Thursday night’s result constitutes the worst possible election outcome.

other jurisdictions, minority governments are notable by their brevity as much as
for their instability and lack of progress on normally intractable problems. We
have some of those. Locally, the 1971 election is our singular post-Confederation
encounter with minority government. It was marked chiefly by chicanery —
inducements to Members to switch Parties — and it was short-lived. We would
never have to worry about something like that ever happening again, would we?

will see the election outcome as a judgement on Dwight Ball’s leadership:
his indecision and his lack of forthrightness. 
his poor approval ratings were earned early and got worse. Why he was the centrepiece
of the Liberal Campaign ads, I’ll never understand.

one will argue that, when the Liberals won the election in 2015, they were
handed a poisoned chalice by the Tories. The decisions they took —
Muskrat and huge deficits in particular — were so egregious that the Liberals
ought to have been able to bury the P.C.’s for at least two generations. The
bumbling began with Ball giving Ed Martin a multi-million dollar handshake, and
continued with a ham-fisted display of political cowardice by raising taxes in
the 2016 Budget in place of taking an axe to spending.  

far the greatest display of bad judgement was the Liberals’ assurances that our
fiscal problems were under control and that rate mitigation would be painlessly
achieved — which suited the Tories perfectly.

of their own described the Liberals’ litany of errors and mismanagement as
“fifty shades of dumb!” Who could disagree?

hour has found a secure home in other arenas, too. Everyone noticed Ches
Crosbie’s unscripted lack of class in not, at least, congratulating Ball and
promising to work with him, a matter to which I will return. The same borrishness was practiced by politician/businessman Paul Antle a few days earlier on Burin
Peninsula, when he left no doubt as to the linkage between aquaculture-related
jobs, the governing Liberals, and the purchase of the Marystown Yard. And bad
judgement got a boost by Her Honor the Lieutenant Governor’s unwise
decision to be in the proximity of her old Provincial and Federal Riding during
an election.

things never change. But what now? What should the public gird themselves for within
the context of our new political circumstance?

concern over minority government, stated at the outset, is directed at our
likely impossible fiscal position.

ask the most obvious question: with a return to the Polls an omnipresent fact
of life requiring that each Party stays in the voters’ good books, which one will
propose cuts to spending? The Liberals? The Tories? The NDP? One of the two
Independents? Who have we missed?

problem that is likely already beyond our capability to reverse can only worsen.
In an economy heavily dominated by government spending and employment, no one
will be meting out pain to an electorate looking for leadership that is insisting someone else should be tapped.

now, there is only time to play politics; survival is destiny’s political
exigency. Ches Crosbie spelled it out on Thursday night. It will be the same
for the Liberals and the NDP, except that they know some things are best said
by others.

only certainty is that no Party, except the Tories, wants a quick return to the
Polls. The Liberals are seeking a new leader; they will not allow Dwight
anything except a civil exit. They will attend to the issue early in case the
Government collapses prematurely. Secondly, all the Parties need to replenish
their coffers; without money, the Campaign ads can only get worse.

next year will be dominated by extreme partisanship and a keen eye to which
Members might be “open-minded” about switching.

political leaders will gather their new Caucuses, each containing brand-new
members that they neither know nor, at this early stage, trust.

— former leaders, former MHAs, Party officials, and indeed anyone enabled with information
or influence — will be instructed to engage the new ones in particular. Opportunities
for leverage will be the singular preoccupation.

Independents, Eddie Joyce and Paul Lane, know that they are kingmakers. Eddie
Joyce’s distain for Ball and his nemesis, Sherry Gambin-Walsh, does not extend
to the Liberal Party to which he has unshakeable loyalty. Ball’s exit will solve
only one of those issues. However, on a solo basis, Joyce will not bring down
the Government in a Confidence vote.

Lane has a different history. And he has already indicated that he will not
accept the Speaker’s Chair and will remain an Independent. He is savvy enough
to wait until greater clarity is carried on the political winds.

egos inside every Caucus will assume a new proportion. The Premier will be
careful not to disappoint any Caucus Member; all who desire a Cabinet post will
have one or, failing that, a position befitting their enlarged self-perception.

Member’s health and well-being will be monitored, should those have terminal

the public — especially the media — every announcement, speech, or appointment
will be assessed within this new paradigm of heightened suspicion, distrust,
and personal and political self-interest.

Crosbie can smell victory’s uncertain scent. His worry is that the Liberals will
come up with a respectable leadership candidate, someone that the public finds
more endearing than either he or Ball. He can’t give the Liberals an inch. He
has to take them down at the earliest, and he knows it.

NDP were awarded a second chance, though any growth will be hard-earned. There
is no fourth Seat even within striking distance, which suggest that they will
have to play the long game. Their next opportunity occurs when the wheels fall
off the fiscal bus. 

this maelstrom of political intrigue will be parsed daily; the news might
actually contain… some news.

balanced Budget in 2022-23? Of course, ‘rate mitigation’, too. And a chicken in
every pot and…

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


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

Churchill Falls Explainer (Coles Notes version)

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


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


  1. "…worst possible election outcome" ??

    I think a majority by any stripe would have been worse.

    One party pushed this mess down our throats and the other would not even administer First Aid.

    A minority government at least reflects an awakening by the electorate. A step, albeit a small one, in the right direction.

    • MA @ 09:31:

      So what is your take on still having 7 persons in the HoA with direct ties to the MF enabling vote? My count today is 4 MHAs who voted, 1 ADM, and 2 1st degree family members who advocated for MF in 2011.

      This tally doesn't count for CC (JC did publically support MF in 2011) nor does it include BO since I am not sure on his activities at the time – so it could be as high as 9 persons.

      I would agree with UG – minority governments as a rule are dysfunctional and open it up for pork belling, hopefully some consensus will be reached where we avoid a minority via the nomination of the Speaker – though considering the options are PL, EJ or a NDP person I doubt it for reasons I posted 17-May-2019.


    • Have to agree, the electorate is NOT WOKE. If so, why so many MFs supporters elected or in current positions.
      The electorate is in a daze, half awake, sufficient to down grade the Ball government.
      If awake , they could sell tickets on upcoming Inquiry days when Ed Martin, Gil Bennett, Ball and Marshall take the stand. Seating would be sold out. Right now they have a metal detectors as if fearing terrorists, yet the sherrif is like the Maytag repair man, bored waiting for a call. 13 billion wasted, daily going deeper in debt, and virtually no one attending this Inquiry: the electorate WOKE? Really?
      Electorate is still bamboozled, with Ches promising Cheap Rates, and Ball promising even cheaper power rates. Lies and deceit, is it not? Eddie Joyce a favourite for many! We like comedians and fools, as good as those that try and buy our votes with public policy promises at election time ……..hardly an electorate woke up.

  2. "He has to take them down, and he knows it". These are fighting words and not governing words. That is encouraging instability in government not words of givernment stability words. So unless we have a government that has a major majority and basically no opposition is the way we need to govern ourselves. That's been our history since the 70's and where did it get us. To where we are today, with $23 billion in the red and counting, that did not happen with a handshake with EM, that has been accumulating over the past 50 years, but a big chunk added by muskrat with 15 years of super majority givernments. Would muskrat or other major projects get sanctioned today, or a fincincial close??? Not a chance in hell, and nor should it. We ask the electorate to elect a government, and then we call it the worst possible outcome. Real democracy at work. The people have spoken, and we defy their voice. Spending and spending cuts and honesty….will a government that makes the cuts necessary get elected again…not a chance. Will a government that promises the necessary cuts get elected… Nope just another Hugh majority by the other party. So do you promise no cuts and when you get in slash and burn at every turn…real honesty. Was that chesses plan…I think UG seems to think so. I did hear CC say that when it came to cuts, healt care was a good place to start. No our media are too timid to go back and play those clips. Chess said he would not only cut taxes on auto insurance but on all insurance one step further than ball. Another of chess's promises that went unnoticed, was some more moose fences. Think ball even missed that one. I have no idea what's happening in our sister province of PEI, but let's see how long their minority givt. last. Are they yelling at every turn to get back to the poles. Haven't heard a peep. Now I know they don't have the debt that we have. The other comment about burying the other party for dozens of years because of muskrat falls, where would that get us, just a Hugh, Hugh majority govt. on the other side for decades and decades. Would that solve our fincincial problems ask Joe blow.

  3. Let's send a delegation to Iceland, even Denmark, to ascertain whether either of those two highly enlightened nations might be willing to take this benighted, hoary Newfieland under their socio-democratic wing. If so, we can, via referendum, offer Canada a fond adieu. Poor old Canuck Land — always uber-polite and accommodating — may, like an unnecessarily guilt-ridden parent, wonder where it went wrong, but it should not. For what it's worth, I, for one, still love Big Beaver. And, anyway, why bother leaving a country that invented the slap shooting of hard rubber disks, brain concussions and bottom-of-the-schlock-barrel schlocky films? If our entreaties to become Newfie Danes were accepted, these advanced Scandinavians would likely windup more vexed by our tribe's third world attitude than they are with sharia law that now creates their no-go zones.

  4. The writer espouses money politics. The Party with the fattened purse should always "win'. Business interests over participatory democracy, every time. Have we not understood that has been the problem? Sure, return Ball or Ches a majority, and see how well that turns out.

  5. It would be a good idea, when the House reconvenes, that the Public be given an "open books" summary of the Muskrat project, as it stands; Current Cost to complete and Schedule to complete. No more obfuscation. No more BS. Just the facts man! Similarly, dust off all the government files, Ministry by Ministry. Truth to power!

  6. THE FACTS ? —-

    Do anyone believe that the cost estimate is still $12.7 billion?

    Yet here we are, 3+ years since the Ball/Stan takeover and we are still being told that the cost estimate is $12.7 billion.

    The electorate is on to the co-ordinated deceit.

    • MA @ 11:26:
      Or alternatively when the budget and schedule was reset 2016, the new schedule was close to what should have originally been released. The report linked below is interesting if analyzed.

      Robert @ 10:50:
      Is this what you are looking for? This report is current to EOY 2018 and released in March 2019.


      The budget and schedule was updated several times since June 2016 – just not increased or delayed and confirmed as being within 'reason'.

      To me, the last remaining cost to be accounted for is the settling of REAs and the impact of the Inquiry on REAs cost – this wont be know for 1-2yrs. Safe bet is add $1b, give or take as the cost to satisfy the public.


    • Agree…and chess should have been hounding ball on this point during the election, and the brave fearless media as well. And it should be the first order of business for the opposition as soon as or before the house opens, rather than nit picking about nothing. Average Joe.

    • For anyone who is interested in understanding what went wrong at MF and why we are where we are now, check Appendix C of the Oversight Report starting at page 43, I linked it above.

      Particularly the Construction Progress charts are of interest – not hard to determine what happened.


    • What went wrong with Muskrat is the top-down irrational decision to proceed with it.

      It was never needed or rationally justified (and both levels of government are the principal culprits).

    • MA @ 13:23:

      The fact is the public wanted MF – even if they ignored the warning signs and had no idea what they were begging for. The public in October 2011 they voted for KD – who was running (again) on a develop MF platform. The FLG has nothing to do with MF – MF would still have happened even if no FLG, we had a history of acting like a petulant child, so the Federal government gave us a bone – MF would have happened with or without the FLG.

      This letter in The Telegram is fair in what the public asked for, and got:

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

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

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

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

      The root of the problem is: no one bothered to consider the facts available on MF before voting – not unlike re-electing a number of enablers last week.

      The fact is, even if $6.2b, MF still wasn't practical – MF being best or worse for the province got nothing to do with final cost.

      In anyevent, your comment above was regarding the $12.7b current estimate – not the sanction. The report I linked shows clearly where MF went off the rails in both a cost and schedule perspective.


    • There is such a thing as 'informed consent' — and the public was certainly not, even to this day (evidence the public inquiry), INFORMED about the "need, affordability and risks" associated with Muskrat Falls — during or after the election (and it was barely mentioned during the election).

    • Ma @ 14:58:

      And what about 'buyer beware'? The public wasn't informed because they ignored the information – same as they did in the general election of 2015 and again in 2019 by re-electing the same ilk.

      Your memory is way off base – the general election of 2011 was over-saturated with MF information.

      The voter base is never wrong – we get what we vote for with our franchise, if we refuse to learn from mistakes that indicates another type of weakness.


    • I disagree, PENG2, that the people wanted MFs on the premise of them being informed citizens ( Jefferson's criteria).
      Nflders were told that power costs were going up 50 % anyway due to escalating oil prices and Holyrood oil consumption. Only a week ago a CBC piece was again stating that Holyrood would was then using about 20,000 lbs per day, instead of the average rate of about 6000 in winter. So much for an informed media.
      Nflders were not informed of rational wind options and CDM and other alternatives…….so a poorly informed public, and a poorly informed media.
      PENG2 has noted the many letters to the Telegram suggesting the opposition to MFs was available to rural Nfld, via the Compass etc. However the Compass is just a weekly, and carries little of the St John's letters to the Telegram. The Compass is little more than social event reporting ( such as 2 weeks ago Paul Davis attending a LOL provincial meeting in Conception Bay, an old election trick for vote getting ).
      The complexities of MFs and the Anglo route, DC transmission and all the many risk factors is beyond what most average citizens understand, so it is not as simple as saying they wanted it. I do fault the many for not trying more to understand it. Relatively speaking, I suggest there was only an handful opposed who were knowledgeable, and constant in their opposition. Nfld Power and Fortis, the most knowledgeable, I include in the jellyfish model, no spine. Yes, they would not touch it, a poor idea, but show me the letters to the Telegram from Stan Marshall or Nfld Power engineers to inform the public of the many pitfalls and risks, and of better alternatives? They chose to remain under the cone of silence. But now, faced with very high power rates, and possible sales reductions, they want all in on future plans! Too little too late. And they still today deceive the public monthly with their flyers on how to save energy with Take Charge crap. A disgrace.
      Winston Adams

    • TAKE CHARGE CRAP: May 2019 flyer: Save $1000 a year with an HRV and get $175 rebate. A note says the saving os over the life span ofthe unit, so if 20 years, that is a saving of $50 a year,(this in theory of course). It says : Does condensation from on your windows, do smells linger, Is the air humid …it may be time for a new HRV.
      1.Condensation is a function of temperature difference on the glass, and poor convention of air, not necessarily high humidity conditions. Better quality windows can save much much more energy than $50 a year, and avoid the condensation.
      2. Nfld houses are about 85 % old stock and as leaky as seives. Air changes about 4-5 times per hour, whereas R2000 is 1 per hr, and passive design 0.5 per hr. Passive design is more in need of an HRV to avoid high humidity. With most houses already a big drain on the grid from air leakage, air exchangers, running constantly, add to that power use. And that outside air needing to be warmed, adds to the power use, not reduces it. $50 saving may be relative to an older less efficent air exchanger, but either type adds to power use.
      3. Whether the air is too humid, ask also is the air too dry, in winter? Air should not be less than 30 RH, not higher than 60RH. 40-50 is likely ideal for health. I suggest with HRV running constant , RH indoors can be as low as 20% or lower in winter when the outdoors is cold and dry. This leads to respiratory problems and health issues and health cost increases. I have had to keep adding humidity all winter to keep RH above 30. This May 20, and still needing to add humidity, but not so much. Mywife and I: no cold or flu all winter. She had the shot, I didn't.
      Has Nfld Power monitored typical houses with HRVs to give a pass on what they recommend: as to health issues and actual savings? Or are they mostly deliberately promoting crap? Are they properly controlled to not do more harm than good?
      Winston Adams

    • WA @ 15:29:

      I never said the public was informed – the public was either informed or willing ignorant of the information provided and bought the 'energy warehouse' B$.

      Considering Telegram, it had a daily paid unit of 24k weekdays and 38k on weekends in 2010 – more or less, it was directly available to 40-60% of the voter base, at least (and that's not counting 2ndary talks between lay persons). So yes, I would argue the many letters and editorials saying that MF was a poor idea was widely circulated – the regional compass is just a side publication.

      The 2010 Fortis AGM was covered in the media (CBC, NTV and Telegram) – SM using good foresight said his company would not entertain getting involved with a government lead project because of politics (again, available for anyone who wanted to read, listen or pay attention):

      Was BC not a former PC cabinet minister? Maybe he should have carried more weight with the public – again, only if the public wanted to listen to facts. Memory tells me he also made submissions to the PUB – again ignored as most was.


    • So Winston, what you are saying is ignore everything, or most everything about NL power except the power bill which we have to pay less we get cut off. And I agree with you. Scallywags, the type of HP's they promote, and what they say about HRV's, programable thermostats, plastic over the windows, etc. Now I do agree with an outdoor clothes lines, when weather is suitable, it saves on the dryer, plus gives a nice smell of fresh air to the clothes. They are in a conflict of interest, because their interest is to sell power not to conserve. Now I know peng2 will jump on that because he has done it before. But their ads would want to make you throw up, especially when we are paying for the silly stuff says Joe blow.

    • BC? Before Christ? British Columbia? Bishop's Cove? Behind Carbonear? BC…..It does not register, and I have a job to recall politicians, unless they have left a mark.
      But I take your point on willing ignorant. Even as to Christ, he said the crowd know not what they do…..they were misled by the priests and the lawyers.
      So too Nflders were misled as to MFs, or willingly ignorant.
      Have we settled that?
      Energy Warehouse……the Inquiry shows the Nalcor literature "Boundless Energy" wit waves breaking. A good wind has 30 lbs per sq foot, and waves 6000lbs per sq ft. Who can economically capture that wave energy? So too Fortis AGM literature shows kots of wind generators and solar panels, but uses a lot of coal and gas.
      2010 Fortis AGM may have had some coverage. I am amazed that in recent years it gets little if any coverage. I generally am not aware of the AGM timing until it is over. I would say about 300 turn out for the AGM.
      Ok , Stan said he would not get involved with MFs due to politics. But Stan is also an engineer, with much power project experience. He knew many of the technical risks as you and I did.
      What did he say of the technical risks, and reliability? Maybe when he appears , Learmonth will ask why he was not more vocal, not a single letter to the Telegram!So he protected the shareholders at the expense of the ratepayer? Not his call you might say? Others stuck their necks out. Vic Young wrote Ed Martin?

    • WA @ 16:58:

      BC – explained well in the cbc link I gave above.

      MAybe a great example of public ignorance I saw today (in the cbc article regarding Bauline becoming green energy wise):
      Baloney, to save that much electricity you will need over a million dollars in solar panels. You get only 600 to 800 hours of direct sunlight. St John's is the foggiest city and most northerly (sun angle) city in North America. This community's idea of going green is to have the rest of the country finance at no charge this idea. It would take 40 years of savings just to pay for the panels. Going green here is a financial burden to the taxpayer while producing a little saving on the town's power consumption. A better plan would be real estate that you need rather than a large building that you want. Now that you have the fancy real estate the locals can't afford to heat and maintain it; a common problem throughout the province.

      I would say the best would be to ask for communication between Nalcor and Fortis in the pre-sanction period, though too late for this now. I don't understand the argument that it was upto Fortis to protect us from ourselves – are we saying we are too irresponsible and need corporations to protect us? Fortis profits minimally depend on NL Power sales, NL electricity sales don't mean much there so why would Fortis care?

      NLers need to stop blaming others – we have caused our own issues and refuse to accept any blame.


    • We know PENG2 that KD was not asking for Fortis opinions. So did Fortis have an obligation to give them and also to make them public?
      Not legally , but ethical/morally, yes, I say yes.
      Did we need Fortis to protect us? Since they had special knowledge, yes. Should Eastern Health, a corporation, I think, protect us? What of Sobey's, Dominion or Costco as to food quality of products they sell? What of construction companies that their buildings are of sound construction?
      Granted Fortis can abandon Nfld as Nfld is now less than 5 % of their revenue. But Fortis's roots is from more than a century of profits, guaranteed, from Nfld ratepayers. Then they were granted the right to operate beyond regulated utilities, and expand and grow.
      So why should Fortis care? Because they have a duty to care, I suggest. I would hope that such a duty was a factor why Stan Marshall stepped up to replace the incompetent Ed Martin.
      With customer energy savings,and Take Charge, I see little of Fortis and Nfld Power caring for customers, but misleading customers for the sake of revenues. Like MFs , ratepayers are little aware of the deception. I suppose I expect to much that Fortis/Nfld Power help protect us, whether MFs or customer power savings. Ratepayers, as you say, are to blame to be misled by slick advertising, and not aware of the progressive policies of other jurisdictions. However, eventually, Fortis/ Nfld Power's reputation is at risk from shock power rates, part due to the carelessness and incompetence of Nalcor.
      Just my opinion. A corporation has no ethics, except by virtue and example of it's directors and officers. They can be scallywags if they choose to be, within the limit of the law.

    • WA @ 19:39:

      I posted this as a response to you in the last UG article:

      Maybe the way this situation needs to be analyzed is how would the response and actions be different if it was Fortis/NL Power developing MF rather than Nalcor?

      I would say that if it was Fortis/NL Power developing MF, most people would say that's their problem irregardless of why – the problem is with Nalcor leading the developer is that the tax payer is eventually on the hook for the bill, and I offer that it was mostly governance responsible (remember that Fortis said they wanted no part of MF likewise with several other consortiums/partners when it was assessed).

      We also need to recognize that the TakeCharge program is government administrated, but participation by Hydro and NL Power – I doubt it is easy to get anything done, but 100% agree that TakeCharge is a joke at best.

      If Fortis were gaining profits by being lax in efficiency I would agree they are being amoral, but I would argue their profits are unaffected if our energy consumption changes by about +/- 20% and are therefore not being enriched and thus not being amoral.

      Not sure if I see your point that a non-governmental corporation has a responsibility – Eastern Health etc are arms of government and very different. Sobeys / Loblaws/Costco are regulated and like Fortis don't offer rebates, but do act in case of safety – excess cost to users isn't a safety issue.


    • Agree with some of your comments on the last UG posting.
      But since Nfld Power is regulated,by the PUB, imprudent expenditures would not be permitted to pass along to the ratepayer.But I have seen imprudent expenditures by them passed,due to lax PUB oversight; example about $500,000 for pilot study for hot water tank control for peak demand……our light bill money for that, done in many jurisdictions and known to shave about 600 watts per house to time delay, so like reinventing the mouse trap to pretend your're doing something useful.
      Take Charge , a joke at best , but what at worst? Asking for a class action against them, it so blatant?
      Take HPs, and flyer for April, 2019.
      Last year 8-10,000 of these installed.
      Yet here is the negative info from them, it says
      1.IF a HP is right for your home …..here is low interest rates. Rates are actually about 5 %, while other provinces it may be 2 % or 0 %.
      2. Make sure your home is well insulated and draft proofed.
      Facts as I see them is that the more insulated your house is the longer the pay back. So for a moderate insulated house 5-7 years, for a R2000, 10 years. This because well insulated houses have less energy waste to recapture. Also I suggest there is no such thing as draft proof. Draft resistant maybe, So with these criteria customers can be denied loans even, it seems, and certainly discouraged from using HPs.
      3. Does the payback period work for you? HPs last for 10-15 year. Is it worthwhile? Yet I have seen USA studies that rate the life as 18 years. The make of the units impacts life, this not mentioned.
      4. Is your home open concept? Most old homes are not, so this discourages customers. Yet many old homes are suitable.
      5. Hps takes a little work : clear the snow away in winter, and clean/ change filter regular. This true, but not a big deal for most.
      6. Find a certified installer: they list no contractors just tradesmen, most who are not doing this work.
      7. Learn how to identify an energy efficient model for your home.
      So they list data that is efficient for North Carolina , while cold climate models, that are good for Nfld, are ignored, so they lead you to inefficiency instead of efficiency.
      8. They have a picture of a smiling house and a minisplit indoor head with a smile. But around that big question marks, to suggest hold on now.
      This is all negative to discourage the product, while being able to say they make the customer aware of them. It takes ingenuity to create such a flyer. As Churchill said after crossing over to the other party, not once but twice. "Anyone can rat, but it takes ingenuity to re-rat" So to with scallywags, which are rat-like.

      So moderate size houses with HPs are saving about 1000-1100 dollars a year on their power bills, and NP don't suggest that, but create all the negatives. For HRVs they promote like slice bread, and save 50 dollars or less.
      If this is not amoral then what is?
      Costco does offers rebates on LEDs, funded from our power bills.Again false savings from the interactive effect, adding to heater loads, again amoral promotion, from half truths told.

    • PENG2, I should add, that Nfld Power engages engineers (paid from our power bills) to come up with this BS and I suppose coordinated with PR people and too for the TV ads. This at a time when we are at high risk of winter time outages from high peak loads, satisfied by fossil fuels, and unreliable DC infeed and old Holyrood units. This is not accidental or incompetence. It is intentional, by design, and at odds with what Synapse suggests a good path forward.
      Almost 6 months …….are you making progress to comment on Synapse?

  7. Winston the move to battery storage is now unstoppable because the price is now right and the services including real time load balancing are compelling.


    "While the United States currently has a little more than one GW of installed battery storage capacity, market predictors estimate that number could grow to more than seven GW of utility-scale and grid-connected battery storage by 2022. Indeed, Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables' latest report on energy storage projects that energy storage deployments will grow thirteenfold over the next six years. "

    • Bruno: You are aware that Nalcor's world class independent reports usually had a caveat: the conclusion is bases on data provided by Nalcor (meaning not very reliable, so if Nalcor is inaccurate so is their report).
      So to the piece you quote is from Jones Day, a 2500 member legal firm whose clients includes utilities companies. Also the site says don't quote what they say (as you have done)as it is only the author's opinion!
      Bruno, are you gullible? You use references that only support your fixed views as to Bruno batteries saving the world form fossil fuels. It is but a small benefit yet, with potential to improve.
      Presently their is a proposal for hydro pumped storage from Hoover dam location, using wind and solar to feed the hydro pumps, a 3 billion project. But this too has environmental impacts, as less water gets to flow down stream , impacting fish etc.
      13 fold increase expected over 6 years for batteries ; 13 times a small number is still small.
      After Trump's win, Orwell's 1984 novel increased in sales 100 fold in a few days.
      Orwell visioned the spread of fake news, and we see it through Facebook, and blogs etc.
      The Digger (Peckford) quotes regular from sources that only supports his view ( generally opposite to yours): climate change from fossil fuels burning is false, and people will not buy into climate change mitigation to decrease fossil fuel use.
      So you and Digger are on opposite ends of the seesaw, but each suing selective,and or distorted data to support your positions.
      Engineers on the other hand, try to rely on facts, unless they are lacking ethics, as we see with MFs. P75 risk is sidelined for P50 etc, so not best practices, which at times is management overruling engineering, or engineering with no spine: the jellyfish model.
      In summary, your reference is a puff piece, like many others. Notice, however, it also mentioned a battery system catching fire…….did you miss that?
      Of more concern is Nfld Hydro considering a 100 MW Bruno battery for Nfld……the question is why? What is the technical advantage? MFs unreliability?

    • Engineering at MF was conducted by what Winston, competent engineers, or were they for sale to the highest bidder?? You defend a spotty, at best trade that has to be reminded of their hubris by that iron ring. Are you falling victim to that omnipotent hubris Winston??

      The numbers quoted of explosive growth of battery storage is quite accurate thanks. It is more accurate than the 5.6 billion for MF you believed!

    • I think many engineers might say I am too critical of the profession. I have praised a few and critical of others. With exchanges with PENG2, I have have been very critical of engineering failures as to MFs. At 12.7 billion, it is not a mere Peckford Pickle Palace.
      As to explosive growth of batteries, it is still relative, If batttery use is 1/10th of 1 percent and it grows 10 fold, it is still only 1 percent. That is simple arithmetic. So explosive growth needs to be sustained to be very meaningful. Wind energy is now meaningful, solar not so much but is moving forward in favourable locations. Battery storage is laggard as to meaningful component yet. So the term explosive is BS, like Nalcor's o.8 % yearly power demand growth, to add hundreds of MWs to the load, …..it fizzled, was projected on false assumptions of using baseboard heat,and other criteria, so said Stratton.
      Tesla's Elon Musk, recall was fined millions for misleading to goose his stock price. He is very talented, but an ethics issue, a problem we all have to some degree. So, would Elon mislead anyone? He said he had funding all arranged to take Tesla private, which was false.

    • Sorry Winston but you make no sense. You are in deep denial about the future growth of battery storage. The curve is steeply climbing with no end in sight.

      I was shocked by the depleted state of Lake Mead when I toured through there 2000. At the current rate it will be drained by 2050 according to experts. Where will the water for pump and store come from in Nevada? You deny the obvious future while you whistle Dixie with pump and store pipedreams. Will pump and store meet demand in real time or synchronize the grid?????

      Wind and batteries are the only hope for NL going forward. Admit it Winston!

    • Bruno, global CO2 curve is steeply climbing, yet you advocate native coal and gas burning….. and you makes sense?
      Wind and batteries the "only" hope for Nfld? You have previously admitted that aggressive CDM and EE is number 1, so now you dismiss that? Wind is, as I have said is under utilised, wind and batteries was costed at 17 billion? Batteries for 1-10 minute storage, for Nlfd has little cost effectiveness……. like solar.
      Pump storage has 100 year life vs 15 for batteries. Even so, some locations pumped storage would be an environmental problem. Worldwide, hydro has exceeded sound limits. All generation have life cycle costs.
      John Smith said HPs and wind generators were pipedreams. He was wrong on both. Batteries are a niche product, and mostly now to store "short term" solar and wind. Their fast response, 0.14 seconds, serves little purpose for the Nfld grid for now. Explain how that is worth the high cost? A Sprung like scheme as to Nfld………unless to help stabilise MFs infeed……..but you have already said not worth spending 1 dollar on batteries for that.So you make no sense Bruno, except for wind benefits not utilised, otherwise you constantly flip flop……one day an environmentalist, next day a coal/gas promoter. Even Britain is rapidly moving off coal, recently a full week with no coal generation,a record for them.

    • Sorry but I don't advocate for coal. I said I can't deny a bootleg coal miner his fuel. Here bootleg miners told the law to fill in the pit with them in it when they were busted for bootleg mining. You would bury him Winston for trying to keep his family heated would you Winston?

      Must I finish every sentence with DSM first? You are intellectually dishonest Winston.

    • Bruno, you said it was fine to use native fuels, coal and gas, and then backtracked in defence for the bootleg miner.Then suggest I would freeze to death the coal miner's family. Such is your twisting of what was said. Who is dishonest?If you just said you misspoke, and not your intent for commercial/industrial use of coal/gas it would be fine. I see them as only for minimum/emergency /backup fuels. Do you not agree? Not really because, you said burn the plans for gas turbines for Nfld……that may leave Nflders freezing at times. Like Joey reportedly saying burn your boats.
      If you say only wind and batteries for Nfld future but mean these after DSM, yes you should say so, as otherwise you are inconsistent
      You hop around with obsession with solar and wind and especially batteries, and see no difference between a foggy coast and a sunny dessert. No way to keep you consistent, and you twist and turn like Teflon Ed Martin, and you are never wrong. Other that you are a fine fellow, part of the time.
      Who can predict the future of Mead Lake? Droughts sometimes last 8 or 10 years and then change. Some areas are getting more rain in recent years. Did you notice I did not advocate pump storage for there, just that it was huge and being considered, and I noted negative potential. So you twist as usual. You suggest I am the one to drain Mead Lake. Other locations pumped storage is very beneficial, and at present battery is only 1 % of pumped storage, so some catch up needed before you or Musk crow. Wake me up when you get to 10%.

    • Sorry ask your assistant. My words were clear, I burn active carbon (no GHG additions while coal does add GHG) remember? I can't deny a poor bootleg miner a rock they dig from the ground. If you have a problem it is your problem, not mine (no pun intended)

    • PS Winston, You now burn oil from where, Venezuela??? You have a cleaner fossil fuel in your offshore, why are you not saving the planet and using the cleaner fuel??? Your logic is fuzzy at best and your memory spotty!

  8. Don't bet on that early election byes. At least 50% of those elected on the Tory and Ball teams, don't want to chance losing pay, prestige, and family time, going through the election grinder any months soon. Some may have already accepted the role of saving Nl from more turmoil and want to do an honest days work for the taxpayer. Certainly, none of the NDP have resources to mount another election for some time to come. So Ball gets called in by Ms. Foot. What a tea party that will be! Meanwhile, an accommodation will be made for a Speaker from an Independent. (Remember how Moores did this in 71)? A meeting with the PM and pre-election promises to keep Ottawa on side. The sale of NALCOR assets to Hydro Quebec would bring Liberals in QC on side. The Climate Action Liberals will counter and "Box" the Scheer/Kenney/Ford/Moe team. Maybe a minority for JT, and life is sustained in the usual Canadian way. Better, Green times ahead for NL, just as long as the price of oil stays firm, and Trump mounts his 2020 stead, just like King Billie:-)

  9. Perhaps 6 months ago I stated that our health care system here was in crisis. Weekly in recent months there is media stories of the serious situation, from all areas of the province. This morning on VOCM Patty Daley show a woman calls with a horror story of mistreatment of a woman with a mental health issue at Health Science Centre. Unbelievable to most of this state of affairs, yet MR Haggi got re-elected! The electorate woke up? Hardly. The called , I think was a worker with Eastern health, and witnessed the events.

  10. Was listening to RP on the stand this morning, with all of his experience he should have been able to build muskrat (manage) with one had tied behind his back. Now I know he didn't sanction muskrat, not his job, but he was there in 2008 a couple of years before sanction, would he not be able to say this looks like boondoggle about to happen, we don't need it. And how about all the other projects that he worked on, was this the only one that turned out to be a boondoggle, and doubled the cost after dg3 numbers. Good questions for Budden to ask. Sure with no sales for the power and to go all the way to Labrador, he must have known that was going on a fools errand to meet our needs. But guess they all saw it as a good job for at least 5 or 6 years, so jump on the gravy train, the government is good for it. So a lot of our engineers must have known it wasn't needed and a good idea of the final cost, but no one willing to stand up, as was mentioned yesterday on this blog. I voted no almost 10 years ago, that it was not the least cost option and we didn't need it, and I am just average Joe.

    • Not sure how many of the, what Robert call the shadow inquiry, were tuned in today, but from my intermittent viewing, they covered a lot of ground and RP gave a very good account of himself and nalcor management. He refuted some of the arguments or evidance given by some of the previous witnesses, especially by some Alstaldi witnesses. Maybe Winston or others might get into some of the detail, but I didn't hear anything that was startling, except when RP said he was really discussed with the amount of work that Astaldi had complete in the first year. He said it had to be turned around, so he took a particular interest on the ground in turning it around and others worked at a higher management level to get on track, but no reset to meet a new schedule and cost. He was also quite interested in getting the right concrete mix and achieving the scheduled pour rates after 2014. In projects he had worked on management for change work orders was done at head office, and major cost requirements. And disagreed with some other testimony that there was inadequate management onsite to avoid delays and the head office was available 7 days a week to deal with any concerns, challenges that was required on site. So he refuted those arguments. He said that you would hear from the disgruntled, referring to Astaldi, that were in court trying to get another 7 or 8 hundred million from Nalcor or givernment. My brief takes says Joe blow.

  11. Read Mr. Hollett's piece of today. Guess great minds think alike. Similar to UG post. Or maybe just the convention wisdom. The one difference noted, is UG predicts ball will be replaced as party leader soon, and Hollett predicts that the PCs will replace their leader. Do they both have inside or outside information. Is it pure speculation or educated guesses or just plain old common sense. Who and where are these new leaders, a figment of one's imagination, or real live bodies waiting in the wings. Are they a cut above the leaders we now have or just the run of the mill, or do we indeed have another messiah about to decend on us, and only to be swept up, yes every man, woman and child will plead undying alligance to and given a super majority in the legislature with astronomical cuts to everything including health care. This would allow us to get our deficit and debt under control and in addition wrestler the monsters Frankenstein and Dracula to exquenction. Or am I in dreamland again ask Joe blow.

  12. I tuned in to the Inquiry late, maybe 2:10, having forgot about it, due to other pressing issues. So this guy, I later learn is Ron Power, the general manager for MFs project for Nalcor. The photo in the Telegram says he is not a Nalcor employee, but a contractor. Likely a contractor with a staff of one.
    So he is saying management from St.John's is the only way to go,not from the jobsite, everyone does it that way, and cites Paradise River Job as an example. One exception was for a job he worked on in Nigeria 30 years ago, that was managed from the site. He explained that way back then they had no modern phones and communications, and it took 2 weeks to get something by mail.
    With that I begin to wonder what bull this guy was shooting. The only communication was by mail 30 years ago? I seem to recall Marconi sending messages from Signal Hill across the Atlantic in 1901. And Cyrus Field and the Great Eastern laying cable to Heart's Content, maybe about 1858. And we see the old Western Movies with overland telegraph before that. And my father's journals mentions the Marconi station set up at remote Port Nelson project in Hudson Bay about 1913. That project was managed onsite. So all that communication was an improvement over 2 week old mail.
    And too, I recall my old Telex machine from the 1970s, and then the early 1980s, I bought my fax machine. That was $3500, and a blessing, as I could send hand sketches with that and handwriting, a big improvement over the old Telex. So Power says he only had 2 week mail delivery 30 years ago, so that justified onsite management. Hmmmmm……was there some bullshit being stated here?
    Did I hear right that it was about 6 months before Power made his first site visit to MFs, and, to his surprise, nothing happening there.
    I almost dossed off, but was alerted in time to hear him talk about Deburke. That was the guy responsible for the three GE contracts. I had commented on UG last week on Deburke, and his concern for integration of the equipment for DC power transmission, and the importance of the software to achieve that. I had missed Deburke's introduction, but assumed he must be an electrical engineer. Deburke spoke about Control and Protections issues.
    In the 1970s I worked as a Control and Protection engineer with Nfld Hydro,so I was keenly interested in his testimony, and his knowledge about integration and the software, led me to think he was an experienced electrical engineer in that field. Later, when researching some of the characters with Growler,(brought in to assist sorting out issues with the software) I researched Deburke. I was surprised to see he was not electrical but mechanical. He was from Northeaster University I think, which I found to be from Boston. He quit MFs after the so called
    bifurcation, the splitting by Stan Marshall. He said there was no solution yet by GE Grid to facilitate the DC bipole operation. As of yet we got no more than 150 MW over that monopole operation, and with about 21 power trips from various causes. It sounded drastic to me, and something I've been expecting as a big problem yet to resolve. I wondered if the written specifications by Nalcor had tied GE down to integration? If not then a major Nalcor blunder.
    Winston Adams

    • Winston I did not catch all of GE's time on the stand but I caught the end where they seemed to say they were done with MF, good luck! If that is true we are in for quite a time this fall with Nalcor trying to sort out the software!

  13. As I was saying: Power was being asked about Deburke. It was pointed out that the job given to Deburke, at least 2 very qualified engineers, electrical I think, had applied, with much experience with DC transmission systems. Why did one of these not get that position?
    Power answered that you can't go by what they write down, the key thing is the interview. WOW, I say to myself, and it seems like Power is doing the hiring, and I wonder what is Power's qualifications? That I don't yet know? Can someone tell me?
    Now I think one's resume of education, work experience, as to the size of projects,years of experience, and knowledge in the field needed, is most important. Then an interview to probe a bit further and try to assess one character and suitability. Power sees it different. In the 1970s, my interview was by Nfld Hydro engineer Dave Collett, and Noel Halfyard. Halfyard was in what I suppose they call Human Resources, and Dave was an electrical engineer, overseeing high voltage terminal station design and the control and protections systems and specifications of major station equipment. Halfyard seemed to have little ability in assessing my competence or input into my hiring. So I was hired by Collett, as see it. But here it seems Power, without much technical knowledge, was making the key decisions for choosing people overseeing these very technical GE and other contracts.
    This GE equipment is primarily electrical with some mechanical features. Consider that for the past century, if something went wrong with your car or truck you took it to a garage for the mechanic to fix it. You never took your car to an electrician. While cars had electrical components, it is say 80-90 % mechanical systems. Now, with all electric vehicles, and no internal combustion engines, these cars are say 80-90 % electric, and the repair guy must be mostly knowledgeable in electrical and control, and software systems.
    With Ron Power, having Deburke handle these GE contracts,is like expecting a gas engine guy to fix your Tesla or Leaf all electric car. If Elon Musk f..ks up on integration of all his battery, motors, controllers and software, can you expect an internal combustion engine mechanic to find the problem? Seems Ron Power would think so. He passed over very competent electrical engineers and hired Deburke. Likely Deburke became aware of the integration problems, and its impact well after being hired.
    As to Astaldi not performing, the Telegram reports that Power figured that he could take over the job himself as contractor, and had to be talked out of it by his peers, saying Nalcor was not project contractors.
    Is there much rolling of eyes going on in this Inquiry now? What a sad state of affairs.
    Was there tampering of procedures in awarding this concrete dam project?
    Winston Adams

    • There are similar problems with government in general. Management sees no value in education. For example, someone with a master in electrical engineering and specialized knowledge in power electronics AND decades of management experience can easily be screened out of "manager of the electric industry". I once asked a assistant deputy minister (who was an engineer too) if there was any value in advanced degrees. that individual said "no, but perhaps there is some value in an MBA". The old adage that it isn't what you know, is who you know" is also especially true here.

      I think we have a critical mass of low ability people who are too ignorant to even know they are clueless. A quote from Wikipedia Dunning-Kruger "participants who scored in the bottom quartile on tests of their sense of humor, knowledge of grammar, and logical reasoning, overestimated their test performance and their abilities; despite test scores that placed them in the 12th percentile, the participants estimated they ranked in the 62nd percentile." How is that for overestimating abilities?

      I see this everywhere in government. Over confident, dumb as a bag of hammers and see no value in knowledge or advanced education.They hire people like themselves and treat truly competent individuals as existential threats.

      I'd love to list hearsay regarding the real education background of many people related to this project, but don't want to attract litigation. However, they do include stories like having someone else write your thesis or a retired engineering professor telling me that someone important was "his worst student ever". These people rose to the highest levels in their field.

    • "low ability people who are too ignorant to even know they are clueless"

      very interesting, I have worked around engineers of many stripes all my life and there is one thing in common and one thing most of us non-engineers often say " They don't know what they don't know"

      very similar hey !

  14. As I was saying: the damn dam thing. Power says he was mining the knowledge of other experts for these low strength concrete dams, learning a bit from this guy and that guy, and then he was calling the shots,though he had no prior training or knowledge or experience with such dams of this size, and for a northern location.
    Only through his insights, he assures us , we know have a 100 year safe dam. Otherwise, without his input, this dam would be structurally weak and fail.
    I read this week that the Hoover Dam, built in the 1930s, also had design problems requiring special engineering skills and solutions. The heat generated by curing concrete would weaken it. The structure , being some 600 ft at the base and 600 ft or more high, would take about 200 years to cool naturally, so many cooling pipes had to be installed for rapid cooling. A few years ago, they drilled and sampled the concrete and tested it, and discovered it is stronger now than when first cured in the 1930s!. Can be be assured of Power's insights were best practise, and be confident of a 100 year life, or is it's reliability now like the North Spur?
    And Power was instrumental in the award of this contract to a contractor not the lowest bidder. His explanation of the procedure seems fishy. Was their hanky panky to make the paperwork seem above board, but fixed up after the fact? And the the huge extra costs. Should we call in Mueller?
    What will tomorrow reveal?
    Only AJ commenting on today's testimony, so not sure who watched and what they think of Power. And he is still with Nalcor.
    Some time ago I mentioned I prefer a handyman, except where you need an expert. I fear with Power we needed an expert and got an handyman.
    Winston Adams

    • WA @ 00:51:

      I sent a request to an associate out of province that had no/little knowledge of MF to watch – his response was that the powers to be had no intent of stopping MF, this after watching 1 day of testimony and looking up the referenced exhibits. He later last night asked me of the political situation in NL at the time – 'goofs' was his term.

      My opinion:
      1) I thought most interesting was that all problems raised by people that worked there was 'disgruntlement' as termed by RP – maybe he suffers from the same personality flaws of EM and DW? Not sure if anyone has looked over the historical Org Charts to try and see why people left MF.
      2) I said before Easter that we would be seeing a lot of the same characters come up and I have always said the nuances would be important – we will start seeing more of this now. Will be most important to assess relevancy of those testifying and what they are saying – this is going to be a nuance to watch over the next few weeks.

      I didn't see anything surprising in Synapse, pretty basic though there is a more technical analysis coming. I did notice that is a best case scenario that revenue from excess power will barely cover operations – more or less we will be subsidizing power to those outside this province if we are compelled to operate MF, maybe my 2-3yrs old suggestion of buying power from HQ is looking better daily.

      I will add 1 comment to our discussion above: considering Fortis distributes (with maybe 5% generation?) and Hydro generates/transmits (with maybe 20% distribution?) – so, where does the responsibility lie to alter behavior? NL Hydro gains profits based on generation price, NL Power gains profits on expenditures(excluding power purchased from NL Hydro as I understand) – more or less, the profit based on costs of MF will aid Hydro and not affect NL Power, unless the regulatory setup changes(as it should). So, Id estimate that if power consumption varies by +/- 20% there would be no change in the expenditures required by NL Power for distribution and thus no change in profits, profit to Hydro is based on every kWhr sold – this is an important but little understood difference.


    • Would need to check my website and emails, but I think as early as 2013 0r 14 I outlined on my vision2041.com website that we could save billions if we purchased power from Quebec.

      I also made to same argument to Paddy Daley sometime later (not well received).

    • I feel your pain, Maurice. Similarly, I was treated as a traitorous individual, making same suggestion, to this day, regarding upgrading the Atlantic Grid, to bring clean and cheap Hydro to the Maritimes and NL.

    • MA @ 11:17:

      My statement was related to the operation costs and satisfying the Emera and FLG commitments – after MF was committed to as a savings avenue.

      Many have rightfully suggested using UC power and waiting until 2041 – whether it was actually needed on the Island before 2041 and if efficiency/CDM/etc were implemented based on forecasting is another issue. No doubt the supply of UC power should have gotten more consideration – though this would still incurred costs related to transmission and possibly AC-DC convertors depending on how implemented.

      In the post-2041 world, the power value is mostly returned to NL, pre-2041 it would be NL paying HQ(definitely a politically unpopular view) – unfortunately the political obstacles were introduced in what should have been almost wholly a technical question and neither will likely be considered.


    • To my statement above on nuances, RP says:
      1) Nalcor took Astaldi at their world since they were '…little Naclor and Astaldi were the 5-6th largest constructor in the world so we believed them…', or something to that effect.
      2) Nalcor decided to oust SNC(another worldwide leader in Engineering/hydro construction with a proven history) – because Nalcor PMT knew better

      Maybe these situations show Nalcor acting inconsistently based on their point of view?

      Also interesting was that the assignment of contractors that failed was SNCs fault – even GE among others who the Nalcor PMT assigned after ousting SNC.


  15. https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/newfoundland-labrador/ron-power-muskrat-1.5143821

    I would have agree with Mr. Mulcahy on project site management. Decisions on a project like this have to be made on site from a very early stage in the construction. If necessary head office project personnel have to be moved to site as the project progresses. The role of the head office should be to support the site project team. Nalcor it appears did it wrong but then based upon the testimony so far, we already know that, don't we. 12.7 billion dollars and rising, tells us they did it very, very wrong and thereby did us all very, very wrong.

  16. The goal of TakeChargeNL is carbon reduction. They consider MF to be a surplus of green power and see no value in electrical energy reduction. They do see value in replacing oil furnaces with baseboard.

    To make matters worse, it is being run by a power company who profits from the sale of electricity. Demand reduction damages their business interests. The program is just public relations and a facade.

    On the other side of the fence is almost everyone else. Our interest in say, cheap to heat homes using energy sources like wind/solar PV/solar heat, or the ultimate, a solar passive home with solar electricity is the exact opposite of Fortis (selling power) and Government (justifying Muskrat Falls and creating a market for the power).

    Even net zero programs are a run as damage control. If we were to become independent of the grid (advanced building techniques, solar PV and new batter technologies) then there would be billions in "stranded infrastructure", e.g. transmission and generation facilities that have no market.

  17. Has anyone noticed that this past decade there has been an enormous increase in spending. The population has not grown, yet spending is up 60% and annual deficits are huge. We need to cut 3 billion, but this translates to massive layoffs – so there is zero chance of it happening until it is forced upon us via insolvency.

    From the budget estimates: https://www.gov.nl.ca/budget/
    2003-2004 $4,216,677 revenue, $5,012,981 expenditures

    2018-2019 $5,926,005 revenue, $8,287,156,100 expenditures

  18. "Power and Prejudice", indicated at the Inquiry this morning.

    To Joe, my reference to "Shadow Inquiry" is not the General Inquiry itself. It is all the good and related discussion on this Blog, and media. Let the truth out!

  19. Very quiet on the afternoon tea with Lieut Governor. Is Ball running into obstruction, with getting his quorum? Has he "gone to site", Labrador West, or is he thinking that all important project management decisions are best made in a boardroom of Portugal Cove Rd.?

  20. What tangled webs we weave when we weave to deceive everyone including ourselves. There was more going on at muskrat than technical knowledge, experience and teamwork. Despite some good work being done by all there was a lot of disharmony, disagreement, trickery, deception, disputes and skullduggery going on with muskrat. Some behind the scenes some in broad day light. The commissioner may tell the story as he hears it but much will not be told on the stand. But there is money to be made by someone on the inside who knows a lot of detail to write a book. Yes, much like the books that has been written on Trumpies WH. We are just beginning to hear the stories from different factions at muskrat, nalcor, Astaldi, SNC being the major players but many others as well. As the morning secession closed RP was being questioned by Hogan, consumer advocate, and the commissioner. An interesting discussion and question but no answers. Yes, the dome was going to come down but was it before the work that it was intended for was completed or on the scheduled date? How much did the dome cost and who will be paying for it directly or indirectly is another interesting question that may never be answered says Joe blow.

  21. This weeks winner in the echo chamber for most posts out of 72 goes to:

    Winston…16 posts
    Bruno…11 posts (gets 2nd place because of 2 removals)
    PEG2…11 posts
    Robert…8 posts
    Joe…8 posts
    Maurice…8 posts (odd that Winston & Maurice have same last name…hmmm)

    Great job guys…keep up the good work. Posts after this do not count.

  22. Ron Power is the perfect dupe to be left holding the bag when the spur fails. He followed orders from St. John's faithfully and never doubted the political timelines laid down to conclude the plan without diligence.

    Anon 13:44 You added exactly what with your post? Quality has no place in your 2 dimensional world.

  23. VOCM just now: "Power says the inquiry has made available a plethora of information that will result in a lot of claims against the project. He repeated that the inquiry will cost hundreds of millions of dollars, and that “you could take it to the bank.” Commissioner LeBlanc disputed that contention, saying the claims arising will come in under $135-million.

    Should we hide malfeasance so that legitimate victims have difficulty getting compensated just to save others money? The only ethical thing is to expose the truth, pay all legitimate claims and then go after the perpetrators with a vengeance.

    Financial claims against Nalcor/Government will only be paid if they are legitimate. If the public owes a hundred million extra due to government malfeasance, so be it. It is also an excellent reason for those responsible. He and his cronies can reimburse the 100 million themselves or rot in exile.

  24. Who wanted to put MUSKRAT ON PAUSE in 2016: Now is the time to put THE INQUIRY ON PAUSE in 2019.
    1) yes, we are getting ahead of ourselves.
    2) the inquiry reports back in just 6 months time, and muskrat will still be in limbo, and nalcor still in court.
    3) the commissioner cannot make a proper and conclusive report.
    4) the inquiry report when released will be used by the courts against you and me…the people.
    5) for every dollars nalcor looses in court, it comes indirectly from your and my pocket plus interest.
    6) there is no political gain or lost by either party, the election is over.
    7) it will not affect the federal election politically as the inquiry does not report until after the federal election regardless.
    8) let the lawyers go back to their normal practises, give the commissioner lots of time to complete his report throughly un impeded after most claims have been settled in court.
    9) resume phase 3 of the report at the appropriate time.
    10) the MFCCC asked the parties before the election to agree to a through assessment of the north spur, now the MFCCC needs to call on all parties to agree to place THE INQUIRY ON PAUSE..
    11) when the house reconveins it shall be among the first order of business, PLACE THE INQUIRY ON PAUSE.
    12) this is for to the benefit of the fincincial state of the province.
    13) put your province first says Joe blow.

    • I have mixed feelings about this. I would hate for anyone to kill the inquiry prematurely. I also don't want it to end before the project is even finished because the story is still unfolding.

      How about an interim report, and an extension until six months after full power. As for enabling litigation, that is fine with me. If we have damaged a contractor then we own them restitution – that is only moral. Delaying an inquiry to thwart claims is much like a prosecution withholding evidence. We shouldn't be pitting the abused public against abused contractors. The real enemy are the lying sociopaths that are ruling us.

    • My opinion is well known – the Inquiry was called too early for mostly the reasons cited by Joe above. Interim reports, pauses in the Inquiry etc are the showing same hindsight the 70% of persons supporting MF pre-sanction – in actuality foresight is what was needed.

      I often see it said, '…owed to the contractor…', '…poor contractor…' etc – maybe people need to recognize that many of these companies knew exactly what they were doing when executing the contractors and the Nalcor PMT were out of their league. It should also be remembered that many of the larger contractors involved have operating incomes greater than the Newfoundland budget expenditures – these are Fortune 500 companies with revenues of $10-20b and in the case of GE employee totaling nearly 250k(ie half the total Newfoundland population).

      REAs with these companies isn't always a court hearing – it will start in a board room setting with lawyers and the guys with the biggest paper trail wins, either rightfully or wrongly. My guess is Nalcor/NL will be the loser by a wide margin when this is all over.


    • We all must take the long term view; The benefits of having the General Inquiry done in the present time frame, far outweigh the risk of incurring some contractor claims, adding cost to the Muskrat debacle. Truth and justice always has a cost. Time to rebuild relationships through knowledge gained from bad experiences. The shorter term windfall profits from the offshore could and should be better managed, (Norway model), for the benefit of all in our society.

    • Robert @ 17:40:

      It will be easy to calculate the cost of the Inquiry timing:
      1) look at the increased payments approved because of the reports, emails, audits etc released before settling REAs.
      2) a bit harder to calculate will be issues related to any construction since about Q3 of 2018 that wont be assessed by LeBlanc when he issues a report.

      What is the benefit of having the Inquiry now?

      I cant see the advantage of not waiting until substantial completion so a more complete Inquiry was held, so I will stand by my statement that the Inquiry timing is voter pandering and poorly thought out until proven wrong.


    • You seem to be carrying the emperors water PENGzero. You and your staff are paid for by whom?? You are doing the emperors pandering and of course you will not show your face. Better to wait until the spur fails and human life is wasted! You are a disgrace!

    • Bruno, don't be so harsh, on your brother, who may be on the payroll, as the Boondoggle deals with added costs, induced by Force Majeur circumstances. Getting at the truth about fraud does have a justified cost. As a supporting member of the concerned citizens, the Shadow Inquiry, The General Inquiry and whatever the New Gov. brings forth, I believe we are all in a better place than we were, and with clearing of the fog of untruths, maybe a little sunshine, (Solar powered Bruno Battery), will shine through. Have a nice weekend.

    • We shall see if the sausage that is the final product of this "inquiry" serves any useful purpose Robert. The trolls like PENGzero with a staff to sow confusion and generally FUDing up the discussion are hateful at best.

    • I remember a conversation here with PENG, about numbers from the Cost Manager, giving history regarding Budget assumptions and costs. I shall be interested now to the need for determination the extent of fraud; (committing contracts in excess of approved funding), and specifically what authority is preventing the Fraud Squad from examination for criminal intent.

    • Also routine is ensuring that records don't exist in the first place. I have seen the following inside government:
      – call me (no e-mail please)
      – no meeting minutes
      – deleting mail before 5pm including the Outlook deleted folder and the server recovery folder
      – use of messenger apps instead of e-mail
      – restrictive e-mail box sizes (small to force users to delete e-mail so that they can continue to receive mail)
      – disallowing employees from archiving e-mail (e.g. pst files make it easy for employees to make a copy of their old e-mails for "insurance" purposes)

      It isn't just Nalcor, it is all of government that thwarts ATIPP. They do not want the public to have visibility because the public would be angry at the crap that goes on.

      We see this all the time worldwide — the Clinton e-mail server for example — completely wiped with bleachbit. Given that there is no real penalty for deleting evidence or ensuring it doesn't exist in the first place AND leaving evidence can get you in trouble, people and organizations chose the former.

    • Did not Leblanc order that all communications be saved for the Inquiry? And last week with Bown we heard of note books destroyed, and the lawyer Ralph committed to inform Leblanc this week of whether this true? Is not such destruction obstruction of justice or other crime? What kind of an Inquiry permits this? Should not Dan Simmons and Ralph be asked what instructions they gave that evidence be preserved, and what actions they have taken as to this loss of communications and records?
      Was this Inquiry not called a gong show, by Peng2, with Ed Martin's antics? Is this not much worse as to the administration of justice, to permit this with impunity?

  25. https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/newfoundland-labrador/astaldi-inquiry-nalcor-1.5147000

    It appears Nalcor simply picked Astaldi because their bid fit with their delusional bargain basement estimate for the project at the time. The Canadian contractors obviously were closer to the real cost for the beast. Was it that 'share the pain agreement' that secured the low bid which appears to be more a cost plus arrangement rather than unit prices and lump sums?

  26. Ron Power…..a civil engineer? I missed his introduction, and thought he had just some technical training, not an engineer. Lance Clarke……what's his qualifications? Clarke, like Power, sees nothing they did wrong, and would do the same all over again, as too said Stratton , the forecaster who said we needed the power. What incompetence by most all the Nalcor crowd.
    Did PENG2 say he sees little engineering failure!

    Leblanc reminded Clarke why the public is upset: a project sanctioned at 6.2 billion costing about 10 billion…….an increase of some 3 billion said Leblanc? Can someone verify? Did he not say THREE?
    With interest it was 7.1 at sanction and 12.7 now, so 5.6 billion more?
    Am I correct or off some? And that was based on least cost of the 2 options, not lowest cost options.
    Lowest cost, with options dismissed, would have been about 2 billion, so now an increase of at least 10 billion.
    So, can Leblanc do arithmetic? Should the public be upset about 3 or 5.6 or 10 billion wasted?
    My apology to Leblanc if I mistook his number, my laptop volume in on max and I have it to my ear, and still hard to hear.
    Winston Adams

  27. Just noted that a early VOCM straw vote that 60 percent said yes, as opposed to 27 percent think that the revelations of the inquiry will expose NL to more fincincial risk. Much can be written about this, but will try and be as brief as possible. For those who say obstruction of justice, I say hogwash. This is not all about nalcor this is about a province and a people and taking ones head out of the sand and doing the right thing. Inquiry's are not all about fixed dates it is a living document for the people. There are thoes who say the inquiry should not have been started until muskrat was up and running. Ok maybe in 2020 or sometime after the inquiry should start, and then what happened way back in 2010 and before would be ancient history and memories completely faded by those left to go on the stand, some maybe passed on. So it was timely to go with the flow as one might say, but not get ahead of the present. How can a through report be done when we don't know the fate of muskrat. Will it operate at 800mhz or 50 or not at all and just be mothballed. The jury is still out, so how can the judge impose a penalty or conclude his remarks. So, if it requires an interim report, a pause, an extension, so let it be. My suggestion was a pause, a stand down, let it unfold, and the cost of the inquiry would not really increase but the judges incomplete report in the hands of all ensundry, from here to Rome and back again, will not serve the people of this province, from which the report was intended for. Let's make a comparison with the greatest democracy on earth. The Muller report has not been totally released to the very government that commissioned it, and half of that government is quite happy with that, and half the citizens of the country are happy. So why not use the greatest democracy in the world as the standard, and we are innocent angels in that comparison. We are pausing the inquiry for very legiminate reasons, the subject is still unfolding. Muskrat is still not completed, how can the commissioner tell the full story ask Joe blow??

    • You mean to bring back bill 29 is it? and let them hide behind commercial sensitivity to blindfold the people while the inexperienced and incompetents blow another few billion that we have to pay back and the so called embedded contractors(inexperienced and incompetent)line their pockets. In the greatest democracy as you believe it to be they hide behind national security.

    • right now the "embedded contractors" are being paid very high day rates to prepare for the stand (many many months of prep = millions more $ ) They are also not focused on the job. This is the cost Ron Power was talking about. Had the inquiry waited 1.5 – 2 years this could be very different

    • Listen in to the very impressive Cost Manager on the stand. She will soon factor in all the relevant risks in forecasting the final costs. Enlightening to say the least that management coloured the numbers all along. Keep the camera rolling. Painful at times, but important to all to know. The General Inquiry continues the exposure and the extent of fraudulent practice.

    • It should not require much preparation to say I don't know or I don't recall or those decisions were not mine to make, we were instructed to carry on. It is all the fault of that incompetent contractor that we hired. It was that Chinese engineer's fault, take away his licence to practice because I had no responsibility at all but I was or am being still paid the big bucks. I was not in the loop you know.

  28. Yanya Power testimony: At break time at the Inquiry we just see that in Nov 2013, while Project Controls was showing costs at 6.8 billion, Paul Harrington had hand written a not saying officially keep it at 6.5……..so costs had crept up from 6.2 to 6.5 to 6.8 before financial close, and rather than pause, they got under the cone of silence and hid the numbers………do I read this right?
    Winston Adams

    • Winston, having the younger, alternative gender, qualified Cost Manager on staff at this time, telling it like it is. unbridled. Think of where this bright young person, like Kate, Budden and others, with experience can change the future of the province!

    • I did hear a couple of years ago the estimators "conveniently" forgot to add in the costs for ALL ROADS needed to sites (other than MF) in the estimate. I wonder why ? These highly paid engineers surely understood they needed to build roads (perhaps 4-700 million worth) to get to the sites. It can't be just because they were OIL engineers can it ? Perhaps it was to keep estimate down to achieve sanction ? Who knows? Would Ms. Power know ? Is she related to Ron ? Not the first highly paid hubby wife combo

  29. Leblanc, at the end, asks Tanya Power what costs allowances are not in the 10.1 billion, besides arbitration with Astaldi. So others are issues whether soil removal as too methyl mercury. Costs related to the Inuiry is not included, but says costs for their time is not that significant.
    then she points out the risk with GE and software issues in ongoing, but they now have a third party with significant ability in software engaged. She says she would not in any way suggest this is anything other than low risk. She say s the bipole is not yet operating, but should be operating this fall. (Ron Power said by year end, and GE Grid or someone said by October). She added that final testing would be, Ithink be by March 2020.
    She stated, I think, Nalcor does not assume responsibility until operating properly.
    MARK THOSE WORDS: "The software problem is nothing other than low risk"
    I suggest moderate risk, and any risk that delivers unreliable power as to outages is catastrophic: The DC line wold be of no asset value and not used, and back to the Isolated Options for power. THis a potential loss of 12.7 billion and more than a billion more for Isolated options.
    Leblanc asks if there are political risks? She says no, unless some directive from government. What of the North Spur stability? THe PCs and NDP signed on for an independent panel review, the Liberals did not. Now with a minority govn, I expect the Liberals will be forced to consent. If so, what if the panel finds the North Spur is not safe, to acceptable standards? That a show stopper for filling the reservoir and first power.
    Is , Power still underestimating risks? Many of these can be costly.
    What is the time for the generator commissioning? One this fall and 3 next spring?
    Winston Adams

  30. AJ asks : How can we have a through report(from Leblanc) when we don't know the fate of Muskrat? Will it operate at 800 mhz of 50 or not at all and just be mothballed?
    Exactly,(except use MW not mhz) and why I agree that the Inquiry time scheduled should be delayed from, from is it Jan 2020……to the summer of 2020 or later, pending the fate of MFs to be known as to reliability. Public hearings may be paused to, and maybe more needed this Fall later if needed, as work on MFs goes on, and work of the Inquiry continues behind the scenes.
    Imagine releasing his report just as we get more DARKNL triggered by the DC line. Unthinkable to conclude this Inquiry before knowing the fate of reliability. And too Nfld Hydro now planning power options before the PUB, and much depends on the fate of MFs: gas turbines? Robust CDM for electrification? Brumo Battery? Small island adds?, island hydro capacity adds? Customer appetite for worse reliability as Stan Marshall sort of implies? And what of climate emergency…..will the NDP now press for GHS reductions for transportation and move forward with EVs?
    A proper energy policy should be a priority of this minority government.
    Winston Adams

    • Yes Winston, great minds think alike; and fools seldom differ, lol. But n this case think the fools are those who think the final report should be released by December 31st. 2019 as scheduled. As I see the schedule, phase 2, ends in early July and phase 3, of the hearings conclude July 31st. 2019, although it indicates the schedule has not been posted yet for phase 3. The fincincial cost to date, or ending on March 31 st. 2019 is just over 11$ million. Nalcor spent that much on a coffee break, seriously!! Think 33$ million was assigned to the inquiry. Now nithing wrong with coming in under budget, a good thing, but if the report is incomplete, like muskrat, then what have we achieved ask Joe blow. Now some from nalcor say the cost is much more than that in their preparation to go on the stand. I take that with a grain of salt. The commissioner got all the documents for your legal counsel. If you had your books all in order, what are you preparing for. Like studying for a urine test.

    • WA / Joe:

      The argument of costs being incurred by preparing for the Inquiry is B$ – just for example if it cost $1m for the PMT to prepare for the Inquiry, that would equate to 2.5 persons working for 1 full year full time earning the highest billing rate, utter foolishness. I would accept that some time is lost – reviewing documents to understand what was happening 10yrs ago does take time, same as for people now reading it for the 1st time.

      Otherwise, agreed, the Inquiry timeline was too short from the start and poorly timed – we deserved something closer to Charbonneau/Berger that would have taken 3-4yrs and it shouldn't have began until substantial completion.

      Delaying now wont affect the information that has been made available to contractors that will be used against Nalcor is REA proceeding – it should have never started, the cost of a premature start will be upwards of $1b. to quantify this risk and for those that read the documents or pay attention to the testimony – think about the 'juicy tidbits' you are now learning and how a contractor lawyer will use it against the people. This is the cost that SM, PH, RP etc were attaching to the Inquiry – not reviewing documents, or 'studying to testify'.

      Again, NLers have shown themselves to be to naïve – I wonder how we will blame to boogey man for this misstep? The Inquiry timing was never political as some claimed – it was what the NL public asked for and got.


    • "Tidbits", how are contractor lawyer will use that for their claim. That's a good question, and quite possible, but I was thinking more in terms of the official inquiry report when released that it would contain information that the contract lawyers would use in their REA's against nalcor and thus the province and people. Has the commissioner and the govt. considered that ask Joe blow. I think the start time was good, the only question is the release or completion time, for a number of reasons as mentioned before.

    • Joe @ 19:35:

      An example if the emails circulated internal regarding the CH0007 bid – this will be only available to the Astaldi REA team because of the Inquiry. Need to remember that Astaldi in the REA mediation wouldn't have the ability to compel information from Nalcor – likewise, what we haven't seen is LeBLanc compel info from Astaldi SPA because of jurisdiction boundaries. More or less, the REA settlement process is a poker game and we showed our hand, but we haven't seen the Astaldi hand – RP was accurate in this analogy.

      The Inquiry timeline was both too short and the start time was too soon – substantial completion and definition of the REAs was a must before airing any of this internal info. Once the REAs are defined it isn't normal practice to enter new information(though it sometimes happens), so we the public did this to ourselves, most don't even know if any court cases arising from MF will be held under Newfoundland/Canadian law.


    • Joe @ 19:35:

      Lets look at it this way and only consider Astaldi for the time being, though GE, Valaard, Pennecon will all be doing the same – they have contracted a NL lawyer that has given up his regular practice to sit at the Inquiry and do a document review. The lawyer isn't there for the good of the public – the public are paying him to advance a REA against us, but that is the law as applies for intervenors (ie if good for MFCCC it also has to be good for Astaldi).

      When it comes to the final report – it wont have any bearing on the settlement of an REA. Few acting as an arbitrator in settling an REA will even know who LeBlanc is – most likely this settlement will happen out of province, but you can be assured that the contractor lawyer will have a truck of documents from the Inquiry. NL isn't the center of the world – need to think bigger on this.

      What Astaldi is doing is a smart move, I would do the same – though I think most NLers were too small in their thinking to realize this risk.


    • Can't say I disagree with you peng2. But what's good for the goose is it not also good for the gander. We or nalcor has access to the same documents as Astaldi etc. As for internal emails within nalcor that others have axcess to now, well don't think that amounts to much, mainly opinions and small talk amount nalcor people, but guess the lawyers will have to decide that. No they may not know who Leblanc is but they know it is a NL or the Canadian inquiry, so I see that as more important and useful to these other companies, but again guess the legals will have to decide that, I M just average. So I hope they delay completion, and release of the final report for reasons stated earlier. Average Joe.

    • " NLers were too small in their thinking to realize this risk." What insulting nonsense from the mouth paid for by the villains in this piece. The facts as they are semi illuminated by this "inquiry"will have zero bearing on the coming lawsuit. The truth and costs will indeed be apportioned out of province when the judgement is rendered. That judgement will have nothing, nada, zero to do with the Le Blank inquiry. Is the emperor pooping is drawers at the prospect of the truth from those dark early days being exposed?

      Judging from he witnesses so far the Astaldi folks looked, sounded and acted professionally and were much more direct than the always evasive Nalcor nincompoops. We will learn much and should have a "liar" paid for at public expense to learn what happened in those murky early days when 6.2 or nothing was the mantra. Only then (when Astaldi likely will get the requested money) will we learn how and why this debacle happened (and why the fate of the north spur was ignored perforce from the start).

      It sounds like the forces of darkness are getting worried. Does the emperor fear the light? Perhaps he can take a lesson from south of the border and "redact" the findings of the final judgement when the lawsuit is settled.If not we might even find out then who the "agents" that facilitated the contracts are! What do you think PENG-10?

    • Joe @ 08:16:

      Considering that only ~25% of NLers(the UG readership is not representative of the population) are actively following the Inquiry, I cant understand your train of thought that an arbitration panel outside NL or outside Canada would even know of an Inquiry on MF occurred – again like the decision to sanction MF we see NLers opting to be willfully ignorant of what is happening around them. Most of the people I have dealings with outside NL don't even know where MF is, let alone know/care there is an Inquiry – individual exhibits and testimony will make it into the various REA proceedings, final report wont would be my best guess as too much info unrelated to individual REAs; the Inquiry gets very little media attention in national publications like the Globe because MF is a small/insignificant issue to those outside NL.

      Don't understand why you think ‘good for the goose is good for the gander’ is wrong – it is a quasi-legal proceeding in which respondents and those named are given certain rights. This ability to appear and defend yourself is entrenched in both the Charter and the NL Public Inquires Act, so yes the contractors must have their lawyers paid for the same as MFCCC or the CA.

      Agreed, we have same access to Nalcor documents as Astaldi (again I don’t mean to pick on Astaldi, but they will probably have the largest REA) – but what we have not seen is internal Astadli documents, not sure I believe Astaldi only sent 15-20 emails/letters on MF. The reason is that being a company the Federal act PIPEDA(not provincial ATIPPA) governs and LeBlanc doesn't have jurisdiction to compel documents from Astaldi under Federal legislation – and that is assuming the contractors are even covered by PIPEDA in their dealings with Nalcor.

      I say this notwithstanding the Premiers statement today – I have seen enough REAs over my time, even testimony regarding exhibit P-3259 seems to cast some doubt on the REA/tendering procedures. Would be worthwhile for most to review Heintzman on construction tendering delays and who becomes liable.


    I missed some at the start, so never got her education. From her testimony I guess an accounting degree, and I expect an MBA. She talked much of engineering issues, is of the Project Management Team, Project Controls was her job.
    I had worked at Controls and Protection as an engineer, but very different from her control function. My controls meant control and protections of transmission lines and transformers etc in HV terminal stations. For expampe, a fuse in a residential panel protects a circuit, but for HV stations it is circuit breakers that stand more than 10 ft high. High voltage can tend to cause arcs and burning, so these use compressed air to quickly open them, and so are called air blast circuit breakers, costing say 250,000 dollars each, protecting transformers and other gear costing millions. Sensors and relays can detect if lighting hits a line 50 or a 100 miles away, and can trip a breaker temporarily to protect a line. That is one time of control and protection, for which GE Grid software would be controlling that and convertor and other equipment.
    Tanya Project "Control" is altogether different, dealing with cost control , change orders, and revised budgets etc. She displayed a general knowledge of many engineering issues.
    At times she would say "to be honest". To me, once someone says they will tell the whole truth,this seems redundant, and to suggested, to me, at other times she may not be telling the whole truth. My take.
    She had worked with Hatch on various projects, then in May 2013, with MFs but seems to have worked for both Hatch and Nalcor up to 2016, then with Nalcor full time as an independent contractor, if I got her story correct?
    Hatch in an interesting company in this boondoggle, and mentioned also by Ron Penny.
    She acknowledges there was no QRA (Quality Risk Assessment) done from 2013, to 2016. Recall, engineer Jason Kean was the main risk assessment guy. The Firm EY was hired by the Oversight Committee, but stiffled from doing a proper assessment. For a project like this a QRA should have been done at 6 month intervals said EY ( unless, I suggest, like Nalcor you want to hide escalating costs and trends). Tanya says she never heard of a QRA before this project. Does this put to question her competence?
    She said "My understanding" if a QRA was done it could apply to things that change , like Astaldi, but says if it was done, the results would probably not be useful! Upon questioning , she would not admit to Nalcor making a mistake by not doing a QRA for 3 years.
    Like others, Tanya admits of no mistakes, no lessons learned.
    So they officially kept the cost at 7.65 billion for a long long time, but with qualifiers: Astaldi delays etc were not included…….indeed Leblanc questioned her on this. Other trends were also ignored.
    Greg Fleming name appeared on one of the documents: Transmission Project Manager in 2017. Greg Fleming is now CEO of Growley Energy. Greg is a mechanical engineer, a graduate of MUN. Why would a mechanical engineer be in charge of transmission, which is mostly a civil job?
    Recall that Darren DeBurke was put in charge of the GE contract packages, mostly electrical equipment, yet he is a mechanical engineer. And now we have the big problem with GE with software and component integration!
    Bob Woolgar, another interesting character, ex Hatch I think, now with Growler Energy also. Hatch was after the engineering and procurement, I think, but lost out to SNC, yet so many of Hatch migrated to Nalcor.
    Winston Adams

    • Thanks Winston for making QRA and other engineering issues understood. Her answers that 3 years of QRA would not have helped puts her in the hack that sold her soul camp.

      Mechanical in charge of transmission, makes sense in the upside down Nalcor world. Fire anyone competent and hire hacks that will say anything, eg. Tanya Power.

  32. Tanya mentioned she use software named Iris. Nfld Hydro used Nostrdamus for forecasting until they realised the flaw after DarkNL( it didn't allow for combination cold and high winds we get here). Stratton used Strategist software, and we got the inflated false energy forecast to say we needed the power. So what it the flaws with Iris?
    Tanya said "Many like me never worked on a public project, so they like to keep information close to the chest, right"? Does this mean that since most had worked with private companies, but now with Nalcor, they kept things close to the chest? Or that Nalcor, a public owned company wanted to keep things close to the chest, because that is the way government owned companies are? What is meant by keeping things close to the chest? Hiding information on risks and costs to the public? There was no follow up on that.Is destroying information, text messages and note books keeping things close to the chest?
    She confirmed that all that signed off on the control number costs, were aware that costs presented by management(Ed Martin and Paul Harrington) were lower. So all those were of the jelly fish spineless type, willing to deceive the public, because it was someone else's call?
    Under questioning by Customer Advocate lawyer Hogan, she admitted that of the 10,1 billion figure, potential claims were possibly not included, but says they always include them since.
    The bipole operation She says there are still significant issues, but low risk issues she says. As Trump would say: We'll see what happens, come fall and winter as to reliability.
    She has provided no details on schedule delays, as requested by Kate O'Brien. Odd?
    So she gave a verbal high level comment I think they call it, which to me is "low level" in detail. She says she looked at about 300 emails and there was much concern in 2015,and eventually saw about 9 months of delay but then longer to 1919 before power. For other issues she had done and filed a detail report , but not on schedule delays. She says this can be done but she did not yet have time to do so.
    Leblanc wondered if more detail was required, and to this Dan Simmons of Nalcor was spung to his feet to suggest it is time consuming and not needed. Leblanc thought the MFCCC and CA might consider different, and would want there suggestion later. Yet, surprising , he said his initial impression was that her high level statement was sufficient!
    Consider……when Stan Marshall comes on the scene, the cost jumps by billions, due to contract issues and schedule delays. And Leblanc thinks a high level statement by Tanya on schedule delays as to risks and costs is just fine…….yet this being kept from the public until Marshall announced the boondoggle. Surely Bruno will be saying 'Here comes the judge with the rubber chicken" . What will counsel for MFCCC and the CA say?
    Today we hear that 4 perished attempting to get to the summit of Everest. Photos showed 200 lined up near the summit, one in the way of the other. One seasoned guy said the problem is incompetent climbers led by an incompetent team. Sadly, this seemed applicable to Nalcor and some contractors wit MFs. The worst, from this incompetence, is yet to come it seems. No lessons learned, so as Liberty says, the culture remains the same.
    Winston Adams

    • Yes Winston a good summary of Tanya. And she did indeed paint a rosy picture of nalcor and where muskrat is right now and a positive outlook for power. But as you quote trumpie, we will have to see. Joe blow.

    • You read my mind again Winston but for future reference it is here come DA judge with the rubber chicken :<)

      Your Everest analogy is apt. They leave dead climbers hanging from their ropes as testament to past mistakes and yet nothing learned and 200 (including a Canadian) waiting while the latest testament to idiocy dangle at the summit. A traffic jam at 8000M in the death zone with 7 dead this week!

    • Missed the part regarding "Iris software", Power used to produce the contract controls "Dashboard". Imagine, The driver of the bus was flying blind, just like the drunken captain on the bridge of the Titanic. "I see no danger of ice-fields, full steam ahead"!!

    • Might also add Robert, he was drunk or impaired , or his good judge clouded in satisfying the owners, the White Star Line, particularly the managing director, Mr. Ismay, who was on board for the maiden voyage. It was supposed to be the greatest ship of the time and the fastest making the fastest trans Atlantic crossing ever. The naval artechiers or design and building engineers assured everyone the ship was unsinkable even if striking an ice berg, as the ship was designed with flood able lengths to prevent the in gross of water beyond the punchered parts of the hull. But the one fatal flaw in the design the watertight bulkheads did not extend up to the height of the main deck. So as one compartment flooded then into the next compartment as the ship sank lower and lower by the bow from the in gross of water. Yes, supposed unsinkable, so all were impaired or blinded by that thinking, so full speed ahead, dam the iceberg torpedoes, see what speed she can do to make the fastest crossing and out do her competers. Now Exxon was a little different, but again failure of an entire system gone wrong, and the captain had drinks, wether it was before or after the grounding is not entirely clear to be considered drunk. But saddled with some incompetent crew members as hired by the head office. Yes, you can see some of the similar deficiencies and mode of operation that becomes clearer in the muskrat inquiry. Cheers, Joe blow.

  33. A little on FREQUENCY, as AJ mentioned MFs power at 800 or 50 mhz (sometimes Aj intentionally misspells for), and TM suggest headphones.
    Sound waves: A human hearing range is from 20 to 20,000 cycles per second. Low frequency is bass sounds like a big bass drum, or speech, like Johnny Cash or Leonard Cohen. Most sounds are in the 4000 cycle range.
    I have hearing impairment, mostly in the low range. Using headphones, made it worse for me.
    Mr Hertz experimented with electromagnetic waves in the 1800s. If he was like Trump, he would make a fortune on his name branding. His experiments let to development of electricity for power. Hz is short for Hertz. Hertz is identical to cycles per second, and long used internationally.
    Our power grid is 60 cycles or 60 Hz. England uses 50 Hz, and our paper mills at Corner Bk and Grand Falls used 50 hz, because the machinery and motors and generators came from there. North America, 60hz is standard.
    Sound waves do not travel well through solid objects, like glass, doors, walls or concrete. If waves are increased in frequency they become shorter and can travel further and through solids. So for VOCM, when you tune to 590, it is actually 590,000 hz. VOWR is 800,000 hz (40 times faster than what the human ear can detect). So it can travel through the air say 50 miles or more, and travel even through concrete into your basement where the radio picks up the wave, when you tune to that station. But your ear cannot detect 800,000 hz, so the radio converts it back down to audio range again. So why is VOCM picked up better and further away then VOWR? VOCM sends a stronger signal, using more power.
    Our grid is only 60. If it goes to 59 or 61, a major power outage. The DC line of course is zero hz, and must be converted back to 60 after travelling from MFs to Soldier's Pond, by bipole or monopole.
    Bipole uses 2 overhead conductors…..we are not there yet.
    Monopole uses one overhead conductor. But most know that an electrical circuit needs 2 wires, or conductors. How does power transmit with monopole? Some may recall a line feeding to Conception Bay, where a grid of ground wires is inserted in the ocean, I think. So we use mother earth as a conductor for electricity to make a circuit, Not as good as 2 conductors overhead, and prone to some technical issues. It is meant as a back up to the bipole, but inferior to the bipole.
    We have transferred a max of 150 MW by this method, and had 21 trips, which is poor reliability. MW is 824 MW, the DC line bipole is capable of 900MW. Power from MFs max intended to be 790MW max, and about 110 from CF for 900 transmitted. With power loss enroute , called transmission losses, about 800 should in theory get to the Avalon, which figure AJ does use.
    So we have a long way to go. If we get that 800 eventually, and it goes down from an outage, the island grid likely collapses; because that one line is a large art of the total. Our largest single generator now, if we lose it, is 175 MW. That can be isolated and not cause a grid collapse. The DC line is s different quintal of fish.
    Nalcor frightened people as to wind energy causing instability, but wind a mere 3 MW generators each. 800 MW loss is like losing 266 large wind turbines all at once ( we now have only 54 MW of wind) Doubt if Tanya Power would or could explain some of these risks to Leblanc. She says the software issue is low risk. Even if the software can be made good, MFs reliability is still high risk in my estimation, just from mother nature issues, and power system stability. As some Anon recently stated, the old Holyrood units and the operators saved our asses this past winter. Hang on to your portable generators for this winter, and keep your propane tank full. Or have blind faith that Nalcor is transparent, even with Judge Leblanc.
    Winston Adams

    • You got it right Winston …you don't know if I am a genius or a fool. I am both sometimes. So could be a bit like trumpie … A stable genious…. Or is it an unstable fool. But in my case it is always stable no matter what else you attach to it. Now you know who I am. Sometimes Joe blow.

    • Certainly not a fool, Joe, as I have said, above average. I asked my wife if she knew the frequency range of human hearing, and she did not, and likely few do. So this bit on frequency may aid other AJs or even lawyers at the Inquiry, a little, to dumb it down, AC/DC, power grid frequency, instead of making it complicated , like "bifurcation" for splitting, by Stan Marshall the straight shooter. Even the witness before Tanya laughed when he said bifurcation, and must be reading UG mail.
      And Bruno, as to "imagining the best wind in the world" , I much like IMAGINE by John Lennon.
      I will say a little more on wind later…..a significant topic avoided by this Inquiry.

    Recall I said she had general engineering knowledge, and I thought she was an accountant and maybe an MBA…..she dealing much with control of project costs.
    Terry Roberts Tweet of May 24, says… "it's a notable day at the MFs inquiry, Why? Because there's a female giving testimony. Less than 10, by my count, of the dozens of witnesses have been female. Tanya Power is an engineer and project controls manager with the Muskrat team"
    Surprised PENG2 did not inform me on UG. And too he has denied there is significant engineering failure. Does this influence and move the goal post any for him?
    1.She is a graduate of MUN, civil engineering , 1989-1995.
    2.She is Project Controls Manager for the Lower Churchill Project (this includes Muskrat Falls)
    3. She was with Hatch 17.5 years from 1999 to August 2016.
    4. She is MFs Project Control manager since June 2016, says one source
    5. Her line of work is called Management Consulting, but I believe she is hired an an independent contractor, not a Nalcor employee.
    6. Consultant seems to imply one having expertise, whereas a contractor often is a constructor, or may subcontracts.
    7. Tanya is one of 3 reported by Rob Antle of CBC in Sept 2018 as having taken their boss, Nalcor CEO Stan Marshall, to court. She wants to deny the public the right to know the details of her pay and the identity of her employer, kiley she herself is incorporated, an many do.
    8. Tanya was one of 3 that chose this route of a court challenge, even after Ball changed the law to allow Nalcor disclosure…….she still claims an unreasonable invasion of personal privacy and would cause undue financial harm.
    Does anyone know the outcome or progress on that? Many did not challenge via the courts. Paul Harrington and Lance Clarke also went to court to stop the release.
    Tanya seemed to be working for Hatch and Nalcor both together for 2 years or more. She said she joined Nalcor full time in 2016? But the organisational chart shows her there in 2015, as Project Controls Lead-HVDC Specialties, this under Darren DeBurke, who was Project Manger for HVDC. Recall this group with the GE Grid software megaproblem, which she says is low risk.
    In 2016 she is elevated to cost controls under transmission,(besides HVDC), she then under Jason Kean for that, who later quit, he says. Also she was cost controls for the generation side, under Scott O'Brien (who was under Ron Power, Generation plant manager.
    She was one of several who moved from Hatch. Hatch has about 9000 employees, a large engineering firm like SNC. Hatch lost out on engineering and procurement. Tanya seemed to be working both Hatch and Nalcor for a long time. No conflict?
    Winston Adams

    • WA @ 14:11:

      Big difference in having an Engineering degree and being a practicing Engineer – relatively, the Engineering fails are going to be small. I say small because of the duty of care owed by the MF PMT – their employer said execute at all costs – government had a duty of care to the people, not Nalcor or the PMT.

      No conflict of interest with Hatch vs Nalcor PMT – secondments were common, so this leads to the challenge on releasing invoicing info. There is a significant difference in how a multi-national like Hatch would construct a hourly invoice amount vs how a single person corporation would due to overheads. So, $150/hr invoiced by Hatch vs $150/hr invoiced by an independent vs $150/hr wages paid by Nalcor are 3 very different services received – I described this situation a couple years ago but was called daft.

      Also, for someone who left the PMT before DB changed the law but still operates under a confidentially agreement on wages for his 2014 contract – how is he now compelled to change that for release of the info, or for someone contracted via recruiting company whose contract is subject to the laws of Ontario and not newfoundland?


    • Wa 14:11:

      and to be correct, there are no people worjing for the Nalcor PMT incorporated and directly contracted – the list of approved recruiting firms are published under various ATIPPA requests.

      Also published are 2 request #377 and #420 that outline the billing ranges for given positions – the only thing missing is attaching a persons name to his/her exact billing rate. Again I referenced several times here – so to say that the information isn't available is an ignorant/uninformed statement by people that don't bother to read (and this statement is not directed at you in anyway).


    • PENG2, I am not too concerned on how they are hired, and many doctors do that, but interesting that some disclose and others are very concerned to do so.
      PMT is Project Management Team, I assume. The CBC piece said 6 contractors did not object, 2 complained to the Privacy commissioner, 3 went to court: Harrington, Clarke and Power. It said Harrington first signed on as a contractor in 2007, and a week before signing a company called Erimus Consulting Ltd had Harrington as a founding director, and he a project director on the lower churchill. …. it said Erimus had a website toting work on LCP, and "a proven track record of providing project management and project director level expertise"
      I just yesterday got a look at the Lower Churchill Management Team organisational chart, there is the Management Team , then also the Project Delivery Team. Many on the witness stand are there, including Harrington, Clarke And Power.
      The chart is a maze, and reminds me of Kean's fishbone diagram , but these more of a pyramid shape, getting bigger as you go down…..so many, like a make work project…….what is a Geomatics Engineer?
      I wondered who would have responsibility for the GE Grid Integrations from those charts, and dammed if I can tell. Maybe no one, and so now a big issue. I see last summer the media piece on fist power from Labrador, Ashley of the Telegram quotes Stan thanking all who built the new transmission assets;Lines, switchyards, transformers, filter yards, synchronous condensers, ….everything from raising power towers to new software. He say people don't appreciate its cost, magnitude, complexity,and where we are……..so they were celebrating a milestone.
      I think we agree that what he cites , the cost, ,magnitude, complexity is what makes it a boondoggle. Interesting he mentioned software as last item, and this no small issue, but he knew then of issues, but was under the "cone" as to saying more.
      You suggest Tanya Power is not practising engineering?
      You say engineers on the Project Management Team has no duty of care to the public, and the ratepayer, just get her done? Interesting.

    • I googled geomatics engineer……I thought maybe a typo, and might have meant geomagnetic,…… recall a risk for mother nature GIC for Nfld, whether Nalcor or SNC have it on their list?

    • WA @ 23:35:

      Geomatics Engineering – this is the academic program leading to becoming a professional surveyor, nearest program I think is in NB.

      When considering duty of care – how would this be different is Nalcor engaged SNC under a 100% turn-key or as I suggested before Fortis was the developer? In that situation, there would have been no government oversight, just governmental approvals – I would say if we negotiated set pricing then we the public would say to the contractor(s) – 'too bad, you agreed to the pricing', this type of attitude is turned around on us because the government of the day set a policy of 'NL will develop the Churchill'.

      How a person was hired to the PMT is very important – especially when releasing invoicing/wage info or determining is Nalcor has the ability to take on the 400-500 technical positions:
      1) it could be a Nalcor employee – his $50/hr SALARY doesn't show payroll burdens, total hourly cost is about $200/hr
      2) could be a secondment (Hatch, SNC, AMEC, Stantec etc, doesn't really matter) – his $200/hr INVOICE rate is all inclusive but employee gets about $60/hr wages from multi-national
      3) 'embedded contractor' – $150/hr INVOICE rate is all inclusive but employee gets about $90/hr wages after burdens

      I am not sure Nalcor could have found 500 technical people willing to go to work for 3-7yrs – secondments / contracting was likely the only way. 3rd party sourcing makes sense to Nalcor also because there is no longterm liability to the employee such as RRSPs, health benefits etc. My guess is 'embedded contractors' was the source of best value for technical positions at least cost – ie the smaller the company, the lower the INVOICING rate for the position. Also, important to note the numbers quoted at the Inquiry are INVOICING rates, not what the person was being paid be recruiting company – few recognize this distinction.

      Yes, many 'Engineers' working on MF are no practicing – this was an issue is 2015 when some were sent notices to either register or stop claiming to be an Engineer. I cant comment on any 1 particular person, but the records are available online as to who is practicing.


  35. UG readers know I have advocated that the Isolated option was by far the least cost. Aggressive CDM and wind additions would have been the main trust, assisted by modest cost effective island hydro extra capacity.
    PENG2 and others seems not to dispute this.
    CDM has the potential to reduce peak load by up to 600 MW, but if half of that was achieved, 300 MW over 10 years, is 30 MW per year.Paul Harringon or some Nalcor engineer said CDM would lead to rotating outages, so ignored it, an irrational approach, not best practise. Strange that NS is easily achieving more than 30MW per year.
    As to wind, 400MW would be 22 %, other jurisdictions is achieving 20 % and on some days up to 40%. At 50% capacity 400MW is average 200MW.
    CDM and wind puts us close to all renewable,even at winter peaks, and with some additional island hydro would permit close to 100% renewable.
    Who scuttled our wind potential? Answer:HATCH.
    This inquiry has had no deep dive or shallow dive, nor high level or low level look at how wind got sabotaged, has it?
    So, we have a gap, form 2 billion to 6.2 billion, that is entirely ignored by this Leblanc Inquiry. Why is that?
    Winston Adams

    • WA @ 14:33:

      I don't dispute, infact agree it wasnt investigated.

      The reason it isn't being reviewed by the Inquiry is that it was a policy decision of the PC government – by legislation, typically government policy decisions are subject to governments.

      This then leads to a discussion on to duty of care – does every consultant engaged by government owe the public a duty of care, or only government? By voting for MHAs, we sever the duty of care to the various ABCs – this is exactly why governments utilized ABCs.


  36. http://vocm.com/news/premier-reaffirms-sensitive-information-is-protected-at-muskrat-inquiry/
    I also fail to see how the soap opera inquiry highlighting absentmindedness, poor record keeping, inexperience and incompetence will have a direct affect on the cost of contractor claims. The inexperience, incompetence and poor record keeping of the project management team itself would more likely have a negative affect on Nalcor's ability to protect itself from claims and thereby fail to protect the people from the rising and out of control costs of this fiasco of a project.

    • You are correct Anonymous26 May 2019 at 17:30.

      As the cost spirals to 15 billion and beyond the fundamental underlying lunacy of Nalcor secrecy and regulatory impotence remains undeterred. Who dares to crack open the Nalcor pinata? Will the new government? Will the sleepy media finally ask penetrating questions or continue being lapdogs? Will the CCC challenge the emperor or remain distracted by every shiny object presented?

      We know both the Who and HOW done it. Nalcor has uncontrolled access to the public purse and so has no incentive to be competent. There are no risks and the rewards, both political and fiscal, are great, at least in the short term, until the chump wakes up and he has a 16 billion hole in his pocket and a sore backside! By then PENGzero and all the rest of the fiscal fraudsters will have left town, sooner if the spur gives up quickly!

  37. In Europe elections, the Green Party has made big advances
    Germany, 21%
    Finalnd 16 %
    France 12.5 %
    Ireland 15%
    UK 12.1 %
    Suggest they may be kingmakers in advancing the issues of climate emergency.
    Here on th erock , from CBC comments, 75% of Nflders mock th eclimate issue. Favorite is: didn't an icebert sink the Titantic, so why worry about icebergs seen off Nfld
    How many realise that most all the locked in ice encountered by Bob Bartlett in 1909 melted by about 1970.How many have even read about Bartlett? To mock ice bergs and global heating is to mock Bartlett.