Except for the ardent cynic, a sprinkling of magic transforms
even the dullest bore. The Liberals hope that the majority of us still believe.
That may explain the recent resplendent shower of pixie dust.

In February an MQO opinion survey put the Liberals (44%) and
the Tories (42%) in a virtual tie. What has changed since then to bolster
Liberal fortunes? Why call the election now rather than later? Why are Liberal election
missiles falling from the sky?

In all likelihood, the numbers were not as bad for the
Liberals as the MQO Poll indicated. While polls are a mere snapshot in time, any
analysis gets weaker as statistics are bundled. The MQO Poll combined “decided”
and “leaning” voters. 

In contrast, a Corporate Research Associates (CRA) Poll, also conducted
in February, gave 45% to the Liberals against 38% for the PCs and 16% for the
NDP. This is a much clearer picture. The large “undecided/refused” category at 34%
compared with 40% in the MQO Poll — a big uncertainty factor — helps explain
the Liberals’ pre-campaign juggernaut of election goodies.

Another important statistic is the perception of the Party leaders.
The MQO Poll gave Ball a mean score of 5.2 on a 10-point scale. In contrast,
the CRA Poll favoured Ball 38% to 31% for Paul Davis/Ches Crosbie.

They are not great numbers for either leader, especially for the
Premier. But taken together they award Ball a clear edge, particularly when the
advantage of incumbency is added.

Besides better numbers, what would have influenced Ball’s decision
to go now? The NDP will have to re-think itself and, for now, is not a threat
to anyone. NL Alliance has no definable base. Ches Crosbie is not charisma incarnate.

The Commission of Inquiry into the Muskrat Falls project is
exposing a tale of possible malfeasance at worst and, at best, gross deception,
incompetence and stupidity which will dog the Tories.

Of course, politics is never static. There is always a flip side.

The Ball Administration has overseen Muskrat for over three
years. Fired Astaldi has been replaced, the software problem allowing minimal
power loading on the LIL persists, and the synchronous condensers, essential
for balancing the grid, are undergoing an expensive re-work. Those are just the
problems we know about. Another cost increase and another schedule delay is a virtual
certainty. The “stop/go” analysis for Muskrat that some critics sought, and which
Ball refused, is not an off-the-wall idea after all.

Then, too, NL’s $23 billion debt has no insulation from the
vagaries of a global economic slowdown, rising international trade tensions and
‘toppy’ equity markets, all of which could have a negative, or worse an
untimely, influence on future borrowing.

While elections are fought on the basis of a glass
“half-full”, election timing requires a common sense nod to one “half-empty”. Hence,
the thinking: ‘the Polls are not great but could get a lot worse, the Feds’
Atlantic Accord transfer is politically positive… the rest we can make up.’ The
fiction writers have been busy.

Ches Crosbie, on the other hand, ought to have positioned
himself to contrast with an abominably indecisive Premier. Incumbent Tory MHAs
ought to have been shown the exit for their association with the Muskrat
disaster. Crosbie ought to have been ready with new blood. He must surely hope that
the district nomination process will attract more Sheila Fitzgeralds to
provincial politics. Fitzgerald, who is Mayor of Roddickton, reported on
Twitter that, after 21 years as a social work supervisor, she is quitting her
job having been denied leave to run.

Crosbie has shared other lucky breaks.

Inexplicably, Ball has never properly framed Muskrat as the
lynch-pin of Tory incompetence, even though he should have. The decision to let
the PUB come up with a Plan for $700 million of rate mitigation suggests he never
intended it to be an integral part of his election platform. Did the “CHEAP”
Plan force the Liberals to abandon the PUB to perform one-upmanship with Ches’
fiction? Both Plans are based not on fiscal room but on public ignorance of
mitigation’s impossibility.

Governments, far more than Oppositions, are held to account
when they mislead the public. Why would the Ball Government have put itself on
the same level as the perpetrators? Except that, from the moment the Premier
eschewed responsibility for Ed Martin’s $1.4 million severance, the Premier has
not requited himself well in the integrity department.

That said, nothing could have prepared political watchers for
the frenetic pace of election announcements. While a front-end-loaded Atlantic
Accord transfer preceded the march to the microphones, the airwaves were abuzz
with a new $200M correctional facility, elimination of the sales tax on
insurance and of the deficit levy, too. The Budget address was rendered meaningless,
and not just by prorogation of the House.

The whole show constituted less the equivalent of a surgical strike
in pursuit of votes than an all-out military bombardment. It was so over-the-top
no one cared that the Federal Finance Minister arrived in town empty handed.

On re-assessment, the Liberals’ massive roll-out of public
expenditures, in a province financially broke, speaks to a Government insecure about

A big irony is the $1 million McKinsey Plan that included 30,000
jobs mostly in the tourism sector. $15/hour used to be a signing bonus for the
workers at Bull Arm, Hebron, Vale and Muskrat. The McKinsey Plan includes the wages,

Still, the showering of Liberal goodies should have elicited something
more than peevishness from Crosbie. His reply contained neither criticism nor
an alternative, only that Liberal hacks were favoured with investments in
cannabis. That’s an important issue. But right now there is only this question:
“What’s your plan, Ches?” Crosbie needed to say: “This government is a failure
and this is what I intend to do if my Party replaces them.”

In a democratic society, elections should speak to pride of
place, of accomplishment, plans for the future and, ultimately, respect.
Contempt is the prerogative of the governed, not the government. The showering display
of false promises is a contemptuous act by an Administration desperate to be

It is a failing in our character as a society that we embrace
the notion that government spending and our pocketbooks are not linked. Pixie
dust, in the style of the Ball Government, perpetuates the notion. In this case
contempt may be warranted, but voters ought to know that it is still,
nevertheless, contempt. 

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


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

Churchill Falls Explainer (Coles Notes version)

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


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


  1. It is indeed a pathetic set of options for NL voters. What is needed is tinkering with the underlying democratic structures to make them bulletproof from the abuse of for instance, the regulatory function, bureaucratic independence and transparency in public tenders.

    All of this presupposes that NL is not now functionally insolvent or that a human or fiscal catastrophe at MF causes an unraveling from which there is no return.

    UG has dared utter for the first time the awful truth that software problems and bungling incompetence with the synchronous condensers have pushed the true costs for the Debacle on the Churchill. It will in my estimation top 15 billion and more before the Bozo's at Nalcor admit the truth.

    • Knock it off Bruno/Greg.. your preferred solution is to have the Circular Road-Basilica crowd in control – no need for outharbour people, Greg Malone's mentors and fellow travelers know what's good for NL

    • Care for a small wager he cost will quickly escalate from 12.7 Billion cost after the election?

      You are all in with the Nalcor crowd I see. Anon sniping with no connection to real issues is amusing but not worthy any further consideration.

  2. All obvious, UG, but what are we to do. Our voting power is diminished by the choice of no leadership or no leadership; no plan or no plan; no ideas or no ideas; you get my drift.
    We must vote, it is our right, but the decision has never been more difficult, even their promises are vague and out of focus; the only certain thing being the future will not be better, more rosy, more inspiring.
    It is enough to bring tears to the eyes of a strong man and break the heart of a cannon.

  3. The suspension of the deficit levy and insurance tax is only a temporary measure during the period until the new government has completed its analysis of the provincial finances and decide that the fiscal situation is so dire that these gouges on the taxpayers must be re-instated.

    • Yes, everything on the table is ephemeral. Does anyone really believe there will be a new penitentiary? That there will be rate mitigation?
      Promises are a form of smoke and mirrors, bait and switch, etc.
      But, be aware nothing so far said will transpire, the boys are well in over their heads and once they get elected they will be even less capable of giving us financial succour or societal balm.

    • Tor, there may very well be a new penitentiary and hospital. Unfortunately, these will be public-private partnerships and it will turn out badly and cost far more than had we built it ourselves. P3 is tempting when you have no money, but is like an unemployed person renting furniture because they can't afford to purchase it.

      I think the power rates will remain reasonable, but we will see reduced services, higher taxes and monster fees everywhere. Population will continue to decline and eventually, in return for a bail out, we will have a commission of government.

  4. I truly despair.In three and half years Ball has yet to utter anything of substance just the same old trite comments and oh so painful to watch. Hypocrisy prevails, when on the 2015 campaign trail, the Liberals indicated an HMP replacement was not on their radar as they were playing to much of the public who thinks Kellys Island should be the site of choice. Seems they can no longer bear the outcry to replace one of the worse buildings in the public domain. As well when the PCs announced an HMP replacement, Ball criticized them for not having a cost attached yet I have yet to see firm costs associated with any of the numerous P3 builds. By the way the first payment is due on the Corner Brook Long Term Care Facility early in 2020, and the first one is typically a whopper. Speaking of which, the economics supporting these is suspect to say the least. However with all eyes and voices on Muskrat finger pointing then these gems are slipping in with little scrutiny.
    And then there is Ches, thought he might "rock the boat" on a number of things but then I see he is proposing a PUB style Board to find waste in healthcare. The arrogance is astounding, that somehow all who have gone before have not extracted most of the waste. Yes there will always be a light to be turned off or a CEO's salary to be cut but those are not going to yield truly big savings. The question is how much healthcare can we afford and the public always wants more.
    Then there is the NDP, what can I say. It would be nice for them to step into the breech and present a rationale platform that was not too far left and broaden their appeal. Such is not to be as they continue to founder.
    Sad so sad.

  5. Anyone still following trumpies tweets. Yesterday, Easter Sunday morning, Trumpie tweets, "Heart felt condolences from the people of the United States on the horrible terrorist attacks on churches and hotels that have killed 138 MILLION people and badly injured 600 more". " We stand ready to help". That was to Sira Lanka where the population is just over 22 million. The actual numbers were more than 200 hundred killed and 450 injured. And Thank Gid it was no more. But what a knowledgable and complete idiot the leader of the free world is, and half the people of the US of A love him. Did I dream that, or did trumpie dream it, and tweet in his sleeping stupor, ask Joe blow.

    • The media (CBC, CTV…) is obsessed with everything Trump. Sorry Joe, we NLers (and Canadians) have bigger problems than Trump sticking a "million" onto an end of a number.

      Onto the topic at hand: calling an early election before the polls turn on your is politically smart but doesn't get my vote. Announcing a budget without debate then calling an election, doesn't get my vote. Claiming victory with 2.5 billion but the reality of no escalator, doesn't get my vote. Failure to vote against MF before forming government, doesn't get my vote. Needless to say Dwight Ball isn't getting my vote, so my choice will be one of the other ones assuming they get a candidate in place

    • One way to upset the apple cart would be to NOT elect anyone who is incumbent or has ever been an MHA before. Completely new blood, new leaders.
      It may take a while to get up to speed, but the new House of Assembly won’t be any worse off, I predict.

      Experiment or perish!

    • Our democratic system is broken or perhaps it is working exactly as it was designed to.

      We have the illusion that we can make changes one day every four years but no matter who we elect we always wind up with political buffoons. These political buffoons will gladly waste millions of dollars on study’s and pat themselves on the back for doing a good job. You can get rich if you have a numbered company and are well connected with these political buffoons.

      But alas these political buffoons are far from the definition of the proverbial buffoon, as a political buffoon they are very intelligent. But connected to their intelligence is their unethical, unprincipled and unscrupulous morals. With these attributes the public’s well being is not a concern, the main goal of a political buffoon is to further whichever agenda will give them more power coupled with creative ways to funnel the public’s money out of their pockets at the greatest speed.

    • Hard to blame the politicians when the public is gullibly addicted to being bribed with their own money. It's like addiction to sugar knowing it harms your health, we should resist it but we enjoy it too much. As the public gets giddy for those doling out the unhealthy stuff, it's no surprise the attitude of the common politician is a conflicted corrupt mess. We reap what we sow. I'm in the minority in that I support fiscal conservatism and living within our means. If such a like minded candidate appeared, they might get 5% of the vote. I'd like to run but then I remind myself of this brick wall obstacle that ensures I have zero chance of getting in.

    • Anon14:48 you aren’t the only person on this blog that I’ve seen trying to defend the poor politicians but you can’t defend the indefensible.

      The public didn’t give Canopy Growth a 40 million dollar tax holiday. The public didn’t tip off a well connected Liberal to purchase the land and lease it to Canopy Growth for millions in profit. The public didn’t say full speed ahead and damn the torpedoes with Muskrat Falls. All of these examples are brought to you by the political buffoons, like I said in my definition they are unethical, unprincipled, and unscrupulous and totally responsible for the mess we find ourselves in.

    • Terry @ 17:16:

      There is no defending the politicians, but you are exactly what is wrong with the public in this province – the public never wants to accept it is THEM that elects the buffoons.

      What will your arguments be in June when:
      1) David Brazil, Paul Lane, Tom Osborne and Kevin Parsons are re-elected?
      2) Barry Petten is re-elected?
      3) Glen Littlejohn is re-elected?
      4) Helen Ottenhiemer is elected?

      Just so you know, 5 voted for MF – all except Brazil who was a ADM and HO who was the spouse of a senior cabinet minister at the MF vote.

      And we haven't even discussed EJ, DK, CM or GM who will all likely be re-elected – a pariah group if there ever was one – imagine 11 MHAs in total that will likely be re-elected/elected that would sell their soul. And we also have Andersen in HVGB who has server time for fraud against the government that is now a mayor to be proud of, or we could even go back to the EB days when he had trouble as the head of MUNSU for similar activities that resulted in his imprisonment.

      Until NLers finally accept it is us who have made our governance problems we wont begin to correct it.

      Yes – it is the public that is responsible for government – no one other than the public votes, and by voting time and time again for these guys we are telling them that this behavior is acceptable….


    • PENG2: I’ve had this conversation with you before, you insist that it’s the public’s fault that our politicians are the way they are because we keep voting them in. I’ve voted in every election since I was 18 and now I’m 60. I’ve voted PC, Liberal and NDP throughout the years. I’ve finally come to realize that politicians are all the same no matter which party they represent. Our political system is not designed to make the politicians accountable to the public period.

      I have perceived power one day every four years and you want to blame me when the dealer in the game is dealing from the bottom of the deck, when I call him on it the house replaces him with another dealer who also deals from the bottom of the deck. I have no options when this is the only casino in town.

    • Terry @ 20:06:

      The same political system is in use throughout a good portion of the world – unfortunately because of the naivety of NL voters we seem to have some of the most egregious problems in Canada

      For the sake of the argument – who would you blame for Donald Trump being president, republicans, democrats or the voters? Same argument for Canada's prime minister, MPs, and MHAs.


    • Terry, I wrote at 14:48 and just want to clarify that I agree with you 100%. My point was that I think it's impossible to elect someone who wants to do the right thing. Healthy choices seem wildly unpopular compared to fantasy-land. While I talk to some people who recognize the two major parties are both selling a pack of lies, I'm sure they are still not ready for the truth. It's going to be very hard to get out of this hole when we keep making it deeper. I'm in 100% agreement with what you posed and I'm nowhere near PENG2's blame the public for everything mantra.

    • Anon 22:11yes I think you and I may be on the same page. I too believe that we should live within our means it’s the only way we’ll be able to climb out of the mess that we’re in. It May be unpalatable but what other choice do we have?
      As for PENG2 it seems like I’m driving around in a circle and getting nowhere. We are at opposite ends of the spectrum, we just aren’t going to agree.

    • Terry, Peng2 is a classic troll. He is not logical and just has an axe to grind. He is a Nalcor apologist and just insist it is your fault not the crooks that neutered the PUB, that sent a Justice lawyer to make sure no bureaucrat strayed from the party line. One who was on leave and did not get the threat testified that he was warned during a break in the JRP that he would lose his job if he testified on the harmful impacts on caribou. He declined to testify after admitting the threat on the record. All your fault according to PEGthetroll.

      He is a paid troll. Best to ignore him or he sucks all the oxygen from our lively political debate.

    • A paid troll, no wonder it’s all our fault and not the politicians. I wonder who signs his check Nalcor or the government? Although it makes no difference because they are really the same entity.

    • Terry / Bruno:

      So if the politicians are the crooks, what does that say about the public that elected them repeatedly? Over several elections to the point that there are still 6-7 in the HoA today that voted for MF in 2011 – and after the election will still likely be 7 or so sitting as MHAs.

      Either one of you going to explain how the voters are not responsible for this? And also explain how a conviction for frauds against the government didn't prevent the public from electing someone to municipal politics?

      Bruno, I suspect me and several others are still waiting results of the petition you will present to the NS Legislature to remove the obligations ML has to Nova Scotia and Emera under the MF deal – any updates (doing this would be actually productive on your part)?


    • This was a letter to the Editor in The Telegram in June 2011, before both MF sanction and the FLG. It is pretty appropriate to the discussion:

      The Telegram’s editorial of June 1, “Sound advice,” quotes Premier Kathy Dunderdale as follows: “Now, Mr. Speaker, my own personal view is if anybody goes to represent the people of this province then they should have the blessings of the people of this province.”

      Well then, using your own words, Premier Dunderdale, how can you lead this province and “represent the people” on this multi-billion dollar, debt-infested, high-cost Muskrat Falls project — without having “the blessings of the people”? Neither the project itself, nor your anointment through an undemocratic fumbling with the constitution of the Progressive Conservative Party of Newfoundland and Labrador, has “the blessings of the people.”

      Accordingly, if you truly believe that your leadership must have “the blessing of the people,” then you can only “represent the people” on Muskrat Falls after the election.

      Let’s see what the people think before you put us into billions more in debt, dramatically increase the power bills of Newfoundland and Labrador consumers — all while giving our business competitors and the people of Nova Scotia Muskrat Falls power for free.

      The people did vote for KD (and in effect MF) et al in fall 2011.

      An interesting document to review is 14-MC-2012-02-27, it outline just what the public were say around the time of the election – the public knew MF was an election issue, that MF was bad but they still voted for MF.

      Here is a link to the document as it was presented to the PUB in Feb 2012, it is a worthwhile read for those with poor memories:


    • Yes I just saw it, a paid apologist for the government and Nalcor. He is no different than Steve Kent and Paul Lane who were paid to click online polls when KD was premier. As you suggest Bruno it’s best to ignore him.
      Thanks for shining a light on him and his benefactors.

    • Terry @ 15:33:

      And who is responsible for the fact that PL is still in the HoA and SK was re-elected in 2015 and only resigned last year to take a position with Mount Pearl?

      Last time I checked, voters put both these pieces of work into the HoA.


  6. We need to vote for new blood in every district. These new ministers then need to fire the office staff (deputy/assistant deputies/directors) and have open, public competitions to find the best people. If they fail to do this, the existing cronies (like some of the bad actors we have heard at the inquiry) will be telling them what to do – in which case there will be no real change. Ministers are largely figure heads except in rare cases where a teacher is minister of education or a doctor is minister of health — it is the deputy ministers that run the show.

    • The most sensible aspect I read in it is that the dividends will never be paid which aligns with opinions expressed here on UG.

      The claimed $450 million taxation of exports, as Crosbie asserted but did not claim as a value in his plan, is quite the gambit. Is there nothing in the HQ-CFLCo contract that would prevent this? Or in the Emera-Muskrat contract? Really?

      The selling of all Hydro assets is also presented as having a better payoff than the MF debt but no numbers are suggested. Are they really worth that much?

      The suggestion to create a new energy regulatory authority also seems to be the exercising of a grudge toward the PUB.

      There's a number of other details to agree with but these three significant points are not justified sufficiently to defend it as a more viable strategy than the Ball or Crosbie plan. Nonetheless, it's great to have a few new ideas on the table.

    • Hollett's idea of adding a new tax on CFLCo's hydro sale is bizarre to say the least.

      When Brinco/CFLCo obtained those Churchill river water rights for 99 years for X dollars from NL; for sure it was not open for any later backdoor increases via taxes or what not…

      Then later, the same logics applies for the 1969 contract with HQ.

      Otherwise what's the point of signing longterm contracts if one party can unilateraly increase prices later (like via an arbitrary tax). No contracts would ever get signed if so.

      But hey, Nalcor/NL seem to enjoy wasting big $ in impossible court cases – so we never know… (And it provides good employment to Montréal's lawyers…)

    • Ex, I would agree with you, if this was a legal option it would have been used before now. I have seen this tossed out recently, even by Ches Cosbie,but no discussion on the validity, even by Hollett.
      So if 1 cent tax can deliver 450 million, 2 cents can bring 900 million, so tax up to the point where HQ says we don't won't your power. Far fetched scheme, me thinks.

    • WA / Ex:

      Id say politics on the part of Crosbie – and a very weak argument at best. I haven't read the term that suggests this, but normally fees/taxes are defined upfront in a long term deal – I'd say this would do more to damage NL/Que relations than good. NLers need to accept that the UC deal isn't a bad deal – we just didn't buy the lottery ticket and Que did(and they won the lotto), for MF we did buy the lottery ticket and lost.

      This is starting to sound more like an echo of 'until the cows come home' every day.


    • PENG2: Recall that DW said you have to gamble as to MFs :roll the dice! As in investor you know the difference between gambling and investing.
      As to CFs and MFs, Mfs was DW's gamble with public money and we lost.
      CFs…….was not no much of a gamble as an investment for HQ.
      Well, planned, engineered and executed. Considerable research as to 765 kv for long distance and lower transmission losses.
      With the Inquiry evidence, we see more and more of the superior engineering all along the way for HQ as to Nalcor, such that it is probably wrong to say that CF was a gamble.
      That much of MFs planning, design,and construction went so wrong, reinforces my suggestion that MFs is an engineering failure even more than a political failure. Though the political failure seems to have happened first, likely the oil/gas/cable engineers, not experienced hydro engineers, held sway to DW's thinkng. But still: they were engineers.

    • WA @ 14:45:

      I agree – though when I look over where the fault lies, I am not ready to lay much at the feet of Engineers yet. Provided the issues were noted to the Owner, nothing unethical with an owner making a bad decision – and many think the public own government/Nalcor, but this is wrong since by voting we trnasfer our decision making ability to politicians (unless we vote them out in the next election, which we didnt).

      DW et al wanted MF, sold the public on it and the Engineers were given direction to execute – I see more evidence of business men following policy rather than professionals being able to dictate the course. Even if we look at the line routing – all that had to happen was follow the TLH and there was geotechnical info available.

      If political egos hadn't gotten involved, NL would have gone the course of the Grimes/HQ deal of 2001 – and this probably looks a lot better now.


    • As to engineering, it now over til it's over: commissioning, reliability, costs yet for back up on the Avalon, North Spur, will even MFs operate, operating costs exceed may exceed revenue etc.
      But your repeated points that we elect most all incompetent politicians is little disputed, even ones that commits crimes are re-elected, and it reflects back to the voters to elect the worse, that is a long tradition. Anyone who voted for MFs should never get re-elected.
      Your point too as to businessmen(and women)….BOT and others all on the MGs bandwagon leading up to sanction, and only now recently the the Independent Small Business Ass, filing with the PUB with concern over power rates……….where were they before sanction.

    • WA @ 15:50:

      The answer is simple – we wanted to believe the energy warehouse concept.

      MF was poorly conceived from a policy perspective – there is no doubt about that. Why much of the engineering and economics work that was completed in the 1970s – 2010 period was completely ignored and we got this iteration, I cant understand.

      No doubt there should have been more opposition – but there was significant opposition that was ignore by the masses pre 2011, even in the 2011 General Election that the PCs ran on a MF platforms over 56% of the popular vote agreed with MF. It was only 2 yrs ago that MF lost support of the general public – I cant understand the public on NL, I really cant.

      However our history does show our failings, even if most don't want to accept them. MF is 1 example a bad deal and while the UC which is actually a good deal for NL is spoken as us being raped by the establishment – I think speaks of the mentality of NLers as a whole.


    • Peng2, I keep telling you why, as well as others. We had a Missiah that people believed that he not only took the oil from the ground, but put it there in the beginning, and of course he did neither. Hebron was his only real project. He went to Ottawa and single handelley wrestled the PM to the ground and got the 2$B from his back pocket. He leaps over tall building with a single bound. He hauls down flags at will, or several flags. He names his successor, and still pulls the strings of guys like FC, until he screams mercy, I can't do it, as others stand aside in bewilderment, then given the word to go ahead. He makes us a have province, and threatens to make us an energy wharehouse. He can do no wrong, and it takes the people a long time to get over that, says Joe blow.

    • There is no redemption to lazy, inept unprofessional Engineers, acting as construction managers, and contract administrators, for their remunerated time sheets, knowing that they have not earned their pay, having not produced added value, under direction of the known corrupt leaders, at the expense of their fellow citizens, etc.

    • AJ @ 16:34:
      And that is one example – but the bigger issue to to our goverance problem is why do we continually do this to ourselves? The list of similar fails is long – the MHA spending scandal, Capt Turbot etc.

      To my mind, until we accept we are no the center of the universe nothing will change.

      Robert @ 17:01:
      I don't disagree, but the public gave a resounding support for MF and it is the job of the Engineer to apply technical knowledge. I understand a core ethic is to practice for the good of the public – but the public wanted MF, so does it also become the job of the Engineer to be a babysitter?
      I am not so sure it is my job to argue with a client if there isn't a technical issue provide the client understands the risks.


    • PENG2; Professional Engineers, acting as Cost Engineers, Project Managers, Construction Managers, Contract Administrators, and such have a feduciary duty to manage projects, with Value Engineering ethic, with far more narrow scope than "Technical Issues". Shame.

    • Maybe that's why I opted for URTP instead of ROTP military training plan at MUN, I wasn't assured my technical skills would be used as I had hoped, if signing for 5 years with the military. So after 2 summers with the URTP opted for Churchill Falls construction, and ended a potential military career. Then later, working on the island grid expansion…..interesting projects, and too for the good of the public.
      Yes, Robert, feduciary duty of engineers can and often do exceed technical expertise. For lowest cost and reliable power, these go hand in hand.

  7. Just listened to Crosbie mention concerns/risks that Bill 69 poses to NL rights and authority re the Atlantic Accord/NL Offshore development/production.

    I note that Bill 69 creates a centralist Canadian Energy Regulator based in Calgary that will be responsible to assessing/regulating energy projects in Canada.

    It appears (perhaps) that this indeed could threaten our joint management rights as specified in the Atlantic Accord and effected through the NL-based C-NLOPB.

    While I have only skimmed a brief summary outline document on Bill 69, it appears that the risk of a loss of control of our offshore resources is real, and I would encourage UG to obtain/provide an informed submission on the potential impact of Bill 69.

    • Look Maurice, and anyone else who hasn't yet klewed in on what's been going on with this wretched rock since time immemorial… ANY entity that can serve to keep the custodianship of NL resources and revenues out of the hands of NL politicians and their Nalcor operatives will ultimately be in long-term best interests of ALL NLers.

      Letting these goddamed fools and their dodgy henchmen have access to the provincial treasury??

      Just look at where we're at with that approach.

      I say instate a Commission of Government to hire on a board of Norwegians to run the province, and get those goddamed dimwitted, corrupted Newfie partisan politicians the hell out of it.

      This place would be the Alaska of the East within 5 years.

    • As a former federal public servant, I can speak from experience that NL cannot rely on the federal government alone to act in our best interest.

      In fact, we would be taken to the cleaners.

      We have the Atlantic Accord because, and only because, the province and our provincial public servants/advisors and the federal government at the time CAME TOGETHER to make it happen —- the province did its duty (but the feds did not just offer up the Atlantic Accord on a silver platter).

      But I think Bill 69 puts the province's best interest at risk.

    • Taken to the cleaners, hey?

      Your NL politicians have already beaten the feds to it.

      And don't kid yourself… it's not as if this remote backwater province is awash in precious metals and petro-resources to plunder on a massive scale.

      Indeed, far far from it.

      The feds have put much more into it than they'll ever get out of it.

      Indeed, if it wasn't for the massive injections of federal welfare and largess the people would still be riddled with TB and na'r toot in their heads from malnutrition and poor diet.

      NL taken to the cleaners??

      That as asinine notion as a beggar being robbed of his fortunes.

  8. Because in some instances our own politicians have taken us to the cleaners does nothing to refute that, left alone, Ottawa would do and have done the same.

    The rest of your comment is little more than verbal diarrhea.

  9. I re read it.
    Not Clear on who is paying the generators for electricity capacity to be available on demand.
    Who would pay Muskrat Falls to not deliver electricity?
    We the public I expect.
    What would Ayn Rand say?

    • Like Trumpland, Kenneyland believes in libertarian, self regulation of industry, including utilities. That way, the heavily subsidized enterprisers, who finance the politicos, get on the gravy train. The coal/oil lobby is still in control in Alberta, just like in some states to the South. Free Pollution!. Rand was in essence a "me firster", who would support "Atlas Shruggery", and "Fountainhead Arrogance". Alberta, where wind, solar, and some gas/steam co-generation, favouring cleaner energy supply, is in copious economic supply, will be substituted, by the denier. Is Ches also a denier of the first order, as the Ball appears to be, along with some subjective Engineers on the payroll?

  10. Robert @ 19:05:

    Suggest you check the list of those on the PMT – alot less qualified Engineers worked at MF than you think, and it boiled my blood when technicians and others started calling themselves engineers.

    But you are right – there is a duty. The questions is if the client is told of the issues how far does that duty go – does the Engineer have to walk away or make the best effort for the client? I haven't seen anything to suggest that the client (ie government in the case of MF) didn't know what the risks were – and most importantly did the client care or bother to reassess when advised of the risk (the answer is no).

    I am sure that if the government had a smoking gun (ie meeting minutes or notes) that could sink someone by proving the elected persons really didn't know what was going to happen that we would have seen it at the inquiry – the fact that there are no notes, minutes etc tells me those involved knew and said 'to hell with it – lets do it' and there was nothing stopping the train.

    I am not absolving anyone, but if we all stay naive to what happened it will repeat over and over.


  11. Tomorrow night for those interested, this presentation tomorrow night is obviously about Bay D'Espoir but maybe a few of you would be interested to go and quiz the new Hydro President on more pressing issues.

    Copied below are the key bits from the MUN webpage:

    Speaking of Engineering Public Lectures

    April 25, 2019 at 7 p.m. in EN2006 in the S.J. Carew (Engineering) Building, Memorial University's St. John's campus.

    Title: How a hydro plant in rural Newfoundland has provided reliable electricity for the island of Newfoundland for over 50 years.

    Speaker: Jennifer Williams, president, Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro

    Free parking in lot 60 (Second floor of Earth Sciences Garage). Admission is free. All are welcome.


    • At present the reliability and affordability of MFs power is a key question, and what options, and costs for backup for the Avalon.
      To suggest MFs would prove, in the long run, to have economic value like Bay De Espoir was part of selling Mfs to the public.
      So is this a PR lecture? A Ball/Nalcor PR lecture?
      Winston Adams

  12. Interesting to hear Ches Crosbie say we have "ethical oil" offshore, his contribution for Earth Day. That clinched my decision not to vote for the PCs, nor can I vote for the Ball Liberals. And there is no Green Party here?
    Our sweet crude is 30 % less GHG, maybe so. With promises by politician for 30 years to reduce GHSs, but instead they are increasing, now at an accelerating rate, is our oil really ethical?
    How would that get determined under the Honesty Act Ches proposes? I suppose the oil here is less dirty and less polluting per barrel than some others, but is it proper to promote more production and use because the oil is ethical? Hummmmmmmm?

    • Better than Alberta sludge perhaps. When exploration in deep water is considered it is only marginally better than the worst.

      Have you chosen to ignore my suggested reading Winston??

      You have an exalted opinion of engineers no matter how dull and unethical they are. Most have lost any notion of the warning that iron ring brings to the profession. Look what the have done at MF! They have zero ethics led by an incompetent Gil.