Monday, 4 July 2016

IN PRAISE OF PUBLIC FLOGGINGS


Some people need to be hoisted on their own petard.

Individuals who are paid from the public purse, and who use a public platform from which they derive credibility, should be held to account when they use poor judgement by choosing to favour political interests over the public interest.

A society looks to all leadership, especially those who occupy important positions in our institutions. Memorial University’s Wade Locke is one such example. Such people are often given the privilege to counsel the highest leadership, and to influence public policy.

Others, like the Consumer Advocate, hold an official Office.

Such an appointee is thought to speak for the public at the exclusion of all other interests. The presumption is that he will keep his distance from those who would influence him for a less than honourable purpose.  

It is true that the explosion of “consultancy” roles in government and its agencies, especially during the recent years of free spending, has given rise to a new kind of “boondoggle”. Yet the proliferation of paid “advisors” does not justify the lowering of professional standards nor condone any less than the highest levels of integrity in those performing such roles.


To err, as the saying goes, is human. But real professionals who make mistakes of judgement, potentially harming the public interest thereby — whether due to their underestimation of the capriciousness of their political benefactors, poor research, or having put their pay packets first — will acknowledge their error and express contrition.  

That is what the Head of the Department of Economics at Memorial, Dr. Wade Locke, and the Consumer Advocate, Tom Johnson, ought to have contemplated in advance of their respective PR outbursts last week.

But the pair offered neither regret nor anything close to the unveiling of a Damascene moment. Indeed, their expostulations seem to have had an opposite intent.

I suppose had either of them offered to repay unmerited fees they were paid, in an effort to help offset the economic and human cost of $11.4 billion and 21.4 cents per kWh power, the offer might have earned  them advancement in a plan of social rehabilitation. But, alas, their mission contained no restorative component. In the way of inflated egos, their media relations exposed merely a search for justification, not an offer of contrition or recompense, and certainly not to forge any bond containing forgiveness.

The Telegram reported last week Locke stating the Muskrat Falls’ “sanctioning decision in 2012 was made with the best information available at the time, and just because it turns out that things have gone very badly doesn’t mean it was the wrong decision, based on what was known back then.”

The best information available to whom? To Nalcor?

Didn’t Locke essentially parrot Nalcor’s data at the time? Even then, did he not forget to include the cost of the transmission line, leaving it to Nalcor to correct his flawed analysis a couple of days later? Did he not fail to reveal that his conclusions might be coloured, directly or indirectly, he having been in the pay of Nalcor and the Provincial Department of Finance at various times?

Besides, didn’t Stan Marshall say recently that the project’s “capital cost estimates were really aggressive and optimistic”; that “false assumptions” were employed, that the project was held up by “false underpinnings”? Did he not say “there were clearly more affordable options”?

Such conclusions were not those of the “naysayer” or the partisan but of the Head of the Crown Corporation responsible. Weren’t they the obverse of the conclusions which Locke took to Memorial’s Inco Centre and other platforms?

Even in the world of economics, a field given credibility not by “cheerleaders” but by serious practitioners of the discipline, it is tough find any grey between “boondoggle” and the “analysis” which Locke asserts. How can such a term ever be validated with the claim that it was the “best information at the time”?

One is forced to ask: why is Locke not lamenting that he was duped by Nalcor officials? Because he agreed with their assumptions in whatever manner they were contrived?

Where is the admission that his research (if he conducted any) was poor, or that he may have been irrationally exuberant, having failed to employ the academic rigour of a freshman — let alone that demanded by the serious practitioner of his discipline?  

Of Muskrat’s current $11.4 billion price tag, Locke told the Telegram: “I mean, had we known these numbers at the start, we probably wouldn’t be saying that was a viable project.”

This from the Head of Memorial’s Economics Department!

When do we ever have “all the numbers” at the start of anything, especially on a large and complicated project? Why do we employ economists, and specialists from other disciplines, if not to spot what Stan Marshall characterizes as “false assumptions”?

No economist can forecast the misjudgements made by an inexperienced management team. But his analysis was used to garner public approval (Wangersky’s Saturday column reminded us of Premier Dunderdale invoking Locke’s analysis) and to defeat cries for independent review. It was a role that a willing Locke played with enthusiasm.

Bear in mind that this is the same economist who continued to counsel the short-term cyclicality of oil prices and continued strength in iron ore prices, too, though his expertise in these areas always seemed to lag his seemingly effortless and timely support of the Government’s projects including for Alderon.

Perhaps I am overstating the demands on the profession. Perhaps the Department Head simply believes that economists make better cheerleaders — though I am quite certain his colleague, Dr. Jim Feehan, would vehemently disagree.

Indeed, Locke could have taken instruction had he simply trotted down the hall and consulted with Feehan. The latter had written solid academic papers arguing how changes in electricity pricing, conservation measures, and regulation could help resolve the power demand peaking problem, which doubles in February as compared with August.

Feehan also maintained a detached — (un)conflicted view — possibly believing that plum consulting jobs with an outfit seeking favourable reviews was not worth the risk on a project he termed “risky from the very beginning”.   

Then there is Tom Johnson, the Consumer Advocate.

Johnson has frequently come in for rebuke on this Blog. He is a truly tiresome subject, his behaviour equally as transparent as his motivation. Johnson is of a type that reminds us that even virtual ink eschews ennui. Hence he long ago merited the summary conviction entitled, dismissively, "The Lap Cat Has No Claws". So, I will keep this segment short.

After all that has been said about the Muskrat Falls project — the threat of $11.4 billion capital cost (and counting), the financial and economic costs of 21.4 cents per kWh power, the threat to growth and jobs, the quite public failures of Nalcor, even the possibly that the PUB will demand the restoration of Holyrood to protect the Island’s economy and society from catastrophic Transmission Line failure — you could still hear Johnson on several media this week, ignoring all those grim realities.

The Consumer Advocate assumes everyone has forgotten that at Nalcor’s early price of $6.2 billion, even then Nalcor concocted a “Power Purchase Agreement” that attempted to avoid “sticker shock” during the early years of commissioning. The public aren’t supposed to know “picky” details such as the one that commits a future generation to a payment on just the powerhouse of $1.2 billion, in year 50 of the financing period. What is it, now that the project is nearly double the cost?   

Johnson nailed his colours to the Tory mast early, even getting ahead of Manitoba Hydro International in the race for top cheerleader of the Muskrat Falls project.    

Ignoring the travesty that has unfolded since, Johnson is confident that the price will come down, presumably because the difference will be picked up by taxpayers. After all these years, he has never figured out that taxpayers and ratepayers are not a different species.

Johnson comforts the public with the argument of “green power,” unmindful of either the impact of methylmercury or of the threat from an unstable North Spur. He invokes the final claim of former Nalcor CEO Ed Martin — when every other failed — that Muskrat would still be producing power a hundred years from now.

His specious renderings are repulsive not least because financing anything over a period of 50 years makes no economic sense. Emera, as a shareholder in the Labrador Island TL, insisted that it should be financed over 35 years. Like Emera, anyone who owns a house knows that maintenance-free is a myth. The capital needs to be paid in the early years because the asset will continue to incur significant and costly maintenance.    

But the Consumer Advocate, perhaps like Wade Locke, has an agenda that is less about advocacy or public information. For him, the latest PR gambit is about the avoidance of public recrimination and an attempt to justify, perhaps on Danny Williams’ behalf as much as on his own, a decision whose false underpinnings have been exposed. 

His term of his appointment as Consumer Advocate will expire soon. Perhaps he thinks that Premier Ball will be foolish enough to re-appoint him. Perhaps Ball is.

I am not fond of those who accept payment for services poorly delivered. As an Advocate, Johnson was supposed to have spoken truth to power. Instead, he was happy just to be a booster of expensively crazy ideas. Johnson liked being a friend.

Are Locke and Johnson due a public flogging (metaphorically speaking, of course) for the role they played as purveyors of a “boondoggle”? Isn’t there a time when the advisors, boosters, and shills should enjoy ignominy — a minimum cost to be sure, but a good start for the exercise of their poor judgement?  Were they not part of the “team” that has helped impoverish an ordinarily decent, albeit a frequently passive, society?

Must the public endure their mutterings still, as if they were relevant? Must we let them prove that we have earned the less-than-noble attribute manifest in the phrase “silence of the lambs”?

We can best deal with Wade Locke by ignoring him ever mindful, if he pops his head up again, we should inquire as to his conflicts knowing it is likely not the public that is being served.

But the Consumer Advocate is a different matter. If the Premier re-appoints him, we can assume that there will be no early cure to the rot in our public institutions.

Both deserve a public flogging.


They should count themselves lucky if they get off so lightly. 

28 comments:

  1. It is a pity that public flogging has gone out of fashion. These two richly deserve it.

    I hope they are shamed and confronted every time they open their traitorous yaps for their cloying, self serving cheerleading of the Muskrat Falls disaster. Chief economist and Public Advocate my arse. These two disgraced their public function (and public funding) for the betrayal of the public trust. A just reward in the next life is not enough. They should suffer as the self serving traitors they are for the remainder of their miserable lives!

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  2. Good summation of my feelings toward these two. As head of the Economics dept at MUN, I expected Locke to view the whole scheme with the cold, calculating, and skeptic eyes of an economist. Instead he prostituted himself to the highest bidder. His credibility is in tatters and still he offers his musings to a receptive media. He is a liability to the reputation of MUN. Johnson was a clear political appointee who has proven to be a shill for the previous gov't - a lapdog well too eager to do the bidding of his master. Every time he opens his mouth, he appears to justify actions by his adversaries, the complete opposite of his job description. Consumer Advocate indeed!!

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  4. Those who claim this is a good project for the long term suffer from an illusion. This project is based on a raft of false assumptions concerning load growth, energy prices, environmental impact and on and on. We need to assess it not over 50 years or 100 years but only over 21 years, until 2041, when we will have access to low cost Upper Churchill Power. Those who would have us compare this project with Bay D'Espoir are working with false assumptions. David Vardy

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  5. Mr. Vardy is absolutely correct.

    Assessed over the next 25 years (up to 2041), Muskrat Falls would not even be in the same ballpark as many other environmentally friendly, low cost, options --- and God knows we need low energy costs to help diversify the economy, to stop the hemorrhaging, and to get our fiscal house in order --- leading up to 2041. Maurice Adams


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  6. I was flabbergasted to see and hear Tom Johnson's sidewalk comments on TV last week! He and Locke are the authors of their own shame as so eloquently recounted by "Uncle Knarley". Hip-Hip-Hurrah!

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  7. Thanks Mr. Sullivan! In this article you have given those who pulled the wool over our eyes a well deserved tongue lashing. I hope if they read this article and if they have one grain of morality and compunction, they would confess to their sins of bad governance, through the foisting of the Muskrat Falls contract upon the citizens they were governing. Indeed, it they were in some countries and they concocted a scheme like the Muskrat Falls boondoggle they would have received a public flogging. The hardships of Muskrat Falls devastating effects will be around causing devastating problems for a hundred years or more. It is a known fact that the citizens of Newfoundland and Labrador have been accustomed to following, like sheep, whatever governance their politicians imposed upon them. Our citizens who are the voters now MUST now know their silence cause great problems and they cannot follow the silence template any longer, they have to give up their naivety and become sophisticated over their politics and their observance of what their politicians are up to.

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  8. What is truly chilling is the fact that "consultants" are dictating disastrous policies and not our elected representatives who can't seem to perform any calculations beyond their own paycheques and tax free benefits.

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  9. We have politicians and bureaucrats, so why pay consultants? Let us get rid of the consultants and save ourselves Tens, if not Hundreds of Millions of Dollars!

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  10. Bravo. These two, along with the (backbench and otherwise) politicians who led the citizenry down the garden path and who mocked and pilloried us concerned "naysayers", are as synonymous to this boondoggle as any prolific figure who was directly responsible for it, chiefly Mr. Williams. It didn't take long for this house of cards to collapse. And every last one of these people deserve the (social media) "floggings" they are getting. And the silence from Williams, Dunderdale, Kennedy, (Tom) Marshall, Martin, et al., is deafening. Says it all.

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    1. Agreed. The only satisfaction is that all of these rogues will forever be remembered in the same light as Mr. Smallwood. Probably with more distain since this was a bigger mistake with nothing learned from the first. And to think, many thought these were great minds and business people.

      Obviously the lot involved are not very good with economics. If this was 50% over budget I would consider this a fail. At 100% over and more likely much more, this is disastrous and doesn't make sense unless the new math of corruption was used. As a tax and rate payer, I will gladly pay an extra 2 cents per kilowatt to pay for a THOROUGH investigation, dating back to Williams reign, to once and for all find out if these people are as stupid as this project appears or stupid enough to use the public purse for personal gain.

      STAN MARSHALL, do yourself and NLers a favour and put a hold on this 'boondoogle' until a full assessment can be done.

      PREMIER BALL, take a portion of the 1.3 billion and put an end to the real economy killer, the 16.5 cent gas tax.

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  11. I can think of many that deserve the symbolic public flogging. Perhaps more appropriate is the "stocks" for these two along with Williams, Tom Marshall, Steve Kent, Paul Lane, Dunderdale, Shawn Skinner, Jerome Kennedy and Ed Martin. Why are they all so silent?
    Keith

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  12. While there appears to be a significant increase in awareness that this project was and is a boondoggle. But we need now to focus on limiting the further destruction of what is left of our fragile fiscal situation.

    We do not need Muskrat power. There may be no Muskrat power (depending on the Quebec court case). We cannot afford a further $5-10 billion in debt. We do not need to poison the food supply of Labrador's citizens.

    Our fragile economy needs a boost that can be provided by inexpensive (not the 40 or more cent) Muskrat power.

    The Muskrat dam/powerhouse needs to be stopped ---- ASAP.

    Otherwise, Ball, Bennett, Coady, Marshall etc. will be no better than Danny, Dunderdale, Kennedy, et al (and all rogues associated with pushing this down our throats). Maurice Adams

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  13. My delay of several hours before reading Uncle Gnarley was due to my obsession with reading on the Battle of the Somme and Beaumont Hamel, there being much in British papers and mainland Canadian papers. Our local event here on Friday took on an international flavour, including representation from Australia and even Turkey.
    Why do I feel as though we are at a critical stage with Muskrat Falls, whether we go forward or acknowledge the further serious risks to do so. Similar to that critical stage when Hadow, who commanded the Nfld Regiment, ignored the evidence of the already existing slaughter and losses, but made the stupid decision for our `boys` to go over the top.
    I see Stan Marshall now like Hadow. There were already 30,000 French and British killed in the first hour, before the Nflders were slaughtered, and 57,000 British and French killed by the end of the day.
    Marshall has more time to sort out the risks, then did Hadow, and Nflders a bit more time to express their opinions and what action should be taken. But the right decisions on MF may weight heavy for another century, like that of Beaumont Hamel.
    Wrong assumptions: The Battle of the Somme, planned like the American civil war 50 year earlier, using observation balloons, (General Custer, was the first in a balloon to observe the rebel troops in the 1860s): Haig and his desire to use cavalry charges, at a time when machine guns were the norm; and the decision to lie to the people for days what a wonderful success the battle was, aided by the press.
    And now, with MF, the desire to use and promote inefficient baseboard heaters, when some countries ban them; to inflate future energy needs and demand growth; to ignore mercury poisoning,( would we tolerate it if was happening to Conception Bay waters); to assume the extremes of weather on the Great Northern Peninsula will allow a reliable power supply; to assume that the North Spur will hold up to the quick clay risk; to assume that the production of power will not be subject to Quebec Hydro rights as priority of water flow; to assume that Nova Scotia will have excess power to feed the Nfld grid if MF line goes down, and we have no Holyrood; to assume that 11.4 billion will not run to 15 billion.......
    The cost of our Regiment helped in our bankruptcy, our loss of democratic freedom, and 15 years of the dole years. MF seems already tipping for long term pain.
    As to Wade Locke, todays piece rightly puts to question not only Locke`s, but MUN`s reputation.
    As to Johnson: I will comment later.
    Winston Adams




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  14. Mega projects like this almost always run over budget. Rate stability will not come from mega projects but many smaller projects. NL has an abundance of wind that could revitalise rural communities. Smaller projects (wind, solar) will bring more high paying jobs. There is a national movement that all Newfoundlanders and Labradorians should have interest in workersclimateplan.ca or follow in twitter for more details https://twitter.com/Iron_Earth_East

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  15. Another CBC article where have all of the MF cheerleaders gone http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/newfoundland-labrador/muskrat-falls-cheerleaders-1.3657564 ---> right here in this article! http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/newfoundland-labrador/nl-consumer-advocate-ok-with-muskrat-falls-1.3658080 Tom Johnson STILL supports this project with 2X electricity prices over 20c kWk??? in 20XX(whatever year MF actually finishes) for the same amount of power consumed today (62GJ or 17222 kWh) residents will be paying $1400 extra on their power bills. "because Nalcor messed up so badly consumers won't see giant rate increase until another few years because of the schedule delays" This does not inspire confidence Tom J.

    FLG for fuel prices what is Tom going on about? Literally the only 2 options were continued use of Bunker C Holyrood or Muskrat Falls. Interconnected Provincial power grid with 3rd line from bay d'Espior and the Labrador Island Link was always bundled with MF, when it should have been viewed on its own merits with and without new generation facilities. Just like Nalcor's energy demand forecasts should have been mapped current- low - med - high.

    No one wants continued use of dirty Bunker C generation and #DarkNL, natural gas is 33% cleaner and a brand new plant would proceed for decades without any power(plant) interruptions. Capital costs of a new 505MW natural gas thermal generation plant $1 billion and it would be built within 2 years. https://www.eia.gov/forecasts/aeo/electricity_generation.cfm Ngas Conventional Combined Cycle LCOE $14.4 MWh fuel costs $57.8 MWh - if Nalcor was involved with the construction/procurement of a Ngas plant let's double LCOE (for realism) to $28.8 MWh combined with O&M + transmission investment = $31.7 MWh. 3.17c kWh capital costs 5.78c kWh fuel costs ($173,400,000 total fuel costs a year for 3000 GWh) for a total of 8.95c kWh. Just to show how outrageous MF cost is to ratepayers lets 3X Ngas costs, LCOE + fuel = 20.51c kWh MF newly updated cost 21c kWh...

    Some of the dullest MF proponents have said NL can't get a Ngas supply contract as if NL is a leper in the O&G industry. Framing their arguments that grand Bank Ngas is the only acceptable supply, no specialized LNG sea tankers or importing is allowed. 'Oil companies can do whatever they want with their gas' Cabot Martin had to correct this misinformation as method of production is covered under the Atlantic Accord.

    Consumer Advocate and Muskrat supporters were ok with the initial sell price of 16.4c kWh (+50%) because $200 oil was a few short years away? Muskrat Falls takes out the free market for power customers, had oil continued to rise in price residential demand would see a correlating decrease. Nalcor energy forecasts were 10500 GWh by 2041 and 12000 GWh by 2067, yet 2030 is when NL will need more power - their forecasts are ahead by 20 years (NOT like this was one of the MF pillars alongside forever $100+ oil).

    I think it's time for MUN to force Wade Locke to update his little power point presentation the PCs used to 'sell' Muskrat Falls to the public at the Harris Center.

    60,000 NLrs are on GIS and 50% of taxes filed are under $30,000 and we have shrinking population, WHERE is this NL demand coming from? Gallway and Aldron? both pipe dreams of the same man that brought us Boondoggle Falls..

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  16. The Muskrat Falls Project and the implications of which are so daunting and austere, it has put many Newfoundlanders and Labradorians in a state of flux. There are so many of us who are barely able to pay the bills now, have no idea whether or not they will be able to afford to live in Newfoundland and Labrador, their beloved homeland, once the mortgage comes due on the Muskrat Falls project. It is frightening times we are living in and it is putting a lot of unnecessary mental and undue stress on the province's citizens, including my own family. How could multi millionaires devise this Muskrat Falls Plan that appears to be on a track that will bankrupt many of its people and our province? Greed certainly creates people without compunction. It is very, very sad when already ultra wealthy people don't know when to stop fleecing the poor.

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  17. The minute we enter this world the doctor flogs our little behinds to get us motivated for the rat race we are about to enter..Mr sullivans words of public floggings should become a must when we decide to enter politics or positions of power....A good flogging on a daily bases should correct the silliness that seems to be part of accepting these positions....I am aware that the type of flogging mr Sullivan was talking about is not the type I am talking about but if we incorporate mine into a position interview maybe,just maybe,it might have a lasting effect on some of their decisions...I know personally it worked for me....I am injection a little newfoundland humour on a serious matter here so forgive me...I am tired of hearing the laughter

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  18. Of course I totally agree with David Vardy and just about everyone else here. My question that no one but no one seems to want to answer is a simply one: why didn't D. Williams and company buy the power we were said to need from Hydro Quebec on the Upper Churchill? I cannot get past this question because if you give it a second's thought you just know that not only the William's government but all of us share in this debacle because we did not put leather to brick back when Williams was making these damnable decisions.

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    1. At least the $11.4 billion will ensure sufficient power is available when "Dannyland" comes onstream at the same time as Muskrat comes onstream

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    2. These days, you need a permit to put a flower pot on your front lawn... how did DannyLand ever get the approval to proceed when we already reach peak power consumption on the grid? Money can buy to a brilliant smile and tanned face but all that tarnish will be priceless.

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  19. The control that the top politicians have over our lives, their subjects, and the many ways they usurp complete control, when elected, over the peoples's natural resources and their remitted taxes, etc, without scrutiny from those appointed to audit their works and performance has to be investigated. We elect our politicians with all honesty to work for the salary they contracted for before offering their name to be elected. By electing them we didn't give them the right to sell off or develop our natural resources for their own personal benefit and to be benefitting from their management of them, while they were in office, for the rest of their lives. The leverage the politicians take over our natural resources, once elected, needs to be reformed, since the citizens of the land have no protection from kleptomaniac politicians.

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  20. We passed a tipping point it seems, and I see no comment on it: those in favour of MF was still 54 percent after Ed Martin walked off with millions, and cost of MF was still pegged at 9.2 billion ( well past Wade Locke`s high limit of 8 billion to be uneconomic.
    A few days ago VOCM question of the day shows that now (since Stan Marshall confirmed MF is a boondoggle, with the cost 11.4 billion or more), those in favour of MF is down to 35 percent, those against at 62 percent, almost 2 to 1 against MF.
    Another question was whether our government is listening to the people. 87 percent said NO
    Another question is whether there is confidence of Stan Marshall putting this project back on track. Only 39 percent said yes.
    Seems the government has lost the confidence of the people on this, three and half years after sanction. Too bad it took so long for Wade Locke to get this public flogging.
    Winston Adams

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    1. Winston, we have supposedly passed a tipping point but consider this. The legal issue has NOT been resolved and could cause even more fiscal pain, assuming Quebec wins its court case....and I am pretty certain they will. Furthermore, the issues with the spur have not been totally sorted out and could end up causing disaster downstream.

      How any reasonable person, government, etc. could allow this to continue until these questions have been resolved is beyond me. Should these matters go against the project and, thus, the people of Newfoundland and Labrador, we could be looking at billions more.

      It is incumbent on Mr. Ball, as Premier, to act on behalf of the real shareholders...the people of the province....and bring this to a halt right now. Take the time to sort out these issues, Mr. Premier. That, sir, is your obligation and you owe it to the ordinary citizens of the province!

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  21. I'd like to know what advice the senior civil service provided to cabinet in the period leading up to sanction. It was their responsibility to "speak truth unto power". Is there a way to find out through a FOIA request? Did the Secretary to Cabinet, the Deputy Minister of Finance, the Deputy Minister of Natural Resources warn the Premier about Muskrat or were they cheerleaders too, afraid of crossing Danny and Kathy? Maybe our senior civil service needs a public flogging too.

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  22. I think Fortis (the only power utility for most of the province) shares blame in this mess. Had they come out against it publicly (rather than just internally), the project would never have happened.

    It isn't surprising that the civil service was silent. Senior civil servants (manager/director/Assistant Deputy Minister/Deputy Minister) can be fired for speaking out and they most want those six best years to count towards their pension. If they are fired, they can't even get back into their previous unionised positions. They are also proven sycophants or they wouldn't have been given these jobs in the first place and the chance of one of these grovelling sycophants suddenly becoming an intelligent, idealistic crusader and protector of the public interest, is just remote.

    The whole system is rotten. The province is controlled by a hundred or so people. They are intertwined via family and business connections, extremely corrupt, generally immune from the law and morally bankrupt. They are abusers. Perhaps the relatively small size of the group is a good thing. The public should consider identifying them and their crimes, tarring and feathering them so to speak and organizing a chase to the Port aux Basues ferry while livestreaming the whole thing. I would gladly concoct a few gallons of hypo-allergenic spray on feathers rather than barbaric hot tar. More likely, before it comes to this, they will take their ill gotten wealth and retire far away and totally unable to comprehend that they ever did anything wrong.

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    1. Your ABSOLUTELY Correct, Fortis must shoulder a great deal of the blame for allowing the Muskrat Falls Project to proceed! Could it be they could foresee that they would be in control by default, for instance like what has happen over the past couple of months? They knew where to find more moolah for their bank accounts! It is shocking what is allowed to proceed in our province of Newfoundland and Labrador without any regard for its citizens. Our province's citizens and their province are being BANKRUPTED by the Greed of those who have been in control over the decades, despite our great location and natural resource base. There are a few people who were involved in the mess of running our province who are still alive and kicking who need to face the full Strength of Law.

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  23. I am totally unable to fathom why ANY government would foist this on the people who elected them. We have spent decades with most of the province ridiculing and criticizing the UC deal, and Joey, yet years later, a PC government has put us in a far worse position. And Ball et al continue blissfully along on this destructive course. When the initial estimates were released, I said then that we were more likely to be looking at $15 B, not 5 or 6 or 7. We were supposed to believe that they could forecast a reliable costing for a massive project in a hostile environment, far away from supplies and transportation, yet they went over budget by almost 300% on replacing windows in Confederation Bldg. Yeah, right!
    It's well beyond disappointing to know that people we elected have done this to us, and continue to. Danny was on VOCM praining MF and Martin and the salary etc etc. I suppose when you have his resources, the cost to heat your home with power from MF is irrelevant.
    It's positively mind-numbing, to consider the major issues that have been brought forward by "nay-sayers" and the way each and every one has been essentially scoffed at and ignored by Danny, Kathy, Jerome, Paul, and now Dwight. What a crew of misfits we have had at the helm here, each one taking their shot at us, each one screwing us just a little more than the last one did.
    We are in a mess. It's just so sad that those who put us here will be better off financially as a result, while we pay the piper.

    Note: Those of you who have been criticized and maligned by the blind MF supporters, thanks for keeping us informed, and for at least trying to right this horrendous wrong!!

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