Thursday, 19 April 2018

THE INQUIRY: INTRIGUE IS WHERE YOU FIND IT

The Hearing Room, on the first day of the Muskrat Falls Inquiry, might have served as metaphor for the author Joan Clark, and her story of madness and altered perception in “An Audience of Chairs”. She would find plenty of sub-plots here, except that the madness to be assessed will likely have only a tangential association with delusion.

Even that assumption — as with all those that gave the project its silver lining — may seem excessive. Madness? Delusion? On this first day, at this Inquiry, at $12.7 billion and counting, we might wonder: who is asking? That’s because the audience was mostly chairs. The place was virtually empty, except for the usual bevy of blue suits and a few others.

Monday, 16 April 2018

SECRET “MANAGEMENT RESERVE” FOR MUSKRAT UNCOVERED

If there are still surprises hidden deep within Nalcor’s crumbling walls, recent information obtained by this blogger under ATIPPA has brought at least one more of them into the light. (Another is that the once-limp Muskrat Falls Oversight Committee is exhibiting serious signs of life!)

Documents obtained from the Oversight Committee suggest that Nalcor may have maintained a secret “Management Reserve” budget for a category of risk known as “Strategic Risk”. The Reserve was kept out of the estimates for the project and placed under the control of the “Gatekeeper”, presumably the former Nalcor CEO, Ed Martin.

Nalcor evidently understood that such an allocation had important budgetary implications for the project - and for their ability to sell the scheme. But its importance was too great to let the public know anything about it.

The fund was not revealed to the PUB during examination of the DG-2 estimates or later. 
But, in addition, Nalcor also did not disclose any allowance for Strategic Risk in their DG-2 estimates, DG-3 estimates, or any estimates provided to the public prior to 2016.

Why would any category of project costs have been kept secret, or excluded?

Sunday, 15 April 2018

A POET'S PLEA: WE NEED TO KNOW WHO SOLD THE FARM

RISE AND FALLS

Standing firm on guard for thee,
we coalesce to make our plea,
and while the horse has left the barn,
we need to know who sold the farm;

An enterprise whose smell pervades,
the waters and its everglades;
whose genesis just boggles minds,
while mares will watch their bare behinds;

Thursday, 12 April 2018

ANDREW NIKIFORUK A SOULMATE FOR DAVID VARDY

David Vardy, a frequent contributor on this Blog, can often be found discussing how the failure of the Muskrat Falls project is symptomatic of a broken democracy. He met up recently with Andrew Nikiforuk, an award winning journalist who has written for twenty years about the energy industry.

Monday, 9 April 2018

A DEBACLE AND THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT'S ROLE IN IT (Part II)

This is part II of a report chronicling Ottawa’s role in the Muskrat Falls project as both enabler and colluder with the Government of NL and Nalcor.  It discusses numerous areas, albeit briefly, where the Feds ignored blatant holes in Nalcor's business case for the project, each embodying the certainty of project failure. It also describes how they empowered Nova Scotia to control award of the Federal Loan Guarantee (FLG), failed to perform essential due diligence after the project was sanctioned and, inexplicable, failed to intervene as the project's price tag doubled for reasons it had an obligation to all the taxpayers of Canada to understand.   

Thursday, 5 April 2018

FEDERAL COMPLICITY: THE UNTOLD STORY OF MUSKRAT FALLS (Part I)

This two part report chronicles Ottawa’s role in the Muskrat Falls project as both enabler and colluder with the Government of NL and Nalcor.  How the Feds empowered Nova Scotia to control award of the Federal Loan Guarantee (FLG) is discussed along with Ottawa’s failure to perform basic due diligence to protect Canadian taxpayers and reduce or eliminate the risk of default by the Government of NL. The articles describe the manner in which the Feds were complicit in an unviable project advanced under unwarranted assumptions. It also details how they refused to intervene as the MF project sank under gross management incompetence.  

Introduction
When the Government causes a catastrophe in our name, we are all collectively responsible. Such is the case with the Muskrat Falls project. 
In one way or another NL will pay for the debacle; just not the whole cost, because the accumulated provincial debt compounded by excessive borrowing for Muskrat has made our total debt unmanageable. We are effectively broke. 
But even if NL’s coffers were full, taking into account the role played by the Government of Canada as “enabler”  without whose guarantee Muskrat would have died in design, the Feds’ complicity in the sanction and its aftermath makes it a responsible party. The Federal Government’s actions, and often inaction, ought to be exposed.

Wednesday, 4 April 2018

BLOG NEWS: BARD MAKES BLOGGER BLUSH

BLOG DUES
Two million pageviews! Now that’s Blog news,
As Uncle Gnarley tries to clue
The uninformed and unenlightened
On NL matters, with a bite in.

One of few that truth pursues
On hidden facts and obscured issues.
A mighty task to dare to ask
For honesty, and to graft unmask.

Through constant fog, he writes away
To shine the light on unearned pay,
And always with a reasoned view.
To Des Sullivan, much thanks are due.

John Tuach
March 29, 2018