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.



Muskrat Falls Spillway
Due Diligence Processes Missing
It is not just that the Government of Canada precipitated and facilitated the ultimate decision to sanction. Canadians ought to have expected it to impose high standards of proof of project feasibility and management competence. It ought to have exercised diligence during the construction phase, typically the period of greatest risk.   
The promise of a completion guarantee and a power purchase agreement do not justify carelessly watching as a small economy falls into abyss. 
There are other considerations, too. As in anything government-sponsored, political self-interest is never very distant.
The Federal Tories, under PM Stephen Harper, allowed tribal self-interest (Nova Scotia’s) and raw political power (Peter McKay’s) to enable a protracted process of deception falsely glorifying the project’s virtues for the local economy. Megalomania gave it birth; corruption has yet to be proven. 
On account of the sheer folly of the proposal and the size of the loan guarantee (enlarged under the current PM), the highly flawed process of project review ought to have rung alarm bells in the Nation’s Capital. But, not unlike NL, Ottawa showed that it possessed no immunity to either improvidence or recklessness, especially when politics is given free rein over common sense.
To be sure, the origins of the Muskrat Falls project illuminate NL’s weak political leadership and an acceleration in the decline of our key governance institutions. But in this case, the Federal Government exhibited little more sophistication than did NL, notwithstanding its history of institutional maturity and experience dealing with large projects.  
Governments make mistakes all the time. But how often is a single decision so wrong in its proportion that the fallout brings an entire society to its financial knees?   
It is fanciful to think that NL politicians were so wise or such good connivers, and Nalcor’s expertise so impressive or its reputation so renowned, that stringent review processes were not necessary, or that the Feds were somehow compelled to bend to NL’s demand for the FLG. 
What was so compelling? 
A cadre of bureaucrats, neophytes in the world of megaproject construction — having never built anything — were enabled when they should have been dismissed. The CEO of Nalcor was a middle level bureaucrat at Petro Canada, his V-P was manager of a local cable network. The remainder of the management team largely came with expertise in offshore oil projects. Where was the experience in heavy civil engineering, construction and development?
Feds ignore own Joint Review Panel
The Federal Government was well aware of the Joint Environmental Panel’s refusal to endorse the scheme, the word “joint” denoting federal participation and responsibility. 
In August 2011 the Panel produced a four-volume Report. Its key conclusion echoed none of the sense of destiny that accompanied former Premier Williams’ high-sounding rhetoric which presaged his Muskrat Falls announcement. Instead more sober panel members had assessed Nalcor's claims and, among other misgivings, took aim at their electrical demand forecast - long ago debunked by Nalcor, too. (Demand at time of Sanction has declined and will not reach that level again until 2036. Source: Nalcor). 
The three-member inquiry was categorical in its conclusion:
… the Panel did not accept that developing the hydroelectric potential of the lower Churchill River was a “need”, and that therefore the Project should be compared to reasonable alternatives…
Feds ignored NL PUB, too

Following the difficult process locally of pressing the Tories to submit Muskrat to the PUB, the Feds were uninterested in the review, even when a clearly dubious and a ring-fenced reference question giving the Board just two options from which to choose lowest cost (Muskrat was given a $2.2 billion advantage) resulted in a position described as agnostic. 
The PUB wrote a 100 page Report in which it reviewed the analysis of Manitoba Hydro International, its Consultant on the Reference, and incorporated the evidence of critics and others who had intervened in the Public Hearing process. Succinctly, it advised Nalcor and the Government:  
The Board concludes that the information provided by Nalcor in the review is not detailed, complete or current enough to determine whether the Interconnected Option represents the least-cost option for the supply of power to Island Interconnected customers over the period of 2011–2067, as compared to the Isolated Island Option.
The conclusion was not the one that either the Province or the Feds wanted.  Oblivious to the risks for both, they watched as Nalcor went on the hunt for “consultants” and others, including the Consumer Advocate to the PUB, until a poor business case elicited the necessary justification to proceed. The Consumer Advocate was appointed on the basis of political favoritism and not on the basis of a call for proposals with strict selection criteria. The selection should have been turned over to the Board, particularly when the proponent was a Crown Corporation.
Forensic Audit should have preceded second guarantee
Even as the project went off the rails, one might expect that a forensic audit would have precluded the decision to extend the guarantee by an additional $2.9 billion — if only to identify underlying problems and to determine if what was broken could be fixed. The second commitment brought the total sum of the Federal Loan Guarantee to $7.9 billion. Yet, there is no evidence that the Feds ever entertained any obligation to  examine project risks or management, despite the multitude of problems that had come to light, or report to Canadian taxpayers — including those living in NL.
In this province there is little doubt that a far-too-trusting public clung to partisanship for the certainty they sought over Muskrat — as if political parties were anchors of prudence, objectivity, insight, analysis and honesty. 
Even if offsetting such naïveté was attempted, on what basis would anyone think the national government callous and irresponsible, willing even to conspire with Nalcor to make sure that any objections to the project became submerged to the glowing chatter of Nalcor’s PR machine?
With so much talk of GHG emissions, savings measured not in dollars but in tonnes of carbon saved, how could the NL public not think that the Feds were simply doing their duty, or that the award of the FLG was just an act of nation-building?
Other issues need a hearing
What else should the Canadian public hear?
They should learn, for example, how even in the early days of the Hearings by the Federal/Provincial Joint Panel, NRCan (Consultant to the Panel) conspired with Nalcor to dismiss the testimony of the Geological Survey of Canada on the problem of “sensitive soils” (known as “Quick Clay”) in relation to the North Spur. The Spur constitutes two-thirds of the Muskrat Falls dam. Even a 2018 analysis (there were earlier ones) by Swedish experts condemns Nalcor’s “fix” as horribly inadequate.
NRCan acknowledged in writing that Nalcor's claims about the stability of the Lower Churchill Valley weren’t supported by the evidence contained in the Feds’ own Environmental Impact Statement. Early on, it was an issue that gravely concerned NRCan, though the apprehension was allowed to die without resolution. The Joint Panel can confirm that NRCan’s questions to Nalcor were never answered.
NRCan Report flimsy at best
The Canadian public will also want to know why their government accepted a poorly reasoned and incomplete 2014 report prepared by NRCan bureaucrats entitled Economic Analysis Lower Churchill Hydroelectric Generation Project — ostensibly the basis of its formal approval of the FLG. (When this question was put to a senior federal bureaucrat by this correspondent, the reply was that NRCan staffing had been seriously gutted under the Tories and that they simply did not have the expertise to do better.) 
David Vardy, in a 2012 email, characterized NRCan's Report succinctly:
The analysis is out of date and appears to have been done before the PUB hearing. There is no reference to the evidence placed before the Board. There is heavy reliance on the Navigant study of last summer and much of the information is inaccurate or out of date.
Vardy’s assessment was correct. In the first place, it employed project cost numbers that assumed both Muskrat Falls and the Gull Island project would proceed. Page 4 of the Report confirms Vardy assertions of the Feds’ stale offering (read them carefully and compare them with the forecast cost at sanction and the cost now:

According to Nalcor, the Project is expected to cost $6.4 billion in 2010 dollars: $2.9 billion for Muskrat Falls (compared with $7.4 billion at the time of sanction) and $3.5 billion for Gull Island.

How is it possible that even as project costs headed higher, finally in pursuit of $12 billion figure,  Ottawa remained silent?  
The NRCan Review recognized a multitude of risks to the project’s feasibility but the authors were careful not to weigh them. For example, it noted on page 11 that:

On the downside, much of the wealth generation in the last twenty years in Newfoundland and Labrador has come from the offshore oil industry. This industry is in decline and while the Hebron project is expected to provide a boost, its impact is expected to slow the decline — not reverse it. Population is not expected to grow over the forecast and the mining and processing discussion suggests that after the Vale smelter, there is no expectation for further growth on the Island. If crude oil prices do not grow as expected then penetration rates for electricity in the residential sector may not continue.
There is nothing like time to confirm any forecast.
Ignoring the well-researched analysis of the Joint Review Panel, the Review performed no independent research to assess Nalor’s claims or to refute those of the Joint Panel. Evidently, NRCan decided that simply acknowledging the risks was sufficient. Accepting the Nalcor line throughout the document, it accepted this assertion:

Nalcor does not expect that the construction boom would be followed by a significant down-turn in activity. It expects that the additional source of power plus the employment and business experience gained from the project would result in other industrial opportunities in both Labrador and on the Island.
Other than the claim to have performed a “rough verification of the CPW” (Cumulative Present Worth) comparing the net difference in value of the two options under consideration — the Interconnected and the Isolated options — the Review relied exclusively upon Nalcor’s Consultant, Navigant Consulting, which, almost without exception, found Nalcor’s forecasts and projections to be “reasonable”. The objections of the Joint Review Panel were noted by the Federal Review but they were neither reviewed nor given weight against Navigant’s uniformly positive view of Nalcor’s forecasts and assumptions.
Feds ignored even the uncertainty of water 
Like NL, the Canadian Government also ignored the absence of a (real) Water Management Agreement (WMA) between Nalcor and Hydro Quebec (HQ) — an essential underpinning of feasibility. A WMA is necessary to coordinate the flows of water on a river on which there are two or more plants. In this case, it was necessary that Nalcor maximize power output from the Muskrat facility by “banking” excess power with the Upper Churchill plant and drawing it down at times of high demand.

The Federal Government was aware that HQ had withheld the signature necessary to confirm its agreement with the WMA. 
CFLCo manages the Upper Churchill hydro facility. The Company is owned 34.2% by Hydro Quebec; the other 65.8% by Newfoundland and Labrador. In spite of the Province’s majority ownership, CFLCo still enjoys limited decision-making flexibility.  The Company operates under a shareholders' agreement which requires a special majority decision of the Board of Directors in certain matters, which included the plan of water management. Hydro Quebec directed the CFLCo board not to support it, giving rise to the PUB’s decision to impose the plan subject to the agreements then in place, which included the Upper Churchill contract.
In spite of this conditional feature, Hydro Quebec maintained that the WMA, and other plans by Nalcor to access energy produced by the Upper Churchill, still impinged upon its rights under the Renewal Contract, causing the legal challenge to be brought.  As we know, the Quebec Superior Court upheld HQ’s position, in consequence of which the matter is now headed to the Supreme Court of Canada.
That Nalcor ought to have obtained judicial certainty is a view unequivocally expressed on behalf of the 2041 Group of “naysayers” by lawyer Bern Coffey, who later served as Clerk of the Executive Council. The advantage of delaying the project to obtain such certainty should have been obvious to anyone not conflicted. On this critical issue, the Feds chose to play dumb.  Still, the Canadian public ought to know why did the Feds issue a loan guarantee when the hydro project lacked even the certainty of water?
An incompetent guarantor?
On what basis does such an incompetent “guarantor” get rewarded by being kept whole, suffering no shortfall for its folly in consideration of its duplicity, laxity and bad politics?
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Editor's Note: Part II will pick up directly from this Part I, without further introduction. A link to the complete article will also be provided.

108 comments:

  1. Again, the UG Shadow Inquiry is well ahead of the official Leblanc Inquiry. The Leblanc Inquiry is budgeted to 33 million. Its final report must contain much of the same facts stated so well here.
    Just this piece here must surely be worth 50,000 dollars or more, if one is to compare the content of the Official Inquiry, once completed in 2 years time, and the Shadow Inquiry by UG.
    But how does one write the Official version without seeming to copy word for word the composition of Des Sullivan, so well laid out here, and recent posts.?
    Winston Adams

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    1. WA, AJ @ 9:31 and Anony @ 9:07:

      My memory is that over 70% of Nlers initially wanted MF and those that dissented were derided as trying to hold NL down-granted the info provided by the PC media machine at the time ranged from incomplete to deceitful. We can see still remnants of ideology that today-DW and some other PCs still claim MF is a good project-infact as recently as Q1 2017 public opinion was evenly split on the work.

      I also remember sometime around 2006 when MF was committed to, that DW saying the FLG wasn't needed and we would go MF alone with or without-understanding that the FLG only allows us to borrow money at a lower rate, has an analysis been done on if we could have done MF without the FLG? Given that the FLG is simply allowing us to borrow at a lower rate (and severe default penalties) but does not provide us with additional borrowing power, I would suggest that the Feds had the ability to facilitate but not prevent-I would hope that LeBlanc will make the go forward recommendation that the Feds have the ability to prevent.

      I am of opinion that LeBlanc will need to split some fine hairs in his recommendation(s)-though I doubt most will care to read. The LeBlanc report wont help NLers(we are committed to $12-15B either way), but hopefully will be a go-forward standard for better governance nation wide, if so I would suggest the $33M will be well spent, wasted otherwise.

      PENG2

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    2. History is always a great read PENG2. How would you propose we prevent same kind of deal happening again? Are the Leadership people any smarter? What lessons have they learned? Are they not capable and susceptible to make similar blunders on the deal being made now?

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    3. Robert:
      History is most interesting-it tells us the mistakes wwe are going to make-some here need a lesson in the MF timeline vs global events since the effective commitment was made to see just how unimportant a failed MF really is in the larger scheme.

      Your solution is simple-remove politics from decision making, implementation of the solution however is impossible. Politics is based on the arrogance that you are more popular than your competitor-combine this with the human weakness for new paint and asphalt and NLers are going to repeat these type mistakes over and over(no change since confederation there).

      Any number of learnd people placed themselves out there to deter MF in 2006 and before, they felt the wrath-now very few of the 70% will actually admit they were throwing the stones, I would say that about covers it.

      A quick look at our local media and that they don't allow comments is proof of that-anyone with a dissenting view was near exiled on the simplest of topics.

      I don't blame the Feds or the FLG as some do(lookup what has happened globally since 2006)-it is our fault.

      PENG2

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    4. peng2. I sometimes have difficulty understanding, where you are coming from, and what you are saying, as sometimes it appears to me you contradict yourself. Yes, Dannie, said he would do it alone, without the Feds. And he said a lot of things, but never even stayed around long enough to see muskrat sanctioned. He announced it, signed the term paper and vamvoosed. So are you saying you agree with UG's posting or disagree with it. And, can you explain what responsibilities you think the Feds have. Are you talking about what happened since 2006, like the global price of oil, and fracking. That was all known well before sanction, and the USA was predicting self sufficiency in oil in a few short years. Of course the provincial govt. was still paying so called oil experts to give them advice on where the price of oil was going..up. Where as they only needed to look south and see what was happening there. And I told that to Cathie's candidate when he came looking for a vote, in her election, where the price of oil was going..down...as soon as the USA stopped buying oil from the Middle East. Thanks. AJ.

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    5. AJ:

      Apologies-sometimes I type faster than I think.

      Realistically, all the known world events of oil prices dropping, housing crashes, the Chinese Bull, the Bre-Ex, bit-coin etc are not known, surmised by few/some/most but not known. The difference being is that a responsible government doesn't bet on hedging-DW hedged and lost, period.

      As above and before, I don't blame the Feds-the blame is ours, and if I were to surmise we will do similar again in future. As above, I don't think the Feds gave us borrowing power, just ability to access lower interest rates-I would like to see an analysis on how lower rates would have affected MF going from commitment to execution before committing and blaming the Feds.

      PENG2

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    6. Robert,

      There are not many options to avoid this kind of fiasco... The one thing that is required is to stop the never-ending complains from Newfoundland about basically anything and everything.

      Newfoundland refused to develop the LC in partnership with HQ, even after HQ expressly said that it would be an opportunity to rebalance the benefits of the overall Churchill River.
      Newfoundland went after Peckford Pickle Palace trying to be the first at something, despite that thing was completely useless to both them and everyone else.
      Newfoundland did the very same thing with MF : No valid business case for the outcome of the project, going after something that had no value to them, doing it mostly to screw Quebec, ... And should you need more example, there are many more....

      There is no way for Newfoundland to grow and avoid this kind of error until they acknowledge they are not large enough to absord the kind of risk from mega-projects. They can not do anything good if the only people they see around them are ennemies. They can not learn when every time, they blame others.

      Qc first, HQ after and than the Feds. Now Emera and NS, even more against the Feds, even much more when Qc will step in to help them.

      The first and unavoidable step is to put an end to that. The thing is, even someone like Uncle Gnarley does not seem to be ready for that. Not from what he put in his previous texts, not from what he told me / sent me in private communication and not from what he is still publishing today. As long as even someone like him keeps an anti-Quebec and a scapegoat-seeking attitude, there is not much hope for Newfoundland. To have this attitude changed accross the province will require an effort from elected leasders. The thing is, the contrast is so high that the process must be started by non-elected leaders.

      As long as these non-elected leaders keep pushing in the same anti-Quebec / scapegoat direction as Danny William did, they will achieve the very same result.

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    7. Ok, peng2, I understand your position now, you disagree with UG, and any responsibility that the guarantor of a loan has. In that case, (joking) any time you want to get a big loan, I will sign it for you as your guarantor. Cheers, joe blow.

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    8. Anony @ 16:54:

      That's stretching my words-Id suggest that misunderstanding the requirements with having someone co-sign on a car loan vs FLG guarantor is causing most NLers a lot of confusion.

      My understanding of the FLG is that we are only accessing the Feds lower interest rate-I am not so sure if we default that the Feds are on the hook, though the 'penalties' for default in repaying the Feds are extreme.

      PENG2

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  2. AN INCOMPETENT GUARANTOR....says it all. Yep, they encouraged us to buy a lemon, and we did, and gave us enough rope to hang ourselves, and we did. And, but not appropriate here, laughing all the way to the bank. But, the big question is WHY would the Feds commit, such a cardinal sin??? Two names, Harper-Mackey. There you have it. And I have said why Harper before, and we all know why...part of it is ABC feiascial. Why Mackey....NS gets most from this agreement, free power for 35 years, and the rest at 5 cents. And what the hell do we get....shafted...yes...including shafting ourselves. Yup, UG is right in line with me on this one, or is it the other way around. UG has much more knowledge, and presented it much better than I ever could, but our thinking and conclusions were identical. And no collusion here, never met the man, not even in my dreams. And am sure a lot of other average joes and Janes that takes an interest in current affairs, and especially muskrat, saw the same thing and could only arrive at the same conclusion. Yup, to add to the boondoggle we had a crooked guaranteor. Now uncle Ottawa, take your share of the responsibilities, and do the right thing. Joe blow, average Joe, and AJ.

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  3. And what hysterics would the Dan have pulled if the Feds didn't approve the FLG. He pulled the flags down for $1 billion what would he have done for $7 billions; closed all the wharf's blown up the breakwaters, banned maple syrup. How would the local hyenas have howled in tune about big bad Ottawa not giving us our due.

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    1. This hyenas here would have howled for glee, along with a lot of other joes, and Janes, if Ottawa had done it's due diligence and done the right thing, and denied us and Mackey the loan guarantee. I don't care what the hell Dan would do. We never wanted muskrat, knew it was a boondoggle from the beginning. So yes the Feds are much more responsible for this boondoggle than I am, along with a lot of other joes and Janes, including you, if you are one of us. Thanks. AJ.

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    2. Yes, "we" wanted Muskrat. You couldn't say a single dirty word against it in public for a good four years. It was massively supported in opinion polls. The "known critics" were condemned and sabotaged for even vocalizing the heresy that maybe this was a bad idea.

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    3. anon@13:47 It is a known fact that the public opinion polls were manipulated and stacked in Govt's favour so your "massive" support comment is "iffy" at best. If there was indeed support by the public it was based on misleading and downright lies fed to us by DW, KD, TM and fast Eddie.

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    4. you have evidence of manipulation? if memory serves me correct, KD was elected with majority .. are you saying elections polls were stacked?

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    5. I said public opinion polls , not election polls.

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    6. So the massive election support for KD was real, but the opinion polls were manipulated. So the legitimate polling companies produced fraudulent results, because? Is this a new thread for the conspiracy blanket; NL'ers actually were massively opposed to MF, but the polls were manipulated to show the reverse. Who will be blamed for paying off the poll companies? Emera? FG? HQ?

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    7. Anon at 11:05: I was referring to the "straw" polls frequently held on the Radio stations. These were stacked in Government's favour as Govt employees were ordered to repeatedly call in asserting their favour towards Government's actions (MF being one of them). This was proven as FACT as Paul Lane (PC member Mt. Pearl South at the time) was actually caught and had to sheepishly publically admit it. These "straw polls" were broadcast over the airways frequently showing that Govt policy/actions/projects/ etc/etc were favoured by the majority of NLers. KD was indeed elected with a majority but soon fell out of favour with the electorate largely because of "Dark NL" which was proven to be caused by NL Hydro's lack of maintenance on the Holyrood substation "designed" by Nalcor/Hydro in trying to prove we were short on power at high demand times thus justifying MF. Either way you slice it MF was shoved down our throats by the PC Government by giving us half truths and outright lies and even went so far as to dismiss the PUB ( whose mandate is to protect the public interest) as an oversight body. They were going to barrel ahead with MF, come hell or high water regardless of the cost and environmental concerns with methyl mercury and the suspected instability of the North Spur. Je--us Ch---t even Donald Trump wouldn't get away with that because of checks and balances in place. The PC Government with the stroke of a pen stripped away all our rights and protection just to satisify the monumental ego of a little man.
      Seeing Ed Martin on TV the other day STILL saying that MF is good for NLers makes my stomach churn. How in the name of God can he/they still try and claim that MF is a good project when it costs close to 50 cents/KWH to deliver to Soldiers Pond and we sell it for 2 cents while we poor suckers have to pay top dollar (17-23 cents/kwh blended)to pay for it. DW,KD and TM should hang their heads in shame allowing the likes of Ed Martin who was proven to be grossly incompetant in his responsibility with Nalcor to manage this boondoggle on a cost plus basis. It should never have been allowed and you can defend it all you like but facts are facts!--we are pretty well insolvent as a province. We have lower income people and seniors who are struggling to pay their power bills now. When MF comes on line Government is going to have to subsidize them and to do this it will raise our taxes and/or lower our infrastructure spending. Where do you see the benefit of MF?--I can't!
      Again I said "straw polls". The results of these polls are the ones that are repeatedly broadcast over the airways and anyone with a radio on could hear it over and over again, thus giving a FALSE impression that the majority of NLers were in favour of whatever Government said or did.

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    8. Wayne @ 16:04

      I am completely in agreement with your remarks that the PC govt used lies and propaganda to lead us down the garden path. The MF project will bring even more hardship on us as we have to pay for this liability one way or another. Also I find it laughable that we would blame others for our own mistakes ie Fed's and Peter McKay. Perhaps they are opportunists and saw MF as a way to get back at DW and get free power for NS respectively, but can you blame them for persuing their own agenda's? Wouldn't NL do what is best for NL? Lets simply grow up and take responsibility for our own actions and vent our anger where it belongs ( on DW and gang). We as NL'ers were too passive and did not push back hard enough against the corrupt politicians. And now to spend 33M to find answers that are already on this site ( if found at all )?
      Why is it that our "honourable" leaders are usually doctors, lawyers academics, business folks etc., but yet they seem to do what they want, not necessarily what is best for the majority? Give me an honest. humble and sincere average Joe/Jane over any of the above .

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  4. To my suggestion to a relative that we should join with Quebec, or Quebec with us , as one province, He replied " No, no.....no! I spent 10 year there, (stationed with the armed forces) and they tell me that Quebec is run by a small circle of families , they can show you land claims that go back to early settlement". I replied , not much different from the Crosbie's here? That's right he agreed. I think he is still in shock from the FLQ crisis when he was there, and our PM brought in the War measures Act.
    Another relative thought, despite our common border with Quebec, it made more sense that "the Atlantic provinces be all one province", but figured that "the people of Labrador would be better off being part of Quebec, and that many in Labrador would prefer that".
    What does our followers on UG from Quebec think?
    WA

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    1. Labrador doesn't need to be part of either. It is of no difference whether the colonial assh0les who mistreat Labrador are in St. John's or Montreal, whethere they speak English or French, whether they are Townie Elites or Laurentian Elites.

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    2. Maybe so, but with about 30,000 population, and an area the size of Great Britain, is it capable of being a province? I suppose could not be worse that treatment received from Nfld. Trust you would not invite Russia for support , as say Cuba did, then the fur would fly.
      Winston

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    3. Hi WInston,

      Honestly, I doubt a single province is possible and I would prefer your relative's idea of the Rock joining the Atlantic provinces and Labrador being merged with Quebec.

      The culture is too different and the anti-Quebec opinion is way to strong for a positive result of merging Newfoundland into Quebec.

      The other thing is when talking about fusion, each part wish to keep its identity. Here, the merge would be mostly to finance Newfoundland's structural deficit and unsustainable debt. Even should Qc be able to fix that, it would be only by doing what Newfoundlanders refused to do themselves. At the end, Quebec would have to go straight against Newfoundlanders... Does not sound great for a peaceful merge...

      For such a merge to be successful between a larger entity and a much smaller one, the smaller one must identify itself somehow in the bigger one. Because we are very far from this, I think we are just as far as what is required for a merge.

      The day Newfoundlanders will see Quebecers as friends and partners, a merge will not be required anymore.

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    4. You may be right, if friends and partners , a merge may not be necessary. But our history is so tainted with corruption, :the Walker Report on PM Squires, the Report on Commission of Govn in 1934.......I see little hope of good governance as UG aspires to. Is it our culture, or parts thereof. While a language barrier with Quebec, I see ordinary Quebec people very similar to Nflders and Labrador residents. So mostly a language barrier, I think.
      Winston
      WA

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    5. Hi again Winston,

      For sure, I would be very happy to have you as my next door neighboor. But would I be as happy to be next to most of other Newfoundlanders ? That I do not know. You know the proverb: Good news walk, bad news run. As such, from Newfoundland, I heard much more of the anti-Quebec speech than I heard of an opening like yours. Does that mean the anti-Quebec attitude is that much stronger everywhere ? I do not know and when I had the opportunity to go see by myself, I prefered to go anywhere else where such a risk did not exist. (Mostly in Europe...)

      The langage barrier is indeed a first limit. The kind of spirit similar to yours is in our regional areas, more than in that concrete jungle that Montreal is (despite, and you can trust me on that one, Paris, France, is a million time more of a concrete jungle than Montreal...)

      This is also why I do my best to help Newfoundlanders to get rid of their anti-Quebec mentality. If it is indeed not enjoyable for me to receive that kind of attitude, I consider it is a million time worst for you to have it. MF is the most obvious example...

      I saw your invitation (in another of your post) of going myself in Newfoundland to see it by myself, with the possibility to meet you and others. I do not see an opportunity for me to go before at least June 2019 (change of work, obligations, etc.). But at that moment, I promise you I will consider going.

      Nice to talk with you,

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    6. Heracles , About 1976 I visited a company in Montreal. In a discussion with the owner, he was very surprised to hear that in rural Nfld many did not bother to lock their house doors at night. I have no fences between my house and my neighbour, neither at Logy Bay , near St John's , nor at Bishop's Cove where I have a cottage.
      I like the Pope's phrase that we should "build bridges instead of walls" ( to counter Trump's "Build the wall " slogan).
      Your hesitation to visit Nfld due to anti Quebec feelings here, is much like my hesitation to visit Great Britain, because of my knowledge of the British Empire, including mistreatment of Nflders. I like Mandella's statement that the problem with the Commonwealth is that the wealth is not shared commonly.
      I most enjoy the exchanges , points of view on UG. But today, the best I have read is the Guardian piece " Martin Luther King: how a rebel leader was lost to history.
      This a part:
      Six days after his death, the Virginia congressman William Tulk blamed King for his own murder, that King"fomented discord and strife between the races....He who sows the seed of sin shall reap and harvest a whirlwind of evil" By 2011 when kings memorial was opened, near that of Lincoln, 91 percent of Americans , including 89 percent of white people approved. Yet in 1963 54 % of Americans thought the Kennedy administration was pushing racial integration too fast. 59 % of northern white Americans and 78 % of southern white Americans disapproved "of actions Negroes have taken to obtain civil rights"
      That, in 2018, the gap between black and white unemployment is roughly the same as it was in 1963.
      In 1967 king said "there are 40 million poor people in America. When you ask about the economic system , about a broader distribution of wealth, you begin to question the capitalistic system: Who owns the the oil ? Who owns the iron ore "?
      What if we ask these questions as to the poor of Labrador,more than half who have concerns of food security? Who owns the electricity produced from the upper Churchill, or maybe from Muskrat? Who owns the iron ore? Who owns the silver, copper and gold being taken by Vale Inco?
      King's Dream was more than the color of one's skin, or content of character. Yet this is what we hear most.
      Winston

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    7. Winston,

      For sure, I agree with your view of an ideal situation for everyone. Unfortunately, this goes in direct conflict with the notion of freedom.

      As I mentioned, my expertise is IT security. For you to know, most of security mechanisms are required only because of a few idiots doing bad. Chasing these few is too time consumming and letting them do their bad cost too much. The only way is to penalize everyone because of these idiots.

      Ex: Frequently, corporate computers are locked in a way that users can not change the background picture of their desktop. Why is that ? Because if allowed, a few of them will put porn on their desktop. Doing that has way too bad consequences to be tolerated. It is too much work to filter out the images to be used as background, too much to review everyone's desktop, ... The only possible answer is to prevent everyone from changing that image, even those who put a nice sunset over the horizon, the full moon surrounded by clouds or the kid learning how to ride his bike.

      I too would prefer not needing to put locks on my door. But even the one I hired and paid to clean up my place stole from me. I got the evidence on my IP camera and gave it to the police. He was arrested and the case was transferred to lawyers.

      Barrack Obama gave many speeches since he left the White House. In one of them he explained that the motivation of so many terrorists, local guerrilla and similar is their envy towards the ones having more than they do. Agree but again, this is a consequence of freedom. As I wrote in another post, re-distribute all the wealth evenly over everyone and whitin a day, you will have rich and poor people.

      What is happening in Newfoundland right now with MF is also a consequence of this freedom. Newfoundland was free to try to screw Quebec, no matter how stupid the idea was. From the goal to the mean, it was ridiculous. Still, Newfoundland tried to do it and the very motivation for that is kept alive and propagated by Uncle Gnarley and many others.

      Uncle Gnarley too is free. He is entitled to his own opinion. I do my best to help people see how this very opinion is the root cause of their problems but still, they prefer to keep it.

      So unfortunately, there are people who do not agree with the idea of common good and only a few of them is enough to ruin the effort of all the others. Communism tried to fix that, with terrible result. The reason is that to fix that, you need to take people their freedom. History showed that the need to have this freedom is bigger than the benefit of common good. That's why communism, despite the best system in theory, ends up the worst in practice. That's why capitalism - democracy, despite the worst in theory, is by far the best in practice.

      Because it is impossible for everyone one to have and do everything, there MUST be a moderator. At some period in history, the moderator was physical strenght. It has been replaced by religion. As of now, it is mostly money. I agree money is a terrible moderator. Unfortunately, it is the only one accepted by everyone. Should you find a better moderator than money, one that will be accepted by everyone, you will save the world. Until then, the system will keep working the same way because it is the best we have, despite all its known problems.

      So who owns UC ? From a communist point of view, it should be owned and shared by everyone. From a capitalist - democracy point of view, it is owned by CFLCo as an asset and its revenus are HQ's until the end of the power contract.

      I can give you other example (about war, genocide, etc.) but at the end, they join this: people are free and must stay free. Only a few abusing their freedom is enough to ruin most, so most end up penalized by what is required to moderate the few abusers.

      Always nice to talk with you,

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    8. Heracles ., I agree with much of what you say , but not entirely.
      Communism is one extreme and capitalism, another, and socialism a sort of middle ground where the excesses of the others is moderated to various degree.
      Individuals like Warren Buffett thrives by capitalism, but with a social conscience gives billions to worthy causes, his own form of redistribution.
      Also is all wealth was evenly distributed , yes soon you would have the rich and poor again.
      But in regions you have many poor who have little opportunity, such as our aborigonal people, many in isolated location. If wealth is distributed to them , some may prosper, other soon be poor. But if none get the opportunity, then all stay poor.
      Yes UC, CFLCo with the asset and HQ the revenue, but for thousands of years the Labrador and Quebec Indians used this land, and they got screwed with no benefits. The Naskapi resettled to shacks on the coast without water and sewer, poverty and illness, and much of Canada like this as to unfairness and injustice.
      As to IT security, this a major issue for me, as to health care for my wife, here. It takes weeks or longer to get access to test results, all under the excuse of security. Like WW1, loose lips sink ships, so is the fear of giving basic info to me or my wife. Sign up saying "SH...uld you be saying this, someone might be listening" Kidney impaired? Can't find out easily. Same as to liver function, or Cat scan result. And I know in American hospitals this type info available in a few hours, you can log in to your own computer at home and see your results.
      Staff afraid they will be fired , and one department with different rules than another.
      Is such madness this way hospitals operate in Quebec?
      Winston

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    9. Hi Winston,

      About the redistribution of wealth, there is another thing that is important to consider. Do you know that the vast majority of people wining the jackpot in lotery (50 000 or more) end up with less money and wealth within less than 2 years ? After receiving so much compared to what they are used to, it seems unlimited. So they spend like crazy and get used to a new way of living. When they reach the end of the money, they refuse to stop their new way of life and go in debt.

      In the same way, homeless people in the streets in Montreal are known to receive above 80$ per day in charity. And no need to specify that they do not pay taxes. Still, they used that money to buy more drugs, alcohol and crap. With that much money, they should be out of the street within max 3 months.

      To most people, to give them actual money will ruin them million time more than help them.

      Ex: a friend of mine had financial difficulties. After offering to help her over few months, she finaly accepted. I fixed her entire situation and got her gigantic debt paid within 18 months. All with her own money. I gave her budgets, guidance and rules on how to manage money and more. Once the debt fully paid, she refused to stop burning herself in all the way she could. I had to let her go because in no way I will give her more rope to hang herself, nor will I stay there looking at her ruining her life.

      To most people, more money means more problems.

      Another way to put it: To be rich is to have more money than you spend. Most people understand that as having unlimited (or almost unlimited) cash. No! It is always possible to spend more. The only way to be rich is not to get more money, it is to size your spending according to the money you are making. Once you understand that, you can be rich no matter how much money you make.

      That is why despite I have much more money than most people, I almost never give money to anyone. I will help them with my time, knowledge and skill but almost never do I give money. Ex: I started to help a kid in Belgium last summer. Long story short, I bought him an iPod touch I configured myself to be restricted beyond belief, bought a ticket for Belgium and went to see him. I also paid a lawyer to consult with and did a complete report to the police because the kid was in danger. Overall it cost me about 5000$. I did not mind at the moment and I will never mind that money ever. All I mind is the poor kid and I keep praying for him to be better and in good hands now.

      As for the problem of getting access to your health file in Quebec, I would say it vary a lot from a doctor to another. Some will be very happy to share and explain the details while others won't do it. It is not systematically one way or the other. In general, when one is knowledgeable enough to ask specific questions to his / her doctor, the doctor more often then not will give the complete answer. That is my experience.

      As always, very nice to talk with you,

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    10. Just to redirect the discussion closer to the main subject, you can also consider redistribution of wealth by looking at the equalization program. Newfoundland gives money in that program and Quebec receives from that program. So many Newfoundlanders complain about that and ask to start receiving from that program.

      As of now, the program is taking money from provinces that make more of them, even if they have crazy spending habits. The very goal is to ensure every canadians will have a similar level of living, so one should not be able to spend that much more than others. If all a province needs to do not to pay equalization is to spend everything, nobody would ever provide anything.

      As for the receiving side. Quebec is achieving more with less, so is way more efficient. So should Quebec be penalized because of its efficiency ? Should the program be designed that way, the over spending would be used also on the receiving side to ensure not to be penalized for efficiency.

      So a proper redistribution of wealth must not penalize the success, not should it recompense any kind of wasting. As of now, this is how equalization works.

      Hope it will help people understand the program a little better and see why it would be very bad to recompense the kind of over spending that Newfoundland has been doing for so long.

      As for the concept of giving too much money to an entity not used to have as much, a good look in the mirror will give you a great example. Newfoundland received much more money than usual when oil prices where very high. Newfoundland got used to it and has never been able to adjust its way of living when the money went back to a normal level. So again, don't give too much money to the ones not used to it. You will harm them more than anything...

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  5. The Telegram photo of the red dome broken off the Emera transmission line at the Wreckhouse. They say the design was to withstand the forces for this location. We are well aware of transport trucks being tipped over in this area.
    And the dome, notice the pieces missing where the bolt down locations were. Obvious: either it was not bolted securely, or the dome is structurally week for the forces encountered.
    I considered a dome for my attic mounted HP air discharge throught the roof, but thinking it would blow off, I left it open, as the air is always discharging.
    Nfld has one of the highest avg wind speed in the world,about 20 MPG, and at places like the Wreckhouse very high at times.
    On the roof of building our local consultants wisely require products to be guaranteed against wind for 100 MPH, usually requiring special reinforcing.
    Maybe double on on the bolts holes on the dome may solve it, spaced between the existing ones.
    Winston
    .
    What can we expect for our DC line in the ALpine region of the GNP?
    Winstoon

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    1. Windspeed isn't customarily measured in miles per gallon.

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    2. So true, MPH for the old folk, like me, kph for the younger.
      WA

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    3. Are you familiar where in Nfld wood was measured in gallons?
      WA

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  6. Talk of McKay/Harper all you want. Who was your Senatorial representative at the Time? Baker had to know the file.
    What about your new Lieut-Governor? Where is O'Reagan and what is he up to on the file? Accountability by your own Representatives. Who will be called as witnesses by the learned Judge?

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    1. Robert, I always refer to our current tiny 7 MP's in Ottawa, as that's what they are in relation to the Canadian parliament. As for the senate, think their clout is about the same as mine. But baker has been retired for a few years now, but we still have our senators there. But when Harper had his majority government, and Mackey his right hand man, as you know they ran the show. They made the decisions, and a well known fact, Harper was no friend to us, and the feeling was mutual as in the last election, all 7 MP's are liberal. Guess at the time, Manning was most powerful senator. AJ.

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  7. "What do 65 % of of the residents of St John's really know about Labrador?
    Most of those that live on the Labrador coast have never seen the western mining towns. Too often our idea of who is our neighbour and brother will stretch only to include people next door....he cannot even think of the mainland of Nfld except as a barren snow covered land of ice and igloos "down on the Labrador.
    St john's, you really bug me when you grandly and superciliously dismiss the whole province lying beyond the Topsail overpass as " out around the bay"
    Nfld is far far more than an island. But the Strait of Belle Isle may be the widest nine miles of water in the world. It'll take more to bridge the gulf caused by neglect and lack of communication than the childish trick of changing the name of the province to Nfld and Labrador.
    In mid October, at Happy Valley , late roses and gladioli still bloom in front of the houses.
    It will shock you to know that Labrador is no further north than England and that January days in the heart of Labrador are no shorter than they are in London or Liverpool.
    Winters in the center of Labrador are far more sunny and pleasant than they are in St John's .
    Trees in the endless forest of "barren" Labrador are taller and straighter than the masts of any schooner.
    It will confuse you to know that thousands of your brother Nflders are slant-eyed, brown-skinned and as fine to look at as the handsome people of the South Sea Islands.
    You will be ashamed , as I am, for every moment lived in ignorance of what you call "your " Newfoundland"
    Does this sound familiar?
    Winston Adams

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    1. It will confuse you to know that thousands of your "brother Nflders" wouldn't consider themselves to be "Nflders" at all.

      But yes, the unbelievable amount of ignorance towards Labrador is staggering. More Townies have been to the Dominican Republic than north of the Strait of Belle Isle.

      As recently as the 1980s, I had a relative who ended up in hospital in St. John's, where many of the staff wouldn't speak to her, assuming she only spoke "Eskimo". (Despite being partially of "Eskimo" descent like many Labradorians of pre-war descent, she is blonde, blue-eyed, and only speaks English.)

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    2. And who could blame them for not considering themselves to be brother Nflders.
      All of my comment was taken from Ray Guy's piece in the Teletram Oct 16, 1968, and page 164 of Ray Guy:The Smallwood Years book., and under Culture and History.
      Have we changed much since 1968?
      Guy , like Capt Bartlett, one of the few great Nflders, I think , who wanted better for Labrador residents.
      Winston

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  8. So sad to see Newfoundland still looking so hard to find responsability outside of its own...

    For decades Newfoundland complained how the Feds did not support them at the time of UC. Even after facts made it so clear that Newfoundland could not have do UC by itself even with the permission to build its own transmission line over Quebec, Newfoundland keeps complaining about that.

    Now that you received the requested support, you complain about it too.

    Again here, Newfoundland sees conspiracy where an external entity successfully protects its own interest when Newfoundland failed to do so.

    Emera had no conspiracy against you. Neither had Qc - HQ. Nor the Feds. Each of these three entity is nothing else than an authority able to manage its own stuff properly.

    You were on the wrong path with UC when you tried to do it by yourself. The Feds knew it and did the proper thing to protect you. Instead of acknowledging that, you complained.

    You were on the wrong path with MF by trying to do it by yourself. The Feds had to take their decision and for that, they had :
    --Emera has a solid plan and was willing to go for it
    --Hydro power to reduce GHG in Atlantics was a good option
    --An opportunity to satisfy the always-complaining Newfoundland
    --To do it while putting risks in evidence in the requirements for the warranty including the take or pay clause

    For other governments to be responsible to overview your entire decision process, you have to loose your sovereignty. If you would rather do that, fine. You can turn in an extra region of Quebec or NS, loose your government and your capability to drive your own reality. Only then will you be allowed to complain about governance from outside.

    As long as you keep your sovereignty, the only one you can blame is the guy looking at you every morning in the mirror.

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    1. There is nothing worse than opinion based upon misinformation. Never did NL attempt the UC on its own; it was denied transmission access when it assessed doing Gull Island without HQ as an equity partner. Quebec refused the access. The Feds refused to intervene forgetting their national responsibilities. No one disputes that NL is culpable in its sanction of Muskrat; I don't think Uncle Gnarley is suggesting anything of the sort. But his examination of Federal complicity around the FLG is long overdue. The Federal Government was not just culpable; they were irresponsible. The public needs to know this story and who better than Uncle Gnarley to tell it.

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    2. The jist of Uncle Gnarley's latest post, is that the Feds did us wrong by not admonishing us like children, that no we couldn't have that candy that we weally, weally wanted. But boy oh boy, wouldn't the Dan have had a hissy fit.
      The old adage about rope and hanging seems appropriate here. The Feds, through the FLG, simply gave us enough rope. We supplied the bucket, the beam and, most critically, the body. Why we even invited our neighbours in for a fine party while we kicked our own bucket and hanged ourselves. Maybe some sharp townie lawyer might be able to sue the FG, under contingency of course, for supplying the rope. Perhaps, our best hope when the bankruptcy bailiff shows up, is to plead insanity.

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    3. Plead insanity......... well doing the same sort of thing over and over and not learning from it, seems to border on insanity.
      But as to Heracles:
      In the early 1900s , our Prime Minister Robert Bond had a free trade agreement with the USA on issues of trade, particular fish issues. Canada, and I guess NS, objected to it, and Nfld being subject to London and the British Empire, went against Nfld also, and the deal never materialized.
      So, not entirely true that we can be masters of our own resources.
      Winston

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    4. Heracles, the day that the Glorious Loan Guarantee was signed, I observed to one of the local Giants of Journalism that, within a very few years, it would be added to the pantheon of Newfoundland nationalist mythical humiliations.

      No one does mythical humiliations like Newfoundland nationalists, not even the most out-to-lunch Quebec separatists.

      The journalist told me how wrong I was.

      I should go rub it in a little.

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    5. NL was never "denied" transmission across Quebec, because it never actually asked for it.

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    6. An:12:25. You don't need to describe the rope anology in such great detail, shows you are so short on facts, you resort to mumbo jumbo, just to make a comment. The rope anology is just a way of us admitting our responsibility, and not placing the blame totally on the Feds, especially Harper-Mackey dual. Read UG again, because obviously you just skipped over it, otherwise provide you documentation or quotes from official documentation, that nullifies UG'lys, documentation. Your whining on this blog shows how much you have been brainwashed, and is worst that anyone from this province. We don't have a monopoly on whining and brainwashing, that is prevalent in most provinces, including yours. You attack we attack back. And again remind you, HQ is not a party to the muskrat agreement. Notice milt.eng. is conspicuous by his absence. the average Joe.

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    7. Winston, very interesting that you dug up the 1904 historical context;

      Acadiensis;

      https://journals.lib.unb.ca/index.php/Acadiensis/article/viewFile/12022/12866

      Worth a read, especially for our friends, Etienne and Heracles

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    8. An:13:24, are you referring to the UC transmission line, if so that was back in the days of the FLQ, and PM Pearson, told Smallwood not to ask for it officially, as he knew he would have to refuse the request. He couldn't provide the protection for the towers. Just a part of our history. AJ.

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    9. Winston, Robert,

      Thanks for the link. I will go read about it for sure. I admit that I did not went bask that far in Newfoundland history (and actually, that far in most aspect of history :-)

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    10. Lol, (which means laughing out loud) every time I read Hercules comment, I laugh and say it's funny. You are so out of touch with reality, that it's pathetic, and like a broken record. Cheers. AJ.

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    11. AJ, not so funny that Heracles would not know all our history, as I am sure You, nor I know all of theirs. But good that we can be open minded to learn from each other.
      WA

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    12. Agree, with you on that Winston, but I make very few comments on Ouebec, or their history. Only things that I know for certain and are relevant. But I am quite willing to learn. Thanks. AJ.

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    13. AJ: This is getting both irritating and pointless. You have repeatedly accused Heracles31 and myself of being ignorant, biased or both. In no instance have you actually corrected any factual error on my part (nor, I think, on his) or presented relevant data.

      I suspect the "ignorance" you are accusing us both of relates, rather, to ignorance of local Newfoundland taboos. Which is quite true in my case: although I have been to Newfoundland twice and have known several Newfoundlanders across Canada well, I cannot claim to know much about these taboos. But from the point of view of Newfoundlanders here at UG this should be seen as a positive: the entire MF project obviously went ahead because of various such taboos, because of people who were unwilling to ask certain kinds of questions. Outsiders such as myself certainly do not have all the answers, but I think we may (mark you, *may*) be the ones who can ask at least some of the right questions.

      Oh, here's one such question: What is the relationship between the class divide in Newfoundland and the popularity of megaprojects such as MF or the Upper Chuchill? Related question: To what degree can these megaprojects be said to constitute a wealth transfer from the general population to the Elite? Ancillary question: if the answer to the previous question is "To a very great degree", can either of said megaprojects, from the vantage point of the Elite, be said to be failures?

      Robert G. Holmes: I just finished reading the article: very interesting and informative. Thank you.

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    14. Etienne, can't add much on the class conflict, but as a practician in contract administration on site, I can say that the EPC process is somewhat open to abuse, when compared to traditional Owner, Consultant, Contractor relationship. First mistake, following the aborted sanctioning, was to abandon the Public Tendering process, and invite in the "Wild Western" petroleum industry process of "negotiated tendering". Second, the appointment of Owner as the Prime Contractor, allowing all sorts of influence over the contract administration role. What I am getting at is that if you emasculate the project certification process from field inspection and quality acceptance, cost and schedule management control is lost. This to me is the main lesson "learned", and I have seen it happen on my own job experience.

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    15. Sorry Etienne, I didn't respond sooner, been of line, as we all have a life outside of UG. Guess you have asked a few good questions, that one could write a book, but I am a slow typed, so won't attempt to do that, and maybe no one would read it all. I noticed Robert responded, but my response may be different if I understand yourcomments correctly. So will just say, we have been communicating, Hercules too, for a couple of weeks, and am sure you have read all my comments as I have read yours. My comments have all been mainly my personal opinion, as a matte of fact, that's where me and Hercules started, with opinions, but also some facts, and no, or little ezeration. I talked about my friendship with québécois, experience, etc. I talked about NL ancestry, heritage, history, current and past, and my opinion on a few other things, hoping to give you a better understanding of who we are. And my main point was, hoping you would see us as normal, regular, ordinary people as in Qc., ON, or BC or anywhere else. I have travelled, to all provinces, of Canada, except sk, and mb, but really only lived in on, and ns, for a short period in my much younger days. I have travelled like most to the us, mainly Florida, carabean, South America, Europe, Philippines, and related the number of people that go through St. John's airport in a year, about 3 times the population, all may not have travelled as widely as I did, but all have travelled, so like to think of us, as being worldy people, as a lot of other Canadians are. But so what, no big deal , just normal average people, hoping to enjoy and have a good life wherever. So that's the broad general, people of who we are. Now, I could put in a dividing line in our history, what I just described is mainly in the past 70 years, since confideration, as previously we were more confined, to local communities, because of travel difficulties, roads etc., but we always travelled, by sea etc. Now you mentioned taboos, meaning, customs, sacred, forbidden, ban, social, etc. We don't really have any, any more than you would find among Canadians in general. Maybe a few isolated things here and there, like screech ins, which I detest, and not really a part of our tradition, maybe only came about in the last 30 or 40 years. As for class destination, we had more in our first 18 th. And 19th century , than we have now. Back then there was the rich and very poor, so the poor were be holding to them to carry on the main occupation fishing and surviving. So the fish merchants, gave the poor supplies to go fishing, and you gave them all your fish in return, now the entire population was not like that , but mainly. But in the past 70 years that has all changed, we are all our own persons, we are not be holding to anyone, well yes if you want a road contract, maybe best to be friendly to your local politicans, but that occurs everywhere. But if any politicans now insulted the average Joe any more than twice, you would tell him no kiss your ass. So no there is no tipping of hats, or bowing to the so called elete, you might call someone sir, or boy when first meeting, but so what. You may have respect for the LT. Governe, simply because of his position, where as others may scorn him, suspect it is similar in your province. Could just mention our past premiers. Samallwood after confideration, and for 23 years, was of low class, a pig farmer to a journalist in NY, and died a popper, our second premier, was from a fish merchant, outside St. John's, as we say, from around the bay, moved to Ottawa, and became a lobbyist, especially with Brian Mulroney. Our third premier, Peckford, some say bad boy, was a welfare officer and teacher, from around the bay. Sorry, but I wrote more than my 4000 characters, must have wrote twice that number, so could not send. Had to delete, as I don't know who's to make it two postings. So I stopped mid scentence, so will try and pick it up again later. Hope you understand, cheers, Joe blow, average Joe, AJ.

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    16. AJ, nice read, but wonder have you been to any or all of coastal communities of Labrador? If so, what is yoour impression?
      Winston

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    17. Yes Winston, been to most communities in Labrador, from Nain to Blanche sablon, ( spelling), including goose bay, but never to lab west. Never spent much time there, but have seen the variation, and how people live, and of course a mixed culture, of various aboriginals and let's say whites, seen some decriminalion, seen a lot of mixing, seen some good teachers, police etc. Some have good attitudes, some not so good. All people are very friendly, and most proud of their heritage. But probably have read more than I can relate in personal experience. Others may be able to comment better than I can. Thanks, AJ.

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    18. AJ,Have you seen or read much of THEM DAYS, and your opinion?
      WA

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    19. Ok Etienne, will try again an continue fro where I left off, try to rember what I deleted. I was in my late forties, before I started using computers, but guess you guys are like my kids grew up with computers and iPhones. So Hercules as an IT expert would simply figure out out to send as 2 or 3 different post, without deleting anything. Our 4th. Premier was Wells as I mentioned before, from the west coast, a prominent lawyer, and right by the book, became the Chief Justice. Tobin, grew up in lab west, spent 25 years or so in Ottawa as an mp, then premier for one term, no elete upbringing. And Grimes, bay,an, of modest up brining, salt of the earth, and previous teacher. Then Dannie came, yes a townie elite I guess, became a millionaire in the cable business and lawyer. Then carhieD. From the bay, simple background, followed Dannie. Marshall, from the west coast, father an mp, and became a prominent lawyer, and I term premier. Similar for Davis, was a cop. Then Ball from the west coast, a pharmacist, with some business interest, the current premier. Not sure if I missed anyone. And local politicans, and mps were probably similar to premiers. May mention the most 2 prominent Ottawa mps, Jamison, and crosbie. Jamison, a broadcaster, in tv , mostly, and in Ottawa for 25 years or so. Crosbie, probably a townie elete family, fish merchants, shipping and construction, and in Ottawa for 25 years or so. So nothing great in elete, most of them regular bay men or lady, and but all with their own dinamic personality, which politicans need anywhere to be elected. But my point of going through all this, is our politicans are just a reflection of the people, except most will say, no a breed of their own, but we say that everywhere, and of course we elected them. So again to me all normal people electing normal governments. Dannie may have been somewhat a bit different, but maybe the times were difference, the first time, we had lots of our own money, from oil. As I mentioned, yes a province of this size can do maga projects, as I outlined before, as we were doing 3 in the same decade in conjunction with oil companies, and mining
      Agree, we should have had only two at the time, as that one was all public money, muskrat, and a mistake. Trying to give you the big picture so you can form your own opinion, rather than me telling you what your opinion should be. Will look at, and comment on your specific question later. Just one little tidbit, in the 50 and 60's there wee more hab fans in no, than leaf fans. But of course in latter years, lots of Tampa fans too now and elsewhere, but still a lot of Canadiens fans now, so no, no great hostility towards Quebec, lots travel there on a weeken to see their Habs. May be up to my 4000 words so will send now. Always enjoy just for laughs from Quebec, we all have the same humor. Thanks, AJ.

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    20. AJ, again interesting read. But our friends? from Quebec, who seem to have English as their second language, have much better spelling and fewer errors. But don't get vexed over that, as I make a lot of mistakes, and try to correct them , as, like you, not good at computers or typing. I always get your drift if an error, so not to worry.
      Trudeau's the Elder, I thnk , made a good move to have Canada official bilingual. I know almost no French language, my grandchildren some from school. I, about 20 years after Canada joined Nfld, was still taught Latin in school in the early 1960s. Would not French have served me better? Learned a few curse words from the French as CF construction. And first saw Hash smoked by a few of them, we rural Nflders not being exposed to that. But they were good competent workers.
      And I too an Habs fan, My bedrooom once plastered with the Rocket, Bellevieu. Jacque Plante, the goalie etc. Why did we like them so much? perhaps because they were the best, and won more often. And so they still win,like HQ. Was D Williams a Toronto fan? It is good perhaps to join with winners.
      Winston

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  9. No Investment Bank in world would have financed this project at a reasonable rate without a loan guarantee. There was just too much information out there displaying the serious risks. If it was attempted to be taken on solely by a provincial government guarantee, this risk information would have surfaced widespread because it would have run into the 2014 time frame when oil prices were in serious decline before any possible deal with the Banks.

    This part one deals with the lack of due diligence by the Federal Government prior to signing the term sheet for the loan guarantee on Dec 4, 2013. In the world of finance, term sheets are only half way there with only about a 50% chance of completion. You can’t take a term sheet to a Bank and come out with cash.

    The interim period between the term sheet and the legal agreement involves significant due diligence. For example a typical guarantor would require the Bank(s) to complete a significant amount of due diligence and provide proof of such to the guarantor prior to sign off. This would be in addition to the monitoring and additional due diligence done by the guarantor on its own right. This is what happens when the guarantor is providing expected prudence and governance standards for its shareholders which in the federal government’s case were the people of Canada including citizens of Newfoundland & Labrador.

    The lead banker for TD, who co-arranged the financing with Goldman Sachs, is quoted in the Financial Post as saying (paraphrased) that they did not look at the project as the loan guarantee was in place. The final sign-off on the loan guarantee that could be executed for cash was Dec 13, 2013. Looking at the list of Lawyers involved, 59 in total, the cost would be in the range of $40K per hour and well into the millions for the total tally. The Lawyers have nothing to do with due diligence on the underlining business case.

    In the interim period between the term sheet and sign-off, there were several significant events that should have raised the alarm bells for any group risking their money on this project if the preceding factors weren’t enough. Any serious due diligence should have included discussions with the lead engineering group and what is called working from the market back through investigating all the market reports on the product, electricity. This is standard practice for even beginner Investment Bankers. The SNC Lavalin report of April, 2013 would have scared off any investor to take a pause and the electrical markets were nose diving from shale gas produced electricity and reduced demand from technology improvements. In addition, Hydro Quebec challenged in court, Nalcor’s assertion that it could control when the water actually flowed into the turbines to produce electricity. Any assertion that the NL market should be looked at in captivity is nonsense. Joining the North American grid has market standards of its own requiring both buy and sell provisions and besides the citizens of NL are not likely to stand idly by while their product prices double when they are dropping elsewhere.

    This seriously undermines any possible assertion that the federal government were acting in the best interest of their shareholders which includes the citizens of NL. Therefore, why should the citizens of NL be the only ones to bear the cost to this serious lack of proper governance?

    The second phase of $2.9 Billion was a bailout which Stan Marshall claimed in his presentation at MUN, saved the Province from Bankruptcy.

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    1. they surely stood "idly by" during the gestation and birth of this fiasco, in fact the bells were ringin' and the people were singin'.. why would they awake when they have sorts of outsiders to blame it on. and pass the financial hot potato to... it must be a first though, when a people suckered themselves

      Delete
    2. m
      Mr No
      This was close to a Ponzi scheme. Read David Vardy's post a couple of months back. The fund managers were both levels of government. Do the victims go after only one or both when it took concurrence from both to happen.

      So what is fair. Stay here and pay double power plus equivalent in Equilization or retire in Nova Scotia and benefit from both the and equalization plus become a burden on their health care system with age related health costs.

      Delete
    3. 1) You are suggesting fraud, in that case you and Dave Vardy should run, not walk, to the RCMP with proof
      2) This is not a Ponzi scheme. A Ponzi scheme involves early investors being paid from the investments of later investors. There was no one stupid enough to invest in this fiasco except Newfoundlanders. The exception was the early investor Emera which will benefit for the next 30 years from our initial investment; a reverse Ponzi to use your analogy.
      3) This recent post, suggests that we operate with diminished capacity, that we need an overlord to make sure we don’t make mistakes. And when we do make those mistakes on the overlord’s watch, they are to blame as well. Harkens back to Bowring’s comments about our abilities in the 30’s. But all will bristle at that suggestion. You can’t have it both ways you are either sovereign or not.
      4) It seems that the whole sorry tale is now evolving into another Newfoundland fairy tale. And unfortunately even the august Uncle Gnarley is sheparding opinion towards the standard nativist mythology. We’ve seen this trajectory before, just look at CF. It begins with visions of grandiosity; “we’re an energy warehouse for the world”. It crashes, we moan about our poor leadership. This morphs into looking for somebody else to foot the bill. And finally it reaches the point that as now just appearing in UG that the whole bloody thing was a conspiracy from the start/ Let the victimhood myths arise, we were screwed from the start by that dastardly HQ and QC whom will be the ultimate villains in this nativist fairy tale. Perhaps we’ll find out that Danny was actually Daniel.
      5) I sincerely hope there are background negotiations taking place to clean up this mess; if we didn’t make the mess ourselves then we can’t solve it ourselves. Because if the mess isn’t cleaned up, then yes I will move to NS to take advantage of all that secure, reliable NL electricity flowing from our central reservoirs. I won’t have to put up with the “meccano” monstrosity of MF feed. But I’ll leave because I can. The true victims of this mess can’t, and for them the health system in a bankrupt NL will be truly third world.

      Delete
    4. I suggest the health care here is already third world class.........when at the main hospital there was recently no bed pans. The plastic bed pans have a waterproof cardboard liner. At the ER, with no plastic bed pan to be found, they inserted the cardboard liner only under this poor woman. It collapsed, with pee all over her, she having to be wiped down with wet cloths.
      Hard to believe, and when told to others , they stated :"Like you would expect at third world countries". But it was never mentioned in the media, as who would tell it?

      Delete
    5. I write my opinion, and in the most honest way I can, and up front, but I hate masquerades, maybe I am wrong, if I am prove it, but better than you did last time. To sow discord is the lowest modern day trick in the book. Putin, has mastered the technique, perfectly, and the Americans are totally confused, except dummies like Trumpie, say on one side of his mouth, Russia bad, Putin good. I am not calling anyone here putins puppets, that would be silly, but seems you maybe someone's puppets, maybe just your own puppet. But, cut it out, or prove you are not just a puppet, and talk on both sides of your mouth at the same time. No , I am not UG policeman, if I am out of line, he will let me know, and probably delete me. Joe blow, average Joe, AJ.

      Delete
    6. Now AJ, you hate masquerades, but you hide behind AJ.
      And do you refer to third world health care issue per anon @09;52 or anon @ 11:32?

      Delete
    7. Best you look up the term masquerading. Masquerading is changing you colours one day you are friend, the next foe, you talk from both sides of your face. You praise a guy in face, and scoff at him behind his back. One day you are a woof in sheeps clothing, the next day a wolf in wolfs clothing. You play both ends toward the middle as we say. I don't hide, and I have selected to remain anonymous, and use a fictitious name for consistency, and personal reasons. At least you know what I am saying, and I say the same thing every day, don't change my stance. But masquerades are from Quebec one day, and the next day pretend they are from NL the next. You are dishonest, deceitful, and trying to sow discord in the NL population. We won't allow you, and will call you out every time, even if I run the risk of being wrong. It was no accident that I remarked where milt eng. was. As I said he was conspicuous by his absence. Just wondering if he might be moonlighting and masquerading at the same time. No one on here from Quebec is using their name, and that's fine, (exception Bernard) but don't pretend you are from here one minute and from Quebec the next. It was clearly pointed out a day or so ago, and will be again. Joe blow' average Joe, and AJ.

      Delete
    8. Hey AJ
      were is Waldo
      maybe you're waldo, you're stunned enough

      Delete
    9. Amen to that anon 9:52 I've already started looking into NS propery, likely Guysborough County or Cape Breton. I will NOT be counting kwh the same way a yo-yo dieter counts calories in my retirement.

      I said it before and I'll say it again... when the MRF fiasco bills start arriving in the mail and the bondsmen call in the loans, there'll be such a massive flotilla of Muskrat refugees crossing the Cabot Strait it'll make Dunkirk look like a bathtub race.

      Delete
  10. From CBC article on Banks' involvement in money laundering;

    Pat Evans
    Bankers rule the world, not politicians.
    We will NEVER get control of anything until we get control of the money.
    We cannot have bankers in control of our currency and credit. Haven't the last 50 years or so proven that to us?
    Our 10th PM of Canada, William Lyon McKenzie King even said so. He said that "until the control of the issue of currency and credit is restored to government and recognized as it's most conspicous and sacred responsibility, all talk of the sovereignty of Parliament and of democracy is idle and futile".

    But, like immigration, we can't even have this discussion in this country. Bankers want it the way it is and no politician will try to change anything. I honestly don't think any politician can. Any that have tried in the past were put to death.

    Could the Muskrat have been another money laundering scheme? Which Banker is making big money on the continuance of Muskrat? Politicians have very close ties with Canadian Banks. Follow the money

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  11. The radio just reported that latest research shows that by mid century the Atlantic region will get more rainfall and tempertures up about 7 F.
    Now about a month ago I commented that in 30 years Nfld would have a climate approaching Bermuda.
    From where came my insight? Well, follow the jet stream changes on the forecasts, the up nad down loops binging warm southern winds our direction, and the science studies saying there are serious changes going on, instead of the general west to east, more of a south to north pattern.
    And that 7F rise will give about 20 percent improvement on HP efficiency, so 300/yr with an older unit, goes to 240 with a newer unit ,and down to 192/yr for heat , assuming rates were at 10 cent power.
    Did Gil Bennett account for the global warming factor for our heat load?
    Winston Adams

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    Replies
    1. Winston...did that come from the same crowd that predicted the Hockey Stick? When something like "Climate Change" becomes a new religion I am certainly skeptical...even more so when it becomes political like Muskrat. Keith

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    2. Keith, , please google Hockey Stick Graph , under Wikipedia, for a history if global temp rise is based on science. It is, and dispute on historical temps with much analysis, since the last ice age , seems near absolute,over 95 percent certainty.
      As to a new religion, yes, the pope has written on it. I might switch religion! They jailed Galileo remember, but this pope is not intimidated by Trumps BS.
      As an engineer in power system , wave form is important, like plus or minus 1 Hertz, beyond 1 cycle per second above or below 60, and our Nfld grid power collapses.
      So changes in the jet stream pattern is no small deal as to climate change, I suggest. Most system has a range beyond which chaos reigns.
      Winston
      Winston

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    3. Keith, is there something wrong about the "hockey stick"? If so, what, and what are your climatological credentials?

      Delete
    4. Winston...like you I have no climatological credentials nor do I claim to have any. Nor does Justin Trudeau, Al Gore, Pete Soucy, Bill Nye, Prince Charles, Barrack Obama and many others from the ideological left. But I do look at things with a skeptical eye, as I did with Muskrat Falls, when it becomes political as there is an agenda at work. If you intend to dismiss anyone with a differing opinion then that is your prerogative. The problem with the new religion of "man-made climate change" is that anyone who disagrees or does not accept the dogma is to be marginalized and that is dangerous. Keith

      Delete
    5. Your second error is to assume that anon @ 16:02 is Winston. it is not.
      Your first is say I have no climatologist credentials. Well not much, but
      1. I have monitored ocean temperatures for 10 years, as to our fish disappearing.
      2. I save studied the issue generally , since 1983, when I first came to believe it is a very serious issue
      3. I , like many others , can observe that most of the ice up north has melted, but much more to go, and many changes in climates , everywhere, even the insurance companies paying out big time, that huricane damage getting much worse, and drought etc
      4. That oil companies have long known the science were and are spending money to conceal the facts.
      5. And to say anyone who does not believe is marginalized, a load of crap, you spout what most people want to believe. Hardly 1 in 100 in Nfld consider it a problem , and prefer to drill baby drill. It is those that that say climate change is man made and caused by burning fossil fuel that is attacked , by people like you.
      So what is your credentials , Keith of no last name?
      Winston Adams

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    6. First apology to you as I wrongfully assumed the debate was between you and I and never really paid attention to that the question was from an anonymous writer.

      Clearly you are on a crusade which is one of the difficulties I have with the acolytes of climate change. I am not saying you are wrong nor am I saying you are right. As I have tried to explain with no success that when something as important as this issue becomes political, as did Muskrat Falls, a healthy dose of skepticism is prudent. If it makes you happy my name is Keith Ryan and I am a university educated, self-employed, family man and independent thinker. Cheers and good health.

      Delete
    7. Welcome to UG Keith Ryan, one of few to give their full name, And I respect your right to have a different opinion
      I actually made a few thousand dollars on Mobil Oil stock when oil was struct at Hibernia. I had a 1979 Corvette, a gas guzzler, and planned to buy a newer 1983, when I cancelled the plan.
      I drive a 2005 Prius , but have a Tesla on Order. But I cancelled that this week , as they do not service here.
      I would no more buy oil company stock , then that of cigarette, or liquor companies. I have 2 of 3 children working in the oil business , and I have 5 grandchildren, who will inherit the climate change would we will deliver to them, a worse planet than we enjoyed.
      If that makes me crusader, so be it. I have not marched. I placed one comment on my wife's facebook last year, to negative result.
      If the science is sound, political decisions should reflect into solutions, I think.
      A little man in a wheel chair recently died, called Stephen Hawking, an Einstein of our times. He stated that the issue of global warming is a worse threat to our civiliation that a nuclear war. To me he would trump Al gore and many others, as to planets and our cosmos. My views pale to that , I think.
      Winston

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  12. Hear! Hear! An12:59. Here is a guy who knows what he is talking about in the financial markets, and the guaranteos said responsibilities, and lack of due diligence by the Feds. And this is bigger than small potatoes, even hot ones. Cheers, AJ.

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  13. Breaking News say CNN ...DOW plunges, worse April since the Great Depression. With talk of trade wars, oil also plunges
    Am I worried? Not much
    Me. my investment down 2.1 % this year. Generally like a yo yo this year.
    S&P /TXS down 4.54 %
    But if the world economy tanks, and oil plunges...where does that leave Tom Orsborne and his plan. Of course might be good for the green energy croud to do catch up, and less GHG for a decade would be good. So, not so bad.
    NFLD INVESTOR

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  14. How do we know that this Leblanc Inquiry will give no justice?
    Go to the web cast site and look at that big sign behind him, showing 2 Beothic Indians.
    We had Peter Ralph appearing on behalf of the Queen , that is the Crown, in whose name all justices and injustices under our system are done.
    We seem to Honour those Beothic , but in reality , we killed and starved them, and stole their land: what we call Newfoundland. We did it over 3 centuries. And we have shown as much remorse as the Nazi who gassed the Jews and others.
    Yet we have symbols of them behind the judge of each of our Inquiries.
    If there was no justice for the Beothic , under the Crown, can we now expect justice.
    Mr Leblanc : take down that offensive poster , that is a mockery to the memory of the Beothic, the origainl people of this land, from which the term Red Indians was coined.
    As President Regan said to the Russians about Berlin "Tear down that wall" , I say to you, through the freedom of thought and expression , via the UG blog; Take down that poster, please, Sir, will due respect, that I may have faith in this Inquiry.
    PF
    PF

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    Replies
    1. PF:

      Maybe there were more important or interesting things that occurred than to complain about the Coat of Arms? Maybe your attention was distracted from what was important?

      For me, I found the following interesting:
      1) DW et al requesting standing separate from KD and some others
      2) the treatment of Derek Browne, I would say I was surprised MFCCC was granted standing after DBs request
      3) who did and who didn't ask for standing
      4) the lack of knowledge of the ToR and Public Inquires shown by more than 1 presenter that should have known better given their position
      5) generally with the way requests were dealt with and how funding was allotted
      6) LeBlanc saying that there was some doubt in his mind whether he could complete all under the ToR by his deadline when addressing 'democratic deficits'

      There were some others, but those really stood out to me; unfortunately I could only see about 75% due to webcast issues, so I may have missed a big PoI.

      PENG2

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    2. Ed Martin is in the news suggesting that there is disinformation in the public and plenty of critics who present incomplete and partial data. He says it is important to put a full balanced view before the people of the province.
      Can't wait to see he and others try and make a silk purse out of a sow's ear.

      Delete
    3. Peng2,
      1. I watched just as Vardy, and then Sullivan spoke, and was pleased to see full standing granted. Apparently 218 members so far of the MFCCC, but there should be thousands, if Nflders are really worried about power rates to double,or impact to our economy and debt situation.My first impression was all the empty seats. Second was that offensive Coat of Arms.
      2. You feel the Consumer Advocate should get priority over MFCCC.
      Does he really represent the public, any more than did Tom Johnson
      3.As to democratic deficit, I think he gave the middle finger to our friend!and past commentator, Bruno, who said much as to out fuedal system. So no changes there, let the democratic deficit roll on, roll on.
      4. You say `maybe` more important things than the Coat of Arms, leaving room for maybe none more important. Berger defended the rights of aborginals remember. The Coat of Arms is symbolic of the continued trampling of indigneous rights. The Coat of Arms, like the statue of General Lee in the USA South, to mock the black population struggle for equality. And note, this Inquiry also being held in the Beothuck Building! A double insult.
      If not for the fish, seal, bird eggs, salmon, fur, caribou, taken from the Beothic to allow them to starve by 1820, we would have finished them off later for the water and electric hydro resource, you should realize.
      5. And Leblanc did not have much time for Philip .....the hydro expert who wanted standing, he having extensive knowledge of our island hydro resource. Leblanc suggesting he is but one of 500,000 thousand, an insult to the expertise of this engineer, I thought, and perhaps the first indication of the bias of the judge.
      6. Explain your item 3
      PF

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    4. PF:

      Just how much of the proceeding did you watch, like I said I watched all except when tech issues caused me to loose about 20%-by your comment: maybe you heard only words and not their meaning or didn't pay attention to the entire proceedings?

      I will only address my #2, you missed my other points completely:
      2) I was simply noting that LeBLanc said he didn't see that the Inquiry could accept that Browne had regulatory authority to represent consumers-based on this assessment, I am surprise LeBLanc allowed MFCC to use the rights of the populace as a partial argument for standing. You didn't read closely enough-I never passed judgement on MFCC vs Browne either way.

      The proceedings were interesting and maybe a translation relating the there spoken words vs regulatory meaning is in order.

      PENG2

      Delete
    5. 218 souls on the coalition ship!
      I must be one, but I have no information about the formation or the process involved.
      Surely the inquiry standing isn't about who gets money (which lawyers get money)is it?

      I would gladly stand for nothing to get my word in, but, like all this stuff, the concentration on who what when where and why isn't going to tell us how we are going to get past the MF mess.

      Are there no petitions?
      peaceful civil disobediences?
      protests?
      demonstrations?

      218!

      It's not hard to get 218 people to a wedding or a funeral, surely more Newfoundlanders (and Labradoriens) are more interested in their future than this paltry number.
      If not, another example of the dragon winning, again.

      I am rotted.
      I am naive.
      I am idealistic.
      I am a socialist.
      I am a man of direct and often radical action.

      Where are the pitch forks and rakes?

      Bourgeois rhetoric and namby pamby mealy mouthing has its place, of course, but we are now way beyond that, aren't we?

      Huh?


      Delete
    6. Peng2
      I tuned in late , as indicated, so only saw about 1/4 of the proceeding, and an attempt to view later , the sound cut off part way through. Also I have 2 volume adjustments ,and still the sound was low for my hearing, which is somewhat impaired, but for other audio on the computer I have no trouble. So I missed near 50 percent of the audio what I did see.
      On #2 ,I guess Leblanc had to acknowledge that UG pressed for the Inquiry, and with 5 years of UG , and 2 million hits, and various experts weighing in, could he ignore them ?
      #3 who did or didn't ask for standing.........why different from what your expected?
      # 5........what did you see wrong ? You just say it was interesting.
      #6 Democratic deficit........Sort of agree with Leblanc, but i suppose in that PUB was shut out, Secrecy Act, etc.....there are areas where he could go.
      To Tor...yes 218, pitiful , but maybe this will grow. If not we deserve double the power rates, and worse.
      PF

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    7. PF:

      I would suggest getting a copy of the hearing and watching several times-lots of nuances to absorb, a 1x listen doesn't do it justice.

      I am still digesting the proceedings and what yesterday means, so my thoughts are still incomplete yet, but would offer:
      2) I don't think public opinion has a place in the Inquiry or other judicial hearings for that matter-that's why I am surprised given the questions posed to Browne, I was a bit surprised that MFCC wasnt scrutinized a bit closer.
      3) very few former politicians, civil servants, Nalcor board members etc appeared. Other than Astaldi, I never heard 1 other contractor(granted I missed 20% or so)
      5) DW et al asked for funding, Martin did not, and KD cried poor-I would have assumed and hoped to have seen more individuals/groups cooperatively apply and 'public persons/groups' being refused funding
      6) I am not sure democratic deficit has a place here-over 70% of populace wanted MF so I guess you could mask that in democracy, I will clarify in a separate post what I mean by that

      Granted, we haven't seen the text documents asking for standing, so a quick vid presentation isn't much to go on-just my gut feeling from experience. I would suggest that the $33M allotment will be mostly eaten up if this proceeds as I now expect it to.

      PENG2

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    8. Peng2
      Agree with a lot of what you say here. And nuances are important, I would have liked to be there to see and here all.
      DW asked for funding? Bill Rowe wrote that he was as tight as a duck's ass, if I recall. The 200 million dollar man, wanting the public to fund his defense of forging ahead (rolling the dice ) for this so called legacy project, that may bankrupt the province. And Danny's brother Tom , is it, representing others...........so all in the family.
      Lawyers will do great out of this, paid to sit and listen, paid by the hour. Interesting who represents who.
      PF

      Delete
    9. Our commentators from Quebec , if watching , must be smiling, as to where this is going. Hardly like the Inquiry against corruption In Quebec, that exposed corruption.

      Delete
  15. GIVE ME A BREAK!!!!

    Trying to blame the federal government for a mess that a narcissistic premier of Newfoundland conceived? I think the blogger is grasping at straws.

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    1. Yes, this is a legitimate assessment... NLers supported Williams and his PC party with 70+ percent approval ratings at the time the MRF fiasco was incubating... obviously the vast majority of the populace didn't bother to inform themselves of the pros and cons of an impending disaster... it was just full steam ahead and "let's stick it to Quebec" and to hell with the sensibly prudent misgivings of a few treasonous naysayers.

      And now there's attempts to blame the federal government after the fact?

      Come off it!

      The Harper government were placed in an impossible position... if Harper had attempted to save the NLers from themselves by NOT providing the financial rope with which they gladly hung themselves with, then the NLers would've been bitching and complaining about "unequal treatment" over that.

      As many commentators here have concluded... this recurrent pattern over the history of NL calls into question the capability of NLers... indeed, their desire... to competently govern themselves.

      Delete
  16. Keep the Shadow Inquiry going folks. By the looks of the groups given standing, it would appear that those who promoted and sanctioned the "Beast", are set to defend personal integrity, honour, culpability. Diversion from objectivity. I do hope the contracts files are under safe protection and care by the Grant Thornton team.

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  17. These two should get together;

    https://climateactionnetwork.ca/2015/11/18/three-big-moves-toward-a-100-renewable-energy-system-for-canada/

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/newfoundland-labrador/hack-the-heat-electric-cars-1.4607954

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    1. Robert , you are usually pretty good on thee links, but this series on Hack the Heat is full of misrepresentation and factual errors. Can any reader spot any?
      PF

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  18. Now why would a Public Utility think that it can redact its financials?

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/nb-power-financial-details-1.4609442

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  19. Listening to the Government lawyer, in a almost hushed tone, say he wanted standing at the Inquiry representing the Queen , that is the crown,.... I remind our readers and the commentators on UG from Quebec, of this bit of history of Nfld.

    A sickening state of affairs was reported to the Governor of Nfld in the fall of 1797 by Skinner, the Colonel of the Nfld regiment.
    "the supply of pork (to the regiment ) was so putrid that one person peeled away the skin of two pieces, and thrust his fingers into the meat...nearly all the pieces were quite yellow."
    That particular fall the regiment was being called back to winter quarters in St John's and to start off loading the coal ships for the coming winter. St John's was small, a fish and ships town , But we had the French breathing down our necks so we needed men in uniform , waiting for the call up at Fort Townsend. Their presence might have afforded us a measure of comfort but we do not seem to have treated them like the godsend they were. In fact, we treated them like dogs..
    Pork was not the only bad thing in the pantry. , as 1440 pounds of of pork on hand , only 276 pounds were fit to for consumption. The rest had to be thrwon into the harbour. The man in charge said the pork had been badly stored on Signal Hill for over a year.
    If an army marches on its stomach, then we at this point could have been overrun by the French in a confrontation that would have assuredly have changed Nfld's culture forever. The soldiers suffered through the winter on short rations. Meanwhile the Governor sailed for London, as accommodations at Fort Townsend did not appeal to him on a 12 month basis. Rotten pork was only one example of foisting off the less than wonderful on our military. 70 years earlier , a British officer couldn't motivate our little contingent to visit Placentia to spy on the french because they had no issuance of beer.
    In 1795, provisions were scarce, although we were building a new country based on a profitable fishery, we had nothing like an over supply of victuals....Skinner was writing to London for a sufficient quantity of bedding.
    Also, our soldiers "had to assume the cost of their own military dress, such as it was. And that the men were to receive rations "only when they were doing duty. And a shortage of coin meant that items were usually sold for the next highest coin.
    So, it was the lowliest people who were awaiting the long ,drawn out evolution of conscience.
    So writes historian Paul Sparkes , from which I quote this history. And 2018, is the final year of Nfld's Regiment in WW1, where so much more was sacrificed for Empire.
    Meanwhile yesterday as the Inquiry started 200 fishermen were protesting at the Confederation Bldg, as to the state of rural Nfld and the mismanagement of the fishery.
    Winston Adams

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    1. Hi Winston,

      The only thing that is as important as knowing your history is not to live in it.

      Canada is a symbolic monarchy. That is why when the country or government must be represented as a person, it is identified as the King / Queen.

      It looks like a lot of Newfoundlanders are living in their past. That may be a very good reason why the past keep repeating itself over and over again.

      We also have mistakes and problems in our history, but we do not limit ourself to that, nor de we define ourself from that. Ex: Montreal's Olympic Stadium. That is a white elephant! But we stopped searching a culprit or a scapegoat for it long time ago.

      I would suggest you to be careful when going in the past... First sign is when you go too far in the past. So much changed, the further you go, the less meaningful it is. Either it does not apply anymore, or if it stil does, humanity proved that it will never get it.

      Second sign is what do you get from the past ? A lesson learned or an example to follow ? Perfect! But if you are looking for any kind of negative energy (envy, angryness, need for revenge, ...), better to leave that past in the past.

      Quebec had his hard time with the english part of Canada. Even in Montreal : French east side of Montreal keeps, even today, the marks left by the rich English west side. Again, we stopped complaining about that and that let us progress beyond that.

      Hope this may help you make peace with as much as possible, from yourself, to Quebec, Canada and more,

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    2. For me Heracles, I find it harder to make peace with the British mistreatment of Nfld than ancient history of empire competition between the French and Britain. Was it Voltaire in the 1790s perhaps who said France should abandon it empire in America, being surrounded by so many English, and not worth it for "a few acres of ice and snow". I think he did not approve of warfare. Yet our ancestors here and yours struggled to survive, and today we are Canada, one of the world's luckiest nations.And but for France , would the American Revolution been successful , and the statue of Liberty donated by France to the USA. But French warships in aid of Washington helped turn the tide. The Americans colonies wanted out from the unjust rule of the British.
      Winston
      Winston

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    3. Hi Winston,

      Well, I hope you will be able to make peace with the past and to forgive because the one suffering the most by not doing is is yourself... That past is over and is bringing only negative energy. Better to leave that in the past. Free yourself from that negative energy. To forgive does not mean to forget. To forgive does not mean to thank. To forgive does not mean to deny or anything else.

      Up to you to forgive or not, but again, you are the one suffering the most if you don't...

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  20. Winston Adams: Err, in 1795-1797 there was no possibility whatsoever of the French taking over Newfoundland: by the treaty of Paris of 1763 France had already given up all its North American possessions except Saint-Pierre + Miquelon, and earlier (Treaty of Utrecht, 1713) it had recognized that the Island of Newfoundland as a whole was an English possession (France merely salvaged some fishing rights). And in the 1790's France was in the midst of the aftermath of the French Revolution: there was no credible possibility of its reconquering (in whole or in part) its North American Empire. Nor was Quebec at the time in any position to threaten Newfoundland, or indeed anybody.

    So I'm afraid that you'll need to find another boogeyman to explain why, in 1795-1797, the food given to Newfoundland troops was of such ghastly quality. Incidentally, do you have evidence that things were any better for military regiments from/in other parts of England's nascent Empire?

    I might add that between 1713 and 1763 the Acadians were collectively deported by the same British Crown Newfoundlanders were so loyal to, so that your entire "We always were poor victims" shtick quite lacks credibility to my mind. I could mention the fate of the Beothuk or your province being given Labrador, but I trust my point is clear.

    I agree with Heracles31: Knowing one's history is important, but one should not live in it. Not living in it is even more important if said history is (as I hope to have shown above) wholly inaccurate. And if your vision of history is in any way typical of Newfoundlanders, then let me leave you with this little vision of the future...imagine this below as the opening scroll of a STAR WARS-type movie, complete with the appropriate music:

    "The year is 2118. The Free Dominion of Newfoundland is in turmoil: two different visions of the economic future of the city-state are clashing. With China no longer purchasing real estate (as all of the Island minus Saint-John's has been converted into a nuclear waste dumping ground) and revenues from Labrador declining (Labrador was leased out to a consortium of multinational corporations, with the revenue used to mitigate the effects of radiation poisoning upon Newfoundland's inhabitants), the Free Dominion is torn.

    One faction favors continued export of forced labor to various Asian countries, performing dangerous and dirty work far more cheaply than robots. The other faction favors a new approach: a universal euthanasia program (decided by lottery for all Newfoundlanders not part of the Townie Elite) in order to harvest human organs to be sold to members of the GTE (Global Trillionaire Elite).

    While the Townie Elite weighs both options, riots have broken out: a third faction has arisen in Newfoundland, claiming that Newfoundland's economic problems and radiation-related health crisis are all Quebec's fault..."

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    1. You seem to misinterpret my reference to the 1795 time frame , and my comment is taken from the Telegram piece by Paul Sparkes: Our starving military........where you can read the full piece.
      I am fully aware that the French nor Quebec was in any position to re conquer parts of Nfld.
      I concur with Sparkes that Nflders suffered under the might of the British Empire as did many of the parts of the British Empire.
      I am not one to blame Quebec for any of our misfortune, and that too few know of the injustice of the British, which Sparkes point out, the Regiment here was "Treated like dogs" by the British , and controlled from London.
      Likewise in WW1, there is Nfld soldiers who are quoted as saying mules or horses were better treated than men.
      And so I despise any who believed that war is glorious, which was common up to WW1 and perhaps by some in ww2
      Some seem to want to believe that.
      You paint a sad picture of the future of Nflders blaming Quebec for thier misfortune. I trust your vision of the future is but a nightmare that will not be reality. But that Townie Elites may still try to steer our population in that direction.
      I hope not, and that as a province we avoid such a belief that Quebec is our enemy.
      Winston

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  21. Winston Adams: Okay, I have read the Paul Sparkes article, and am now aware that he, not you, is the one who wrote about "the French breathing down our necks": thank you for the clarification.

    I stand by my criticism, however, and indeed the fact that a journalist can make such a blatant mistake (it would have taken him about two minutes of research -on Wikipedia!- to realize that in the 1790's the Franco-English rivalry in North America was over) is perhaps indicative of a certain mentality in Newfoundland.

    And YES, my "Vision of the future" for Newfoundland in 2118 was meant to be understood as a nightmare, not a desirable outcome! My point is that as long as the economic elite of your province can keep using Quebec as a scapegoat, the elite in question will have no reason whatsoever to stop doing what they seem to have been doing quite successfully so far, i.e. growing rich at the expense of most Newfoundlanders, all the while laughing all the way to the bank.

    It is to be hoped that the Leblanc Inquiry will shed some light on the issue of MF and class divisions, with special attention given to the matter of those groups and individuals who obtained the most economic benefits: as the Ancient Romans used to say, in finding a criminal, CUI BONO? "To whom does it (i.e. the crime) profit?"

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    1. Etienne, you are right that Sparkes should have known better. I found it a bit surprising that he was even critial of the British for treating citizen soldiers "like dogs" as too many here , especially the townie Elites cling to the British coat tails. MUN who can't afford to do maintenance on their buildings, now behind some 400 million for repairs, I believe , still has a campus in England, set up in the days of Lord Taylor , I believe, to give an international flavour to the University in Joey's day.
      Doubt if Leblanc will shed light on the class division here, but certainly needed, but your question of who obtained the most economic benefits is important .....follow the money , as they say in the USA. Interesting list of law firms getting to represent those with standing, all applied for and getting paid from the taxpayer, Danny Williams Williams brother, Tommy, one of them.
      Winston Adams

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  22. Muskrat Falls was an experiment in social engineering whereby politicians, the civil service and the local business community tried to shape the general populace into trades people and other construction workers that lived, spent their money and voted from the NE Avalon. It was probably the worse experiment in the history of this province and we are now paying the steepest price. We are bankrupt and will have to pay a "levee" for the next several generations unless we want complete control of NL society handed over to the bankers, stock brokers, bond holders and corporate elites from the right leaning USA such is now happening in Puerto Rico.

    As for "doing it our way" that was a disaster in the making with the offshore and continues through MF's since the federal government's involvement in NL's disastrous Mega Project Madness actually started with John Crosbie when he bailed out the failed Hibernia GBS in the 1990's. We seem to forget that the NL politician and general population has a tendency to blame Ottawa for everything that was our own doing from the one-sided deal with Churchill Falls to the collapse of the fishery that happened at our hands (as much as everyone else's). As John Crosbie once said “I didn’t take the dam fish out of the water” and this little bit of fact holds true today as it did then. Trades people, engineers, HR managers, the business community and many more dreamers all wanted in on the Mega Project cash cow but none were willing to even consider how it was going to be paid for or how the jobs were to be continued after it was completed and this is the part where we have failed our children. It is all right if they have an Alberta or an Ontario to move to be as with NL, there is no guarantee in those areas either. As many have said before, we are a third world area lining a first class life style.

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  23. Lots of comments.....after the fact! Whew!

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  24. Will the Muskrat Inquiry be covered and reported on
    by the media ongoingly as was the Cameron Inquiry?

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