new number coming', but was still content to leave the number at $6.2 billion?

    Should that not be looked into more deeply?

    • Learmonth is plodding and like his questions on the spur, he had no followup questions that were screaming to be asked. I can't decide if he is disinterested , is unprepared or is just dumb!

    • Everyone in a position of power suspected it was a bad project done sole for political reasons. Everyone wanted to keep their jobs. Questioning only gets you fired. Discussing likely costs would have been most unwelcome since it might destroy plausible deniability later, when and if, the SHTF. At this point, it looks like the whole bunch got away with it.

  3. What is it that you don't understand? Learmonth and the inquiry has yet another confirmation that it was damn the torpedoes and full speed ahead. No one, including all those individuals responsible, was looking after the interest of ratepayers and taxpayers.

    • Marshall seemed to admit that he knew, prior to or at/around the financial close period, that a new number was coming. So for him and for co-counsel to just restate over and over that he did not know at that time what that new number was is just not good enough.

      Marshall said he new that a new number was coming so why didn't he go after and get it —- PRIOR TO FINANCIAL CLOSE, and why didn't co-counsel press him on that?

      Yes, no doubt, that it was full speed ahead, but the inquiry should not (when given an opening) let them off the hook by merely pleading ignorance —- and let them keep pleading that ignorance over and over and over — as if that alone is justification for not doing their duty.

    • Need to remember what the premise of the Inquiry is – something went wrong, and we know that Gov and Nalcor was deficient.

      Nothing really to be gained from focusing on manusha. Biggest thing for Inquiry is to give direction on correcting what went wrong – having a particular person say 'I did it' isn't going to happen and serves no purpose.

      Also, the Inquiry isn't going to say a group of dissenters was right or tell Nalcor to appologize, no pat on the back from this procedure.

      PENG2

    • It could have but will not establish MF is a testament to corruption, an impotent civil service, a dysfunctional regulatory system, A corrupt "independent engineer" and a dead fourth estate.

      Fertile ground for FUD by an agent of darkness like you PENG0.

    • Bruno @ 16:02:

      I am not 100% clear on what you are thinking an Inquiry is – maybe clarify and we can debate. If you are expecting fault associated with names or fault laid that's not going to happen. Also, an Inquiry wont be going to people that dissented and say 'we are sorry they didn't listen to you, hers a bouquet'.

      If that is what you are expecting, review the federal Public Inquires Act, the provincial Inquires Act and the Canadian constitution – since you obviously haven't bothered to read Gomery or Stonechild I recommended to you explaining exactly what an Inquiry is and isn't.

      PENG2

    • If you have been paying attention PEG0, you would know that I don't expect this Faux Inquiry to assign blame. Crawl back into that FUD swamp and let those of us that have been onto the MF scam from the outset free of your FUD! scam.

  4. Ha! Fat chance, Ms Williams sounds like more of the same. The poor lady is unfortunate if she does not share a blood relation with the former premier that is the cause of much of the pain facing residents paying for his legacy project.

    One note, Nalcor at the JRP never promised to close Holyrood, only reduce its function. When challenged they refused to say they would shutter Holyrood.

    • I have to disagree on the idea of taking too many notes.

      I actually come from a legal background myself.

      You can never take too many notes!

      I find it interesting that with Muskrat Falls Jerome Kennedy has a legal background therefore he took notes as he should have.

      Also Jody Wilson Raybould comes from a legal background and she also took notes as she should have.

      It is difficult to watch someone from a legal background such as Tom Marshall who appears to never taken a note on anything!

      Obviously, when you are taking your notes there maybe a high probability that you may never need to use them.

      However, as we look at Muskrat Falls it is embarrassing to see these supposedly educated knowledgeable people who never wrote down a bloody thing!

      I have lived by one thing my entire life:

      “A short pencil is better than a long memory.”

      Right about now there are plenty of people who wish they had kept a short pencil close by!

    • Anony @ 15:23:

      See my comment below at 14:57, though I would say JK has produced some notes, he was nowhere near excessive by any standard.

      I also regularly voice record phone calls and meetings – not argument then as to who said what.

      The biggest thing for me thus far – its all he said, she said. The complete lack of notes and that nobody bothered to take minutes at a meeting is completely unacceptable in the private business world – maybe its OK in the public sector???

      PENG2

    • Bruno @ 16:07:

      Or career saving – if you bother to take notes.

      This Inquiry should be a case study to young professionals as to what can happen – and just what you want to avoid in your career.

      PENG2

    • I'm over a decade at my job within gov… I go through a book every year…notes on everything, even what said in conversation's. its amazing to see these people not do the same…especially tom…wasn't he the most honest politician? some say? what a joke. all criminals the lot of them at the inquiry.

  5. Marshall keeps pleading ignorance.

    Learmonth has (earlier today) affirmed that "affordability" (not just the CPW cost comparison) was a critical issue to consider (Marshall agreed).

    Learmonth now affirms that "risk" was a critical factor — Marshall agreed (but again pleads ignorance, of not having that expertise — i.e, paraphrased, 'we didn't have that expertise'.

    On or about March 2011, in response to a CBC reporter as to my thoughts on this MF project, I replied "we don't need it, we can't afford it, and it's too high a risk".

    Now I am an not an engineer, a mega project, an economics or risk expert, and certainly never had the expertise available to me that was available to Marshall and his government cohorts. So how is it that he can argue that he and others in government lacked the expertise to see the boondoggle that is MF?

    • And MA, if you had the experience,as I did with Nfld Hydro protection systems for HV transmission, especially for the Great Northern Peninsula, you have have added "not reliable"…….which goes to the subject of today piece and Hydro CEO Williams assurances which lacks credibility.
      Winston Adams

  6. I think we are all getting a lesson in the importance of keeping notes on two different fronts.

    Most of the cast of characters in the Muskrat Falls Inquiry did not keep notes and it is actually embarrassing to watch their testimony on the stand.

    The other, Jody Wilson Raybould is probably single handedly going to take down a Prime Minister of Canada by making plenty of notes.

    The only thing I am skeptical over is I think Ed Martin, Gilbert Bennett, Paul Harrington and others INTENTIONALLY never took notes.

    No notes no paper trail.

    It’s absolutely inexcusable!

    Hey, we were only talking about 13 Billion Dollar Project!

    Why take notes!

    • Core government liked to use blackberry messenger for that purpose. E-mails that read "call me", or deleting your e-mails (inbox, sent, deleted, and the recover deleted mail box on the mail server – all before the 5pm backup deadline. Think of it as modernized mafia. Rather than a quiet conversation on a park bench, or in a basement with the furnace fan on — they constantly delete the trail.

  7. And no doubt Kennedy intentionally took notes —- many, many, many, many, many notes.

    But why would anyone keep such (perhaps even excessive) notes?

    Can one properly pay attention to such complex presentations and keep such a quantity and such detailed notes — all while trying to understand and where necessary asks proper questions? Should that be a Minister's first objective?

    Of course note-taking can also create a history that reflects what one might want any future review to reflect.

    • Ma @ 14:42:

      JK was nowhere near excessive – and yes it is the job of any responsible professional to do so, not a task to be assigned to a underling.

      I have note books going back in the late 1980s – I know who was at a tailboard I led 23-June-1989 when I was working at MTQ.

      To do otherwise is simply trying to build yourself a case of the 'I don't remember'. Not sure I agree with you 'selective' note taking premise though.

      PENG2

    • I have to disagree on the idea of taking too many notes.

      I actually come from a legal background myself.

      You can never take too many notes!

      I find it interesting that with Muskrat Falls Jerome Kennedy has a legal background therefore he took notes as he should have.

      Also Jody Wilson Raybould comes from a legal background and she also took notes as she should have.

      It is difficult to watch someone from a legal background such as Tom Marshall who appears to never taken a note on anything!

      Obviously, when you are taking your notes there maybe a high probability that you may never need to use them.

      However, as we look at Muskrat Falls it is embarrassing to see these supposedly educated knowledgeable people who never wrote down a bloody thing!

      I have lived by one thing my entire life:

      “A short pencil is better than a long memory.”

      Right about now there are plenty of people who wish they had kept a short pencil close by!

  8. You are correct PENG2, I do not recollect what facts I failed to recollect. I do not even recollect that I failed to recollect any facts that I failed to recollect.

    But I defer to your recollection (or the notes, as you might recollect them, of your recollection).

  9. This young lawyer John Hogan for the Consumer Advocate has a bright future.

    He has put Tom Marshall back on his heels twice!

    Phase 1 and Phase 2 testimony.

    Especially when you considering he is questioning a well seasoned lawyer in Tom Marshall.

    • Anony @ 16:16:

      I wouldn't say he is 'young' – been at the bar for 15 yrs, but has developed quite a good reputation.

      Interesting to me was that I think we found 2 honest politicians – Marshall and Kennedy. I never JK and always did like TM; but have a better respect for both now, even though they were party to MF.

      PENG2

    • Ma @ 16:46:

      Again, JK didn't take 'excessive notes' – his note taking was actually deficient, just because he was best of bad lot in note taking doesn't make his note taking ideal or even sufficient (let alone excessive as you say).

      I only say 'better respect' because both seemed to be honest and willing to say they didn't ask the question – most others just said 'someone else was supposed to'. Having said that, they are still politicians.

      I don't trust easy, but I am inclined to believe TM and JK on what they said – even if they did admittedly made mistakes (and at least they both admitted their mistakes).

      PENG2

  10. Curious, to say the least, why Leblanc would (at the end of Marshall's testimony) push the witness toward agreeing that because a $300 million increase in the project estimate is a lot of money, he would recall if he had been told of such an increase.

    And that exchange WAS right after Learmonth (rightfully) all but had Marshall on the ropes — in that he gave evidence that while he knew (before financial close) that a "new number was coming", he did nothing to pursue what that 'new' number was BEFORE SIGNING OFF ON FINANCIAL CLOSE — (perhaps that $300 million could have triggered a re-think), yet Marshall seemed OK with the province signing off on a number that he expected would be different from the $6.2 billion given to the public.

    This (it seems to me) is a clear link that shifts blame at least in part from Nalcor to government.

    • Difficult to keep track of who was where when. Fincincial closure occurred in December of 2013, and sanction occurred a year earlier in December of 2012, both on Dunderales watch as premier. Marshall was finance minister at time of fincincial closing and became interim leader when Dunderales resigned in Janurary of 2014. I always refer to the buck stopping where …..with the premier. So the real question is did the premier, KD know the real numbers at time of fincincial closure. Maybe we will know tomorrow…maybe not says Joe blow. Marshall was premier for some 8 months, as interim premier. Davis was premier for some 15 months having been selected by the party in September 2014.

  11. The big events of All Fools Day
    1.There was Ball's Atlantic Accord deal 2.5 billion over 300 years or so, a nothing burger, razzle dazzle said Ches, the cheque will be in the mail. But we get to see most of the government members on TV in one room, all excited, giving self praise, on the same day of Confederation, April 1. Is Ball a fool?
    2. The feds announce it is no longer legal to pollute….the carbon tax now in place all across Canada, to counter climate change, while Ball and pals promote the future of oil offshore……prosperity at hand.
    3. In London, with endless votes on Brexit, a bigger problem than our Muskrat, 12 protestors of "Extinction Rebellion", in the public gallery,strip semi naked and wiggle their naked bums at the politicians, for failing to deal with climate change.
    4. The feds release the latest climate change science for Canada: temperatures in Canada climbing twice that of the world in general. With business as usual, oceans to rise 3 ft for the Avalon.
    5. The Inquiry 300 million question : was Tom Marshall fibbing endlessly, saying he did't know. No , don't remember anyone telling him. Yes, possible someone did , and he forgets. Covered all bases, no lying under oath there… that you can prove, if some evidence surfaces, well , he just forgot, things were so busy then. Tom a lawyer too?
    6. PENG2 believes Marshall, who was entirely evasive, is however truthful, as too was Jerome Kennedy. Hummmmmmmm. As Leblanc said " 300 million, I guess you could build an hospital with that, and would you not remember that if someone told you? Tom said yes , but then qualified it, and would not remember if you just forget.
    Slippery as snot, but PENG2 thinks he was honest. Also, while no real independent oversight by government, Tom quoted Stan Marshall as saying there was more oversight than any other project. Oversight yes..but proper, professional, independent oversight? Tom was either incompetent and honest, competent and dishonest, or incompetent and dishonest. I think the latter, but a very good actor, sufficient to convince PENG2. Can't understand PENG2 on that, but for April 1st. anything goes.
    7. March ….out like a lamb, temperature above 60F, grid peak load down to 853 MW by 4 pm, well below our island renewable of about 1200, and I am yet to see any juice going to Nova Scotia! Is this politics or technical?
    8 Trump threatens to fully close off the Mexico border. Climate change wars starting already? Good for farming in Nfld, for The way Forward, Greenhouses for electricification…….cucumbers anyone?
    Winston

    • WA @ 23:46:

      #1: I also heard CC say that the DB deal was not as good as the DW deal – the DW deal was 'cash on the barrel head' etc. If CC the best the PC can offer – if so this province is in trouble.

      #6: just saying TM and JK seemed to be more in the area of 'honest and incompetent' as per your words – I am not sure they got involved enough to really know how bad MF really was (even though they should have been). Just because they gained a little of my respect only makes them best of a bad lot, as above that's still not good.

      My question to you would be, if we compare the rest of the politicians to date at the Inquiry (ie DW, KD, PD or DD) the comparison metric isn't great – who is your 'most honest' pick to date?

  12. Principle BENIFICIERS ….AND ENABLERS of muskrat. What did the Ball – Oregan announcement mean yesterday. Well without waiting for the experts analysis, besides chesses, what was my take. Well mainly mention the principles of what they said. I think it confirms the principle that we are the primirary benificiers of the off shore, confirming 100 percent as though it were on land, and we get the Feds share of the 8.5 percent equity in hibernia, and with the finance minister coming to the province to discuss rate mitigation, I think it shows that the Feds are at least willing to accept that they were ENABLERS in the boondoggle. Remains to be seen what $'s go to rate mitigation. As chess said, Danny got $2 billion from Paul Martin, ( jonney effort was going to take 1.5 b ) but where is that 2 billion now, where did it go, maybe our equity steak in muskrat, or Hebron, or hibernia south, or God only knows. If oil goes up we may get a good return on our investment, if not we get nothing. But regardless nothing from muskrat anyway. So it's like would you rather take your pension as a limp sum like Eddie, or draw it out over the years. Or would you rather take a sum of money now, or invest it over the years, and get a guaranteed return on it into the future, as the Feds has guaranteed us on the 8.5 percent. Guess the experts well debate it over the years, and anything is possible on Aprils fool day, says average Joe.

    • Aj @ 08:39:

      I think you reversed principal vs primary – don't we want to be the primary beneficiary of the AA?

      My very quick review is that we are getting an amount equal to the Fed RoI – we don't get the 8.5% under our control, not sure how increased oil revenues would affect the $'s (are the $'s capped or floating??).

      Also, my quick read is that this has nothing to do with rate mitigation – maybe someone can confirm?

      Taking the lump sum only is good if the payee can be responsible with the cash – our government have proven we cant be trusted to run our own finances, so I would say an annuity is probably a better bet now.

      Still don't agree with your take that the Fed (or Emera for that matter) were enablers – we cried and belly ached and the Feds allowed us to borrow money at a cheaper rate, they didn't offer any security for MF (FYI – we have borrowed money cheaper since then for comparable 30-35yrs terms). I still believe that that if there was no FLG, the PC governments of the day would have pushed ahead anyway – maybe they would have done something closer to Grimes deal and had others with equity involved?

      PENG2

    • Peng2… 1) as I said before only Duffy know the difference between primary and principle.
      2) as I understand the Feds guarantees us a certain amount based in the 8.5 percent.
      3) all I said was the fact that the Fed finance minister is coming to discuss rate mitigation, is a recognition of there enablers role….average Joe.

    • AJ @ 09:03:

      1) you are right that few understand the distinction (even the media this AM used incorrect words) – but there was a blog here and a decent discussion on the difference, and it was a bone for CC
      2) agreed, can someone clarify if the paid annuity is tied to oil pricing?
      3) disagree, no basis for saying the feds enabled MF – either the politicians are lying now when they say Mf wouldn't have happened without the FLG or were lying then when they said the FLG wasnt critical to proceeding. So I take it you think they were lying then – so the obvious question is why did no other 'average joes' realize it?

      In any event, any monies received will be little more than federal welfare. WE made our own bed at MF, the FLG wasn't critical (and didn't save us the huge sums of $s many claim), and the PCs likely would have proceeded without the FLG.

      PENG2

    • Peng2…#3.. Anyone can say anything, but unless you have the money to back it up, it means nothing. There is only one way muskrat could have been built without the FLG and that was if the price of oil went up and up and up, and never to go down. And anyone who though that is a fool. And to say we could have done it alone is foolish, simple as that. We even heard on the stand again this morning that if Emera didn't build the maratime link we would have done it ourselves. What silliness, and for what reason, to bring power in from NS, ask Joe blow.

    • AJ @ 13:13:

      I don't think you understand the financing arrangement – the Federal government didn't provide any security, all the security was NLs. The only advantage to the FLG was accessing a lower interest rate – a rate than NL has since done better on with a $1b loan for 30-35yrs without Federal help since.

      Financing MF has no relation like a person buying a house – the Feds didn't guarantee anything, and they didn't offer any 'security' like most think a loan requires. Financing for governments doesn't require money like when you or me go and get a loan – not the same process at all.

      No reason to believe NL wouldn't have done MF with no FLG – just like the Grimes deal with Quebec and Ontario. Also, NL could have done something like a P3. Lots of options to do MF without a FLG for a government that was dead struck on it.

      PENG2

    • AJ @ 13:13:

      For reference, net debt is 2013 was right around $8b, last year was north of $15b – I standby saying it was plausible with creative accounting by a 'motivated' administration that we could have gone into MF without the FLG.

      Infact, we do have MF without a FLG – there isn't any financial benefit today or tomorrow of the FLG and we do have MF. Most would do well understanding just what the FLg does and what it doesn't do.

      PENG2

    • AJ @ 15:37:

      Maybe you don't want to accept facts, but the PC government did sanction MF without a FLG in effect and they did spend $2b without a FLG in effect. No logic to prove they wouldn't have continued if the FLG conditions didn't get met.

      Id also say that we would be better off if no FLG – if no FLG we could have paused or stopped MF at our discretion, the FLG prevents that.

      PENG2

    • Peng2… Well KD thought the FLG had been approved at sanction in Dec., 2012, but when she found out that Emera was holding it up and the URAB, she said she was as mad as hell in March 2013. Guess the 2$ B was our equity steak in muskrat, maybe Danny's 2B he got from Paul Martin. The only logic to prove that we would have continued if no FLG was approved, is without your bankers approval you are dead in your tracks. Oh yes…better off without the FLG because there would have been a long pause….like stopped forever…reason…no money to complete. Oh yes…you mentioned earlier that we borrowed a billion, ( assume for current account) at a lower interest rate than the FLG. If we could borrow at a lower rate than the Feds, why ask them for the Second FLG?? Now I know rates vary with the time period and purpose of the loan, but you implied that we could borrow for a lower rate than the first FLG. I don't proclaim to be an expert in those kind of things, but you do, so I would expect you to be consistent in your comments, and use some logic as well. Average Joe.

    • AJ @ 17:58:

      That premise requires they are telling the truth now – being that they are having 'recall' issues and it was only 5-10 yrs ago, I am more inclined to believe they were telling the truth then.

      Also, at the time of MF sanction, it was also said that the banks supported MF and the FLG wasn't needed.

      Here is a news link in March 2016 about the $1.4b new lending I was referring to, rate from 3% to 3.8%:
      https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/newfoundland-labrador/n-l-long-term-borrowing-capacity-1.3496293

      Where do you think I haven't been consistent?

      I don't know the advantages of the FLG – I am sure there are some, but NL said then it '….could go it alone….' and the banks approved of the work; therefore I am more inclined to believe 2011 statements than the 2019 statements the Inquiry where everybody has amnesia.

      PENG2

    • AJ @ 17:58:

      Other thing I forgot, yesterday at Inquiry KD said if no F:G '….personally she wouldn't have voted for MF but wasn't sure what cabinet would have done…' or a statement to that effect. I think this is a weak admission that she/PC gov would have pushed MF inspite of no FLG but trying to get out of saying that.

      The reasoning for a 2nd FLG isn't wholly related to financing, or I don't think it s – there are clauses in the FLG relating to COD, estimated costs and debt ratios, so it is likely that once we went with a FLG in 2012 it became core part of MF and later refinancing.

      Also important to note, that the FLG wasn't only Canada and NL, Emera was also a signatory partner – and Emera at that time has the ML completed, so changes would likely also need their approval.

      There was also a question posed here that does splitting Nalcor have some relation to MF and how the security is assigned under the FLG – not much discussion on that.

      PENG2

  13. Why are we giving the feds 100 million dollars a year starting in 2045? For how long are we giving them 100 million dollars a year? Have the politicians only negotiate a loan that we are repaying starting in 2045, a mere 26 years from now?
    Terry

    • Terry @ 09:42:

      I think the concept being used is annuity values – the comparison of a dollars value today vs 10yrs time. I haven't digested the docs yet, but I think the $100m repay is about 13yrs and payments to NL run until 2056, I think.

      My guess is this required a deep financial assessment – hopefully not Nalcor staff accountants.

      PENG2

  14. Well, well, KD tells a different story. She knew noooothing about the cost climbing above 6.5 billion, commandant. Ed told her but she knows not when and no one remembers hearing about it.

    Finally the rats are turning against one another!

    • Ronald Regan, in the Iran-contra scandal said "I don't recall" to many questions that he clearly should have known the answer to. In retrospect, maybe the man was already senile and it was legit. KD is a lot younger and unlikely to be senile. I expect is is a legal strategy, or an extreme case of 'Willful Ignorance'.

      I work with senior people that use the phrase "its above my pay grade" when asked serious questions. They usually don't want to know or even discuss anything that might interfere with their next promotion. Perhaps it was above her pay grade too. Most premieres are puppets. They get promoted when they leave office — lots of board appointments and opportunities abound.

    • It may not have been above her pay grade but it was certainly above her intelligence grade.All these fools seem to be afflicted with severe memory loss.None of them had a clue as to what they were involved in.And we are the ones holding the bag.

  15. KD gives, 'as evidence', descriptions of what she NOW WISHES or wants the inquiry to believe actually happened — not what she 'remembers' as actually having happened.

    Saying something 'would have' happened has within it an inherent bias emanating from the witness's own desire and self-interest in convincing the commission that all was properly done, procedures properly followed, etc.

    • MA @ 10:35:

      I posed this to WA above:
      [start]
      My question to you would be, if we compare the rest of the politicians to date at the Inquiry (ie DW, KD, PD or DD) the comparison metric isn't great – who is your 'most honest' pick to date?
      [end]

      This AMs performance by KD is exactly why I said JK and TM came across to me as the best of a bad lot – not saying JK or TM were ideal, just best of bad lot.

      I am totally baffled by her ignorance of what was going on – she didn't even understand the FLG, but 'I was the Premier, I had staff' or what ever she said….

      I am still waiting to see just what she did know – any guesses as to her area of knowledge?

      PENG2

    • While KD may have a greater claim on 'ignorance' (wilful or otherwise), JK and TM (given their education, training, experience and more front-line duty) would be hard pressed to do so.

      There's a saying — 'Father forgive them for they know not what they do'.

      Who among the 3 (KD, TM, JK) would have the greatest claim to the condition (not knowing what they do) to such forgiveness?

      Based on that criteria, I would argue the TM and JK are the worst.

    • MA @ 11:35:

      My gut is that JK and TM were kept out the loop (maybe deliberately?) – so for that reason I give them some benefit since they are willing to now say 'I should have known'. KD, however cant even be consistent in statements she made 5 minutes ago.

      I am wondering if the persons with more 'education, training etc' were push aside – I still think that when EM, PH etc were brought in, MF was going to happen no matter what. Pushing out of Ministers like EM, JK, TM and the others that actually had some intelligence was by deign?

      Thus, that is why I give JK, TM and a few others a bit of credit – but not much.

      PENG2

    • Point taken Bruno.

      Not intending to excuse (or forgive) KD, but I think given JK and TM's education, training, experience and duty, I would suggest that they were 'more in the know' of what the reality was with Muskrat — and on that basis, they were more responsible for not sufficiently either informing KD, the public or what other action (resignation, etc.) would have been needed to force government to review the MF boondoggle.

      Nevertheless, KD was premier and if she had the knowledge of the flaws and weaknesses in what Nalcor was and was not providing her, then there was little difference between the lot of them.

    • PENG2 — I don't see how u can argue that JK and TM were pushed aside or out of the loop.

      They both had key portfolios and at critical times (and JK made the pitch in the house for sanction).

      They played their roles and largely knew what they were doing (not sure that KD always knew what she was doing and in part that was why she was there).

    • MA @ 12:33:

      Just a gut feeling on what was happening in politics at the time. I am also considering JK was originally rumored to be DWs successor and left politics before sanction – I think he fell out of favor with the establishment. Likewise with TM, he left about 10months after sanction and claimed to never have wanted the leadership – I don't think either him or FO really ever fit in with the mainline party establishment.

      I agree that they should have known better – but I also think the dice was cast and perhaps they were deliberately kept out of the loop.

      PENG2

    • That is part of being a good sycophant. Question nothing. Refuse to listen to naysayers or alternative opinions. Do not read the Gnarley blog. Look for the wind direction, and grovel accordingly. If in doubt, ingratiate yourself to everybody who holds a position higher in the hierarchy. Donate to both political parties.

      The sad thing is that these people don't give a rats ass about the public. They get into power for personal enrichment and leave a trail of public destruction behind them.

      In lieu of better candidates, the best we can do is to always vote out the candidate in power so that the system is constantly churning. What a mess.

  16. At break, the question hangs: Why didn't she fire Ed Martin with cause?

    The Bank of NS has good procedures for that when key people exceed the risk appetite that is deemed acceptable: fire them with cause, yes.
    So ….was Ed's risk taking acceptable, for the public purse?
    Not only fire him ……but claw back too, is the rule.
    Winston
    Winston

    • WA @ 13:01:

      I posted this cost history for MF in January:
      [start]
      A quick summary:
      June 2014 – $6.99B
      Sept 2015 – $7.65B
      Nov 2015 – DB wins election
      Apr 2016 – EM out, SM in
      June 2016 – $11.4B
      June 2017 – $12.7B
      Nov 2018 – $12.7B (valid as per oversight committee)
      [end]

      I guess plausible deniability says none of the PC leaders (KD was out in Jan 2014, TM was out in Nov 2014) knew how bad MF really was – if you believe in that sort of thing (I don't, but it is what the record shows).

      For me, the real question was why didnt DB and SB get an understanding of the EM employment contract and terminate him accordingly – by the AG review, I do agree EM got what he was entitle to considering how he was terminated. DB dropped the ball in how he moved EM out, and hamstrung himself.

      PENG2

    • So the fraud artist knew in Dec 2015, that the project was headed way beyond acceptable limits, and carried the fraud until April 2016!! What happened to "Pause"? What happened to Stop work and make safe? What could have been savings on a projected $15 B Boondoggle? It's still going on folks and how will you vote?

    • Robert @ 15:55:

      Good question, but to why 'pause' wasn't used – there is no language in the FLG that allows for a pause at NLs discretion, changes to the COD at subject to the IE approval (ie Canada and presumably Emera since they had nearly completed their obligation at that time).

      As GT said – no way for NL to have stopped MF at anytime and 'save' money, in that event Canada steps in to finish.
      Are you suggesting DBs handling is worse than the PCs handling – I don't accept that costs went from $7.65b under a PC to $11.4b under a Liberal 6-12 months later, maybe the PC government was hiding costs for a post election 'voter reward'?

      PENG2

    • Robert @ 16:34:

      Fraud requires personal gain.

      I don't see the 'personal gain' for DB and the Liberals by taking 6 months to replace a CEO and adjust the project budget from $7.8b to $11.4b. You see it differently? I see those 6 months as pretty good performance actually.

      For the PCs (under PD), maybe he was holding back a post election gift of a revised MF win if he won in November 2015 – though I still don't see much personal gain even if he won the election.

      PENG2

  17. I'm a rambler, …..I'm a gambler ….so leave me alone. Oh boy!! What news she told. Don't know where it came from, but I just knew, could be cabinet, could be gossip, could be a roumer, could be a dream, could be wishful thinking, but I knew, the cost, and the others did too. And it was the least cost, and we needed the power, …now that's my story, and I'm sticking to it, Mr. speaker. Couldn't be any other way says Joe blow.

  18. Trying to follow the chatter with regards to who knew what and when. The Shadow Inquiry, like the General Inquiry will not turn up one or two scoundrels in this mess. Rather, it is that there was not one official, honest person in the lot, prepared to stand and say; "there is something very wrong with what we are doing here, to the ratepayers and the people we are supposed to represent, the laws and principles of Accounting, Engineering, Project Management, and the Environment." As with the SNC-Lavalin affair, Politics and the Powers were permitted to become, as Crosbie would say; "imminently corruptible".

  19. I was part of a group discussion somewhere in the confederation building as to how Nalcor was entirely full of, for the want of a better word, wrong people. A mix of sociopaths, common crooks, the clueless, the unethical, aspiring sycophants, cowards — all sorts of things that are very bad news in leadership roles. Then someone said "That's easy — imagine if this department was running Nalcor". Then silence – what more could be said.

    It isn't just Nalcor. It is the whole works that is rotten to the core.

  20. So our Brian weighed in on the accord on NTV, which of course he has every right to do so. But now that he is not a politician, no need to give a bias opinion. He said we get 67 million average over 35 years. That is not exactly correct. We get 60 percent of the 3 billion in the first 10 years, or 160 million a year. The second point is he said we may have left money on the table if the price of oil goes up. But what he failed to say was if the price of oil goes down, then we are locked into a guaranteed amount as mentioned above based on the 8.5 percent of the Feds equity steak. If the price of oil goes up then we get more from our royalties, and more on our equity steaks in south hibernia, Hebron, and any other equity steaks we have. Or maybe Danny's super royalties may kick in and we will have more oil money than we know what to do with, like 10 years ago. So we need to be protected as much as possible wether the price of oil goes up or down. Joe blow.

    • And what if 80% of known reserves must stay in the ground to protect the environment? The Emera Innovation Centre better start innovating for a non fossil fuel future: the Way Forward.
      Just discovered, in South America, an Inca site 500 Year old, remains of 140 children sacrificed to satisfy their gods against environmental floods etc, thinking that would lessen storm damage.
      Religious practises shows some had their hearts removed.
      Such ideas not so far fetched, So too Abraham was to kill and sacrifice his son, but did not.
      So can school children marching change the minds of adults to make them avoid damage to the environment, or their future too will be sacrificed by the older generation? Picture , if you can, Dwight Ball announcing shutting down the off shore oil business over the next 10 years! Picture the outcry form the public. Brain Peckford, if he could, would lock up any children who marched against the oil industry.
      Of course if we aim to meet the Paris Climate Change agreement, then getting more money up front from this is not so bad, as offshore must become stranded assets in the near future.
      Maybe the Feds next move here to support Muskrat is to assist electricification, EV charging stations etc. …..Who knows? ….The Shadow knows.
      Winston

  21. Dunderdale stated many many times "I cannot remember, now after 4 or 5 years"
    However no problem remembering details of telephone calls to NS premier etc. She is very selective on what she says she remembers, and seems dishonest.
    However , if this Inquiry was not called for another 3 years later than it was, as PENG2 suggests,( after project completion) Dunderdale would not remember she was Premier, and others not much better.

    • Anony @ 00:45:

      My reasoning for delaying the Inquiry for until substantial completion was so the ERAs were in, completion of major contracts and a full scope of issues was understood.

      As it stands, there will be little understanding of issues with the dam – Phase 2 will have ended before dam is completed, the lines are fully operational, before SP is operational etc. It will be no good to claim after this Inquiry is over that there were more issues than we realized and then we want another MF Inquiry.

      The 'I don't recall' isn't related to time – its because they don't recall anything that absolves them of deficient action. I don't think the case of 'I don't recall' would have been any worse or better in 2yrs – the lack of notes and 'poor recall' has been mentioned as 'inappropriate' several times and I am sure the Commission will judge their evidence with the appropriate degree of relevancy.

      PENG2

  22. Why did the consumer advocate lawyer allow KD to reguriate the same old blatant lies that she did 10 years ago. She brought up DarkNL and the reason for that. She said Holyrood was a mess and on its last legs. Some of that might be true, but it was on her watch that hydro-nalcor was allowing that to happen. No maintaince was the cause, the Liberty report told us that. I have called it sabatoge, since the maintaince was removed intentionally to show us we needed the power. She said the other reason was there was no third line fro BD. It was also on her watch that that line was cancelled by nalcor when they decided to go ahead with muskrat. Plus the line only goes as far as the western Avalon, not the eastern where it is most needed. Then she said if the LIL goes down we can bring in power from the US. Then she said we are bringing in power now by the ML, inferring it was from the US rather than from dirty coal from NS. Yes, then she did a long explanation of selling power in the US on the spot market, and no charge for transmitting the power because of the ML. And Hogan took it all in, was he born yesterday ask Joe blow.

  23. Well, well, It seems Gov of Canada has been giving SNC, thinly veiled, money to bribe foreign Gov't! I wonder if part of the loan guarantee went to bribe NL gov't members? If no one asks, at say a public inquiry, we will never know.

    On another front Junior has offed Judy and Jody, betraying his "sunny ways" bullshit. He will not stand for ANY cabinet member acting with integrity! So much for respect for women, cabinet independence, the AG and Justice minister and the public, duped once again by a charlatan hypocrite!

    • The apparent splintering of the "Anything but Conservative" movement, across Canada is a good thing. The dependence on the two main ruling parties to guide our developing society has brought us some unsavoury and mixed results. Hopefully the NL and AB provincial elections deliver minority governments, sharing of powers, increased accountability, less strong man leaders, improved sustainable development and trade deals, action on climate change, etc.

    • If only they would enact proportional representation so that voting becomes a meaningful act again. No party has the balls. Jack Layton promised he would force it within 90 days after the election where he had the balance of power. He backed off, never to be discussed again.

  24. Given the long term damage that this MF fiasco will do to the province/ratepayers, and while the consumer advocate seemed to take a strong stand early on re what should be concealed from public view due to commercial sensitivity, it often seems like the CA counsel is merely going through the motions.

    But what can we expect, when at this inquiry Hogan has described himself as a 'political operative'.

    Perhaps the appointment of a CA should be the responsibility of the PUB.

  25. PENG2, seems this morning on the issue of the transmission line, it goes to show a high level of incompetence by Nalcor on engineering. So to me this is indeed a significant engineering failure, overall for MFs, the DC line being a big part, engineering failure also throughout I suggest.
    Do you agree? You seemed a little open to my view on that in the past, but not agreeing, saying it was a political failure, and maybe part economic. Now evidence suggest all 3, including engineering.
    Winston Adams

    • At present no tipping issues in that no warranty claims filed by Nalcor to deal with this. That does not assure there is no tipping issues, as the contractor advises that their recommendations for foundations were overruled by Nalcor. So if a tipping issue, would Nalcor actually report it? They have a culture of hiding information, so not to be trusted.
      Dunderdale said yesterday everything will be broken like matchsticks before ever issues with any of these towers. She also declares that her background is social work and knows nothing of engneering etc, and still defers to her world class Nalcor BS, and still promotes that at this Inquiry.Basically she says she is dumb as to the details, but we should trust her statements. We should trust her because the cardinal rule is that politicians never lie to the public.
      Just last month a cardinal in Australia was convicted of child sexual assault, and lied to his behaviour.
      So maybe defining rules as "cardinal" no longer has the same meaning, except for KD. She expects us to believe her testimony yesterday was high level truth. Was her testimony not an event that bring disgrace and shame on our province that such a person was our Premier,elected, and sanctioned this project?
      Still she says she does not at all see where this project went wrong, and waits for Leblanc to tell her.
      Is it not KD #1 reason, or 1 of top 3 people the cause of this boondoggle……and she sees none of that after so much evidence already!
      Is she loony or clever to plead ignorance and deflect blame on others?
      Winston Adams

    • Have to agree with you Winston, the causes of the boondoggle, just look in the mirror. Hope Leblanc makes it as clear as that. Yes, agree she is a piece of work herself. Some water some beans as you say, and I might say "some public flogging". That's the most we could hope from the inquiry as it has no teeth. But they are not even getting that. They are on the stand acting as brazen as Jays, ministers of the crown, premiers, highest level public servants and some of them can hardly keep the smirk of their faces, as if, nothing to this, they can't touch me. Defiant, arrogant and full of themselves. No shame or sense of responsibility for this boondoggle. Every elected member bears some responsibility for this boondoggle, and those that voted to sanction it in the HOA bears the greatest responsibilities. And they don't have the God given sense to recognize, much less accept any accountability says average Joe.

    • WA @ 11:36:

      Overall, I do believe that while some Engineering mistakes were made (though Valard did say the process improved over time on the TLs), it is mainly a political and economic fail – just like accountants telling doctors how many bandages to apply or politicians making decisions on what roads to pave. Engineering wasnt the main fail at MF.

      As for your question on the route – how would you suggest a major repair be executed on the line where the route in inaccessible, check out the line route in relation to the trans Labrador Highway? The point being, many towers are not in an area where someone can walk 500m and inspect the performance.

      I argued a long time ago that transmission was the biggest part of MF – I also said that silt was a bigger issue than clay, though few know the difference in a practical sense.

      PENG2

    • Today's (and perhaps overall) Summary:–

      NO QUESTIONS COMMISSIONER,NO QUESTIONS COMMISSIONER,NO QUESTIONS COMMISSIONER,NO QUESTIONS COMMISSIONER,NO QUESTIONS COMMISSIONER,NO QUESTIONS COMMISSIONER,NO QUESTIONS COMMISSIONER,COMMISSIONER,NO QUESTIONS COMMISSIONER,NO QUESTIONS COMMISSIONER,NO QUESTIONS COMMISSIONER,NO QUESTIONS COMMISSIONER,NO QUESTIONS COMMISSIONER,NO QUESTIONS COMMISSIONER,NO QUESTIONS COMMISSIONER,COMMISSIONER,NO QUESTIONS COMMISSIONER,NO QUESTIONS COMMISSIONER,NO QUESTIONS COMMISSIONER,NO QUESTIONS COMMISSIONER,NO QUESTIONS COMMISSIONER,NO QUESTIONS COMMISSIONER,NO QUESTIONS COMMISSIONER,

      Nothing to see here.

    • PENG2, you compare the engineering failure for MFs to accounts telling doctors how many bandages to put on. I suggest even for bandage quantity, this more of an engineering aspect rather than an accounting one: example a blood sample needing one small bandage for say 15 minutes,or a larger wound needing more to absorb leakage, or more pressure needed etc…….because blood via platelets starts to seal a wound in 20-30 second. Much engineering goes into medical products, even bandages. Indeed, the gaskets on my wife's stoma bag is much like a doughnut gasket on a car manifold, and seals effectively. If it leaks or causes redness from a pressure point……do I blame the doctor or engineer who designed and manufactured this product in Denmark? I would not much blame the accountant.

      As to Muskrat: Politics with Danny Williams, and KD, MHAs and now under Ball…..yes politics a big deal throughout.
      As to economics, yes that too, Wade Locke a political favourite, leading the choir, and a media favourite.
      As to engineering: there were many engineers aligned under Nalcor with politicians……Gilbert Bennett and many others. Then all the engineering studies and report, manipulated and changed and tailored to support a bad project. Then engineering exclusion of many better alternatives to Muskrat. Then engineering avoidance of best practises. Engineering avoidance of proper risk analysis. Engineering failure of proper contract execution. Likely more engineering failures yet not exposed.
      No one has put forth an argument against my suggestion of lowest and reliable power could have been achieved for 2 billion, not 12.7 billion. The difference of 10.7 billion is most all engineering related ( economics being part of engineering).
      To conclude that MFs is a failure is obvious. If our power needs could have been met with 2 billion it suggests most all of the excess, is engineering related. While politics continued t be a factor throughout, I would think, engineering is in the range of not less than 60-70 % of overall fault, as to putting a figure on it. If you one looks at the root cause, one might conclude politics at the main problem. But as enablers of MFs, engineering, that is poor engineering, takes the award, I think. As an engineer, I wish it was otherwise.
      You state you always opposed MFs, for mainly engineering reasons. So it should not be surprising that it would be an engineering failure. To be a success, raw innovative engineering would have to overcome the loonie political idea of Danny Williams, and the economic component of engineering, would have to overcome the loonie idea of Wade Locke on his economic figures of this project.
      Even if Nalcor engineers were really world class, they could hardly succeed. Being mostly second rate, they never had a chance in hell.
      That's my take. I suggest take a deep breath, swallow some engineering pride, and maybe you will acknowledge this engineering failure.
      Sorry to have to hand Bruno an opportunity to attack engineers, which he does, but the evidence leans heavy on the this profession. Not sure if Leblanc will so find fault on engineering, or separate root cause vs other.
      Winston Adams

    • No one "Profession" is without blame for the debacle. Grown men and women "willed" the project onwards, lining their own bank accounts, through their time sheets and expenses. There was no provision PENG2 says for aborting the contracts, which is contra to normal CCDC Documents. Construction Managers have a duty to inform. Any and all expenditures outside the contract limits must have the approval of the Owner. With the convoluted mixup of Owner/Constructor the line of control was intentionally corrupted. This facilitated the fraud. This is out and out fraud, perpetrated on the people of NL. Those who facilitated this mess had to know after one shift on the job, what was going on. They willingly and willfully participated.

    • WA @ 19:29:

      There should be an exhibit coming out shortly about how John Mulcahy was treated, I'd say have a read of how the PMT treated one of the most experienced construction men in NL.

      I wont say the engineering was perfect, but there is a lot to come out on what went wrong at MF – and a lot of the same characters will show up as being the instigators.

      PENG2

  26. KD uses such phrases as "change the water on the beans" This like if NS's PUB makes conditions that impairs the Federal Loan guarantee, or might cause Ed Martin to make a worse deal with EMERA, this merely "changing the water on the beans" Some water, …..some beans, Churchill might say.
    Often she says "that piece of work" …….that may be a mayor study that could mean hundreds of millions in costs, but for her just "that piece of work" which she is not at all familiar with any details, but implied, by using such a phrase, she is on top of these "pieces of work"
    Cardinal rule is like principle or primary meaning…..as to truth telling, and how believe that this defines politician's character? Trump now exceeding 8000 lies since taking office, I understand.
    Cardinal sins, there are 7, the first being pride.
    Does KD suffer from cardinals sins?
    Andy Wells described her as a bully, and near fascist approach to her style. 'Jackboots near marching in the suites." and " I'm sick and tired of you and the PUB", and something negative about Fred Martin, who was just doing his job.
    But, in the hot seat, before Leblanc, she is just so sweet, no hint of that in her character.
    Winston Adams

  27. PENG2, I saw on the INquiry showing the transmission line route……so what is your point as to route vs reliability? I wondered if you meant tower structural issues, thinking including foundations and geotechnical investigations, which got into evidence today……was that your point?
    Winston

    • Maybe he alludes to the southern Labrador portion which is nowhere near the trans Labrador highway and will be difficult to repair under best summer conditions, let alone the other seasons. 2hrs work could take several weeks to perform if heavy equipment has to reach a difficult location.

  28. VOCM, Peckford says
    1. If a war in the Middle East or unrest in Venezulea , and oil prices go up, Nfld loses out. In the past when in times of few jobs, some Nflders would say " what we need now is a good war" . What brings prosperity to one area can be devastation to another. So Peckford a realist, or this a part of his thinking that we should consider, and maybe even welcome to boost oil revenue?
    2. Oil and water don't mix, he says as to the Accord and MFs.
    What of oil and GHG emission and our ocean water: impact on fish, on water temperature, and water ph? Sure doesn't mix there either, as all science shows. Such facts, impacts from climate change, Peckford attributes to alarmists, but capelin and cod which was to recover after 2 or 3 years, has not much recovered after a quarter of a century now. No alarm on that quarter Mr Peckford?
    Winston

  29. More of same: I tune in late,and wonder who is this guy….. I soon see he is evaluating bids for the dams,he mentions a guy from the USA, Montana maybe who visited the site and counts the white hats vs workers and decides not to touch the project ( I recollect a carpenter working there telling me the same thing 2-3 years ago, but the Telegram not interested in any of that), but…this guy continues….. their contractor selection recommendations are ignored.
    I dose off…….I awake to see that the contractor selected started late, and this a critical path contract, essential to meet schedules, than he says something about " if this ever sees the light of day someone will be fired"……. I say to myself, Oh my God, more of the same by Nalcor, bury this from the public knowledge, then they show these words on the screen, in some report or document, …..he goes on to say in early 2016 , he is terminated , no reason given , services no longer needed. His name is Mark Turpin, I think, a good guy, it seems, pushed aside, I assume. Nalcor lawyer asks for a break before questioning.
    Seems one can dose, catch just bits and pieces and see what a shocking cover up this has been for years now. Paddy Daley even , this morning , all upset as to what has happened…….no one taking notes, monumental decisions being made involving billions of dollars, and little if any records by key decision makers, incompetence ob a grand scale …..in my mind: only the mafia would operate this way.
    Winston Adams

    • IF a person(s) responsible for the masterminding of the robbery and looting of a bank and after they were caught claimed they couldn't remember being the mastermind, the courts would not take this as a defence. Here we have the masterminds of the looting and pillaging of the NL treasury (DW, KD, EM, PH et al) all claiming they "can't remember" and expect to be let off the hook. The disgraceful display of incompetence KD put on at the inquiry this week with her "can't remember/don't recall" defence almost made me throw up. Ch–st almighty, we actually had her in charge of this province???!!! Make no wonder we are in the financial pickle we're in. Someone in authority should/MUST have the RCMP called in. This is fraud and deceit on a gigantic scale. Has the CCC attempted to get W5 and/or the 5th Estate to do an investigation and air it? DW, KD, EM, PH and the rest of the Gang Who Couldn't Shoot Straight MUST be held accountable and their legal fees NOT paid by our "so called" Government.

    • Wayne, Just possibly, the RCMP already have a dossier on this Muskrat thingie. Certainly, I believe they are monitoring the s— out of everyone's Facebook, Twitter, and emails, these days. How else do they remain busy. Recently I needed to get fingerprinted to serve in a community volunteer organization. I had to make a two week appointment!
      Just think of how this might have speeded up if I were of colour, (Hfx for example).

    • Winston it is a criminal enterprise. I have no respect for professionals who traffic (if I can use a polite term) their credentials in support of a fraud. It is not the profession but the whores in the profession that are used to justify a 15 billion fraud that may kill folks downstream that I take issue with.

    • Wayne you are correct. Unraveling the fraud and corruption requires those names associated with the numbered companies with MF contracts. Who will do the research? Cabana was good at it but he seems to have faded away.

    • Agreed Bruno, not the profession but individuals…..but so many engineers in this web.
      Bib Laden was an engineer, his knowledge enabled a small amount of aviation fuel to bring down those two large skyscrapers. A previous leader of Iran, a bad dude, is an engineer. Some years ago I read that poets are no more moral than the average person……….I had thought otherwise, but expect that is likely true.
      So no profession has a higher moral standing than another,it seems.
      As Maxwell Smart says: If only they used their power for good instead of evil.
      Winston

    • Yes, many professions involved in the boondoggle and got a reward.
      Did Kate O'Brien get pulled from the Inquiry and get a reward as a judge?
      What of Donald Burrage? His name appears in various documents in this Inquiry. He was deputy minister of justice, then in Oct 2012, when serving under Dunderdale……appointed to the Supreme Court
      of Nfld. He got a promotion in the justice dept under Danny Williams, in 2008.
      Is our justice dept tainted like everything else?
      PF

    • PF She is gone just as the technical crew are about to testify. It is no mistake.

      Both sides are sleazy. An appointment could have waited until her present assignment was done. She should have deferred until she was done.

      LeBlanc is left holding his rubber chicken. Here come da judge!!

  30. "We remain committed to providing reliable power can they(the customers) can depend on".
    This is what Nfld Hydro CEO Williams says in response to UG previous piece. That piece by Planet NL is based on Hydro's Report on Reliability of the power from Labrador that is expected to be anything but reliable.
    It gives expected frequency and duration of outages that is most disturbing. Williams seems to be contradicting their own report,or acknowledging that major new costs are to be incurred to make power reliable.
    Only now is Nfld Hydro admitting to unreliability power from Labrador. Nfld Power admitted it only a couple of months ago. Anyone with an understanding of our power existing systems would know this, prior to MFs sanction. Surely Emera understood it, and wanted our island power, not Labrador power, and they got our island power.
    To me,that Nfld Hydro, Nalcor and Nfld Power only now admits to reliability issues is to continue their culture to mislead customers. The issues are so serious, needing large additional expenditures, that Williams seem to deny their own study filed with the PUB.
    What happened to Stan "the straight shooter"?
    Winston Adams

  31. Nalcor project team from the top down were incompetent and too arrogant to take advice from people with experience and knowledge in hydro construction,and did everything to make experienced people look bad.That's what incompetent people do.Having been touted as "world class"nobody could tell or even suggest to them the proper way to do anything.

  32. As I sit here in my Torbay road office, yes still here on the "Project" and have been for many years, I've seen and heard many things. The latest with Valard being questioned this week and funny they didn't mention anything about the transmission line going down and through the South Coast. Was this "TENDERED" by Nalcor or was it given to Valard because of all the troubles that were encountered from Churchill Falls to Muskrat Falls. Could another company have done it less expensive? And what about all the issues that were found and documented with the bases of the towers on the South Coast? Were they ever fixed? Pretty sure that they weren't. Just covered up (lol) Where's Gilbert? You have plenty experience in building Mega Hydro Projects, Right? What about C1 the power house. Scott O'Brien hasn't been heard from. All the money that he SIGNED away. I would love to see the construction of the power house as time moves on or did that work? Did you pay these guys for their services? Scott you do have experience in building Mega Hydro Projects, like Gilbert, RIGHT?