HOW GOVERNMENT HAS GOUGED RATEPAYERS FOR 30 YEARS

Guest Post by PlanetNL
PlanetNL26: Exposing Hydro’s
Rural Deficit Account – Part 1

Very few Newfoundland Power (NP) customers know
they will overpay their true cost of electricity this year by 12%.  Labrador Interconnected System (LIS) customers
will also overpay by 16%.  Government has
legislated the utilities to over-collect from these two sets of customers to
subsidize high-cost rural and isolated regions.  Hydro calls it the Rural Deficit account.

This
hefty involuntary subsidy grows annually as Government-imposed rate-setting
policies for the rural and isolated regions widen the cost gaps.  NP customers especially, imminently
threatened by severe rate increases arising from Muskrat Falls, are being
counted upon by Government to pay a hefty price for Government policy goals.  Government needs to be brought to task to overhaul
the mechanics of the Rural Deficit and the rate-setting policies in rural and
isolated areas before a penny of Muskrat costs is levied upon ratepayers.

Regulatory Framework
Behind the Rural Deficit

NL Hydro’s 2017 General Rate Application (GRA) reached its
conclusion earlier this month when the PUB signed off a rather anti-climactic Decision.  There is little new to discuss on the GRA as
it simply addresses the final years of the pre-Muskrat era.  The PUB’s Hearing into Rate Mitigation Options
and Impacts this year promises to be far more crucial and important to the
future of ratepayers throughout the Province and it is the ideal forum in which
the terms and the very existence of the Rural Deficit account should be
assessed.
Within
the GRA Decision, the PUB wrote a tidy summary of the legislative directives
imposed by Governments past and present to define the Rural Deficit.  For clarity, the entire Decision section (5.3
Subsidization of Rural Rates) is copied here:

The rates for Hydro’s rural customers
are subject to longstanding policy direction from Government. OC2003-347
continued the policy that directs the Board to set rates for Hydro’s Isolated
customers such that: i) first block “lifeline rates” are continued for domestic
residential customers, ii) fish plants in diesel areas are charged Island
Interconnected rates, iii) churches and community halls in diesel areas are
charged diesel domestic rates, and iv) there is a preferential electricity rate
for provincial government facilities, including schools, health facilities
and  government agencies, in rural
isolated diesel serviced communities and for the Burgeo school and  library. This directive also provides for the
implementation of a demand-energy rate structure for general service customers
in diesel areas and requires that the rural deficit be financed through
electricity rates charged to only Newfoundland Power and Hydro’s Labrador
Interconnected customers, excluding Island Industrial customers.


On July 5, 2007 Government issued
OC2007-304 which provided for the establishment of a policy resulting in the
implementation of an energy rebate to offset the costs of the monthly basic
customer charge and lifeline block (or equivalent) of energy consumption for
Hydro’s Labrador rural isolated diesel customers and residential electricity
customers in the Labrador Straits/L’Anse-au-Loup areas. This policy makes these
customers’ costs for the basic customer charge and the lifeline energy block
equivalent to Hydro’s residential Happy Valley-Goose Bay Labrador
Interconnected electricity customers’ costs.

Since 2006 Government issued a series
of directives which, together, deferred the approved rate increases for
non-government customers on isolated systems to July 1, 2019.  Government funded the revenue requirement
impacts of these deferred rate increases until January 1, 2017 and directed
that Hydro absorb the costs since January 1, 2017.


The
first sentence of the first paragraph indicates “longstanding policy”: this
refers to legislation executed by the Wells Government in 1989 that saw rural
and isolated subsidy costs reallocated from Government to other
ratepayers.  This was the first major
offense resulting in Government transferring the cost of social policy onto
ratepayers.  The second sentence refers
to further refinement of the legislation made by the Williams Government in
2003.

The
second paragraph describes an additional layer of the Rural Deficit imposed by
the Williams Government in 2007 that saw Government contribute an additional
layer of subsidy for Labrador coastal customers.  Rates in this area were nominally benchmarked
to the Newfoundland Power rate but the new legislation offered an extra
Government-paid subsidy to rebate these customers to effectively achieve the far
lower LIS rates offered in central and western Labrador.

The
third paragraph indicates that since 2017, the present Ball Government, has
seen appropriate to repeat the Wells strategy by transferring the post-2007 Government-funded
Labrador coast rebate into the ratepayer-paid Rural Deficit account.  Ball’s Government executed a budget-cutting
effort by transferring their liabilities to ratepayers who again have no idea
they are paying the tab for rural policy initiatives.

Who Pays into the Rural Deficit
PlanetNL24 identified
the general areas of the province where the cost of service is high.  One is the rural areas of the island
connected to the main hydro grid but not served by Newfoundland Power (NP).  The other high cost areas include the L’Anse
au Loup interconnected area (connected to a small isolated Hydro-Quebec hydro
plant, not the main Labrador grid) in the Straits area of southern Labrador, the
isolated diesel-powered communities extending further up the Labrador coast,
and a half dozen similarly isolated diesel-dependent communities around the
Island.

NL
Hydro tracks the cost of service in these four zones and includes the data in
their GRA submissions to the PUB therefore assessment and reporting on the
subject is quite easy. 
In
the recent GRA, Hydro anticipated wholesale revenue of $475M for the 5833.6 GWh
energy it will sell to Newfoundland Power (NP) in 2019.  This amount would be the breakeven cost of
service to generate and transmit energy to NP (customer retail rates also
include NP’s own cost of service).   On
top of this, however, Hydro shows it intends to collect an extra $70.3M to fund
Rural Deficit subsidies.  Most ratepayers
then have no idea the actual cost of their service should result in a rate of
about 10.2 c/kWh (when including NP expenses). 
The well-hidden Rural Deficit surcharge raises the retail rate by about
12%, setting the Island Interconnected domestic service rate at 11.391 c/kWh.

Customers
of the Labrador Interconnected System, the grid supplied by the Upper Churchill
serving Labrador West and Central with the lowest electricity rate in North
America, pay even more into the Rural Deficit on a percentage basis.  Hydro indicates a $2.9M Rural Deficit surcharge
must be collected from LIS customers in 2019. 
The true cost of service for their 656GWh total consumed energy is
amazingly only about 2.8 c/kWh.  Hydro adds
an extra 16% for the Rural Deficit, resulting in the final LIS zone rate of
3.255 c/kWh.  

On
average, households in both the NP service area and in the LIS both pay just
over $200 (before tax) annually into the Rural Deficit.  This includes a great many cash-poor
customers for whom that $200 could have been much more usefully spent.

                 
Who Benefits From the Rural
Subsidy
The
table below contains data found in the GRA documents to show how the $73.2M in surcharges
are delivered to the four NL Hydro rural and isolated service zones.  Only the columns expressed in c/kWh were
calculated for this exercise.

Based
on total energy use, the subsidized customer zones represent 7% of the total in-province
energy market but they require 22% of the total revenue (this excludes
industrial customers who don’t pay into the Rural Deficit).  The Rural Deficit is the great equalizer,
delivering subsidy levels of greater than 50% to 3 of the 4 high cost zones.
All Rural Customer Categories
Energy Sold   (GWh)
Cost of Service     ($M)
True Cost of Service (c/kWh)
Rural Deficit funding     ($M)
Net Rate Subsidy Received   (c/kWh)
Island Rural
413.4
77.8
18.8
24.2
5.9
L’Anse au Loup
25.1
7.7
30.8
4.5
17.9
Labrador Isolated
43.5
43.8
100.6
34.1
78.4
Island Isolated
7.1
12.1
170.4
10.4
145.8
totals/averages all zones
489.1
141.4
28.9
73.2
15.0
As
domestic household customers comprise most of the energy sold, it’s
illuminating to extract costs and subsidies for that sector alone in more
detail.  The key data is also plainly
provided in Hydro’s GRA submission. 
Domestic customers in the Labrador and Island Isolated zones, 100%
off-grid diesel-powered (excepting a small amount of wind-power at Ramea), are
found to be up to 90% subsidized by other ratepayers.
Domestic Customer Class Only
Energy Sold   (GWh)
Cost of Service     ($M)
True Cost of Service (c/kWh)
Rural Deficit funding     ($M)
Net Subsidy Received   (c/kWh)
Subsidy as % of Cost
Island Rural
247.0
52.4
21.2
19.1
7.7
36.5%
L’Anse au Loup Zone
15.8
5.2
33.1
3.2
20.2
61.2%
Labrador Isolated
23.7
23.5
99.3
20.2
85.2
85.9%
Island Isolated
5.5
9.3
170.2
8.4
154.6
90.8%
  
Existing Rates
The benchmark for all
zones is the Interconnected Island System (IIS) Rate set primarily for
Newfoundland Power customers.  The
philosophy used to defend this is social equity: that it is fair and equitable to
provide electricity, an essential need, to all customers at the same rate
throughout the province.  As a result, the
rate for Island Rural and the L’Anse au Loup areas is simply 11.391 c/kWh;
being primarily hydro-powered, there is no cap on energy use despite the
considerably higher cost of service in these areas.

The
Isolated diesel-powered zones with their very high fuel costs impose a three-block
rate design as shown below for residential customers.  The first block quantity varies a bit by
season but is nominally sold at the same base rate as across the Newfoundland
Power system.  The second block is almost
trivial: the quantity is very small and costs only 1.5 c/kWh extra.  Although the third block, for all energy
above 1000 kWh per month, is priced over 50% higher than the base rate, it remains
more than 80% below the actual cost of service. 
The third block is also probably less than half the bare cost of fuel
used to produce electricity.


Despite
appearances in the table above, the published first block price is not the
actual rate Labrador coast residential customers pay thanks to the legislation
enacted by the Williams Government in 2007. 
Since then, all Labrador isolated diesel customers as well as
L’Anse-au-Loup/Labrador Straits customers have received a rebate that makes
their first block costs equivalent to just 3.255 c/kWh.  The Williams Government interpreted social
equity as requiring rates on the Labrador coast to match the exceptionally
low-rate Labrador Interconnected System. 

This
highly advantageous Labrador coast rebate, now over 8 c/kWh, was paid by
Government from 2007 to 2016 but since then, the Dwight Ball Government has
allowed the funding to shift to the Rural Deficit account.  This is the pinnacle of absurdity as Newfoundland
Power ratepayers are subsidizing Labrador coast customers to receive
electricity rates 70% cheaper than their own.

By
administering the Labrador rebate policy, Government preserves the illusion
that coastal Labrador rates are based on Island (NP) rates when in fact the
policy target is the far cheaper Labrador Interconnected rate.  Having Island ratepayers paying 11.391 c/kWh
to subsidize Labrador coast customers down to 3.255 c/kWh, is a perplexing and
astoundingly regressive piece of policy.

While
some of the customers in Labrador benefitting from the policy need financial
support, is it proper to have poor ratepayers elsewhere responsible to bear
that cost?  Administering social policy
through electricity rates is regressive and twisted.  Also consider that some of the poor paying
into the Rural Deficit are doing so to the benefit of many in the Labrador
coast zones who are quite well-off and banking their savings.  This is the most regressive type of fiscal
policy imaginable, yet all of our Premiers of the last 30 years have seen fit
to either maintain it or make it even more ludicrous.
……………
Part
2 shall examine whether other jurisdictions apply equally regressive subsidy
transfers on a similar scale between ratepayer groups and finds that NL Hydro
is unsurprisingly in a class of its own. 
Part 2 also finds that some other relevant jurisdictions employ much
more rational and progressive economic policies – why not here?

OPINION POLL OVER-RATES INEFFECTIVE TORY OPPOSITION

Having survived in spite of themselves, in Opposition the Tories have been lazy and uninspiring.  The fact that it is summer, and the House of Assembly is closed, admittedly makes their job tougher, except that the Party’s manifest weakness is not a seasonal problem.

REMEMBERING CABOT MARTIN (1944-2022)

He was an exceptional person. A gifted intellect for sure; irascible and argumentative, too. What endeared him to many was not just that he was analytical and insightful, but that he was honest and forthright. He was a public policy wonk; resource policy interested him most. He loved to travel and read; people, with something to say, were always important.

GNL RUSHING INTO ANOTHER “SCHEME”: CABOT MARTIN

I must say that after the Muskrat Falls fiasco, I thought our government had finally learnt its lesson and would not to rush into another such scheme where calling it “green” was enough to suspend all critical analysis.

209 COMMENTS

  1. Not on topic, but Counselor Budden seems to be doing a fine job on exposing how grossly inadequate was the senior government official's understanding of the financial matters outlined in various Nalcor decks.

    INEXCUSABLE!

  2. Soooooo —- If I understand this correctly (and I may be incorrect on this), but it seems Mr. Budden has blown Stan Marshall's $12.7 billion cost estimate out of the water.

    It appears that the $12.7 cost estimate should be more like $13.5 billion?

  3. So Ms. Mullaley had been the deputy clerk, the clerk of the executive council, chair of the Lower Churchill Management Committee and the Chair of the MF Oversight Committee — involved in a big way and over a long period of time — and yet seems pretty nonchalant about the processes, the communications, the record keeping, the duty to provide the kind of advice that WOULD ENSURE that the public interest was first and foremost.

    Shameful, to say the least.

  4. All I know after personally watching a substantial amount of testimony of both Phase 1 and Phase 2 of this Inquiry I am left shaking my head?

    It is almost unimaginable the sh@t show that the entire Muskrat Falls Project has become!

    The incompetence of many of the various persons involved, from Nalcor and Government officials is stomach churning!

    At this point i don’t know if I am capable of listening to answers of “I don’t know” “I can’t remember” That wasn’t my scope of work” “I didn’t take notes” “I did take notes and now they are missing”!

    It’s starting to sound like a Abbott and Costello comedy skit of Who was on first base?

    I am left just shaking my head!

    Yup, these are the people we trusted and hired to govern us!

    By the time we are all finished listening to this Inquiry many of us will be able to claim PTSD from being emotionally traumatized by Nalcor and the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador!

    • You are correct, it can cause PTSD. I like AJ , try to counteract the emotional assault of this Inquiry by my daily walks. This got neglected yesterday, and my wife gives me orders to not watch the Inquiry today….but I disobeyed.
      And too like Abbott and Costello.
      Poor Leblanc, he writes and writes, and cannot miss a word. Learmonth too……..both should get danger pay for stress effect, maybe Kate had to bail out from stress? Court much easier.
      Winston

    • At least you gave me a chuckle!

      I think that my wife also prefers that I don’t watch the Inquiry webcast?

      I believe she can see my blood pressure going up!

      Oh well as they say, onward through the Muskrat fog!

    • Yes, too boring too much net picking for the average Joe or high paid lawyers. Most of it doesn't mean a row of beans once they gave been over it all so many times. Just killing time sometimes I think, but have to tell the story, but how many times can one listen to it, or who is going to read it. Some of these guys you only need to hear from them for a few minutes and you know they are full of it, just trying to impress themselves and anyone else that might listen But they should be able to seperate the wheat from the chafe now and deal with only the important things. But guess everyone wants their Day in court just to show how important they are. Joe blow.

  5. worst thing is, is that this level of incompetence still exists within government divisions and agencies… fancy boys club. time for experience to trump propped up masters degrees, most of which cant speakwrite a coherent sentence.

    • Cronyism is rampant. Ignorance and incompetence is everywhere. All departments and agencies are like Nalcor. Only a giant purge of deputies, assistant deputies and directors followed by a 3rd party, independent, recruitment agency not based in Newfoundland, conducting a Canada wide competition for the best applicants will fix it.

      A commission of government might do the same thing.

  6. To the topic, yes lets say $200 a year to subsidize some rural areas.
    But:
    1,On average each family pays $2400 a year to subsidise MUN
    2. If MFs power is used for large houses, some with 75 Kw, it equates to about close to a million dollar per house just to meet their peak demand, and not being billed a demand charge. These are fat cat houses.
    3. And as MFs and Holyrood needed just for the Avalon, customers west of the Avalon has for 50 years been subsidising the Avalon customers.

    Winston

  7. Scott said Astaldi were useless in 2013. That combined with the increases in costs being hidden by Nalcor, before financial closure , should have caused a halt to MFs…….consider Astalti was very low in their bid price so lots of problems were inevitable.
    Now he is like a broken record: Astaldi; trust nothing they say, they want to screw Nflders out of another 800 million in claims. Sorry, but Nalcor has screwed Nflders out of more than 10 billion on this boondoggle. This more of Abbott and Costello: Who's on first base. Finger pointing everywhere, except Nalcor was/is world class. A load of bullshit coming from Scott. See if can do better telling how this has all gone wrong.
    Winston Adams

    • WA @ 16:38:

      I made this comment as a reply to you 03-Apr-2019:
      [start]
      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
      [end]

      Also, I am not sure there was much time to accurately assess the performance of Astaldi in 2013 – the LNTP is dated 31-Oct-2013, Financial Close was 29-Nov-2013.

      Id offer that in reality, Nalcor blindly committed to Astaldi and the by delaying the Notice to Proceed have put the province in a deficit position in defending a claim based on Heinzman (particularly relevant since I think the province of mediation for Astaldi could likely be Ontario)

      PENG2

  8. PlanetNL:

    I would say since you haven't mentioned the Menihek Plant vs L'Anse au Loup trade your analysis is flawed. Also, considering that Rio(then IOC) developed Twin Falls privately but had it taken for CF, that Lab West rates are infact subsidized by the iron ore industry for much longer that the Island rate payers – Lab West power is otherwise known as the Twin Falls block.

    Adjacency counts in the fishery, but not when it comes to hydro power? If we consider the monies pulled from Labrador in the mining industry, Id offer they probably have been supporting Insular NL on the whole(pretty sure that more money is made in this province in mining that oil or the fishery).

    It does no good for provincial unity saying 1 area subsidizes another – we could also start extending that argument to other services and no one wants that.

    PENG2

    • As to high cost diesel power, better that hybrid systems like in Alaska with wind replacing much of the fuel be utilised.
      Ball says if Letto gets another 6 votes in the recount he will bring him back as minister of environment, but will rename the dept to reflect Letto's innate abilities, so Minister of Wind and Gas.
      Winston

    • Agree with PENG2 that the issues of differences in costs can be divisive. Also that yes, the resources taken from Labrador, yet coastal areas with expensive diesel is shameful. Baseboard electric heat is unaffordable. 17 cents for over 1000kwh, so they get a rebate on this, that I guess goes toward food costs that is 3 times Nfld rates.
      WA

  9. With regards to 2nd witness today at the LeGong Inquiry; He's making almost $1600.00/day and gets a bad feeling about Astaldi in 2014 (not necessarily bad for him). He does the Happy Dance of course, as he'll be making $1600.00/day long after 2017. This is the problem, these guys are contractors, not Nalcor employees, they couldn't care less if Alstadi ever showed up to work.

    • Impressions of Scott O'Brien:
      I was initially struct by his manner of slow speech. At first I thought a considerate soft spoken guy and not a hothead boss like some who walk out on meetings and being rude, as we have heard of others.
      He had considerable experience, a civil engineer, but all in the oil industry. Not not good to hear. Before getting the job, he knew Ed Martin, and other recent witnesses, like Ron who advised he apply to Nalcor. There were many openings, he applied for a lot of them, including HVDC. He got the Generating Plant Manager That includes the plant containing the generators, but also the spillway, the North Sprur, the North and South concrete dams,the constuction housing facilities, excavations , concrete etc. This indeed is primarily a civil works job, but he would have taken the HVDC packages. That was given to Darren DeBurke, a mechanical engineer, thought that should be under an electrical engineer. Yet I would not consider Scott qualified for either because he had no experience at all in hydro projects, not to mention mega hydro projects. So, for MFs
      Generating Plant , top dog, not qualified.
      HVDC top dog, not qualified.
      Transmission, Jason Kean, the risk analysis expert, not qualified, it ran 800 Million over budget? An after thought that access roads were needed, costing hundreds of millions. Little geotechnical done on foundation requirements.
      Scott, a slow careful talker, or a bit off kilter I wonder? Maybe this guy is severely stressed……13 billion, no power yet, no one knows if the Spur will hold up.
      I wonder, maybe his doctor prescribed "muscle relaxants" as anti anxiety, to get him through the testimony? I could even imagine, maybe Ativan. That's a favorite by doctors, and used extensively for short term benefit. But it affects the mind, and is very addictive if used more than a few weeks. Of course, I could be wrong, and the guy is like the Texans, who just talk slow.
      Still, soon he mixed up a date and apologises.Then his repeated (3 times) that Astaldi was using these hearings to further screw Nflder in claims. He repeated that lots and lots of Nalcor pros on site, so he need not be there, much. Onsite people could handle any problem …..the deliverables. He dismissed the site managers small approval authority for changes, and the long delays for approvals as a non issue. I assume he was much coached by Dan Simmonds,whose
      mouth twitches when stresses…. still, Scott performed poorly.
      I was open minded for about 30 minutes, and down hill after that.
      At times he gave very short answers…..and there would be a pause, expecting he would say more. It seemed awkward.
      At the end, Leblanc asked fr a 5 minute recess,thinking it would go on another 30 minutes, but my signal never came back.
      Did Leblanc sense Scott was struggling, or Leblanc himself was stressed?
      So, my wife asks: is it over for the week? Of course, she worries for me as to PTST, and I but an observer.
      Winston

    • WA @ 23:54:

      To clarify an error or a misintrepretation – JK was a mechanical Engineer, his risk expertise comes from at most 1 course at MUN and inhouse training with a previous employer. Like SOb has no project management experience except what he gained inhouse at a previous employer.

      My point is, neither has specific accredited training in the field some think they are an expert in except inhouse training by a single employer for a specific piece of work. Also, I wouldn't say either have 'considerable' experience – both have about 10-13yrs professional experience and little variety in employers before taking on senior roles at MF.

      Inhouse training can be a valuable tool, but by definition it is inhouse because providers structure it so specifically that it has little value outside that shop and it doesn't meet the accreditation standards is most/any jurisdictions. Id say neither was trained adequately.

      PENG2

    • The entire lot had NO EXPERIENCE doing the job they were hired to do ! from Ed martin down to SoB, JK, LK, DDB,TP,etc. NOT ONE. Most out of MUN only 8-12 yrs. Now most trades/professions you have to learn the job in your first few years (regardless of schooling). After 3-5 years perhaps proficient. 5-10 years now capable to supervise one on one or a small crew. 10-20 years mid-level manager. 20-35 yrs you can be a senior manager – project manager, VP etc.

      These folks had the experience only to supervise or begin mid-level management but only on OIL jobs !

      On a hydro job they should not even have been hired !!!!

    • One question to ask regarding all this talk of who may be qualified to manage these hydro projects: Find out the qualifications of the management folks on the last (and current) 6-8 large hydro project in North America.

      Were any of them managed at the top by 8-9 OIL GUYS ? This is a very serious situation created by Ed Martin after he fired the guys at NL Hydro with 30 years in hydro jobs and cleaned house to make room for his close friends at Petro Canada.

    • Scott O'Brien is a Nalcor sycophant who can only blame Astaldi for the Nalcor incompetence. It was on his watch that Astaldi blew through the 1.1 billion and needed 800 million more. Now Scott would have you believe Astaldi are stealing money from ratepayers. Where was Scott but sitting on his arse in St.John's during the overruns.

      Too bad the cross exam is so painfully weak. Scott needs his arse whipped and his nemesis is nowhere in sight!

  10. We have heard that site managers has spending authority of $250,000.
    If the Generation Plant package was 5 billion say, then $250,000 is
    0.00005 % of the total.
    If building a house costing $250,000, and you gave your construction manager the same percentage of spending authority to deal with changes on the job, that would allow him to spend $12.50.
    We have also heard that the authority was only $25,000 at MFs site. If that was true, it would be equal to $1.25 authority for a house.
    Winston

    • WA @ 00:30:

      The bigger issue is when those changes require the OK of the EOR – approval for T/M work was much easier to get than approval and the necessary documentation to make Engineering changes. A nuance to many – but even the smallest(to an observer) of changes could require the approval of the EOR and that could take time.

      Again this leads to the blown budget – if it was so difficult to access additional funds and if proper PM tools were inplace the budget wouldn't be what it is.

      I believe this is being used as a red herring distracting from real issue – many seem to be 'buying' it up.

      PENG2

    • Yes change orders…red herring, baloney, tom foolery, what ever else you want to call it. They all talked about change orders, and were they in the vinicity of $1.25 or 250,000$ or maybe no dollars at all, just permission to do something slightly different that the final result was the same. So just on the job normal discussion, or something to be used to make a mountain out of a mohill. It's called professional work ethics to respect the other person and get respect in return. Making things work, and not throwing a monkey wrench into every thing you do or getting the other guys goat, a just to be a pain in someone's frigging neck. Attitude!!! Now I don't know, so just asking, but I worked a lifetime too. I haven't heard any direct questioning. Like how many change orders did you personally request, on what date, how much did it cost, how long did it take to get approved, did you document it in great detail, let me see your notes, or official documentation. Haven't heard or seen much of that. Does it exist??? Or just in someone's imagination. Or were there just a couple cases in a year and then all blown out of proportion, as if it happened every day. Or was a change order like headed for the outhouse and changed your mind. Joe blow. I can go out on a limb..and chop it off if you want to.

  11. I think the issue here boils down to the "outside the scope of my work". Those answers are quirlte truthful… This was a project where there was no clear leader or owner. SNL was not given control but Nalcor complains that they didn't run things (that was not the contract). Astaldi was a crap show and yet it was allowed to continue because there was no true leadership… And the crappy contracts didn't force good outcomes.
    Nalcor was the prime for the project but simply assumed all contractors were doing their job and understood the whole project even though it was not in their scope. They SHOULD have contracted someone like SNC to be the prime but that would have exposed the true costs as more around 10billion I would guess… And that was not something they believed or were willing to accept. And the public would have been outraged from day 1 (which was not the case)… This project did begin with hight majority public support.

  12. True budget for the project was hidden by MARTIN and his close friends from Petro Canada ALL of whom needed a new Mega-Project for work. Martin fired the NL Hydro Directors and VPs who had HYDRO experience to get them out of the way. Then he brought in the OIL boys to play his game.

  13. There has been much inquiry focus on what is referred to as an 'aggressive schedule' — as if the problem was that Nalcor should have allocated 6 instead of 4 years to complete and that was the major issue.

    But the project could have been done in the 4 years IF Nalcor had properly assessed AND COSTED the resources needed to get it done in 4 years.

    BUT THAT WOULD HAVE SHOWN THE REAL COST TO HAVE BEEN ABOUT $10 BILLION — and that was not on.

    So, just leave the cost and schedule at the $6 billion and 4 year projection to make all things look more palatable.

    I would suggest that from beginning Nalcor knew or should have known that the real cost would be around the $10 billion mark. So the so-called 'aggressive schedule' focus is in some ways kind of a straw man.

    There should be a much stronger focus/investigation into the demand, oil price forecasts, original,etc. estimates.

    • Proir to yesterday I had no idea of Scott, his character, or what to expect. He was obviously referenced before by others, but I did not connect the dots to know his position etc and connections with others.
      So I now think that he was coached big time by Simmons to project a calm, cool administrator/ manager, to counter the accusation of others, and over done this act we are seeing is theatre by Nalcor.
      We hear of a bully character, a tiger guy, from others who encountered him, and see before this Inquiry and to the public as a lamb, a Labrador Retreiver, or Nlld dog, while likely a Rockwhiler.
      Indeed , he may have medication to tone him down? Can we get a pee test please? Dan, the Man, will need to do cartwheels to make a good showing. First watch for Dans brow, for modest stress response, then the twitching at the right corner……..when he is very concerned if the response will be what he desired. Unfortunately, Dan cannot control these stress responses, so even cool Dan Simmons shows his colors at times.
      Budden doing a good job on his questioning.
      I asked is the worst over at this Inquiry or heating up. Heating up it seems.
      Winston Adams

    • Yes Winston, Budden is doing a good job, especially compared to the co-council. Scott's act was rehearsed, his tone deliberately slow and measured. His lies that a flurry of calls to and from Harrington and Martin were condolences for the unprofessional lies Astaldi were telling about him are hilarious. What a pile of bullshit. They were plotting his rebuttal to the stories of bullying and shouting, all down to the slow baritone of his responses on the stand.

    • WA @ 12:48:

      Again nuances, see my comment from 03-Apr-2019 above.

      Id offer that the cross by PB for Astaldi will be the most interesting part (though, there is a small chance there will be little or no cross).

      PENG2

    • Thank God it's Friday, I'm a bit muddled. Would like to comment more, maybe a bit later. Perhaps a drink of Lambs will help, I used to have one daily, but cut it to once a week or less. But this Inquiry can lead one to the bottle more, if not careful. I got one 20 minute walk in , not my usual 1.5 hrs. I think we should slow this down for hearings every second week, we are not all paid by the hour to watch this, and UG only pays me a very small fee to comment here, unlike what PENG2 gets. So I bill UG as a consultant, as you would expect, why else would I be on here. Even when travelled to Houston, recall, I did my job to stay engaged.
      Winston

  14. Good to see that AJ saw through Julia. Came in like a tiger and went out a pussy cat he says. Maybe Julia more an actor like James Dean that John Dean. Under her, as lead for the Oversight Commmittee, it took EY about 3 years to do a Quality Risk Review, as we went deeper and deeper in debt.. Then they split the Report in 2 parts( another bifurcation) , one a summary,for the public, the other, with detail, held back. How did this happen? At a cabinet meeting with the Premier, Ed Martin says he needs to discuss this separately with the Premier. Was this Ball by this time, job to keep track? Anyway, pussy cat Julia goes to a side room with the Premier and Ed Martin and Premier's chief of staff. Ed again claims commercial sensivity, and not wise to release it all, so split it. What does Julia say against this? Nothing. So they come back in and tell the cabinet members that the Report will be split. A cabinet decision? Did anyone say Yea or Nea? Apparently not, and Ed held sway,and the pussy cat said meow.
    Did I get this approximately right? So under Marshall, Julia had to go, over to the Housing Corp for while, and then back as Auditor General,as she and her note books are in the loop, so don't rock the boat too hard.
    Julia, if in the USA, she could lead "Women for Trump", and look sharp with the Make America Great cap.
    And if Budden is right that 12.7 billion is actually 13.5 ( she said she followed his logic, but seemed unsure,) then as MA said , she is not competent to be the Auditor General.
    Rewarding incompetence seems the rule. Julia kept calling Martin "Ed", not Mr Martin. Ed liked informality, as long as you showed no backbone.

    Meanwhile her note books…..who will search and find them? Leblanc said they are very important, did he not?
    Winston Adams

  15. I suggested that Dan Simmonds would have to do cartwheels to redeem the character of Scott O'Brien.

    With all that we heard about Scott, much bad and little if any good, what could Dan come up with?
    Paul Burgess clearly out shined Dan who tries to defend the defenceless.
    Never heard of Burgess until recently, but he is listed as President of the Law Society, and no slouch. Hogan too made quick jabs at Scott.

    Dan's cartwheel?…… SAFETY AWARD!
    Nalcor got a safety award, despite near misses (form collapse, and crane tipping over). No one killed yet. And how many times did Scott say, "every worker is safe at the end of each day"? What of the North Spur safety I would wonder…..would Scott live downstream?
    As Dan pointed out, nalcor got not just a safety award, but did ye all notice : "World Class" Safety standard.
    Recall Dunderdale and Ed Martin and many tooting the Nalcor Team, as world class engineers and project management. And the naysayers long ridiculing them as third rate.
    Now Nalcor has the proof, World Class are they not? Dan did the cartwheel, on what matters most, right? Sure, Nalcor wasted 10 billion or so…… but so what? Not one life lost at the MFs site. Does not Scott deserve a bonus? Mybe his team of 130 at site nd 50 at the home office all should get a safety bonus, as this a team effort.
    Is this not important under the Inquiry Terms of Reference?
    Speed kills they say. Slow and steady wins the race.
    Some say Nalcor was just lucky on safety.
    Now if we can get lucky on the GE software, and the Spur, Stan could go out strong?
    Winston

    • No Winston, he is one of us, so don't go too hard on him, Scott I mean, he has to pay the same increase in hydro rates as you and I, so he will help get her paid of since he lives here. And he is not going chasing big maga projects around the world as peng2 contends, for the big bucks. No sir staying right here and anti up. As I said all these oil guys had a vested interest in getting muskrat going and keeping her going, after Hebron and Vale were completed. They had grown use to the big bucks, 15-1600.00 $ dollars a day, 24/7, 365 days a year, for 10 years, and weren't going to let this one slip through their fingers, and yes can afford to pay higher hydro rates. They all knew 5$ billion and 4 years was BS, that was just a primer to get her going, next job was to keep her going. Hide and lie whenever they could until after sanction and fincincial close, then giver, for another few years, the govt. and loan guarantees are good for it. But they forgot who was paying, they taught it was like big oil, not little Jane and little Joe paying for it. They were and still competing for the same 50 cent dollar that health, home care, the minimum wage worker and the bond rating agencies are all clamouring for. But let the devil take the hind most, I want to get my take first, because I am world class, I tell myself. Never disputed there was not some good work done on all sides, but at what cost, and who is paying, not Exxon, or Husky, or Chevron, but little Joe and Jane, for years to come, for a project we didn't need, and the highest cost option says average Joe. So the best laid plans of little govt. MHA's, civil service and little world class mice shafted us, with our own gulliable guts, and misled by the nartistic hauncho.

    • Ed loves to talk about the local benefits of the project and we've seen a steady sample of those project people who collected large benefits. The 1 percenters really thrived on this one. The unions did pretty good too. Where does that leave the rest of us? Of the 13 billion or so, maybe 1 billion went to enrich the rich and 12 billion went on two credit cards – the public taxpayer card and the ratepayer card – signed off by the politicians and bureaucrats. A fine lot and we're so lucky to have them all, particularly those appearing before the inquiry and trying to do damage control on their reputations as they continue to soak up the big bucks.

    • WA @ 00:56:
      PB for Astaldi is quite established – and quite a nice guy personally. I made a comment during the cross of Power to the effect that we just saw $200m make its was to Astaldi during the REA settlement – I think yesterday we saw another $200m be spent.

      Joe @ 08:58:
      You are 100% wrong is saying '…they forgot…'; they never knew or cared in the first place. My initial claims of the PMT having a complete lack of experience in the public development is looking better everyday – more or less what happened is EM et al were told to develop the Lower Churchill at all costs, unfortunately for the public they did as directed.

      The nuance's that will need to be determined is:
      1) did Nalcor advise government appropriately
      2) did Nalcor exert appropriate controls as would be expected of a government ABC
      3) did Nalcor (as an ABC) actually owe a duty of care to the government, the Energy Corporation act seems to indicate there was no duty of care

      1 – 3 are going to be critically important because if spending private monies it doesn't matter if monies are spent prudently – but if a duty of care to the public can be established then Nalcor would have been expected to spend prudently. I still have doubts if a duty of care can be established – this will be critical to prove, not just have inferred by civil servants.

      I have also previously said that the influence of DW was broken at Nalcor until SM(maybe remember the relation of senator EM to DW to see why) took over – we are seeing this daily in the testimony, and will again.

      Also, not sure if anyone has bothered to read Heinzman – it makes for an interesting read to see what we are likely in for when the Astaldi REA is settled.

      PENG2

    • Anony @ 09:11:

      The local benefits is always over played by government – they do this to vote pander.

      Sure there is some support services provided local – to claim local jobs is a bit of B$. Even if a worker travels to Alberta, for work, he still pays NL income tax (it doesn't matter if that worker make $150k in Alberta or NL, the income tax paid to the province is the same) – the income tax of a workforce is the chief revenue source for government, not support services, though support services are somewhat important.

      PENG2

    • While we are on paying income tax and to whom, how about the Astaldi workers and other out of province workers. Understand Astaldi workers from Rome paid taxes in Itality, and same for other workers from outside the province paid taxes to their provincial governments and nationality. Yes, and billions spent in QC, ON and around the world. Scottie was continuously being beamed up, all around the world he said to garner stuff in American dollars, yes, India and China, what bargains to be had, so had to go over see it, but missed out on the stranded wires. Joe blow.

    • Joe @ 10:02:
      You are hitting my point exactly – local benefits are overplayed by government when pandering these projects to the public. Unfortunately, few become well enough informed to understand the benefit/cost – again, the same principle applies to voters.

      You also mention the popped strand – I would offer this is a Engineering fail. As I have debated with WA, there were Engineering fails – but I would see SOb as a management fail even though he is an Engineer since he wasn't practicing Engineering, but management by his own admission.

      PENG2

    • PENG2, there seems to be a fine line between practising engineering and being in management and directing other engineers below you,and signing off on documents, yet you say they are not practising engineering. Can you clarify, would Scott get his job if not an engineer registered in Nfld? Was engineering skills and education and experience necessary(except Hydro experience, what was most needed).Most managers on MFs are engineers and if they all fail, you say not an engineering failure. He testified the importance of water flow to turbines and negative consequences if the shape of the draft tubes changed etc……..this is practising engineering is it not? He signed off on the concrete dam, and himself added notes 4 days later, which he calls sensitivity…….but I think manipulation of the evaluation process of the award to the alternate contractor. He into travelling world wide for componets made all over, needing engineering skills to evaluate the progress etc. Much basic engineering is in design, which he is not doing, but much other seems engineering work to me. Even economics and cost control, he boasted of his skills there, so this engineering economics, a basic engineering course.

      And can you give contest for senator EM? This senator Elizabeth Marshall, correct? Wife of Stan, was, an MHA, had a falling out with Danny Williams, was appointed a senator…….so how is this in the MFs story?
      Winston

    • WA @ 10:445:
      Regarding the Engineering vs management, I would say it is a fine line, but we know neither PH, TP and LC are not practicing Engineers in NL – so yes, SOb could have gotten his job is not an Engineer. If we look a the PMT witness to date, I think the percentages are 50/50 for Engineers, and only RP was actually practicing in an area in which he had experience.

      There was also a movement a few years ago to get a lot of the engineers registered(either within Canada or particularly NL) – so an interesting effort would be to cross list the PEGNL registration in 2013 vs 2016 when construction was at its peak.

      Quite a while ago I mentioned the 10-15 senior members of the DW/KD governments that left under auspicious circumstances or had difficulty in the period upto sanction (Taylor, Manning, Marshall, Ottenhiemer, Kennedy were just a few) that should have made the public take a 2nd look at the management practices of government but it didnt. That's all, sanction of MF was a governance fail – but there were warnings most ignored; but memory tells me senator EM was particularly relevant as it was middling in her department she said was her reason publically.

      PENG2

  16. It is pretty bad when you have to root for Astaldi over the home team. Scott says Astladi going after 800m, the documents shows they seek 500m, so Scott allowing 300m more.
    Nalcor may counterclaim, and in the end it gets settled out for 250-300m for Astaldi,but maybe only 150M, is my guess, much depending on what the paper trail shows.
    Now to me, both Nalcor and Astaldi were both incompetent, and in over their heads. For Italians, it was a big deal when Mussolini became dictator and made the trains run on time. …..not much of an accomplishment. Hitler looked up to him, but after meeting him and knowing him, was not at all impressed, an amateur.
    So we have a bunch of Nflders, most townies I guess, and a bunch of Italians, neither who had experience with isolated Labrador, a remote northern location, with short construction season. So the blind leading the blind, the failure of the dome idea one example.
    So between Nalcor and Astalti we all get royally screwed, and they blaming each other, and hundreds of million more yet for their combined incompetence.
    So Scott a scroudrel to blame it all on Astaldi, seeking pity from fellow Nflers. Not buying it. As someone else said, Like Abbott and Costello, Who's on first base? A big joke. A 13 billion Newfie joke. People should be up in arms at this waste, but few care until the power bills or other taxes rise, or other services are in crisis.
    No pity for Scott. I believe the testimony that his style was indeed that of a bully. ANd he displayed arorgance on the stand, as if his job was too complex for anyone to understand all it entailed.
    That the process could be flawed, too bad, it was what it was, not to be modified or questioned.
    I guess most of these make about 400,000 a year? 10 years gives 4 million gross. Now too , when incorporated, the corp rate is only 16 % instead of say 45 % on wages, you can take reduced salary, and invest the balance, right, for long term leverage? As an investor, you should know the tax advantages of incorporation? Perhaps AJ is not so aware of that?
    Winston

    • WA @ 11:27:
      you are more optimistic on the Astalid REA than I am – I will be very surprised if we don't pay $500-650m. Now, we can always appeal for 40yrs like with the UC, but that also has a cost – most important cost is the attitude that caused us to do MF on 'our own'.

      Regarding 1-person incorporations, I think you are making it seem more profitable than it is. My experience is that with 1 client and 1 employee its not worth it – (granted it makes great business for large corporations to subcontract labour this way as it becomes an operating expense with no liabilities rather than payroll burden) but when factoring in the accountant fees due to more complicated tax regimes, time limits on leaving monies in the company as an 'investment', income taxes when pulling out profits, and close-out implications I think the sole proprietor is who get nailed eventually by Revenue Canada. I don't recommend it – especially with the propensity of governments to change the rules as they see fit (ie much different tax rules today than in 2010 when some of these guys started).

      PENG2

    • As to Astaldi, thought maybe Leblanc mentioned 135M likely, not sure, and so I guess.
      Meanwhile , yesterday the issue of Astaldi wanting Nalcor changing schedule, and constantly being denied by Nalcor , in writing, I thought this devastating for Nalcor to have done that. Further, Scott on the stand, sworn to tell the truth, and saying Nalcor was providing this to Astaldi, which was false. Burgess suggesting it was inconsistant, to be polite, seemed not truth telling by Scott to me.
      Burgess presented the documentation,and Simmons seemed uneasy with this. What's your take on that?
      And your take on the North dam contract award. I had suggested on UG, hanky panky, and the day after Simmonds had Ron Power state all was above board, but not convincing to me.
      Yesterday we see Scott's involvement and sign off 4 days later, seems fishy as to how this came down. Your take?
      Winston

    • PENG2, on small corporations, the Feds have tightened up some but still favourable for savy investors. I believe they allow 50,000 a year in dividend income, which suggests about 1.25 million could be held before getting taxed at higher rate, equal to if an employee. Maybe few are such investors.

    • Anony @ 13:14:
      Correct – but what you cannot do is continually over a period of years is continue to add to the 'corporation' investment bank because you reach a cap or a time limit when the monies cannot be sheltered anymore. When you reach this cap/time limit, near all of the 'corporations' revenue must be claimed as wages and tax accordingly. Also, when you close out the 'corporation' all the previously held investment monies are considered income to the directors and taxed. As I said for 1 person with 1 client I don't see the benefit, especially when you have to close out the 'corporation' – unless the contracting work is only 2-3 years and you have a 'regular' job to go to and slowly draw down the 'corporations' investment pool as income and assign to personal RRSPs or some other tax haven.

      WA @ 13:04:
      I have always been consistent on the timing of the Inquiry and potential to affect the REAS – I think we will see this materialize over the coming weeks as you noted with SOb and PB yesterday.

      As for the letting of contracts – again this will lead to nuances. Has anyone actually proven that Nalcor are required to follow public tendering policies of lowest bidder and non-preferential selection? In a private development situation I can select any bidder I want – I am not so sure this isn't necessarily true to Nalcor (despite what many want to believe, again duty of care arises). If Nalcor does have to follow public tendering, is the argument of 'claim oriented' contractors enough to pass some of this over – maybe or maybe no but I think will be enough to cloud the waters enough.

      PENG2

    • Agree that the Inquiry present some exposure to claims. But Mueller said this week that it was important that his Inquiry proceed when it did, when evidence was available and memories were fresh, as t Trump.
      Here memories are not already stale for "can't recall" the favourite answer. As to evidence, few keep detail records and notes as you do, but should, and what there is goes missing. So that the down side of waiting several more years to start, and these witnesses scattered to remote corners and some sick or dead.

      On Monday the announcement to come that Canada is a country that commits genocide, as to First Nation women and girls killed and missing, 3- 4 thousand I read. When did this activity start? That adds to cultural genocide notes 2 years ago.That Inquiry was rather late in starting.
      Winston

    • Peng2 @13:32…….you are generally correct that you pay the piper eventually, but that time delay of money in your hands instead of the government, can be of considerable benefit, for a savy investor.

    • AVerage Joe don't know nothing about taxes and companies. All I know is they all worked for their own company, one employee, and 2 board of directors, so me and the misses. Now they probably paid their board of directors more than nalcor paid theirs, otherwise they probably would have resigned. Not worth the trouble. That's not what trumpie said he says he is smarter than the IRS, no one in congress able to understand his returns, and he is a billionear and never paid a cent of taxes for over 10 years. So what would I know about companies, employees and being incorporated, but sure they are smarter than trumpie…sure he can't spell as good as me.

    • Good point AJ, one employee yes, but can pay a directors fee to the misses, likely much more than what is paid to Nalcor directors. Or dividends instead of salary. Only your accountant knows for sure, and accounts love these setups, much work for them. It is not so much what you make as what you keep. Can't see why the carpenter and pipe fitter don't incorporate, would unions approve?

    • It would be interesting and I suspect very revealing to have a forensic audit done of Nalcor's books. I'd bet dollars to donuts that the salaries disclosed to Revenue Canada versus the actual money/dividends/perks,etc.etc.given to the Gang Who Couldn't Shoot Straight from a slush fund, is where their wealth occurs and is amply able to pay their high taxes and then some.
      Given the sleaziness,deceit,half truths and outright lies demonstrated by EM down, and then on to Govt where the public purse was/is available for whatever was wanted, it wouldn't be beneath them to pay under the table. How will anyone know unless there is a forensic audit conducted? It's mind boggling how this was allowed to occur. There are sewer rats in this fiasco starting with the conception by DW, sanctioning by KD, unquestioning permission to go Full Speed Ahead by PD, all of whom were under the control of EM (except DW who was controlling EM).
      The deceit and outright lies conducted is nothing short of fraud and further action should be initiated by the RCMP—–$12.7B and counting for a project that was not needed has to be paid for by a population of 500K for the next 50 years. Talk about reckless spending!!! Je-us Chr–t ,we're borrowing $3M/day to pay the bills!!
      And to top off all this CUPE is rattling their horns saying they are not accepting a wage/benefit freeze when their contract is up in March of 2020–Just where in Hell do they think the money is coming from?
      NLers are in for(as Trumpie would say) a very very rude awakening. God Help Us!!!

    • I see you have caught the PENGzero disease. The fists time ust the full name then you can use the initials if you want people to read your posts.

      Ed gave VD to JRP at FGL by FRS at HYT. Get the picture?

  17. ON GREENING of NFLD
    BC in their budget for 2019:
    For clean vehicles: rebates 49 million
    Charging networks: 30 million
    Public building energy retrofits : 40 million
    Homes, heat pumps and envelope upgrades; 41 million
    Help for communities on diesel and fuel switching : 18 million
    Carbon tax rebates to low and middle income families: 223 million
    Contingencies for initiatives not yet fully developed; 299 million

    This called the Clean BC program,launched in Dec 2018, total in 2019 budget 902 million.

    For houses, up to $14,000 per house for heat pumps plus insulation
    Rebates for heatpumps jumps from 1000 to 3000 dollars.

    Ball is anxious to reinstate Letto as environment and climate change minister, with his 1 million for climate change budget, vs 902 million in BC.

    I recently posted on Quebec.
    So Nfld one of 4 provinces with large hydro component, and we see what Quebec and BC doing, these are also large hydro resources.

    Will NDP Coffin, an economist hold Ball's balls to the fire on the environment and value to homeowners from the carbon tax?
    Winston Adams

    • Winston, Where has Allison , the economist, been hiding for this past decade while MF was hatched as an evil plan for an unneeded legacy on the backs of NL rate/taxpayers? In her coffin perhaps?

      Expect nothing from an economist that had nothing to say while the largest capital project in NL history went off the rails.

    • I expect little or nothing, for reasons as you say, but do they say hope is eternal,….. or live in hope , die in despair . Did she not say she would be formidable …….so , we'll see soon.
      Main parties wanting most of the carbon tax going back to the companies that produce carbon. Few of the public opposing that, like few opposed MFs. A dog killing cat story still gets twice the hits at the Telly as a MFs story…….Paul Lane is beginning to seem like the most enlightened MHA, a true convert?
      Winston

  18. UG has a link to Tom Adams piece:Orwell's Animal Farm, Collingwood Edition. Great story of the Inquiry going on. Anyone else read it? I can summarise it, as it is 300-400 pages.It is broken into chapters, and the first chapter is a bit dull, but gets more interesting as it goes on.
    Winston

    • Collingwood in Ontario is about 20,000 people, incorporated since 1858, I think, so since about when when Cyrus Field laid the cable across the Atlantic to Heart's Content in the Great Eastern. Most towns in Nfld was not incorporated until a century later, in the 1960s. They had their own power distribution company. Ontario has about 80 power companies, compared to 2 here, Not sure if such "distributed" power is what Bruno promotes, small local operations. Downside is operations of scale is absent, so operating costs may be more. We saw NFld Power grow from take over of other small regional operations in Nfld, before Fortis. We had United Towns in Conception Bay, The Fisheries Union under Coake had their own power company, Union Electric, etc
      So Collingwood long owned their power company, proving local jobs and earnings to the town….until, just as MFs was being sanctioned here, a scam as we now all know on the public, so too in Collingwood, a scheme was hatched to sell off their power company, "for the good of the town" they were town. Intriging how this was done. Few turned out to a town meeting early on, but after the dirty deed was done, then complaints, and then a police investigation, now a public Inquiry. Very interesting the underhanded things that went on.
      The Inquiry there is very different from here. Here we see a list of witnesses, dozens of them, but to the observer, it makes no sense as to who most were, their positions in the MFs saga, what part they played, so it is like a jigsaw puzzle here. Scott O'Brien calls it organized as a matrix for management, I called it a maze, so not much different. This week, the co-counsel was to present a chart showing how the management was organised, and Scott says it was no good , an old one, so it was not shown. So how is the AJ to understand the ins and outs of this maze, now 8 months into this, and still all a puzzle, : Who's on first base? (Abbott and Contello). So we see bits and pieces of documents,what they select to show, of millions of pieces, no sequence of events, jumps ahead , then jump back, all over the place. I had a back ground as an engineer in the power business, and I find it very hard to make sense of the master plan of the Inquiry , how it is proceeding. And PENG2, gives tips: Watch for this or that coming up, as he is more in the know, knows many of the characters, and the politics too, and he says he is a consultant with Nalcor, a geotechnical engineer, and an investor in Fortis, etc, so he adds a bit to see into this maze.
      Winston Adams

    • The Collingwood Inquiry seems to have got all the relevant documents first, perhaps the police did this, I'm not sure. And the story is told in seven chapters, almost like a novel. We know the main characters early on, and then an organised telling from the documents and emails, as it happened, day by day, week by week , month by month, the scheming is readily apparent, in their own words.
      So all this is laid out, with links to more detail if you want it.
      Now it states that the truth of this evidence is not proven in court. That allows the Inquiry , to permit the schemers to write to challenge the paper trail evidence ( little was challenged), and then after as a witness to appear to tell their side to the commissioner. That is now ongoing. Some complain that the evidence was laid out which essentially paints a wrong story, but that is like Ed Martin and others saying this or that is out of context, so that can be expected.
      So there, before the Inquiry even goes public, we see the big picture, the main characters, the main evidence from the paper trail. Now the Inquiry there is much simplified, to see the rebuttal from the schemers, and fill in the pieces, if wrong doing, and by whom.
      We see an Inquiry room at Collingwood with 2 or 3 video terminals ,not 24 like here. Here it is like the trials in Germany after WW2, so many lawyers involved, except there many were hung or executed for high crimes, here, just run of the mill low crimes,or no crimes. Here we pay 50 years for the boondoggle, and, on top of that, pay for the lawyers to defend those that my be guilty and incompetent, to protect their reputations,with no consequence,…. so soon it can start all over again. A few say,yes we are accountable,but no penalty, usual promotions and bonuses is the norm. So all goes free.
      Maybe in Collingwood too, all will go free.
      Granted our bonndoggle is crushing is size as compared to Collingwood. But there are many similarities as to how these scams happen………when the public is not informed, or chooses not be be engaged until it is too late.
      Winston

    • No Winston I mean widely distributed sources of ENERGY not widely distributed companies.

      AS a young man I lived in rural Ontario. I was "serviced" by a small independent telephone company. The town of Alma was three miles away by road. At night I could see the lights of the town on the horizon. Like almost everywhere else it was a long distance call! Grrrrrr.

    • Today in St John's eastend we see outdoor temperature of 53 F (11.8 C), bright but not sunny, as the Atlantic fog rolls in and burns off from solar radiation. It's been a cold spring, trees are only starting to bud, no leaves let. The capelin should be almost ready to roll, if not for the ocean temperatures now always a month or more later in warm up. They want 50F ocean temperature from my observations, beofre coming to the beaches.
      Yet my attic temperature hit a record for this year. In May it hit 93 F. Today it was 99.9 F at 12:50 , then 100.2 by 1:30, and down to 98.8 by 2;15. The attic is about 50 F warmer than outdoors, despite little direct sun on the black shingles. As humans like about 70F, the attic is about 30 F too warm. Yet my basement, which is unheated all winter, is still only 52 F. That is 18 F too cold for human comfort. That attic heat source is physically only about 10 feet away from the cold basement. To heat the basement with baseboard heat I would need 6-10 Kw, yet so much free heat 10 feet away.My main level all heaters are off, with the temperature indoors about 77 F. Some excess attic heat is radiating down into the interior.
      The island grid showed 802 MW at 12:50, still into dinner hour. By 2:15 it had dropped to 757. This is still 100 MW more than we would expect in August. Many are heating their basements with baseboard heat, as the main level needs none, and the attic is hot. THe ground temperatures lag outdoor ambient about 3 months, so basement heat loads are minimum about the end of August.
      This may seem like on a tangent, but in Ontario, we can expect attics to be 130F or more in summer. A decade ago I recorded 119 F in the attic on May 19, here in Logy Bay town.
      Part of the scam in Collingwood was a proposed solution to hot attics: A solar powered ventilator to cool the attic. If you cool the attic, you require less air conditioning energy. Sounds logically? Just as logically as programmable thermostats and LEDs for yearly savings during heating seasons; largely a scam.
      So in Collingwood, they use the same term we use here: "Take Charge", as part of their Conservation Plan. Why a scam? Because such ventilators would reduce the attic temperature by only 1 or 2 degrees, and reducing the AC load by fraction of 1 %……but who did the monitoring to prove effectiveness? The excess attic energy is so great in summer that you need to move massive amount of air to cool it, well beyond what the mickey mouse ventilators can do. So much for such solar powered devices, but who informs the customers?
      The schemer, to sell off the power company, also set up a distributorship to peddle these devices as part of the plan. The power companies were all in.
      Winston

    • The above comments were from my experience. I just googled a search on solar attic fans. I could find nothing that rates then CFM vs static pressure,(the only effective rating) but most have low solar capacity, 10 to 25 watts. For certifications they are tested for wind loads, but not for ability to cool an attic.
      The Washington Post was asked if they are worth the cost. Tim Carter in a piece dated Sept 18, 2018 writes.
      "I tested a fan than moved 800 cfm, and took temperature readings.The reading never dropped even though the fan was moving at top speed. Your attic temperature can go to 160F or higher.
      There are talented and clever salespersons and marketer managers who can cast a spell upon you about new or better products".
      I was generous to suggest in the attic the temperature might drop 1 or 2 degrees. So, too , how much of the MFs boondoggle was by clever salespeople and marketer managers by Nalcor, as to power needs and how to supply it. Take the Nalcor literature with wording "Boundless Energy" showing the great waves of the North Atlantic. Why has the spin doctors and media people of Nalcor gotten a pass at this Inquiry? Questions and Answers that were dishonest, mislead and spin, drafted for Nalcor executives and politicians, by these people being paid hundreds of thousands of dollars.
      Winston

    • The main scheme was to sell the town owned power company, but not to the highest bigger. The power company was worth about 30 million. The highest bidder, Hydro One big about 16 million for 50 % ownership, which was the initial arrangement to sell half, and the rest later. The successful bigger bid only about 7.3 million.
      Something rotten in Denmark?
      The main schemer, if I recall correctly, was a director of the local power company, an ex poltician, and a registered lobyist. He gets his sister to run for mayor of the town, writes her speeches and talking points, and she becomes mayor, step one solved, and she goes along with the plan.
      Then to seek expressions of interests from another company to buy, not hard to do, and he gets paid a consulting fee for his efforts, by the other company, charging by the month. So that the process is made out to be fair, they get proposals and bids form 3 others, so 4 in all. But the cash offer is only part, the rest is about 9 terms each worth about 5 point each on scoring, such as local benefits, how many jobs to remain in town, etc?
      So apart from Hydro One, the others are similar to the favoured company, with cash offered about 7.5 million, so easy to dismiss them on the other terms. But Hydro One was more than double the cash offer! So on other scoring, of 5 points each, 45 points in total, they awarded not a single point to Hydro One. So, not the preferred bidder they concluded. During the evaluation process, the Conservation plan kicks in, knocking on doors promoting the great gadgit , the roof solar vents, and rebates that the favoured company will offer, this to keep homeowners to think this seems a good idea. So it went like clockwork. The schemers congratulated each other by email how easy it was to do.
      All very pleased……until some resident made a written complaint ,and that was the starting point for an investigations,and now an Inquiry, so this started and playing out in similar time to MFs.
      Resident were told it was prudent to sell the power company, now it seems there was never a case made out to show it was prudent.
      The main schemer made hundreds of thousands of dollars, and more too on the fake energy saving solar vents, with sole distributorship deal.
      Of course the scam here is about 500 times bigger. So maybe we need 25 or 30 lawyers to figure it out?
      Or maybe we just need AJ and Bruno, and a few naysayers, and Leblanc's findings won't matter much.
      Winston Adams

    • One might think that the power company sale was enough. But part 2 of that inquiry is what happened next. How to spend the money from the sale. They wanted a rec centre and pool building. At the bottom of the Tom Adams piece is a link to that scheme of those buildings. I was taken by the photo of the facility, and the name on it….:SPRUNG!
      The town paid 12 million, the purchase made without tender call. Yes this was investigated by OPP anti racket division, one of 8 investigations by the OPP since 2013.
      I googled Sprung and see they date back to 1887 in Alberta, first making covers for wagons and tents. Still a busy family business. There is a photo of Philip Sprung that looked familiar. They say there are no distributors for Sprung products, they deal direct, and they put pride in having satisfied customers.
      But in the Collingwood story we see the schemer made $756,000 off the project it seems. The police say the story is shrouded in layers of secrecy.
      They say there's a sucker born every minute. Sprung too promotes themselves as world class, and indeed, they sell in many countries.
      Surprised they didn't get the DOME in MFs.
      Recall, the statement of Clyde Wells " You can grow cucumbers at the North Pole, but is it economical to do so"?
      Funny, is it not, we have heard not a word from Clyde Wells on MFs.
      Winston Adams

    • In Tom Adams' summary, he compared it to Orwell's Animal Farm. I have not read that book, but know a little about it. Tom says in Collingwood, the pigs have taken over. Has that happened here?
      So, I'll end there. If you want more on that, read the some 500 pages on the Inquiry Foundation Documents, they lay out the story in good fashion, different from the Inquiry here.
      Winston

    • WA @ 20:07:

      I quoted a statement like this before:
      [start]
      …. and judges are subject to severe limitations as to what they can say publicly, especially about controversial topics like politics and scandals. As a general rule, a judge speaks in public only through the judgments he or she renders, or, if the judge happens to be acting as an inquiry commissioner, through the reports he or she delivers. Of course, judges have private lives and private opinions but they are supposed to keep their personal opinions to themselves. This is particularly true with respect to political matters. ….
      [end]

      Judiciaries are apolitical by nature, even if retired they could be asked to sit over an Inquiry and thus keep very low profiles.

      I am not surprised by silence on the parts of judiciaries – this is partly why I refuse to comment on their work.

      PENG2

    • You laid it all out Winston so guess no need to read orgional. As you say a scheme, but muskrat is 500 times larger and involves an entire province or the provincial govt so much larger than Collingwood. Funny get your sister elected mayor, makes it easier to pull the strings. So a large profit made by a relative small number of people, and you can see the incentive to pull of the caper. So, if we try and make the similar analogy to muskrat, who are the small or large number of people to benifit directly. Money in their pocket. Haven't figured that one out. Who profits big time??? We know who loses, the entire population of the province. The only ones I see profiting directly are those, as mentioned yesterday, are those who have permanent employment for a decade, at what I call big bucks.,Now to satisfy an enmours ego, well that's a different quintile of fish. Did I miss something in your comparison, that is profiting here big time . As I said I can see individuals with their own company or bigger companies/ contractors like pennycon, etc. but no really big payoff, except for eddies 6$ billion, but that was not foreseeable. Joe blow.

    • The Collingwood Inquiry site has a heading "Community Meetings" and a photo of an Inquiry meeting with a packed room of residents, some standing at the back, about average age of 60, all with a worried expression. Is scope, of dollar value, the impact here I think would be the same if we had a population of 10 million instead of 0.5 million.Yet here, no one but the 3 or 4 usual naysayers attend.
      How is this explained?
      Crossed my mind to pay 100 dollars each to the first 10 to show up at next Ed Martin testimony ( the few regular naysayers excluded).
      Also they must stay at least 1 hour, so that 100 per hr, half of the lawyer's pay. Would any show up?
      Winston

    • PENG2, I can see your point up until a judge retires, and too if he /she seeks judicial work after retirement. If not, then are they muzzled, like the Queen?
      I think you initially praised Leblanc, and too, described the Inquiry as a gong show, the antics of Ed Martin.
      His job is a very difficult one, and seems reasoned and fair for the most part. Seems soft as to demanding the note books, or whether that now a dead issue for him? And too, no deep dive into the CDM or wind resource not properly evaluated by Nalcor. You have agreed, not sure if justified why no deep dive? Did we need the power is not answered, is it? And not answered, was it the lowest cost, not the least cost nonsense.
      If this is critical of Leblanc, so be it.
      Winston

    • Collingwood population around 21,000, similar size to mount Pearl. The caper was pulled of mainly by the council, so a relative small number profiting as I understand. So let's say it was Mt Pearl council, how many residents would show up. Think it would be more personal and residents may show up in greater numbers without the 100 per hour. But if you offered it there, then maybe more would just show up just for the 100bucks. But it is sorta non political, city council. But as soon as you attach a political party to it bias immediately rears its head, to be associated or not associated. That influences our public actions. So you might say political partisan rules most people in this province. It explains peng2 assertion that 6 or 7 MHA's that approved muskrat get reelected, again and again, because partisan politics is a greater incentive of placing that above all else, including ones good common scense, the common good and ones pocket book in terms of higher rates. And rationalization it generally as the other crowd would do,the same or did the same rather than dealing with the specific case before us. Yup blindsided by partisan politics, my take says average Joe. Now others might have a completely different take or explanation. But Winston if you want to give away hundreds of bucks, just drop in to see MUN students or maybe a tavern where people may claim and have no partisan and they wil show up with only one motivator the 100 bucks.

    • WA @ 23:27:

      The ToR is pretty clear in Term 4(a) – did Nalcor appropriately consider options? In among other recommendations, LeBlanc will report they did not. Likewise the other 3 questions for LeBlanc are:
      1) did Nalcor inform the government
      2) did Nalcor exert best effort to limit costs
      3) what was the effect of ousting the PUB

      The Inquiry is to determine what went wrong and why, not recommend specific alternative options, just recommend that changes change place – that is where most are misunderstanding the intent. Likewise for missing notes/logs – I suspect he will write a recommendation that government review its documentation policy; again all he can do is recommend, the Inquiry findings are not binding.

      An Inquiry is not the venue for recommending better analysis options (or you so called deep dive) – that is public policy and to be determined by politicians (so the public needs to begin voting carefully) and the PUB.

      I think you are misinterpreting my comments on LeBlanc or the '…gong show…' a bit.

      PENG2

    • Get your sister to become mayor – step one of the plan – sounds a bit familiar.

      But just opposite, step one was to remove the mayor by giving him a big job on the CNLOPB, opps not working , Okay – step 1A then , give him a big job as chair of the PUB. Gotta get him outta the way. for some reason.

    • I see PENGzero has commandeered LeBlanc's rubber chicken. Here come da zero, Here Come Da zero!

      Winston, Animal Farm is a short allegory that makes fun of the communist revolution. The farmyard animals take over and are supposed to be equal. Soon some animals (the pigs) are more equal than others. They start to wear clothes, drink alcohol and start acting just like the humans they have ousted. A contemporary song by the Who has the same theme:
      Meet the new boss,
      Same as the old boss,
      Won't get fooled again!

  19. Cable Guys

    Dean the cable guy killed the Grimes – HQ deal.
    Dan the cable guy would do his own Lower Churchill deal.
    Gil the cable guy would build it.

    Once upon a time they all worked together.

  20. Yes, more of the same. Like Stanly said last year in his testimony, the tai wagging the dog. Nalcor calling the shots, not giving the govt. what they called semsetivity information. Their owners, govt. has a right to know, and they had signed non disclosure agreements with EY, so what's to worry about industry semsetivity. Govt. did not need to realease it to the public immediately. And there were too many Tiny Tim's in govt, including the premier, and they were all tip toeing through the tulips in dealing with nalcor, instead of showing nalcor who was boss. Joe blow.

  21. You know, figured I should mske a comment, you know, but don't have much to say, you know. Mr Paul, you know, all under control, you know, Carter, a bit difficult to stay tuned in you know. You know, but no one else is commenting so thought, you know, I would make a comment , you know. Just want to say, you know, the oversight committee is working good with nalcor, you know. And we are cheek to cheek……….. You know, with nalcor so you know, not much more I can say, you know says Joe blow. Yes a real lull in the commentary section right now but should pick up later in the week with another Paul.

    • You nailed it AJ, but it the last few minutes some interesting stuff, and even important comments by Leblanc.
      Seems the Shadow Inquiry on UG is paying more attention to the Inquiry than all of the Oversight Committee. And our fee is very small, as to mine, and your's too I expect.
      PENG2 seems to be reacting only to our comments, not to lead any comment as to what goes on at the Inquiry, perhaps he can clarify.
      Winston

  22. A win win say Warren: we sell to NS at prices at New england hub, because we save transmission losses and fees. Now if NE supply at that Hub, and NS buys there, who pays the transmission losses and fees to NS. NS does or NE supplyers add to costs to NS, do they not? So NS then pays more than what they pay form Nalcor? Is this correct? NS wins, but is NL really winning?
    So too what can be got is relative, with only 2 markets: NE or NS, each say not more than 5 cents per kwh.
    Now if we go electric transportation as Synapse advises, we need power for that, that we do not have, as we are committed to NS. If we sold to NL for 6 cents power for EV, we save even more in transmission losses and fees, to use their rationale.
    But Now for EVs here, we have to roll back our winter peak demand, and still can't sell in Nfld anywhere near 5 cents we sell to NS?
    They can say they never had the foresight to see we would go with EVs as other jurisdictions are doing?
    Our Nalcor Team were real genius, world class, of maybe I got it wrong?
    NS can get 5 cent power for EVs, but we can't, as we committed to them.
    Winston

    • NS price is probably going to be a lot less than 5 cents. Just before lunch break, counsel made clear there is no presumption on the bid price. It could be 1 cent i think he said. I agree that emera should look at the nalcor net profit direct to new england, which is quite low and offer just a fraction of a cent more. The decision is not going to be made on the Emera's alternative costs but on Nalcor's alternative for net profit. Bottom line is not win-win: it's close to winner take all for Emera.

    • WA @ 12:55:
      I posted a link to the Emera-Nalcor supply agreement a while back with not much uptake for a discussion on it – from my reading I don't see how we will be a winner.
      My reading also indicates that the measurement for Emera power is not at the MF plant (pay attention to the definitions of 'delivery point' and 'measurement') – so guess who pays for losses? You can get the Energy Access agreement on the Emera website – Id start with sections 3 and 4 for a bit of light reading (I think those are correct).

      Regarding Joe @ 11:33:
      Its unfortunate that most listen only for media style sound bites from EM, PH etc – the real mistakes were made by government. The nuances that allowed MF to occur are being told by the Gov NL witnesses – Nalcor did what the government directed them to do. 'Duty of Care' is going to be a term many will become accustomed with sooner rather than later.

      PENG2

    • Maybe in 2012, I first commented on transmission losses, no one or few commented, but important in electricity supply and economics. For MFs to Soldiers Pond TLs is about 8-10 %, so in terms of capital cost of 12.7 billion, over 1 billion is for energy lost in getting here. If that was serving Labrador, losses are much lower, as too losses from Holyrood to St John's or losses on near by wind generators. TLs to Boston is HUGEEEEE….from MFs, did any of Our Premiers, KD etc understand that? Maybe many civil or mech engineers did not, or cable engineers with no Hydro electrical experience.
      Winton

    • So, the win win, as now obvious, was not equal, as in Animal Farm, all animals were equal, but some more than others,especially the pigs, who ruled and dominated, so wrote Orwell.
      We now see Warren struggle to explain the BS, and some "can't recall".
      When an opportunity to see the impact of project delays, and a lot more fuel being burned at Holyrood,and other impacts, such things buried.
      Warren says it might have required a full reassesment of the Isolated Option……..dammed right…….and where he, Nalcor and the Inquiry has not yet gone, as that blows the whole scam twice as bad, as a proper Isolated assessment would cost but 2 billion, with good CDM and proper wind and island hydro. There are many layers to this GREAT DECEPTION ON THE PUBLIC, being picked at by the Inquiry.
      When does Stratton get recalled and put under the microscope?
      Winston

    • WA @ 14:01:

      I would argue that there is a big difference in ignoring transmission losses over the lines vs paying for transmission losses to supply power to NS.

      Getting the power to NS required 3 AC-DC conversions and give or take 1200kms of transmission – wouldn't surprise me if the 170MW to NS starts as ~250-300MW (ie 1/2 the ML to 1/3 the LIL).

      PENG2

    • PENG2, 4 stations including one as NS?
      Yes agree, so 250-300 MW to NS.
      With DC infeed and Holyrood off, and first 160MW to NS, we have only 20 MW left, I think. So we will need to reduce our winter peak load by by say 150 MW with CDM or new generation to meet NS additional load, and do more here if we are to do heat switching and EV uptake.
      Indeed Leblanc referenced Synapse and other issues before the PUB, and we see the Oversight Committee has ignored that entirely, some oversight!, but these matters critical to our future energy plans, and these contracts with NS has serious implications for Nfld and MFs.
      I expect he will delay his findings until MFs is either fully operating or not to run at all, as all is still unsettled.
      Winston

  23. The gravy train also left the station back in 2013, destination unknown, maybe NY, maybe New England, maybe Point Aconi, Caoe Breton. All aboard, calculating terawats by the team at a high level. Is this eddies gravy man on the stand busy, busy busy working on the gravy. Better to sell to NS as less transmission loss, and less distance. Destination Aconi Point win-win situation for all, Emera, nalcor, NS and NL. Is there any gravy left when the power starts to flow. When Stan said he could put a line to the moon, I, and my team started calculating at a high level, in terawats and moonwatts how much gravy we could calculate as another possible destination. Still working on it, but think it might be all for naught, just llike pie in the sky, just a dream train, with an unknown destination, much like the gravy train way back in 2013. Average Joe.

  24. So, it seems using Nalcor's supply price/PPA method effectively hides about $1 billion for the MF capital costs, and by Nalcor including excess energy sales in the CPW calculations is contrary to what the public came to believe (that MF's so-called $2.2 billion or so cost advantage did not include export sales)

  25. Nearing 5:30 and it appears most lawyers have left for the day. Dave Vardy is the only public attendee visible in the back and he is the only one not paid by the hour to be there! 3 cheers to Dave doing OT for us:)

    • Vardy also takes a lot of notes. Most lawyers gone all afternoon, due to the warm weather outdoors, no doubt. Bern Coffee, missing in action, his name on documents when he led the Oversight Committee, and now being paid at this Inquiry….any conflict? Did he not quit govn before when wearing 2 hats, working for the govn while suing Health Care for a client?

      As to Paul Carter: Admits to Budden that the loop is not yet closed as to the North Spur and safely issues.
      Did not Ron Power say that prior to Fiancial closure the independent enginer wanted to see some more assurance on the stability issue, including more testing, that was promised to get done? But was not done? Yet Ron say the work there was done text book fashion.
      And now we see drawings still held back. And logging info during the work not done it seems.
      So, the big joke, they pass the buck, who ultimately is responsible for dam safety? Paul Carter and Oversight Committee? No. Nalcor ? No. Hatch or other engineers who might sigh off? No. Answer: Graham Letto…….our Climate Change and Environment Minister, that Ball wants back, subject to a recount. Letto will do the ultimate test:he will walk onto the Spur, and jump 3 times, if it does not fail, it will be safe. That is the "best practise", and must weigh at least 250 lb, and jump up at least 24 inch, and wear leather shoes, not soft rubber shock absorbers. That test is in the Nfld Dam Safety Manual.

      Leblanc notes the sparse content of Oversight Committee notes,( as mentioned by Budden) just 1 page, and it does not make sense to him.
      Carter said it makes a difference when note taking if material will be for public consumption or not. 2.5 hr meeting of a dozen people and 1 lousy page of notes! Notes are as scarce as hens teeth. Only one who takes lots of notes is PENG2, or so he says, so can we get him to the witness stand?
      And too little technical experience on that committee, more of the same like the Nalcor Board of Directors. So the Committee, largely a farce…….Feehan was on it at one point, but quit?
      Leblanc himself always writing notes,and yet never seems to miss a word of the discussion, unless he is faking the note writing? Kidding.
      Winston

    • What are the chances of a "Burnt Ballot", majority for the Ball guys? Winston, if it were not for the severity of the situation, you should get Majumber, Mercer and the boys, (Jones, Walsh too), and stage an LSPU comedy! Guaranteed SRO

    • Crossed my mind Robert, the TV showed the Sally's Cove incident.
      But the ballots are under RNC protection, who takes orders form Parson's the Justice Minister, and he is Liberal, and always does the right thing, like preventing double jeopardy for the land protectors.
      Winston

  26. Just watched Dean McDonald on tv prior to the Growlers game.One statement from him that caught my attention was"You know that Newfoundlanders1 really want to win." Well thanks to the likes of him we are the losers when it comes to Muskrat Falls.

    • From that piece on frackng in New Brunswick is a link to Nov 14, 2018
      First Nations Susan Levi Peters says"
      "We're told legends, we're passed down stories. And one of the stories that we were told is that they're going to dig and take something out of the ground that's going to cause our land to sink. And it will be all gone.
      We're given all those warnings as we grow up, and we need to share these with the government.
      Show us, show me, tell me. If we extract shale gas from here it's not gong to ruin the land forever. Nobody here done that yet.The most important thing is that the land is safe for the next seven generations"
      Sussex struck a cord with me Robert. Once upon a time, about 35 years ago, I wrote a poem called "Atlantis Reborn". It was a time of my awakening to climate change, and oil extraction, and I imagined a tie to the Bay of Fundy and all the mud etc.
      Mobil thou giant
      With unquenching thirst
      Take time, consider
      My life comes first.

      It has lines : My poles reduce, feel me tremble, machines in orbit take the lead…………….does the land subside or the ocean rise, but not in that order, as I forget most of it, fairly long it was.
      In essence, it suggest oil and gas belongs in the ground, it serves a purpose there.
      So these legends mentioned, is a surprise to me, and reminded me of that. We now see climate emergencies being declares and the idiots here and there wanting to make it worse. Once or twice a week now we see some new scientific study of how bad the environmental issue really is. I see NB has one Green member. Here we have Green Graham Letto chomping at the bit.
      Winston

  27. Just picking up on one point in questioning PH. When asked if he was passing info. Etc onto EM, he said yes, and he was dealing with it "Along with his other 4 jobs". So why would EM have 3 or 4 other jobs, when he couldn't even handle his main one of keeping muskrat on schedule. Doubling in cost and adding years to complete. When he was replaced by SM, did he also have 3 or 4 other jobs. I assume the types of jobs he was referring to was, maybe head of hydro, off shore oil, offshore exploration, and others, anyone correct me if I am wrong. But a good place for co council to ask what were these other jobs that he was responsible for. If govt. gave him responsibility for 3 or 4 other jobs, then what in the hell were they doing, when they could see he wasn't capable of doing his main job of looking after muskrat, he was sinking the project as well as the province. Can someone tell me I am wrong and way off track ask Joe blow, average Joe, AJ.

  28. Harrington is whining nonstop about SNC. He also of course is not responsible for any spur problems. On and on it goes.

    Harrington denies any and all the criticism of his management. All the others just don't understand! The on site delays and frustration….all lies!

    • All the resignations of managers, all cohorts of Tranquila! All sour grapes. Construction planning meetings quit by many because no one present had authority to do anything. Micro managing from St. John's led to resignations "he had his views" the arrogant worm claims!

      Harrington states there has to be procedures the fascist asserts in his defence. Not everyone packed up and left, Harrington said in defence of his management style. What a circus!

      No tough questions about how much his management style cost in millions, considering the project has doubled in cost. He was just able to repeat over and over that all the criticism of dysfunction with site managers having no authority were all just sour grapes. Irene is no Matlock that is for sure.

    • Agree with views above , but the young lawyer with the slight stammer, I think doing excellent today and in the past. Sorry I don't know his name. Getting into key issue of reliability downgrade. PH says hard to remember 9 years ago, but earlier advocates for delaying Inquiry a few more years……guess that helps improve memory.
      Winston

    • Intense is a good description, as it leaves PH with little wiggle room, as he like to wiggle.

      As to being rigid in their procedure of management, home office or site management priority. he says "You don't change horses mid way in the stream". Reminded me of July 1 , 1916. Already known that the barbed wire wasn't cut, and this would be a problem, where machine gunners would mob you down. Already sent an English regiment before the Nfldrs who got wiped out. But stick to the plan, hey b'y. Don't reconsider, so ….over the top with the Nlfders. Can't change horses mid stream, they must have concluded then too. When a plan is good , stick with it at all cost. Even when the plan is bad, stick with it at all costs.
      PH says …… Anyone who critisies, they can do that, just move on.
      He says those that stayed are the ones that built what's there now. What there now! But at what cost, and what delays? And what do we have now? A North Spur that may fail. A system that may not be reliable? We know not what we have, except one dam bill bill to pay.
      Winston

  29. Hopefully the other commission counsel will have a more productive day questioning Paul Harrington tomorrow?

    The questioning today by Inquiry Co-counsel Irene Muzychka was painful at best.

    Maybe she was just having a bad day?

  30. Not only is the Green party surging in Europe, but the Telegram report that polls show:
    NS 15%, PEI 22%, NB 19%, rates doubling in the last few months.
    And what of NL? Greens at 4 %.
    Any wonder we didn't question a boondoggle project? These go together, as CDM is a non issue here, as to power issues, past and future. Even PENG2 and Bruno and the Oversight Committee ignores Synapse, yet Lablanc thinks it important.
    Winston

    • Britons are now more worried about the climate crisis than the economy, crime, or immigration.Only Brexit and health rank higher.
      18-24 year olds are about twice as worries about environmental issues than is the general population.
      Imagine Nflders being more worried about the environment then the economy? Imagine Nflders saying scale back offshore oil production? Imagine Green Graham Letto declaring a climate emergency? Imagine Ches Crosbie's Honest Act forcing to recant than our oil is ethical? Imagine capelin ever again rolling the 10th of June? Imagine Nfld Greens going from 4 % to 20%? Imagine a Green glimmer……a buried email or Nalcor report advocating for aggressive CDM and wind instead of MFs? Why are we so out of step wit progress?
      WA

    • Yes Winston, but how do we encourage our people to do better, looking forward? Ideology is not going away. How can we end wars of proxy, sanctions, tarrifs, hard Right and Left politics, etc.?

    • Robert @ 11:36:

      The answer is we cannot because its human nature – NLers are a prime example of this egocentric thinking, so we cant say its just everybody else.

      Until society becomes more evolved its going to be a constant problem – in the last 100yrs we have driven species to extinction, several genocides and persecuted persons on basis of thoughts too many times (an this is just what NLers have done, let alone the rest of the world).

      PENG2

    • WA @ 23:36:

      To be factual, I haven't ignored Synapse – just I don't see any new revelations in the report.

      CDM, DSM, efficiency etc should be practiced by all – but as a whole, we are 1 of the most wasteful populations I have ever encountered so I expect little progress until cost of living sky-rockets.

      We can see this daily here – too many people living beyond their means and will say it the banks fault when interest rates jumps 2-3% and they lose everything.

      PENG2

    • MA @ 14:14:

      Leadership has nothing to do with it – we the voters elected or appoint them, we get what we deserve.

      The events I was referring to were the Beothuks, the wolf, Pine Marten(though recovering from practical extinction), the fishery, residential schools, and bigotry toward those with alternative sexual lifestyles ampong other events.

      Those things were done by every day NLers – not leaders and not elitists; though as a population we elected the leaders that reflected just what we wanted.

      If the public is so informed and innocent of debacles like MF, can you explain why even today we still have persons that voted or lobbied for MF in the HoA? The fact is we wanted it, and we elected those that did our bidding.

      The Feds have nothing to do with enabling MF – sorry but you are mistaken there; but DW/KD et al would have proceeded even if no FLG was in place (this is on the record as being the path if the FLG failed to materialized). The FLG didn't cause MF – believing KD claims now after MF is off the rails that the FLG was key is naive, just like the opportunistic/situational amnesia. If MF was done under/on budget there would be plenty of notes and claims that they wanted to go it alone etc.

      Its about time we accept our culpability – otherwise we will continue to repeat the mistakes as we have for 100yrs.

      PENG2

    • MA @ 15:28:

      Can you refute anything I have said – or you are just ignoring the facts?

      By definition, a victim is someone that was duped – voters are not duped since they make a conscious decision(even if uninformed). Can you explain how voters are duped into still in 2019 reelecting members into the HoA that voted for MF?

      Also, have you ever bothered review the info I provided you on why MF couldn't be paused? Likewise for the Emera Supply agreement that says we will pay for losses into Nova Scotia?

      An ostrich is still prey even if he buries his head into the sand….

      PENG2

    • That is a sound decision Maurice. The PENGzero troll will never admit that a corrupt megalomaniac bully drove MF and NL into the fiscal dust with the bullying. It is not hard to surmise who zero and his staff re working for, trying to rewrite history and victim shame.

      Ignore this miserable, self loathing jerk who will never let logic bend his twisted mind.

    • Here is an appropriate comment from the public on what our electoral system is and isn't – from the Telegram in June 2011 (at the time KD had only been premier-elect, the 2011 election was 4 months out):

      [start]
      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.
      [end]

      MA @ 15:57:

      How can you dispute that the people didn't get what they wanted from a duly elected government? By my observation, KD went form premier-elect to duly elected premier before sanction – I don't agree with the sanction, but it is and was the will of the people; so yes it is the people who are to blame.

      The 2011 election was ran on a develop MF platform – the people voted (infact ~125k voters voted PC) to support to the MF development.

      Again, by all means feel free to dispute what I offered at 14:46 with a few facts.

      PENG2

    • Muskrat was barely mentioned during the election, and Dundederdale's election gave her and her cabinet the mandate to INFORM the public before sanction. And we all know how transparent, fulsome, and honest government was when it came to its duty to educate the public on Muskrat.

      The public was not only in the dark, but intentionally mislead.

    • MA @ 09:06:

      You are trying to rewrite history – go have a look over the election platforms for the 2011 election, the 'Blue Book' is still available. MF was THE election issue in 2011 – people just decided to ignore what was being said.

      Maybe you forget that Harper had already announced FLG in 2011, the PUB review was announced (along with the discussion on the) and there was a document blitz by several parties on MF. Otherwise, maybe look a the 2012 paper by Marland in the Canadian Political Science Review (particularly the references of media stories). Failing that, recheck the document submitted to the PUB I linked several times (14-MC-2012-02-27) that shows just how much was being said about MF pre-election.

      Willingly ignorant, misled or 'bought' the energy warehouse B$ – doesn't matter, the voters spoke and got what they wanted.

      Unless you are proposing that we continue to make the same mistakes, you cant hide behind government should have told me – the voters should have become informed.

      PENG2

    • Maurice this is the Trump mantra. You knew I was a crooked bastard when you elected me so any misdeed prior to election are accepted by the electorate. No mind successive premiers lied about the need, cost,eager markets and urgency of MF. You elected the crooked bastards so it is the abused electors fault don't you know!

      Ignore him/them Maurice.

  31. Guess some tuned into the webcast today. Interesting day. PH attacked from all sides. Will try and give an unbiased comment from what I gleamed, but did not watch it all. Is he the man in the middle. Representing nalcor management teams, and defends them and himself, is next to nalcor executives, GB and EM, doesn't seem to want to shift too much blame to them, deals with EY with govt. on their tail, and his sights on Astaldi as a major slowdown and increased cost to the project. So quite a tight rope to walk. Seems he wrote more correspondence than anyone else, put his action and taughts on paper, so guess more ammunition for all to use on him. He did in most cases defend and stood by correspondence, and defended his team and the project. He was challenged by commission, CCCMF, consumer adovocate, EM council, and council for Ball and Coady, among others. PO probably was the most intensive questioning. Seems he was put on the spot to either take responsibility along with his team, for accountability in making decisions in the supporting and designing the cost of muskrat at sanction and fincincial close, and at each stage including correspondence to the new XO, SM, or shifting most of the blame to his bosses, GB and EM. Wil be interesting to see what responsibility the others take, including govt. officials and nalcor executives, or they try shift it to others. I think PH took his share of the responsibilities, and in other cases gave his opinion of how he saw muskrat unfolding and respected the opinions of others. The one exception was Astaldi, where he laid the greatest responsibility for the over runs. I think PO (ball and Coady) as putting PH in a position of take most of the responsibility yourself, or place it on EM and GB, and don't use Astaldi as a scapegoat for the major overruns, because it was really a 10 B $ project right from the start and not a 6.2 B $ project. Average Joe.

    • Joe @ 19:24:

      Not sure if you noticed an exhibit late this afternoon that PO used when questioning PH – it was a EY report edited/commented on and there was a section (maybe 5.8?) noting that in late 2015 Astaldi had 50% of the monies paid to them but only placed 30% of the concrete.

      I mention cash positive contractors as a reason to not stop/pause MF several times – this was proof of that statement.

      Its needs to be remembered that the government of the day gave the direction to Nalcor to execute MF – Nalcor then engaged a PMT with that sole purpose, so off course that was the end result. The PMT was going to execute at all 'costs' – it was on corporate Nalcor to communicate with government.

      I think we will see more of the duty of care arise – with the OC saying Enviro was their concern it seems to me as if everyone is retreating to their own corners.

      The next couple of weeks will be telling as witness start to turn on each other, there will be a separation of government, Nalcor corporate and PMT being noted.

      PENG2

    • Joe @ 19:24:

      The exhibit I mentioned above is important for a couple of reasons:
      1) it shows that Nalcor couldn't effectively oust Astaldi in 2015 – being cash positive put Astaldi in the drivers seat for 'bridge agreement' negotiations
      2) it is a dangerous document in a REA arbitration – Astaldi will show their cash flow and that they were ahead of the payments, using this they will argue that they were making every effort to work with Nalcor to succeed at MF
      3) Astaldi will argue in REA settlement that why stay on if they were ahead on cash if they didn't figure they could get the work done? Astaldi will pin the cancellation of the contract squarely on Nalcor

      I guess the final thing this doc shows me is that Nalcor didn't know much about contract law and engaging contractors – you never allow the contractor to be ahead on cash flow, you have to keep them motivated so they keep working. Nalcor made their own bed on this contract – I expect a bad ending for NL.

      PENG2

    • Well right from the beginning nalcor advanced Austaldi 70m $ or was it 100 to get them going. Is that normal. So they were ahead on cash flow from the start. After running out of cash, they renogiated an addition to the contract for some 700m$ When they seemed to run out of cash again, nalcor continued to advance cash for Astaldi to pay its workers and subcontractors, but Astaldi didn't pay their workers. So they were terminated. End of story until Astaldi took nalcor to court. So as the owner what do you do, let them stay on and continue to advance monies even though they are not paying their workers. That's how I understand it. Average Joe.

  32. Some quoting of Churchill at the Inquiry: Paul Harrington saying Churchill said "Its easier to criticise then it is to achieve", but then today he criticises everyone else but he and his team bares no responsibility for the failures: wrong project, years delayed,billions extra cost, and no assurance of reliability.
    They proceeded with sanction despite P factors that almost certainly assured this failure. He says his team knew the risks and he verbally informed Ed Martin, but nothing in writing of course. Also there was no changing their rigid management plan as others had suggested.
    Not accepting blame for big mistakes was common for Churchill to. Recall the Dardenelles failure in Turkey in WW1. In WW2, the attempt to take the ports of Norway failed and they were pushed out of France in 1940. Today, D -Day is remembered, when the tide started to turn. Most now realise that Russia did most to defeat Hitler, and Russia and the Allies aided by the America military might.
    At wars end Britain was broke and lost much of it's Empire…..but yes, won the war, with others doing the heavy lifting.
    Churchill was good at deflecting blame from himself when things went wrong. And as he said, he would personally write the history, and he did.
    Harrington would like to write the history of MFs, and to make comments and corrections on Leblanc's opinions, as he routinely did to other professional opinions and reports. He says the author can accept his changes or not. Few challenged him.
    Where was his concern for the ratepayer knowing this project was doomed from the start? It's success was as good as the British forcing through the Dardenelles in 1915. Our Nfld Regiment's first losses started there.
    If Harrington has impressive management qualities for mega hydro projects, the proof in in the pudding. Look how we've ended up.
    Winston Adams

  33. The farther we go down the road the further we can see. If I have learned anything from this inquiry, so far, that this was a 10B $ project, right from the start and not a 6B $ project. No matter who and how they did the project the cost, 10 billion plus. So in the end, cost overrun, my ass, just the cost of doing business. No one works for peanuts these days, and no one gives away their services, materials and knowledge these days. You pay premium prices. And that's the reality of muskrat. Now I am not saying there were no errors, wrong people hired, some Incompetencies, and mistakes made. But there were also some good knowledgable, competent and hard working people that built muskrat. And that's the same with any mega project. We were told by the experts from day one that maga projects double in cost. So on muskrat they intentionally low balled everything, their incentive, that it was the lowest cost option and we did not need the power. So they had to do everything in their power to convince us otherwise. That we needed the power and it was the least cost option. If they had given the proper estimates, at 10 B $ muskrat would never have seen the light of day. All the previous studies done over the last 40 years confirmed that. There was no business case for power to the US via the maratime link. End of story. And of course all mustrat did was to provide the proof. Yes proved what we already knew. Now the question is: where does the buck stop. Who will stand up and say: I made the decisions. Who will we as a people point the finger and say, "you sir, or you mam", your decisions caused muskrat and you bear that responsibility. Do the people of this province have the GUTS to do that, ask Joe blow.

    • Joe @ 21:41:

      Fronting a contractor 7-10% (the $70-100m you quoted, and about equal to a holdback) isn't unusual to help startup a mob effort. What you don't do is let the contractor get ahead by 20-30% – there is no motivation left. Generally, with progress payments coming somewhere between 30-180 days after work is done, there is always some leverage held by the owner, that wasn't the case at MF.

      The bigger issue will be how Astaldi uses this to substantiate their assertion that they were continuing to try and work with Nalcor to resolve the issues but the situation was made unattainable by Nalcor.

      As you say, if priced properly, MF would have always been $10b – my guess is nobody will stand up, but everybody will blame somebody etc. You are correct in that there are no surprises with overruns (Long Harbour, Hibernia, Hebron etc) – unfortunately the public bought the Kool-Aid that with 50% of Engineering done there wouldn't be no overruns at MF.

      PENG2

    • Not so far Joe despite the fact that the answer is obvious and everyone knows whose vanity project this MF monster is.

      Despite that when the final cost tops 15 billion, not 10, and or the spur fails, they will all to a man/woman deny it was their responsibility.

      The fun with the software for the LIL will push commercial power out another two years. The generator parts that were to the elements for two years and were showing signs of problems should result in more lawsuits and billions more in cost that the ratepayer will be stuck with.

    • You may be right Bruno, and two more strikes right from the beginning. The known unknown possibility of the north spur and similarity without the water reversion rights straightened out. As for the LIL software challenges guess that was an unknown and still unknown, certainly to the average Joe, but maybe the experts in AC/DC hydro mAy have had some known doubts about it, but certainly did not bring it to the public attention. Average Joe.

  34. After watching the second day of testimony of Paul Harrington there is no doubt this guy is a piece of work!

    He has been hauling water through thick and thin for his boss (Ed Martin) for years, and he has supported the “company” line the entire time!

    His boss was replaced.

    What is the first thing Harrington does?

    He writes a letter to his new boss (Stan Marshall) throwing his old boss under the bus!

    Why?

    1) Deflect from his own incompetence.

    2) Protect his own skin, he is about to lose a $500,000 per year job.

    3) Say it is for the “team”.

    4) Hey it never hurts to “brown nose” the new boss.

    Again I have to ask?

    Why is Paul Harrington still employed by NALCOR?

    Priceless!

    • Ask yourself; Were you in the minority cabinet room, what would be the discussion around the future of NALCOR? Why is Stan hanging around? How will the new Budget roll out? How do we get control of the next 20 year Financial deficit? Value Engineering analysis would conclude that there is no purpose for costly, inefficient energy management such as NALCOR. Sell the thermal generating, including dams, reservoirs, and Holyrood. Own and operate the Smart Grid. Collect what is reasonable to charge for power distribution. No more approvals for baseboard heating. Incentives for conversion to renewables. It's not about firing a few hangers on, overpaid construction managers, imbedded contractors and such. Structural reorganization within, and a commitment to sustainable development should be the cornerstone of good governance.

    • Robert @ 10:48:

      So, who would want to buy the NL Hydro assets? Fine to say you want to sell, but have to have a willing buyer – I don't see any prospective buyer. A prospective buyer would need to make an ROI – not really possible from what I can see.

      I think the best chance of selling NL Hydro was in the CW era – but the public made an uproar and that policy change was scuttled.

      Regarding SM, it was always the plan for him to leave in 2020 (ie after 4yrs or when he got MF operational/fixed), so I don't understand your '…hanging around…' comment:
      https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/newfoundland-labrador/nalcor-energy-interim-ceo-announcement-stan-marshall-1.3546399

      PENG2

    • Robert @ 11:04:

      My comment isn't related to your 'Value Engineering' proposition – its about who would the buyer be for the NL Hydro assets.

      I cant see anyone willing to take on the liabilities, especially if operating in a regulated regime where profits etc are at the whim of government and if changes like you mention are on the table – too risky for private investors.

      PENG2

    • Robert @ 11:16:
      HQ would be an obvious choice – but then there are 2 questions:
      1) why would HQ want to subsidize NL in supplying power
      2) the public perception of HQ is partially/mostly why we got ourselves into the MF issue

      1 & 2 would be a couple very difficult issue to resolve.

      Anony @ 11:31:
      Fortis isn't 'frothing' to take on any more in NL – just read this article and the previous post by PlanetNL to see how unprofitable it is.

      For example, if we us eht $135m/yr operating cost for the Mf plant – that's about $0.02/kwhr (ignoring losses and assuming full supply to the Island) before any transmission costs – impossible to make money there. I cant see Fortis wanting to take it on – unless they cherry pick the options they want and leave us with the $-losing facilities.

      PENG2

    • Anon 12:30; HQ can market unused hydro from NL. As an incentive, resolve the Southern boundary with QC, giving back the headwaters of the rivers flowing South. NL needs to get its head out of its A— regarding the Labrador/QC issue.

    • Peng2, one source is the anonymous source PlanetNL, another is Barry Perry, Fortis CEO, who has stated at Fortis AGMs "We are interested in investment opportunities IN Nfld and Lab, and we have the money" . That sounds like frothing at the mouth, and from the horse's mouth.Perhaps you skip the AGMs? Who speaks for Fortis, you or Mr Perry?
      PF

    • And Peng2, you say "I can't see Fortis wanting to take it on, unless they cherry pick the options they want and leave us with the $-losing facilities"
      You refer to Fortis as THEY, and as refer to Nfld ratepayers as WE. But as you say you are a Fortis shareholder, you wear 2 hats in that statement, so maybe you should refer to Fortis as WE?
      Where lies your priority, with Fortis or the AJ ratepayer? Peng2 the Fortis shareholder would cherry pick, correct?
      PF

    • Peng2

      Fortis has been all over the news in the last year including just this week (Barry Perry CEO) – they want the NL Hydro lines.

      This is a ramp up from previous years when it was only the NF Power pres doing he lunchtime talks – saying the same

      NL Hydro did just last week make some major high level changes just for this purpose (I believe)

    • Take Note

      Nalcor CEO is past Fortis CEO
      NL Hydro Pres is past NF Power staff
      NL Hydro VP Finance is past NF Power staff

      Fortis has been working this plan for a few years now – it WILL happen, it is just to name the price and time……

      minority government may have slowed the plan

      NL Hydro pres (former NF Power staff) just made some required senior management changes at Hydro in preparation………

      mark it down and you can take that to the bank FORTIS SHAREHOLDERS

    • Wow!!!! Anon: 11:31says the money is in the gen. Assets, and others say fortis is frothing at the mouth to get the lines. All at a profit to us I would think. Maybe HQ is interested too. All may not be lost yet!!! Am I dreaming in techno color again, or my eyes deceiving me. By God, if she's that good best thing we can do is hang onto her. Can hear the pro muskraters now, "we told you so". The silly fools says Joe blow.

    • Robert @ 12:54:
      Agreed – NL must get the chip of our shoulder regarding QC, I have said that for a long time. Otherwise, our situation is going to continue to be unattainable and worse if that's possible.

      PF:
      Fortis taking on more in NL would be a change from their previous corporate statements – it has always been(and remains) Fortis policy to not get involved in government led ventures. Doesn't Fortis now want to divest itself of a minority stake of some assets in central NL?

      Off course me as a Fortis shareholder would cherry pick the profitable assets – not unlike I would do if given the opportunity for my Caterpillar, IBM or GM shares or anything else in my share portfolio.

      Anony:
      Privatizing NL Hydro was seriously attempted 1x before – it was a great failure. It has regularly shows up in the media around the AMGs etc – nothing new ever seems to come from it, because it is a pipe dream at best.

      I just don't see the business case – as PlanetNL points out, it is the rate payers on the Avalon subsidizing the rest of the province. Using these numbers, that would mean either NL deregulates power sales in isolated areas of NL/Lab to allow for free market or Fortis wouldn't want certain areas. Government can do that – that is a big reason why CW couldn't transfer NL Hydro 30yrs ago.

      Memory also tells me that several MF PMT managers also have time working at NL Power – so maybe MF was just a great conspiracy by Fortis to get ahold of NL Hydro assets?

      Joe @ 14:44:
      Exactly.

      PENG2

    • Who wound not want hydro generating assets at a rock bottom fire sale? Nfld Power upgrading 100 year small hydro assets regular, producing at 3 cent costs. Many of island Hydro assets are low cost producers. Some undeveloped island hydro are valuable as compared to fossil fuel or coal. CFs hydro generation a gold mine, producing at 0.2 cent per kwh.
      Much of the wealth of our province to the auction block for what purpose ……..and to whose benefit? And no accountability? THe great swindle.
      And for transmission, Fortis is big into that, so both generation and transmission can be valuable to them. Remember Come by chance
      refinery was bought for 1 dollar.
      CW is Clyde Wells, once CEO or high official with Nfld power, then a judge, now in private practise, and too on the Appointments Commission. Likely a large Fortis shareholder. Wanted to sell Nfld Hydro to Nfld Power in the 1990s, derailed by public opposition.
      Now a second kick at the can. A conspiracy? Who can say? A crisis present an opportunity, so just accidental and luck for some. Recall, the silence, mostly by Fortis and Nfld Power on the boondoggle plan. Anyone from Nfld Power or Fortis in MFCCC?
      Nfld Power didn't realise that if MFs goes down, the Avalon has power restraint from the island! Anyone who believes that statement from NP, believes the moon is mad of cheese.
      And by who and when was the CW's proposal in the 1990s raised at this Inquiry? Who at UG was paying attention?
      As to Fortis not wanting anyyhing but majority control? BS. In Northern Ontario they partnered 50/50 with First Nations last year, of course much fed money into this too.
      PF
      PF

    • Robert Emera already owns part of the distribution assets and they will gladly mop up whatever generation assets remain after Nalcor goes nova. All for bargain basement prices of course. The have already learned how to crush Nalcor in negotiations when Nalcor is over a barrel!

    • Pf @ 15:44:

      In Ontario, if you are talking the Watay line – maybe you need to do better research and see how the proposed work is structured. Fortis also 100% owns the PM joint venture.

      Also, Fortis publically said that they wanted no part in MF due to government politics, see the AGM of 2011:
      https://www.thetelegram.com/business/fortis-passed-on-lower-churchill-132870/

      Fortis wasn't silent on MF, just nobody stopped to listen or pay attention – much like nobody listened to the other naysayers.

      I just cant wrap my head around the math of why Fortis would want to take on supply/distribution of power in the more remote areas – this to me will always be a money losing operation, unless a deregulated fee-for-service structure is brought onboard.

      PENG2

    • Peng2: the Watay line: serving about 20 First nation communities to tie them to the grid to go off diesel. Fuel cost about 90 million a year, and total load only about 20 Mw, and needing about 1500 km line up to 230 Kw, total cost 1.6 billion
      The line 51 % owned by First nations and ability later to own 100%, Fortis owns 49 %. Project management by Fortis 100%.
      Barry Perry was HONOURED to be involved with First Nations as partners. Long term show money savings for Canada , Ont and the towns. Fortis not 51 % of project.
      So why is coastal Labrador on diesel?
      PF

    • PF @ 17:05:

      Fortis having 100% of the PM is such that they control the construction – after constructed their ownership drops to 49%, this is a much different relation than you seem to be suggesting. The Watay relationship is in no way similar to having a minority stake in a development phase of a project – Fortis is controlling the development, and this is consistent with their policies of being the controlling partner.

      Smart money is once in operation, Fortis will divest itself of the minority stake in Watay – similar to Exploits. Also important to note is that Watay is still in development – so partnership changes are likely to occur.

      Considering the TLH was only completed in ~2009, Id guess remoteness is why coastal Lab is on diesel – though Mistastin was seriously considered for development. WA might have some historical knowledge of the ins/outs on the coast.

      PENG2

    • PENG2 @ 14:56. —Ratepayers on the Avalon subsidizing the rest of the province???? Isn't Holyrood's existence meant to ensure the Avalon has enough power thus the thousands of barrels of oil being consumed mostly for the Avalon???

    • Wayne @ 16:54:

      did you not bother to read either of the main articles this week – PlanetNL's entire articles is about the fact that rate payers on the Avalon subsidize rates in other region of the province. As I said above, I don't particularly like this discussion since it is divisive – but it was the authors concept, not mine.

      In the mean time, PlanetNL is right in that rate are artificially low in several areas of the province and higher than on the Avalon – review their data.

      PENG2

  35. Well, well, well, who would have guessed? The Digger, who seems to dig very little, has discovered one or two glaciers that appears to be growing instead of receding. Not much different than getting record cold temperatures occasionally at places , while the average world temperature continue to rise, as to does atmospheric CO2, now at record 415 level, and rising about 2 points each year. The Digger is much aligned with Trumpie who now say we don't have climate change , we just have extreme weather, so it's ok to burn more fossil fuel.
    Even Rhodes scholar Rex Murphy confuses weather changes with climate change. The Digger and Murphy must think like Trumpie, who assures us that he has a very high IQ and is a stable genius. Seems to me that all suffer from Oil on the Brain, like the Nfld folk song, except instead of cod liver oil, it is crude oil.
    For those not familiar, Peckford"s father gave him the nickname Digger when a child, as he liked to dig into things. To me it seems the Digger's digging is very selective. As world temperatures rise, there is more evaporation of water from the oceans,and at places more snowfall, that can delay or increase ice formation in some regions…..but that must be put into the global context of glacier conditions, which is oppostive from the Diggers "startling discovery". Indeed, Nfld is a great example of where melting arctic ice and the Labrador current had chilled the ocean around the north east of Nfld starting in the 1980s, yet the earths average ocean temperature continues to rise.
    Weather and climate is different, but confused by many , whether through ignorance or with bias to intentionally misinform the public.
    And we should not forget Ches Crosbie, a winner of a Rhodes scholarship, who preaches of our "ethical oil". Is there a connection between Rhodes and opinions of those offer such uninformed BS?
    Winston Adams

    • Nope, never heard that name before The Digger, some lady once called him our Brian to distinguish him from Brian Mulroney, as they were in politics at the same time. So seems that name stuck for a lot of people, "Our Brian" at least back then. But yes he is gone as far to the right as possible, i.e. If you view the earth from the North Pole looking south he went to the far right end of the country (except we usually think of BC as mostly to the left ideas,but guess that's looking north as most people do) and post all kinds of stuff from the extreme far right. Far out, way far out. I use to read some of the stuff he posted and would comment, until he blocked me a couple of times, so I gave up. He had one loyal follower, that always agreed with him, but seems she gave up too. Now as for Rhodes scholars, don't know much about them. I used to follow bill Rowe on open line and usually agreed with him, enjoyed Rex's CBC commentaries before he retired from there. As for chess, well what can I say. Liked the way he put up his fist, and saying he was going to fight, reminded me of Joe Clarke when he was in his fighting days. Yes, seems trumpie wants to go to Mars and wants to make a moon stop on the way. Maybe no global or Mars warming yet till he gets there, then lots of hot air. Maybe he should by pass Mars and head right into the towering flames of hell, or as we call it our life giving sun, as long as we don't get too close. He'll know what global warming is then. Sad to see the greatest Nazie of our time presiding over the 75th. Landing to end the last Great War, and our fallen heroes. What has God wroth, but thank God his reign will be short lived says Joe blow.

  36. COMMENTS ON HATCH:
    Part 1.
    I have been intrigued by Hatch for the past 6 months, upon reading their report on wind options for Nalcor, as part of the Isolated option; and their recommendation for little wind and that to be much delayed. That was at odds with the perception that we had a huge and cost effective wind potential. That view was so widely held that Jerome Kennedy directed MHI to do a wind study. That one was off the wall, with about 1200 MW of wind and batteries to store it, at a cost of some 17 billion I think.
    So from one extreme of almost no wind to the opposite extreme. Reason and best practises were ignored. Why?
    I see Hatch is a very large engineering firm on par with SNC, and were after the big MFs contracts, of hundreds of millions in value, but lost out to SNC early on. Then much of SNC's work was taken away from them, and handed to Paul Harrington and his Nalcor team.
    We see 3 or 4 high level people of the Nalcor team were Hatch people given key positions with Nalcor, at the whim of Ron Power it seems.
    Then we see Ron Power squealing in his reports that more engineering work needed to be done on the North Spur…….and who gets that but Hatch.
    We see concern before financial closing that more needed to be done as to testing and mapping on the North Spur, all promised, but this past week we see the loop not closed as to dam safety, and data still held back even from the Oversight Committee.
    We see passing the buck, who is ultimately responsible, and we hear the Department of the Environment has the final say. Leblanc says he needs to hear from them, and set a date of June 20th.
    As to Hatch and others signing off……what is their caveats to limit their liability? If the Spur collapses, and a 5 billion asset lost and lives lost, what is the consultants limit to liability?
    Hatch boys and gals got some significant work contracts after all, and many key positions, and now some of these moved on to Growler, who promotes themselves as world class. They were even handed a contract to assist GE GRID on the software, did we not here this? They have no in house experts on software.
    Harold Smith correctly pointed out that EY saw an opportunity to make tens of millions form Nalcor, and wanted to expand their scope. That is business. They further played along for 2or 3 year at risk t their reputation, but finally got the bigger job.
    We see Harrington confirm what was once speculated sice the Inquiry started: that Nalcor and owners routinely tailor, edit and change consultant reports to their satisfaction, if the consultants plays that game and goes along. Not just EY, but MHI, Hatch and most others, to assure repeat business.
    Winston Adams

    • COMMENTS ON HATCH, Part 2:
      To have a chance to land the big contract on MFs, a favourable wind report for the Isolated Option would be counterproductive. The Hatch report I think has about 5 instances says "after discussion with Nalcor"……….which is indicative of editing to which Harrington says is routine. And if the owner, Nalcor, is gung ho to proceed with MFs, how easy to slant a report as to restraints and other reasons to diminish the value of wind to our island grid.
      Such a report was self serving to both Hatch and Nalcor.
      Hatch on wind has been taken as gospel. It was gone unchallenged by this Inquiry. So too as to reasonable CDM and island small hydro ( only 3 of more than 100 sites assessed, now Nfld Hydro has added 3 more for review).
      Winston Adams

    • Winston, I follow your piece on Hatch, wind and nalcor and no doubt it is correct. But I don't think it should have happened that way. Govt. should have had a more independant approach, to wind and other studies from nalcor, because as soon as the govt. wanted to engage someone to look at wind or gas or what have you, the first thing they sent them to nalcor. Nalcor was vested in muskrat by that time so all they would do was influence the other party to kill what they were doing, and in a way I can understand that. Their role in life was reduced to develop muskrat at all cost, full speed ahead. If Jerome Kennedy or anyone else whated to look at an alternative they should have done it in isolation to nalcor. In giving the assignment, the first and last word should have been don't go anywhere near nalcor, don't touch them with a hundred foot pole. But in the case of Hatch, should have been how much wind can we put into our system, how much will it cost, and we want to bring a third line to the Easter Avalon, we want to develop the wind site preferable on the Avalon where the power is needed. Now do the study, but I say again don't go anywhere near nalcor. So I blame the govt. and not nalcor for hatch and wind specifically, they set it up to fail, and the public would be led to the thinking that they wereinvestigating other alternatives. Who suggested, batteries and 1200mw of wind to give a cost of 17B$, nalcor most likely, but maybe also Kennedy, because they were doing it with alternatives motives. So let nalcor pull the wool over our eyes, these guys were not elected, but we should expect more of our elected MHAs. Joe blow.

    • COMMENTS ON HATCH, PART3
      We now know that MFs with interest included was known to be expected to be about 12.7 billion, and with ordinary accounting methods, 13.7 billion and likely to run 14 to 15 billion when complete. This is about double of the 7.1 billion or so with interest included, as the project was sold to the public. The difference is say about 7 billion, being exposed in recent testimony.
      This I suggest is only half the deception.
      MFs at 6.2 B (7.1 with interest) was sold as a bill of goods as "least cost" compared to the more expensive Isolated Option of 8.4 B (say 9.5 B interest included). MFs cheaper by 2.2 we were told, (8.4 minus 6.2), in that range I think.
      As others have siad and Leblanc has pointed out, least cost of 2 options is different from lowest cost, when other important options were ignored or improperly assessed.
      If the Isolated "lowest cost" was properly assessed, it would likely be not more that 2 billion, I suggest,(2.5 B with interest during construction), not the 8.4 B (9.5 B with interest).
      This difference is also about 7 B dollars.
      So the overall deception was to under price MFs by 7 billion, but also overprice the Isolated Option by about 7 billion.
      If the lowest cost of the Isolated Option was 6, 8 or 9 B , this matter would be moot, as lawyers say, and not critical to this Inquiry.
      But as the Power Act required lowest cost, consistent with reliability, it is essential that the totality of the deception on the public be quantified.
      One engineer who wanted to be a party to these proceedings had knowledge of the our island hydro resources and also knowledge for capability of Bay deEspoir for more capacity of 15O MW for peak load purposes.
      Leblanc, surprisingly, denied him to be party to the proceedings.
      Combinations of new supply: island hydro(both for energy and for capacity) and wind additions, combined with load reduction via CDM and DM was clearly the lowest cost by many billions.
      For the inquiry to ignore this is to assess only half of the deception on the public. The public deserves a full exposure, and should not be satisfied with less.
      Winston Adams

    • WA @ 18:17:
      The goal of the Inquiry is to determine why Mf happened – not what the options were. What the options were is a policy decision and best left to the PUB – that is why the Inquiry via the ToR is investigating the effect of excluding the PUB from the MF decision making process.

      Joe @ 16:06:
      You premise is dependent on that government didn't direct MF – Nalcor didn't decide to do MF, that was a decision of Government.

      Likewise, excluding the PUB and true independent assessment also required complicit actions by Government – it is possible Government had a 'don't ask' policy for cupable deniability, but that is a B$ argument to me.

      The Nalcor execs are only as liable as Government directs them to be – Government gave the direction, Nalcor followed and everybody is now running to their own corners trying to claim innocence. Just look at it – DB came to power and ousted EM and called an Inquiry, thats because Government controls Nalcor, not Nalcor controlling government.

      PENG2

    • Think you got it right Winston, the big picture. Hope Leblanc sees it that way too. A lot of the stuff at the inquiry of who said what when, is just a lot of back ground noise, that in the greater scheme of things don't mean a fiddlers f….. Will be quickly forgotten and wonder what it was all about. And it is all about the basics that you have pointed out. The isolated option was the lowest cost power and reliable and could have been done for a couple billion. Which included build as you need, which may have meant very little borrowing and avoiding Hugh interest payments. But the buggers sold us a false bill of goods that we didn't need. And that's what the inquiry should focus on in their final report as I think that's what the people want to see as well. Average Joe.

    • Peng2 yes you are right, but only to a degree. Yes govt set policy and govt. created nalcor and gave it orders to do muskrat. But the monster nalcor grew and grew and govt lost control, nalcor became bigger and greater than govt. They created a Frankeistein. Free to do as they pleased with the public treasury. It's by no accident that Stanley, an insider said the train had left the station, commanded by nalcor. And the tail was wagging the dog. How much clearer do you want it spelled out than that. I saw that, as well as others, long before the inquiry was called. Now the inquiry is just providing proof positive of the fact. And nalcor was then hell bent to complete muskrat, dam the torpedoes, full speed ahead. Now I am not saying they did a really bad job in completing muskrat, I am just saying we didn't need it, and there was no stopping nalcor once they got momentum, nope not even ball et al, even if they wanted to. Joe blow.

    • Joe @ 19:05:

      Cant agree – even GT says MF couldn't be stopped, that wasn't a government or Nalcor direction. Also, there was a legal opinion submitted as exhibit P-03589 that says that MF couldn't be paused either, neither the government or Nalcor determined the outcome once started.

      The problem was government allowed Nalcor to run with the ball – KD or PD as the PC premier could have ousted EM and called an Inquiry, if they wanted to. The problem was, MF was a PC policy – that is why Nalcor and MF came to be what we have today – even the legislation birthing Nalcor is interesting to read. I don't put much weight in Stanleys testimony – except that is shows how the government processes were broken, if Nalcor didn't like the answers they got at his level they bypassed him into the premier's office and got what they wanted.

      No argument it wasn't needed and poorly conceived – I have said that many times. The entire PC government from 2003 through 2015 was setup to execute MF 'no questions asked' – and they even scuttled several deals that would have been 3rd party developments, and a decent deal by Grimes that wouldn't have costed us anything – but we got played by the QC boogeyman.

      PENG2

    • Well, peng2 you are in fact agreeing that muskrat or nalcor couldn't be stopped. Yes there may have been several reasons why it wasn't or couldn't be stopped. Nalcor probably or influenced GT to write that. You say it was written in the FLG that it had to be completed. I say, even if in the agreement, it could have been stopped. We are not living a tolterain state. If it had been re-evaluated, cooler heads would have prevailed between governments and they would all have seen the fallacy of their decisions, and put a hault to what started out as a 6B$ project and turning into what some call a 13-15B$ project, including massive interest payments for 50 years. Now I would also say that nalcor encouraged govt. to sanction muskrat, as they provided govt. with a lot of the amunitation to feed to the people in making the case, like we need the power and least cost option.

    • Joe @ 19:53:

      FYI – GT is part 2 of the Inquiry forensic audit, is listed as exhibit P-01677 and is based on the FLg terms I have mentioned many times. Bottom line is once financial close was established – we were committed, it wasn't any longer a Nalcor or government decision to complete MF. Sure we could have defaulted – but might be worth your while to look and see what that would encompass.

      The last party with the ability to stop MF(by endorsing the FLG) was the PC government of KD – she didn't because it was their policy.

      The PC government at any time upto 2015 could have called an Inquiry or changed policy – they didn't because MF was their policy.

      By my count, the PC government if 80% liable for MF, Nalcor gets the other 20% for being incompetent.

      PENG2

    • Guess we will have to agree to disagree. Nalcor and muskrat could not be stopped by their own will after sanction. Nalcor was big, but not bigger than the loan guarantee. If both governments had done a totally independant review of muskrat with no nalcor interference, they would have come to the conclusion that we don't need muskrat, it is too expensive and very few benefits. Maybe they would have decided on the power line only from UC . But when two governments (Feds and provincial) agree on a course of action, and later both agree on a change in that action, then it can be accomplished by mutual agreement. And that's what I am saying should have happened. But without that intervention there was no stopping nalcor. They demand the money and the govts antied up, says Joe blow.

    • Joe @ 20:21:

      A bit more complicated than you think it was – the FLG was a 3 party contract, Emera/NS was also involved.

      An agreement by the govs of NL and Canada would also have required compensation to Emera for their completed work on the Maritime Link – are you suggesting we stop MF and pay Emera the $2b they invested on good faith of MF being completed?

      PENG2

    • COMMENTS ON HATCH PART 4:
      The full deception on the public is not lost to the reasoning of Commissioner Leblanc. In his few statements, he has commented on the fallacy of least cost power of only 2 options vs lowest cost required under the Power Act( and as noted by various MFs naysayers).
      Nor is the issue of safety of the North Spur outside his line of sight. The buck passing of assurance of safety is evident by his wanting to hear from the Environment Dept, in respect of the questions raised by various counsel.
      Nor is ongoing issues before the PUB: the Synapse Report and supply options and Reliability issues. Indeed he chided the Oversight Committee this week for being indifferent to these matters. Those issues are tied to and a result of MFs.
      Commissioner Leblanc has latitude on where he goes and what he considers. Limited scopes of work hindered EY for 3 years, and corralled many consultants to let the MFs train roll on. If this Inquiry costs 30 million, it serves little purpose if it reports and concludes too soon and limits itself not to report on the full range of deceit and misrepresentation on the public. Judge Leblanc's legacy will be assessed on the thoroughness of this Inquiry that will bear his name. The public is presently convinced that this Inquiry will make no difference to how we do business and manage the public purse in this province, and be one of many Inquiries that merely collects dust on the shelf.
      The Terms of Reference should not limit his scope to fully expose the depth of the rot in our system and culture that permitted this travesty that shakes our economic survival to it's core.
      Winston Adams

    • Peng2 please note, I said, "maybe the governments would have decided on only the power line from UC", @20:21. Of course that meant the LIL going on to NS via the maratime link. So what were we going to pay Emera 2B$ for. They are getting power directly from UC. What more do they want. And we would be sending some recall power from UC and purchasing the rest from HQ at a hell of a lot less than we will be paying for muskrat power. So if we weren't making money on that, at least we would be breaking even. And the DC line should go direct to NS, and not sending our cheap, reliable, paid power to NS, and minas the two or three switching stations. So we would not have the dogs breakfast that nalcor served up, and sending our power to NS and we getting the dirty end of the stick with muskrat power. Those nalcor bugger were traitors, and treason to come up with that scheme. I don't think govt told them to do that, but no doubt went along with the nalcor monster. Joe blow.

    • Joe @ 09:13:

      At the end of 2016(that is 1 yr after DB assumed office, so the most likely time for your suggestion) there was $6.2b out of a projected $9.4b spent (excluding interest during construction). So using the current estimated $ to complete, it would have taken about $2-2.5b to complete the plant at MF after 2016.

      If we consider your suggestion of supplying Emera via the UC, the following would need to happen as of 2016:
      1) complete the LITL
      2) upgrade facilities at CF and the LTA for the new purpose
      3) remediate the MF plant location
      4) cancel contracts and settle REAs
      5) miscellaneous costs associated with stopping/changing course

      Assuming the legalese items with respect to the FLG/Emera supply, cross-default etc could be suitably worked out, you still have the costs associated with items 1-4 to figure out. Changing course would have been more costly – and that is assuming we could beg hard enough for the Federal government to give us more, we had no leverage and were at the mercy of others on this.

      Neither the GT forensic audit nor the legal opinion on the FLG/MF contracting issues submitted to the Inquiry support you suggestion as being viable – both are exhaustive and say once financial close was achieved the only course was completion.

      The time to change course on MF was the ballot box in 2011 – we the voters failed ourselves then.

      WA @ 23:22:

      The limiting factor on LeBlanc isn't the ToR – its is schedule and timing.

      Due to timing, all the issues wont be fully developed and due to schedule construction at MF wont be completed when the Inquiry finishes up, this is unfortunate.

      Imagine though, many people said waiting until 31-Dec-2019 was too long an simply based on DB wanting to get through the election – we wouldn't have gotten very much at all if the Inquiry schedule was compressed even more. Most of the complaints I have seen are by those that don't understand what an Inquiry is and isn't.

      If the Inquiry is incomplete, it will be because it was started too early and the schedule was too tight – the interesting part of Synapse wont be filed until after hearings are finished, construction/commissioning wont be complete, and REAs wont be defined etc. The correct timing/schedule would have been 4yrs after substantial completion – delayed timing has nothing to do with people dying or the 'amnesia' we are seeing on the witness stand as some propose.

      PENG2

    • Typo correction:

      The correct timing/schedule would have been a 4yr Inquiry and starting shortly after substantial completion – delayed timing has nothing to do with people dying or the 'amnesia' we are seeing on the witness stand as some propose.

      PENG2

    • Peng2, I guess we could go forth and back many times and all for naught since much water has flowed over the falls by now. I wasn't proposing that it had to be the ball govt. that would reverse the course of muskrat decision. It could have been any govt. that did a proper INDEPENDANT of nalcor study and determined that muskrat would be a boondoggle. It could have been before fincincial close in late 2013, by KD when they knew they were over budget and contingency used up. KD Said on the stand the number she had was 6.2 and if she had known it was going higher she would not have approved it. So all she had to do, or her successors in 2013 – 14 or 15 was a truly independant study and bingo the answer, we are headed for 10B$. Cancel, long before 6B$ spent. Joe blow.

    • Joe @ 10:30:

      I agree, could have been any government – but I said this above at 20:05:

      [start]
      The last party with the ability to stop MF(by endorsing the FLG) was the PC government of KD – she didn't because it was their policy.

      The PC government at any time upto 2015 could have called an Inquiry or changed policy – they didn't because MF was their policy.

      By my count, the PC government if 80% liable for MF, Nalcor gets the other 20% for being incompetent.
      [end]

      I standby saying that it was the voters who failed them selves – there was no way the PCs were going to revert course. Id also over the worse political decision the voters of NL have done was the 2003-2015 PC government.

      I am not political and think DB is weak overall, but I do agree with how he has handled this since 2016.

      PENG2

    • Joe @ 10:30:

      1 other thing I will add – I don't necessarily think it was an independent review of Nalcor is what was needed.

      There were a number of reviews don't on Gull and Muskrat over the years – it was never feasible, so the question is what changed in 2003 to suddenly make MF and the Anglo Saxon route the right choice (government is the only change I see)?

      By my view, the only other major infrastructure development in Labrador since 2000 is the TLH – and the LITL doesn't even follow this route, so the only thing I can figure is MF was strictly a government policy to 'show the Quebec bogeyman'.

      Not sure any independent review would have changed the politics and voter opinion on MF.

      PENG2

    • Robert @ 11:12:

      I know not your intent, but that is very close to the argument that the PCs use to avoid proper review and oversight of MF.

      As you say though, definitely bad policy – the key to moving forward will be to acknowledge what went wrong and want to get over it.

      PENG2

    • PENG2 @ 23;22
      If the ToF is not the problem than it seems an extension of time is appropriate to permit effects of completion of MFs, and Synapse and other issues before the PUB(supply and reliability issues) to be known for the Inquiry. AJ previously propose that, and you imply it is appropriate…….why would the government oppose such an extension to achieve a comprehensive Inquiry Report? An I quiry pause if necessary, but likely mostly a pause in public hearings as the Iquiry train rolls on. Maybe an interim Report early 2020, but not the final.
      Robert says :Why not move forward? But how we move forward depends on the technical success of MFs power, and of Synapse and the other issues before the PUB. If MFs is a technical failure, we are in deep doo doo as how we move forward. For Leblanc to terminate the Inquiry under these circumstances is absurd.
      Winston

    • WA @ 15:39:

      The issue is that the timing and schedule was wrong from the outset – the damage is now done to settling REAs etc, NLers have lost any advantage of waiting for an Inquiry. Alot of conservation in the media and here was saying the Inquiry should be shorter, the ToR was too limiting, politics and the like – all were wrong, and dissenting opinion were lambasted. Might as well extend the Inquiry to a finish date of ~2022 – nothing else to be lost except perception, only thing to gain is a fuller understanding.

      Overall I know a lot is being made of GE software – Id say that will be resolved ontime and is the least of our worries. Reliability wise, Id be more worried about the ability to make repairs, maintenance etc – I am not sure the $135m/yr is enough.

      PENG2

    • You got it right again Winston. And I was raising it so that it would give the blog readers time to reflect, but more importantly the CCCMF persons to consider it and comment. But to date they have remained silent. Maybe they do not agree says Joe blow.

    • You got it right again Winston. The reason I raised it, to give the blog readers time to reflect, but more importantly for the CCCMF personnel to consider it and comment. They have remained silent, so it may mean they are not in agreement with a pulse etc. as you propose. Average joe

    • You are right again Winston. And my reason for raising it here was to give the blog readers and commentaries time to consider it, but more importantantly the CCCMF to consider it and hopefully support it…the pause as you described. So maybe they are not in agreement, or have not reached a decision. Average Joe.

    • PENG2: To extend the date……"the only thing to gain is a fuller understanding" I suggest
      1. a fuller understanding is the most important thing
      2. it would include knowing what you now speculate on GE software, North Spur safety, ability to make repairs, rate of outages as to reliability from storms , icing, salt flashovers etc,
      3. Decisions on CDM, time shifting rates, new back up plans if Holyrood decommissioned,
      4 If wind, island hydro to be added, or constraints for island hydro getting to the Avalon East is warranted.
      5. If reliability permits heat switching and electricification for EV uptake ( if not reliable Synapse's suggestions must be modified)
      Generally much to be gained from a delay on the Inquiry Reporting,
      I suggest Stratton should be recalled to expose his flawed forecast
      and flawed option limitation that permitted sanction. He said he would do the same all over again…….he is still our forecaster?
      Winston

    • PENG2, You say as to delay of the Inquiry Report. "the only thing to gain is a fuller understanding". I suggest to have a fuller understanding is essential, and would :
      1. have knowledge instead of speculation if the GE software works ok
      2. know if reliability is ok, that the North Spur is deemed safe
      3. if outages is not excessive to avoid blackouts : outages from icing, wind , salt flashovers etc
      4 if ability to make repairs is satisfactory
      5 if safe to plan to decommission Holyrood as planned, and new Holyrood backup plan
      6 if MFs is not operating or reliable then at least 5 billion is a stranded asset; then how is Synapse assessed and too the new supply options?
      7 a fuller understanding may shed light on whether the public was misled by Nalcor and govn, (so victims of that) or the public chose to not be informed as you say. I think some of both, but weigh on the side of the public being victims (as the scheme is so complex that details were just superficial to the public, unless one is technical inclined on these matters.)
      Perhaps others can add to the rationale for a delay on filing the report.
      think it essential that Stratton be called back: he testified he would do the same forecasting all over again, so has learned nothing form his false assumptions, and omissions, and he is still working and our forecaster now? Off with his head…….or at least to HMP lockup, as he produced the forecast to allow sanction, a key player with no backbone leading to maybe 15 billion waste. Without the false forecast MFs never would move past the drawing board.
      Winston Adams

    • WA @ 19:25:

      Don't take my word 'only' as being minimizing what can be gained – agreed there is a lot to be gained from a fuller understandings, but also there was alot lost in a premature Inquiry.

      Now, we also need to assess what was lost vs what was gained – whether the time line and schedule will be amended will likely become somewhat political.

      PENG2