Monday, 18 June 2018

NALCOR ALLOWED TO SECRETLY CENSOR REPORTS OF INDEPENDENT ENGINEER (PART I)

Imagine if the Auditor General allowed the Department or Agency it is auditing to edit or redact parts of its Report to the House of Assembly. Wouldn’t the public lose all respect and trust afforded to that Office?

Evidence has now been uncovered showing that the “independence” expected of the Independent Engineer for the Muskrat Falls project, on behalf of the Government of Canada, was never established; that at the very beginning Nalcor was permitted to review, edit and redact the Reports before they became public.

The issue of independence was always a worry for the small group of critics of the project. Such scepticism was captured by an Uncle Gnarley Blog Post entitled How Independent is the Independent Engineer? It raised the question following the IE’s first Report (November 29, 2013).  Material evidence of complicity between the IE and Nalcor, which only recently came to light, suggests that those suspicions were justified.
The Uncle Gnarley article, written in June 2014, gives context to the latest revelation that Nalcor was the IE’s editor and censor. At that time, the IE was MWH Americas Inc., since sold to Stantec Inc., a major environmental services contractor for Nalcor on the project. Following concerns over a potential conflict of interest expressed to the Minister of Natural Resources by David Vardy and Ron Penney — given Stantec’s long-standing relationship with the crown corporation — the IE contract with Nalcor was reportedly sold again to senior staff of the local office.
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To give context to the issue of independence now being raised again, this two part article will take us back to the IE's first Report and why concerns were raised at the start. Part II will expose the evidence obtained giving proof to why those concerns were well-founded.

On June 9th, 2014 the Uncle Gnarley Blog reported:

“Unfortunately, the Report lacks the robustness one would expect from an overseer with MWH Americas' mandate. Possibly, the Firm attempted impartiality. It may have simply missed the mark.  To be fair, the IE’s Report offers some solid information and analysis, but one cannot dismiss its considerable limitations.”

It continues:

“The services of Independent Engineer (IE) services for LCP (Lower Churchill Project) according to Nalcor's Expression of Interest document are for the benefit of “rating agencies, lenders, guarantors, and other organizations that may be involved in providing financing for LCP rather than on behalf of Nalcor or its partners…”. 

“Still MWH Americas Inc. was selected by Nalcor, its services are paid for by Nalcor, and it reports to Nalcor.  That is at best an odd arrangement and the oddity is magnified by the absence of an arms-length relationship with its paymaster.   Secondly, as in the case of any Report that puts claim to “independence”, whether that of Judge, Arbitrator or Professional Engineer, it is the level of rigorous analysis which it employs, and the conclusions which  follow, that constitute the best evidence of considered and impartial counsel. On that basis, too, the Report is deficient.”

The question must therefore be raised: were those agencies, lenders and guarantors made aware of Nalcor's complicity in the product they received? 

The June 2014 post expressed alarm that the IE had swallowed Nalcor’s excessive optimism (“delusion” might have been a better word) over the Water Management Agreement, ignoring the “extreme uncertainty associated with Hydro Quebec’s legal action”. In the same Report, it accepted what the post suggested was “at best a preliminary analysis of the problem and possible remediation measures” pertaining to the North Spur. It took this position without being in possession of a full analysis, telling Nalcor to forward the additional studies recommended by the Consultants “when available”.

The third issue with the first IE’s Report was the conclusion reached in this sentence:  “In our opinion, and based on past experience, the Integrated Project Team consisting of SNC-L (the borrower’s Engineer) and Nalcor (the borrower) are qualified to design, contract, manage, commission, operate and maintain the three projects currently under design and construction for the LCP (Lower Churchill Project).”

The Blog post noted that the “IE had come to its conclusion, notwithstanding the fact that SNC-Lavalin’s capabilities are virtually non-existent on the project management team of Muskrat Falls, that neither the President nor the VP of Nalcor have mega project expertise, that according to one source knowledgeable of Nalcor's management, 19 of the 20 senior Nalcor hires possess no mega-construction expertise and the 20th person has no experience at a senior project management level.” 

Rightfully, the post asked: “Where is this “past experience” to which the IE refers and on what basis does the IE believe such a management deficiency is prudent or that the interests of all the Parties to the project are protected?”

Finally, the post zeroed in on what has been a great torment — the project schedule — because it bears heavily on the issue of cost. The post read:

“A fourth nugget is the IE’s concern over Nalcor’s Integrated Project Schedule prepared by Nalcor.  In its own words, the IE found “that it is generally complete as far as listing contracts, but it is a Gantt chart without activity linking, critical path(s), float time, etc., and is not suitable to the level of detail we require and had expected to view to allow us to form opinions… we cannot express an opinion as to the likelihood of the contracts being completed as scheduled.” (p. 174)

A Gantt Chart, or bar chart, is a common tool used by firms to illustrate a project’s schedule and the interdependence of certain activities, milestone targets and schedule status.

The IE is noting the lack of sophistication employed by Nalcor in the planning of this large project.  Yet it stated that it “cannot express an opinion” on the project's status. 

The finding ought to have constituted proof of inexperience and an additional signal of Nalcor's deficient project management team.

If the post had been written only recently, flag-wavers for Nalcor might justifiably have alluded to the benefits of hindsight. But that post was written in June 2014; the debacle to which Nalcor was heading - even then - as plain as the nose on your face!

Of course, the IE exhibited no greater courage in any of its subsequent Reports on the Muskrat Falls project. Was that because it never independent, having  allowed Nalcor to soften any critical or sensitive statements that might have called attention to the situation? 

ATIPPA information that recently came into the hands of this blogger, via the person referred to in other posts as “citizen sleuth”, suggests that Nalcor was given the opportunity to edit out unwelcomed truths — not that there ever existed a government or public mindset to shut the project down.

Nalcor was given access to the IE’s Reports for editing and redaction purposes prior to their public release.

Those matters will be discussed next time. But, for now, readers may want to re-evaluate two recent Uncle Gnarley Posts dealing with the Federal Government’s complicity in the project.

To the issues raised in them we might now add a few more, such as: Was the choice of the Independent Engineer an independent and objective process? What oversight, if any, did the Government of Canada apply to the work of the Independent Engineer?

There is grave concern that, just as former Premier Tom Marshall put a sticker called “Oversight” on a Committee of public servants who neither had the expertise nor the independence to carry out the job, the Federal Government also applied “Independent” to an Office of oversight that may never have possessed any such freedom or capacity.

The proof?

Next time.

52 comments:

  1. Boondoggle!!! Boondoggle!!! Boondoggle!!!

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    1. Wow!!! Really like some of those comments. Very original, new and informative, and requires a lot of brain power, expertise, and an in depth knowledge. Tell us something we don't know....please....like new boondoggle!!! Says Joe blow...

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    2. Well Joe, to me it seems the Independence of the Independent Engineer for Oversight, is a game being played over and over, and indicates the Culture of how Nalcor and our government operates. Comments on the last blog included whether the consultant who did much of the work on Mud Lake flooding, was independent, and who has now landed another 1 million dollar study.
      If you have a house built that is faulty, and the basement floods when it rains, and the basement subcontractor( Mr A) may be at fault say. So you hire consultant,Mr B, who you think is independent to investigate what has happened and what went wrong, and then Mr B hires Mr A to report to him on what when wrong. Mr A, who is not independent, and in a conflict of interest,reports to Mr B that is was just Mother Nature at play, nothing by any contractor involved in building your house.And so your Mr A parrots Mr A`s analysis to you that no contractor was at fault. SAMEEEEE THINGGGGGGG,.......nothing independent about that process.
      Mother Earth has its nature, and Nalcor has its. Can`t change one`s nature, Joe.
      There is the old fable of the scorpion that talked the frog into taking it across the river. The frog was concerned saying `What if we get half way across and you sting me. The scorpion replied, Why would I do that, as then we both drown. So the frog agrees, but half way across the scorpion indeed stings the frog. The frog asked :Why did you sting me. The scorpion replied `It`s in my nature`
      So Joe, it is in Nalcor`s (and our government`s) nature, their culture, their mode of operation to deceive and spin and mislead, and they they sink us in a river of debt. So says PF

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    3. And should read: your Mr B parrots Mr A`s analysis

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    4. According to Wiki, Nalcor is worth ~13.5 billion in total assets - time to sell?

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    5. Anom @ 11:10
      I doubted if we could get $13.5 Billion for Nalcor. My guess would be around $1.35 Billion.

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  2. This isn't new news at all. Governments and their organizations regularly censor reports as well as bids on the basis of "cabinet secrecy" or phases like "proprietor confidentiality". Acassic example was the court battle between Dicks and Company and Business Depot over the price of paper clips. Dicks wanted to ensure their bid was the lowest but government cited business confidentiality and wouldn't release the prices. Even though the NL courts ruled in Dick's favor, the case has since gone to the SC and me thinks it could be a long dispute over the government's obligation to release information to the public.

    Why would one think Nalcor to be teated any different?

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  3. Omg....just read your posting of February 27, 2014. McCloud and Dalley. Had to throw up. Make no wonder it's a boondoggle. No one home and the shop locked up...but just ask Eddie. What a goverence, says Joe blow.

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  4. Since I am not an engineer, guess I can run the risk of asking silly questions without getting embarrassed, even if the answer is silly or not. But on the reservoir, which is part of the north spur, the water levels seem to be very critical wether it be at 21, 33, or later 39 meters, the depths can never be raised or lowered. As has been discussed it is mainly because of soil saturation, bank erosion, and maybe something worst. But should there not be a testing time before going into completion and production, by lowering and raising the water levels, so as to see what can be expected in terms of bank erosion, including the north spur. During the testing, everyone can be on high alert, and ready to deal with a possible danger or catospratic event, especially down stream. Otherwise it may occur on a cold dark winters night, with no one around, except the normal operating crew, and would be too late to call HEEELP. It's like now, shoooose, don't talk too loud, or rock the boat you might set of a bank erosion. Or maybe I am way off base, so am sure our participating engineers will advise me or comment. Cheers, average Joe.

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    1. Not too many participating engineers,Joe, and your questions not at all silly, and strange that not more ask questions on this.
      Now the Spur has a pumping system , there for over 20 years spaced something like 100 ft apart,and water sensors.In theory, if these sense an increase in water penetration, it can indicated the cut off wall is not working properly, and corrective action can be taken, if necessary a sudden opening of the spill gates to lower the water to prevent complete failure.
      On the other hand being the existence of quick clay there, liquification could be sudden, in the middle of the night. A vibration,a mild quake, or a slide upstream causing a pressure surge to travel downstream might cause sudden failure. At present we have 2 opinions: one that the present design is safe to 39 m and ok if it goes to maybe a few meters higher than that. The other opinion is that the present 23 M level exceeds the safe elevation.
      Testing as you suggest would be typical for many products that have safely factors, some SF of 2, or 5 times operation conditions, some just 10 percent SF. A motor for 115 V typical is designed to operate plus or minus 10 percent on a continuous basis, but could go much more range on a short term basis. Transmission lines rated at a certain MW capacity at normal temperatures can handle much more when very cold, as the heat dissipates.
      So with MF we now find out that the changing of water elevation can be a serious problem, but was not a problem according to Gil Bennett before sanction. Did he lie, or an error , or not knowledgeable, (not world class as toted).
      And now we do a study for mapping and assessing flood risk, 5 years after sanction, and a year after the first flood. Why was did not done before sanction! Arse foremost, the latest engineering best practice by Gil and Company. We are down the rabbit hole still, but Dwight is all confident of winning in 2019. What is his ace in the hole to assure that , that he gives a guarantee even. And Ches wants a law, a Honest Act, to prevent politicians form making promises they cannot keep. A guarantee, maybe Dwight will put it it writing, I wonder.
      So, is a deal being made for the Feds to absorb 8 of the 12.7 billion, I wonder. Does this explain his big smile and high confidence. And HQ to operate MF so to coordinate water flow, once another 1 billion to properly stabilize the North Spur, especially if Fortis or HQ were to become part owner. They would not be so foolish to take the risk of failure that now exists. They would not want to drown the people of ML at 3 am. Only Nalcor and Government seems satisfied to take that risk. And yes, right now, even a piece of heavy equipment that vibrates is a risk to cause collapse, and needs special permission to enter the area. But they say Be Happy, Don`t Worry.
      Winston

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    2. Hi AJ,

      About testing, you can consider there are two kind of tests : Destructive tests and non-destructive tests.

      For a destructive test, you apply as much force as needed to break the test subject. Once broken, you know how much it took to brake it, so what it can sustain, what is safe, etc. But as for the test subject, it is destroyed.

      You can imagine what a non-destructive test is: the force you apply will allow you to estimate or represent what is expected, while ensuring the test subject will not be destroyed.

      The kind of test you are talking here is a destructive test. As explained by SNC's reports and advice, lowering the reservoir too quickly can damage the installation beyond catastrophic level. Because the test is potentially a destructive one, it must be handled as such.

      So that means to know the strenght of MF and its reservoir, we have to destroy it. One can argue that destroying such a piece of crap would not be that bad, but that would omit two points :
      --No chance to recover any value out of it
      --A risk for the destructive effect to wipeout more that MF itself further down the river.


      For these reasons, a destructive test (or a potentially destructive test) must be excluded.

      Have a nice day,

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    3. Thank you Hercules, for your comment. Understand what you are saying about destructive, and non destructive testing, but thought that might apply to like a piece of metal or wire rope or something like that, and of course no great lost as a piece of metal is of little cost. But think there must be other kinds of test, like you can test the stability of a ship without destroying to see what it's sea keeping ability might be and its range of stability might be before rolling over. So was thinking maybe the water level could be lowered and raised with saturated soil, and note the amount of bank erosion, minimal amount, or maybe extensive. So was wondering if engineers had some fairly standard of testing, as I mentioned with a ship's stability, just asking the experts, and not suggesting you are not one, or not having done your research, or having consulted the opinion of others. Thanks again for you comment.AJ.

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    4. Hi again AJ,

      For the comparison with the ship stability, that one is easy to test in a simulation. Using the shape of the ship, models for different sea states and weather, etc, it is possible to simulate the entire scenario and find the answer.

      Once you got your answer, the ship will be certified only for a lower level of what you tested. As such, when you re-test the ship in real life for its certified level, you are safe.

      Same thing about aircraft. Before they receive their certificates, aircrafts are tested in simulator first and in real life condition slightly worst than the ones on the expected certificate, but not beyond the catastrophoc level. Also, all catastrophic tests are performed in conditions that allow recovery.

      Ex: cold resistance. The aircraft is taken to the North Pole and stay there without power for 5 days to ensure every components drop to below -30 degres. Then, they try to re-start the aircraft. If they can not and fail the test or brake an engine, the situation is still safe.

      To test stall speed and recovery, they do it from 15 000 feet or more, so they know they have enough room to recover. Again, a failed test can be recovered.

      Here, should a failure happen and all the water escape the reservoir at once, there is no way to catch it up and recover from the failed test.

      About a simulation, your results will only be as good as your model. Because you will never know how exact your model is, the confidence in the result will remain low.

      So unfortunately, for this specification situation, learning by test and failure is not an option...

      Always nice to talk with you,

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    5. There have been a few testing methods for different soils, mentioned on this blog, the one by mr bernarder from Sweden, and I think the geogicial society of Canada, but I must admit I just skimmed through them some time ago. But sure others on this blog, studied them closely and have some expertise in this kind of testing, and the testing for sand like at muskrat, a totally different formula... Thanks ... Average Joe.

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    6. Heracles31:

      For testing scale geotechnical models, you left out 2 world class facilities in St John's---the IOT Ice Tank and the CCORE centrifuge (also equipped with an EQS unit). Both these facilities are easily capable of executing representative destructive tests on scale models-unfortunately in my estimation there is in sufficient information to reliably model the reservoir and spur. I recommended this a couple years ago on UG, but no one even commented on it-centrifuge testing is the standard, even contractors have their own on retainer across the pond.



      WA: I wont argue with your interpretation of my comments, not sure why PF couldn't understand what I had said.

      Also, I will disagree with Jim G in that I maintain there is not enough info on the Churchill to accurately model it-there have been too many changes to that river over the past 10-15yrs and I believe it is still finding an equilibrium. There may be flow data to model a release, but not much data on the changing channel and the flow regime.

      PENG2

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    7. Excellent comment peng2. The facility exist right in our own back yard. And MUN could make a major contribution for the safety of the spur. Of course it would be a significant cost to get the data first from the spur etc. then do the modelling, and testing....but guess compared to 13 billion just a drop in the bucket, or not even a drop, if the spur were to fail. Maybe it is something that can still be done, even after in operation, as when the spur may fail, may be years down the road, or confidence in the system built there and the sand and wet clay. But usually comes down to who will pay for the modelling cost. AJ.

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    8. Hi PENG2,

      Good for you if you have the testing facilities accessible for such simulated test. Still, I wrote that the result will be directly related to the accuracy of the model and you seem to agree with me on this point that there is not enough information to produce a reliable model. Without such a reliable model, simulated tests are useless.

      At the end, that is why I say the only options are on site and for that, destructive tests are not an option.

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  5. Watch for this slick trick on your power bills;

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/bc-hydro-customers-steamed-over-new-crisis-fund-charge-1.4710822

    I suppose the government run cash cow Hydro, heavily reliant on debt capital, with rising interest rates, will need to pay down PIT, regardless of the rising number of ratepayers who have no cash or credit to pay the bill. In NL, with Pam's report of declining unemployed workers to pay, just slap a tax on those still catching fish and takin it home to Liza.

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    1. I wonder , Robert, how many Nflders now would even realize you refer to that Nfld traditional song ( found if you google Nfld song I`se the B`y), and I was surprised the one I found with lyrics and music showed 1 million hits and 20 to 1 ratio of likes.
      We may have to depend on music, dance, humour and fun to get us through this period. However 1100 departing the Rock in 3 months show many will go where the grass is greener. If only 1100 marched on Confederation bldg to protest MFs instead of less than 100. And it is expected some 30,000 will leave this coming decade,and some on this blog predict the Rock will be abandoned altogether.
      Winston

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    2. Just a metaphor, Winston. Workers all, who historically went afar, took risk, to support their families and communities.

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    3. Pam`s piece tells of MF protester, who has given up and moving to Halifax. Another disabled female protester on income support writes to say it comes down to heat or food. She cites the number 70,000 on income support in Nfld who cannot afford heat pumps. And the Take Charge program might assist 100-200 of these from my estimation, and those being inferior units for our climate. This is what in other jurisdictions is called HEAT POVERTY.
      And Ball brags of expecting to raise millions, likely from corporate donations for the next election. The donations likely from companies that benefited form the boondoggle, and many likely members of the St John`s Board of Trade. What do they trade, pay for play, as the Americans call it, donations for favours to follow. Seems little has changed from the days of the crook Richard Squires. He ran for his life after one riot.Out the back door of the Colonial Building, across the street where he hid and later made his escape.
      Ball on the other hand seems to have a ace up his sleeve, and guarantees victory. It cannot be mere filling potholes, it must be something big on power rate mitigation and debt relief.
      He touts moving to reconciliation with First nations, change of the coat of arms, maybe praise even for the Beothic. So what next; I predict this : friendship with our sister province Quebec, which will please Heracles. But such moves for the Beothic and Quebec will be a hard sell, though needed.Meanwhile, as you say workers will go afar to support their families and communities. The pay for play crowd go back and forth from the Rock to their Florida houses. Is Ball still wanting to break bread with Trump, who now uses Hitler type tactics including child abuse of immigrants on the Mexico border! And Germany now a model for the world in helping the desperate, and poor, what America did for centuries.
      Russell of the Tely says anyone who supports Trumps tactics is a monster. Can Ball change Trumps mind when the Pope failed. At 70,000, we have significant poor here. Would Trump cage them if they left the Rock for better pastures in the USA. Ball himself, as did Justice Minster Parsons turned a blind eye to the caging of Beatrice Hunter, caged in the lock up here as to Muskrat Falls.
      Winston

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  6. I see our Brian Peckford, who seems very right wing, seems alarmed at how Switzerland grants wide freedoms to Muslims to practice their faith under their view of non discrimination. I await his piece on the separation from parents and caging of children on the Mexico border, a Trumpie directive.
    Meanwhile here, according to the VOCM poll only 14 percent think our coat of arms should be redesigned. The coat of arms represents, we learn, has false and misleading images. The Liberal government vows to change it.
    Today is Aboriginal Day, and the ceromony at Bannerman Park drew 100 spectators. If I can judge by the back of his head,(VOCM has a video link) Ches Csosbie seems to be one of the 100.
    Now the coat of arms has false representations of the Beothic. The last of the Beothic died in 1829, almost 200 years ago.
    Now if on only 14 percent what to change the coat of arms, it suggests that the vast majority want to keep the false and misrepresentation in place. What does that say about Nflders!
    Make no wonder the false assumptions to justify the boondoggle went largely unchallenged, and even now is a low priority.
    Winston Adams

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    1. Yes Winston, I didn't think our Brian was too bad when here as premier, but since going to bc..gone right bezerk...more right wing than Trumpie. I told him he could get a job with Trumpie after he has fired all the rest. But now I think he might get job with kimmy, as a runner body guard chasing the car. But think Trumpie will have the same, he wil soonl do away with the motor cycle body guards, and get the runners too. Looks more impressive, and who is in charge. Yes think we need a change to the coat of a arms, similar to a new flag 40 years ago. Thanks, Joe blow.

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  7. Joe, I see that while the VOCM poll showed only 14 percent approved a change of our Coat of Arms,(the question gave no explanation of why this might be needed), the Telegram poll last night showed 25 percent approved (they gave a partial explanation).
    Now the host on VOCM this morning gave more detail: the Coat of Arms has lions, unicorn and elk, none of which exist in Nfld. The cross is now required to be removed from schools, since our church run schools was changed, and that our outlook for aboriginal people needs to change. The host said he approved of the change.
    As to depicting animals more applicable , he said why not the Muskrat, or polar bear or moose.
    Yes , Muskrat on our Coat of Arms, I laughed. But on reflection, not so far fetched.
    So, this coat of arms is like Muskrat too as to popular disapproval as people are informed : coat of arms 14 percent approval, then 25 percent a few days later, and as many fully understand and are informed, the opinion changes.
    For MFs , it has taken 5 years for the majority to flip, as the main media did not question the false assumptions.
    For the Coat of Arms, not questioned for over 400 years, but now a getting to be a big deal, but may change quickly.
    PF

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    1. Given the reliance on future cash flow from pot, nickel, and oil..... any reference to cod and land species seems redundant, would you agree?

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    2. Agree with you PF....but in this day of tweets, 140 characters, or everything done in 3 words or less, then no one is exchanging ideas, opinions,, or learning anything. It is just a on a whim, if I say, yes, or no, or don't know. A few years ago, on vocm straw vote, respondents could comment at the same time they voted. Which I think was useful, except some iodits went too far with it. And I don't think you should be able to vote on these poles without giving your reason, or backing it up with at least an opinion. Some aspects of the modern social media, are making us lazy, including our brain, and we are just thinking and clicking with our fingers. I bet most if these people that voted would not be able to recognize the coat of arms, or tell you want is on it, except when it is posted right in fron of them. As a matter of fact when I look at vocm question of the day, if I don't really have an opinion, or don't like the way it is worded, which can be confusing at times, or represent my understanding of the question, I simply close it without voting. Any iodits can say, I don't know, lol says Joe blow.

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    3. Robert, our Nlfd stamps, before Confederation, mostly depicted our salmon, caribou, Nfld dog, scenic water falls, and cod fish etc. Damm time we invested in our renewable resources again.
      Joe, The Telegram piece : Should government change the Nfld and Lab Coat of Arms, was there last night, gone this morning, the Canadian Press picked up on this story and a piece called: N L confronts its archaic coat of arms depicting `noble savage`, has more information, a more informative piece, and the Telegram maybe carried it online for an hour, and now not there that I could find, unless you google that title.
      Again, if we don take the lead in this issue , locally, we become the butt of Newfie jokes again, the rest of Canada moving to Reconciliation while Nlfd hides its colonial history, the main media lagging, as they did with MFs. So says PF

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    4. Guess the elite at the Telegram did not like what the polls were showing last night, and so the piece by Andrew Waterman of the Telegram,still says `Take our poll below`, but now has deleted any information of the result of the poll.
      Last night here is what the poll showed as to the Coat of Arms, as I printed it:
      No, it`s fine as is : 62.25 percent (155 votes)
      Yes. That`s long overdue; 25.3 percent (63 votes)
      Don`t care: 12.45 percent (31 votes)

      Did some government official not like the result and called the Telegram to ask to pull the poll..... I was expecting to see whether the results would change over 24 hours, but , there it was, GONE! Pray tell,Russell, Pam, or someone, what happened.
      PF

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    5. PF, yesterday, Indigenous Peoples Day in BC, the family was welcomed at Tobacco Plains Reserve, near the US Border point, Eureka, Montana. This brought in neighbouring Bands, including Metis, Blood, Kootenai, etc. Dance and song presentations, in full native dress, ranged from Montana, to New Mexico and Oklahoma. John Ralston Saul in "The Comeback" details how the Metis Resistance precipitated by the Colonial gov of the day, (MacDonald),stole back from the Queen, Ruperts Land, to allow the White Man first choice over Metis children, (Riel's effort for justice). I read of the cruelty dealt out in the Cartwright and North West River residential schools, IN MY LIFETIME, and ask what happened to justice and human consciousness amongst our leadership to this very day?

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  8. For those interested in capelin, the site; Capelin calendar Newfoundsander, gives all the details of where they are now rolling.
    note, it is sander not lander, the guys name is sander.
    What is most important to our long term future. capelin or oil?

    Winston Adams

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  9. Hi guys,

    Recentely, I asked HQ for a copy of the decision from Justice Goodridge about the 800MW Recall case. They sent it to me and it is available at this link:

    http://www.hydroquebec.com/data/loi-sur-acces/pdf/c-6216-document.pdf

    Long story short, Newfoundland's Supreme Court decided that the government was not bound by the power contract and its refusal to allow the recall of 800 MW was not based on clause 6.6 of the Power Contract. The judge had to interpret the clause of the Lease and it is from there that the recall was refused.

    The Lease says that Newfoundland has priority when feasible and economic. The decision defined the priority as a first refusal right to power available at the moment of the request. Because all power was already sold to HQ, there was no more to sell. It also explains why to sell all of the power was an absolute requirement for the entire project and how the project would have been impossible should the Lease be interpreted as the Government wished.

    A very good explaination about how and why the entire situation Newfoundland complains about UC is not related to the Power Contract but to the Lease given to Brinco.

    It also shows how HQ had two benefits by returning the Twinco block to CFLCo after 2014. Not only it was a good way to help sustain CFLCo, but the interpration of the Lease as it is done in this judgement may have make that block available to extra-recall beyond clause 6.6 anyway. By giving it back right away, HQ avoided complication and discussion about that.

    Another demonstration of what a Win - Win situation is : more power and more money to CFLCo and avoided legal complications.

    Hope more of these Win - Win will happen and be acknowledged as such also from Newfoundland,

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  10. Thanks Heracles, that 1983 court decision from Justice Goodridge is definitely an interesting read.

    ExMil

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  11. Happy Canada Day. Rememberence Day, in Nfld. SAD. (Beaumont Hamel) July 1, fighting for democracy and freedom was it?
    That is the day chosen for our power rate hike, as just announced today.
    Rate hike of 6.6% for domestic, and seems if HST is added is 7.6 %
    Now a shock rate is generally 10 % or more in one year. So not a shock rate, or is it the first installment of the shock rate. Another 7.5 % seems likely for Jan 1, 2019, so that will be 15 % in one year, but not the same year. Actually that will be 15 % in six months, but they can say not 10% in a calendar year. So very clever, as we are led by the nose , yet again. Doomsday for paying for Muskrat is underway, officially, phase 1. Where's the mitigation?
    Who's for turning off their main power switch on July 1? If enough do it at the same time it can shut down the entire grid. Then we really show them how to Take Charge!
    AG

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    1. Will the power come back on? I like your idea but i cant afford to lose the food investment i have in my freezer.

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    2. Your freezer will hold the food for 24 hrs or more. If successful at shutting down the grid, , they will have it uo and running in about an hour.
      Power shut down for 30 minutes by households would send a strong signal. So it likely would take a hour after that to have the grid back up.

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    3. Okay, lets do it. What time? 12PM works for me. With all the on line media, this protest would take off, but that works both ways, they will see the pending protest and take measures to minimize, calling in extra staff on double time and then bill us for the inconvenience. LOL. You cant beat them. The only way to beat them is move. And that's what the smart people are doing. Anybody reading this from afar who would like to move here, stay where you're at.

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    4. Needs a name. I suggest `Operation Take Charge`, to turn the tables on them. Noon is the perfect time. Yes they can attempt to be ready,and so they should be, it`s their job to keep the power on. But the automatic systems reacts very quickly in less then a second, and that is faster than the human reflex can respond.
      I would expect the first attempt to not have enough people participate to trigger a shut down, so it depends if the thing went viral. And if you fail at first, see the result a day later as I said, and repeat it, perhaps the first day of every month with growing interest(a movement, better than Chase the Ace, as we chase the crooks!) If people are upset, show it, or wait the farce of the Leblanc Inquiry, and ever increasing power rates. The only way to beat them is to move! Such attitude to not protest and stay silent is how this got sanctioned, as a people we are like sheep being led to slaughter. July 1 , High Noon. Operation Take Charge. Remember and Celebrate. So far two of us, we need help.

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  12. As to rates hitting 16 or 20 cents or more, rates on coastal labrador, if you use electric heat, is already 20 cents per kwh. While Labrador power will help feed NS for 5 cents or less, and CF to HQ at 2 tenths of 1 cent, no connection is made to most of coastal Labrador, so 20 cent electric heat rate from diesel power. So why should we complain at 12 or 16 or 20 cent rates
    AG

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    1. Here is how this can work:
      Our generators are very large and heavy machines, each weighing tens of tons, that are rotating fast and so a lot of energy there in the rotation. Our grid operates at a frequency of 60 cycles per second. It has complex controls that keep the frequency between 59 and 61 cycles per second,(also called 60 Hertz, as Hertz was a whiz in early progress of electrical power systems). So, if the frequency goes outside that range, built in safety controls will shut the generator down, otherwise it likely will get damaged.
      If large blocks of power use is lost in a given time, it is referred to as LOAD SHEDDING, that is the grid see the load being reduced.
      If the load is shed gradually, it is manageable , as the controls adjust to the new reduced load and there is no interruption of the generator or grid. But if the load shedding is significant and in a short time frame, the controls cannot handle that situation. The generators will tend to speed up, wanting to exceed 61 Hertz, now that it has lost load and protection of the generator is the most important, so the power output of the generator is terminated, it is isolated and tripped out automatically.
      So key to this working is for residents to cut their main switch to their house all at the same time, within seconds of each other. I would think all within 5-10 seconds would be effective.
      As to how many generators it could trip , one or two or the whole grid would depend on the volume of load shedding. If not the whole grid the impact would be known, the following day, from the daily peak demand charts updated daily on the PUB web site.
      Happy Holiday! Sad Rememberance. July 1.

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    2. Yes, think we talked a little about this protest thing a month or so ago, and maybe conclude that it was not the right time of year, nor was it organized to have any effect at all. I think you may have a dozen or so people at the present time that may want to participate. Lol...no load shredding there. But when the rates really go up...in a year or two, and people are getting their power bills in January or February, and all the people are as mad as hell, and the right people organizing the protest, like the other two generations, and not us boomers, then the protest may have some impact, but for now it is not even a frizzle. So if you want a protest of nothing about nothing, then go ahead and do it July 1. As I think the power companies will be laughing all the way to the rate hikes for the next couple of years, says Joe blow.

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    3. Agree with you Joe. A friend this morning mentioned that someone on Facebook said the rate hike is a fine holiday present.
      I mentioned that this hike will be followed by a similar one in 6 months, and she said "so will that be it then, as to Muskrat falls? I laughed explaining that these hikes is only the beginning. Shows that most have no idea what we are in for, so yes , a protest as this turning off the power , maybe a dozen or so, so no effect, and the power companies just laugh at us.

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    4. Given that July is mostly just low load lighting, it might be more effective for everyone to turn on their largest (probably living room) baseboard heaters on in a synchronized fashion. Shutting off the main breaker would be very effective on a cold winter day. If it works, it would certainly be a good way to get attention and news coverage. Synchronization, like a flash mob, is required to be noticed.

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  13. It's funny to see the outrage after the Canada Day 6.7%. This increase is a joke compared to what's coming

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  14. Let us get it right, please.
    Remembrance Day is 11 November.
    Memorial Day is 1 July.

    Confusing them is shameful.

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    1. Yes Tor, lets get it right. I referred to July 1st as Remembrance Day, which is officially Nov 11, the ending of WW1
      July 1 is officially called Memorial Day, to commemorate the 90 percent casualty rate at Beaumont Hamel in 1916.The forget me not was long the symbolic flower from WW1, but later changed to the poppy.
      Memorial: an object which serves to focus the memory of something. Memorials includes objects such as statures etc that commemorate. When you commemorate you remember. Memory itself comes from the Latin root word, memor, meaning mindful.
      You say confusing remembrance and memorial day is shameful.
      You are correct July 1st is official Memorial Day, let us all Remember that. No offence intended, as I am ever mindful of what happened on July 1, 1916,the needless loss of life, and our small Dominion that financed our regiment,at such expense helping us to the road of bankruptcy in the 1930s, our loss of democracy, and Commission of Government.
      AG

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  15. High Noon July 1 is the protest time at the panel. The "Noon Toggle for the Boondoggle"

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    1. Our Memorial Day was split, from a day to a half day, the morning for the Memorial, the afternoon for the Canada Day celebration.
      So noon we avoid conflict as to the Memorial, and takes just a few minutes away form the celebration, which is appropriate when facing double power rate increases and 13 billion is added debt. Perfect time, High noon.

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    2. ` July 1st, High noon, Take Charge` seems to have a ring to it. Kill the power at the main breaker!
      Might it catch on, maybe yes maybe no. What is there to lose! What is there to gain!

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  16. The latest interesting piece on the Nfld Coat of Arms is the CBC online piece"How to update archaic coat of arms depicting "noble savages"
    As I occasionally offer a wager or prize here, none of which have been taken up( 10 to 1 odds, 10,000.00 to 1000 that the north Spur will fail, 500.00 for a essay why solar power for Nfld is not a very good idea, 1500.00 to purchase reclining chairs for seniors waiting at the ER, 25,000.00 as to hydro power to coastal northern Labrador), I will add one more:
    $1000.00 for the best redesign of the Nfld Coat of Arms.
    Everyone in Nfld must be rich, as no one takes me up on any of these offers. Maybe they think I make jokes, or just cracked?

    Winston Adams

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    1. In 10 minutes I have sketched out a rough redesign of our Coat of Arms. It is in black and white in pencil, and lacks color which is needed, so more work required by someone more talented.
      Of course it would need review by the Aboriginal peoples and government, and mine may very likely be inferior to what others can come up with.Maybe if someone more artistically talented than I worked on my rough sketch, they could win the $1000.00
      Winston Adams

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  17. I trust it's not lost on those with a semblance of intelligence how NLP is bringing in a rate increase in July, an obvious attempt to mitigate the increased t=rate shock to ratepayers due to the heating season at its annual minimum.

    How much longer will NLP be able to pull a cynical stunt like that? As rate increases become proportional to the multitudes of ratepayers abandoning this woefully mis-managed rock in droves.

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    1. Indeed 7 & on July bill of 60.00 is 4.20. on Jan bill of 450 it is 31.5o
      And to do it on a holiday and Memorial day, is like Melinia Trump wearing her jacket saying " I don't really care".
      as the saying goes, the power companies, "they shit on us and then pat it in"

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