MUSKRAT: LESS A PLAN THAN A CONSPIRACY?

Last time, author and consultant to the Commission of Inquiry,
Dr. Brent Flyvbjerg’s thesis of “strategic misrepresentation or political bias”
(at P – 00004, p 17)
was discussed as an explanation for how the
absurdly unnecessary and uneconomic project Muskrat Falls project received
sanction.

Flyvbjerg’s thesis posits  that “… forecasters and planners deliberately
and strategically overestimate benefits and underestimate cost and schedule in
order to increase the likelihood that it is their projects, and not the
competition’s, that gain approval and funding.”

Undoubtedly, there are still people who believe that the
Muskrat Falls project grew out of a process of evaluation based on the statutory
requirement of lowest cost and reliability.


Put through a year of tedious Witness testimony at the Muskrat Falls Inquiry where the pre and post-sanction
narrative took on a coherent thread, you might not be so readily assured that
Government’s legislated public interest obligations superseded those either political
or personal (legacy).

It is well worth chronicling the direct evidence supporting
Nalcor’s record of “strategic misrepresentation”. But even before the plethora of examples piled up there is significant evidence to suggest that the “fix” was in for Muskrat (or
Gull Island).

It wasn’t easy in those early days to access the resumes of
the small group inserted into NL Hydro under Williams, the ones whom Dunderdale
described as “international experts” nor to get information that was more than propaganda. Then, an applicant conducting
a request under ATIPPA often had to be content with an answer from Nalcor that
stated bluntly: “does not support the Reference question”.

The Inquiry served its purpose on this account, too, confirming that from the moment the Williams Government announced its intention to use public funds to development an “energy warehouse”
it became less a plan than a conspiracy.

During Phase I of the Inquiry, Commission Counsel’s
examination of Paul Harrington, Muskrat Falls Project Director and member of
the Project Management Team, began on November 19, 2018 and continued for three
days. His testimony filled in some of the gaps in knowledge of how the
megaproject got started.  

Principally what Paul Harrington had to offer the Inquiry was
the detail of his own work history as well as a little knowledge of Ed Martin’s.

As it turns out neither man previously led a megaproject or
for that matter, a large company unless, of course, Harrington omitted
something from his encounter with the Commission Co-Counsel. An appraisal of Harrington’s own experience – and that of Ed Martin’s with
Petro Canada – suggests that they were middle level managers, each one some
promotions away from the top job of a project general manager and much farther from the corporate suite.

Most notably, Harrington was sought by Martin, not at a
reasonable point in advance of Muskrat Falls Sanction in 2012, but far earlier
– in 2005.

You might ask: What was an ostensibly world-class megaproject
manager doing tied to a desk in St. John’s for seven years when, from Asia to the Middle East to North America, the best ones were in demand for “shovel ready”
projects?

On the Witness Stand Commission Co-Counsel, Kate O’Brien,
asked Mr. Harrington about “the previous work that you’d done – in what
previous position did you have that was closest in scope and responsibility to
that that you eventually took on with the Lower Churchill Project. Harrington
replied: “I would say the Hibernia Project…” O’Brien asked further: “So at – on
the Hibernia Project, what specifically was your title?”  

MR. HARRINGTON: I was the – initially, the mechanical
completion or completions manager – or completions lead I think they used to
call it then, and then I was the deputy RFO manager (Ready For Operations). (p.3)
 

So, on Hibernia – the project most complimentary to Muskrat – Harrington
was not the Project Manager, nor even the Ready For Operations Manager. He was
the deputy RFO Manager. Back then Martin, as Harrington describes his friend’s
position, was in “kind of a business manager type role”.  






Hibernia was completed in 1997,
fifteen years before construction on the Muskrat Falls project began. It is not
unfair to expect that Harrington might have been subsequently hired as ‘lead’ on
some other megaproject, beefing up his resume and his skill-set. At the
Inquiry, his testimony suggested no such thing.




Following completion of Hibernia both he and Ed Martin worked
on the Terra Nova project for Petro Canada. It, too, proved a long
distance from the top jobs both were seeking. 

O’Brien’s questions continued. Harrington informed her that
both he and Ed Martin had worked on the “team” for Terra Nova giving no
indication that either he or Martin had led the “team”. States Mr. Harrington’s
transcript (p. 5):

So even after completion of the Terra Nova production platform,
which went into service in 2002, Harrington is assigned work on an insurance
claim which was “primarily led by Mr. Martin”.  

Martin became Nalcor CEO in 2005 and, it seems, lost no time
assembling some of the old cronies with whom he had worked in the oil patch.

Returning to the transcript (p.4), O’Brien asks Harrington how
he got to be Project Director of the Muskrat Falls Project. He responds: “Okay.
Well, I was, you know, working on doing the start-up for White Rose, and I was
contacted by – I think it was Ed Martin, Mr. Martin, at the time. He asked me
to attend a kind of a brainstorming session that was being carried out in some
– I think it was the Guv’nor Pub on Elizabeth Avenue…”

Had Martin rescued Harrington from another mid-level position, this time on the White Rose project?

On the Witness Stand, Ms. O’Brien asks Harrington about the selection process that got him the
job:





What was Harrington doing from 2005 to the time of Sanction –
November 2012? Evidently, planning a megaproject, pushing paper, getting ready
for a role, based on his testimony to the Commission of Inquiry, that he had
never previously occupied and for a project that would be either Gull Island or
the smaller Muskrat Falls. The “Isolated Island” Option didn’t even rank reference in dialogue with Commission Co-Counsel.

The “Isolated Island”, included a collection of thermal, wind and small
hydro, which could be constructed incrementally as Demand growth, if any, occurred. That far
less risk laden option found purpose only when then Premier Dunderdale was
forced by critics to subject Muskrat to review by the PUB. Little wonder that the
PUB complained bitterly that it literally had to drag information out of
Nalcor, even with a time extension, in its consideration of Government’s limited
Reference Question.  

Gilbert Bennett had already been placed by Williams as Ed
Martin’s second-in-command, having conveniently ‘moved over’ from his role as
V-P of Cable Atlantic.
Who else was at the Gov’nor Pub that day? Interestingly, Ms.
O’Brien asked that question, too. This is Harrington’s answer:






One name that Paul Harrington likely missed was that of
Derrick Sturge, V-P Finance  and Chief
Financial Officer for Nalcor. His testimony further confirmed Nalcor’s myopic
mission to build a megaproject. 



On the Stand at the Inquiry, Sturge recalls his
return to Hydro in 2006 preparing for Nalcor’s formation and his subsequent
focus on financing alternatives for a large project. He recounts the team’s
effort to find a large-scale industrial customer; aluminum producers were a
particular focus. But the effort came to nothing. He picks up the story on p.9 (of his Inquiry Transcript):

Sturge then notes Nalcor’s employment of consultants, PwC and two
banks, to advise on financing availability, equity, and other requirements
required for pursuit of either Gull Island or Muskrat. He continues:

In October 2009, New Brunswick announced a potential deal
with Hydro Quebec and, as Sturge notes, the discussion became a two-way affair
with Emera. 



Least cost and reliability later enters Sturge’s testimony but he
notes that “least cost” depended upon returns from the export market. It was important that he made this admission. 



Realistically, there never was an export market that offered returns except at a
fraction of the cost of generating and transmitting power from Labrador. Besides, Sturge ought to have known that even a back-of the-envelope calculation of export revenue equalled only more “Muskrat Madness” considering the amount of capital employed in that pursuit.  



The decision to do a deal with Emera, however, illustrates the level of desperation felt within Hydro Place and with Premier Danny Williams. Having no large industrial customer willing to make a large investment either in Labrador or on the Island AND dodgy Demand forecasts justifying only a 40% share of Muskrat’s capacity for Holyrood and growth (a figure both debunked and derided) Danny Williams and Ed Martin were in a position where, if their megaproject dreams were ever going to be realized, they would have to hang the entire project on the one and only – captive – market available – Island ratepayers.

Returning to the Witness Stand for a moment, Sturge explains to Ms. O’Brien that the export market returns helped Nalcor meet the requirement of “least cost” as well as Nalcor’s Internal Rate
of Return (IRR). 



You might ask: why was 100% of project cost and 100% of the risk
downloaded on Island ratepayers – rather than a figure apportioned to the relative share of revenues expected from export sales? 



The figure would only prove the silliness of the venture. More importantly, the export revenue did not have the benefit of certainty for the bankers. Only ratepayer sourced revenue was considered “bankable” which is why the “Term Sheet” for the Federal Loan Guarantee included a provision that ratepayers deliver the full annual revenue requirement of the project.


Who was warning the public of the direction of
power rates in the North Eastern United States in advance of the Sanction
Ceremony? Not Nalcor or the Government.


Myopia does have the effect of denial. And a lot of that was needed to justify the Muskrat Falls project.

Sturge’s testimony lacks any preoccupation with
the “risk” which ought to have accompanied consideration of a large-scale
project. In the real world, “risk” ought to have been center stage
in his testimony, as well as that of Ed Martin and Gilbert Bennett.
  At the end of it all, an observer would be
hard pressed to be sure that “Isolated Island” was an option at all. 



Related:
When You Think Muskrat, Do You Believe Never Again?



Optmism Is Not A Plan: Addressing NL’s Fiscal Crisis

If the Commissioner chooses, he will have quite a Pandora’s
Box of examples that support Dr. Flygtvberg’s thesis of “strategic
misrepresentation” as the foundation for Sanction.

But first, the Commissioner ought to assess whether
“predetermination” – a conspiracy to proceed with one megaproject or another –
come hell or high water – caused a conflict with sound principles, economic and otherwise, to begin with. 



He will have to throw into the mix the extent to which Nalcor violated “best practices” as part of the whole scheme. Such violations are
found in the failure to obtain legal clarity over water management, low-balled
costs, interference with the very Consultant’s Reports on which the public were
led to believe justified the project, the
failure to inform its Board or the Government of the true status of project
costs, even letting Premier Dunderdale proceed with sanction under the misapprehension
that all of the conditions precedent for the Federal Loan Guarantee had been
met. And that is only a partial list and the Government can be saddled with one, too, beginning with the absence of oversight.



And, don’t forget that a group of competent, senior and long
serving members of NL Hydro and CFLco weren’t invited to the Guv’nor that day
in 2005; the ones fired, that is.
They wouldn’t have drunk the “Kool-Aid” anyway. In Ed Martin’s
“group-think” there was no room for “non-aligned” insiders. 



From this perspective, too, it is hard not to think a
fool anyone who raises the spectre of “world class” or “business
case” when it comes to Muskrat. 



Was Muskrat “predetermined”? Was this notion of “Isolated Island Option” a fraud from the start – not just the Cumulative Present Worth giving Muskrat an ostensible $2.4B advantage – but the whole idea?


Hopefully, the Commissioner will give that question his determination, too.

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

THE PROOF MUSKRAT FALLS IS NOVA SCOTIA’S PROJECT

The substance of Hydro’s mission is to satisfy the contracts with Emera to get large amounts of power flowing into Nova Scotia for the betterment of that province and its ratepayers.  The Island could easily live without the Muskrat Fals project and in fact, other than for the onerous Emera contracts, NL ratepayers would be best off if it was abandoned and left to rust.

FIRST YEAR OF OFFICIAL ENERGY DELIVERY NOT QUITE WHAT EMERA BARGAINED FOR

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53 COMMENTS

  1. A great review of how the disaster started. All the little Walter Mitty's meeting at the Gov'nor Pub plotting their escape from the mid-levels of corporate NL. Gonna make it to the big leagues. Led of course by that diminutive townie lawyer with an outsized chip on his shoulder. The man whose tackie little houses in the wasteland of Galway aren't selling. The petty little man who dreamed of being NL's own Trump.

  2. This post (combined with the last) get pretty damned close to saying it the way it was.

    For some naysayers, these are not as much a revelation as they are a fairly clear and substantial linking of the dots (and that for some of us were, early on, 'large blots' rather than just dots).

    Nevertheless, this is perhaps the most eye-opening and 'evidence-based' summary of what many of us have been trying to flesh out since at least 2011.

    You continue to provide yeoman's service not just to the province but to truth itself.

    Well done.

  3. A very good analysis of the fraud that will be cemented upon the people of NL once the project is completed and become a millstone around our necks for 50+ years afterwards. Also a good characterization of the carefully chosen fraudsters and their damn the torpedoes authorization from a series of reckless and irresponsible government leaders.

  4. So now we the people need a counter conspiracy. Someone in the paper suggested just not paying any extra amounts until the structure collapses, unlike Hong Kong, no rubber bullets or vandalism at the airport required.

    A bunch of unaccountable skeets got us into this and now a bunch of unaccountable skeets are pretending to get us out, highly unlikely, whether the dam holds or not, we need a plan to shed ourselves of this pile of
    Misery about to fall in our laps.

    Is it possible to rise up?

    Went to Jim Payne’s and the Labour movement’s new CD launch, they sang the anthem of NAPE and, it brought a tear to my eye, We are coming Mr. Coaker and we are 40,000 strong.

    Mayne we need an anthem? Maybe that will get us srarted!

    Up the long ladder and down the short rope.
    I dreamed I saw Joe Hill last night
    Come bear at your peril Canadian wolf

    Where are the revolutionaries,
    The anarchists, those as mad as hell, not willing to take it anymore?

    Desperate times call for desperate measures.

    • Yes, we can rise up. To do this successfully, we need a few things.

      1) Something to fight against (that one is easy – corruption/nepotism/going after the skeets)

      2) Something to look forward to (a viable and sustainable plan). This requires a team of people, perhaps retired. It might resemble a provincial budget and list of high level policies and programs that are understandable.

      3) A social media team to ignite a grass roots movement. Memes, short videos, tweets, posters nailed to telephones, social events etc. Maybe some brewery can make some "boondoggle Ail".

      We might as well have some fun in the process – community BBQ's, musicians writing war songs, beer, ridiculing the establishment. Flash mobs, flash town hall meetings etc. Muskrat Falls fraud being illustrated in street walls, painted on walls, name the Dannyland traffic circles "narcissus circle" and plan a road sign.

      It should be as decentralized as possible. Some civil disobedience, like refusing to pay power bills might be involved and we don't want anyone to be the target for legal action. Same for burning of effigies, mock tar and feathers etc.

  5. If the jackboots weren't marching in the streets, they were sure as hell marching in the suites, or words to that affect. Didn't they also have 'hit squads' in the house of assembly during the debate on Muskrat to combat opposition to the project?

  6. So the conspirators have been named. All that needs to be added is if they were meeting under someone else's direction. That person or persons should be named and added as co-conspirators. They conspired against the state, wittingly or unwittingly, is irrevelant. The outcome was the same. Pain, distress, misery, fincincial ruin on an entire population, and a state. What does the criminal code say about that. Is it treason, wilful plundering of the public treasury and disregard to the principles of democratic rule. They should be tried in a court of law and let the chips fall where they may says Joe blow.

  7. It isn't just Muskrat Falls. Every position of importance in this province is filled the same way.

    Sometimes there are pretend job competitions where the competant and highly qualified candidates are screened out.

    If the winner of the competition isn't the pre-chosen one, the deputy minister can simply choose someone else (e.g. Natural Resources).

    Other times, competitions are cancelled and the crony is offered the position at higher pay (like Carla Foote).

    Sometimes the competitions are secret and unqualified people are given upscale bonuses (larger salary) because they are the only candidate. (AG report on the english school board)

    Sometimes ministers appoint friends for 13 weeks at a time and later argue they are now the best candidate because they know the job better than others by virtue of being there already.

    When all positions of importance are gifted to connected people, the public has a problem.

    1) THey are generally unqualified and no good at these jobs, and it makes entire government departments dysfunctional.

    2) They will be good sycophants and do what they are told since they want to stay on the gravy train and know that they'd never get such a well paying job in industry. These people will never stop bad things – they will instead ignore them.

    3) Qualified and competent people are kept at bay by these people because they are perceived as a threat. This guarantees that departments will never be functional / up-to-date / have best business pratices, eliminate waste etc.

    We need a purge.

    • Considering the politicians are largely unqualified to fill the roles they're in, they probably figure qualifications aren't important. We elect mostly dummies to office (mainly because only a few run who aren't dummies) and then they have to hire high cost consultants to "advise" them. Makes unqualified politicians highly vulnerable to being manipulated, just like we saw on MF. I don't think the elected politicians were necessarily knowingly complicit in much of the skulduggery on MF but I do strongly believe that they were easily manipulated because they had no depth of understanding of what was happening. Why can't we write up a skill-set for elected positions so candidates have to pre-qualify before they can run for office? Get rid of the wannabees right in the beginning. Would be refreshing change to have knowledgeable leaders who have competency rather than spending piles of money to generate consultant reports that most of the politicians are unable to understand. You might even get a few competent people to run for office if there was a chance to be part of a group who had some idea of what they were doing.

    • There will always be politicians that are elected because they are liked in their district and have no particular skills of value to running a government department. All they need is name recognition. They will be randomly given a portfolio after the obvious assignments are made. For example, an elected medical doctor would likely get health and an elected lawyer would likely get justice. The rest are just assigned randomly.

      It is then very important that the deputy minister knows how to run a department AND has a clue about the subject area (e.g. Health, educatione etc.). Ideally, this deputy would also understand the business area or have the skills/background to be able to learn it quickly. The assistant deputy ministers who report to the deputy definitely need to be capable of guiding the departments below them and this requires extensive subject matter expertise.

      As long as managers/directors/adm/dm behave as sycophantic foot soldiers, focused exclusively on keeping the minister of the month happy, departments are left adrift. Management needs to be focused on providing cost effective, basic public services – not politics.

      I think a good start would be to force ADM/DM positions to be public competitions overseen by an independent 3rd party (not the corrupt public services commission) and give them some sort of job protection – e.g. they cannot be fired for telling the truth, or putting their objections to hare brained ideas on the public record. This might be the equivalent to supreme court dissenting opinions. All briefing notes should also be made public after a few years.

  8. Everyone from the LCP management team who we saw at the Inquiry definitely appears to have been operating a few levels above their competencies. Unless the required competencies included deception, ignorance and blind loyalty which in that case Harrington and a few other direct reports were AllStars – they were truly world class in that regard. If Harrington was the Captain, Kean and O'Brien wear the A. Special mention to the retired VP Humphries as one who could really pile it high.

    • Merit and competency in this context = willing to ingratiate themselves to those above them in the hierarchy. Training, education, ability and ethics are a liability. That is likely why those with previous hydro experience were fired. Any deviance from "the plan" is a thought crime. Anyone serving at the pleasure of the minister has to leave ethics and spine behind and blow with the wind.

  9. Not just Nalcor, but select members of the public service and select politicians and former politicians (pre, during and post sanction) were (and some still are) key participants and drivers of this fiasco.

    • Tor,

      Twitter-sphere refers to everyone who sends and reads short messages of a few sentences sent over twitter.com. Most users here in Newfoundland include #NLPOLI or #NLTRAFFIC in their messages so that they can be found by searching for #NLPOLI. These search words are also called hash tags because of the #.

      There aren't very many ways to communicate to groups of people with similar interests since VOCM/TheTelegram/CBC seldom allow comments and there are no discussion boards that I am aware of. That leaves Uncle Gnarley and Twitter.

      It is often good to counter propaganda in Twitter when you can since it affects the opinions of thousands.

  10. Was Dr. Flygtvberg’s thesis of “strategic misrepresentation” the foundation for Sanction?n Duhhh!

    Was Muskrat “predetermined”? Was this notion of "Isolated Island Option" a fraud from the start? Do bears shit in the woods?

    'Hopefully, the Commissioner will give that question his determination, too." Yes just put on your red sparkly shoes and skip down the yellow brick road with all the little people!

    Is this hope self delusion, collusion or just confusion?

    • We need some visual combat to get across to the public who these sociopaths are amd make the case for jailing them for their crimes against society.

      Someone with Photoshop skills could use the style of William Bonzai (a zerohedge regular). Examples of his work are here:

      https://www.zerohedge.com/blogs/williambanzai7?page=1

      Check some of his blog entries – these photos were topical at the time, illustrating news of the week. Example: various people seen at the inquiry could be grafted onto swine, feeding at the Muskrat Falls feeding trough. Or maybe a key figure with his finger in the North Spur dike.

      A step further (and more disturbing) is art like that collected by a former white house chief of staff.

      Don't look at these if you are easily disturbed by evil. This art is fantastic, but I wish eye bleach was a real thing.

      https://steemit.com/pizzagate/@gizmosia/art-podesta-admires-and-buys-you-may-never-sleep-well-again

      If I had these kinds of skills, I would illustrate local frauds and the people responsible for them, and have the art distributed everywhere. Twitter, Facebook, telephone poles, highway signs. This would constantly remind the electorate of who the enemy is.

      Any artists out there up for illustrating some of the inquiry highlights? Perhaps readers here can suggest people and situations that need an illustration. Others can print and distribute.

    • Google cartoonist Mr Fish, and select images. You will see lots of great work from Dwayne Booth.

      We need cartoons like this to illustrate bad deeds from our rulers. Hard hitting satire will draw dire threats or Danny will sue for slander or you will get you fired from local businesses – so our artists need to be anonymous.

  11. Andy Wells correctly calling Stan Marshall and Peter Alteen cowards or were intiminated into silence (CBC piece)
    Alteen's excuse that not enough information was available to evaluate the merits flies in the face of Stan's suggested alternative costs of about a billion dollars for lowest cost.

    • My earlier postSept. 6th post:—

      Maurice Adams 6 September 2019 at 14:02

      While Stan had the knowledge and experience to, early on, categorize Muskrat a 'boondoggle', HE DID NOT.

      It was The Telegram, in 17 September 2011 (that's right — September 2011) that first raised the prospect that Muskrat was a boondoggle by headlining one of my earlier articles —- "Muskrat Falls: boon or boondoggle".

      Stan, had the knowledge and experience, but failed his duty to the province and lacked the courage until everyone could see the obvious (five years later).

  12. The same old blame and complain that is the obsession on NL'ers. Using Andy Wells as a validation for your point of view is pretty desperate. One of the biggest idiots in the history of NL politics, Andy Wells provides clear evidence of the correlation between small brain and big mouth. Always seems the biggest idiots dominate the airways here and the dialogue is never about solutions.

    • Right on,
      the north spur absolutely safe, Stan would camp there no problem.

      Muskrat a boondoggle before sanction, but Stan didn't tell the Nflders why it was so.

      Solutions says Stan: customers must say how much reliability they want and willing to pay for, on top of 12.7 billion. That's solutions for you. Ask Joe Blow what power reliability he wants!
      And the PUB, anyone not approved to present by Sept 20 is out of luck, so business as usual , only worse. Light and Power Boys will have a front seat for this, but was silent on Muskrat.

    • "blame and complain" 'ey Anon 21:26
      Andy is a tool, no doubt
      but at the time it was the littlest tawdry ambulance chaser who sealed the fate of all NL… he not only dominated the airwaves, but sucked all the air out of the room… so Andy and others are immaterial to what your God Danny did.. perhaps you are actually Danny typing away in the basement of Doran (or its Dorian) Lane

  13. zzzzz – More of the same. Maybe if we complain about it enough, it will all just go away? Don't worry… insolvency looms and when that touches down, focus will be diverted to a whole new disaster that we ignored in the time we could have made a difference. Maybe we'll have another inquiry and the blame & complain can continue.

  14. I dislike Danny and politicians in general. Manipulating incompetents in parties of all stripes. I refuse to even vote anymore because democracy is broken. All that said, there was never a problem solved by complaining. Fort Mac burns down and they deal with it. Tidal wave in Japan and they deal with it. They don't have a pity party and sit around and complain. The PEOPLE in those places get on with it. Re MF, the blame has been layed and the culprits identified. The law will decide what to do with the villains. The complaining has gone on for years. Time to move on to a focus on solutions. More blame and complain will solve nothing.

    • And they have no backbone, because all the public wants is their "stuff", be it an ocean-class ferry to travel 5 km, or somebody else to pay for sewage treatment that others in Canada shoulder the burden for.
      A demi-god arises, the population kisses his ass, he is emboldened enough to think he is world-class, his legacy crashes and burns, the population is stick with the bill once more, wash, rinse, repeat. Only problem is this is the last cycle.

    • The politicians are all about reelection and they are always polling to determine what policy to set. Weak and pathetic. No vision, no real plan. The incessant complaining makes things worse. Nobody is focused on solutions. A huge price will be paid for this, as we saddle our children with massive problems that will diminish their living standards. They will be angry with all of us, as we collectively lived beyond our means in our time and left the bills for them. Who to blame will be of little consequence to them. We will all be seen to be at fault, as the People did no more to act than the politicians. Pretty brutal and selfish that we will sell out our children by not acting to get things figured out.

    • Now that the election is about to be called, it is incumbent on us all to get clarity as to what each candidate will commit, regarding rate mitigation action. Concerned Citizens no longer an afford to just vocalize and gripe about what might have been. Our children need us to show leadership in selecting progressive, competent, MPs to build a more sustainable future.

    • Will Canada forgive our odious debt and regime debt by taking over Muskrat Falls and the Debt associated with it? This is 3rd world kind of self serving debt that benefited strong-arm cronies and hurt the public – think Robert Mugabe and Idi Amin but without the lapels.

    • Canada, as currently governed is allowing a very corrupt policy when awarding mega project work; Sole sourcing to the likes of Irving, Davy, SNC-Lavalin, etc. Politics again will take the tax payer for a ride, as in the TMX scandal, soon to be revealed. Of course, NL a basket case of awarding contracts a la Smallwood era, to friends, instead of the fairer, tried and true Public Tender approach, will seek and get access to the deeper pocketed Canadian taxpayer. Mugabe and Amin both corrupt tyrants are thankfully dead. People should wake up and watch carefully their own elected representatives. As yet, it is still both possible and probable that our governments can play favourites with awarding contracts. Governments as in NL and elsewhere in the Federation, are following Energy Policy with respect to their Crown Agencies, (BC Hydro, NALCOR and the like), which promote corrupt schemes and mega projects such as Site C and Muskrat, based on the backs of the ratepayer slush. Enough!

  15. Re: suck it up comments …

    Muskrat Falls cannot be compared to natural disasters where we just need to get on with rebuilding.

    If my home is flooded I have control — some parts insured, some not, but I can rebuild it slowly by myself or neighbors can work together weekends and evenings or I can do without for awhile. There is nobody to blame but myself for building in a flood plain. Or perhaps, it is just bad luck.

    This is different. It is a man made disaster, it is a massive fraud. We have been ripped off billions and every household is not going to hand over $50,000 to settle a debt to financial institutions. It is like Ontario scammed its residents for a third of a TRILLION dollars. Would Ontario families pay it or would they stiff the banks for lending to such a preposterous endevour. Then there is the North Spur that has the potential to be Canada's largest engineering disaster.

    Hard physical work cannot fix this. What can work is ugly. Financial default, open revolt, angry mobs. There is no way to extract 12 billion from our tiny population. If you were to send me a bill for $50,000 in fees/taxes/levys just because I am a NL resident, I would have to leave the province.

  16. https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/c-rcmpolice-i-am-requesting-criminal-investigation-all-pritchard-ma c. To: Royal Canadian Mounted Police [RCMP] Mailing Address: O Division RCMP Headquarters, P.O. Box 3240, Station "B", London ON N6A 4K3, Canada From: Llewelyn Pritchard "Dear Sir/Madam I am submitting this written complaint requesting a A Royal Canadian Mounted Police [RCMP] Criminal Investigation into all stages of the whole Muskrat Falls Boondoggle hydropower project, Newfoundland and Labrador [NL] for at least seven good reasons" 5 September 2019