eyesight norm sees twenty-twenty,
resources, we have plenty-plenty,
myopic Pols in spendthrift form
view the till on empty-empty:
power a software-fatigue tale,
Bad vibrations! Ferries fail to sail,
FooteBall games. The Recycle waste!
Rare Physicians, Deferred oil revenue? – Leaders flail.
twenty sees ‘stay-the-course’
budget-bluff without remorse,
struck to numb the truth.
the banks will thrift enforce?
no going back, the deeds are done, The Muskrats spent, debts being run –
Independence! It was once a dream! – The bills to pay by grandson’s son.
bitch and moan: we’re poorly led,
most of folks are safe and fed.
polled with vision lulled,
hindsight’s eye – we’ve made our bed.
mitigate the electric rate:
boondoggles to be our fate.
‘The Premier’ asks our trust, – HOOOO Ooo – He’ll straighten the financial state!!!!

BUT, have a great twenty twenty
health and malts for joyful fete.
December 21, 2019


Bill left public life shortly after the signing of the Atlantic Accord and became a member of the Court of Appeal until his retirement in 2003. During his time on the court he was involved in a number of successful appeals which overturned wrongful convictions, for which he was recognized by Innocence Canada. Bill had a special place in his heart for the underdog.

Churchill Falls Explainer (Coles Notes version)

If CFLCo is required to maximize its profit, then CFLCo should sell its electricity to the highest bidder(s) on the most advantageous terms available.


This is the most important set of negotiations we have engaged in since the Atlantic Accord and Hibernia. Despite being a small jurisdiction we proved to be smart and nimble enough to negotiate good deals on both. They have stood the test of time and have resulted in billions of dollars in royalties and created an industry which represents over a quarter of our economy. Will we prove to be smart and nimble enough to do the same with the Upper Churchill?


  1. JOHN TUACH sees so clearly what a balls-ass the Newfie politicians have made of it… that he can articulate it with poetic verse.

    Here we have a province awash with riches in natural resources… fishery, offshore petroleum, minerals, forestry… and yet these incompetent, corrupted IDIOTS have driven the place to the brink of bankruptcy.

    We need a squad of JOHN TUARCHs to wrest control from these corrupted dimwits and crafty villains.

    JOHN TUARCH for public office!

  2. I had known a little about Nfld not joining confederation in 1867, but knew little of the details.
    WHERE ONCE THEY STOOD, Nfld's Rocky Road Towards Confederation, by Raymond Blake and Melvin Baker, one of my Xmas gift books, I am halfway through. All that are pissed about our resent situation need to read this book. I am half way through. Even our Quebec UG readers, EX, Heracles , Etienne should read it.
    What a band of mostly corrupt and inept and self interested politicians and leaders we have had. And what continuous intrigue on the confederation issue, and on Labrador as a barganing chip.
    Oh how we missed out and being backward as to Canada, and the United States, in a state of poverty mostly.
    So I am now at 1932. Squires ,again Premier, already a proven crook was back in and again a crook, and 25 % on the dole at 6 cents a day. 100 million in debt. A mod marching on government, we areabout to go bankrupt.
    Winston Adams

    • Masterful is the description of the way this story is told. I found it very engaging, and finished it today, just over 300 pages. Early on was struck by the introduction, page 7, saying that "scholars and pundits are quick to assume that decisions with which they disagree or find appalling resulted from the stupidity and ignorance of voters". My assumption too was that Nflders were probably ignorant to vote against Confederation in the 1860s. The American colonies joined in the 1700s, and the Maritimes, Ont and Que in 1867, and it was wise for Nfld to stay independent for another 80 years?
      This book is supposed to challenge the notion that the voters were uniformed or gullible, says the back cover. To me the information overwhelming supports that to be the case. Further, the Dictionary of Canadian Biography on Charles Fox Bennett, says he played on the ignorance and patriotism of rural voters and so the anti-confederates won 20 of 31 seats in 1869. That article is written by historian James K Hiller.So which historian is truthful, so this just subjective, a mere opinion?
      The book is a great history of events documenting Hillier is right,I suggest, and that such ignorance was barely overcome in the 1948 referendums. Confederation was the result of rural Nlfd voters finally defeating the St John's/ Avalon elite and business interests.
      The book is current, citing 2018 polls of present fears of bankruptcy for Nfld. Muskrat Falls in not mentioned, but is timely as to how we got to this situation.
      Only 20 pages devoted to the suffering of Nflders during the Depression and Commisson of Govn, and 6 cents a day dole. Yet this likely key for Nflders turning away from Responsible Government.
      Peter Cashin said monthly baby bonus paid to mothers was immoral. That must of went over well. To join Canada as a province was treason! All this broadcast on radio, but I missed it, being only 6 months old, so just catching up on the debates, and circumstances of those times.
      How could we have been so ignorant of Muskrat Falls boondoggle in the making? PENG2 insisted we were well informed of the risks.
      Winston Adams

    • What you speak of, Winston, is a kind of Brexititus in us all. Confederation was rejected by some, just as the thinking today that we can blame "others" for issues such as immigration, foreign migrants taking our children's jobs, climate change, and the like. Island, (Avalon), style thinking will always be with us. Placing personal factors over common good. Very good commentary on Enright this AM, about all this.

    • A little positive news for 2020:
      Austria conservatives is about to share power with the Greens. Would the Digger approve?
      Germany too may soon see Green power.
      Tesla now in production in China, Model 3 rolls our there. Capacity 150,000 per year vs 350,000 their USA plant. China 5 billion dollar plant went into production in just one year to build the plant.
      Tesla starting a mega battery plant in Germany, and then will built cars there. England lost out due to Brexit.
      Warren Buffett owns part of electric car plant in China for some years now. Fortis CEO Perry said Stan Marshall is like Warren Buffett!. Where is Stan's green investments……NS coal power plants? Would PENG2 comment?
      Winston Adams

    • Keep the old car until you have to scrap it. The energy used to mine/smelt/build it is sunk – there is no point destroying a perfectly good machine. Even of a magic EV got 1000 km on a single AAA battery, it is still cheaper for you keep the old vehicle unless you do a lot of driving.

      The true cost of new technology (in terms of manufacturing pollution, human exploitation, wars fought over Lithium deposits or rare earth elements, embodied energy, capital cost competing with basics like food and healthcare etc.) is huge and very difficult to quantify.

      We have a long way to go before we can produce sustainable personal transportation devices. The ideal solution is urban planning so that the need to private transportation is minimized. I have lived in a few rare places where a car was not required and groceries/schools/work was all within a 10 minute walk.

      In the meantime, drive what you have until you have to haul it to the junkyard and then choose from the lesser of the evils available in the future – which will probably be a quality used machine.

  3. What surprises will we see in our climate in 2020? Who has 2020 foresight? What has 2020 hindsight taught us?
    With technology we can each now see what's happening around the world. At present Australia struggles with record heat and bushfires. Most fires are started by nature itself, dry lighting. New patterns of thunderstorms producing no rain, but lighting.
    Yesterday in Scotland record night temperatures of about 17C, warmer than Athens.
    In Moscow this week mild temperatures of about 6 C, and no snow on the ground. Russian cold winter weather and snow stopped Napolean and Hitler, no longer the same. The danger is the melting of the vast northern permafrost and release of methane which is 20 times more potent than CO2 for global warming. Putin is concerned, but wonders it a tilt of the earth's axis is the cause. Russia's vast oil and gas production would't be a factor?
    Meanwhile Greta is happy, no longer depressed, as she was for 4 years before her activism. Trump tweeted she should "chill out". She finds the crititism amusing. So too as to the Digger and Andy Wells and references to Saint Greta.
    Greta says politicians are not the enemy, physics is. Greta is one bad ass super intelligent child, and outdid Trump for the Time person of the year.
    Indeed PHYSICS: the science of man made climate change, and how this planet works. How do we counter the physics of what's happening on this planet? Of course many politicians are pushing the physics in the wrong direction. Tipping points and feedback, that crosses lines where rapid change is unstoppable. Russia's temperatures too are increasing 2.5 times faster that the earth average temperature rise, much like Canada.
    Locally now we have seasonable weather. But we can all see the remarkable changes worldwide.
    Meanwhile, did we stop importing dirty coal power? Why has Nfld Hydro stopped displaying our daily power loads and imports/exports since Dec 1st? Nor does the PUB have it, and has been showing this for years now.
    Is it employee fatigue, that Stan mentioned, due to the boondoggle? Did the PUB issue an order that this is no longer to be made public each day?
    Winston Adams

    • You blasted me for my ephemeral comment regarding climate change earlier, but I come back again. Greta is a voice crying in the wilderness in a long line starting (perhaps) with Rachel Carson.

      Yes things are deteriorating (changing in ways we don't like and can't accept and are worrying to us) the "ephemerality" comes in fixing them.

      I agree with Greta that current politics is NOT working, but she has no more sensible ideas of fixes than anyone else. She is not a miracle worker, or God. Mother Theresa recognized and spoke out about poverty but little has changed.

      The harbingers of doom are one thing, plans to make effective improvements (perhaps too late in any case)are still ephemera.

      Wail into the wind as much as you like, Winston, individually reduce electricity use, hydrocarbon footprints, and intensive agriculture but even collectively the outcome will remain the same. Nothing will change now or in the immediate future. Only total collapse of global economies, or the Zombie Apocalypse will bring about change and we sure won't like that any more than we like what is happening now.

    • Economic collapse is the only way to reset the mess we have created. I am more worried about the rise of a totalitarian surveillance state (1984 on steroids) than the Zombies. You wear a GPS on your wrist, Alexa/Google listens to everything you say, and everyone has a social credit score. "News" is propaganda, journalism is a crime and political correctness morphs into NewSpeak.

      There was a time not long ago when forest fires cleaned out the brush, the climax species were fire resistant pine trees and natives could run through the woods. Now spruce trees grow like weeds and you would have to be a moose to run through them. When there is a fire, there is so much brush that everything gets incinerated.

      The solution is to cut fire breaks around communities and roads and let the natural fires burn every summer. No water bombers.

    • Tor, Yes abuse of our natural systems has a long history, but some problems got solved with sufficient awareness and technical solutions.
      Greta is not a voice in the wilderness, but on TV and the internet and some 6 million support her in one year. It took 75 years before the first Gospels of Jesus got written. 300 years to take hold in the Roman Empire.
      She has not proposed technical fixes, these are for science and engineers and physics. But these rely on politicians and policy, worldwide solutions.
      You see only doom and gloom as a solution, that collective solutions can't or won't happen. You are a total pessimist. I have some hope, but not great hope.
      I don't wail into the wind Tor, that is whistling past the graveyard. I wail into the internet via my keyboard, and if only a few more take notice. So I walk with Greta, and the scientists and engineers to counter the deniers.
      Meanwhile in Australia, parts now described as Armageddon.People fleeing to the ocean to avoid the fires. Others sending up fireworks to welcome the New Year. Much like Nero who fiddled while Rome burned.
      Anon @ 10;03 says natural fires burn every year, just need some firebreaks. These fires create their own weather, generate dry lighting, unique cloud formations to cause this, and winds to send embers and new fires 30 km away. Some firebreak needed,hey b'y! These are not natural fires, because conditions are no longer natural as we have known them.
      We are entering unnatural conditions. A new frontier, as they said in Startrek, where man has not previously ventured. We live n interesting times, 2020 will not disappoint. Whether 1984 type of control or a new sustainable era, dammed if I know. There are signs of both. We need a Spock to navigate us. We need a Scottie, not a Stan. We need a Captain Kirk, not a idiot Donald Trump who claims to be an expert in all fields.
      For now we have Greta, a child to suggest a path, and may adults are paying more attention. Will it grow or fizzle?
      Winston Adams

    • Well Tor, I did a little research on the difference between a realist and a pessimist. This only about 15 minutes but:
      1. I said you were a total pessimist. I withdraw that.
      2. Seems you have more qualities to match a pessimist than a realist, is my revised opinion, as there are fine lines between them, and you might be a pessimist who could flip to realist?
      3. I am perhaps more of a realist, I suggest? I see a potential for the sustainable movement, but a steep slope to get there. Bruno for example believes in magic thinking, helped by the magic weed.The path forward is difficult, very much so, but not impossible. Most of human progress is the result of visionaries, and those were not high on drugs.
      A realist should not vote for fizzle? PENG2 too, I believe, calls himself a realist?
      Reconsider how you view yourself.

    • I have tried to follow the Path of the Dao for almost 50 years, but if you say you are a Daoist you aren’t. The Dao that can be named is not the true Dao, Lao Tzu said.

      From your previous we appear to be of similar age, me, turning 73 in February. Way back in 1963 our paths diverged. You to whatever you are and me to whatever I am.

      Cancer lives with me. I am taking some powerful drugs. I have no desire to fight anymore after a life of futility in social and economic development which proved that people are mostly afraid of change snd incapable of learning. Maybe that is pessimistic but to me it is simply a realistic observation.

      Hope is a mugs game although there may be some succour in that the Rapture Index remains unchanged in recent times.

      Here is a little poem by Wislawa Szymborska for you, she eon the Nobel Prize for poetry so she can’t have been too foolish.

      A Word on Statistics
      by Wislawa Szymborska (translated from the Polish by Joanna Trzeciak) The Atlantic Monthly, May 1993

      Out of every hundred people, those who always know better: fifty-two.

      Unsure of every step: almost all the rest.
      Ready to help,

      if it doesn't take long: forty-nine.

      Always good,
      because they cannot be otherwise: four well, maybe five.

      Able to admire without envy: eighteen.

      Led to error by youth (which passes): sixty, plus or minus.

      Those not to be messed with: four and forty.

      Living in constant fear
      of someone or something: seventy-seven.

      Capable of happiness: twenty-some-odd at most.

      Harmless alone,
      turning savage in crowds: more than half, for sure.

      when forced by circumstances: it's better not to know,
      not even approximately.

      Wise in hindsight:
      not many more
      than wise in foresight.

      Getting nothing out of life except things: thirty
      (though I would like to be wrong).

      Balled up in pain
      and without a flashlight in the dark: eighty-three, sooner or later.

      Those who are just: quite a few, thirty-five.

      But if it takes effort to understand: three.

      Worthy of empathy: ninety-nine.

      one hundred out of one hundred a figure that has never varied yet.

      I like the 83 balled up in pain and without a flashlight in the dark.

    • A good reply Tor. Much truth there and humour.
      So far I have avoided cancer, but struggle with it by family members. Pain yes, medication caused for me, but copes, and still hopes it will cease,and at times thinks there is progress, and too that relatives cancer will be defeated. Action in time is better than just hope, I find.
      On some things I still improve:typing skills, thanks to UG blog.
      I am inspired by Robert's engagement and wide range of reading and his links posted, and he an "old man" compared to us lads! Maybe this year he will submit a piece for UG, and an up to date photo? A Nflder after all.
      Indeed, progress is slow, but in many ways we still make progress.
      Best wishes Tor.

  4. NS Premier dares state publicly, about Atlantic Grid interconnect with Hydro Quebec.

    Back in the day when the cable guys and a few petroleum engineers, wormed control of NALCOR, it was considered heresy to bring surplus clean hydro through NB to shut down the coal thermal.

    What has changed? Soon the McNeil legacy will have been written. Give up on Northern Pulp. Access the more reliable Atlantic Grid feed from HQ. Is this not some form of Nation Building? Even a flood plain mitigation strategy on low lying coastal infrastructure. Action on Climate Change Action must be creeping up.

    • Hi Robert,

      More precisions about NS premier's grid interconnection comments:

      "Bringing energy in from Quebec and moving energy through Quebec to other parts of Canada…"

      Does he still think Emera will get power from MF anytime soon?

      Anyways, Ontario has refused many offers for cheap power from HQ. They prefer to rely on way more expensive nuke refurbishments. Would Emera's be able to undercut HQ suficiently to get Ontario to change its mind?

    • Just had a look at the 2018 Ontario Demand Forecast. In 2009 it was 140 TWh. By 2017 it was down to 132 TWh with declines most years.

      Everything is becoming more efficient and manufacturing is moving to other countries for cheap labor and power. Those Nuclear power plants will become dinosaurs – and probably kept running to avoid having to deal with the cost of decommissioning.

      I expect that advances in air conditioning (heat pumps), improved building codes that demand thermal performance, advances in manufacturing processes, LED street lighting and impoverished consumers using less of everything will continue drive demand down. The only demand increase I see is the mass adoption of electric vehicles.

    • Of course Ont natural resources dept issues a Directive to the power companies :Reduce energy and power demand each year or else, and they find the ways.
      Here no such thing but increase demand if you can by any means.But customers are going in the other direction. CDM AND EE policy and measures was and is a failure, and they are proud to say they are doing great while actually the worst in all of Canada. And customers remain ignorant of the scheming of the scallywags, and don't complain. We actually pay for the deceit and propaganda they use, from our power bills via Take Charge, Nfld Power with the key role, and endorsed by government.
      Winston Adams

  5. I see the next white elephant in the VOCM today — the mythical fixed link to Labrador.

    The link would be about 17 km. Russia just built a link to Crimea that was 19 km and cost 5 billion CAD. It was not just a road but a train link and 800MW transmission link to connect the power grids. Previously Crimea was dependent upon the Ukraine.

    The technology for these kind of mega projects exists but we will NEVER have the vehicular traffic to justify them. Daily traffic on the Crimea bridge is 15,000 a day. The English channel tunnel moved 2.7 million cars on trains. Both have trains as well and large populations of people on both sides of the link.

    Marine Atlantic moved 123,000 cars in 2018. This is a week of traffic to Crimea.

    In retrospect, we would have been better off with a fixed link and above ground power line from Labrador instead of Muskrat Falls.

    • Exactly! There are not enough of us for much, particularly MF. Even adding in emera doesn’t make a case for a break even on 6 billion let alone 15.

      If we all went utopian green the rest of the world wouldn’t be affected by our ripple.

    • Yes, they say more passengers and vehicles travel to Bell Island per year than across the gulf, may be the same people of course. I am a little confused about the above ground power line to link the island. Now Stan said he could put a power line to the moon, but never said how many poles or sky hooks he would need. During the '72 election, Moores started the blasting but never said he was doing a tunnel or a causeway. A 9 mile bridge probably exist somewhere but not in those kind of water depths. So isn't a tunnel the only option ask Joe blow, and is power lines through a tunnel called above ground. Happy New Year to all.

  6. I suggested 'a fixed link and above ground power line from Labrador instead of Muskrat Falls' as early as August 2012. See ).

    It may be that that was what triggered Danny Dumaresque to once again push for a fixed link.

    Agree. We would have been much better off to have gone that route (and Dwight Ball should also have taken a serious look at that — even as late as early 2016.

    • Transmission in a tunnel or a submarine cable, and power from Upper Churchill or from MFs, makes no difference if the power is not reliable. Either way we have the GE software problem, and the synchronous condensers not rotating( an enginner with some knowledge on the subject suggested to me recently that maybe they will need to be scrapped, and also there may be vibration issues with the MFs generators/turbines too if they were not properly stored.
      Even if GE and vibration problems are solved, reliability will still likely be low, operation 95 % of time and 99.97 % needed.We know this now, should be proceeding with solving the fossil fuel burning at Holyrood, not depending for MFs, which can knock us off several times a year with a vast reduction in reliability.
      There are degrees of boondoggles, we have a world class one because the concept, planing, engineering, construction, and commissioning is all from ANOTHER WORLD: Made Right Here In Newfoundland. And Made For The Avalon. As Robert would say: Avalon Thinking. Maybe the Inquiry will state as much, but waiting as the verdict is not in yet on reliable bipole operation. Maybe Leblanc will again delay his report, to see if Stan goes out STRONG.
      Anyone for wagers? PENG2?
      Winston Adams

    • Nalcor was a well 'oiled machine' led by cable TV guys, They were ill-experienced and therefore tasked with re-inventing the wheel. The result is no surprise, a world class F-up by world class incompetents. And we are stuck with the billions-bill because even the new strong finishers are incompetent and not up to the task, still trying to re-invent the sync condensers and solve the software issues, 737 max 8 or is it 9 issues. Is there a dark NL or another crash is our future?

    • WA @ 13:53:

      LeBlanc delaying his report isn't dependent on MF finishing up and will have limited analysis of that – this is why I have always said the timelines were wrong right from day 1.

      LeBlanc's evidence and report will be based on evidence he had as of August 2019.


    • You may be right, but waiting for MFs to finish before any Inquiry, means a long long wait. How do you define finish up? Any we would be still ignorant of all the blunders exposed so far.
      So Leblanc can't say the GE problem is serious, nor the SC vibration issues, nor that it might have to be terminated due to poor reliability. So Leblanc Inquiry #2 : As the World Turns. Stan went out strong or not? What really was lowest cost? Things missed by Leblanc Inquiry # 1.
      On these Time will tell, maybe.
      Wish a good 2020 to all UG readers. Maybe more will go public with their names.
      Anyone, with technical and writing skills, interested in assisting putting together my HP monitoring results for a UG piece, let me know. I will pay for help on that, as I never get around to it. Should be more informative than Take Charge. you can remain anon if you want. Free assistance also acceptable!

  7. Don't have to be an engineer to know that improper storage/preservation of machinery will have serious consequences.Apparently there were millwrights at Soldiers Pond who warned that the SCs needed regular rotation,but they were ignored and eventually replaced by people who wouldn't dare question the wisdom of the Nalcor " world class experts."

  8. 2020: Looking up or down?
    The CBC party with lively music and song, most on Nfld seafaring heritage outclassed CNN Anderson Cooper and friends 10 to 1. How boring the CNN annual event.

    On the world scene: Apocalptic, but Prime Minister Morrison was Churchill like " With Aussie spirit, we will recover….whatever the trials, whatever disaster….we have never surrendered to disaster….we have never surrendered to panic…the Aussie spirit, a spirit we can celebrate. We don't destroy our livlihoods with policies of the Greens. We are bringing down electricity prices"
    Before politics, he had a careen of messaging. And in parliament he passed around a lump of coal, saying "It won't hurt you". Australia is a big exporter and user of coal, damaging the environment and aiding bushfires. Locally we now import coal power, a policy of Green Stan.
    However at New years, Aussies flock to the beaches to celebrate, but this year many fleeing to the beaches to escape the fires. 1000 on one beach and Navy ships being sent. Worse to come say the headlines as fires continue. Fires are unprecedented, despite the spin to try and hide it.
    New Zealand , 1000 km away, is shrouded in smoke and haze.

    The Positive, a little good news:
    Prince William announces the Earthshot environmental prize, a copy of JFK's Moonshot, to motivate thinkers , leaders and dreamers. the next 10 years, a decade of action to repair the earth….earth is at a tipping point he says. ( Did he then fly by helicopter back to the palace, I wonder, or use an EV?)
    New rules start today worldwide for low sulphur fuel for shipping, reduces sulphur oxide by 77 %
    New Zealand: scientists measuring sheep farts is smelly business. But adding 2 % seaweed reduces methane in farts by 80% and genetic selection of cows and sheep improves another 10 %.

    Of course, present GHGs will be around for centuries, and still increasing, so the Prince wanting to achieve a fix in one decade is a pipe dream. Can he inspire like JFK? USA feared the Russian were ahead in space. Now we need fear for civilization itself, if business as usual.
    Fear disappears when there is positive action.
    Locally, Is our doubling oil production positive action? Or much like Aussies promoting coal? Oh, the Ball Niddy Noddy ethical small barrel, what a laugh.
    Winston Adams

  9. Osborne and Kenney should be paying attention to World oil supply/ demand characteristics:

    Cash flows into Treasury not expected to ramp up, any time soon.

    What big announcement soon from Feds on the Muskrat debacle? Has Seamus "kissed the cod" and will do right by our own Natural Resources?

  10. This is what needs to happen:
    1. A deal that the Feds contribute substantially to the Atlantic grid upgrade to permit HQ surplus power to feed into the Maritime provinces, and a quick closing of coal generation.Good for PQ and all the Maritime provinces.
    2 The Feds to bear the brunt of MFs cost for 20 years waiting for loads to increase, whether via NL or via HQ route.
    3. A plan like for northern Ont that linked 20 communities offs diesel unto the grid, for coastal Labrador. In Ont the Feds pumped in 1.6 billion toward that, and Fortis constructing it, and owning 49% of the asset. This reducing GHG and makes economies of those communities more sound, so do the same for coastal Labrador, why wound Fortis not be interested?
    4 Lifting the MFs burden, allows island options to proceed, real least cost options. Kill the scallywag's Take Charge program, admit it's failure. Let poor Betty die, bury her deep in a snow drift. Get serious to help customers more, Fortis shareholders a bit less so.