Monday, 1 January 2018


It is (now) a tradition on this Blog to report the most popular Posts of the year just passed. 
But first, I want to thank David Vardy, Cabot Martin, James L. Gordon, P.Eng (Ret'd), Ron Penney and “JM” for their many excellent contributions throughout 2017. I frequently hear from readers who appreciate their analysis and that of the other writers noted in this introduction. It takes many hours to research and write this work. What better time to note their contribution to the Blog! 
Our newest contributor, who writes under PlanetNL, deserves special acknowledgement having contributed several Posts already – each of which speaks to his commitment to high standards of research and analysis. One example is Chernobyl-Lite: The Price Of Denying Muskrat Economics in which the writer reduces the rationale for stopping Muskrat to its essence: in the absence of an economic rationale, there is no reason for the project to continue.

John Tuach, whom I have dubbed “The Bard of Pynn’s Brook”, has given the Blog a welcomed new dimension – opinions in verse.

Contributions were also received from “Concerned Newfoundlander and Professional Engineer”, and first timers the “Anonymous Engineer”, Donna Thistle and Kelly Populous. 
I want to pay tribute to the “Anonymous Engineer” who, in January, reported that Nalcor lied about the project estimates and the budget for Muskrat in order to obtain sanction.  His assertion: “I could not put up with falsifying information anymore” preceded other, more specific assertions, giving depth to his claims. Two Posts:  Muskrat Cost Estimates "A Complete Falsification", says Engineer and Muskrat: Allegations of Phony Cost Estimates crystallized many - though not all - of the suspicions which for years many people held about the origins of the Muskrat Falls project. His remarks also preceded a supressed SNC Lavalin Risk Assessment Report released by CEO Stan Marshall adding to concerns regarding SNC’s involvement. SNC provided Nalcor the engineering and designed the financial structure of the project.
Perhaps Judge LeBlanc will call Quebec Judge France Charbonneau - who headed that province’s construction corruption Inquiry – for advice and possibly to testify, too. It is hoped that the Judge will also invite the “Anonymous Engineer” to appear at the Inquiry.  He will have quite a tale to tell.
There are many people who deserve acknowledgement for having supplied information for especially important Posts. One of them tipped me off to the Faulty Towers problem on the Labrador Island Link, the #1 Post for 2017 - attracting over 55,000 pageviews. This item described the problem of sub-standard welds on the attachment points to the underground works of some 380 towers - no small detail.

Another whistleblower contacted me to confirm - with striking detail - the tower problem, resulting in Coady Misinformed. Second Source Confirms Faulty Towers  which, incidentally, I arbitrarily chose not to include in the Top Ten Posts because of the similar subject matter. Though Coady misinformed the House of Assembly, strikingly she never corrected this misstep - a grievous offense in any parliament. I wonder if Nalcor ever got around to informing her of the truth. 

The absence of follow-up of this issue in the House of Assembly was one more example of either incompetence or conflicted-ness - pick your choice - by the Opposition.  The Telegram reports that the Tories "want transparency in 2018". The Tories conveniently forget they helped established a culture of opacity which ran through the Williams/Dunderdale/Marshall/Davis Administrations. As the Official Opposition, they have done nothing to countermand its entrenchment. Holding the Government to account ought to be the key part an Opposition's mandate. They have failed in that duty while the Ball Administration has proven that neither truth nor transparency will easily facilitated. Little wonder that so many people are turned off by politics.
There were other informers - decent, highly-skilled people - all of them. For some it was a matter of loyalty. As one person put it, their province - their home - is in free-fall. For others, it was a matter of professional duty. They want no part of either corruption or incompetence inside Nalcor or on the construction site.  One of them was responsible for New Whistleblower Reveals Nalcor Responsible for Mud Lake Flooding.

In the coming days I will post a small sampling of emails I have received: one from a worker and another from a professional person; each offering insights into a shoddily run project.
All reports are not posted especially those where prudence demands a secondary source.

Nevertheless,  ALL whistleblowers are assured that their identities are kept in the strictest confidence. 

Some people provided solid research, taking the trouble to complete the Access to Information or ATIPPA process. Their interest and diligence is appreciated. One pair of skilful eyes led to this post and #3 spot in the Top Ten: Nalcor Loses $66.9 million in 6-Day Failed Hedging Scheme. Public Not Told.
Finally, I have listed the TOP TEN Posts from 2017. One item having been omitted - noted above - the list is based entirely on the number of pageviews each Post received, according to Google. They are:

1. Faulty Towers: A Nalcor Comedy (of Errors)  

3. Nalcor Loses $66.9 million in 6-Day Failed Hedging Scheme. Public Not Told.

10. Muskrat: Allegations of Phony Cost Estimates 

Happy New Year!