Guest Post by David Vardy
warnings about the North Spur have been ignored.

Lennart Elfgren and Dr. Stig Bernander, both full professors at the Lulea
University of Technology in Sweden, wrote the Minister of Natural Resources on
August 1, 2019.  In their technical report entitled A Downward Progressive Failure of the North Spur at Muskrat Falls – A Possibility that ought to be investigated and mitigated, dated July 25, 2019, submitted
to the Minister, they said that “The most critical inclined progressive
downward failure surfaces of the North Spur at Muskrat Falls have not been
properly investigated. Relevant stress/strain properties of the metastable soil
layers have not been made available, and no independent external experts seem
to have reviewed this aspect of the stabilization work.”

said that old methodology was used to assess the safety of the North Spur, the
same model which had been used unsuccessfully at other failure sites, such as
Mount Polley, a copper/gold tailings pond owned by Imperial Metals and located
in central British Columbia. They repeated their call for an independent panel
of experts to undertake the research and to assess the need for further
remedial work.

2014 a major breach took place at Mount Polley where the storage facility
overflowed due to the failure of the embankment. An Inquiry (report
entitled:  Report on Mount Polley Tailings and Storage Facilities Breach”, dated January 30, 2015, was undertaken by a Panel led by Dr. Norbert Morgenstern, a geotechnical
scientist, as chair of a panel of eminent geoscientists. In its report the
Panel concluded:

that the dominant contribution to the failure resides in the design. The design
did not take into account the complexity of the sub-glacial and pre-glacial
geological environment associated with the Perimeter Embankment foundation. As
a result, foundation investigations and associated site characterization failed
to identify a continuous GLU layer (glaciolacustrine: “Sediments deposited into
lakes that have come from glaciers are called glaciolacustrine deposits.”)  in the vicinity of the breach and to
recognize that it was susceptible to undrained failure when subject to the
stresses associated with the embankment…”

Panel has examined the historical risk profile of the current portfolio of
tailings dams in B.C.and concluded that the future requires not only an
improved adoption of best applicable practices (BAP), but also a migration to
best available technology (BAT). Examples of BAT are filtered, unsaturated,
compacted tailings and reduction in the use of water covers in a closure
setting.” (Executive Summary of Panel Report, page 8)

(Trees ripped from the roots caused by the tailings pond breach at Mount Polley Mine. Photo: Laurie Hamelin/APTN News)

undersigned called Dr. Morgenstern on December 14, 2016. My purpose was to
assess the Mount Polley terms of reference for a potential technical review of
the North Spur.  The issues on which I
was seeking his advice related, among others, to the amount of time required to
prepare a report, the cost, the selection of members, and whether experts
giving testimony should be giving their evidence under oath. I learned that the
cost was in the order of $2 million.

PUB was holding an investigation into reliability issues post interconnection
with Muskrat Falls as part of their investigation into “Power Outages and
Supply Issues” and the Grand River Keepers (GRK) of Labrador were attempting to
inform the North Spur issue by filing expert testimony prepared by Dr. Stig
Bernander. I told Dr. Morgenstern NL Hydro had objected to the evidence
provided by Dr. Stig Bernander and had asked it to be struck from the PUB
record. I also told Dr. Morgenstern that the remediation of the North Spur and
attestations of its safety and stability, if any could be found, had yet to be
tested in any forum which allows for public input.

mentioned the work of Dr. Gregory Brooks of the Geological Survey of Canada on
seismic activity and landslides, presented to the Joint Environmental Review
Panel on the Lower Churchill hydro development, but indicated that subsequent
research and remedial action had not been examined publicly. The North Spur
received limited attention from the joint panel. This very fact warranted the
creation of a forum for its review.

Morgenstern recognized Dr. Bernander as a credible expert. Dr. Morgenstern said
that the commitment to a Mount Polley type panel would be difficult to obtain
from government in light of the effort, time and cost involved. He said the
Mount Polley panel took six months and cost several million dollars. He said
they had requested eight months but the Minister wanted it done in six months.

following quotes come from the Morgenstern Report into Mount Polley (page 135):

breach of the Perimeter Embankment on August 4, 2014 was caused by shear
failure of dam foundation materials when the loading imposed by the dam
exceeded the capacity of these materials to sustain it. The failure occurred
rapidly and without precursors.

evidence of this failure mechanism is provided by an identified shear surface
in surviving remnants of the dam core and by deformations consistent with shearing
in a weaker glacially-deposited layer of silt and clay about 8–10 metres (m)
below the original ground surface. This layer, its properties, and its extent
received intense scrutiny during this investigation, and analyses using
representative parameters provide indirect evidence that further supports this
failure mechanism.

in a complex geologic environment, the weaker glaciolacustrine layer was
localized to the breach area. It went undetected, in part because the
subsurface investigations were not tailored to the degree of this complexity.
But neither was it ever targeted for investigation because the nature of its
strength behaviour was not appreciated.”

report went on to say (page 140) in its recommendations:

the limitations of the current Canadian Dam Association (CDA) Guidelines
incorporated as a statutory requirement, develop improved guidelines that are
tailored to the conditions encountered with TSFs (Tailings Storage Facilities)
in British Columbia and that emphasize protecting public safety.” This was a
recognition that the Canadian Dam Association Guidelines do not necessarily
apply to all dams, such as the North Spur which is not an engineered and
constructed dam.

May 9, 2017, the Grand River Keeper and the Labrador Land Protectors presented
a petition to the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador on the steps of the
Confederation Building. The petition, accepted by Minister Perry Trimper on
behalf of government, was signed by 1000 people. It called for the appointment
of an independent panel of geo-technical experts to undertake research, to
assess the safety and stability of the North Spur and to consult widely and
publicly. To my knowledge no response was ever given by the government. The
panel of experts was to be led by an eminent geo-scientist and to be selected
in consultation with community stakeholders in Labrador.

repeated warnings little action has been taken. While Nalcor did engage a
geotechnical peer review panel (GPRP) it did not consult with experts nor were
local people engaged in selecting the panel or in framing its terms of
reference. Drs. Elfgren and Bernander commented on the work of the GPRP as

the GPRP did not undertake any stability evaluation of their own. They only
provided an opinion solely related to reviewing available data and results
based on the concept and the methods used by SLI (SNC Lavalin) and the client.
Thus, their assessment of the North Spur stability issues is wrongly based on
ideal soil plasticity – i.e. the simplified, so-called Limit Equilibrium Mode
(LEM). This model is far from being valid in fully water saturated metastable
soil layers. Hence, the GPRP makes no representation regarding the accuracy of
the SLI analyses, thus also disclaiming any liability in connection therewith.”
(page 5 of Bernander/Elfgren Paper).

Hydro engineer Jim Gordon also wrote the Minister July 29, 2019. He wrote in support of the work by Drs. Elfgren
and Bernander. He said:

the base of the Spur there is a layer of soft soil sloping slightly downstream,
where a sliding failure could easily occur. The failure would be rapid under
the force exerted by the reservoir waters impounded against the Spur. There
would be no warning, and no time to evacuate downstream residents.

Bernander and Dr. Elfgren have analysed the possibility of such a failure using
the low strength of the soft base layer and not the average strength of the
Spur soils, since the failure will occur in the weakest layer, not the “average

result is a safety factor well below 1.0 indicating failure. A safety factor of
at least 1.6 is required to ensure safety.”

Natural Resources Minister Siobhan Coady and Premier Dwight Ball

undersigned wrote to Minister Coady on August 1, 2019. In my letter I said:

have been told that Nalcor has mitigated all the risks and that we should trust
Nalcor to do the right thing.  Is there
any basis on which the public can have trust that Nalcor has left no stone
unturned in its quest to maximize public safety and to minimize the risk of a
devastating dam failure or earth slide? Sadly we do not think there is! The
public has no basis to trust Nalcor. Do you? If so, you have a duty to inform
the public of the basis for your trust.

 “As the responsible Minister you carry a heavy
burden of responsibility to seek the best advice on how you can discharge your
duties and to give appropriate weight to conflicting advice from different
sources. In the few short days leading up to impoundment you  have to ask yourself whether appropriate
weight has been given to the voice of the 
people who live exposed to the shadow of this existential threat.”

of the dam began on Tuesday August 6. Nalcor, on Tuesday, issued the following

activities at the Muskrat Falls site required for impoundment (raising water
levels in the Muskrat Falls reservoir) have been completed. In preparation of
impoundment, we’ve also made changes to the gates in the Spillway. Given recent
increased precipitation in the lower Churchill River, water flows are naturally
increasing. We anticipate that the water levels in the reservoir will begin to
increase later this evening and will rise to approximately 30m over the coming
days. We anticipate that by the end of September the water level in the
reservoir will reach its final required elevation of 39m.”

conclude by repeating my challenge to the Minister to defend to the public the
basis for her trust in Nalcor in light of their past performance, so
graphically exposed during the Muskrat Falls Inquiry: “The public has no basis
to trust Nalcor. Do you? If so you have a duty to inform the public of the
basis for your trust.”

particular the Minister must defend the basis for her trust in Nalcor to those
people most directly threatened by the North Spur and who live below the dam.



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?


    • Anon, reading a refresher on dam failures last evening. If the dam shows no significant problems when filled to the desired level, it is a good indication that it may hold, but no guarantee. It may take a few years for full effects to settlement and then a sudden failure may occur.
      Also a safety factor as such, even if indication it is good, is not a guarantee, and may be of little value. This seems to be so, in particular to natural dams instead of engineered dams where materials, foundation data is known, and construction is of best practise.
      Seems clear , all residents downstream are guinea pigs in this scandalous scheme, and it seems thousands are at risk, all the more so in winter, I suggest.
      I am now of the opinion it may even be impossible to make this dam safe. I recall a statement by Berander "In Sweden we would never construct a dam on a site like this", If it can be made safe, I suggest it will be at very significant additional cost ( but less than the cost of death and destruction form a sudden failure.)
      Winston Adams
      Winston Adams

  1. “The public has no basis to trust Nalcor. Do you? If so you have a duty to inform the public of the basis for your trust.”

    Congratulations David you have at long last stiffened your spine and at the last moment given the political challenge MF has long required.

    The collective work by you, Riverkeepers, Dr. Bernander and Dr. Elfgren, Jim Gordon, Landprotectors on their sterling work outlining the shortcomings in the Nalcor/SNC/JRP/PUB science on the spur and the lack of creditable public input. Congratulations all!

    I can only assume that the work recommended by Greg Brooks of the Geological Survey of Canada was not entertained by his political masters and subsequent request to him went silent. This shows the depth of denial if true.

    Press the SOB's for answers to your articulate questions backed by good science NOW!

    As we all know there is no time to waste!

    • 1.May we now assume that Bruno has flipped again and endorses engineers Jim Gordon's force calculations on the North Spur, and the Bruno's past physics/mass comment is a red herring? That Gordon's figures on force qualifies as "good science"?
      2. Can Bruno give a straightforward compliment without a backhand "you have at long last stiffened your spine to inform the public"
      I have previously referenced Nalcor risk engineer and his fish bone diagram, with the spine bones on an angle, pointing to the risk at the head. I suggested for Nalcor a jellyfish diagram, a spineless fish was more appropriate.
      Surely, Vardy has never been without a stiff spine. Yeoman service to the public good is an understatement.
      One thing for sure, for the most part, Bruno remains consistent in being inconsistent, more comedian than a serious character.
      Vardy better jump, NOW, as Bruno demands it. Who cannot smile at Bogus Bruno. I am amazed that Vardy had communications with the expert on Mount Polley in 2016, and this on my radar only this past week or so. Must be my meds, as Bruno suggests. And what, Bruno, of all the other lazy buggers ignoring Mount Polley? MUN, and engineer and geotech guys here?
      Winston Adams

  2. I think a permanent camp site should be set up downstream of muskrat. It should be manned, (occupied) in shifts of several days by government and nalcor officials. This shift rotation should continue for at least 2 years. Others such as the previous givernment, MHAs that voted to sanction etc. should volunteer their time of overnight stays. And let's not forget the Feds that participated in supporting this project knowing full well the spur was a risk to those living downstream. And the engineers that gave their approval should man the camp permentally for up to 2 years. This is all in the form of public floggings and jail time for their misdeeds, but more importantly for risking the lives of people living downstream of muskrat and the undue stress placed on the people of the province in fincincial terms. I won't list them by name, but you all know who you are says Joe blow.

  3. Minister Coady is walking on quicksand, (Clay). She is unknowing of the added risks she takes with public safety, Financial sustainability, and government credibility. Time for a vote on confidence.

  4. Essential viewing for understanding the North Spur is the video at
    Over two years ago I called Dr. Norbert Morgenstern, the chair of the Mount Polley Inquiry. My purpose was to understand how an Inquiry into the North Spur might be put in place and what the cost would be.
    The failure of the embankment at Mount Polley raises questions similar to those at the North Spur. Dr. Morgenstern told me his Inquiry cost $2 million.
    Let us assume that an Inquiry into the stability of the North Spur will cost $4 million, double the amount of the Mount Polley Inquiry. Who would deny that this would be a wise investment?
    It raises the question as to why the government has accepted Nalcor’s advice, given the many disclosures from the Muskrat Falls Inquiry which undermine the credibility of Nalcor Energy.
    Having failed to deal with the methylmercury issue government quickly placed $30 million on the table to seek absolution for their egregious and fully predictable dereliction of duty. Why would they not spend $4 million to mitigate the risk of failure of the North Spur?
    David Vardy

    • This full documentary is terrifying. It s amazing watching whole barns and houses flowing out int the lake. Sounds like 30 ha in all slid away (if I read my thermometer correctly :<).

      As a result the nation was examined for quick clay extent. Quite a departure from NL and Nalcor that refuse to examine even this spur crucial to a 13-15 Billion investment. WTF!

    • PS A cynic would say there was no one to readily bribe with the spur.

      Lampe did a remarkable job refusing the 10 million as a bribe for deliberately letting the capping deadline pass. He rightly called out the other two "leaders" for taking the bribe over the broken promise.

      Once again our government has disgraced us all and again has broken promises arrived at after solemn negotiation. The NL government(not the people) is a disgusting colonial overlord again breaking promises when the ink is barely dry on the agreement.

      As to the other two history will mark you as having peddled your birthright for $26 worth of beads!

  5. Simmons repeatedly brings up that the commissioner must keep in mind that the TOR requires 'reasonableness' to take into account what knowledge was "available at the time".

    Below is part of my online comment relevant to that issue sent to the inquiry yesterday.

    1.4 Furthermore, because government, Nalcor or various witnesses may not have had knowledge “available” to the institution/agency or to them personally and/or at the time, that does not mean that it was not “available” in the public and/or professional or expert arena. And it does not provide adequate, reasonable grounds to excuse them for not seeking out and obtaining such information.

    • excellent comment, and this whole inquiry framing of ToF and the operation of the Inquiry has been to keep out of the Inquiry information that was available in the public forum, and especially should have been known to these power companies.
      One thing for Dan to say they this is hindsight, info was not known, another entirely for this Inquiry to avoid such public information to be part of evidence of this Inquiry.
      So , as Bruno would say, this is a farce, enabled by his Honour Justice Leblanc, by deliberate exclusion of information and experts in key areas, to allow a get out of jail free to Nalcor and goverment, PUB or Fortis: Wilful blindness also by Leblanc, so where is the justice, and these guys complementing each other, high fives as to what a wonderfull job by all. It is Sickening.
      Winston Adams

    • WA @ 12:57:

      My understanding is any publically available document is available to LeBlanc when making his recommendations, doesn't need to be registered as an exhibit – so, media reports, PUB submissions etc are fair game to him. This was touched on a few times in procedural discussions and with AW on the stand – however what he cannot do is review new privately held information should any come to his attention (say if the missing log books showed up). This principle will be key when he needs to defines 'reasonable' and 'good practice'.

      As for what was available – there was lots of dissenting info publically available at the time, just because it contradicts the opinion of DS's clients doesn't mean it didn't exist. The plausible deniability argument is weak at best – ignoring info doesn't mean it wasn't available or obtainable, this is the standard to apply in this respect.

      A more interesting argument will be duty of care and to whom did Nalcor owe a duty to and what is the duty of care owed to the public be elected governments. So, do Crown corps have a duty to the people or just to government; and since the ECA does say Nalcor doesn't bind the Crown on MF, it will be interesting to see how this is interpreted.


    • It owes a duty to the public but the reality despite what Nalcor says is only to governments, led especially by malignant narcissists like NL has had an abundance of in the past 70 years (one in particular recently, 3 cent teabags anyone?).

    • PENG2, I have seen at the PUB recommendations for more CDM by Tom Johnson, opposed by Nfld Power. I assumed it would be adopted , but Gary Smith of Nfld power assured me it would not. His final submission , like mow, stated that because Johnson called no expert evidence to support his position, it was not valid, and so Andy Wells and the PUB went with Nfld Power. Johnson obviously must have known this , as he never inteded to call expert evidence. So a game they play, all in the same bed together.
      No expert, so no reasonable good evidence , so dismiss it.
      Here no expert for CDM, wind, or island hydro…….go figure!
      A set up, a farce, from day one.

    • Robert, I was surprised that in counting the alternatives to MFs ignored, he entirely left out : CDM, Wind, and additional island hydro. All of these had no experts to advise the commissioner, although others at times stated such experts would be appropriate to address points raised in this regard.
      Whether the Consumer Advocate will address that, but I am not at all impressed with Budden on this. He mentioned a faulty forecast, but nothing on CDM which drives down loads and peak demand.
      So ignoring these, we jump from a 2 billion to a 8-13 billion issue, forgetting the path of lowest cost. Vardy is well aware of that, how could Budden ignore it today?
      Winston Adams

    • I wondered about that, we're see.
      Meanwhile Smith has mentioned alternatives more than Budden, touching on island hydro and wind. Smith also mentions importance of experts opinions……but as I said , no experts where needed.

    • Agree with comments on CDM etc….and no one mentioned or addresses that the only reason it would appear that we needed more power was because of the 3 month bump in the winter time. Now I don't know the answer, but surely some hydro expert should have been able to solve that challenge with a hell of a lot less than 12, 000,000,000$. Average Joe.

    • Not hard to knock down the 3 month bump. but they (Nfld POwer and Nfld Hydro) give us the middle finger regular with Take Charge:programmable thermostats that bring all heaters full tilt in the morning, schools now going from oil to baseboard(not heatpump) gone up from 11 to 24 I hear, and parts of MUN going inefficient electric heat…….lots of money to spend making the problem worse.,even before MFs in operation and whether reliable…….
      So, if a shortage of hydro power, more fuel to burn, longer outages etc, the hole digs deeper, with these 2 legged scallywags.

    • Well these buggers need to be stopped dead in their tracks…right now. There is no way, that govt. should be wasting money on converting oil heated buildings to hydro heated. As you say digging the hole deeper, and the bump bigger. They are also offering incentives to people that heat their homes with oil to switch to hydro. NL power and hydro have being doing that for years, Stratton said we had not reached the saturation point yet. Do these half wits with oil on the brain have no shame. Meanwhile the bump grows bigger. Is that their strategy to grow the bump so that in a few years we will need gull island power at anothe 20 billion. Toss the buggers out. What does Chess and Alliston say. What does the people say this time. What does Leblanc recommend. The buggers are doing it again. Where is the brave fearless media. They should be reporting this daily and hourly. Are they too busy with chase the ace again and the Dildo buzz. Yes by, they say get more ferries we are going to need them to bring in more Dildo tourist. Yes, and how about this, on another topic that VOCM is telling us about zipper merge, saw that on the ORR, a couple days ago , and those in the out side lane passing 2 km of traffic @ break neck speed to get to the zipper merge and cut off 300 other vehicles. Self proclaimed cops the VOCM, and probably the public advertising paid for by the dept of transportation or RNC. Average Joe.

    • I hear that consultants are not pleased with going backwards as to energy conservation for buildings, but none speak out. The obsolete baseboard heat, William Coaker put in his bungalow in 1917!
      In the 1960s it was cheap to install and power was cheap…..those days are over, and yet they continue on with this shit …….where is leadership from ALteen and Nfld Power? What does Ches and economist Coffin say?
      Andy Wells blasted Nfld Power on VOCM a few days ago, but Andy let them away easy when he was on the PUB.
      Now to day Dan Simmonds says the PUB always had authority with CDM! If so , then Andy feared to ramp it up as did NS. and he also paid them for imprudent studies, a millions bucks almost.That is a matter of record.ANd now the same studies handed to them again by govn! But no one cares what they do, so as a whole we are suckers and they take us for a ride, big time. We deserve this boondoogle when we ignore what they do, and we are still ignoring their shitting on us and laughing with their TV ads, unchanged in attitude.
      Maybe Bay de Espoir goes on the block we hear today. Who is waiting for that gem?
      PENG2 will make a bit more dividends, so he is never critical of Nfld Power or Fortis.
      Does he still say finish but not use MFs? No impoundment? Pause it?

  6. Re Budden's evidence that P Factor reduced to ensure project's sanction:

    Mt November 2013 Telegram article:–

    Nalcor should be brought to task

    The Telegram (St. John’s)9 Nov 2013BY MAURICE E. ADAMS Maurice E. Adams writes from Paradise.

    If there is any one thing related to the Muskrat Falls project that is, in my opinion, perverted, it is not government’s communications strategy, not government’s single-minded approach, not a poor leadership style by the premier.

    Instead, it is Nalcor’s application of industry's decision gate (DG) project planning process.

    The decision gate process was supposed to ensure that decisions made were based on a sound business case (and thereby be in the best interest of ratepayers).

    However, Nalcor’s track record seems to have been one that has been focused, first and foremost, on ensuring that the project receives government sanction (and sufficient funds) to bring the project to a point of no return.

    For the second (DG2) decision gate milestone, major project costs (such as interest during construction) were kept out of the decision making process.

    For the third (DG3) decision gate milestone, certain project contingency costs were reduced from 15 per cent to seven per cent, and by so doing, project cost estimates were kept below Wade Locke’s $8 billion “not economic” estimate.

    While Nalcor admits that it has long known about the problems associated with the North Spur dam, work leading to understanding the magnitude and probability of dam failure and the potential for designing an economically viable fix (geotechnical-type work) — work that should have been the very earliest engineering type work — was not completed until mid to late 2013 (six months after project sanction).

    • Think Eddie heard that word mentioned somewhere, Decision Gate, DG and thought it was the best term, since term 29, and since sliced bread and ran with it….and became his own gatekeeper. Cathy and cabinet were highly impressed with such a wizard and his great choice of words. I used to call it GD, God Dam the Dam Gate. And now will the Gate and Spur hold. Joe blow.

  7. Furthermore, the cost estimate for the design and construction of a North Spur fix has still not been released, and Nalcor has reported that tenders for construction of a North Spur fix are not planned until 2014 — conveniently unknown to ratepayers (and possibly government) until well after another key project milestone (the award of a potentially “point of no return” $1-billion contract related to the dam) has passed.

    Also, information on actual cost overruns (rumoured to date to be very high) have not been released.

    Accordingly, I would ask, if project financing (at reasonable rates, backed up by a federal loan guarantee) has not yet been secured, if the need for more power has not been demonstrated to the satisfaction of either an independent federal review panel or our own Public Utilities Board (PUB), if the so-called water management agreement with Quebec has not been shown to be on solid legal ground, if the decision gate process has not been properly applied, then on what basis has the Muskrat Falls project been sanctioned and on what sound, democratic/legislative basis does Nalcor have for the expenditure from the province’s treasury of a further $1 billion (that the province does not have) and that will most assuredly be a project tipping point — a point of no return?

    Our provincial government needs (now) to move towards a more rational, needs/evidencebased approach to what others have described as the most important public policy issue since confederation.

    While Premier Kathy Dunderdale recently said, in part, that she would not resign because “I have been given a piece of work to do by our party…,” I would suggest that her first duty is not to the party but to her fellow citizens.

    It is the people, not the party, that the premier is here to serve.

    If government is to look out for the best interest of ratepayers (as the premier claims), if the people of this province are to be protected, Muskrat Falls needs further, needsbased and evidence-based (and more independent) review and oversight.

    Will our premier go into the history books as one who had a misplaced sense of duty, who abrogated her first and most important duty?

    Will she put the best interest of ratepayers on the back burner and leave them to a premier in waiting? Yes, premier. You do have a piece of work to do — and your duty is clear.

    Had to post in 2 parts

    • The colossal dupe Dunderdale has secured her dubious place in the history of NL as a result of the MRF debacle, and it ain't pretty.

      In fact, the disastrous project that has unfolded on the Lower Churchill partly as a result of the ill-suited Dunderdale allowing her naivety and gullibility to be leveraged to maximum effect by that vile fucker Ed Martin… has far surpassed in the scale of fiscal damages to the province J.R. Smallwood's now comparativley minor fumble on the Upper Churchill file. At least Smallwood's screw-up didn't put the solvency of the entire province at risk.

      Dunderdale may find it rather difficult to derive any pride in her legacy of "public service" at the provincial government level, and rightfully so.

      The lamentable fact of the matter is that this Dunderdale individual would've better-served the people of the province if she'd just remained a town councilor out around wherever the hell it is she comes from.

  8. Good that Budden raised the North Spur with Leblanc, most important issue, but maybe too late unless Leblanc acts quickly.
    PENG2, said finish MFs but don't operate, don't impound. Sound prudent and I assume he stands by that, due to stability doubts?
    As to mitigation of rates, 12,000 last year alone mitigating, so rate payers acting as expected and predicted.

  9. Not willful blindness but fraud should be the charge against Williams, Dunderdale and Martin. They are the 3 musketeers that are responsible for putting NL on the brink of financial disaster with the MF fiasco.

  10. In view of RObert Holmes suggestion, I have quickly read Budden's submission seeking references to alternatives to MFs. As to CDM, heat pumps, wind , island hydro, it contains not more than 2 lines of 84 pages. Even this is references made by witnesses that are not experts in energy efficiency or wind or hydro.
    Very disappointing, in that lowest cost reliable power should not have cost more than 2 billion.
    I regret my circumstances did not permit being able to meet with Budden or others to more more weight on these matters. I had offered financial assistance to MFCCC for advise from an energy efficiency consultant, but got no response to the offer.
    Winston Adams

    • BUDDEN"S submission
      There is 2 words of interest :end-use. There is no explanation, as to it's importance. I'm thinking Budden does not understand it, nor any of the many lawyers there, except lawyers for the power companies, who want no discussion on that. Leblanc does not understand it. Kate, whether by accident or design, misled Leblanc on it, and was corrected by Grant Thorton, when Stratton was on the stand. By having no EE expert, this matter got buried. It was key to having a proper professional forecast of power, and why now power use is gone negative.
      Perhaps the only Inquiry lawyer who could have addresses this was Collins, who came later after Stratton and the terrible trio.

      Budden has interesting comments on Danny Williams. Bruno should read this and advise UG readers his impressions.
      Winston Adams

    • The CONSUMER ADVOCATE submission:
      It has full 3 pages on forecasting, many times citing the incompetence of Stratton, his avoidance of best practises such as end-use, promoting more electric baseboard, etc
      essentially as I stated following Stratton's evidence.
      Right now Erin Breen for Dunderdale presents on why MFs was least cost…….sickening, yuk. Leblanc not swallowing this BS by Breen
      Winston Adams

    • Breen suggesting we are now viewing this from hindsight!
      As to sight:
      What of foresight? No foresight, except by naysayers.
      What of wilful blindness? Budden did mention wilful blindness in his submission, but not one during the Inquiry. Why?
      Breen say this Inquiry subjected constantly to hindsight bias!
      A plea for ignorance as an excuse.

    • Breen says key issues were : do we need the power, answer yes, what was least cost ; MFs she says. She says not a political issue to want MFs.
      What a joke? Leblanc stops and questions her. Projects shifts from MFs as export to domestic, yet excluded from PUB etc…..Breen stumbles, poor response……a BS answer. Facial expression of Leblanc and Breen says much.

    • Breen goes off an a tangent she says, and says equal engineering was done on MFs and the Isolaated opion.
      Time to hit the gong. No consideration of CDM, no reasonable wind and much island hydro ignored. GONG, GONG time. Leblanc questions her on other points, but points out no risk analysis done on the Isolated options. Breen says the PUB could have said the Isolated was least cost, but didn't.
      Dunderdale quilty…….absolutely,my opinion, can't be whitewashed……..but Breen goes on with ore BS

    • Breen says Nalcor exhaustively studied all options of power supply: she cites Hatch wind study ( this was never challenged beofr this Inquiry, and was concocked to not use our wind.
      She ignored island hydro. . She noever mentioned CDM ( becasue this is not power supply, but reduces power demand) : Conclusion: alternatives were far from exhaustively studied. Deception and false statements made by Breen for Dunderdale.

    • Leblanc asks why approaches like Norway uses was not used here. Breen says that is hindsight…but could be used for Gull Island.
      She says cost of those appraches must be considered ( this always used as an excuse by our governemnrt: Dan and Ralph, Coffey,etc yet have wasted billions!
      Big joke : Breen says Nalcor had best directors available at the time. Say don't need experts on a board, hire experts when needed. An argument to have idiots on a board.

    • Breen cites numerous instances of Blunderdales ignorance on a large scale, whether P factor or many others. Never would proceed if P1 or P3 she says, Leblanc wonders if she knew it might be P15 or P20
      Gong machine just broke with laughter ( sound levels of the Beothic building having poor acoustic mitigation, laughter decibels higher that Nlacor used for seismic testing, special shielding used to prevent laugher from the internet mikes) as to how ignorant our Premier was.
      Breen concludes her BS, RESPECTIVELY. Leblanc had no more question for her. His notes say " She gone b'ys , she gone, the arse is right out of her. Hopeless, complete BS by Breen, but must keep me cool, can't let Nflders know my real thoughts"

  11. Shut down Muscrat Falls and get the power from Hydro Quebec. With HQ’s contract expiring in 2042 NL would be in a favourable position to make a deal that could be beneficial to both NH and HQ. What I envision is that HQ sells NH 500 megawatts at very low price for 22 years. This combined with NH’s 300 megawatts would equal Muscrat Falls output. In exchange for this NH would guarantee an agreed upon price till 2064. If this deal is made the Government could level a (call it a Carbon) Tax of at least 5 cents a kwh and still keep rates down to 10 cents a kwh. The money from this should go to pay off the MF loans.
    Gerry Goodman

  12. I believe the focus now should be on the urgency to suspend the filling of the reservoir. The recklessness of the Ball, (Minority) Government proceeding into potential high risk and uncertain danger, is totally unacceptable. David Vardy and Budden have shown the red flag. Who will take the necessary action to direct Stan to suspend this unsafe activity, bring in some expertise, and know the danger. We need to bring this to the House, and if necessary pull the plug on the Government. A non confidence vote following Emergency Debate.

  13. Everyone should have a look at this short video that shows quick clay being stirred in a container.

    This is NOT the kind of material you want in a dam. Furthermore, if we pump water out of the spur, we could slowly desalinate the old marine deposits. The video clip shows that table salt makes it stiffer. Does anyone know if we will will be pumping water out of the North Spur?

    • Previously mentioned on these blog comments: Dump trucks with material from the north spur liquefying when they went over rough roads. Drilling rods sinking several feet over nigh under their own weight.

      It seems to me that the North Spur is marbled with unsuitable dam material.

      If it wasn't uncommon for judges weren't bought off or subject to blackmail, it would be reasonable to expect a court order to prevent reservoir filling pending the North Spur certification as a suitable dam by an independent engineering authority. If no firm in Canada is willing to risk this (given the unknowns), then the project is dead for public safety reasons. That, or complete relocation of everything in harms way and fencing off the entire area downstream as a preserve with no human access (like nuclear contaminated sites are).

      If the dam does fail and becomes a historic engineering failure rivaling the Quebec bridge, who is punished and how? I expect nobody other than those that are crushed by the mud will suffer while those that deserve to be hung will be hanging loose and enjoying their wealth in luxury retirement.

    • Yes. Ball is spooked by the wake from his tiller. He should be scanning the bergie bits in front of his bow! Without a comprehensive plan for sustainable development, and Energy Policy, NL will drift rudderless into more chaos!

  14. Breen suggests that at pre-sanction oil prices were expected to continue to rise and energy demand would increase.

    See 2012 excerpt from my website.



    Ratepayers NOT PROTECTED — WHY NOT?

    In 2007, Premier Dunderdale said:

    “the (oil) companies needed some downside protection if the price of oil went very, very low.”

    Now why would offshore oil companies need to be "protected" against low oil prices?

    If multi-billion dollar oil companies need protection against low oil prices, what will low oil prices mean for Muskrat Falls, for government, —– for ratepayers ?

    70% of the so-called cost advantage of Muskrat Falls is due to Nalcor's 50-year, high, very high, oil cost forecast.

    In short, the viability of Muskrat Falls depends on oil prices going HIGH, and staying HIGH — VERY HIGH.

    So if oil prices go lower, (and oil companies are protected), will ratepayers also be 'protected' from the "locked-in" take or pay 50-year rates imposed by Muskrat Falls?

    In short —— NO.

    If oil prices go low, ratepayers are still LOCKED IN to Nalcor's 50-year "take or pay" contract. That way, Nalcor is protected — AT THE EXPENSE OF ratepayers!

    So, since the Premier recognizes that oil companies (and Nalcor by way of its 50-year, 'take or pay' contract) need protection from low oil prices, why is that so? And why then is there no protection for ratepayers?

    Since ratepayers are not protected, how then (and for whom) does Muskrat Falls make sense?

    NOT HAVING "low oil price" protection for island ratepayers is the Muskrat Falls EQUIVALENT of a not having an "escalator" clause in the Upper Churchill contract.

    Surely, that should be a non-starter.


    Ratepayers NOT PROTECTED — WHY NOT?

    In the case of Muskrat Falls, ratepayers/taxpayers are doubly at risk. While Nalcor is also protected (through its 'take or pay' contract) against 'low demand', there is NO PROTECTION for ratepayers (and taxpayers) against low demand.

    If demand is lower than forecast, Nalcor still MUST HAVE the hundreds of millions in cash flow every year to meet its debt servicing and operating costs ($14.5 billion over 50 years) — and those BILLIONS must come from island ratepayers or taxpayers.

    And again, with respect to oil prices, here is what the Bank of Canada has to say:- (an excerpt from the Globe and Mail article "Mark Carney takes dimmer view of U.S., Europe, China", JEREMY TOROBIN, Jul. 18, 2012):

    • "The Bank of Canada …warns that world prices for oil … could be “substantially weaker” through 2014 than it was expecting three months ago….. Oil prices, which have fallen about 15 per cent since April, are “expected to be substantially weaker through 2014,” the bank said, “largely owing to diminished prospects for global demand.”

    Also, from "All aboard the oil price roller coaster" by MICHAEL VAUGHAN, July 10, 2012 (Globe and Mail) …

    • "a study from Harvard (by Leonardo Maugeri, a former oil company senior executive who is now at the Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs)….says there’s been such a sharp increase in world oil production that the price of oil could “collapse” for the long term."

    • He says that “The shale/tight oil boom in the United States is not a temporary bubble, but the most important revolution in the oil sector in decades,”….. His estimate is that the United States could …by 2020 become the second largest oil producer in the world after Saudi Arabia.

    • The report’s bottom line is that the new production could lead to a sharp, long term drop in oil prices. Maugeri believes if oil prices remain above $70 per barrel, sufficient investment will occur to sustain continued growth in production, possibly leading to oil overproduction after 2015." UNQUOTE

    • Back to the 300 million minor issue says Tommie, in the totality it is minor say godfather. God breaks up his sound again.
      Leblanc hung up agin on the 300 million ( but ignores the 6 billion of real least cost: being 2 billion). Leblanc admits spending inordinate amount of time on 300 million but considers it important.

    • Godfather blames SNC as to cost increase,…..again God, or the devil, breaks up his sound.
      Godfather blames Astladi ……..
      These 2 factors is his Respectively submitted. Godfather wants Leblanc to take a balanced approach to his considerations. He's says brother Dan is bringing 3 cent tea bags to Nflers, a great mitigation of rates.
      Godfather says stop harping on negativity. The future is bright.
      Yes , there are naysayers, but hopefully we built an asset to be proud of, and control our own destiny.
      Reality was that rates were to go up anyway, say godfather.
      Unlike Breen, godfather says boards of directors can be improved.
      As to duty to document…….be careful, the godfather wants no duty to document.
      Godfather quotes a silly statement of Churchill.
      Godfather thanks all staff if Inquiry.
      Leblanc has questions, about Danny's "Master of our own destiny"
      Godfather don't want to defend that statement.
      Question ; Exclusion of risks by MHI, and Bown's involvement.
      Godfather says he can't speak to that. But says witnesses were honest, not deceitful.
      Question: Natural gas, and J Kennedy's involvement .
      Godfather: Kennedy was honest and did take notes, his credability was as good as anyone
      Question: On risks….
      Godfather: I'm in a difficult position, godfather takes 5th ammendment on that.
      Question: You seem to be shifting blame?
      Godfather: Mutters something, seems BS. Then quotes Stan Marshall " when is enough enough, as to oversight. We are not prefect.
      Question : But 6 billion went to 10 billion
      Godfather: We don't life in a perfect world.
      Question: People are not convinced, as to how independent oversight was.
      Godfather: this is hindsight.
      Question: but what of how Norway or USA etc do thinks.
      Godfather ; Never an inquiry called yet to tell a good story.(Is this an admission that the boondoggle is not a good story? That is positivity of submission is a sham?
      The godfather's final words.
      Winston Adams.

    • Now Winston, these guys and gals have been inflicted with oil on the brain, for which there is no known cure. It is not only self inflected but also contagious, that's why their lawyers parrot the same words, although they are also paid a hefty fee for doing so. But after being in their presence and hearing it repeated time and time again the inflection gradually creeps inside the inner brain. Oil on the brain causes the brain to become hard wired and the circuitry forms a loop that continues in ever decreasing circles to repeat, "lease cost option" and " we needed the power" and other things that you mentioned. That continues in the brain and eventually forms a black hole from which their is no escape, not even through their own rectrum It is a slow painful death. Some die quickly others try to repent and life can be extended by as much as a decade or oil drops to 10$ a barrel. But in ether case they are incapable of an form of recovery. You get the picture says Joe blow.

    • Yes Joe, the mechanism of this spreading disease is a study unto itself,and you present a good hypothesis.
      Whether Leblanc can identify the root cause and a cure, which is remote. No experts called to guide him.

  15. I am enjoying how LeBlanc is interrupting and busting the arguments of those attempting to defend the indefensible. Perhaps we have a strong peek emerging of where his analysis will be going. Breen and Williams are wasting oxygen and seem to be presenting the same hollow story they started the Inquiry with. Yawn. Even the MFCCC and CA summations likely have no weight at this point.

  16. FITZ ON BOWN and Julia
    Fitz say bown is a example of a person with backbone of steel and professionalism in warning politicians of risks and challenging MFs
    Leblanc's expression is one of grave doubt of the truthfulness of this statement.
    Recall, Fits could be seen laughing and snickering to Coffey during this Inquiry, as of this all a big joke.
    Leblanc says Bown generally little challenged issues including risks, and stated he had little ability to challenge.
    Bown speculates as to what was said in meetings.

    • Don't read too much into the body language. When end of year, have confidence that the noble Commissioner will get the Report out, and we can assess a culmination of views, data, and quirks of human behaviour, under somewhat stressful self serving duress. What matters now, following the (War), is a long period of Re-Construction. Where will the extensive list of overpaid Bureaucrats and Construction Managers, Trades and the like find meaningful Work? Will some of the Powerful persons we elect mend society? Will we all get back our civility, and help our offspring build a better life, somewhere?

    • Fitz says Julia too a fine example of good oversight.But we know, Her testimony , initially seemed good, maybe she would stand up to Ed Martin, but later she, like others had no spine, and long ignored EY opinions.
      Fitz too says to Leblanc not to use hindsight to judge.
      Fits: will say what ever can put these 2 jellyfish, Bown and Julia, in a good light, but we all know Fits is talking bullshit.
      Millions squanders on this Inquiry to do the impossible to show a jellyfish has a spine.
      Fits: A pity notes were gone missing he says. A pity? thank God says Fitz to himself, that notes were never found.
      Fitz and other of his type fatten their bank accounts, on billable hours, all to go on our power bills. Make no wonder they laugh not realizing the cameras pick it up at times.
      Fitz maybe suffer form fits to put his clients on a pedestal.
      Leblanc asks about Bown's duty…..some documents suggest Bown was political, not apolitical.
      Fitz, says by and large he was there for 31 years, if he was political he would not be there. He was loyal, worked hard, he was not perfect , but keep in mind the culture and context at the time.
      Leblanc of speaking truth to power?
      Fitz: they spoke truth to power throughout. ( All can laugh here)
      Fitz: last words : to praise Justice O' Brien (Kate, who got rewarded half through this Inquiry)

    • BERN COFFEY: says look at events in 1990s….Hanzard as to Clyde Wells to private Nfld Hydro, 2 bills involved . It did not proceed.
      Not much attention to 1995 bill to give directive to the PUB on rates, that all would be privatized. Think about it, cabinet would give direction to the PUB.
      Mr Vardy (once headed up the PUB) says nothing really changed at the PUB. Then in 1999, exemption provision. ROger Grimes said no privation of Nfld Hydro would occur, and said cabinet decided new generation assets.
      Readers keep in mind that Coffey was an handmaiden for Wells,and director of public prosecutions.
      Coffey cites many exemption orders form the PUB, by the cabinet.
      But cabinet could remove an exemption order , but didn't.
      Since the Inquiry ended, Exhibits have been added. Pint being from 1996 to 2007, the PUB did not review this type of thing. TJis long winded , but DG2 and Emera passed before the Involvement. Nfld Hydro would take the lead and the PUB acknowledged it. THis is important as to hind sight bias.
      Leblanc : was there a difference between those projects and MFs?
      Cut to the chase…..were they a 6 billion project?
      Coffey: I see your point but….
      Leblanc : Not just the money , but how it was to be paid for, as to evidence of Golding and Vardy. …..that htis is a different beast, and to be considered differently
      Coffey: The timing is interesting, as to DG2, and DG3……and th ePUB did get involved…..they had no experience dealing with 6 billion dollars,
      Leblanc: But they had experience in the utility business….
      Coffey: Dunderdale said let the PUB get involved …I wanted to address that. But as to MHI review and risk… appendix A, the context of MHI and what happened, the scope and servises with the PUB, the word risk does not occur, but later they do substantial work in risk.
      Leblanc ;something was not right, in that
      Coffey: But (stuttering) it was interesting, things are in, things are out, finally risk is still there, in detail, and not until April 30, NR email, …..the point being risk was there, then ……Mr Bown has n memory of Apr 30,, and risk is gone…..I'm not suggesting anything nefarious went on…..but MHI were experts…..MHI gave evidence…..Bown says risk was risk, didn't understand the difference in types of risk……no one pressed him on that….a blanket removal of risk….(Coffey rambles on and on)….
      My submission……Bown understood he was to hire MHI and get this done, different drafts were exchanged ,and then risk Thoomson didn't know waht these risks were……not unreasonable for someone in that position…….they werenot in Keans world understanding risk…..
      Leblanc: whether govn had someone capable to understand what Nalcor was saying……
      Coffey : Civil service perspective ; hire Ey or whoever…it was put forth…….but no, it was decideed put it before the PUB…so here we are now. For Westley ….yoou get ot 10 billion of you go to P90 or whatever…….so final point, political or apolitical?
      THey are tasked with policy decisions of the Minister, of which they are a part…….in crafting a message positive features. DMs and ADMs find themselves.

    • Coffey: the job is to support the decision.
      On the duty to document….many meeting involve slide decks. One had 80 odd slides….everyone gets a hand out. Some people are note takers some are not….do we collect them all ……show accurate is transcribing ….
      Leblanc : we had an expert witness instituting doing this type of thing.
      Coffey….but audio recording…….not done….normally for record keeping…….maybe certain type of decisions ( he stutters) and sound is broken……….FItz mentioned black books……(sound is broken)….there were some black books …maybe Thompson went where Bowns or Julia went…….
      Leblanc calls a break…..destruction of documents threading on thin ice it seems

    • HOGAN for the CA
      Condemds forecasting by Stratton…….
      Do we need the power…….CDM failed to be done, excluded it. Would have reduced Isolated by nearly 1 billion, several testified to fact Isolated would have been lowest cost'
      Wrong P factors used to support MFs and impair the Isolated case
      Wrong oil estimates prices were used
      281 instead of 12 sensitivity analysis should have been done.
      No plan to retire Holyrood.
      MFs delay should ahve been allowed as to cost
      Isolated could have been shown to be lowest cost.
      Gas was not properly assessed
      Mr Alteen noted 2 options was not necessarily two options should have been considered.
      This in not hind sight.
      Astadi; should not have been selected. The dome was not a good option. Nalcor stuck with Astaldi but didn't with SNC , a proven competent company in this field.
      Peddigrew: Details on poor risk analysis and reporting same, and was misleading. Red meat arguments by Nalcor were irrational. Public thought 6.2 B estimate was reasonable but it was not.
      PUB was not given time to address MFs.
      As to hindsight; much of details from this Inquiry could have come out if the PUB had a full review.Oversight was resisted by Nalcor. ED Martin gave verbal statements, not formal written ones, so the mystery if the 300 million event.
      Bid costs coming in higher was not communicated by Nalcor.
      Sanction decision should never have happened.
      Lower Churchill was to be export power but changed to domestic needs, this was inappropriate.
      Masters of our own destiny, now we are beholden to bank and bond holders.
      Leblanc : CA was in support of MFs, so what of hind sight as said by Erin Best?
      Reply : We are not hind sight biased, no, other had foresight that saw some of these things.
      Tom Johnson did agree for extra time for the PUB, but was denied.

      HOgan had recommended a panel, engineering, legal, accounting to prepare for going forward….. selected by the Appoints commission.
      Leblanc wanted this in writing.
      Is this still headed up by Clyde Wells, can anyone say? All or most recent appointments are ex Fortis or Nfld Power people!
      Winston Adams

    • ANON @ 16:45
      Pedantic commentary: precise, exact, meticulous, fussy, scholastic, fault-finding, hypercritical, notpicking, learned, cerebral, pompous, intellectual,academic.
      Most all seem complementary, thank you.
      Please point out any serious errors.
      How is my multitasking and short term memory, to listen, watch the Inquiry and type and post on UG at the same time? Women say men can't multi-task.
      Surely , on this UG is FIRST with the news,,,,,,voice for the average Joe.

    • No worshippers. And a religion called Christianity. Millions have died in its name. Wars have been fought, some won , some lost. How about Mohomand. He was greater that Johnny. Millions of followers.How about Trumpie, Hitler, Mousilleni. Some were demogragry. But not Jesus, or Johnny, or Mohomand.

  17. Let us face the facts, the fix in favor of the MF project was in once it became the goal of government and all government and Nalcor efforts were directed towards that end, period end of story. Nalcor became the runaway train and the fiefdom unto itself and a classic case of the tail wagging the dog. Crimes against the people have been committed here and must be addressed post inquiry.

  18. So much discussion!! The focus should be on the topic of David Vardy's current post – THE NORTH SPUR! There is so much evidence of malpractice (technical, management, government, etc) on this soil stability issue that I suggest that the Grand River Keepers (GRK) of Labrador and other like interested parties need to somehow get organized to push for action.
    It is obvious that the people and facilities that lie below the MF dam are at huge risk of loss – lives, property, means of living after said losses, should they occur.
    Normally, we buy or otherwise obtain insurance to mitigate such risks. I suggest that the Grand River Keepers (GRK) of Labrador and others organize legally to seek from the government of NL such insurance, assuming that no commercial insurer would touch the issue with a 10 foot pole. That would be activating "people power", but not as severely as being done in Hong Kong.
    Another point in this same vein – all those people normally present living and working below the dam should take steps to protect themselves. Temporarily moving out is one way. The costs of such actions should be part of the above-mentioned insurance coverage.
    Insurance is impossible, you say? Probably tough to get and arrange but it seems to me that the only way might be by way of a citizens action effort, legally supported. The government(s) eventually will have to bear the results of the costs. Due to the seriousness of the issue, something like this idea should be addressed NOW. We don't want people being flooded and killed some September and/or through the winter.
    Bob Ritcey

    • Agree Bob, The North Spur is the big problem needing immediate action. But on NTV I see they send a woman to Holywood to make jokes about Dildos and Dildoians. no TV cameras sent to MFs to watch the river rising or if leakage of foundation movement. I trust someone tomorrow corners Stan and demand public release of all monitoring information, and this be available in real time going forward. And demand the study result of worse case sudden complete failure, both for summer and for winter. And request immediate pause and lowering of the river.
      In 1918 Crosbie said of Labrador residents "Let them die" Is this now too the attitude?

      And where is Bruno's sharp tongue today speaking truth to power? A mere squeak, as to these legal summations.

  19. I see a boxer by the name of Bruno is called in to deal with suicides at the nuclear plant construction site in England. Construction workers have 3 times the suicide rate, because they think themselves tough guys, to man up to deal with loneliness etc. Bruno beat mental health problems, so a hero to some of these workers. No problem to cry say Bruno.
    Meanwhile nuclear power , to cost 20 billion has doubled , still this plant will only add about 20 dollars a year to the average power bill. This being built by French company, where in France 75 % is nuclear, and is carbon free and a safe record, so adds to wind and solar for GB, and needing 2 more nuclear plants.
    Found the Bruno story interesting, as our Bruno too worries about my mental health and my meds. so he says, which I revealed to him. And Bruno don't lie, not even a little fib. But he seems not a Bruno buddy, so I wonder about him, whether a bogus Bruno, not like the boxer?

  20. What value does the public expect from the Leblanc report, costing some 20 million dollars?
    VOCM poll shows 83 % says it will be a report that gathers dust.
    The balance thinks it will prevent a repeat or hold those responsible accountable.
    The public, 83 %, agrees with Bruno; "Here comes Da Judge, with the rubber chicken"?
    Anyone with numbers for amounts paid to individual lawyers at the Inquiry?

    VOCM : A guy drives across Canada with an electric vehicle; fuel cost , electricity , 240.00. But no committment from Ball to step up electricification for transportation per Synapse.

    VOCM; Dildo we learn is a nautical instrument, (wink , wink), not exactly a navigation tool. I have instruments form my father , a master mariner: sextant, parallel rules, international flag and books, captain's medical book etc, but narry a dildo to be seen.
    VOCM reports now that it as a wooden device used in a dory for oars (not whores).
    So, I now realise it is what in Bishop's Cove we called toll pins, about 6-8 inch long, about 1 inch on one end and tapered to go into the hole.
    Likely some witty Nflders long ago called these dildos. Is it in the Nfld dictionary? I have solved the mystery?

    • Kimmell of Hollywood, according to VOCM, says he would like be be Dildo's captain, "flexible but firm".
      We know that the North Spur will settle some with the 690 milllion lb force, so must be a bit flexible, and too must be firm, and not fail.
      For that, the captain of the Spur is Stan Marshall. He is in charge. Or is it Ball that must be flexible and firm?
      Can either of these be like Captain Dildo, bring attention to the risk and use save protection? Lives depend on it. Can we get Jimmy
      to replace Stan, and bring attention to the North Spur?

    • Now Winston to add to your dildo fokelore, in a small breeze this whitty guy you mentioned, broke of his tow pins, and drifted on shore, where he found a small tree and whittled new tow pins. When asked why he went on shore in a breeze, he said his girl friend told him not to come home without a dildo. So he always said he rowed ashore to get a couple of dildos, not wanting to admit that he had drifted on shore. Hence the name where he drifted ashore. Now as some of you might know, there is another place in NL called "Dildo Run", with a strong current and lots of rocks. Small boats pass through there, and there is a causeway over it now. It is about 4 nautical miles long. It is in Hamilton sound, just south of blow hard rock. You would pass over it by the causeway when on the way to New World island, or Twillingate. It is in the Bay of Notre Dame. Joe blow.

    • Sounds very reasonable Joe, Jimmy might pick up on that if someone tells him about Uncle Gnarley.

      Meanwhile ;Paid t lawyer so far; 9.7 million of 13.1 million spent.
      About 20 lawyers, so about 500 grand each on average. Value for money?

  21. We hear today that only 200,000.00 was provided for the Inuit people, some 6000 people, for funding for input for consultation, environmental etc.
    Compare that to 9.7 million for the godfather and his pals at this inquiry.
    And that Danny William denied them rights to consult that was unlawful due to law set in BC, Haida in 2004.
    So First Nation rights was denied, and Leblanc will not address constitutional rights. As Bruno says : the judge with the rubber chicken.
    All this rubber chicken designed by the Terms of Reference,, designed by who? Did Ralph craft the Terms of Reference?
    Winston Adams

  22. That wetcapping was not done defied logic, this lawyer says. So a lack of trust has resulted, …..the province is not learning lessons coming out of this Inquiry. There has been no meaningful engagement.
    Leblanc wonders how he can engage these issues within his terms of reference.
    Answer; thousands of members cannot be put on the sidelines and expect this project to succeed.
    Leblanc : the 10 million, I can not ignore that……the mercury is not a settled issue?
    Answer; it is not a settled issue.
    Leblanc calls a break.

    • I am appealing to NLers, who supported the Tory-minded, voted for Ches to contain the Dwight power, to come to their senses, and demand that the recklessness on the Grand River flooding, be suspended. Where are the mindful Tories now when we need such moral action now?

    • That would beg fundamental questions like WTF got us here. Tories have neither conscience or ethics. They are the party that let a malignant narcissist use nationalistic hatred of other to squander their future on a monument to a leader with an inadequate package.

    • Bruno "Tory-minded" is not a Party characteristic per se. These people are found in all constituencies. Through this Blog, largely visited by concerned citizens, acting by conscience for the betterment of society, I simply am asking people to rise, through our democratic governance system, and say "enough dam it". The Inquiry, whatever its limitations, has exposed enough wrong doing. The future of our children deserves better.

    • Danny, an inadequate package? Like Trunpie due to stubbie fingers?
      Bruno, why would you mistakenly think I would want to ban you from UG? You have a way with words, sometimes funny, almost like Jimmy Kinnell. Hollywood beckons.

  23. We here, (as to Quebec south shore Innu) that the woodland and Wine River caribou herd was to be protected for recovery, this was ignored by Nalcor and govn. That caribou are essential to Innu culture and existence.
    That there were burial sites, and committmets were made, but never implements,
    Leblanc : waht was govn's responce
    Answer: to respect the intent
    For education programs…..never implements….just skirt the recommendation
    A committee for monitoring etc……asked Gilert Bennett about……but
    sent some info in English only , excluding Quebec communities, could attend, but everything in English, and must pay their own way.

    We are the friendly province , right? This is how we treat and respect our neighbours?

    Any improvement from how we mistreated the island Beothic? This function was one of many of engineer Gilbert Bennett.

    This lawyer notes many other similar mistreatments.
    What a shameful story. He comments that Toms (the godfather) that their concerns were taken serious, he objects to that point of view.
    That all this goes to assessments of projects risks
    Leblanc has no questions. He hides his rubber chicken.
    Winston Adams

  24. Riverkeepers: colonial history has repeated taken resources and detrimental to residents. Mfs is similar, the fallout yet to come.
    (As this testimony happens, destruction of river flooding is posted in recent days on CBC, even log cabins floating down river, as river elevation rose 17 feet in 6 days, commencing 24 hrs before officially to start impoundment, evident from river monitoring stations)
    Mfs was a political decision. The JRP suggestion wer rejected. Therehas been broken trust, leading to civil unrest. Due to lack of transparency.
    Also not proper oversight, as to what was commercially sensitive.
    Monitoring and enforcement is lacking, as to caribou, nothing done since 2011, despite commitments. No one is held to account. Consultation is typical mere token.
    Leblanc says to ask that environmental recommendatons be binding, is a bit much for an Inquiry…….my ability is pretty limited.(His rubber chicken is soft very rubber, he says in other words. Seems to suggest his report will gather dust, as 83 % of Nflder expect, so a waste of time and money).
    That 450 committments made were not being tracked in any meaningful way.
    Even with ATIPPA request , information could not be obtained.
    Yet people in the area have to live with consequences of this project.
    Leblanc : information should be on Facebook etc,
    Many use these type of sources.
    Leblanc : there are practical issues, as to costs, and whether use whims of media etc. What type of information?
    Answer: such as these 450 committments….
    Leblanc : what exactly are you asking? What of twice a year public meetings? Nalcor did some of that. Nalcor has public meetings ….
    Answer; Resident from Rigolts and other remote communities would have difficult to travel here….
    As to the North Spur….can recommendations be made …..residents are very concerned on this issue.
    The JP recommended alternatives to MFs such as CDM , which we have heard evidence it was not considered, and was underfunded
    That in reference to Mr Ralphs comments, if no resource for govn dept to carry our committments, then it is meaningless (she is laughing)
    That mapping of geotechical issues were not carried out on the North Spur, so less public trust n the North Spur.
    That Integrated Resource Management have oversight by the PUB, as CDM was underfunded.
    Also that benefits be reinvested in Labrador, and that USA ow considers these type of projects as not green .
    Leblanc: No further questions.
    Winston Adams

    • Everything Trumpie touches, desinegates, so don't be surprised if a recession. He went bust several times himself, so he could bring the entire world economy to a screeching hault. Plus a real demogogary. Joe blow.

    • Winston, I presume you refer to my Aug 7 regarding concerned citizens' biggest fears now?

      Imminent collapse of Global Financial system is a distinct probably, supported by the many gurus on the subject; King World News, Kitco, JSMineset, Greg Hunter. One has to avoid the mainstream media on this, as they work for the rich Banks and elite deep state cabal. But again, what do you all think represent your own greatest concerns, going forward? The continuance of the Muskrat reservoir filling should be at the top for NLers.

  25. Further on the North Spur issue and my comment yesterday – maybe some action could be generated by a mass use of social media, sort of the same as many crowd funding programs that we have seen or heard about. If the NS issue got world wide attention maybe the NL gov't would be kicked into action.
    Big floods from a dam burst are catastrophic, especially for those people in the path of the flood!!!
    Bob Ritcey

  26. Winston: About your comments (yesterday at 11:13 and 12:19) regarding Breen and Tommie blaming Voldemort –err, I mean Hydro-Quebec– for the woes at Muskrat Falls and your request that "Quebec commentators" (which includes me, I guess) speak up.

    Err, what would you have me say? I and other fellow Quebec commentators have REPEATEDLY denounced an omnipresent and pervasive anti-Quebec bias on this blog. I tried to keep my tone cool and civil (How successfully? I will leave that for others to decide) and to present facts and evidence as dispassionately as possible. I was repaid with repeated attacks from several commentators, which were as unconvincing as they were discourteous.

    The fact that Breen and Tommie, UNDER OATH, on the witness stand, STILL blame Hydro-Quebec for everything strengthens my belief regarding the function of Quebec and Hydro-Quebec in Newfoundlanders' minds: we are a permanent scapegoat which the elite of your province consistently and systematically uses to draw attention away from, or justify, its corruption and multiple failures.

    I could have written an "I told you so!" message, but really, what would have been the point? The fact that I am right on this matter gives me no pleasure, rest assured.

    I wrote here last year that I would be limiting my participation to answering direct questions (such as yours) and asking questions of my own. Speaking of which, I have three questions on the North Spur which I believe relate to this blog post, and which to my surprise have not been asked. I am sure others here would like to have answers:

    1-What happens, from a legal point of view, if the North Spur fails? We have had a lot of comments of the geology of the North Spur, but if it fails, are Nalcor, its associated companies, or the provincial government ultimately responsible? What would such a failure cost each of them in monetary terms?

    2-If the North Spur fails, then how long would it subsequently take to build a replacement containment area, and how much would it cost? What would the overall impact of such delays and extra costs be upon the Muskrat Falls project as a whole?

    3-Combining questions 1 and 2, what would be the overall social and fiscal impact upon Newfoundland and Labrador of such a North Spur failure?

  27. The inversion of bond yields today; it has been a red flag for the last 6 recessions. Long term borrowing becomes cheaper.
    Is this a final kick in the guts for Dunderdale and the idea we "saved" a billion dollars on Fed backed MFs loans? If done now it would be lower cost, so their timing was bad costing us maybe a billion?

    • You may be right Robert, but maybe with a silver lining potential: world GDP goes down, GHG goes down, stimulus spending needed to counter the downturn, a move to a Green New Deal worldwide, especially infrastucture, electric transportation, efficient buildings, …….bring it on, a salvation against climate warming?

    • The entire financial system is a fraud. In engineering, positive feedback is unstable. Anything that increases exponentially, explodes. Compound interest is also an increasing exponential function which is why old wealth is huge and why $1 invested at 7% in biblical times would today weigh more than the observable universe (in loonies).

      The only stable long term population growth rate is zero. The only stable interest rate is also zero. We need a financial system that is based on mathematics and control theory, not fraud and illusion.

      Remember the story about someone requesting from the King a grain of wheat on the first square of a chessboard, 2 on the second square for day two, 4 on the third square on day three etc. Halfway through the charade, the count is in the billions of grains. The king realizes he has been had.

      We have all been had. The difference is the doubling time — at one day, it only took a few weeks for the King to realize the problem. At 7% compound interest, the doubling rate is about 10 years. At 10 years it takes several generations to get ridiculous so the average person just doesn't notice. It isn't surprising that we don't have a gold standard anymore — because it would have been impossible to exponentially increase the production of gold to match the interest growth.

  28. Can the MFCCC request an emergency injunction to stop the flooding until the North Spur potion of the dam system is certified by a competent engineering firm with appropriate expertise (SNC perhaps). If the request is refused, then it will expose the legal system for what it really is — something to protect those with power from the general population.

    • Yes, Robert, I am convinced it is reckless.
      Suggest both an injunction and HOA emergency debate. An injucction might be quickest, an ex-parte one, as Nalcor used to arrest protesters.The injunction would file evidence of Bernander,Gordron etc. Would PENG2 provide an avidavit that safety is in doubt?
      Winston Adams

    • My friend Bob Ritcey, retired Engineer living in Calgary, has asked if there is live camera coverage of the filling of the head pond. This would add realtime interest in the "Death" of the Grand river as we knew it. Does anyone know if the Project Team are doing such monitoring, and where one might just sit back, sip a Black Horse and join in?

    • A rough day for me, the morning with plumbing issues at the GI Unit of Health Science Hospital, exhausted in the afternoon,except for posting as to Spur injunction issue. Forgot all about the Inquiry, until NTV news clip, where it followed the Dildo being the leading story. My analytic mind noted ladies and guy on NTV saying Dildo on average about every 10 second, 6 times a minute, for the few minutes I checked, equating to using the word at 0.1 Hz. The frequency seems to be increasing in recent days. May go to resonance, and be problematic.
      Clips on MFs shows Ball's lawyer saying no attempt to avoid the wetcapping, as his nose grew 6 inches. Fortis lawyer being the white night( but under the cone of silence before and after sanction),now warning of DC link failure, because it depends on secure island AC, and so more Avalon backup needed. Fortis clicked up 23 cents today, now topping 54.00. PENG2, a shareholder, and Stan, a big shareholder, must be pleased.
      As NTV was obsessed with Dildo and Kennell, I tell my wife that Take Charge has announced new mitigation measure, for load growth: new charging stations for Dildo, both fast and slow chargers, and with inverters for variable speed devices. Initial installation at Dildo as the main hub, and expanding over the island. The TV lady hanging out the clothes will do a new ad, illustrating the chargers,which can also run from solar assist even when the DC is down. This estimated to add 5 MW to the grid at peak times. Synapse is on board. Maybe even a manufacturing plant at Dildo, being studied at MUN Emera Innovation Centre.
      After a long walk I recoup , and pick up on Roberts tip, and tune in to JC's Five feet high and rising.
      Leblanc says time to finish up by Dec 31, to keep his sanity and that of others. Poor Richard, getting half of what the lawyers steel, and he does 4 times more work. I estimate he has aged 8 years this past 18 months. This must weight heavy on him. Will the Spur hold until he files? Will we get 2 pole operation? Time will tell.
      Winston Adams

    • WA @ 00:49:

      Maybe we should define ‘big’ of ‘major’ as a quantity; if someone were to be a 2% (and 2% is by no means ‘major’ or big’) shareholder of Fortis, your net worth would be about $1.2b. Here is the list of the 45 Canadian billionaires:

      I play the long game with my investments, so the current volatility doesn’t mean much to me.

      LeBlanc will confirm that Nalcor / Government we deficient in terms of clauses 4(a), 4(b) and 4(c). Considering that AW and the PUB said there was enough supporting info to sanction MF and the government of the day went ahead anyway – I am not convinces LeBlanc can say having the PUB involved would have had an effect. Boards such as PUB make recommendation – government make decisions and set policy.

      I know you (and others) often talk of CDM, isolated vs interconnected, wind, small hydro etc – it needs to be understood that MF was a policy decision and has no place being the subject Inquiry. This is exactly why the $300m is important but the $2b delta in CPW isn’t as much in terms of the Inquiry. Voters set policy at the balolot box – infact we still have 6-7 persons responsible for endorsing MF in the HoA. Plausible deniability isn’t an excuse for Nalcor/Government nor is it for voters.

      Inquiry’s are to determine if the policy setting procedures of Government are sound, not comment on the actual policy – this is a fine distinction and few seem to make it. Again, Gomery and Stonechild are good references on this matter so all understand what is actually being done – you should have a read, it will be enlightening as to nuances.


    • PENG2 @ 11:36:

      Typo correction and rewrite for clarity:

      Considering that AW and the PUB said in 2012 that there wasn't enough supporting info to sanction MF and the government of the day went ahead anyway – I am not convinced LeBlanc can say having the PUB involved would have had an effect on preventing MF. The PUB is responsible for advising government and applying policy, not policy setting – we the voters would have to determine if we want appointed persons setting policy (as opposed to elected persons).


    • PENG2:
      1. One can play with numbers; generally 2 % is not considered very significant of anything. My wife's surgeon here, Dr Hogan, an excellent surgeon it seems, says a 2 % risk of death during surgery, but he hasn't lost a patient yet. For drugs adverse side effects, over 2 % , even 2.5 % is significant. For power outage rates for yearly hours , our standard is 99.97 % power on, so that is 0.03 % outage…..and more is very significant. 2 percent power outages is huge.
      So too with 1 % of Fortis is 600 million…..that is huge tomost people.
      2. You seem very sensitive of Stan Marshall's net worth, whether it could be a conflict of interest. I believe the release indicated he could hold 6 % of a corporation?
      3. Your 2 B delta for Isolated vs Interconnected……is by Nalcor's highly manipulated figures. By Stan's numbers at the Inquiry, and with CDM, the Isolated would less than 2 B, if reasonably assessed. The delta would be 4.2 B lower for Isoalted at sanction, and delta of more than 10 B on completions with overruns and interest. Instead of a deep dive into this , we squabble of 300 million. The true extend of theboondoggle is hidden by this Inquiry, by TOF or otherwise.
      4.Gomery I looked at very briefly and fail to see your point;that was very extensive, very long, and I think had power to stop or pause or prevent what is happening with MFs.
      5. Of all of the above I prefer your attention to comment on the North Spur possible failure? Impoundment……is it reckless, imprudent, should be paused for a expert panel review, is your concern enough to go public, etc? Should be be an injunction to halt, or HoA debate?

      Anon @ 11;42
      Not exactly pot calling the kettle black: A joking matter yes, being beaten to death , yes, but NTV treating this more important than impoundment at MFs, and possible dam failure. A TV camera crew and reported sent to Holywood , but not to MFs. This in line with Geoff Sirling's fasination with American celebraties, and the Nfld Herald vs Down homer with Nfld.
      I once ate in a resturant with Geoff nearly, and noticed him reading Vanity Fair. Considered himself a Star, I guess.Yet a winning formula for the Herald for decades…….what did they write on MFs pitfalls prior to sanction? So, NTV obsessed …..yes. I only have traits remember. My emphasis is on the danger of dam failure, and the boondogggle.

    • WA @ 13:03:

      1)the point being that if we defined 2% as being a ‘major’ or ‘big’ shareholder SM would be one of the 45 richest people in Canada, and 1 of the 2200 billionaires in the world. He shows on neither list – my statement is that is isn’t a ‘major’ or ‘big’ shareholder – simple mathematics when related to the 6% threshold.
      2)Sure, legislation says he can own upto 6% of a corporation – but he obviously doesn’t own 6% of Fortis and if 6% is the legal threshold I am not sure what the issue is and why you consistently say ‘big’ shareholder (which you seemingly imply he continues to have influence over Fortis corporate activities)
      3)My point is the $300m is evidence of poor project management and directly shows incompetence. The $2b delta (or whatever number you want to attached to it) of interconnect vs isolated is a government policy spending decision – that is why the $300m is important and the $2b much less so. Again most look at the magnitude not the underlying cause – Gomery and Stonechild outline this well.
      4)I am confused by this statement, can you clarify?
      5)My opinion hasn’t changed – not sure what you want me to say, you haven’t misquoted me yet on this.

      Back when the Inquiry started everyone wanted a forensic audit – most said a FA couldn't be called by LeBlanc because they didn't understand what an Inquiry is and what it isnt. Since people are still asking for criminal charges today, show people have little understanding of what the Inquiry was meant to do and what it has accomplished.

      Memory also tells me I said when the Inquiry was called that 2yrs was too short of a timeline and the timing was wrong – I wanted something closer to Berger and to wait for substantial completion so we had actual numbers to discuss, but again political pandering stopped the most reasonable or conservative course of action.


    • PENG2
      1. It is not simple mathematics, as i pointed out, 2% , 1% or more than 0.03 % can be significant or very significant, depending to the subject and perspective. That you prove Stan is not a billionaire is meaningless. Stan , like Danny Willaims is among the richest in Nfld and have, or can have significant influence. I do not dispute his business savy and even say if he used his influence prior to MF sanction, if may , just may have made a big difference.
      Nfld Power is now vocal but not then.
      I have heard your counter arguments , so we just disagree.
      Item 3, You use delta 2 B, I suggest delta 10 B , what of the cause of why we not addressing that, the manipulation, and avoidance of experts to address it?
      4. I won't address Gomey at this time, not having time to look at it.
      5. I most respect your opinion on why the North Spur is not safe in your opinion. What I want you to say is: to the extend it affects your principles, what can/should be done? I mentions some possible actions. Where do you stand at this juncture? Your original position was build but not operate, but that is not in accord with Stan's action. Your concern is not in accord with Stan's as to safety and risk.

    • WA @ 14:07:

      1) My point is that he isn't a 'major' or 'big' shareholder as you and several others have claimed – SM simply doesn't have the wealth. This is pretty simple – as to the definition of what 1% means, I agree it does depend on context.
      3) I don't believe that if the delta we $0.01, $10b of somewhere in between it would have had an affect on MF sanction – the public elected the PC governments on the develop MF mandate and MF was the policy. The public was drunk on MF dreams and the energy warehouse claims – nothing was going to change that.
      4) you should check Gomery and Stonechild – they explain exactly why Inquiry's don't comment on policy, just address policy making deficiencies. No policy is set in stone, governments routinely break their own policies to suit their desires.
      5) SNC are the engineer-of-record for the 'Spur' – I wont comment on their work beyond saying that I haven't seen nor do I believe there was sufficient investigation/testing to convince me that a given design is acceptable.

      It is ironic to note that a VP at Nalcor was(is?) a director of the St John's based institute capable of such testing and 1 of the getotech review panel spent many years doing exactly the type of testing/analysis I suggested was needed.


    • PENG2, given your in depth knowledge following this inquiry and project, and you haven't said you are denied seeing information that may be available to you, so your not convinced it is safe is rather firm. Are you turning a blind eye to information that would permit you to comment further on SNC, the engineer of record?
      What is their liability if it fails?
      Is your position one of plausible denial should it fail, just you didn't see sufficient to take further action? You have done all you can? A pretty low standard? The standard should be sufficient public evidence that it is reasonably safe. You suggest you may just be more conservative in your opinion, so enough said? Nothing further form you?

      Seems the water has risen 25 feet and another 23 feet to go. Seem they now pause to evaluate effects. Any reports on that?
      Will the remaining be say another 13 ft then later 12 more, so next to the full level?
      Vardy says a panel report my be 2 million, or 4 million.
      Polly dam included much investigation and testing after the failure, and time consuming.
      Here easier if experts assessed current status, if sufficient to say not sufficiently safe on present knowledge and design, and phase 2 to test to see if it can be made safe? Please comment PENG2

    • PEGzero you are as wrong as you are puffed up by your omnipotence.

      The process for setting policy at MF was flawless. IUt then is perfectly reasonable for a malignant narcissist to enforce compliance, as demonstrated by the Justice Jackboots liberally applied to bureaucrats throats at the JRP. It then becomes perfectly reasonable to set up a "least cost" contest with carefully chosen alternatives. Reasonable in the end to sanction a bloated project that will destroy the treasury and result in inter generational suffering.

      All because we are too stupid to know what an inquiry is (and isn't)! Imagine!

      Do you work for the forces of evil or are you evil incarnate zero?

    • WA @ 14:53:

      Not sure what else I am to comment on.

      MF was 100% a policy decision – the real question to be answered is why was it considered uneconomical for 40yrs but in 2003 it became the best option? I have always said this question can only be answered if the reasoning for Anglo-Saxon route is examined.

      Just wait until GI is given the go ahead and people are told that neither the LIL, the ML have capacity for GI and the line reoute needs to be rebuilt/upgraded. I am not convinced that the existing UC lines via Quebec will have much life after 2041 anyway – and then Quebec have some development options south of Lab West such they wont need/want all the UC power and some will be excess with no way for Nalcor to get it anywhere.


    • PENG2 has more sense than I, in that he refuses to engage with Bruno, especially since he has little technical knowledge, again with his biweekly foolish promotion for solar and batteries for Nfld, never any analysis to justify his opinion. I repeatedly try to make Bruno see the light on the geographic and climate effect, but "some people never learn", Bruno repeats nonsense, and I waste my time trying to teach him.
      Bruno now says I try to troll him, and will now ignore me,IMAGINE that , yet long ago called PENG2 a troll, still Bruno continues to try and engage him. Go figure. Inconsistent?
      Are you evil incarnate asks Bruno of PENG2. Bruno wants to engage alledged evil, but avoids my questions.
      What is Bruno's fisheries course details?
      Why do he say coal and gas is good if native?
      Why do he condemn J Gordon's force calculation on the North Spur, and call him a lead ring engineer?
      Why does he worry more as to safety of the North dam, RCC type, than the natural North Spur?
      To these and other questions Bruno runs but can't hide.
      Bruno avoids questioning PENG2 on what he is much qualified on: geotechnical North Spur risks.

    • PENG2:
      You say you would not live downstream of MFs for North Spur safety is not sufficient to your satisfaction.
      One commentator stated about me "you are troubled." This is true, and I assume you are too, believing the North Spur is unsafe, yet impounding is proceeding.
      If you are troubled, please comment on what troubles you? If sudden complete failure, as like at Polly, what is the likely worse case impacts and result? Please share, as perhaps we are on the same page, maybe not? Even Leblanc wants to avoid insanity he says, as to the boondoggle, this being but one issue with no deep dive.

    • WA @ 18:28:

      There is a difference in saying unsafe vs not being proven safe – I feel the latter is more accurate, but that doesn't preclude being unsafe.

      I have described the advanced testing tools available in St John's several times – incredible they weren't used since it is among the top 10 most capable facilities in the world and even has earthquake simulation abilities.

      Other than this advanced testing matrix, it might have been prudent to install a number of casing inclinometers – very common and easy to do during the geotech investigation process.

      I don't see a sudden failure as likely, but detecting a creep failure is ideally suited to instrumentation such as inclinometers, ppt's and motion detectors.


    • PENG2, The instrumentation now used by Nalcor was all used at Polly, but that sucker went quick: 30 to 45 minutes and compete failure.
      Your suggestions of additional detection seems prudent, but may not be sufficient or of value if quick complete failure.
      Yes, not proven safe not necessarily the same as unsafe but:
      You wouldn't live downstream, nor would I , safely not reasonably assured to our satisfaction, you agree?
      All the worse that testing facilities locally available and not done……REMARKABLE.
      While you don't see sudden complete failure likely:
      It is possible, and can you comment the impact if it happens at worst time, which is winter, I think you agree?
      Would you wager that sudden failure will not happen? What risk of sudden failure, 1, 2, 5 , 10, 20 , 40 %? Your opinion?


  29. The MF inquiry is now over. The commissioner has to sift though the roughly 20% truth that he heard and separate it form the 80% rubbish that he heard from supposedly honest people. The lack of memory, recall, records, notes and integrity is phenomenal.

  30. Our Bruno was on VOCM with Patty Daley this morning. He was measured in his comments for the most part, and had Bruno agreeing about 80% overall.
    He touched on Trudeau, SNC corruption, lack of investigation in Nfld, the Inquiry selective nature of what evidence go in and what explored,and the 10 million hush payments in Labrador, refused by one party of the three.
    He was less measured as he went on. He mentioned Stan Marshall "a blockhead and stupid " as to remarks yesterday as to tree removal before flooding.
    He can certainly hold his own with Patty, and then some. He seemed calm and rational for the most part, perhaps fearing Patty will censor him again.
    He said the Inquiry was a waste, I think, but it seems to have opened Daley's eyes some I suggest, even being more tolerant of Bruno's methods of "speaking truth to power".
    In keeping them honest, I have a Question: Why did Bruno not voice concern with the North Spur failure risk? Recall, of course, he did switch to the RCC dam being his biggest concern, after Jim Gordon and I raised the issue of pounds of force on the North Spur. Bruno condemned our analysis, and calling us "lead ring engineers"
    Winston Adams

    • Some of us are actually capable of holding two different thoughts in our minds at the same time Wzero. One can have concerns about the RCC on the dam WHEN THE DAM IS BEING DISCUSSED, AND have concerns about the SPUR.

      If this is your attempt at humour, semantics is not your strong point. If not and you are serious I pity you.

      You are trolling me and I will now ignore you.

    • Let me correct an error in my post of 09:57, first line should have read "He was measures in his comments for the most part, and had Daley agreeing about 80% of the time" A significant error on my part, as otherwise it suggests Daley was winning on points 80%, whereas I meant, and it may seem obvious overall, that Bruno was scoring points with Daley.
      I would suggest that most, including me, hold thousands or millions of thoughts, much like our computer holds it files and emails. However, in verbal communication, or in writing, there is focus on one subject at a time, to be effective. Accordingly Bruno made his points,and the applicable thoughts in sequence, holding other thoughts until making a new point. I expect he might have gotten around to discussion of the North Spur or the RCC, except: Daley did not cut him off, but cut him short, that it was news break time or whattever.
      However, in a discussion of various points, one would be expected to raise the most serious issues, perhaps in order of seriousness. If this is logical, it implies that the North Spur and the RCC North dam was less serious in priority. Certainly all of the points were serious. Is this sematics? I suggest not. We all have priorities and perhaps our priorities defines our character somewhat.
      I think, overall my comments were rather favourable on his discussion with Daley, other UG readers may judge. And my single negative comment was factual. Readers should note that I did not use the term Bogus Bruno at all in that comment.

      Further, Bruno should not at all respond to this comment, it is for others if they chose to comment. I will advise if Bruno is permitted to respond to any future comment from me about him.
      Winston Adams

  31. These buggers have to stand on their own two feet if they are going to be around, and not destroyed as they should be. Yes, I am talking about the monsters Dracula and Frankenstein. They report profits in the small millions yet they owe billions. How can that be. They rob the oil money that was coming in before they were created and now they call it theirs, skim what they want off the top and leave us with anything left over. Who is paying their salaries, bonuses, operation cost, completion cost, etc. Our oil money. Just look at one accounting cost, they claim they make money by importing NS dirty coal power. Now how low can you go, a few cents here and a few cents there and they call it profit. Meanwhile they keep Holyrood running burning expensive oil during the winter, bring in a few kW from NS and the difference they call it profit. They keep Holyrood running just in case the NS power goes. How is that making money.The buggers, lies and half truths from day one and still at it. Did any one read Ed Holletts piece from a few weeks ago, and said what I have been saying for years, The Monster Must Go. And so says Joe Blow.

    • One must ask; Do you all think that the Ball people are capable of doing the right thing, now that some light has been shed on the Boondoggle, and related shenanigans? Are you not concerned that to date, and based on decisions made with respect to Energy Policy, Sustainable Development and Climate Change Issues, they seem to be stumbling towards an uncertain plan for future generations? NL voters gave a clear mandate for Minority, (Broader participatory Representative governance), Administration. Does Ches have a clue as to what this means with respect to the Opposition's role, and necessity for him to regroup, and step up? Will it be left to the undecided NDP/Green/Other group to show the way? Time has run out. Ready, Set,…….

    • Mere accounting tricks, Joe, and deceptive. MFs plant is a 7 or 8 billion asset on the books until the Norhh Spur fails, or DC is un reliable etc, and can't produce revenue. Until then it is potentially, including the line, somewhere shy of 100 billion said Danny Willaims in sworn testimony.
      GE has long been using accouting tricks, as I discovered in a WSJ piece in Houston last November,and then wondering about the GE Grid software impact, and now some predicting GE filing for bankruptcy protection within 4 month, worse than Enron was.
      Yes Ed Hollett's piece…..but I not wonder how much of this is political, learning of Ed Hollett's connections with Wells PR man over 20 years ago?
      Count the ways and appointments in recent years…….and we now expected to all call out for FOrtis to save us for this big debt, and this Nalcor monster. What was scuttles 25 years ago now is almost accomplished, and who will be the winners and losers?
      Winston Adams

    • No problem, Huawei is probably all over the buy. Bell, AT&T, Newbridge, Mitel, etc developed solid state switching for the Chinese smarter techs to buy, improve, and sell back to the Telecoms. Keep the spare parts for the turbines flowing via the Silk Road and Hamburg. Is Torrington Basin ice free or do we expect Transport will fix the runway, (election promise?), so no brownouts in Canso, and Conception Hr?:-)

  32. Seriously; A quote from Gerald Cilent today;

    Take a look at oil prices. Wednesday, Brent Crude was down nearly 4 percent. Yesterday it was down over 2 percent. As economic pain grips more nations, oil demand keeps going down while supply has greatly risen.

    How will Osborne explain the diminished revenues stream from offshore? Global Banking guys getting nervous. What is latest on Revenue streams for full out Muskrat? Any talk of Bailout on the Muskrat?

    • Elevation 30 m was the goal, but now about 32M , so up about 25 feet since Aug 6.
      Has there been any report from Nalcor on seepage, movement at base or any information at all? I haven't followed Nalcor website……anyone know?


    • I went to Nalcor website and coujld find nothing on MFS water level, found statements "Safety is highest priority" as a general statement. When typing in their area, it comes back "you're looking for something not here"
      Anyone finding anything more informative?

    • Thank you, I found the info, and my estimates were from Churchill River monitors, and tallies with yours
      It suggests it will further rise about 1 meter every 2 days, but if complete the end of Sept, it suggests each 1 m rise it will hold for 4 days to check? Otherwise it will be filled by the end of August.

      Do you require more than normal practice?
      Certainly more, as
      1. in particular the North Spur is not normal as to the makeup with deposits of marine clay that may fail.
      2. the failure may be sudden complete failure risking lives downstream, damage to property downstream, loss of the dam, and loss of the facility for power this fall.
      3. some dam experts have stated that the design is not proven safe, and likely not safe
      4.Nalcor has already f..ked up in May 17, 2017, and flooded Mud Lake, yet 6 hrs prior Gilbert Bennett said all was great.
      5. Nalcor has lost the trust of residents, and need to regain it. No time to boast of being world class, you've lost that mantle, big time, exposed by the Leblanc Inquiry.
      6. So NOT normal practice, BEST practice is essential.
      7. Best practice, likely is have an expert panel review your design and construction, and monitoring.
      Winston Adams

    • We should have at least some idea by the end of September whether the remedial works applied to the spur, which were designed by SNC-Lavalin and endorsed by Hatch as well as the geotechnical review panel, are sufficient to stabilize this natural dam.

    What is this guy up to. He tries to circumvent the process by injecting his solution to a complex problem, he must be a lawyer no doubt? What we need in future is people who know which end is up in a hydro project and that is not economists, lawyers, academics etc but engineers with experience and knowledge, the very group that he omitted as required and the very group that Martin (sorry no offence tp you Maureen, you were a special case) purged from Hydro upon arrival in 2005 with authority from Williams, alas where are we headed, oh me miserum! Look to Hydro Quebec if you want to see qualified people in positions with the right qualifications, and not political hacks.

    NL should be negotiating with Ontario and Quebec with assistance from the federal government regarding the upper CF post 2041. At the same time NL should be having discussions with the maritime provinces and New York state now that this route should also be feasible. The marketplace should decide upon the best deal on upper CF power. We don't need a third party negotiating for us to give it away again on our behalf like Brinco did.

    • Anon 07:39

      "…to give it away again on our behalf like Brinco did"

      Just for precision;

      –> NL had already given away to BRINCO the whole Churchill water rights for PEANUTS in the early 60s (for 99 years, + renewable for another 100 years).
      ==>> that's the STUPID decision!!! Nothing else.

      NL TOTALLY LOST then ownership / control of discussion about UC. (NL only nationalized BRINCO in 1974).

      I actually find it pretty discusting that NL gave away those water rights for peanuts to BRINCO (foreign British interests for the most part) without offering it to fellow Canadians for more money.

      In the end, NL is still lucky as it will inherit the whole UC site for FREE – basically all paid for by HQ, without incurring ANY RISKS (All taken by HQ)

      MF is the exact opposite, NL having taken all the risks; "managed" (sic) the construction, totally committed the production in loss making, took on the "mortgage" and what not.

  35. Watch out Ontario, Quebec, and New York and the Maratimes, we are are about to flood the market with our 600 or 800 kW line, ….now that it is feasible. And we are going to use hydro QC lines in 2041, so get ready. And you are included Feds too. So get the talks going. Stand by big time. Hope our negioaters can keep their oil on the brain too.

    The Tobin/Grimes deal on Gull Island site was supposedly killed by the then Hydro board of directors including Dean MacDonald, Mark Dobbin and Bill Kelly on the basis that it was too risky for the province. However the Martin board had no authority to kill the Muskrat fiasco. What does that tell you about boards of directors? Would it be that they do what their political masters or soon to be political masters(in the case of nearing an election) tell them?

    • Peng2, read your retro article and it does not understand that another route is possible, as it was not proven at the time. The point is that we should not, going forward allow Quebec with the support of upper Canada, to be a barrier as it has been in the past to NL export opportunities for power. All opportunities should be explored. I suppose you also deny that Quebec under Jean Charest and HQ under Vandals tried to prevent NL from access to the American market by attempting to buy New Brunswick Power. I find it also instructional from your retro article that someone expected to built Gull for 4 billion dollars. Aren't we happy that didn't get a green light.

    • Anony @ 18:37:

      A couple points are needed to normalized GI to MF:
      1) the Grimes proposed GI was an AC development – so no switch yards of the risks associated with convertor yards we are now going through with GE
      2) there was only transmission over previously built over ground (and only 2509kms back to CF) – so no geotechnical risks associated with the lines like we encountered on MF
      3) HQ / SNC were to be the builders and managers – so unlike MF where we assumed risks, GI as proposed wouldn't have given us those risks
      4) a dam at GI is more of a sure thing than utilizing the Spur as MF does
      5) the $4b quoted is circa 200 dollars, the $12.7b is current day monies – so if we assume a 2% inflation for about 15yrs, there is ~35% reduction/increase in costs to be applied

      In any event, I would offer that GI in 2000 would have been a better project than MF today (not that either was really necessary in my opinion) – however, I don't advocate either as being right for NL. Also, I am not one of those that feel jaded by Quebec over UC – we got a pretty good deal there, even if most want to claim the boogey man duped us.


  37. PENG2; Your previous comments on the viability of the HQ transmission from Churchill Falls, beyond 2041 caught my eye. Strategically HQ holds most of the cards regarding the best market route for power generated in Labrador and Eastern QC. (the five stranded rivers, screwed over by the 1927 Privy Council Southern Boundary dispute). Assuming the pocket leaders of both Provinces can be made to amicably settle the dispute, in favour of the benefits through collaboration, to both territories and peoples, prior to 2041. Otherwise the animosity and stupidity since 1949 will carry on

  38. Greta, is now into day 4 of her Atlantic crossing, presently becalmed, after a rough period, but no seasickness. On a sailing boat, having solar panels on deck, and a turbine in the hull for electricity, but no fossil fuel. 2500 miles to go to reach New York. Doing poop into a bucket is fine she says. No bogus eco-actavist, yet bloggers like the Digger and other very right wing people condemn here. Even Bruno has failed to say a good word for her record of "speaking truth to power". Quite the adventure for a 16 year old girl, hey, August being hurricane season. Bogus Bruno squeaks platitudes while hiding in Cape Breton, with his stock of native coal for winter. Greta is the real deal.
    She is not intimidated by bullies nor billionairs, nor bullshitters who deny the science of climate emergency.
    Winston Adams

    • An environmentalist doesn't see any problem dumping her crap in the oceans. What is wrong with this picture? Greenpeace probably dumps their shit in the ocean also. Come on now this is 2019. Women don't shit in the ocean, they don't shit at all do they?

    • Come to think of it, most of rural Nfld dumping raw shit into the ocean, and mostly main beach areas. I tried for 30 years to get local Bishop's Cove council and Dept of Envir to stop it, without success. Wonder if Dildo has treatment, or if Jimmy will not stay long, or if he will make it a cause?


    • Read the Digger's, Peckford piece, the Golden State, as to human poop problem. This is 2019!. And 270 million more to clean up St john's shit problem.After 500 years, the oldest city is still working on it. Anon, where does your's go? All purified?

    • Anon, my wife has been bagging her's for 17 months now, having colon cancer and bowels through her side. Her plumbing scheduled to get repaired next month, to regular operation. Yes Virginia, women and girls poop, usually not so much as men, and usually more hygenic than men. Bet on average they bathe more often too.

    • Final word on poop: the jail in New York where Epstein committed suicide; housing twice the population as designed. Men going into shower stalls to shit. This place built in 1975 , modern compared to ours, more than 100 years older.
      Human Poop , a hidden problem worldwide, but anon only worried about Greta's, who's wanting a clean safe environment.Anon hides behind the keyboard.

  39. May as well get my 2 cents worth in on the poop problem or challenge. We all talk about sustainability of this and that, environment, but does anyone talk about the sustainability of the earths population. What is the carrying capacity of humans on this earth. I know in certain places when the population has become unsustainable, guess the echo system sakes over and people die by the millions. Is this our plan, or Gods plan. What are we, mankind doing to plan the earths carrying capacity. As we all know, warmer countries of the earth, Equatorial and sub tropic countries have larger populations and usually more poverty. So you could say an overpopulated country. As we all know China had a plan of limiting their population growth for decades. The, 1st. World, as we call it have had a plan to limit population growth for the last 60 years or so, through medical research, and the pill as we call it. Millions and billions in foreign aid is given, that helps people have a better life, but also aids in the population growth of those countries. Maybe the greatest need for aid is to help reduce the population growth is to help the reduction of population growth through the pill or by what other means is acceptable. Where do the environmentalist, the so called right and left stand on that. Why is there a problem with immigration around the world, including the southern boarder. May be a number of reasons, but isn't overpopulation growth one of the primary challenges. What is the UN or a world wide body doing to address this problem, more wars, or are they working on a sustainable plan ask average Joe.

    • Average Joe; have a look at the map. The Southern Boundary does not follow watershed geography, as the North South. Arbitrary Latitude, slices through 5 important rivers, flowing into Gulf of St. Lawrence. Only one of which Romaine can be developed by our QC neighbour. One must wonder about the Colonial mindset of the Anglos. Sort of like the lines in the Desert, Sykes-Picot, (Iraq-Syria). That led to some wars. A cold eyes renegotiation between friendly neighbours, including Indigenous, leading to a peaceful, collaborative governance of the Grand River territories for the benefit of all, is what I have proposed. Long overdue. Does NL have a statesman or woman with foresight and conviction?

    • Robert @ 11:49:

      The answer is no, very unlikely anyone will step up to settle this to satisfaction of everyone.

      It really shouldn't matter much though, if we are considering development for export, both NL and Quebec have an interest in seeing it through.

      Unfortunately, the Quebec boogey man is alive and well in NL – most still accept UC as reasoning validating MF; and this is sad since we will never get over it (see some posts above).


  40. PENG2; key questions I asked you waiting a reply:
    1. what do you think is the chance of a sudden complete failure of the North Spur? You previously stated it to be unlikely, so less than 50 %.
    I asked if 1, 2, 5 10, 20 or 40 %, or some other figure, in your opinion? If if 100 % safe from such a failure , reliability is P100, and 1 reliability is P1, then you might indicate it in a P number.
    2. If a complete failure, and if winter you agree is the worst time, then what is the worst case potential impact, in your opinion?
    Others interested are invited to comment and answer these questions.
    Winston Adams

    • WA @ 19:20:

      So, that's pretty hypothetical questions.

      For #1, my gut tells me that a gradual fail is about 100-500 times more likely that acute fail – just on experience, not on any type of NS analysis. When I say that, I don't mean to inference any type of fail rate at the Spur is more or less likely – 2 independent thoughts and I have no idea on the stability of the Spur.

      When considering #2, I have said several time that I think the Churchill is still finding an equilibrium from recent development – the causeway, the MF, type of breech, tides etc all affect this outcome. So, logic would say winter is a bad time – but I wouldn't want to guess as to the end effect of a breech.


    • WA @ 19:20:

      I should also qualify that by saying that the acute vs gradual fail ratio is dependent on if you are looking for fail indicators and what you consider a fail. Mt Polly surely showed indicators of fail before the total breech – but it depends on the risk tolerance of the monitor as to when to call a fail.

      As I said, its a loaded question.


  41. PENG2, you have said of the North Spur:
    1. "I do not believe that there was sufficient investigation/testing to convince me that a given design is acceptable"
    2. I would not live downstream of the North Spur.

    I agree with both of those statments, we are both engineers, yet residents with little technical knowledge are living downstream and being told the NS is absolutely safe.

    You say the questions I asked are pretty hypothetical, you and I ask this to ourselves and reach a conclusion to guide our action;to avoid living downstream of the NS, and to state our concern on this blog.
    You also say now you have NO idea of the stability of the NS, which is reasonable if you have not assessed the data, investigations, testing and design, except you are aware of testing that has not been done that should be, in your opinion.
    That a gradual fail is 100 -500 times more likely that an acute fail, you say is not on any analysis of the NS, but on experience, a gut feeling. Is this including comparison to natural dams, or engineered dams including concrete dams? If the latter, your figure could easily give a false sense of security as to the NS? Pleas clarify and comment.

    As to the Churchill River finding an equilibrium from changes pre MFs….yes, understood changes to the flow, deposits etc.
    My question of impact to an acute NS failure is much much more serious: live lost, buildings damaged, loss of MFs asset, impact on our economy etc. This you imply you wouldn't want to guess at. Yet this is a risk from an acute complete NS failure that should be quantified. Quantified to decide the need of a expert panel to decide if this NS is safe.
    You have endorsed the need for such an expert panel. It seems your gut tell you such an event, even if low risk, the impact is huge, you would agree? And it should be quantified in risk analysis?

    If the risk from proper analysis, for a modified natural dam like this, was very low, the impact would be low, such that you and I wold not fear to live downstream. Would you agree?
    I assume you are not saying the risk of acute failure is very low because an acute failure is lower than a gradual failure, and may be misinterpreted to give comfort to those who alledge it is absolutely,or reasonably safe.?
    Winston Adams