let’s clear up any confusion. The downgrade in the Province’s credit rating by
Moody’s, a credit rating agency, resulted not from a “highly ambitious” deficit
plan, as the Agency suggested, but because the Finance Minister’s ambitions about
Budget balance in 2022-23 were supported only by talk. Moody’s as much as said,
“talk is cheap.”

the issue is a $14.5 billion “Direct” Debt compounded by $9.4 billion of
utility debt referred to by the Budget Estimates as “self-financing” — which,
of course, it isn’t. “Rate mitigation” — required to prevent power costs
reaching 23 cents/kWh — means that the Province’s $4 billion equity
contribution to the project is “sunk cost”. Implicitly, that’s Moody’s view,

discussion of how much additional utility debt is also “sunk” awaits
quantification of “rate mitigation” by the PUB. But don’t expect that outcome
to be encouraging to ratings agencies or lenders. Remember, too, that the debt
of the Province is enlarged by the deficit in the public sector pension plans —
which is omitted from the Budget Estimates. How high is the “real” Net Debt?
Effectively, it is already in the$20 billion neighbourhood.

other points. Finance Minister Tom Osborne will have you believe that our fiscal
problem is totally the fault of the crazy Muskrat Falls project. Indeed, it is a huge
debt burden which should mot be minimized. But Mr. Osborne’s second Budget, passed just a few weeks ago, contained
the seventh deficit in a row; notable even if the first three came compliments of the Tories.

keep the issue simple, in this fiscal year, we plan to spend $8.6
billion annually on Current and Capital (infrastructure) Account against $6.2
billion revenue. Public Private Partnerships (P3s) will also soon be a driver
of Current Account expenditures, too. The new elephant in the room is “rate mitigation” which, as much as the Government might try, can’t be talked away with doublespeak. 

It takes no
clairvoyance to figure out that the problem raised by Moody’s is
huge. The Finance Minister’s description of the agency’s decision as “not a
significant downgrade” is simply not valid. Osborne seems inured to the
implication of “heightened credit risk”, Moody’s ascription of our fiscal

House of Assembly’s short sitting in July would have been a perfect time for Members
to debate our debt crisis. New Members might have gotten a dose of reality — though,
on reflection, their more experienced peers have long ignored the fact that
discipline, especially of the fiscal kind, requires backbone.

a few felt solace having heard the Finance Minister say, “Our lenders were not
at all surprised by this.” Hopefully, some thought his remarks a disavowal of rational
public policy apart from a wanton dismissal of a crisis.

is not a game. Rating and lending agencies assess an economy’s financial
metrics and determine whether they are strong enough to ensure the Bonds are
paid when due. Moody’s have spoken to the Province’s “weak financial metrics”,
the burden of rate mitigation and what they see as an “ambitious” (translated
as “unrealistic”) “path to financial stability”. They could not have put
it more clearly.

can parse NL’s financial predicament in its most intimate detail. But the big picture
reveals the problem of errant political leadership. Likely the public expects
the NDP leader, Alison Coffin, to pile onto Osborne’s debt gambit too.

balance of power is more than the sum of the Government’s numerical shortfall
in the House of Assembly. Coffin must know that her future — and any growth in
popular support enjoyed by the NDP — is inextricably intertwined with how she
handles the Finance Minister and fiscal issues. She must know that the Liberals
(and the Tories) would revel in the opportunity to blame her for their prevarication.
That day is coming. Just wait.

most people have difficulty understanding how the mechanism of the Bond Markets
works or the conditions requisite to keeping the relationship between borrower
and lender fluid. Except for those suffering the misapprehension that
government is a bottomless money-pit, people do understand that, when interest
rates increase (an effect of a credit downgrade), more money to the banks means less for the groceries — in this
case, health care and social services. This represents the evolving debt wall towards which the
Government is accelerating. A lot of people who depend on government for
employment income, pensions and other benefits will suffer.

will deal with the mess before it is too late?

politicians won’t discuss the possibility that the debt is already beyond our
capability to manage. They won’t even engage in a discussion of what a reduction in spending
of $1 billion or more actually looks like, even if the cuts occur over time.

need for debate should be a drumbeat for every sector — lawyers, doctors, teachers,
engineers, and especially public sector labour.

won’t happen, though.


egalitarianism has completely taken hold in the province. Everyone is waiting
for a miracle!

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. I've had discussions with accountants as to how we might cut a billion or two annually. One comment is that we could simply go back to the way it was in say, 2000. Current account expenditures were 3,447,075. versus about 7,727,996 now.

    We now have more debt to repay, but at low interest rates, and the civil service is paid more (still low, but a lot more than the 1990s. Wages in the public service are now effectively frozen. Many years the increase is zero, other times is is a small fraction of inflation. Taxes are up, vacation time is reduced, and new employees have pro-rated pension benefits. You really can't squeeze the existing employees, but you could lay off some groups that work, unfortunately, for useless departments that provide no value to the public.

    Look at , pick a year, and click on the estimates link. See how spending has increased.

    I see two ways to address this:

    1) A bottom up and top down budget exercise in conjunction with enterprise wide business process re-organization. Figure out what services are essential, create organizations that can deliver these services, and get rid of the rest. This cannot be done internally because there is too much incompetence and too many cronies.

    2) Skip the business process engineering initiall. Instead, roll back the budget to a previous year that fits our current revenue and use that as a model. Programs and Departments that weren't in that budget probably do not need to exist. We did without them before, we can do without them again.

    Long term, the only solution is a political party that negotiates with the people for a list of services and service levels. The more you get, the higher the taxes. Decide as a group what is important, what tax rates are acceptable, and then create departments capable of providing those services.

    One good way to get this information across is to list services (Ferry, 911, k-12 when the school has single digit enrollment, snow clearing, emergency rooms with no wait time, university etc.) along with some metrics like total cost, cost per student, cost per household. We need some way to see which nice sounding programs (its green you know) are insanely expensive and those that are bargains.

  2. The problem is our lexicon has changed and we don't even know it. Just a few short years ago, we use to measure, i.e. Givernment budgets and debts in millions, and now we use the word billions, in the same context as we use to use millions, and we can't comphrend the difference. We say or think in either case it is a lot of money. Yes beyond our imagination, or ability to analize or compare. The average person, and what we think of as the elites, or should know better, talk as it is all the same. Sometimes we say was that 10 million, or 10 billion, or well, it doesn't matter. It's more money than I got, but the govt is good for it. Back in the Joey days, he talked of tens of thousands, or hundreds of thousands, or millions of thousands, lol, but always in the thousands. And we thought that was beyond our comphrenesion, and now it's billions. Thousands is just a drop in the bucket compared to billions. And of course in the US they talk in trillions, and thousands of trillions. What does it all mean to a person making leases than 15 bucks an hour. No it doesn't even register on the rectum, lol, scale. I think on one of my first post to this blog was trying to compare a million to a billion. Was it count to a million in 11 days and count to a billion in 33 years. 11 days compared to 33 years. OMG. Half a life time. I noticed during the inquiry that numbers like 10 or 50 million was tossed around like pennies. Maybe we should be talking in terms of hospitals, as the unit cost. And we could say, the govt lost its equity of 4 billion of oil money in muskrat. Written off. How many hospitals is that ask Joe blow. And we didn't even need it, just a want.

    • We could make charts for social media that get these ideas across. Large dollar amounts still work if you divide them by people. A billion is like everyone getting $2,500 deduced from their bank account, and if you have children, their share comes out of your account too. Family of four, husband and wife $3750 each just to help balance a budget every year.

      We could use objects like schools (about 20 million each) and about $3500 per square meter, but that is deceiving because fancy new schools are generally useless pork to buy votes. We have a declining school population and seldom do we need to build capacity. Instead we shut down schools (like Holy Cross, sampson, mcpherson etc) and build fancy new, overpriced schools (waterford valley highschool). This does nothing to improve the education outcomes of the children. We should make do with old wood framed schools until there is less than ten children left, then convert them to distance education like the Australian outback.

      Nevertheless, a comparison charts showing 1 Billion = 50 new schools = $2500 out of your bank account = all the food you your family can eat for 83 thousand years. Things like that.

  3. I took a lot of abuse talking about the fiscal madness that was apparent from the outset of the MF debacle. An environmentalist should mind the environment and leave the finances to better qualified persons.

    What my abusers never understood is that economy is from the same latin root and that economy is part of the ecology. Nowhere is that more apparent than in NL as your economy is being undermined by destroying the ecology of the Churchill River.

    "Ecological economics (also called eco-economics, ecolonomy or bioeconomics of Georgescu-Roegen) is both a transdisciplinary and an interdisciplinary field of academic research addressing the interdependence and coevolution of human economies and natural ecosystems, both intertemporally and spatially.[1] By treating the economy as a subsystem of Earth's larger ecosystem, and by emphasizing the preservation of natural capital, the field of ecological economics is differentiated from environmental economics, which is the mainstream economic analysis of the environment."

    • Bruno: I am a linguist, and can assure you and other readers here that the words "economy" and "ecology" are neither Latin nor German etymologically, but Greek, and the shared element (eco-) in both words comes from the Ancient Greek word "oikos" (οἶκος), whose meaning is basically "house, home".

      I will leave it to other readers to draw their own conclusions as to what this elementary mistake of Bruno's implies about his overall credibility. I am pleased to say that it leaves my own earlier opinion of him quite unscathed.

    • Etienne, I Goggled both "environmentalist" and "linguist", both of which are interesting.
      Bruno calls himself an environmentalist, which seems can be defined as simple as a tree hugger, or could be a person with specific training in the sciences of environment and ecology. Perhaps Bruno can explain his formal expertise?
      He says our economy is being is being undermined by destroying the ecology of the Churchill River, yet denies climate change is destroying the ecology of our ocean around Nlfd and Labrador. Also, even on this blog he has advocated for commerical and industrial use of "native " coal in NS, and native gas off Nfld, for power generation.
      He has not acknowledged an error in making these opinions.
      He opines not only on fiscal matters that he now says better left to persons more qualified, but he opines on the application and cost effectiveness of solar, wind, battery technology, long distance power transmission issues, and other technical matters way beyond his knowledge to give informed opinions.
      To Maurice's point that Bruno puts undue reliance on his stated source,and so perhaps unfair of you to judge his credibility on that, I would counter that this is not an isolated instance, butis is Bruno's normal practice to use sources that can mislead, be biased, and in the end give a wrong conclusion. He has repeatedly done this with respect to the application of solar, wind, battery power, and dismissive of hydro power in terms of economics generally. In my opinion, he is uses the technique of boosterism, with his statements and sources that use words words like "gigantic, explosive" when describing the adoption of alternative renewables now used in the world which are,relative to fossil fuel use,still only small to modest. These are the words also typically used in his biased 'sources", and he repeats them, and dismisses facts contrary to his stated beliefs. He is detached from reality in the scope of the problems faced by fossil fuel use, and how far we are from a solution.
      This blog has many such opinions by Bruno that reflects negatively on his overall credibility.

      As to "linguist", it is the study, use, meaning, etc of language, and can in some instances be an hard science.
      I assume your native language is French, but you write fluently in English. Are you a linguist in both French and English and more? What is your training and expertise,( as I see a linguist requires formal training, and linguists are even used for forensics etc. and legal matters as to the written word structure)?
      Winston Adams

    • I am generally not impressed with the blog Peckford 42. I find it has a far right agenda, and mimics all things Trumpie. It mostly recycles pieces written by others, with strong bias of opinions. Occasionally the Digger himself writes something.
      Today's piece I found interesting, and very good, I thought. It is titled "5 Habits of highly successful people". Towards the end one mentions that "they are always willing to recoginize their weaknesses and admit when they are wrong"
      At the Inquiry, who of Nalcor, or the politicians or govn officials admit they were wrong? Gilbert Bennett, questioned by Leblanc, replied "we are here, we wear it". But this had to be extracted at the end of 5 or 6 days of testimony, with start evidence of a failed project.
      When has Bruno ever acknowledged an error? Not sure if the Digger acknowledged the Pickle Palace was a mistake? And too his denial of climate change from burning fossil fuels?
      Winston Adams

  4. Etienne,

    Perhaps, and perhaps only perhaps, to form, validate or cement one's judgement about a person's credibility based, even in part, on what may have been an undue reliance on his or her STATED source (in this case, wikipedia) also says something. No?

  5. It is just 5 days to D-Day, the filling of the reservoir. Stan assured Leblanc of absolute safety. PENG2, a geotechnical engineer says in his opinion, there is insufficient information to say it is safe. I considered that he had a moral and ethical obligation to appear at the public session and make that statement in front of the Inquiry Commissioner. Maybe he says it is outside the Terms of Reference. Others that spoke ignored the terms of reference.
    I suggested the average pressure is probably about 3000 lbs per sq ft, and PENG2 and no other has challenged that number.
    I suggest the total pressure pushing on the North Spur might be about 300,000,000 lbs. I have not assessed the dimensions from drawings, so a rough estimate, that may be off even as to a Rule of Thumb. So I invite others to correct my number if substantially off,least I be accused of fear mongering. A safe structure should have counteracting forces to exceed the pressure from upstream, with adequate safety margin.
    With 300 million pounds or so pushing on the notorious unstable North Spur geology, Stan Marshall said he would camp there, no problem, all year,except for winter. Ball, Coady and others have given their assurances. Why am I troubled? I agree with PENG2 and others who doubt the safety.
    Winston Adams

  6. Very good letters to Editor today. Evening Telegram does a pretty good job, as compared to our Western media, reflecting public concerns on important provincial issues. Ball government's managed news policy will be their downfall.

  7. We went from Aa3 to A2. What this means.

    Aa1 to Aa3 An obligor has VERY STRONG capacity to meet its financial commitments. It differs from the highest-rated obligors only to a small degree

    A1 to A3 An obligor has STRONG capacity to meet its financial commitments but is somewhat more susceptible to the adverse effects of changes in circumstances and economic conditions than obligors in higher-rated categories.

    Doom da doom doom

  8. Just 3 days to D-Day, filling of the reservoir. I suggested about 300 million lb force on the North Spur, but this was estimated assuming the North Spur was 1000 ft long. I seem to remember from a few years ago that the North Spur had about 20 holes drilled and pumps installed after the land slide there about 1978 or so. I think these were about 100 ft apart. If so then this is 2000 ft, and the Spur is longer than that. This suggests the pressure may be 2 to 3 times more than I suggested, surely PENG2 or other can give a reasonable figure to correct any error on my part?
    Also the Spur tapers in width, with the narrowest part just a few hundred feet wide. Where it is narrow there is typically less counter resistance to failure. Although, failure may occur at a wider section depending on the nature of the soil there.
    I recall, of the 20 pumps installed, a few had significant water infiltration, others didn't. But that was at lower river levels.
    Is the water penetration into these presently publically available, and the public able to see the results of monitoring in real time as the reservoir fills, and pressure increases daily?
    We can now see such monitoring on the Churchill River flow stations, important during the spring melt. The flow of water at these pump holes at the Spur is more essential to know what is happening.
    Also at the Inquiry , it was revealed that monitoring was considered for the Kettle Lake area, adjacent to the North Spur, an area with risk as to instability. Such monitoring was not done, if I recall correctly. Has that risk too been assured to be so low to give near absolute assurance of dam safety?
    Is there not a single engineer, anonymous or otherwise, in this province that will comment on this blog on this? Not one did so at the public session of the Inquiry. Even Cabot Martin said nothing. Then again, stabilization design was beyond the Terms of Reference, I believe,by design of the TOR. A possible failure is not Leblanc concern, except to solicit the usual Nalcor assurances. Nalcor assurances on anything has been a joke and a farce from well before sanction. What reliance (what weight on reasonableness) can Leblanc place on Nalcor's assurance?
    Winston Adams

  9. RESONANCE: Part 1
    Resonance is an ability of a vibrations and movement to be amplified when disturbed by a small force equal to it's natural frequency.
    Example, a child on a swing: a small force timed as the same as the frequency of the swinging, makes the child go higher and higher, and if continued too long, can be a danger. If the force is timed our of sync, it is not then tuned to the natural frequency, and the swinging motion decreases to a safer level. A child learns this, without knowing the theory and properties of resonance.
    Resonance occurs by design ,in electronic circuits to amplify, and resonance operates even on a planetary scale. It is a law of nature.
    In 1979 the architect designed the local Taxation Data Canter with a secondary concrete "floating floor",a common practise, this one weighing about 200 tons. This mass of concrete was isolated from the structural floor by about 10,000 small isolators, one every square foot. The purpose was to reduce noise levels form the mechanical room to the office area below.
    I was successful as a low bidder in a contract for design supply and install this floor. During the design I became aware that the natural frequency of the isolators, closely matched,( by accident), the frequency of many of the heavy rotating air handlers and fans. While this equipment was small in weight relative to the special floor, similar frequencies could be serious problem to cause resonance. This meant that instead of reducing sound levels, it would likely increase sound and also vibration levels. Severe vibrations could be a danger to the structure of the building, because the concrete mass of 200 tons was so large, and could generate substantial forces.
    The architect was sceptical of my recommendations to mount all equipment on piers through the floor, rather than on the floor. He requested the mechanical engineer consultant, Bob Forbes, to review and make recommendations. Forbes agreed with about 90 % of my recommendations,leaving but a few very small equipment directly on the floor.
    The redesign, was successful to reduce both sound and vibration.
    This potential problem occurred because the architect initially bypassed the mechanical consultant in his scope of work,( Forbes likely would have detected this flaw), the architect not realising the mechanical implications.
    This architect passed away just a few ago. I recall he demanded and got a 5 year written guarantee from me on the floor redesign. Not sure what value that served, since if it failed, my small firm would have gone bankrupt, and, as a subcontractor to Lundrigan's, I had no insurance. I assume Lundrigan's, the general, got an extra for the changes, but I didn't. I saw the floor about 2005, 25 year later, looking perfect, and recalled the 5 year warranty requested.
    Winston Adams

      Maybe it is 25-30 years ago, when there was a collapse of part of the structure at the Village Mall.
      A few months before my wife called VOCM radio talk show to suggest to the host that the building was unsafe, that there was a severe vibration in the building. The host, Carl Sterritt, if memory serves,laughed saying; "No my dear, that's can't be, the Village was build by by Crosbie's group ( I think it was, not sure), a reliable contractor, so it can't be unsafe"
      A few months later, fortunately after regular hours, or in the night, a part of the floor or roof collapsed.
      I had visited the Village Mall prior to my wife calling Open Line, and we both experienced the sever vibration, particularly near the escalator. It was worse than on prior visits. I suggested to her that the building was unsafe, and suspected a problem with resonance, form vibrating equipment and perhaps effecting the structure.
      Fortunately, the collapse caused no injury, and the cause may have been quietly discussed and settled by insurance companies. I am not aware if the cause was determined or disclosed or unknown.
      Stability is the norm, and instability due to resonance is unusual, but a risk.
      At the Taxation Data Centre, mentioned in Part 1, the 10,000 isolators, and therefore the floor had a frequency of about 10 HZ, ( 10 cycles per second). This is 600 cycles per minute. Our hearing threshold is about 20 Hz on the low range. 20 is a low frequency bass sound. 10 Hz is not a sound but a vibration. The large fans were also rotating about 600 cycles, 10 Hz, so a similar frequency and therefore a problem. Other fans that were 1200 RPM, were controlled by new (at that time) electronic speed controllers , that would at times, for energy saving, slow them to 600 RPM, Those too were then of the same frequency as the floor, and a potential problem.
      What has this to do with the North Spur?
      Winston Adams

    • The structural failure of the Village roof, was inferior fabrication of steel joists; It was said at the time that welds were "painted on". Subsequently, the well respected NS steel fabricator went out of business.

    • Thank you Robert, I seem to remember, with your reminder, of that statement. Yet the building was there about 2 decades before failure, and the vibration was there for years. Was metal fatigue at the welds possible? Is the vibrations still there or was that solved after the repair? I haven't been there since, perhaps others can remember the vibration?

      The safety of the North Spur is in doubt by many, mostly because of the existence of marine clay deposits. This material is not very stable, and as slal content gets lower with time, it's strength gets less and failures occur very easily.
      PENG2 says not enough testings has been done to verify the extent of marine clay and silt, so that proper design could be done.
      The Swedish engineer says it is not safe, even at the present water level, if I recall correctly.
      Nalcor says it is safe even under earthquake conditions.
      MFs is not earthquake prone, and perhaps it is assumed safe under low earthquake levels.
      To my knowledge, earthquake intensity is tied to the amplitude of the vibrations, not the frequency of the vibration.
      I have jokingly stated that a final test should be that Graham Letto jump 2 feet high 3 times on the North Spur, and if it holds, say it is safe. More than a year ago I said that if a large vibrator was operated intentionally on the North Spur at the right frequency, the Spur would collapse. It is said that Tesla, a century ago, in New York city, caused a sky scraper to shake with a small device he designed to cause resonance.
      Dam safely should involve both static and vibration loads, and with resonance, frequency is critical.
      Whether a particular frequency is caused by an earthquake or a land slide upstream, who can tell? Likely the North Spur could be tested on effects of particular vibration frequencies,as to induced leakage, but has it?
      Resonance is not a new concept to Nalcor. Indeed, their guidelines now actually prevents large vibrating equipment form the North Spur area. This illustrates the risk that is real, that they know it, that marine clay is very sensitive to vibration.
      The video of the marine clay slide in Norway was started when the farmer was digging with a small backhoe for a shed foundation, was it not?
      Perhaps, on the eve of MFs reservoir, UG should post the link to this video, as a final reminder of the risks well noted by Cabot Martin's book Muskrat Madness. Perhaps the Telegram and the CBC should likewise post links for its readers.
      What more can be said or done before Wednesday, other than hope if holds up? Hope is a poor substitute for proper engineering.
      Winston Adams

  10. Good opinion piece. I wish more people would take fiscal issues seriously in this province.
    One point of contention for me. The author says the province is responsible for the unfunded pension liability. That was certainly true up to the point where joint trusteeship was established a few years ago. Since then any unfunded pension deficit if shared equally with the employees:

    "Joint trusteeship means that both government and plan members will be responsible for the sustainability of the plan and will share equally in surpluses and deficits."

    So things are quite as bad with respect to our pensions position but we are still in a dire fiscal position.

  11. I wrote a long piece this morning, but just before I hit send it vanished, maybe down a rabbit hole, as that was what I was writing partly about. I was writing about the diggers blog, and the part he posted on Rex Murphy and another o Bernie Sanders. Rex, wrote his usual with most words that I can't find in the dictionary so just guessed at most of them, but his main thrust was all the billionears are attending the conference on Sicily. Now as Rex pointed out these guys arrived on half a billion dollar yatchs, aeroplanes with just 2 on board, and one even arriving on a 3 lagged camel, and had to do the last 50 miles without a life jacked swim, and Harry arrived barefooted. Am sure they will find Rex's piece quite amusing. Then the digger post on Bernie, and put him in the same catagory as the billioneas because his book reached record sales and made him an unsuspected million ear. But Bernie is just a tiny million ear, as he has just one million, compared to the multi million ears and billionears. And Bernie was paying his campaign workers 15 bucks an hour as his platform calls for the minimum wage to be 15$ per hour. So, don't see anything wrong with that, practises what he preaches, maybe the point was that all billionears are going to have to pay their workers 15 buck because of Bernie. Now Bernies book was on global warming, and stating the facts that 1 percent of the population owners 90 percent of the wealth of the US, or similar numbers. And Bernie wants it distributed among those who are trying to make a living wage. So is the digger trying to draw Bernies supporters and others down a rabbit hole to get the attention away from global warming and distribution of wealth. Sure appears that way says Joe blow.

    • I too found the Diggers piece from Rex amusing, first quoting Jesus from Matthew, on the ultimate hypocrite definition.
      Rex's comments are mostly copied from other online sources, but no credits for sources, other than the Bible.
      Rex , as we know, is a Rhodes scholar, yet doesn't understand the difference between weather and climate, so he ridicules climate heating when we sometimes get cold weather for a few days.
      Rex is a climate change denier, and such deniers prefer to consider themselves as climate change sceptics.
      Of 12,000 scientific papers 97 % (11,640) cited climate change was caused by fossil fuel burning, while the other 3 % (360) did not agree.
      Our local Rhodes Rex, like the Digger, sides with the 3 %.
      It is said that all who deny the science of climate change has a vested interest in stating what is obviously a false belief. They are of the flat earth crowd in thinking.
      Hypocrites come in different sizes, like McDonald's chips, or Coke, and can be supersized.
      There is the celebrity crowd who acknowledges climate change and the cause, but consider themselves exempt from meaningful reduction to the problem. Then there is the sceptics/deniers who refuse to acknowledge the cause of the problem and deny the science, and ridicule the big celebrities, while wishing they were one of them.
      Rex is in company with the Pope who jailed Galilao over 400 years ago when he stated the earth revolves around the sun. The Pope denied scientific facts, and a more recent Pope apologised just a couple of decades ago.
      Peckford and Rhodes Rex rank with that medieval thinking.
      Since the 12,000 and 97 % from 2012 year, it is now 99% in agreement with the climate science. Our Nfld boys, who deny , deny , deny are now in the 1 percenter group on this subject. Rex says he is harassed by people opposing his views. Poor Rex, my heart goes out to him, as he is stuck for words to defend himself.
      Many of his ilk are writing that Greta Thunberg, the school strike activist, is mentally deranged. She has the truth of science on her side, so don't need the Digger nor Rhodes Rex. When she travels by sea, she don't go by a 400 million dollar power yacht, but by sailing craft, with solar panels and a turbine under the hull for electricity productions. She is sailing the Atlantic for New York soon. No hypocrite there. She refuses to fly, not even commercial.
      UG readers may recall my mentioning of her some months ago,her name as a force of nature, part thunder part berg. The 300 celebrities and their 20 million Goggle Party is child's play.The child is the real adult.
      Winston Adams

  12. "Michelle Mungall, B.C.’s Minister of Energy and Mines, said the disaster sent shock waves through the mining industry worldwide.

    “It was a big lesson,” she said. “It’s a lesson of what happens when you don’t have a good regulatory regime.”

    Well Robert a dam underlain by quick clay failed. With a virtually non existent regulator regime for MF I wonder what can go wrong?!!??