Labrador West MHA-elect Jordan Brown told VOCM Open Line lastMonday that “he has some concerns about last month’s budget” and that his
cooperation requires that “things have to change in addressing the fiscal
reality facing the province.” Though Mr. Brown raised other issues too, this comment
is interesting if only because it goes straight to the question of how the NDP
will position themselves on budgetary issues in the new minority legislature.

Bear in mind that dissolution is the result if a Budget Bill
or a Confidence Motion fails, unless the Tories can demonstrate to the
Lieutenant Governor that they have the confidence of the House — which current
math does not favour.

My guess is that, at this point, Jordan Brown’s comment is
premature and that, as well-intentioned as it may be, Alison Coffin and Jim
Dinn will introduce him to a lexicon that includes critical words of equivocation
— including with respect to last month’s Liberal budget.

The realty is that, from now on, every word an NDP Member
utters will be parsed for additional interpretation. After all, the exercise of
the “balance of power” is no minor matter; every decision has short-term and
possibly long-term political consequences, too.
The NDP’s three Seats contrast with those of the “two”
Independents. They may afford greater certainty — barring a Dale Kirby/Chris
Mitchelmore-sized rift — because the three will vote consistently as a block in
the House of Assembly. That simple fact magnifies what the NDP actually won:
the ability to keep the Government propped up.

The circumstance may seem bittersweet but, essentially, the
NDP’s new position forces them to think strategically about the pursuit of
their political aspirations at a time when the provincial coffers are empty and
voters are straining under this uncertainty. The mix of decisions required of the
three-Member Caucus will likely determine if they can move beyond mere survival.

The NDP presents itself as the Party of organized labour, and
of disadvantaged and minority groups. Yet none of those groups acknowledge the
fact at the Polls in numbers large enough for them to win a significant number
of Seats. Labrador West, a constituency of predominantly unionized labour, is the
singular exception. Signal Hill-Quidi Vidi, which has consistently returned an
NDP Member since 1990, is a very mixed Riding from a socio-economic perspective.
That is equally the case in St. John’s Centre, historically claimed by the PCs and
Liberals until Gerry Rogers election in 2011. 

For that reason the NDP, it could be argued, is lifted as much
by the middle class as any of the Parties. Indeed I suggest that, notwithstanding
their Union/NDP affiliations, Jim Dinn’s election contains echoes of wins by Jack
Harris and later Members in St. John’s-Quidi Vidi, Peter Fenwick in St.
George’s, and Gerry Rogers, too. Their electoral successes speak to
name recognition and high approval ratings as much as any other. In addition, the
high undecided factor in all pre-election Polls renders it certain that groups
other than low income and labour are disaffected by the traditional Parties.

Why should this issue concern the NDP? Well, if a political
Party doesn’t speak to the constituency that identifies with it, someone will
create a home for them, whether the NL Alliance or some new entity that is
likely to emerge from the chaos that will inevitably accompany fiscal restraint.
The NDP has a bit of time to think about that issue, though not much; the
requirement to approve the pre-Election Budget means that they will be faced
with issues that are both prescient and thorny.    

Up til now, they have been able to espouse policy ideas
without regard to their cost and political implications. The happenstance of
minority government has put an end to those days, at least for a while. Now
they have to make choices that they will have to defend — despite having limited
influence on the Budget’s overall construction. They must be aware of the
potential for alienation and rebuke.

Still, while middle-class voters hope to escape the pain of spending
cuts, they will not want the NDP to emulate the behaviours associated with the
Tory and Liberal brands. There is a ‘damned if you do, damned if you don’t’ element
here which can be better described in just a few questions. For example: is the
NDP going to vote for the Liberal Budget without negotiating the inclusion of some
of their own election promises? Can either Party risk causing a further rise in
the budget deficit?

Alternatively, if we take the NDP at their word about not
wanting to trigger an early general election, what is their position about Budget
balance, which the Liberals promised for 2022-23? Bear in mind that the pre-election Budget cash deficit, Current and Capital Account, was $1.86 billion. Even the most ardent socialist has to wonder how we are ever going to keep a $23 billion Total Debt from increasing.

If the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step,
is the NDP prepared to go along with a cut in the neighbourhood of $250 million
in next year’s operating expenses just to start tackling the current account portion of the deficit? Alternatively, having been handed control of the House of Assembly and,
hence, approval of the Budget, if current spending levels continue or get worse
do the NDP mind being perceived as just another gang of “drunken sailors”? 

Rather than just play a support role, the NDP could show the
Liberals — and the Tories — the path to fiscal sanity (though what that is, is
increasingly obscure).  They could do
this by demanding from the Liberals a serious role in both social and fiscal
policy creation and, hence, Budget construction.

Perhaps the Premier might consider Alison Coffin, an economist and Instructor at Memorial, as the new Finance
Minister? Whatever their philosophical differences, her credentials suggest that she is more qualified for
the job than anyone in the Liberal Cabinet. It is not a compliment to suggest
that she might do a better job than those under the last five Administrations
but, truthfully, she could do no worse! 

The NDP could also choose to become larger-than-life
characters by taking the lead on creating a grand coalition of public sector
unions ready to confront Newfoundland and Labrador’s fiscal reality squarely in
the face. Such an initiative would imply that labour and the NDP are in sync and are willing to adopt a long-term view.

Likely, all those notions are fanciful.

The NDP will not be cleaning up the mess that the two
traditional Parties have created this past decade. Public sector unions have
not uttered a peep about wasteful government spending, a Treasury in disarray
or Muskrat Falls. They have a different view of the long game even if it is misguided.
They will want the NDP to lever from the Liberals whatever crumbs are available,
including the amendments governing replacement worker (scab) legislation that they
have long sought.

For all of those reasons, the NDP are most likely to join the
ranks of the fiscal crisis deniers.  They
will, however, experience the taste of power and, having done so, lament being
so unlucky that playing in the big leagues carries such high political risk.

It’s guaranteed to be fun watching high-sounding principles
parry with penury. Of much greater interest, however, is whether the NDP, under Alison Coffin, will define their own destiny or if they will let Dwight Ball, another in a line of pedestrian Premiers, define it for them.

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. "she might do a better job than those under the last five Administrations but, truthfully, she could do no worse!" Talk about damnation with faint praise! One can rest assured that the NDP will indeed let Dwight Ball define their destiny. The deficit is a Lib/Tory creation and the last thing the NDP will want to do is upset their labour base or reign in the fiscal excesses.

    The NDP will be counted upon to keep Dwight afloat. It will be interesting to see if the predictions of new leaders for the Liberals and Tories in short order will come to pass.

  2. Might be a bit premature saying we have a minority government until the Speaker is officially named – if the speaker comes from outside the Liberal caucus, there is no minority potential unless a Liberal is named.

    Granted it hasn't happened in NL before – but Federally there have been 8-10 times a Speaker was elected from outside the government, and as recently as Harper. The Speaker is a pretty powerful position – if a non-Liberal is elected he will have to judge how important his district is to him before he refuses the posting.

    Should read up on the Speaker details:

    few people actually understand the Speakers role in Government and how/when/if he votes.


  3. Interesting reading, so the question is if the NDP will jump in whole hog, boots and all and become a major player in our governance for the next few years, or will they maintain a guarded on the side position and deal with the minority govt. on an issue by issue basis. The NDP could insure a more stable govt. until a final break came, by becoming an integral part of governing in a responsible way. Guess it may depend on final counts of seats and ball et al's willingness to adopt them as equals and all in the best interest of the province and people. And the NDP accepting and agreeing to that position. Yes, as fininance minister you are pretty well invested in governing and cheek to cheek with the liberals. How long it would last may be a good question, but hey nothing last longer than 4 years. Besides the scab legislation mentioned I didn't see many differences in their election platform than the liberals except for child care, and who should be against mother hood and apple pie even when we can't afford it. Average Joe.

  4. Was it accidental that the coin flip for Leader of minority Governance, became a wobbly, and Ball the lucky, is leaning on the Coffin for support? Should NALCOR be worried? How much longer can Stan withstand pressure to step down? Will the Dam hold back river run? Did that young fella in Lab City win the recount? Go Growlers! Play "Up da pond" one more time. Joe, did you read about Titanic was actually the Olympic? Name change to get the insurance scam?

  5. Perhaps ye all missed Leblanc get tough statement, first thing this morning? As to missing note books, he does not want a memorandom about them,as has been proposed, he wants the F..king note books. Actually he did not use the F word. Perhaps that rubber chicken is getting a more rigid backbone, not just rubber?
    Now if only he took a stand on deleted text messages, and who knows what else. Seems government lawyers and Nalcor lawyer thinks the public and this Inquiry will turn a blind eye to what may be obstruction of justice, mischef, or ignoring instructions from the Commissioner. Indeed, even the MFCCC and CA counsel are lax on this issue…….perhaps too accustomed to an entrenched lax culture of the administration of justice in Nfld and Lab.
    Winston Adams

    • WA @ 13:48:

      Most problematic will be if some of the amnesia or 'destroyed' notes are recovered intime for settlement meetings of an REA when it is realized that there could be monies saved.

      Also, the missing texts are interesting to me for a different reason than many – most companies security policies do automatically set the sync time to 30 days or less, so not unusual. Id say the interest to me is because this comes down to poor administration/adherence of the policy, and trying to skirt the rules – the policy is 'don't use SMS for business purposes', emails are saved on a remote server so do form a permanent record even if delete from mobile device. The reason for the sync time limit is because devices can be lost or are often joined to unsecured networks. I do accept the auto delete of SMS and emails from a mobile device – but not for reasons of cluttering up the device, this is a default setting you normally would have to change for devices synced to a business handling network such as VPN/Citrix etc.

      I just cant understand why anyone would let their own notes out of their possession – fine to provide copies, but I have kept all my originals. This is totally unacceptable – and I don't really believe it to be honest. I posted my opinion on the lack of records after the first couple days of testimony, few posted then but I never thought it would go this far.


    • PENG2, 15 minutes after my post, lawyer Ralph says they searched everywhere and can't be found. Learmonth says "disturbing" may be too strong a word, but it is "alarming". I believe Leblanc said along the line of disturbing, but wants it in writing. Says it can effect the wording of his findings. Yet he was not angry, as when with Ed Martin. Not a job for the police?
      I like you, don't believe this story, it is concocted, as you say, if you say you have notes, you would keep the originals and make copies.
      Learmonth says AMAZING……I find it amazing no media I saw mentioned this, and no other comment on this blog. 12.7 billion wasted, an Inquiry ongoing , and no one concerned that documents and evidence is destroyed? Just a footnote?

      Names to day as to the bad guys: Clarke, Lance and David. Lance appeared last week, so he was involved with excluding many of the unions from the table, I think. David, never resolving any disputes on the job.

      From today testimony it seems Nalcor could not build and operate a shit house. Shameful the stories told which seems true.
      And cleaning up just some part of camp facilities for inspection by Stan Marshall……….like the Nazi did when the Red Cross visited prisoner camps with women and children, gave a good impression, and was fooled. Not sure if one of the witnesses said MFs was not a work camp but a concentration camp? As stated , my hearing is off some, but certainly rooms not cleaned for 10 days, scum on the showers etc was normal…….food and accomodations very inferior to Churchill Falls 50 years ago. I spent 2 summers at CFs , so it was excellent.
      What a sad affair. So much has gone on and everyone kept quiet for years, and coming out now (you say hold off for a few more years, but some of these guys testifying may be dead by then, these senior experienced people. Did the media ignore this, or did not know, or like now, not reporting the worse parts? Ed Martin and management kept things close to the chest…….in many ways. He sould be ashamed to appear again, but if the public little cares, ……we damn deserve double the power rates.
      There were/are so many engineers in management……you just say not practising engineering though? Or no duty of care?
      More and more I see an oil background experience not suitable for mega hydro project. Like the song: Saltwater cowboy,many coming back from Alberta, or other oil projects, with big egos.
      Recall Heracles saying Nflders need to hurt themselves bad, but his was anti -Quebec theory, though some part is that, this is fundamentally how we have always mismanaged things, our whole history.
      And no mentoring to increase the skills of the Innu. Years of thi project and they unable to erect an outdoor shed. Witnesses say upgrading and mentoring was not done, an dshou dhave been, while Harold Smith for Ed Martin wants to blame no motivation…….the old lazy Indian stereotype projected by Smith. So everything a failure. Finishing strong for MFs is a long shot, maybe a bridge too far.
      I'M still trying to figure out how FPI wassplit up and destroyed, a success by Vic Young, who also headed up Nfld Hydro.
      Winston Adams

    • WA 00:40:

      Don't you find it odd that no one until now discussed the accommodation conditions, not even anyone on the workers panel(and the interviews would have been completed then, so I am sure the workers were asked but didn't think much of it)? I wont say there were never problems – but it does seem to be exaggerated somewhat.

      I fully agree with Heracles sediments – we refuse to learn from our mistakes and always look for someone else to blame, instead of looking in mirror and accept we made the initial mistakes. Same as today in that we still have MHAs elected 2 wks ago that voted for MF – infact 1 of them is being names as possibly holding the balance of power in a so-called ‘minority government’ – that is exactly demonstrative of NL voters and how fast the public here forget.

      As you say, the duty of care chain is a difficult concept to understand – an interesting read would be interpreting the Energy Corporation act. We know Inquiries cannot not look at government policy, but only look at implementation – so the Inquiry is investigative as to why MF went wrong. It was the prerogative of government to have MF as a policy – and government was supported by the people(whether the people were informed or not is irrelevant). By design, government use ABCs and legislation like the energy corporation act to break the duty of care – it comes back to plausible deniability.

      Many may not like it (especially since Fortis told us publically MF was a bad idea for exactly the reasons why it went wrong)– but the ideal comparison is the 2 situations:
      1) what if Fortis developed MF on fixed cost basis and tried to bill us for overruns
      2) alternatively if Fortis was developing MF on a T/M basis and never updated ‘us’ on growing costs but kept sending us a bill
      I offer the public would have a very different reaction to the above.


    • The camp conditions were no secret among workers at the site.

      As with many issues on site if you spoke up you were gone.

      Their classic move was when a worker was about to fly back to site there would be no ticket to return!

      That would be the first time a worker would here he or she were let go.

      This happened that many times that workers would apply for EI and still get their insurance coverage.

      As soon as the case worker heard they were dismissed from the Muskrat Falls Project there claim would be approved.

      Maybe Justice LeBlanc will get a copy of a video shot in the dining area of the camp where the cleaning staff were caught cleaning tables with the same mop they were using on the floors!

      They were quietly dismissed, it was an aboriginal contract for cleaning services.

      From what I gather it was a similar story in the accommodations.

      People would actually mark their bedding to prove that the dirty bedding was actually put back on the beds!

      No one spoke, no one wanted to loose their jobs!

    • Not sure if that article was a joke, or just ignorance. The author states "It would be one of the largest hydro electric power projects in all of North America."

      Now if we could generate megawatts using turbines powered by malfeasance, lies and corruption, then we have far more than 3074 MW and could likely provide power for most of North America.

  6. Before we all break for our Summer Fun; And before the very talented Integrated Project Team disperses, ( I was quite taken by the competence of Ms. Power's ability to ferret out the contract files), a thorough update of the Socio/Economic benefits needs be put in place. Is Justice Leblanc fitting this in the schedule? Presumably not. Why not then NALCOR along with an outside Socio/Eco team delve into what Politicians proudly portray as the Economic benefits of major "Investment" of the Public Funds? Might be a chance for the much maligned MUN economics professor to redeem his past dealings, so to speak.

    • Recall Robert that Kate requested Powers do that and also do the same for schedule risks. That she says she had not time to do the second one. Was Kate pressing too hard, and suddenly found an exit waiting at the Supreme court? She had a slow start but was doing better, then gone, and this Inquiry so important. As to the part Powers had not completed, this left up in the air by Leblanc.

    • Robert @ 21:26:
      Not sure 'competent' and TP belong in the same sentence, I certainly wouldn't use the 2 together – confused why you say that?

      The documents presented were circulated among several of the PMT – so there wasn't any digging necessary to get this, just that the Inquiry Council was waiting for the right person to ask about the documents (none of those presented have any meaning in Phase 1 so it is only now these documents become relevant and being posted).

      Also must remember that exhibits totaling some 10m pages was already being digested be Inquiry council when testimony started in September 2017 – so much more to come. Documents are released when appropriate to be entered at the Inquiry, not when received – a distinction to note is that most documents were necessarily provided to the Inquiry by the witness under which they are entered or 1st questions on.

      WA @ 23:46:
      So you really think that KOb was given a promotion to avoid her digging too deep at the Inquiry? That seems far fetched.


    • PENG2 @ 08:42:

      Typo correction:

      Also must remember that exhibits totaling some 10m pages was already being digested be Inquiry council when testimony started in September 2017 – so much more to come. Documents are released when appropriate to be entered at the Inquiry, not when received – a distinction to note is that most documents WERENT necessarily provided to the Inquiry by the witness under which they are entered or 1st questions on.


    • Only your credibility is far fetched PENGzero. Of course Kate was rushed off like all the competent dam guys that were fired and replaced by your friends.

      I don't know why you play with despicable masked sycophants Winston. They troll the issue and promote Fear Uncertainty and Doubt (FUD).

    • PENG; Let me clarify my suggestion; A socio/economic evaluation at this time would explain to the ratepayers what beneficial use resulted from the governments' reckless redistribution of windfall offshore cashflows. Important considerations don't you think, as the minority deals with real life issues in the Old Colony?

    • Amazing that witnesses with nothing to hide can remember things like meetings and dates so clearly,while the managers at Nalcor and Gov. officials seem to have lost their brains if they ever had any to begin with.Peng.zero suggests workers concerns are exaggerated,saying that these concerns were not brought forward.What about the hundreds of grievances that were filed, with many not resolved?What about the wages and benefits owed to many workers,both union and non union?You can't have resolutions if one side is determined to do otherwise.Good to see some honesty on the stand for a change.

    • PENG2/Bruno …..did you see the photo and piece with Kate in her judicial robes?
      As Trump would say : Kate once worked for me ( Trump said about the famous black singer that died last year.
      Kate , the would be rebel, in the midst of exposing the boondoggle, most important Inquiry since 1933, gone to the bench, strange?
      Kate's father, Gerry, a mentor, long effective, in protecting high profile criminals, including pedaphiles.
      Someone should do a fishbone diagram of the various players and see how they are interwoven and influence they have.
      Take Tommy Williams:
      1. Brother of Danny, ( who I assume Bruno calls the Emperor)
      2. Now paid daily to sit at the Inquiry to defend many of the people that pushed along the boondoggle scheme.
      3. I heard 2 months ago, that when the School Board has issues, Tommie was their lawyer
      4. As to the sunshine list, teachers opposed release of information, the CBC piece shows Tommie last year at court for them, to oppose release.
      5. As to the concrete failure at CFs and the engineer who finally got sanctioned……who represented the engineering society? Yes, Tommie
      7. Anyone read the wording as to punishment? Do not more than 3 upgrade courses. Now ZERO meets that test does it not? And the fine of $5000, was hard to pay back in one year , it was claimed, so an extension was given. No limit of time that I could see, so maybe no will ever be paid.
      7. Tommie who I said reminded me of the godfather, very upset that Steve Bruneau was a member of the MFCCC, as if a communist. Very upset saying Vardy had no expertise, as a court expert. Misled the court in the benefits to the Innu on partnership companies.
      Maybe for Tommie someone should do a carton, not a backbone type fish, but an octopus, with tenacles pulling the strings in many places.
      Was he previously also heading up the PC Party, but this got changed by Crosbie?
      I am not much into politics, but from what I observe, a very fishy business, all round, PCs, Liberals, NDP

    • Now we are getting into nuances and a fickle public – we now have a group of Union officials testifying yesterday being treated as demi-Gods of honesty, but if Jerry Earle of NAPE or Wayne Lucas of CUPE speaks up for their members they are chastised and blamed for all that goes wrong in NL. Memory tells me it wasn’t that long ago that posters here also stating that MF workers were making $150/hr doing nothing because of union protection – again nobody then bothered to review the collective agreement I linked, but now a Business Agent mentions sub-par accommodations the tide turns and he is a martyr.

      What we do know is that a panel of 3 workers(who stayed in the accommodations units) had previously testified and several others made submissions to the Inquiry and no mention of accommodations issues but only when Union management testify do the sub-par accommodations come to light – infact, one of those testifying was the Union Business Agent representing those expected to maintain the facilities so possibly a bit biased in his statements. Exhibits presented yesterday don’t show 100’s of grievances being unsettled – this from the Union Council documentation, maybe a better review of the facts is in order. As I said above, there were occasional issues – but what was said yesterday was likely exaggerated for effect.

      Someone above mentioned workers being home on turn-out(actually they are laid off in this time and earn EI if home for 7 days, even if they have a job to go back to) and finding no plane ticket – that argument goes 2 ways because it also common in the construction industry for workers to take another Union position by ‘bumping’ when on turn-out and not show up to the airport for booked/expensed travel nor to notify the employer. Getting EI approved solely because you were dismissed(actually the term is ‘not called back’) from MF is 100% a fallacy – nonsense.

      Robert @ 09:41:
      Don’t disagree that a proper assessment is needed, though WL isn’t the best for that. Maybe it is(or should be) part of the EY/Synapse reviews underway?

      I would say the PUB is a better form for this, not the Inquiry.


    • Anonymous @ 11:19

      Like it or not it happened!

      I know personally of one person who identified a safety issue on site.

      It was signed off by his immediate supervision.

      By the time it went up the chain nothing was done to rectify the issue.

      When he went to return to site for his next work term there was no plane ticket.

      He had been fired basically for speaking up!

      He got nowhere with the union, they never even filed a grievance on his behalf!

      When he went to file an EI claim the case worker approved his claim.

      She stated that he was only one of many that had suffered the same fate at the Muskrat Falls site.

    • Peng2 .Get your facts straight.Don't think there are any union positions paying anywhere close to $150 an hour.As for standing around doing nothing,let's not forget the toilet brushes and windshield scrapers.Seems short memory is commonplace on this project.

    • TM @ 12:39:

      Please quote me correctly – reread what I said above. What I said was that there were posting here claiming unionized workers making $150/hr and doing nothing – this is factual, and I did post the link to the Collective Agreemnt showing the hourly wage was closer to $45/hr.

      Now concerning using the toilet brushes and window scrapers to clean the bedrock – this isn't unusual, infact pressure washers with common kitchen dish liquid are also often used. This statement by the workers panel was for 'glamorous effect' and the media/public ate it up – infact it also happens that toothbrushes are used for cleaning tight spaces where grout needs to bond.


    • BFA @ 11:40:

      An EI case worker CANNOT approve a claim if a person is dismissed with cause – that has to go to a Referee Panel by legislation. Your acquaintance was laid off – he simply wasn't called back from lay-off after a turn-around, this happens every day and is nothing unusual.

      If his Union wouldn't file a grievance that should also raise flags to you that you don't have all the facts – is it possible the Union agree with the employer that your acquaintance wasn't qualified or he was bumped by a more senior union member and instead of termination they agreed for lay-off so he could access benefits?

      Its a he said – she said with too way too many details being passed about and not enough evidence by your friend for anything other than rumoring at best; and rumoring isn’t productive to determining what went wrong at MF, only facts help there. If your acquaintance was truly ‘hard done’, tell him to contact the Inquiry or a lawyer – if he has a case, if he is not willing it should tell you there is a bit of B$ involved.


    • Out of the closet now PENGzero I see. You defend Nalcor and the abysmal record of incompetence. You defend rooms cleaned fortnightly if workers are lucky and defend a grievance about unsafe gritty stairs.

      You are Nalcor management afraid to show your face, with a paid staff to FUD up the joint. It stinks PENGzero.

    • Peng.2.Why did you infer that workers were being paid $150an hour.As to the use of toilet the use of toilet brushes compared to pressure washers is extremely ridiculous.It just shows the mentality of the management if you are one.And,by the way(BTW,in your world),if you are being played from the public purse,why are you spending your time researching and commenting on this blog 16 hours a day .Talk about doing getting paid for doing nothing.

    • Peng2 @ 13:11

      Unfortunately I know what I am talking about,

      It was my son.

      And yes the EI case worker did approve his claim without having to appeal.

      In her words he was one of many that were dealt with the same way.

      It wasn’t worth their effort to challenge it because it was happening so frequently!

      He also contracted a foot fungus as well as a planters wart due to the uncleared shower facilities.

      He also got to the point he would mark his bedding to prove that they were only putting dirty bedding back on his bed.

      I won’t even venture into the “unqualified” personnel that he was forced to work with.

      He worked in a squad of 12 people doing concrete and rebar, there was one other person on his squad with previous experience,

      5 or 6 were plaster and painters by trade. Even his supervisor was a painter by trade.

      This is only a small example of what went on?

    • I worked at CF in the 60s where they built many dykes, I did much testing soils for compaction. Often there was exposed bedrock needing cleaning for grout. Never seen toothbrushes used, Maybe a new Nalcor innovation?

    • I was never there, but what about holes drilled for rebar dowels-maybe 1" in diameter, not much else fits other than tooth brush.

      Cleaning of the bedrock often isn't pretty, but most primitive tools are used and if drill oil is spilt it can be hard to clean.

    • I have often drilled 1 holes for rebar dowels. I did very little contract work but did a concrete fish ladder upgrade once for federal fisheries. I think drilled to 12 inch or so, flushed with water hose. A quick jab back in with rebar forces out most of the water.
      For personal use, drilled many holes for 1/2 rebar, to about 6 inch deep in bedrock, for column base exposed to heavy seas,for boat lift, so often concrete washed by salt water at high tide, Still good after 30 years. Drilled some 1 in on an angle , so can't come out, not even grouted , for cable anchor, still there after 3o years.
      At CFs at times near airtrac drilling machines, drilling deeper, but was not my work…….but I am amused by thoughts of toothbrushes, but possible I suppose. My personal experience if for dowel in concrete for residential,on horizontal, quick jab of rebar forces out dust, and not use too dry grout.
      Likely for some special applications more precise methods and better cleaning needed, so civil engineering is not my line, so others can speak to that, and specification may indicate methods to be used.

    • The US ARMY has a 538 page manual 2017 issue for drilling and cleaning drilled holes, I skimmed it and see water flushing and water pressure cleaning, especially for fractured rock. Saw nothing on toothbrushes in the index, so I just checked one chapter 15 a few pages on cleaning. Water cleaning needed on many I assume.

    • WA @ 23:12:

      Check AC308(pretty sure is right reference). Sackrete, Hilti etc all recommend dowel holes are brushed – especially if drilling dust becomes wet.

      Also, check Vortabrush or Powers:

      Drill holes contaminated with drilling dust is well known to reduce pullout strength – cleaning flaky rock (ie schist) is more problematic. Drill oil contamination in the dowel hole also requires brushing, usually with dish liquid – like on commercials cleaning wildlife with.

      Though as you say, US Army Corps is the bible for most everything.


    • WA:I too found it not only amusing but hilarious that anyone,especially on a major project,would even consider using toilet brushes and windshield scrapers for anything other than what they were intended for.Worked on many major industrial projects in most provinces across Canada and I can assure you if anyone had ever suggested such crap they would be laughed off the site.Maybe now we can see why the camp wasn't being cleaned.They were using the cleaning supplies to clean the rock face.

    • Directly from the link PENG2 provided:

      Can someone explain what the functional difference is in this and a baby's bottle brush?

      During my time on sites, the main point was function-not the name on the package.

      Too many arm chair experts being goaded by the media to understand what really happens in construction, and too much 'he told me' what is happening and not enough actual experience.

    • Robert, I asked for PENG2 comments on Synapse. After 6 months he wrote one line…….very disappointing. Bruno too silent.
      At present we have Synapse, and also Hydro applications for new supply options, and also report on time shifting etc. All 3 of these should be the basis of public discussion as to what direction we go. I think much depends on if and how well MFs performs to influence decisions. As almost no one was informed or engaged on the flaws of MFs, so too now no one looking at the future options, as to our energy plan…….so left to a few power brokers with conflict of interest and little checks and balance. Once we are hit with the high power bills , people will be up set, but too late, as the power brokers will have the THEIR FIX in place, Recall MFCCC denied a seat at the table by the PUB recently.

    • Winston, I had hoped that PENG would have been more forthcoming, with his own knowledge and insights, working constructively with the community at large, for the common good. NLers have always been known for their sensitivity to others' needs, and this must continue, or we have all lost our way.

    • Robert / WA:

      I don't look at draft reports from another Engineer – especially when not in my practice area, though I do some have some related background. I know the P1 report was issued as final, but I am hoping it is more like a draft to be used in conjunction with the P2 report.

      As I said, I thought the P1 report was pretty basic – I didn't see anything new, not sure what else there is to debate. I am hoping the P2 report has more to offer.


    • I assume you refer to Synapse as a draft report P1, as there is too be a final one.
      Most I recall is to further investigate the demand reduction potential for the grid of CCMSHPs (cold climate mini split heat pumps) to control our peak load. Recall, Nfld Power has put zero value on that, contrary to my investigation and monitoring, showing huge reductions using best practises.
      Nfld POwer already are discredited with reporting the effectiveness of these, and yet now doing more to investigate. I suggest their incompetence in the past discredits them from this work, paid by ratepayers, and should not be allowed as prudent spending. Not sure if Synapse will oversee such testing/monitoring.
      So , much to debate I suggest, seeing CDM was already intentionally avoided to get the boondoggle going, and now may be subjected to similar approach all over again.
      As a Fortis advocate, PENG2, I trust you are for openness and transparency on this?

    • WA @ 12:15:

      Part of the recommendation statement from Synapse, again nothing new:
      Significantly offsetting the electricity rate increase from the MFP will clearly require pro-active policies on a variety of fronts. Synapse recommends several aggressive policy initiatives to promote electrification, cost-effective CDM initiatives, and increased export sales. We anticipate that Phase 2 work will allow exploration of rate design issues, including time-of-use rates, in support of further analysis of CDM and electrification initiatives.

      Not sure really if anything is missing – but implication and the cost effect to be further investigated in P2 will be important.


  7. In an effort to be more on point with the UG posting:

    I am not convinced in AC as the Finance Minister – unless there is a will to spread around the political fallout. Traditionally the NDP are expensive, and at this point we are not able to support a party whose platform is primarily social welfare.

    Having said that, a 3rd political option is definitely a good thing.

    I still have not seen anyone address the fact that we don't yet actually have a minority government – all this talk of collaboration might well be for naught yet (though I do expect a minority for reasons around the Speaker nomination I posted the morning after the election). Does no one understand the Westminster system or are we as a public only interested in buzz words?


    • Robert @ 13:19:

      2 very separate issues here, but in the end documentation accomplishes the same thing; the 2 different documentations are:
      1) ‘employee/consultant’ notes
      2) meeting minutes

      Since there are no(or very few) direct employees – most of the contractors should be providing a report of activities, I do for every one of my clients daily and everytime I submit an invoice as backup. The notes/logs etc are property of the professional and they could be destroyed if they felt OK with it – since none actually work for Nalcor I am thinking the PIPEDA/ATIPPA and duty of care arguments come up again. To be honest, I don’t even think LeBlanc can subpoena my logs – as a consultant, I am not sure my property is subject to his summons. Now, government employees and Nalcor employees would be very different in this respect – I speak only as a consultant who remits invoices.

      Why there are no dedicated minutes of meetings – I think this relates to plausible deniability, but unacceptable. Infact, OHS requires minutes of HSE committee meetings to be submitted – so by the same argument, why doesn’t government if they are spending or allotting our money to an ABC?

      Personally, I still have every note I have ever taken – employers/clients get a report only, for me it because of professional liability but I cant explain why others don’t do the same.


    • Recently an elderly gentleman passed on, age just over 100. Only then his children destroyed his records from Joey's days. In the 1960s he was an inspector for school construction. Contracts were mostly cost plus. Material would come to the site, but considerable shortages from what was on the list from the supplier. He would constantly report this to his government superiors, but nothing was ever done, it happened from jobs continuous. He kept copies of what he sent to this superiors, for his protection, for rover 50 years.
      Let me go further back…….I have copies of vote buying, as I understand it, via MHA from 1932,then a alwyer, who went on to be a Supreme Court Judge. Winter I think his name was. Something like recent MHA spending scandal, as to what is legal or not.

    • Robert @ 14:16:

      I never took it that way – just used me as an example of what the minimum should be.

      Why the notes were not kept or repercussions of that – Id guess maybe starts with 'government verbal policies' and wouldn't guess beyond that. Again, I think plausible deniability is most likely the reason.

      I did find interesting WA mentioned the recent MHA spending scandal but never caught the name of Ed Byrne in yesterdays testimony.


    • Sometimes I missed a little, yet I seem to have a vague memory of his name recently, so maybe triggered my subconscious today? How did it come up yesterday?
      Judge Green I recall handled the MHA scandal Inquiry, the best judge we have had, but just my opinion. Example ; you may not be competent to look after your money, but still competent to make health care decisions. So if you are old, and want to live in a tent in winter, so be it, to the extent that a higher standard is needed to say otherwise. Despite this, I saw Judge Alex Hickman give instruction to bypass that law. Hickman, recall…… the Justice Minister when Mount Cashel abuse going on. Hickman….I suppose I should pray for his soul……but may do little good.

  8. Documents destroyed or just missing?
    I agree with Robert…….this the most significant issue so far I think.
    So what does our media say?
    I saw nothing on either NTV or CBC, not reported was it?
    Terry Roberts of CBC does good coverage, including yesterday, but not a word on that. he filed by 9PM
    The Telegram , Ashley Fitzpatrick usually files about the same time as Terry Roberts, but on this , not until this morning., but not a word on missing or destroyed documents..
    But the Telegram this morning filed a separate short piece "Documents missing, Muskrat Falls Inquiry told" no name as to who filed that piece. Was Ashley and Terry instructed not to report on this?
    The Telegram piece could have had a heading " Muskrat Falls Inquiry: Missing documents considered destroyable say government lawyer".
    Is there media attempt to see this as a minor issue? So it is just missing, not destroyed?
    Leblanc intends to leave a MEMO for the benefit of the public, says the Telegram. 12.7 billion waste, and documents likely destroyed and we will next year get a memo for our benefit! Will that help pay our power bills, or the 12.7 billion? Is this a timid response to document destruction?

    Winston Adams

  9. What if; the newly elected minority, takes one look at the books, and says that the previous government lied about the deficit? the books were cooked. Is this why M. Osborne is no longer interested in the job? Ref Ed Hollett article.

  10. Nalcor is raking in the money. Making money left, right and centre. $14,000,000 more than the first 3 months of last year for the first 3 months of this year. Yes raked in a cool $93,000,000. In the first 3 months of 2019. That's what Stan said. At that rate we will be able to pay her off, muskrat in a few years. Right. Listening to the news, and that's what they said. Sure the crowd that was saying it would take 57 years to pay her off, nay boy, that was just election talk. That's what the John Q. Public hears and adds on a bit to make it sound believable. Yep, more misinformation from nalcor, lies and half truths. Sure he saved most of that on Holyrood, when power was coming in on the line, from muskrat or was it UC. Right. Yes, my son right from the Labrador. Muskrat best thing since sliced bread, and good wages too when they were building her. Yes, my son, biggest kind of money. And now we got her hooked up. Think think there gonna do gull too now, das what I heard. My son the money we'll be hauling in. And das not counting the oil money. We are all gona be sheiks, but not wearing them white robes, too cold here by, now not too bad in July and August, you know when you gets a few warm days. Then they said in the budget that the govt. was borrowing a half billion to give nalcor this year.,…no boy that can't be right. Sure if I makes a hundred thousand this year, the govt. is not gona give me no money, how come they gonna give nalcor a half billion, when they made 93 million in the first 3 months, sure that will be about 400 million by the end of the year. I Spose boy they must be gonna loan nalcor the 400 hundred million, and nalcor is gona keep the money they makes, but our heat bills still go up. Something like that right says Joe blow.

    • Seems the increase of 14 million overlast year is about half from oil and half from Holyrood oil saving, so say 7 million saved on Holyrood oil.
      That is about 1 % of yearly provincial power bill revenue.
      Save 7 million on Holyrood yet 107 million per year operating costs for MFs……….Hmmmmm. Ms Coffin, our NDP economist should see the economics. And 7 million is from using almost zero cost CFs power, MFs is not so cheap despite PROVEN to be least cost, nd may run up to 60 cent /kwh vs o.2 cent for CFs
      Now 28,000 houses with minisplits with full coverage would save 28 million combined per year, far exceeding the CFs power saving. But that is TOP SECRET STUFF, not to be talked about, not even by this Inquiry, but Synapse strutts it to optimise mitigation. But seems Fortis/ Nfld power, Nfld Hydro, our CA are not eye to eye with Synapse……so Synapse may have to modify their analysis for phase 2, as did MHI and many others……..he who pays calls the tune.

  11. This is the words of govn lawyer Ralph: "Now these types of documents are often considered transitory, and if that's the case they're considered DESTROYABLE…..the search now has been abandoned".
    Guess we shall hear that being put to the witness first thing in the morning at the Inquiry, or Leblanc will have more news.
    So Learmonth says it's surprising that records like notes of two of the top civil servants would not have been preserved, yet Ralph suggests they are just transitory…….must have been working for weeks to create that as an excuse.
    Transitory evidence……..only in Nfld?
    Now he does say IF. And as Clinton famously said , it depends on what the meaning if is…….or was it what the meaning of is is, I think the latter.
    As to the use of IF.
    Uncle Joe Lynch of Bishop's Cove had missed the prior meeting of the Loyal Orange Lodge, Local 28. So he rose to question a motion being discussed. The lodge master chided Uncle Joe, saying if he had been there at the last meeting he would know what was being discussed.
    Uncle Joe, having but one leg,( having lost the other in an accident on Bell Island mines),occasionally missed a meeting. But he responded thus: "If I had been here?. If I had been here, last week, you say? Yes, and IF I was born in England, I might be Winston Churchill".
    Uncle Joe also told me about things MISSING, in Joey's day.
    So with Ralph…….IF these are transitory documents, they are considered destroyable.
    I have heard it is against the law to destroy a dollar bill. Can't be transitory?
    Is a draft report transitory? We have seen many of these at the Inquiry. I expect Ralph will enlighten us. Perhaps PENG2 knows?
    Winston Adams

    • Wa @ 17:52:

      Maybe the receiver might consider a draft report 'transitory', I doubt the author would since it should be considered a deliverable.

      From my end, I keep all drafts – shows the effort required to submit a report as final for a particular client. I use this then to price future work.


    • Your method of keeping records and drafts is much as I have done, and depend on the written word, more so than memory. Over the years I have found most companies are honourable to deal with, both within Nfld and outside , about 90%, so seldom need the written record, but sometimes essential.
      Govn, with public money, written records should be the rule and law. Seems incompetence or deliberate policy, or a crime, if such high officials not keeping notes and records secure.

  12. Quebec is going greener: the Premier on sunday says he will present a sweeping plan to electrify transport, and heating and air conditioning by the end of 2019 or the start of 2020. THis coincides with our PUB consideration of Synapse and Nfld Hydro supply options.
    They plan to expand subways,and light rail lines, plus new tramways in Montreal and Quebec city, and also electrify bus lines.
    As many as possible rail and buses will be built within the province.
    He sees Quebec as North America's green battery. (so this a hydro battery, not a Bruno/Tesla battery). THey will build more wind generation to assist their hydro generation…..and so reduce GHGs from oil use
    THey now import aboout 10 billion woth a year ofoil from the USA and will reduce that.
    THey will cut GHG emissions by 37.5 % by 2030.
    Quebecs energy is now using 36% hydro and 40% oil.
    For rural areas they will continue incentives for EVs

    This sounds like Synapse PLUS, as intended for Nfld.
    And too they are encouraging more exports to NY city which wants to go green.
    Sad, I think, that NS and NB not looking for Quebec power.
    Yet PENG2 sees nothing much in Synapse suggestions for Nfld, so we are hydro and wind rich and sucking the hide tit. Not one of our parties with any greening plan for Nfld or Labrador. Greening for them is in their MHA pension plan. Sad to see PENG2 not engaged to our future energy plan.

    • Agreed Winston, Atlantic Grid, powered with surplus HQ energy, a no brainer. Instead the obstinate NB Premier/Engineer bets on bit pipeline, fracking and petroleum based thermal generation.

  13. VOCM : First with the news in Nfld, on Open Line this morning, the substitute guy fro Patty Daley, mentioned the Inquiry, saying documents cannot be found. Never said likely destroyed, so that that may be deemed to be destroyable……..so basically he made light of it.
    Winston Adams

  14. Wow!!!! Are we withinessing a John Dean moment, or is Julie M. the real McCoy. Seems vey likely to me. Have to mention the Frankeinstein monster again, created by government, and now calling the shots for govt. and they have no control. Frankeinstein rules supreme, govt. is a mere hinderiance now. The old boys club is having a hay day, stretches all the way from the top of nalcor and down several levels at least down to Kean. But the number is wispered in KD ear, by Edie, and what can she do….but resign within the year, or was in January. Then it does filter down through the old boys club, to Joe Brown in the premier's office, and causing concern. So about time to begin to take things seriously, Julie M. begins to see the picture, so bring in the external auditors, EY, this is bigger than we can handle internally. Eddie blows a gasket, says Joe blow.

  15. Good comment Joe.

    However, I am still blown away by the amount and degree of investigation into the $300 million being kept seemingly from at least some of those government members (below the premier) until after financial close in late 2013.

    Island demand and oil price forecasts and the 6.2 figures were never properly justified and these deceptions account for 10-15 times the $300 million coverup.

    But the Inquiry is going down this $300 million rabbit hole while all but ignoring the $4-$7 billion cost increase (from $6.2 to $12.7) — not including any additional costs yet to be incurred and associated with the North Spur.

    There had to have been collusion between the very highest levels of Nalcor and government to have pulled this off — and spending so much time and resources on the $300 million issue while all but glossing over the underlying causes and collusion, in my view misses the mark and further ensures that the inquiry will not expose the core, underlying rot.

    As the saying goes, "If you are not part of the solution, you are …..

    • Not a John Dean moment, Joe, as i see it. John Dean broke ranks with Nixon, and opposed the coverup. He or one of the others Herlicman or someone told Nixon this is a cancer on the Presidency. Julia , like others had no backbone, a jelly fish.Ed Martin walked out on her, went around her to the Premier and got his way.
      Here by 11 am a friend asked what I thought of Julia, I said I would rate her 75 or 80 % on honesty and transparency, and telling the whole truth. By noon I was inclined to think it appropriate to say "You're fired" . Not fit to be our auditor general.
      1. Her notes missing, and these not transitory notes.
      2. She in a key position dealing with cabinet,Premier and Ed Martin and others.
      3. She on the Ocversight Committee for what 2 years, and deny to EY the right to do a full investigation, a limited scope, yet now acknowledging this was needed.
      4. She defends the delay on EY work, even now as if this was reasonable at the time. It was not reasonable. Nalcor was obstructing EY. She went with the flow.
      5 She sits on the fence, sometimes blaming Nalcor, sometimes blaming EY for pushing for something outside their scope ( yet should have been inside their scope). Not blaming herself much, just a little on 20/20 hindsight approach.
      6. The 300 million I suppose is important as holding back financial data without justification…..was it illegal to do so? Who knew what when, at a time when before financial close , this could have been paused and reassessed. Still 300 million nothing as to the many billions overall wasted.
      7. Her story on the missing notes doesn't fully add up either.
      Too me ,she is less than 50 % credible. Is auditor general a promotion for her, or sideways shift?
      Winston Adams

    • First thing at the Inquiry, 20 minutes spent on the missing note books. Says she went with her lawyer Fitz Gerald to search the vault where likely they may be stored. She and her lawyer were denied access. She is now the auditor general and denied access to her own records !. The only province in Canada where the auditor general can be denied access!. ONLY IN NFLD!
      Who denied her, the sargent at arms? Or the Dept of Justice? Lawyer Ralph?
      Now Leblanc tells Ralph that Julia will go between 12;30 and 2pm and do the the search. Ralph says Yes sir , 3 bags full.
      Was this cut and dried before hand? Did Ralph seek permission from someone today for access and got it before he agreed, in the blink of an eye, while Leblanc spoke? Or his decision to permit access and was previously his decision to deny access? Was the Minister of Justice in the loop, Parsons?
      Is this not a farce?
      In a few minutes we will learn if the notes are found or now again deemed to be destroyed? But they are not transitory as to be suitable to be destroyed.
      And the notes were passed from Julia to who Nina Goudie, now retired. A phone call to her …..she had no memory of those note books handed to her, yet Julia says they discussed them. No visit by Inquiry staff? Just a phone call from someone, not sure who.
      Now the jellyfish, ads on TV, say, jellyfish has an ingredient that improves memory. Most all with Nalcor and government need that jellyfish ingredient in a bad way, to improve their memory….and who knows, with good memory, it may strengthen their backbone.
      MUN research need to get cracking on that idea. Most all at this Inquiry are MUN graduates, so if it works, it should be mandatory nutrition for all staff and students.
      Winston Adams

    • WA:

      No responsible professional would ever let their logs out of their possession(and the logs are the professionals property, not government or the employers) – she failed here, no better than a politician.

      My take on being refused access is a bit different – she was refused access to an area that 'may have held' records the AG wasn't privy to. Yes, this is weak(and NL is the only province that the AG doesn't have access to this type of record), but I think PR also told government that most likely be ready for such an entrance and that is why he was so agreeable – though don't expect any logs to be produced. I would offer that if the AG is to be excluded to this particular type of record(I am not passing decision on if being excluded is right or wrong) than this record should be kept elsewhere off to itself because access should be very limited anyway.

      Really, though, the bigger issue is why there are only 3-4 persons to date that have personal logs and the remainder say they didn't keep any. Likewise, no minutes of meetings is unacceptable.


    • Now FitzGerald is at the Inquiry daily, for months now, and this note book thing is on going for a long time. So it may contain information important to her story, her defence of what happened. It may also contain damaging information, as to her and others.
      So the camera shows FitsGerald often laughing and talking to Coffee , next to him, as if this all a lark, these proceedings.And just ahead of him to his left is seated Ralph. Why did not FitzGerald long ago lean over to Ralph and say his client is being denied access to the vault to see her note records……and if not granted , he will request an intervention by the Commissioner Leblanc?
      Why has this dragged out in this way? This is like Trump to deny Congress the full Mueller Report. This is banana republic stuff, is it not? This is what our young men of WW1 died for, this type of freedom? This type of democracy and justice system?
      Winston Adams

    • Right on. Maurice, but as you know we are not really talking from 6.2 to 12.7, rather 6.2 to 10.4 or something like that., no interest. Now in this round it is beginning to look like going from 6.2 to 7.5, yes that's more than 300, but you have to go one step at a time. And then Astaldis extra billion for their contract and it is adding up to get to the 10 billion. And no doubt all the other contractors were double what the orgional estimates were or at dg3 numbers. So see how it adds up says Joe blow.

      Winston, yes better keep my powder dry, but I can still see her position. Yes gone looking for her 3 black books, which she says are not really her property but rather govts. Now the other notes to Nina are different. Yes if it holds I see her as a John Dean, and breaking with Eddie and the whole nalcor, and some of the govt members and public servants. She may not have all the answers, but shedding some light on a lot of the existing written communications. And it would take a very brave lady to go openly against nalcor back then, but think she is opening up now. KD was too heavily involved to blow the roast and much easier to resign. Julie M has stayed on to face the accused says Joe blow. But as trumpie says, we'll see.

    • Yes Joe, I think that what I am getting at is that to call these MANY BILLIONS of taxpayer dollars — "cost overruns" is a misnomer, and therefore for the inquiry to be looking at it from a 'cost overun' perspective, then the Inquiry is ALREADY, PREJUDICIALLY, and therefore improperly investigating it from an inappropriate predetermined position.

      WHEN THE ORIGINAL ESTIMATE, DEMAND AND OIL PRICE FORECASTS WERE originally 'designed' to achieve a predetermined outcome, then what we are calling (and inquiring into as a 'cost overrun') is something like looking through the wrong end of a telescope. If objective, fair, demand, oil price, and project cost estimates had originally been prepared —- then there would have been little or NO COST OVERRUNS.

      There would also have been NO SANCTION of this fiasco.

    • Concur Maurice.. That exactly why they low balled the numbers to get past sanction. After sanction then …then it would be full speed ahead. Guess those below Eddie, were in a conflict of interest too, in that they would be making big bucks for 5 or 10 years if the project proceeded. Nope..,confirmed no black books there…no one surprised….but would have been surprised if found. Joe blow.

    • [start]
      If objective, fair, demand, oil price, and project cost estimates had originally been prepared —- then there would have been little or NO COST OVERRUNS.

      Agreed, no question there – $10b is what the original estimate should have been give or take..

      There would also have been NO SANCTION of this fiasco.

      I disagree, MF was a government policy and it was going ahead no matter what. Even today, there is still 35-40% of the public that support MF – so I am not so sure government couldn't have sold the public on a $8b budget.

      There was a lot of work by the government of the day in legislation, placing the right people in right positions etc to ensure MF was executed. The fact that Nalcor was built and led by private party industry types indicates now in hindsight that they were brought in for a MF/GI development.

      Id like to believe otherwise, but the public bought the energy warehouse concept and I don't think project costs were a major factor in that to the majority.


    • Joe @ 15:48:

      The money at MF isn't that great – either for professionals or tradesman, so your argument of a conflict of interest is a bit off base and weak. Even so, most of the leaders were CFAs – so for them there was really no difference in working in NL at MF or Hebron or in Calgary or Houston.

      The invoiced day rates for the PMT are available on the Nalcor ATIPPA website (releases #377 and #420), with a current max rate of $2k/day for contracted persons – not great or out of line with other works.


  16. PENG2 —– "the no matter what" that was put to the people at sanction was a cost of 6.2 billion, significantly increased island demand, Holyrood operating at capacity in winter (burning 18,000 bbls of oil a day), a sound water management agreement with Quebec, geotechnical design for North Spur stabilization not completed til 2014, oil prices going up to $200+ a barrel, etc., etc, etc. —- in other words, collusion to misinform the people about the true economic and environmental viability of Muskrat.

    A well informed electorate would have balked if they had been trusted with the truth.

    • MA @ 16:33:

      I agree that a 'well informed' electorate would have balked, problem is NL has no history of the electorate becoming informed. The fact that we still have 7 MHAs that either voted or lobbied for MF in 2011 proves that.

      Fact is, had the electorate become well informed in 2011, MF wouldn't have been executed – irrespective of the projected costs being $6.2b or $12.7b.


  17. I would agree, and both your and my posts show that there were a lot more issues other than just cost that could have (and should have) been able to stop this MF fiasco —- and why then did the Liberal government issue an inquiry TOR that has focused (perhaps and seemingly, mostly) on "costs"?

    Tweedledee and Tweedledum.

  18. Interesting that we get agreement between Maurice and PENG2 that if the electorate was well informed that MFs would not have been sanctioned at 6.2 billion. Also that issues other than costs were at play then and now.
    So an uninformed electorate was a major problem. Yet PENG2 seems to have back peddled , as he said that the media coverage and letters to the Telegram were sufficient to inform the majority of the people. I suggested otherwise.
    In that PENG2 now seems to admit that the electorate was not well informed, so if not , who was not doing the informing?
    These are possibilities:
    Nfld Hydro
    Fortis/Nfld Power
    Consumer Advocate
    Consultants seeking contracts and scope creep
    Other informed residents, other than the naysayers, of MFCCC
    Church leaders
    My dog Rover
    Maybe I have missed some….Yes
    Board of Trade
    Nfld contractors
    Ass. of Small Business
    Union leaders
    Industry including Fish plant owners
    Opposition Parties
    Nfld Culture problem, so Minister of Culture….the Happy Province, so Don't worry, be happy
    Heracles being late on his advise
    PENG2 in the shadows
    God Almighty should have warned us …..somehow.
    The devil made us do it
    Our educators,
    Our justice system
    Our democratic system
    All of the above?
    Winston Adams

    • WA @ 17:30:

      Close but not quite.

      I maintain there was enough info publically available, whether or not the public paid attention is another issue. If the public was not informed, it was by choice.

      In any event, even if MF only cost $6.2b – it would still be a bad choice, I don't think I ever said anything otherwise.


    • Agree PENG2, 6.2 billion was bad, and if the Inquiry did a dive into that, I doubt if more than 2 billion was needed for lowest cost.
      Also yes, but if not informed by choice, then our culture problem covered it. A matter of weighing, info there, but not sought. Note Liberty constantly faults Nalcor for their culture, and maybe all our power companies, that rotating outages is acceptable only in third world countries, and Nfld. Robert suggest a culture problem: the enemy is us.
      NTV had Ed Martin, not the usual shine of Teflon Ed.
      CBC Terry Roberts had good coverage: Julia saying this should have been reassessed before financial closure,and Ed Martin present today at the Inquiry, her's was key testimony…….note his lawyer Harold Smith, asked about the missing note books, and Terry cites the "mystery of the missing books", and video of Julia,and lawyers Fitzgerald , and Ralph on leaving the Beothic building on the trail of the missing Julia note books. This should be a police job? So ……..not found……who done it? That is the question. If destroyed, who done it? Is this high crimes and misdemeanors? Is it impeachable? Does it get buried as a footnote in Leblanc's report?
      Julia says she wanted it to see if the notes agrees with her memory banks, that she had no knowledge of the cost increase. But what if the notes disagreed with her memory banks? Then the shit hits the fan does it not? Better that the note books not be found? Get out of jail free for everyone, and easy for the Commissioner not to lay blame. Is there conspiracy going on here? What a silly question.

    • WA @ 18:36:

      Honestly, in reality JM 'abandoned' her logs when she took on a new position, then I would offer that there really isn't much wrong with the government destroying them after the fact.

      When I consider Professional Liability and Codes of Ethics the onus is on the professional to maintain backup for their work – JM being an accountant(I assume, can you verify?) should have known better, she didn't protect her work or her professional decisions.


    • Agree Winston, "bring in the cops", they have been called for much less. Even if they don't find the books, it may put "the fear of God" in some of them, that you don't play around with our public documents. And they might just find documents they weren't even looking for, but much more valuable. Joe blow.

    • PENG2; her note books, transitory or not?
      I thought she said not transitory, but they were govn property, so never took them
      you say her property and she should have known better. So incompetent to be auditor general?
      Clarify why not much wrong with destroying them? And who destroyed them? Do you think they are actually destroyed , or still just missing?
      Who has poor memory, Nina Goudie who she passed them too after discussing with her, who has no memory of that we are told, or Julia who says she remembers discussing and passing to Nina?
      So Ralph and Julia praise up Nina saying she is of good character, and would do nothing wrong. Ralph, to me , looked like a cat that swallowed a bird……what bird, says the cat,.. no evidence sure. I'm not buying it.
      High drama at lunch time , as the media reports: Leblanc orders Julia and Ralph to do the search and have an answer by 2pm
      At 2 pm, no report mentioned, until Smith I think asks what happened, and Leblanc almost as an after thought ……..Oh Yes….not found. So, no big deal after all. Yesterday it would effect his report, so a big deal.
      But he says at one point at 5 pm him and co-counsel were to meet. What else could it be but discuss call in the cops, as Joe says? Who done it and why? Some person of low IQ handling these important public documents, destroyed them?
      Yes, Julia an accountant , and from MUN. Any news on Wade Locke? Is he working on GHG reduction policy?

    • WA @ 22:49:

      The judgement is on her to destroy her logs or not – the logs are her's not her employers. Now, she should as a minimum have offered the information within her logs in some form of a report(a photo copy would be better) to her employer but what she does after is her professional judgement.

      Not sure if I would considering the report generated from her logs as transitory, infact I am not sure I agree with the term at all – meeting minutes, logs, notes etc should all have been filed in the project documentation.

      Not sure if there is any practical difference in destroyed or missing at this point.

      Not sure if you did a course with Prof Peters or not, but I still have his notes and some of his thoughts on logs etc – subject matter expert on this for sure.


    • WA @ 22:49:

      In any event, this is manusha for sure if concentrating on these 3 books. The real issue is the overall lack of documentation (irregardless of if its logs, minutes, draft reports etc) – everything from meetings, to phone calls records etc is being based on someones memory is the real issue.

      What have we seen to date, 20-30 pages from logs books in total – seems as if minimal documentation was the norm, and that is a problem in governance and accountability? By comparison, these logs books (actually executive note books is what they are called) have about 150 pages – I use 1 every 1-2 months, and buy them by the box (~$10ea, pretty cheap insurance actually).

      I think LeBlanc was just calling governments bluff – a show of power on his part, Id say he never really expected to find anything but wanted to make a statement.


  19. It appears we have real crooks here destroying or hiding evidence, as to MFs boondoggle, yet on this same day we hear the innocent land protectors in Labrador were railroaded: hit with civil and criminal offences for the same thing. After 3 years the CROWN, meaning under the authority of Mr Parson's, the Justice minister, who could have stepped in least the administration of justice be in disrepute, but stood aside and let double jeopardy proceed. Against the law this double jeopardy business. A apology required from Justin Trudeau and Parsons and the Premier. Only in Nfld and Lab could this happen. Was there not a single lawyer in Nfld able to expose this sham to the media before now?
    Is this incompetence in our justice system? And both these events we see on the same day, The RULE OF LAW they call it. Surely this is noteworthy for Leblanc's report as to this double jeopardy against our First Nation peoples. This in 2019.
    So now just the civil matters still before the court. Would the real criminals please stand up?

    And too at 8 am my wife brings to my attention that Stan Marshall is on VOCM. He speaks about the SOFTWARE. Good thing this running now, to get the bugs out before MFs comes on he says. So we are testing it with CFs power. Last I heard this was software version 17……..now he never said the type of bugs we are dealing with. Some bugs are resistant to antibiotics, and can be real buggers. We'll see what happens, by the time Santa comes down the chimney.

    An hectic day for Muskrat news. Hard to keep.I don't have staff like PENG2. Is the worst over at the Inquiry or just heating up??

    • Ho ho Ho Winston. Seasons greetings!

      Troll PENGzero has a staff to keep up the propaganda. Despite that We, collectively keep him/them honest. Good work Winston. He is best ignored until he goes away.

  20. Think the most significant day at the inquiry so far. The first person that has said they stood up to EM and won. He stomped out of the meeting, the cool and Teflon Eddie, and next day was at the premier's office telling them there would be no external audit. Any audit would be internal, not EY. But guess what, Julia M stood her ground. Yes stood up to Eddie and won. Unheard of before, took a brave and confident lady to do that, especially back then. She stared down the bully and trashed him at his own deciteful game. But her intent was not to bring him down, but to do simply what was right. And she stood almost alone. Seems Davis and Briwne were in the premier's office at that time. Yes, the first dent in the old boys club. So now bring in the cops to find the publics missing documents, not only her black book but all the missing notes. Will the commissioner do the right thing, does he have the authority ask Joe blow.

    • Well, have to call them like you see them. A John Dean moment yesterday but not the real MacCoy.,Julia came in like a lion and went out like a lamb, happens every year, like march month. She made two points yesterday, very convincing and confidently. That she and govt. did not know of the 6.5 at time of finincial close, was very upset about it, and learned of it much later. The second point was she brought in an external auditor, EY at the extreme opposition by Eddie. So yesterday she was the Julia M. Tiger, but faded overnight to the Mallolay pussy cat. Average Joe. So still 12.7 billion and counting, maybe 13.7B as Budden questioned her this morning, depending how you do the accounting, front end or back end loading in fincincial cost.

    • Orwell would chuckle at "government's office of information management" responsible for discarding the clerk of the executive council's notes.

      I wonder if the "government's office of information management" used the Fahrenheit 451 method for disposal of the notebooks?

      It is incredible that now Auditor General Julia Mullaley did not know of the 7 billion cost. I see Ed Martin is squealing like a stuck pig that it is all lies. Is Auditor General Julia Mullaley now credible?? It is all pretty stinky!

  21. Kate's replacement was very weak questioning the Nalcor project manager today. I bet the others with "standing" will be sitting on their assess again for this Nalcor guy at $1550 as day he testified. We now know the price of thirty pieces of silver!