RATE MITIGATION AND OTHER DELUSIONS

Guest Post by Ron Penney
We
are faced with two big problems, either one of which would be difficult, if not
impossible, to resolve.
 

The
first is the fiscal situation.
 

The
Auditor General, in her most recent presentation, set out again our perilous
financial situation. By almost any measure we have the worst fiscal metrics
compared to the other provinces, despite having the highest per capital
revenues in the country.
 

 Expenses have gone up 33% over the last ten
years. Over the same period revenues decreased by 9%. Over the past 7 years we
have had a cumulative deficit of $6.4 billion.
 

We
have the highest per capita expenditures in the country by a large margin.
 

We
also have one of the highest tax burdens per capita in the country so we can’t
tax our way out of this, despite some recent suggestions to the contrary.
 

Reaching
a projected surplus in 2023 requires annual expenditure reductions of 1.94% a
year, with no allowance for inflation or wage increases. The recent reports of
a 4% increase to NAPE, which will set the tone for the rest of the public
service, puts the lie to the projected 2023 surplus. It just won’t happen
without massive reductions in public services, for which there is clearly no
appetite.
 

Worse,
even those who should know better, are calling for increased expenditures. I
refer in particular to senior executives of Memorial, who you would think would
know better than most the dire fiscal situation in the province, but want to
add a Law School and extract additional money from the treasury!
 

Ron Penney

So
what we have, despite the best efforts of the Auditor General, is the failure
to collectively recognize what we are facing.
 

How
can we make our citizens understand the depths of our problem and that we can’t
continue to borrow our way out of this?
 

I
think that part of the answer is to do what Alberta did and appoint a panel of
experts to investigate and report on the fiscal situation, hold hearings around
the province, and authoritatively inform all of us of what we are facing and
how we can get out of it, if it is even possible.
 

Otherwise
the debt rating agencies, like Moody’s, which recently downgraded our credit
rating, will eventually tell investors that our ever increasing borrowings are
no longer investment grade and will be junk bonds.
 

Turning
to rate mitigation.
 

Dave
Vardy and I were very surprised to receive an invitation to the press
conference supposedly announcing the much anticipated contribution of the
federal government to rate mitigation. We were warned on the way in by someone
who had seen the announcement in advance to be “underwhelmed.” We were and said
as much.
 

No
wonder the Premier resigned a week later.
 

It
wasn’t an agreement, or even a memorandum of understanding outlining a
framework for an agreement. It was a piece of political theatre outlining a
sketchy concept of changing the way in which the project might be paid for over
time and the “monetization” of future dividends.
 

Moreover
those dividends were supposed to be used to pay the interest and principal on
the $3.7 billion and counting we borrowed for our “equity” in the project. Who
will pay for that? 

We
were subsequently provided the opportunity to meet with public officials who
kindly provided us with more detail but still not enough to satisfy us as to
what the ideas actually will mean in practice.
 

One
important fact that we did learn is that while changing the financing model to
cost of service may save us and future generations money it has the perverse
effect of requiring even more money from rate payers in the first few years,
thereby increasing the amount required in the early years.
 

And
who in their right mind, would pay us now for expected dividends down the road
based on rate payers consuming more electricity with rates increasing by 2.25%
a year. Those dividends will never materialize. It is a fantasy. Demand is
already going down and heat pumps are flying off the shelves.
 

This
purports to add to the work of the Public Utilities Board which estimates that
at best the rate mitigation recommendations they suggest will result in a $400
million dollar shortfall if we are to reach the target rate of 13.5 cents per
kilowatt hour.
 

It
is important to recognize that those are estimates, some of which will take
many years, if ever, to reach, and the shortfall is predicated on the project
costs remaining at $12.7 billion.
 

The
chances of the project costs remaining at that figure are slim to none. There
are certain further project delays because of the software issues and the
synchronous condensers problems. Every further one year delay adds another half
a billion dollars in interest costs which have to be added to the project costs.
 

In
addition, it is becoming increasingly more evident, as we warned when Muskrat
Falls was first announced, that Holyrood will have to be continued in some fashion
to ensure reliability, particularly for the Avalon Peninsula. There are studies
underway to determine the best way to do this but either maintaining the
present thermal plant on standby or replacing it, will require many hundreds of
millions of dollars in capital expenditures and high annual operational costs,
none of which are included in the present budget.
 

The
end result is that the gap is not $400 million.
 

As
we have seen all along in this project costs and revenue needs have been
consistently underestimated, no matter the political stripe of the party in
power.
 

The
most important verdict on the rate mitigation plans don’t come from us but
rather from Moody’s, who remain unconvinced of the merits of what was
announced. This is important because the main reason why they downgraded our
credit rating is concern over rate mitigation. If their concerns aren’t allayed
future downgrades are inevitable.
 

So
again we need to collectively understand the true nature of this problem and so
far we and successive administrations have failed to do so.
 

In
order to do this we need to take advantage of the present minority political
situation and I urge the creation of an all-party select committee on rate
mitigation with the power to have hearings and engage expert witnesses.  
 

Our
fiscal cliff and the potential doubling of electricity rates pose an
existential risk to all of us and require a non-partisan approach which can
engage all of us in an honest assessment of what our situation really is and
what solutions, short of bankruptcy, are available to us.
 

I
fear for our future and for those who think it can’t happen here, read about
the loss of self-government here in 1934 or what is happening in Puerto Rico
now.

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...

71 COMMENTS

  1. This province is not only bankrupt but bankrupt several times over. The believers of entitlement are not helping the situation. We need to wake up and smell the stink weeds. Consolidate the province (yes, close communities) and then claim bankruptcy and start a new era of an employed province and not relying on federal welfare (EI) to live. Population creates an economy, therefore we need to consolidate our population to create a viable economy. The truth hurts but so does not being able to put food on the table.

  2. Excellent overview statement of the quandary we find ourselves in Mr. Penney.

    Given the intergovernmental (federal and provincial) and diverse scope and depth of the problem(s), consideration should also be given to intergovernmental co-chairs and a regional/citizen/expert sub-committee structure.

  3. Well, what a glorious day outdoor here. When skidoos are EV, I may invest in a new one, if I'm not too old.
    And What a glorious day for mother earth and our planet.
    Chalk one up for Greta, and let "The Digger" keep digging. When in a deep hole they say first you should stop digging. The 4th rule of thermodynamics?
    The HONOURABLE A Brain Peckford writes : So, The Protestors Have Won-Tech Frontier Mine No More. I'll drink to that. Perhaps Bruno would have a puff to celebrate?
    And the Princling, as Peckford calls Justin, comes out smelling like the roses his father wore. Never had to make a decision. Alberta with no sound way to blame the Feds. Tech abandoned the project, that would have produced 7000 jobs and a 20 billion project. No small feat for little Greta. Recall her menacing stare at Justin for not doing enough to save the planet. I tell you, she is a force of nature, Thunberg, a cross breed of the god of thunder and of ice, like ice bergs. TECK was to produce 4 million tons of GHG every year for 40 years. 40 YEARS! ANd destroy a large chunk of wetlands and forests.
    And the Digger ridiculed her, as Saint Greta!
    Of course the economics was against this project, as the real cause of cancellation, and public opinion against it too.
    The fossil fuel advocates blame eco-terrorists. Some terrorists, hey b'ye. Children, scientists ,old people,doctors,engineers,teachers, peaceful people who want a livable planet for future generations.
    Three cheers.
    When do we start to roll back off shore production here?
    Will Ball take his Niddy Noddy clean oil barrel with him on his retirement?
    Does PENG2 think termination of this tar sand project is a good thing? This is in accord with the Paris Climate Accord, right? So too, Peckford's Atlantic Accord must get impacted, the sooner the better.
    Winston Adams

    • Too much to the point Des?? I speak the unvarnished truth. What was allowed to happen democratic oversight in NL was a disgrace.

      Speaking the truth too dangerous Des?? Dangerous ideas too blunt to be allowed!

      I feel no shame for speaking the truth. Those that knew the truth deserve justifiable scorn for allowing the emperor to overrun the treasury.

    • Bruno, your attacks on leading Muskrat naysayers are so off-base they paint you as a desperate attention-seeker. Too bad, as some of your points in other comments have great merit but when you go off gaslighting like you did, you lose a lot of cred. There are people you should smear but not some of the leaders featured on this blog. If you pulled a stunt like this on openline you'd be barred for good, so UG choosing to take down a single comment seems more than reasonable. Yet you attack him next and claim you spoke the truth which couldn't be more false. Give this stuff a break.

    • Anonymous24 February 2020 at 23:30 Is it cause for self reflection that you toss bricks at one of the few that called MF a fraud and deception from the start.

      From the safety of your anon comments you self righteously condemn others. Hypocrisy is it not?

    • Not hypocrisy at all as I said your comments sometimes have great merit. Choosing to attack the best of the best with our naysayers as being responsible for everything that is wrong is just way off-base to put it mildly.

      I surely can't be the only person to notice this. I'll go one step further and state that your tantrums amount to rude troll-like behaviour – different than some other trolls here but your inappropriate unfounded attacks fall into the troll category.

      As for me choosing to be anonymous, well I'm just a common person who comments here infrequently and could be anyone so if I put my name out there it really wouldn't mean anything to anybody. It's really not an issue but you rely on it as a blast-off point.

      I'm sure you'll pile on the last word to refute all of this with acidic gusto as you seem conditioned to always do. I'm hopeful you could contribute here without the major jerk act but I'm not optimistic.

    • Please explain if not the intelligentia, who allowed all democratic oversight to be overcome by bullying by Danny? If no one is responsible, nothing has been learned.

      Apologies if my insistence of a defence of democratic principles offends you.

    • Bruno, those comments are right on point IMO. Lots of potential influencers remained silent and a bunch even supported Dictator Dan. DD benefitted tremendously from being able to splash the oil money around to win friends and influence people. Those that dared to say different were brandished as traitors.

      As I recall, Penney and Vardy were against Muskrat from the beginning and were targeted as villains by DD. Your statements here that blame Penney and Vardy for supporting the process that has led to our demise are wild fabrications that you shouldn't have made.

      When you spout such obvious shite, not many here will give a rat's ass when you make comments that are correct.

    • You are right in one sense. I hold Penney and Vardy to a higher standard. Weak complaints that ignore the democratic perversions are not good enough from those that know better.

      They still can't say shit with a mouthful. They empower bullying by the likes of Danny. This betrays the poor and dispossessed and rightly earns scorn.

  4. update to the pub tomorrow from nalcor. probably delays and cost increases that dwight ball was trying to hide from

    first power delayed from november 2019 now to april.

    better estimate is august september. six month bullshit window for spin doctors

  5. Any readers preparing yet for the pandemic? The mortality rate of about 2% only holds when medical services aren't overwhelmed. About 17% of cases will be severe and the morality rate of those over 80 years is very high, as well as anyone that isn't in good health. Several young medical doctors have already died in other countries — it will be no different here.

    The best we can do at this point is to slow the spread so that we don't all hit the hospitals simultaneously. We should be getting the K-12 schools ready for distance education (e-mail the lessons if you have to). Hygiene doesn't really exist among school kids – they will all be exposed and many will have mild cases – but their parents and grand parents will be hit much worse. MUN has an easy fix since most courses are could be offered on-line. We need to emphasize cough etiquette (mask or cough into arm), frequent hand washing and avoiding crowded places.

    I can tell you we are doing nothing at all, other than committee / phone conferences. Nothing practical has been done yet.

    The response of "top" officials to warnings/suggestions on SARS2 so far is exactly the same as when I warned years ago that we did not need the Muskrat Falls Power and that even if we did, there were lower cost options. That is "very interesting", "you are probably right", "not sure what I can do about it" – nobody was willing to stick their neck out and do or say anything lest they be embarrassed later if they overreacted. They also didn't want to upset powerful people above them.

    If anyone is interested, I can post much more practical stuff along with all the reference links. I don't want to pollute this blog – but I do think it would make a good primary blog article.

  6. Guess you have all heard of the guy that wants to change our standard time by one half hour, plus continue our normal daylight saving time. Save energy he says. It is not going as far as double daylight saving time, but one half hour less that we experienced some 20 or so years ago, but in that direction. But that only effected us only from April to October. The half hour change will affect us year round. Other people suggesting a half hour change in the past has been to go with Halifax time, or Atlantic Standard time, but this time we are going in the opposite direction. Forward rather than backwards so that we are a full hour different from Halifax, and indeed a full hour different from other times, 2 hours ahead of Toronti, or Eastern Standard, etc. across the country and the USA, so that we are always 1, 2, 3, or 4 hours different rather than the half hour built in with other time zones. But we would still maintain our own time zone in this country. NST, or NDST. He gives all the positives of this time change, which I am sure you have heard. He doesn't mention any of the negatives, like in December and January especially getting up an Half hour earlier in the dark in the morning, but that is mainly short lived. But guess the main positive is we are shifting that one half hour of daylight to the evening and taking it away from the morning, when we normally get up, for the entire year, plus of course the normal Daylight Saving time. But, taking all the positives and negatives into account, I rather agree with the time change, and would sign the petition if it crosses me, that is now on the go, says Joe blow.

    • No Joe, I don't like this as I can't support getting NL more disconnected from mainland business, making travel more tiresome, etc.

      Also a negative impact on television schedules, especially sports where it's already hard enough to stay up late for "da game" although the wife might go for it if it stops me obsessing about watching Raptor games – Raps have a big home game tonight that starts at 9pm but I'd prefer the 8:30AST time instead.

      I think we are off topic here Joe;)

    • I would rather Eastern Standard Time for commercial reasons, or even GMT and with no adjustments. Changing clocks twice a year is silly and many places have abolished it.

      Look at Nunavut – time zones make no sense that far north so they just picked one. Then they use their common sense to decide when work starts and ends, or when school starts. We can do the same.

    • Ask PENG2. When a current project estimate to complete is requested, he thinks we are just "over the top". What is it about "Strong Finish" and valid estimates that gets them, (Nalcor and Govn'mt), agitated?

    • Robert:

      The $12.7b estimate is still good – not sure what is confusing about that. It comes to a difference in estimating concepts from EM vs SM – EM would count 'mitigation' against his publicly announced number whereas SM is overestimating costs (and underestimating mitigation) so that unforeseens are already accounted for.

      Very simply put – its the difference in being aggressive vs conservative in publicly announcing an estimate in completion costs. Often seen difference in Engineers and persons with a business background – lots of academia on this and its often related to why business CEOs are termed 'aggressive' but are shortlived.

      PENG2

    • How can that estimate be still valid?

      Who pays to fix the synchronous machines bearings? Who pays if the synchronous condenser specifications were wrong? Who pays to fix the control software? What if GE goes bankrupt – how much to purchase DC/AC and control equipment from another vendor? You can google GE bankruptcy probability and get numbers about 50%.

      Who pays if design changes are needed on the grid? If it takes longer for first power and rates aren't going up until later, who pays the additional interest? Who pays to upgrade Holyrood if we need it as a backup?

      I expect billions in extras before the debacle is finished.

    • The issue on the synchronous condensers I probably costing tens of millions, two levels below the decimal on a project costing in the billions.

      If that kind of extra expense was for repairs in Holyrood though it would be a different story. There would be a witch hunt against plant management and the union to fire people. But on Muskrat Nalcor will fall over congratulating themselves for doing so well.

    • Anony @ 20:23:

      Fine to mention odds of GE bankruptcy – but odd(or possible convenient) you neglect to mention the fiscal soundness of the other 3 companies in direct competition to GE (TE, Siemens and Westinghouse), GE is 3 least likely to declare bankruptcy. Also, Westinghouse has already restructured under a chapter 11 – and incidentally are the least likely to enter chapter 11 in the coming years.

      As for the sync condensors, grid changes, delays due to restructuring, inadequate engineering etc – who and how associated costs are attributed would come down to the contract language and a claim/arbitration process.

      When talking about costs like upgrades to Holyrood (because of delays in bringing MF online), interest etc – there is most often a line item in arbitration's called 'lost opportunity costs' that often cover these type of things.

      Bottom line is until claims are settled and the work is commissioned – there is no way to monetized these issues reliably.

      PENG2

    • Anonymous26 February 2020 at 08:32:

      The issue on the synchronous condensers will cost in the hundreds of millions to BILLIONS to repair. A realistic estimate of costs is long overdue.

      Maintaining the 6.2 billion cost at the outset we now know added 30 billion to the cost that the next generations were on the hook for .

      I wonder how much maintaining the current 12.7 billion lie will cost?! Will anyone demand a wee bit of transparency and democratic oversight? Or is Democracy so……so paseee zero??

  7. three winters and still waiting for reliable power. the rest of the system is waiting for power so required capital improvements can be made. the rest of this weak system is on hold.
    it is nothing to panic about. until failures happen. until they can predict failures we are at high risk. there is no sugar coating. dumb luck has us through this winter. and next winter they wont be ready.
    the software when it is ready will not be commisioned and tested until 2021 spring.

    dumb luck. how long will it last? There is nothing normal about bent shafts on vertical rotating machines because of incompetent preservation. nothing normal about installing the wrong parts on brand new generators and have to weld and patch. nothing normal about wiping brand new bearings. thats not infant mortality thats incompetance and piss poor QA.
    no biggy. no panic. we will be 4 years behind completion in 2021 spring.

    and hey that software, will be like operating with a Commodore 64 when you paid for a NASA super computer. 2 plus 2 is four. good job.

    imagine buying a brand new ferrari. except its three years if warranty are gone. windshield is cracked. power locks dont work. the key is permanently stuck in the ignition. but you can still run.
    as long as you stay in first gear dont go past 45 km per hour and use the park brake to stop after you coast to a slow speed in neutral. we can tape flashlights to the mirrors.

    #redheadedstepchildthirdworldcanada

    #ratemitigationbakesalefridays

  8. they have a vp job for him at nalcor. complete with vehicle allowance and a performance bonus. and by performance bonus I mean he just has to show up. every second week. and he’s allowed to work from home. with a vehicle allowance. but only if he parks a tesla or audi in the hydro place lot. no corollas.
    and he will have one person reporting to him. thats a man. because women has women jobs. the women “managers” have “male mentors” that get paid more than them. but they work for contractor so thats okay.
    i have a daughter with 20 years experience. she could work for him. for 50 000 less.

    we have had top men on this project since 1975.

    we now have grandchildren getting ready to start kindergarten fall 2021 winter 2022. and they did not exist when this project was scheduled for completion.

    2010 unsanctioned work was being paid for and happening for this project. 10 years ago transformers were ordered and engineering still TBD. grandkids will be hitting junior high and puberty before its completed. Obama was still in his First term.

    the longest bull market in US history has taken place and this project is still not done. the most expensive manually operated plan. ever. the chinese could built anither three gorges for less. and still be completed before the NIL and muffcrabs falls. smoke more crack nalcor bys. you need some more.

  9. I see that the politicians are planning to spend more money that we don’t have for the Canada games, spouting millions of dollars in spin offs for the region. Thy fail to point out that the spinoffs are for businesses and not the government, therefore taxpayers will have more bills to pay.
    With irresponsible politicians in charge of the Newfoundland treasury we will always be in a precarious fiscal position.

    • Agreed!

      I don't think our politicians fully grasp the idea that we have to reduce our spending?

      I truly believe that the general public have been desensitized?

      If you mention $100 Million Dollars or even $1 Billion Dollars today people hardly raise an eyebrow?

      It will not register until we have to start closing hospitals.

      If people think that is an impossible idea they should be made to listen to the interview of Janice MacKinnon, a former Minister of Finance in Saskatchewan in the late 1990's when the Province was facing dire economic conditions.

      They closed 50 hospitals!

      Even Anthony Germaine I think was taken aback by the number 50, probably thinking she meant 5?

      Saskatchewan hit the same barrier that we are all about to hit.

      We as a Province will soon have difficulty borrowing money on the bond markets?

      There will be a point the answer from the financial markets will be no.

      Especially, seeing as we have political leaders and the general public alike that think the "money" will never run out!

      Similar to Mukrat Falls, the Public didn't seem to get upset until finally someone said your power bill is going to double!

      Hopefully members of the House of Assembly are made to sit down and at least listen to Ms. MacKinnon to hear what she has to say?

      Although with our current track record it appears that own Provincial Government, similar to NALCOR, have proven over and over, they listen to NOBODY!

    • Wow lots of deletes!! I didn't get to see them, but no doubt they were garbage, otherwise the blog adm. would not have deleted them. I trust his judgement, and right in keeping the blog garbage free. Joe blow.

  10. Maybe some discussion on the Liberal leadership for a change of pace?

    No-one in the media (or commentators on media stories) seems to have picked up on the CC comments that the entry fee was excessive was self-serving at best – maybe CC forgets the 'non-refundable' $10k he paid and the $10k that was eligible for being 'partially refunded' in 2018. Also, was reporting of donations ever completed – my memory tells me it was 'optional' and never done, maybe my memory missed something though.

    From my perspective – I see no difference in the 2018 PC leadership contest and the 2020 Liberal except colour. And that is not to say either process is ideal in its setup.

    PENG2

    • PENG2; Stay the course. Keep nose to the continuing poor performing contracts and closeout processes, for which you are eminently trained, and handsomely remunerated. NL Politics will all balance out:-)

    • Robert, isn't this more easy proof that PENG2 is a paid Liberal troll?

      Does he comment on Ron's post and the pile of lies the Liberals are shovelling our way about rate mitigation? No, they've lost total control of the province's finances and PENG2 won't ever comment on that. Instead he deflects away to a meaningless smear attempt on the Ches and the PCs. We saw Dwight try that too and we know how that ended up.

      Does PENG2 comment on the total calamity of NL Liberal leadership at both the provincial and federal level? No, he can only weakly smear the opposition and try to make Crosbie look weak instead.

      PENG2 is a Liberal/Dwight/Stan acolyte and is only here as a political ruse. I'd feel better if the Russians were behind such social media lies but I'm sure this one is a domestic troll.

      The question is whether it is a single person or a collusive entity involving one of the Liberals favorite law firms and various communications people. This would mean there is government money being spent to troll us here. I wouldn't put this deviousness past the Liberals. As if the anything could get worse than the 2003-2015 PC's, these Liberals are going to great lengths to demonstrate they are just as if not more devious.

    • Anony @ 17:34:

      I have made a number of comments as to why rate mitigation is little more than political pandering. Especially if no 'new money' is found – it amounts to simply taking moneis providing other services. I have also said that federal support is only passing the buck to federal tax payers.

      As for being political – try to reread my comment. Both the 2018 and 2020 leadership campaigns are setup equally – and I never passed comment on either.

      PENG2

  11. I just wanted to write some thoughts. just to remind everyone that Hydro based on the act was created to electrify the province, via the Commission, and to support the growing province including rural areas that need employment. we saw offices go up in whitborne and bishops falls after CN pulled out of those areas. we see jobs now on websites continually for st johns. this company was not for st johns. in fact hydro has no operation other than a control center and a gas turbine, associated local ring bus.
    the front line workers realize as much as you and I that their leadership team is incompetent. they grin and bear the stupidity daily, read the passive aggressive emails, see the spin doctored news releases and trumpian twitter updates. the see the bloat. 42 executives and senior managers. its a joke.
    its sad because when the failures occur, and the will, when the roll8n blackouts happen, and they will when NS has bad weather events as well. when those events happen, the front line workers will not have the tools they need, the experienced leadership to guide them, nor adequate resources to serve the very rural communities they are hired to support. it is their raison d’etre. and the house of cards in hydro place is not needed to do that.

    this company, the Hydro group did well before nalcor. nalcor was suspposed to use oil money to pay for MF, for Gull, for island pond, for round pond and portland creek. for cat 3 and bde 8. to develop the interior and assist with opening country for mining and forestry. like Marathon Gold in Valentine lake.

    now the oil company is separated. nalcor is no longer needed. think about that. the oil money is free for govt to spend on roads and hospitals. no long term plan even whispered about to use that money to pay for MF. no ideas tossed about. they actually went about separating it from nalcor to say to voters and taxpayers, that its not the same. as if it absolves the premier and minister of their lack of oversight.

    I’ve never been a union guy, my business requires me to treat employees well and pay them well because I want them to stay and be proud of what they do. but I can understand the employee frustration as well as mine, with lack of leadership at executive levels. the drain away from rural communities. they have very limited resources on the front lines and a lot of territory to cover because of fewer numbers in rural areas. someone has to do the work. the real work. not the twitter feeds and bake sales.

    cut the fat off the bones. the bloat needs to go. get some respect back for those communities and those front line people. they have no say in what the talking heads do. they are embarrassed by the ridiculousness that that company has become in the last 15 years. and now the nalcor or failcor as some call it, has no raison d’etre. there is no sense in beating a dead horse. Emera and Fortis can make money, provide service without hemorrhaging money and selling junk bonds. there is no reason that this has to continue. by Marshalls own report, its almost done, the project i mean. so wind it down and remove nalcor. its overdue. and the oil money is out. its hydro. MF is being paid by rate base. it needs to be regulated. stop letting people carry on like this to save a few jobs. 200 jobs does not justify a multi multi million dollar duplication of resources. we have communities with barely one doctor. why do you need 60 engineers when you ran the same business with 30. you’ve added 7 rotating machines. a full management team for that? lots of bake sales and ticket sales and hockey pools i bet. meetings to discuss meetings.

    Im past angry. this is embarrassing now.

    • Such anger is appropriate. I marvel at Stan's insistence not to tamper with Nalcor.

      Yesterday I came across an item recently written describing a project a century ago.It says "This failed engineering project may possibly represent the most significant engineering boondoggle in Manitoba, or even Canadian history".

      Then I sourced an item written by the Engineer- in- Charge, 20 years, describing the boondoggle he got caught up in, and how it was finally terminated and what alternative was taken.
      It is a paper presented at the General Professional Meeting of The Engineering Institute of Canada, Ottawa.The paper is 12 pages and can probably be summarized in 6, and so to compare to MFs: his paper describes the concept, what was constructed, the purpose, the politis of location, the initial construction, the restart and abandonment, the solution, the key figures (most are engineers). If Leblanc writes 500 pages, who will read it? Can he describe MFs boondoggle in 12 pages, as this engineer did.
      At this stage many on this blog know the failures and poor execution of MFs. Many thought Stan was a saviour, but now is seen to be mostly deceptive and not the straight shooter promised.
      Both projects are mainly civil works. PENG2, a civil guy, should be keenly interested to compare and perhaps write the comparison of these projects, for UG readers, or else MA,I think, could do a good job.
      I invite either to contact me and they can have this for this purpose: Does MFs exceed what was the greatest engineering boondoggle in Canadian history? Would PENG2 biases be a problem? He doesn't see MFs as an engineering failure, if memory serves.
      Winston Adams

      There are so many parallels to Muskrat Falls,

    • WA @ 00:00:

      Just naming the project would probably stir up my memory enough. Id say in all likelihood I have read on it before.

      Now, to correct a misquote by you:
      I haven't said MF is free of engineer failure – just that it was politically driven and the Engineers were mostly along for the ride.

      Having said that, until completed it will be impossible to determine the ratio of political to Engineering failure.

      I wouldnt say I am a supporter of SM (I havent passed any judgement overall); but he has given better performance than his predecessor. I would ask you to name someone local to NL better suited to complete MF, or would you suggest leaving EM in control?

      In assessing the performance of SM from 2016 to now, it needs to be remembered that MF couldn't be halted(or infact changed substantially) after December 2013 without incurring the liability. The GT forensic Audit and legal opinions submitted as exhibit P-2390 confirm this fact, as LeBlanc surely will in his report.

      PENG2

    • WA et al:

      I guess a rhetorical question now, but had SM been pegged to lead Nalcor in 2006, would we have MF today? And 2nd to that question – was he approached to lead Nalcor then?

      We all know SM public statements made on MF pre-sanction, that his spouse was ousted from the DW cabinet in dubious conditions, the SM performance leading in Fortis etc.

      PENG2