Monday, 18 November 2019

$900,000 TO STURGE: NALCOR BOARD AN ECHO OF THE LAST ONE


It isn’t hard to tell that it is public money about which the Nalcor Board of Directors is so cavalier, not their own.

The previous Board gave former Nalcor CEO Ed Martin $1.38 million severance even after having resigned for “personal” reasons, “to spend more time with his family.” Fired “without cause” soon replaced the well-worn excuse of the empathetic family man booted out the corporate door. The Board, caring not a whit about Mr. Martin’s behaviour — or record — as CEO, used the contortions of legal camouflage to justify the decision; even Premier Ball allowed that Martin was awarded severance in accordance with Nalcor’s contractual obligations, until this Blog caught him out in the lie. 

Tuesday, 12 November 2019

VULTURES SIGHTING AN OMEN, SAYS THE BARD


VULTURES
(A Turkey Vulture (bird) was seen by local birders on Roche Street, St. John’s, on Nov.05. Seen again in flight on Nov. 10 - last seen over Confederation Building!)

A Vulture sighted in St. John’s -
It scavenges from dead!
Perhaps it is an omen
Of the coming of The Fed
To bare the bones of Province
That debt and folly’s fed?

Thursday, 7 November 2019

FISCAL CLIFF: HARD OR SOFT LANDING?

Guest Post by David Vardy
How many people in this province believe we are heading for a fiscal cliff? How many are aware of how precarious our position has become as a result of our high public spending, combined with the tragic decision to build Muskrat Falls? What are the options available to us? This post will review some of the options, including early negotiations on a possible power contract with Quebec after 2041 and the prospects of enhanced federal support. My intention is to bring some of these options to light for respectful, informed dialogue. With final reports due soon from both the Muskrat Falls Inquiry and the Public Utilities Board there is a plethora of evidence and ideas. Sadly the greatest dearth of research relates to the fiscal impact of Muskrat Falls, which is the real elephant in the room.

Monday, 4 November 2019

PLAYING CHES: REFERENDUM IDEA HIS BEST MOVE?

Ches Crosbie wants the Government to call a referendum on equalization. He believes it will call attention to the program’s unfair construction and garner support for reform of the system, giving this province some much-needed additional revenue. 

Other than the Schroder Policy Institute’s Upper Churchill proposal — which has been articulated by local artist and entrepreneur Bob Hallett — no ideas have been brought forward to deal with the Province’s full-blown, and largely unacknowledged, fiscal crisis.

This Blog has never assessed Mr. Hallett’s proposal, but it is gratifying that a talented, fresh face has entered the fiscal crisis debate — even though “debate” may be too strong a word.

Thursday, 17 October 2019

RATE MITIGATION AND OUR FISCAL CLIFF

Guest Post by Ron Penney

The Government put out its rate mitigation plan last April prior to the provincial election.

It also asked the Public Utilities Board to examine rate mitigation and hearings are presently underway.

Unfortunately both efforts are being promised and undertaken in isolation, ignoring the real elephant in the room, our dire financial situation.

Tuesday, 15 October 2019

STAN: DON'T LET THE DOOR HIT YOU ON THE WAY OUT


If the public didn't feel so well off, Nalcor CEO Stan Marshall would be gone in a Dunderdale minute. They need to tell Stan not to let the door hit him on the way out. April 2020, his scheduled departure date, won't come soon enough!

Just more than a week ago, Marshall graced the PUB Hearings on rate mitigation with his noble presence. One might have expected him to explain why thousands of transmission lines throughout the world operate using dependable computer software, yet even a two-year delay in the Muskrat Falls project isn't sufficient to get Alstrom, Nalcor’s contractor since 2014 (purchased by General Electric in 2015), off their duffs. Worse, the public has to be satisfied with Marshall’s simplistic assertion that the job is “complicated”.

Thursday, 26 September 2019

WHO STOLE THE CASH? BARD ASKS.

THREE MILLION VIEWS
(Gnarley Blog)

Three million views to look at ruse
That politicians bid,
And thirty million spent on hues
Surrounding tale sordid
Of project built to stroke conceit
In cost and schedule skid;
But few clues in verbal chews
On venality and perfid.