JOHN C. CROSBIE, R.I.P.

One of Newfoundland and Labrador’s most able politicians, John C. Crosbie, passed away today. He has already been missed from the political stage for a few years; now we justifiably mourn his passing. This Blog wrote two Posts on the man whose biography was perfectly titled “No Holds Barred”. One, called “Where Have You been John C. Crosbie?”, welcomed his putting Danny Williams in his place in 2014 for meddling in the P.C. Leadership Campaign of that year. Another, a 2013 post called “Crosbie Can’t Be Serious” contained a facetious chastising for what respectfully of the octogenarian, I had deemed must really have been a ‘tongue in cheek’ condemnation of Muskrat; it being completely out of character for him to give a nod to such a crazy idea. 

Both pieces, however, speak to the contributions he has made to the Province, his sharp wit and sharper mind, and especially his ability to speak his mind and not be fettered by political correctness. I still regard both pieces a tribute to the man and the place he carved out out in the hearts and minds of many people and surely in the annals of Newfoundland and Labrador history. Here is Where Have You Been John C. Crosbie?
Copyright The Daily News
The recent combative, even feisty tones of John Crosbie somehow triggered my memory of a couple of lines from an old Simon and Garfunkel tune:

Where have you gone Joe DiMaggio
A nation turns its lonely eyes to you (Woo, woo, woo)
It may appear improper, even unfair, that anyone should possess large and unwieldy expectations of an octogenarian, especially one who has served the Province long and well. 
But when John Crosbie came out swinging, on Monday, with Danny Williams in his sights, he stirred up memories of the “old” days; after all his reputation wasn’t built upon a single “we got it” which quickly evaporated.  

Inside political hot houses he was referred to, respectfully, as “JCC”.  Those barely weaned, in the ’60s and ‘70s remember him for his fearless rebuke of Joe Smallwood and his cronies, especially the carpetbaggers John Shaheen and John C. Doyle. Later generations remember him, too.  


He was a tour de force in Frank Moores’ Cabinet.  When he ran Federally, serving as a Minister in the Federal Cabinet, he was akin to a Don Jamieson on speed.  His ability to loosen the Federal Government’s purse strings during the cod moratorium prevented great human misery and helped rural Newfoundland to survive a lot longer. 
His success at having Ottawa take Gulf Oil’s 8.5% share of the Hibernia Project was instrumental in getting offshore oil production moving.  

Not one for braggadocio, Crosbie is a politician with a real history.  That’s why people still listen to him.
He and Brian Peckford had their tiffs, but rarely did it get personal; that trademark was reserved for Danny Williams.
Paul Simon said his lines were a tribute to DiMaggio’s “unpretentious heroic stature….” Politics seldom finds occasion for unanimity, as in baseball, but few would argue Crosbie was an immense figure, a Joe DiMaggio in a blood sport.
It was fitting that the recent fuss should all start when Crosbie turned up the volume on Ray Guy Night – a celebration of the man whose impact on our politics, especially during the Smallwood years, is still being defined.  Even posthumously, Ray Guy seems able to stir up mischief. 
Who better to bring out the best in one and the worst in another! 
It was vintage Crosbie.  But, it was typical Danny Williams, too. 
Crosbie said it was a “bloody pity” that there is no Ray Guy to deal with the current political situation in the Province with an uncontested Frank Coleman heading for the Premier’s Office and a Cabinet and Caucus unable to produce a single person willing to run.

Crosbie described as “frustrating” and “discouraging” the state of democracy in the Province. He remarked that he has seen the P.C. Party reduced to a shambles with Williams’ meddling.
It wasn’t in Danny Williams to say just say Crosbie was entitled to his opinion and to leave it there. Jack had to be as good as his master, as they say.  He called Crosbie an ingrate: ‘I installed a half million dollar elevator at Government House because he couldn’t climb the stairs, Danny sulked, giving no quarter to the requirement that Government Buildings should be wheelchair accessible.  In essence, Danny was saying – as if the money came out of his own pocket – I did him a favour, he shouldn’t be pickin’ on me.
It’s not difficult to see why Ray Guy made it seem easy to invoke characters like Aunt Cissy Roach.  For certain, she would certainly have called Williams a “mawmouth”.  If she was in a good mood, which was rare, she might have called him “the gall of a spavined bullock” – to his face. 
Danny would not have answered her back unless he wanted to get a crack from the handle of Aunt Cissy’s “double-bit axe”. Crosbie didn’t need to be spiteful. He made a public display of dropping Danny with a crash; akin to what the voters did in Virginia Waters.
Crosbie didn’t require Nick McGrath to invoke any force majeure for him, either, as he did for Coleman.
What Crosbie had in mind was not the ‘one’ person but the whole Province.  He did what Ray Guy was unable; the latter having permanently taken his place among the ‘Greats’. 
In the blunt style that belies a steadfast character Crosbie sent a message, perhaps even a warning, about the poor state of the Tory Party and the Government. 

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Related Reading:          CROSBIE CAN’T BE SERIOUS
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But the media recognized the man, too.  The same crowd that seem to know only road kill and weather still chased Crosbie for every utterance. The notice is a testament to his etched cache.
Why do warriors like Crosbie still matter?  For the very reason Crosbie cites: the absence of a mature democracy and the willingness of some to shag with our democratic institutions. 
He is needed as counterweight to people like Danny Williams; the latter too corporately conflicted and blinkered to be a worthy speaker for the public interest.
It is a pity that John Crosbie did not become more politically engaged in the days following the end of his tenure, as Lieutenant Governor.  The “anti-Muskrat Falls” camp needed one of his stature as a spokesperson to butt heads with the Dunderdale/Ed Martin propaganda machine.  Though Crosbie endorsed that Project, I have always thought his position inconsistent with his long history of condemning stupidity and misspending. 
Until he confirms that he seriously reviewed the business case for that Project, I am forced to conclude that he was speaking from his heart (the concept) rather than his head (the numbers).
That said, his re-emergence as an opinion-maker is important.  The Tory Party has not served us well; it is in the grip of a ‘puppeteer’.  No one likes their Government controlled by interests other than the public interest, even if the puppeteer is named ‘Danny’.
Love him or hate him, Crosbie has raised the alarm.  In his own words:
   
“We have the same problems in Newfoundland here today. They never change. All kinds of skulduggery…we haven’t advanced very far in political life here in Newfoundland…they can’t even organize a leadership convention.”

Frank Coleman likely won’t interpret his comments as a ringing endorsement of his leadership.
Where have you gone Joe DiMaggio?  Farewell, Ray Guy. 

And, today, we say farewell John C. Crosbie.

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.

TEN YEARS AFTER MUSKRAT FALLS SANCTION – We will have to think abandonment of the Labrador Island Link

Put simply, whether Muskrat Falls come online or not, it cannot be relied upon. Without admitting their gross negligence at the start, Hydro is essentially saying that that we should try to salvage Muskrat Falls at an undefined cost and for for however short the duration it might operate.

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

PlanetNL52: Happy Anniversary Emera on 1 Year of Official Energy Delivery Not Quite What Emera Bargained For Despite all the bad news related to Labrador Island...

49 COMMENTS

  1. I was a junior reporter at The Daily News and was sent to the Liberal reform meeting in Gander.
    Late in the evening I found myself in a room full drinkers standing next to John Crosbie. I told him I was a supporter given his stance against Smallwood. He asked if I came to the event with Tom Burgess. I said I had. “Stay away from Burgess,” he said, “he’s nothing but trouble. “

    I drove back to the city with Hubert Kitchen at the wheel arriving at 4 in the morning. I went to my walkup on Mullock Street and took a nap. I woke well past the morning deadline for the news and got in at 830 and was summarily fired by Hooks Vinnicombe because they went to press without a story on the meeting.

    The end of my print news career.

    Crosbie’s advice stuck with me, and for the rest of my life I stayed clear of all politicians. Best free advice I ever got.

    • Yes sir!

      It was no secret how the Hon. John Crosbie felt about what Danny Williams had done to the PC Party in Newfoundland and Labrador?

      I can imagine the response John Crosbie would have hearing Danny mourn his passing!

      It would have been epic!

  2. I initially failed to realize that most all of this piece was published by UG in 2014. Cyril Rogers commented that he failed to understand why John Crosbie endorsed MFs, and too it seems to me that Des Sullivan was being kind to suggest Crosbie was speaking from the heart and not the head. Jane and John Crosbie commented on the 2014 piece.
    One might speculate whether his age and health had impaired his analysis as to the economics of MFs. I took notice of DWs saying saying Crosbie endorced MFs.
    William and Peckford cite Crosbie's help in getting Hibernia moving as his greatest achievement. Williams and Peckford promote their own self interest opinions as to the offshore and oil wealth benefits
    For me, Crosbie was at his best when challenging Smallwood on the stupid economics of Come By Chance refinery or the Stephenville plant, as too was Clyde Wells. No heavy weight politicians came out against MFs like that. And Ed Roberts was silent as he "was acting" he told Ed Roberts.
    So we have a 16 billion lemon it seems.
    Winston Adams

    • Winston,

      It wouldn't be a surprising when you look back that many years.

      As with most of us living in the Province when Muskrat Falls was hatched, 99.9% of us had no idea of the "true" facts and figures that surrounded this project?

      We were to put it simply, "sandbagged"!

      Unfortunately, as we have seen there was a very small select group of people who had these "facts" under their control and the rest of us were forced to "rely" on the propaganda that was being spewed from NALCOR on a continual basis?

      Unfortunately if Mr. Crosbie was sitting on the "outside" like the majority of us and how could he or anyone else for that matter, make an "informed" decision?

      You know what, even if John Crosbie had been in his heyday, the way NALCOR and some of political powers to be steamrolled this over all of us, I'm doubtful he would have been able to stop it.

      He would have been marginalized by Team NALCOR/WILLIAMS from Day 1!

      The only thing I suspect is, if Crosbie had known the truth about this project from inception it would have added some interesting dialogue to the process much like Uncle Gnarley, Andy Wells and many others that were simply written off as naysayers and "bottom feeders" as Williams so proudly proclaimed at the Muskrat Falls Inquiry!

      To see Danny Williams attempt to "mourn" the loss of an honourable man such as John Crosbie, coming from such a dishonourable man as Danny Williams, complete with the absolute gaul to get another "plug" in for HIS Muskrat Falls Project, for me is despicable!

  3. A small number of citizens did inform themselves BFA — and did what they could as early as the spring of 2012 (well before sanction).

    Mr. Crosbie's apparent endorsement of MF however seems to have been inconsistent with and not reflective of his overall and unsurpassed contribution to this province.

    • Maurice,

      I fully agree!

      I am not criticizing the performance of John Crosbie whatsoever.

      However, even at the outset, up to and including to the present 2020, it's extremely difficult for the average person to dispute whatever went on with this project, when you have our very own NALCOR controlling the dialogue from the get go.

      NALCOR succeeded in dragging a huge number of people into their propaganda machine!

      Just think of it?

      It runs the gamut from political leaders, education professionals, public service employees, financial professionals, business leaders, the media, a huge number of residents of the Province it goes on and on!

      I do not fault Mr. Crosbie whatsoever!

      I look at him as another victim of the propaganda and misinformation machine known as NALCOR!

      I followed pretty well all of the testimony of the Muskrat Falls Inquiry.

      Anyone would be awe struck by the amount of deceit and tunnel vision that was on full display by NALCOR and the key individuals that pulled the strings on this entire project.

      NALCOR listened to NOBODY!

      Especially if it didn't match their "predetermined" agenda!

      My own personal regret is Justice LeBlanc being bound by the term of reference of this Inquiry and he is not allowed to determine (point fingers) at any Criminal behaviour that occurred?

      I have known Justice LeBlanc for many years.

      The man is definitely a straight shooter so to speak.

      I am sure that he must be having to literally sit on his own hands to not be able to convey his own personal and legal displeasure of what went on here.

      Make no wonder he requested another 3 months to prepare his report?

      I'm sure he is looking at every possible legal avenue he can try and manoeuvre to be able to report exactly what he would like to try and convey.

      I am truly looking forward to Justice LeBlanc's report too see if the man can complete the monumental task of putting some kind of resemblance of sense to try and explain yet another monumental disaster in financial well being for the entire Province of Newfoundland and Labrador and all of us who call this place home!

      Personally, I would put the significance of what we face with the outcome of Muskrat Falls actually above the complete collapse of our cod fishery and the moratorium that went along with it!

  4. Well said BFA.

    I am encouraged by your confidence in Justice Leblanc and am also looking forward to his report.

    Who knows, maybe he can help point the way (if there is one) out of this mess. I like to think that John Lennon was right when he said that there are no problems, only solutions.

    Certainly, this MF mess is at least on par with the role that both the province and the feds played with respect to the government enabled/controlled destruction of our renewable, billion dollar cod resource.

    Our governments continue to not serve us well.

    • Thank you sir.

      I have 100% faith in Justice LeBlanc.

      The turning point for me in the Muskrat Falls Inquiry was when Justice LeBlanc lost his "cool" with Ed Martin while he was testifying (preaching) on the stand.

      In all my years of knowing this man I have never ONCE see him get upset (lose his cool) in open court.

      He has to be one of the most methodical, professional, and collected individuals that I have had the pleasure of meeting.

      I would trust him with my life!

      Trust me there are not many people in my life that I would stake that claim!

      All the best!

      The Honourable John Crosbie: May you rest in peace.

    • I much enjoy BGA's comments and generally agree. Some exceptions to BFA and MA
      1. I would put JC's contribution behind Joey, for bringing us into Confederation. And as to integrity I would put Joey behind Robert Bond. What other politician ever staked his own money, 100,000.00 as a back up guarantee to avoid default for the province? Squire's was skimming from the public and even the WW1 veteran disability fund. My own personal research showed him and Hickman to be purchasing bootleg liquor from St Pierre. Bond's achievements were hampered by Canada and Britain, and France.

      2. My firm faith in Leblanc is only 50%, and wish it was 90 % or more. I go by the axiom that the law is as crooked as it is straight, as old timers told me. Yes key point was Leblanc losing his cool, but then it was on the verge of a gong show, and that put it on a bit straighter path. As to a straight shooter, so too was Stan, until he wasn't. PENH2 too thinks the light shines out of Leblanc. I have much respect for his ability. But……echoes of Mount Cashel; Leblanc found favor for the RC church over insurance company, though evidence supported that the church was aware of some abuse incidents what would have avoided the insurance coverage. PENG2 supported Leblanc, by saying that the insurance had the money and could afford it, so justifiable!. I find that to be unethical reasoning. Did I misrepresent what PENG@ said way back? I never check UG for accuracy.And too, for Leblanc to praise the Nfld Hydro trio, especially Stratton, suggests he did not understand issues of proper forecasting power needs and demand, or was playing along with the Nalcor bunch, hoping no one would notice. Maybe no did, except me? Or too Kate O'Brien?

      3. As to the loss of the cod fishery, yes that is major if just from over fishing and management, which Bruno too would say. But that is to ingnoe global warming/ and ocean cooling from the Labrador current on fish stocks here. With hindsight this is more obvious and still at play here.
      Winston Adams

    • Winston,

      Are you saying that me and PENG2 actually agree on something?

      Small miracles never cease to amaze me!

      On the topic of Justice LeBlanc I stand by what I said.

      Only time will tell if our last remaining "faith" in the legal process shines again, or it is snuffed out faster than the severance cheque was written to Ed Martin?

      On that topic, I am personally well aware of some of the financial inner workings of our esteemed Provincial Government.

      I have never been able to comprehend how fast Ed Martin's compensation went from application to money deposited into his personal account?

      I have never seen it discussed here or anywhere for that matter?

      The sheer speed of the transaction should have raised alarm bells and red flags?

      It had all the markings of, "Take the money and run!"

      Ask anyone who has waited for "money" to be transacted on a Government claim?

      Ask any of the contractors that are owed money by NALCOR?

      I would say they would be happy with 90 days, let alone overnight!

      If only they had put that much speed and thought into actually building Muskrat Falls?

      Yup, just another one of those things to make you go hmmm……….

      All the best!

    • Even I agee with PENG2 on a few thing, and too I did with Bruno, but Bruno must have total agreement or you are an enemy. I am much more alighned with your views and AJs, and some others.
      You are right on the speed of govn payments, as happy with 90 days. But seems some contractors get preference. My experience is that with the Feds, subs get some protections as to delays,or problems , where as with provincial govn the subs get ignored, Are palms being greased?
      Winston

  5. Spooky;

    https://www.theglobeandmail.com/world/article-emergency-alert-reports-incident-at-ontarios-pickering-nuclear/

    Last evening, Public TV played China Syndrome movie, California (1978), which just preceded the Three Mile Island Pennsylvania) Meltdown (1979)

    We used to live just West of Pickering, and were fearful of such a fail. One would wonder about those souls, working within the Utilities, living daily with the risks, potential dangers, political influences on applied science, etc.

  6. Seems little interest by UG readers on lightning issues. Recent I poses the question of hits around NEW Zealand for one day, and no one guessed.
    So a hint: 30, 300, 3000, 30,000, 300,000. one of those is right.Any one to guess?
    Winston

  7. Last nite I came across a conversation about Brain Peckford in the 1980s, and it gave me a chuckle, as I had forgotten all about it. It was by an old lady in her 90s, who in the 1920s supplied St Pieere liquor to Squires and Hickman!
    Anyone want her views on Peckford? She was then at St Luke's home. Much like Aunt Sissy Ray Guy wrote about, except this woman was the real Mckoy.
    Winston
    Winston

  8. I cannot blame Mr. Crosbie for not trying to save us from Muskrat Falls.

    Many Newfoundland politicians and the vast majority of the population learn about issues from the media. In particular, TV news (NTV/CBC), radio (VOCM,CBC), newspapers (Telegram) and a few on-line branches of the above companies.

    Anything else is hidden — insiders know things and you might hear rumours or gossip or read it on a blog like this. Posters have to be anonymous or else they will be fired.

    Unfortunately, investigative journalism is almost completely dead. CBC and others will fire you if you dig too deep too often. Journalists have faced or served time in jail for sharing the truth – ranging from Justin Brake locally to the monstrous and viscous treatment of Julian Assange.

    For a while, the bright spot was the comment section on news sites where the comments were often better than the articles — but even that has dried up. VOCM has no comments, CBC disallows comments on many articles and many sites want real names used. Google, Twitter and Facebook censorship don't matter too much here because we are insignificant on the world stage – I suppose that is good.

    That leaves with an empire of lies and propaganda. We need more sites like this, and to find ways of countering the constant propaganda and lies. We will face this again. Public Private Partnerships for hospitals, prisons, roads, a fixed link to Labrador, Gull Island hydroelectric, terrible lopsided deals that give away our resources — all sold to us as low cost options, investing in the future, strategic partnerships — just like the Muskrat Falls lies.

    • Well said!

      Although PENG2 on here may contradict you?

      According to him/her we were all adequately informed as an electorate, and due to all of this knowledge we should have known when we voted especially for the "coronation" of Danny's "chosen one" aka Kathy Dunderdale that we all knew the in and outs of Muskrat Falls.

      Therefore we endorsed the Muskrat Falls project by simply voting for Dunderdale.

      The only strange part about that rationale was after watching Dunderdale's testimony she also was taken with the affliction known as "Muskrat Falls Amnesia" complete with not a single note on the $13 Billion Dollar white elephant known as Muskrat Falls!

      I have never figured out how us mere mortals as residents of the Province factored into that one?

      Hey, Dunderdale was only the Premier at sanction and the Minister of Natural Resources prior to that?

      You can't expect the woman to be able to remember what happened leading up to Muskrat Falls and sanction as well.

      Let's face it?

      She did what she was told by Ed Martin (NALCOR) et al, and she followed lock step in the whole process!

      Sure NALCOR, they were one of us, just another fully functional Government department?

      Fully staffed with "world class" experts in the Hydro industry!

      She actually may have been partly correct in the very beginning, until Ed Martin " The Gatekeeper" god rid of them all, and replaced them people that would do as they were told and "tow" the company line and you know what, amazingly even after all the testimony at the Muskrat Falls Inquiry some of these very same people are STILL employed by NALCOR!

      I know?

      It pretty well defies logic!

      Although, I am still excitedly anticipating a few more "golden handshakes" at NALCOR (maybe even the public service) both before, and maybe even after the Muskrat Falls Report?

      (I'm almost throwing up in my mouth even saying anything remotely positive in defence of Dunderdale!)

      But, I'm sure Dunderdale had more important things to keep on top of other than Muskrat Falls?

      I fully agree with you investigative journalism is pretty well extinct in our Province at present, and has been for quite some time.

      There are flashes of hope every now and then from Anthony Germaine at the CBC, but it seems to be short lived?

      Another bright light we had on the journalism front for a while was James McLeod of The Telegram but sadly he is gone!

      Unfortunately when you have a political process that has been subservient for many years and an almost non existent media as well, it is little wonder we were kept in the dark (pun fully intended) about the entire Muskrat Falls project and everything NALCOR for that matter.

      I do agree, I have thoroughly enjoyed this blog for many years!

      And like you have said I have learned many things from just the comment section alone let alone the blog itself.

      As you will probably see I'm sure PENG2 will chime in with a few words of wisdom on how Muskrat Falls was somehow "our" fault (yup the person speaks in the context of the 3rd person) it was all of our fault to somehow come up with all of the knowledge that it took Justice LeBlanc about a year or so of effort, combined with a fully staffed legal team, and the testimony of 50 something people to find out and even he has had to ask for anothrr 90 days to try and figure it all out!

      Not to mention while NALCOR who even up to and including the year 2020 are STILL trying to operate with a "cone of silence" over everything Muskrat Falls!

      For any younger readers who maybe on here just google "Get Smart" the TV show to get a full appreciation of the cone of silence?

      Anyways, have a great one and enjoy the banter!

    • WA / BFA:

      Again, both of you are misquoting me.

      Never said 1x time anyone should have understood the technical intricacies of MF – just there was enough confusion and dissenting info in the media available to everyone that more questions and opposition should have been raise.

      Again, I will quote this, it was posted in the local media in June 2011 prior to the 2011 election, and is onpoint:
      [start]
      The Telegram’s editorial of June 1, “Sound advice,” quotes Premier Kathy Dunderdale as follows: “Now, Mr. Speaker, my own personal view is if anybody goes to represent the people of this province then they should have the blessings of the people of this province.”

      Well then, using your own words, Premier Dunderdale, how can you lead this province and “represent the people” on this multi- billion dollar, debt-infested, high-cost Muskrat Falls project — without having “the blessings of the people”? Neither the project itself, nor your anointment through an undemocratic fumbling with the constitution of the Progressive Conservative Party of Newfoundland and Labrador, has “the blessings of the people.”

      Accordingly, if you truly believe that your leadership must have “the blessing of the people,” then you can only “represent the people” on Muskrat Falls after the election.

      Let’s see what the people think before you put us into billions more in debt, dramatically increase the power bills of Newfoundland and Labrador consumers — all while giving our business competitors and the people of Nova Scotia Muskrat Falls power for free.
      [end]

      The deal for MF was tentatively announced in November 2010 – it is impossible for the voting public to now claim that voting for the PC government in 2011 wasn't giving a mandate for MF.

      Likewise, feel free to offer some explanation as to why a number of those that voted for MF in 2011 are still sitting members in the HoA….

      PENG2

    • Your quote, from 'Start' to 'End', is from my 4 June 2011 letter to the editor (Telegram).

      However, during the election, government all but kept its mouth shut with respect to the MF project.

      If I recall correctly, didn't it send around a propaganda brochure espousing all of the Nalcor talking points (most if not all of which were a repeat of the oft-repeated and deceptively crafted nonsense that Nalcor had been putting out, over and over, until and after sanction).

      That was not public consultation. It was pure manipulation, propaganda, twisting and omission of relevant facts.

      More akin to the Trumpian era.

    • MA @ 12:21:

      Correct – a quote from you. But it doesn't matter in the end if the government covered up details, point is there was an opportunity for the public to change what was happening and the public didn't take it – the public was the last person with a chance to change the future and the electorate walked away from that responsibility by voting PC, your Telegram letter was correct then and is now as the electorate is responsible for the government they elect.

      For reference, the November 2010 announcement aas in a CBC.ca article of MF by DW can be found here:
      https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/newfoundland-labrador/historic-hydro-pact-signed-between-n-l-n-s-1.883078

      I would also go back and refresh you memory on the 2011 PC Blue Book – MF was infact a major part of their reelection platform.

      PENG2

    • MA @ 12:40:

      You are 100% wrong – the issue of PUB review for MF was raised in May 2011 (at that point no review at all). Then later that summer a limited review with a reporting deadline of December was announced. The PUB confusion alone should have been enough for the public to question what was happening – but the public wanted to believe the 'Energy Warehouse' B$, and now we have what we have….. And it was a big talking point during the election – no matter what you try to claim….

      Infact, the extended of the PUB review came 5-6wks after the 2011 NL election in early December 2012.

      Bottom line, the public ignored the warning signs – no sympathy from me if the indicators are ignored.

      A couple links to refresh your memory:
      https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/newfoundland-labrador/pub-review-of-muskrat-falls-gets-new-deadline-1.1077958
      https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/newfoundland-labrador/muskrat-project-to-be-exempt-from-pub-1.1017721

      Paint whatever romantic story you want – the warning signs were there, but ignored…. Call it propaganda, manipulation or whatever – in the end, there was enough presented that should have made anyone questions the rationale….

      PENG2

    • I have sworn off the trolls on this blog and the (unfortunately) xenophobic editor who has responded to my criticism of the role of a weak intelligentsia allowing the the constant barrage of propaganda to go unchallenged. Maurice, you and I saw the pitfalls of MF early on, warned an uninformed public, to little effect given the propaganda machine that continues to this day with PENGzero.

      It results in the anon Danny surrogates like PENGzero to constantly victim shame and blame a lied to public for the MF disaster. You and I Maurice were two of only a handful that did INDEPENDENT research and quickly saw the inherent lies and deception of the Nalcor/Williams/Dunderdale propaganda machine.

      Chances are the editor will once again demonstrate their xenophobic tendency and edit me out, not for obscenity but for speaking truth to power that jars the impotent.

      Too bad! I love John Crosby for speaking his truth despite we being bitter enemies in the lead up to the cod moratorium. While he rightly deserves credit for loosening federal purse strings after the moratorium, he ignored the science (and warnings of informed ENGO's and scientists alike) and wrote the death knell of the cod complex for overtly political reasons that he freely admitted to in his memoir.

      There was no BS with John Crosby. He spoke his truth whether you liked it or not (without resorting to censorship).

    • Anonymous 12 January, 2020 @ 1656

      As expected PENG2 has attempted to enlighten us again.

      He/She simply cannot get past the idea of how our vote to elect Kathy Dunderdale (who in turn sanctioned the Muskrat Falls Project) was made by a "fully" informed public.

      Therefore, due to the fact that apparently we weren't fully informed, it was "OUR" fault that we all didn't hire private investigators to find out for ourselves that we were being "sandbagged" and in turn misled as the general public.

      We watched a steady parade of witnesses at the Muskrat Falls Inquiry (some of whom were actually elected Government officials and senior Government civil servants).

      Some of whom, were the very same people that had actually been beating the Muskrat Falls drum for years, up to and including sanction.

      These were the very same people that all of us, as the general public (voters), had relied on to hopefully tell us what we were getting ourselves into!

      There were actually a couple of these SAME people who testified that they never had a sweet clue what the exact concept of "risk" was as it pertains to the construction of mega projects such as Muskrat Falls!

      Let alone how it impacted construction timelines and costs!

      Guess what?

      They also proclaimed to be "sandbagged" by the very same NALCOR.

      I know?

      Please!

      You don't have to keep shaking your head so much?

      I have already given myself whiplash trying to understand the "logic" according to PENG2!

      Yes, I will admit there are times that PENG2 has the occasional "flashes" of brilliance?

      Hey, we have even agreed on a couple of things!

      But I would suggest that you take PENG2 many times with a proverbial "grain of salt"?

      Some have even suggested that heaven forbid, PENG2 is a troll, that is only on here to keep spreading the NALCOR manure?

      I'm guessing there are only 2 people who know for sure, Uncle Gnarley and PENG2!

      Enjoy the banter!

      But keep your salt shaker close at hand for those special PENG2 moments!

    • Good to see you back Bruno.

      Yes, I think it was the deception and inherent lies that first tweaked and motivated me to dig deeper and to educate myself (at that time not even knowing that there was a difference between capacity and load/energy use).

      It took a while to expand on various key aspects of Muskrat and to try to make various concerns understandable for the average reader.

      Yes, there were few citizens speaking out early on and certainly you were one.

      Thanks for the nod. Much appreciated.

  9. BS !!

    The election was early October 2011 (and at that time you could count on one hand citizens who had informed themselves about Nalcor's/government's propaganda and were then able to get some limited media exposure).

    Compare that to the PC government's/Nalcor's massive, Orwellian propaganda machine.

    Democracy/honesty, respect for the public interest be damned.

    .

    • You make me smile PENG2, being informed on MFs for the public is much like being informed on climate change. An emergency needing to be addressed or business as usual , wait and see more. Peckford considers himself an expert, and a coal oil , gas digger.
      30 years of increasing data supporting man made climate crisis, but even you, an engineer, sees no imminent danger…..maybe serious in 50 years time, was that your position?
      Guess the lightning hits around New Zealand just before the volcano blew up: 30,300, 3000, 30000,300000?
      As this is not your area of expertise, don't worry if you are wrong, but have a guess, as no one else will.
      And what is the reliability factor for the overland LIL? After 10 years all Nflders should be informed on that too, right?
      Winston

    • WA @ 15:37:

      The point is, the public didn't need to know the technical details of MF – all the public had to do was pay attention to the media to understand MF was questionable.

      Damn, even after the PUB said in March 2012 it couldn't determine if MF was lowest cost because of issues getting reliable info fro government and Nalcor, 80% still supported MF. Add to that, until 2017 there was still majority support and even today 40% or so still support MF.

      That's is the classic definition of the public being an ostrich with head in the sand…. No question – there wasn't enough info out there; but the fact is there was enough complaints of bad info transfer that there should have been more public uproar instead of following like lemmings….

      PENG2

    • That does not absolve the perpetrators of this millstone around the NL people's neck. Danny and his puppet Kathy are most responsible for supporting incompetents like Martin et al and giving us the Muskrat debacle. The people are not to blame for being hoodwinked these low-lifes.

  10. PENG2, you destroy your own BS.

    YOU admit

    – No question – there wasn't enough info out there

    and even as late as 2012

    – the PUB said … it couldn't determine if MF was lowest cost

    and with all its expertise, the PUB couldn't make that determination because of

    — issues getting reliable info fro government and Nalcor

    Good thing you are an engineer and not a lawyer.

    • MA @ 17:12:

      You need to read closer and quote correctly – all I have ever said is that there were enough questions that the public shouldn't have bought the MF B$…. Never 1 x time you ever find me saying there was enough info out there, or that the public should have understood the technical details of MF.

      Now, having said that – you understood the technical details of MF. So, my question is since you are not a technical person, why should the rest of the average persons in NL not have understood MF a bit more clearly before giving and endorsement?

      And that endorsement was given, as you very clearly said, in 2011 via the 2011 general election….

      PENG2

    • Peng2, there are still many who think you can transport all of UC power over the LIL and ML, so misinformed they are on technical details. They just assume that, and perhaps 70% of those, if it was explained to them that less than 10% of UC power can go over the ML, they would understand it, and the others refuse to believe it.That is but one detail, and there is about 100 serious details not understood by the public,that make this project stupid, and they must trust the powers that be. When those powers deliberately mislead and misinform,how can they see the wheat from the chafe? Even now on reliability, many of the 60% against MFs don't realize the reliability problems, and only a month ago, Nfld Hydro holding back detail of reliability risk. They play the same game today even against the PUB and Liberty. and the public.
      We could wish that 70 % of the public had engineering insights like you and me and MA and a few others, or economic insights like Vardy, Sullivan etc, but that is wishful thinking. That there was a little smoke by the media items, sure, but nothing substantial, and important people were under the cone of silence, including Stan the so called straight shooter, and Peter Alteen, and all those contractors and Board of Trade enablers etc.
      We can wish for an informed public, which is your argument, that there was enough doubt for the average person to say stop the project. But indeed , as MA says, if the expertise of the PUB said not enough information to decide, what chance did the public have to decide? To me and you there was overwhelming information even before the PUB looked at anything. There should have been hundreds of engineers who could have said this is stupid. We have Steve Bruneau…….but 99% of engineers were and still are under the cone of silence……even you, who remain anonymous, so part silent. You peep out.

      So we live on a planet called earth. It has characteristics of our power systems: a generator, transformer, insulators, conductors, capacitors, even synchronous condensers. Our generator, planet earth, is over 7000 mile in diameter, maybe MFs units are 20 ft.
      Lightning causes a little trouble on our little system of a few thousand Megawatts. Around New Zealand recently, lightning struck 300,000 in one day, about 870,000 times over 3 days. Do you believe those numbers? If so do you find them stunning, and in awe of our electrical planet?
      A visitor to my house this week said "they say that fires in Australia are caused by arson" . I replied : "the they includes Brain Peckford, spreading that nonsense on his blog. Maybe 100 arson cases over the whole continent. There is a site you can watch the lightning hits, every couple of seconds,a new hit, many starting new fires." And this worse from climate change. But we fear the few arson cases, ignore mother nature and laws of physics.
      Winston Adams
      Winston Adams

    • Maurice,

      The more I read from PENG2 the more I believe the troll theory.

      You know what?

      As in most "trolls" they are better to be ignored!

      Otherwise all we are doing is "feeding" the troll!

      By the look of it, many of us here on this blog have spent too much time literally giving this person the time of day.

      Let alone listening to his/her never ending drivel.

      Which coincidentally ALWAYS reverts back to the same old broken record?

      "The residents of the Province are responsible for NOT being well enough informed, therefore we somehow deserve the hand we were dealt!"

      Even though most of our cards we were dealt came from the bottom of the deck!

      PENG2 is literally full of crap!

    • MA @ 18:28:

      Check the definition of 'endorsement' – my words were chosen very carefully and deliberately. 'Endorsement' as in giving public support requires nothing of the type of informed consent. Also, informed consent has nothing to do with democracy – except by those who wish it was so and want more accountability. The only accountability in our system in no re-electing under-performing MoAs, and in this regard the public has failed since there are still those that voted for MF in 2011 in the HoA.

      I'd 100% agree with the there was a misguided belief in DW held by most in the province (even to this very day He is compared to God by some), but irregardless, the 2011 election was still an endorsement of MF.

      PENG2

    • If the Dunderdale government believed that the 2011 election constituted an 'endorsement' by the public of Muskrat, why did government ask the "Public" Utilities Board to determine whether Muskrat was the 'least cost' option?

      The very act of seeking the PUB 'endorsement' is evidence that the government knew that it did not provide the electorate with a fulsome, truthful and transparent picture of the need, affordability and risks associated with what in actuality it knew was a fraudulent expression to the public of those needs, affordability and risks.

    • MA @ 11:42:

      They asked the PUB in an effort of pandering support from the public – as of around 2000, no hydro developments greater than 45MW needed PUB approval (I think Grimes??).

      KDs attempt then backfired – because Wells had the gumption to stand and say no.

      But even after Wells having his say, the PUBLIC still didnt take the hint on MF….

      PENG2

    • Anonymous 14 January 2020 at 12:54

      Yes I have wondered.

      The more that I see the interaction (banter) between PENG2 and others on this blog, there seem to be a few people that seem to hang on his/her every word?

      Liberal loyalist?

      Who knows.

      But the last person I can recall that people seemed to be "awestruck" by his every word was the one and only, Danny Williams!