PEGNL AND WHAT ONE ENGINEER’S SANCTION REVEALS

A collapsed formworks incident on the Muskrat Falls project in
2017 exposed the public to problems unrelated to either cost or schedule overruns.
When one worker was hospitalized and another seven received medical assistance
it became clear, as much as Nalcor did its best to hide the fact, that Nalcor’s
management problems resided not just in the St. John’s Office, but also extended to
‘boots on the ground’.

Not only the eight workers, some buried up to their necks in
cement, can count themselves lucky. Nalcor management, too, were spared what
the Courts might have deemed criminal negligence.

Why is the issue relevant again? Last week the Professional
Engineers and Geoscientists of Newfoundland and Labrador (PEGNL) issued a public notice, having
sanctioned one of their own. The notice read that structural engineer Yi Ping
(Peter) Liu had allowed “his seal to be applied to the structural calculations
and design documents of the Draft Tube Elbow Wood Formworks for the Lower
Churchill Project at Muskrat Falls….which contained material errors in design
criteria and design calculations and ultimately contributed to failure of the
structure.”

PEGNL treatment of the issue, insofar as Mr. Liu’s specific
involvement is concerned, seems to have been appropriate, including the penalty
meted out. Unfortunately, the casual observer might be inclined to think that
PEGNL had executed its responsibilities – case closed. I suggest that there is
an alternative view and that Mr. Liu’s error – egregious as it may have been –
is not the whole story.

Indeed, the failure of PEGNL to assess the role played by
other Members of the engineering profession in the incident’s occurrence, leaves
an odor that reeks of minimalism and a penchant for cuckolding Nalcor – to whom
they and many engineering companies are beholden.

aDB, a structural
engineering consultancy, conducted Nalcor’s investigation and came to this
conclusion: 

This is an odd construction of the Consultant’s findings to be
sure because very quickly part (V) – a combination of the first four reasons – is
an obvious determination.

Back in May 2017, I asked James L. Gordon, a renowned Canadian
hydro engineer who has written copious articles for this Blog, to review the
aDB Report which he did in a post entitled Engineers’ Competence to Practice Questioned. You may wish to be reminded of his comments, many of which are disturbing. Said Mr. Gordon:

James L. Gordon, P. Eng. (Retired)

“On May 1st, I read with mounting astonishment the aDB
Engineering report dated April 20, 2017, on their investigations into the
causes of the collapse, which occurred on 29th May, 2016.

“The level of incompetence described in the report is so
widespread that it brings into question the integrity of all other structures
in the development. All staff, from carpenters to engineers are included within
the ranks of the incompetent. The sub-standard construction was clearly visible
to all, but nothing was done to rectify the errors.

“The forms were supported with untreated southern pine
softwood timber lattice towers as shown in the Figure 2 obtained from the
Independent Engineer’s report dated July 2016.

“From the photographic evidence it is obvious to any observer
that the timber lattice towers were deficient and should never have been used
to support a heavy load of concrete.

“There were 6 towers supporting the forms, and all collapsed.
The failure destroyed all evidence, hence the report was based on observations
of the condition of the lattice towers in the other units.

“The list of unacceptable work is long, with details as
follows –

1.             Flooding up to about 3 feet above the tower
foundation.

2.             Fungus
and decayed wood in towers with mushroom growth.

3.             Exposure
of the untreated wood to rain and snow.

4.             Severe
weathering, with some weathering occurring during storage at site.

5.             Ice built
up between ribs, in June!

6.             Buckling
of tower timbers.

7.            
Compression failure in some towers.

8.             Gaps
between timbers and lack of shims at top.

9.             Wood saw
marks indicating no quality control at the fabrication plant.

10.           Incorrect alignment of some towers.

11.            Inadequate nailing of braces.

12.            Splices not conforming to CSA standards.

13.            No protection of the untreated lumber on site
prior to installation of the towers

                 from fabrication in summer of 2014, to
use in the spring of 2016.
 

14.            Tower load calculated at 57,700 lbs,
and capacity at 40,500 lbs.
 

15.            No allowance for expansion of the
timber due to moisture retention,         

                  compromising structural integrity.

“From the foregoing, it is obvious that there was no quality
control at the fabrication plant and on site, and no NALCOR staff with
sufficient experience to realize that the towers were totally inadequate. This
is astonishing, since any carpenter looking at the towers would conclude that
something was wrong.

FIGURE 5 – DRY ROT AND
INADEQUATE SHIMS. TIMBERS ARE 2” X 10”

“Also, an engineer looking at the towers would immediately observe
the errors in fabrication, installation and deterioration due to weathering.
This indicates that either no engineers inspected the structure, an almost
impossible conclusion, or, more likely, they were totally inexperienced to such
an extent that their competence to practice engineering in Newfoundland should
be questioned!”

DAMAGED
TOWER TOP

Bluntly stated, Jim Gordon’s comments constitute an indictment
of more than just the design engineer of these formworks, Mr. Liu. Indeed, this
construction required cross-discipline engineering skills as well as those of
the trades. They include those associated with quality control. Taken
together the massive failure describes, as Jim Gordon suggests, a level of incompetence
that seems endemic.

On the ground, supervisory staff didn’t even have the presence
of mind or, perhaps, the authority (they needed to contact someone in St.
John’s for that) to spray water on the wet cement, leaving it to harden – and impossible
to examine – to be painstakingly removed later at great expense. 

Yet, only Mr. Liu is sanctioned.  Where is mention of the Professional Engineers
who had a role in the construction, preservation, installation and inspection of
the formworks – and the associated support structures – some of whom signed-off
on the structure as fit for purpose? Why were they not hauled before the same disciplinary
tribunal?

Because only one complaint was filed and even that by an anonymous
engineer, requiring the PEGNL CEO and Registrar to be named as the Complainant?

How can this outcome be interpreted as any more than small-town
engineering politics, wherein PEGNL is afforded the perception of having
performed its duty as the lonely Mr. Liu is conveniently scapegoated while other
engineers find safety in PEGNL’s deference to Nalcor? $13 billion in and Mr.
Liu is the poster boy… for what? Likely for sham professional ethics. How
conveniently written must be the Adjudication Tribunal’s rules? 



Related to this Article:

ENGINEERS’ COMPETENCE TO PRACTICE QUESTIONED by James L. Gordon, P. Eng. (Ret’d)
DRAGGING THE REPORT ON THE FORMWORKS COLLAPSE OUT OF NALCOR


Muskrat Falls watchers, including a bevy of professional
engineers, have long been concerned that far too many of their associates,
including some simultaneously holding positions at Nalcor and PEGNL, have been
delinquent in failing to maintain the Association’s separation – Nalcor unrelenting in building pervasive influence in the local market, and not just
among Engineering firms.

That PEGNL needs a good shaking up is abundantly clear and the
formworks incident is emblematic of the problems that need fixing.

There is another issue worth noting. The formworks incident
occurred May 29, 2016. Six weeks later, the Independent Engineer for the
Government of Canada was able to report the cause as “design issues,
faulty materials [including] dry rot…” The aDB Report on the incident
was dated April 20, 2017. Informed that a DRAFT Report was sitting on Project
Director Paul Harrington’s desk for quite some time, an application under
ATIPPA was issued by this writer on December 9, 2016. Nalcor replied that the
investigation was “not yet complete.” On March 23, 2017 I issued a second
ATIPPA request for the Report which received this reply:

When a Report of a potentially catastrophic incident is
allowed to remain out of the public’s clutch for months solely because it
contains a foot-dragging signature called “Draft”, only to be reluctantly
released more than a year after the incident, what does it say about the fundamental
matter of the public interest, the urgency surrounding matters of professional
competence (forget ethics), and the related issue of worker safety? What does
it say about the culture of safety at Nalcor?

It is hard to have regard for Nalcor’s much heralded “safety
moment” when real – and potentially tragic – life safety issues are obscured
because they might cast a heavier shadow on an already embarrassing Crown
Corporation.

If Mr. Liu’s errors were judged by Nalcor’s alacrity to have
him answer to his peers, in all likelihood any notion of sanction would have
been deep-sixed. Luckily, there is an ATIPPA process, however imperfect, else
the “Draft” Report might have disappeared from Mr. Harrington’s desk, having
fallen into his waste basket.

Indeed, PEGNL’s sanction of the singular Mr. Au – was arrived
a full two years after the incident – during which he could still practice unfettered as a Structural Engineer. This only compounds the perception of a
group undeserving of self-regulation, at least in this case.

Of course, as long as Nalcor holds those purse strings, and
the Government condones the power structures it has built to give itself
protection, don’t expect PEGNL to kick up any dust. That just wouldn’t be
professional, would it.



References cited in this Article:
SUMMARY OF ADJUDICATION TRIAL DECISION – Formworks Collapse (PEGNL)
aDB Muskrat Falls Draft tube 2 Investigation Report Report-Section.pdf

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.

OPINION POLL OVER-RATES INEFFECTIVE TORY OPPOSITION

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

REMEMBERING CABOT MARTIN (1944-2022)

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

GNL RUSHING INTO ANOTHER “SCHEME”: CABOT MARTIN

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

42 COMMENTS

  1. When the North Spur fails, a single engineer will be disciplined.

    Cynicism aside, I did meet one of the carpenters from that disaster and was told that one of his co-workers was never the same (fellow that got submerged in concrete) and 2) he wouldn't go back because it wasn't safe 3) Crew warned the supervisor multiple times that the forms were slipping and each time told to keep working. The carpenter stated that the boss was to receive a bonus if the work was finished soon and that this impacted the decision to proceed.

    Can anyone verify if there were performance bonuses paid for various concrete pours if they were complete by specified dates?

  2. This is an accurate assessment of the formwork problem and of very serious public safety issues within PEGNL, as well as worker safety and organizational experience issues within Nalcor.
    I do however disagree with your very first sentence that says that this failure was not a cost and schedule issue because it very much was. The Nalcor lack of experience issue was, and still is, a serious concern.

  3. So, someone who requires remedial training and supervision, in particular:

    "The Respondent signs an undertaking not to practice structural engineering without direct supervision of a structural engineer"

    AND

    "The Respondent passes a maximum of three (3) Engineers Canada Confirmatory Examinations in Engineering (exact courses and number to be determined by PEGNL)"

    can still practice in other provinces, just not in Newfoundland. The complaint says he is from Ontario. From PEO we have Yi Ping (Peter) Liu Professional Engineer (P.Eng.) licensed Jan 10, 2013. Will PEO (Professional Engineers Ontario) now do the same?

    The fact that this scapegoat (only one a whole herd that needs discipline) is really really bad, it was ok for PEGNL to ponder it for two years while he continued to work.

    I have taken graduate courses with engineers from China that didn't understand differential equations and many other things I'd consider basic for anyone that had taken math / physics or undergraduate engineering in Canada. I was told that their programs are specialized from the beginning, so they only learn what is required for the follow-on courses.

    So from PEO we have : Xi'an University of Science and Technology, China, 1984. We have SNC- Lavalin Senior Specialist. His Ethics module is marked as incomplete. There is no discipline history in Ontario.

    Pathetic. Engineering self regulation is a farce. SNC employee, doing things he doesn't properly understand, gets a rap on the knuckles from Newfoundland, after a two year wait, but is still licensed in Ontario as of today.

    • Anony @ 09:58:

      Need to fact check a bit closer. He was working for Astaldi at the time not SNC, but has been unemployed since the incident (from what I understand) – he previously worked for SNC, Hatch, AMEC among other companies.

      The question will be asked upon renewal in Ontario if disciplinary was taken in another jurisdiction – it is very unlikely (I haven't heard of a case where in my career) where another Canadian jurisdiction wont respected a finding. This wont normally cause his suspension to take effect in Ontario until his appeal window is closed – but will be unable to register is any other province. Give it some time for PEO to act – the decision is 6wks old and a hearing was due in January.

      Your comment on engineers from other countries having a different education background and needed significant upgrading before getting a license in Canada is 100% correct.

      An interesting bit of research is just how many MF engineers were actually licensed in Newfoundland without some prompting – say compare the org charts to PENGL registration in the years 2010-2016.

      PENG2

    • Anony @ 09:58:

      The last thing I would add is that I not sure this is as simple as a rap on the knuckles – effectively he has been reset to new graduate status.

      Additionally, he will have to report the discipline to on his professional applications to PENGL/PEO etc – now if prospective employers verify with the provincial association before hiring him that's another story.

      PENG2

  4. What a sad state of affairs. As a retired PEng., I have witnessed the decline of the Profession. Self Regulated organizations, it appears , requires a higher level of integrity than most of us are not willing to offer.

    • Robert @ 12:13:

      I believe the correct term is disappointing.

      No doubt it takes time for incoming members to fully understand their profession, but this is a senior member who made the most basic mistakes. Whether or not there was water in the pour, rotted members, insufficient members etc isn't the issue – the issue is he approved work without the technical ability (I doubt this argument) to approve or more likely he approved work he knowingly knew was sub-par due to external pressures(this is my belief).

      Unacceptable.

      PENG2

  5. The photo showing a pen stuck into rotted wood is disturbing. Just about any tradesman would know that was just wrong. Anyone who has demolished a rotten deck would also know better. Wood doesn't just rot overnight — it must have been stored wet for a few years.

    This kind of thing would have been reported by multiple people if the culture had allowed it. The only thing that makes sense to me is that people were afraid to report anything, lest it cost them their jobs.

  6. Self governing professional bodies are always a sham that protect the incompetent. At Nalcor their fingers should be relieved of any iron rings immediately…before it is too late at MF.

  7. It is normal that shop drawings for such temporary works are reviewed by professional engineers from the project management team(that is Nalcor) at the head office and also at the site, as well as inspection and approval of the forms and rebar etc at the site before any authorization is given to place concrete.
    It is obvious that all of these people and processes failed and there are many more knuckles to be rapped here. Nalcor did not do its job and neither did PEGNL, in reviewing this failure.
    Did Nalcor approve this discipline report by PEGNL, like they did many other reports, before it was issued?

  8. How could so much go wrong on MFs yet so few knuckles rapped?
    Bruno says more fingers need need to be relieved of the iron ring. I think most wear the iron ring on the pinkie. Perhaps relieving them of the pinkie finger would be more effective, and much less serious than being buried in wet concrete.

    As to the Inquiry and Jason Kean:
    1. He wants us to know that he is a passionate Nflder and proud of it.
    At that moment I wondered if he was related to Abram, the skipper that landed 1 million white coat swiles in his day.
    2. He seems big on philosophy. The SCOPE showed how risks could impact about a dozen things; financial was first and reputation/image was last.
    but how was the philosophy practised? It seems they ignored financial risks as first priority and put that last, and put protection of reputation /image from last to first.
    3. His material used the phrase: if you cannot measure it, you cannot manage it. Seems there was much in measuring that got missed, and so 5 billion added to the cost so far. Insufficiently measured for geotechnical on the tower foundations, on tons of steel for the towers…the list goes on and on, not to mention insufficient measurement on the Spur stability, and much more. Just for the transmission lines 900 million extra.
    4.As to transmission reliability, Kean seemed to argue: oh but all this extra cost means we have a robust transmission line and people on the Avalon should be grateful. Leblanc, wisely, was not buying it. He interrupted, generally saying "When the project was costed for sanction, was not reliability of the transmission part of the design and planning, and now you seem to suggest that all this extra cost is to give reliability! He put in a nutshell the BS that Jason was shooting. But Jason, who knew of the risks and schedule not being able to be met, signed off on messages of NO PROBLEM. He defend this today by saying, you just needed to add reserve money.
    5.We saw that Kean was very upset that the contractor put in writing that the access road was inadequate to permit equipment to move over it for construction of the towers. Kean upset, replied in writing saying why did you not call if you had concerns. This is similar to the USA Attorney General Barr, upset that Mueller wrote him rather than call, after Barr misrepresented his report to the public. Kean being like what we see repeatedly that most with Nalcor and govn want little written records and little paper trail.
    Yet later, despite an important meeting being arranged to try and work out issues, Kean himself releases and sent a snitty letter to the contractor, that was considered detrimental. His philosophy seems to suggest different rules for behaviour for Nalcor then the win-win approach he preached.
    6. We see that for Nova Scotia power once intended to come from Gull Island, then had a 1 in 500 year event design. But when costing for power for the Avalon from Muskrat Falls,in 2011, the design was reduced to 1 in 50 year.
    Following the PUB partial hearings, and MHI comments this got upgraded some: partially 1 in 150 years, and very short lengths at 1 in 500.
    So now we are to reap what we sow as to power reliability for the Avalon, despite 12.7 billions, it being very inferior to what was once intended for reliability for Labrador power to NS.
    Even our 1 in 150 is only partial: ok , 100% for ice loads but only up to 71 % of design to meet wind loads. This means a failure of we get both ice and high winds together.. Also likely more flashovers from high winds exceeding 71 % of the design, because salt laden air will travel further and more salt volume under such higher winds …….so we don't have that 1 in 150 design fully, even with 12.7 billion!. Even at this reduced design from best practise, tower steel increased from 14,000 tons to 50,000 tons.
    Would PENG2 agree we see a pile on of engineering failure on this project?
    6. The Fishbone diagram. We should all remember that from Jasons testimony today.
    Winston Adams

    • Given the gross injustice already having been inflicted on the residents of NL, it's pointing to be added to in that there will be no consequences for the actions on those who are responsible for this disaster. It's getting closer and closer to being a 3rd world dictatorship. We are at the hands of an incompetent and corrupt clique who were/are hell bent on feathering their own nests and massaging their own egos and have the unmitigated gall to try and convince everyone that they did nothing wrong and we should accept it. This whole fiasco is crying out for accountability yet we are told to grin and bear it.
      SHAME, SHAME, SHAME on DW, KD, EM, GB, PH et al. You deserve what you should get.

    • Oh boy what news he told!!! He was right full of it. But guess you followed it more than I did Winston. Co council Irene seemed a bit upset at times as he kept talking and talking but difficult for her to corner him, as he is very slipper and knows the file well. I think he said he has been doing some work for nalcor recently, maybe reviewing the files and getting everything lined up for the stand, as he will be the one to try and keep it all straight for the others, the point man as you might say. But late in the afternoon he did not seem as talkative with council Collins. I think Collins had him on the ropes a couple of times and tried to tie him up with questioning on the man hours. Colins asked him to check over some man hour numbers over night and see if he could come up with the right answer. So will see how good he is at measuring or rigging the numbers. Average Joe.

    • WA @ 22:55:

      I am still struggling with if it is an Engineering fail if 5-6 people are making a decision and only 1 of them is an Engineer. In the case of reliability, there would have been input by a group of Engineers, but the final decisions would have been made by the GB, EM, PH, gov officials etc as a balancing act of monies spent vs politically expedient choices (none of these people are Engineers qualified to be the decision makers discussing the construction of a MF, and only 1 engineer among them).

      Someone was asking below about the #ber of Engineers – there are some Atippa requests, for example in 2016 there were 39 out of 233 contractors employed as Engineers. I never saw a great shift 1 way or the other (and you don't register with an association as a structural, civil, electrical or any other type of Engineer – just on ethics don't practice outside your technical areas). So if the number of contractors grew to ~500 in 2017, that would be about 80, or 15% Engineers – not really a lot onlocation if considering that these numbers include the office based positions also.

      But, as I said above to Robert – totally unacceptable Engineering fail in dropping the draft tube.

      PENG2

    • PENG2 Remember when you took your "Strengths of Materials" courses+ a few Physics/Math and related Applied Sciences, courses, then the Ring Ceremony. What could possibly go wrong?

  9. I read the discipline report and a few things stood out:

    http://www.pegnl.ca/admin/resources/tribunal-decision-liu.pdf

    1) He failed to do many calculations, so perhaps he was just expected to rubber stamp things and it was not his area of expertise. I expect this is common with assistant project engineers when an employer expects engineers to approve things (as if an engineer should be able to do everything in any discipline) but isn't willing to hire specialists / consultants as needed. You can get away with it for decades until there is a failure. Even then, the first failure will be treated as an anomaly because there will be no history of complaints.

    2) Did he even profess to be a structural engineer? Did the employer have a threatening culture – e.g. do I take a chance and approve this thing or get fired for questioning anything that will cause delays. Why was the assistant project engineer approving structural drawings made by others if he had no clue?

    3) The lawyer for PEGNL was Thomas Williams. Tommy has other clients and reputations to protect. PEGNL/Tommy railroaded this engineer – the fellow had no legal representation and his daughter assisted (Language barrier perhaps?) via tele-conference. He seemed to be a small fish – no lawyer, no resistance, and even the $5,000 fine was a burden to pay in six months so it was extended to a year.

    I am quite sure there is an interesting tale to be told. I wonder if he is barred from talking.

    I'd also hope that every structural item that this fellow signed off on is revisited.

    • I wonder does anyone know how many civil/structural engineers were in the head office Muskrat team and in the field on site at Muskrat Falls to give oversight to the work involved in all aspects of this formwork from design to construction to shipping to storage on site to erection to concrete placement to failure? or did the Chinese guy do it all by himself?

  10. One clear choice now for voters wanting to dismantle the NALCOR behemoth . Time for all those overpaid "contractors" to move on to similar positions with "Jawbs, jawbs" get those Indians out of the way Alburda Tories.

  11. Kean is impossible to listen to. I've tried several times but the guy is so caught up in bureaucratic language and processes it seems he has isolated himself from the real world. I wonder if the Commissioner finds him to be as useless and unbelievable as I do. I don't have the patience to continue listening to find out.

  12. Guys, all we should be concentrating on this week is the election. Who's for heaving out the old guard? Did you see what the Greens just did in Nanaimo? Doubled their MPs that's what. Can the Independents/NDP double their MLA's? Win lose or draw, this is your last chance for 4 years!

  13. Is it the party that couldn't shoot straight..local NDP. A couple of elections ago the NDP was riding high in this province, they were within one seat of being the official opposition, but the liberals managed to hang on as the PC's swept to another big majority. Was that KD in 2011. Th e NDP was too big for their boots and tried to get rid of Loraine, which resulted in haft their cactus moving to the liberals. They managed a couple of seats in the last election, and should have been well on their way to getting a half dozen seats or so this time, as voters were fed up with the two old parties that are running neck and neck. So, NDP was in a perfect position to hold the balance of power in which ever part heacked out a slim majority. Fear of power must have spooked them. Rodger the doger resigned at the last minute, knowing full well there was an election in the spring. Coffin came back to claim the crown that she should have won in her last fight with Rogers. Then she immediately announced she wanted a sure seat, so would run in Loraine's seat. This prompted Lorraine to throw in the towel and coffin now reigns supreme…alone. How many nails is that. Now she tells voters to spoil their ballots, where there are no NDP canidate, as she blames the boogeyman that she was surprised by the election call, and people are too busy to run As NDP candidates. What a great democrat, spoil your ballot is her election slogan. Yes "one more nail" , for sure says Joe blow. But more importantly she deprived the people of a minority govt. and our chance of having a party with the balance of power that could hold any govt. to account.

  14. A couple of days ago a new international study says about 1 million species are at risk on this planet, and this is connected to climate change , but more critical than climate change, as to time factors: Species at risk is needing serious solutions to get underway is a year a two, climate change in 11 years.
    At the time of this report, our Brain Peckford promotes a piece saying polar bears are not endangered. Nothing new there, more bears are even showing up on Nfld shores. It would not surprise Nfders to hear that seals here are not endangered either, with very high populations.
    Of the 1 million species at risk, these 2 are not now in much danger. Bees for example are much more concern, and impact for food production.
    So why dwell on polar bears, Mr Peckford?
    Seems this a way to attack the character of activist Greta Thunberg, and school strikes. More troublesome is that Greta has a mild form of autism, so a disability, yet she has given speeches to audiences and parliaments, more famous than Peckford at his best. She has even been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize, not long turned 16 years old. Even Bill Gates wife gives her high marks.
    The false narrative of polar bear starving and drowning, according to Peckford's blog, it the root cause of Greta's mission, and urged on by teachers and adults who are misinformed on polar bears. Strange that someone never latched on to the false narrative, 40 years ago, of white coat seals dying, to cause school strikes.
    Peckford relies on a sole writer on one species, the polar bear. Greta relies on the reliable reports and evidence of thousands of scientists worldwide.
    Would Peckford debate Greta on the science of climate change, with the passion he once debated Trudeau on offshore oil rights? For now he hides behind the polar bear theory, and misinformed adults and children.
    Winston Adams

    • Very good points as usual, Winston. But how does all this factor into voting for the necessary change. NLers seem blind to both the need and pathway to change the unacceptable outcome. Ball majority? You are kidding me!

    • Don't tell me you actually put any credence in the ideologically-antiquated blatherings of a bloody fool who thought it was a great idea to piss away million$ of taxpayers' dollars on a hare-brained attempt to grow cucumbers on a remote sub-Arctic rock.

      A little child has greater wisdom than that colossal dimwit.

    • There was nothing stupid about growing cucumbers or any other crop with hydroponics or in glass greenhouses. It was actually an excellent idea. It could have operated cheaply by shutting down in the winter – that way expensive heat would not have been necessary. Glass would have greatly extended the growing season even without furnaces. It should have been part of MUN biology or government agriculture and served a multiple purposes like teaching / crop research and breeding new crops for the local climate and food production.

      The biggest tragedy was that we destroyed it afterwards. Destruction of the green house was like Canada destroying the Avro Arrow. It was pointless and likely there were enemies that just wanted it gone. It should have remained as an important part of our food security. If it was still around, I am sure we could have rented out a section of it for marijuana.

      I've grown lots of things in green houses, and indoors using hydroponics and red/blue LED lighting. It works really well and we should be doing a lot more of it.

  15. I worked on MF when interior work was being done on the powerhouse. Every day I heard stories about the shotty work being covered up by the drywall installation. You couldn't pay me enough to live downstream of this project. Between the North Spur, and the quality of work on the powerhouse itself, I'm not convinced the structure will last long.

    • What kind of shoddy work did you hear about? Bad welding, messy concrete pours, bent pipes, damaged wires? Do readers have any pictures? If anyone has interesting pics — send them to Mr. Sullivan. We can and will remove all hidden identifying information from the pictures (like the camera make, model, time, date, GPS coordinates etc.) for your safety.

  16. Devastating, this testimony this morning as to C%P.
    Seems a confirmation of my worst fears as to no reliability of MFs power to the Avalon.
    C&P? asked Leblanc. Controls and Protection says the Inquiry counsel.
    Hope UG readers following this, I joined a bit late at 10;10.
    What does PENG2 think of this testimony?
    Winston Adams

    • A quick listen points up the weakness of the Ball management style; They presumed that management change, would bring political capital gain, ignoring the negative effects on the extremely sensitive function of contract administration. Ball's firing of Gilbert seems to have made the problem worse. Should have paused or stopped the project, taken the hit, prevented any more blood letting. He will be out of the power of the people next week.