Monday, 25 June 2018

TONED DOWN, REDACTED WITH DELETIONS: DID NALCOR WRITE THE INDEPENDENT ENGINEER'S REPORT? (PART II)

The following is Nalcor VP Gilbert Bennett sharing, in his words, a “mark-up” of the very first Independent Engineer’s Report on the Muskrat Falls project. Bennett is sending the email to Ed Martin, Paul Harrington, James Meaney, and PR types Karen O’Neill and Dawn Dalley. The email reads:

Hello All:

Attached is a mark-up of the November 29 report. Proposed redactions are highlighted in red. Once we’re all good we can lock these in. Once Jim has circulated the appendixes from the November 29 report, I will update accordingly for the full package.

If you have any changes, please let me know…

Regards,

Gilbert

First, just in case you missed it, what Gilbert Bennett is in possession of and is “marking-up” and seeking “changes” in is not a Nalcor Report. It is, ostensibly, the “independent” work of the so-called “Independent Engineer” for the Muskrat Falls project. The year was 2013. In all, there have been a total of 20 IE reports made public since that time. We can reasonably assume that Nalcor has had a hand in each one.  
Secondly, the email above (see below for digital copy) is dated 04/07/2014 and a second similar email is dated 03/01/2014. Evidently, Nalcor had the draft Independent Engineer's Report in its possession for more than three months. 

But that is not the biggest surprise.
Executive V-P Nalcor Gilbert Bennett
Nalcor refers to the IE's Report dated November 29, 2013 which it is reviewing, redacting and changing. Note in the digital image below where Nalcor gives the date of the final Report as  December 30, 2013. At first, one might be led to think that this is a clerical error. It is not. December 30, 2013 is the date clearly shown on each page of the Report provided by Nalcor under ATIPPA. 

It seems that Nalcor has been caught editing the Report and giving it a new proposed release date. Possibly it was one of the few instructions the IE felt they could ignore?

The official report - the one issued publicly by the Independent Engineer - is dated not December 30, 2013 but November 29, 2013. This is Nalcor's December 30, 2013 version. This the IE's November 29, 2013 published version. Click on the links and see it for yourself.

This is a matter of great concern. Why? It seems that someone seeking to conceal the fact that changes to the IE's report were made and that those changes were of the IE's origin and not of Nalcor. 

We might well ask: how can oversight be independent if the language and content is modified by the very people under scrutiny — their decisions, analysis and conclusions?

Why should the public view the Office of the Independent Engineer as a source of integrity, having failed to disclose Nalcor’s direct involvement in the crafting and redaction of their report?

Why did the Government of Canada allow this relationship to occur and very likely persist?

Isn’t this just one more proof of the complicity of the Federal Government, with Nalcor, in the creation of a debacle that has the province on its economic knees? 

(The correspondence exhibited below and the December 30, 2013 copy of the IE Report were obtained under ATIPPA by the person I have often referred to as "citizen sleuth". I am very grateful for the research he has given me in the interest of better transparency in the administration of public affairs.)


As distasteful as it is, we are used to Nalcor's complicity. Hopefully, the Commission of Inquiry headed by Judge Richard LeBlanc will put bones on this and other issues.

It is not yet clear if the IE will be called to testify, but that Office should be. 

The IE’s report disclaimer states that tit “was prepared for the exclusive use of Nalcor, Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, as represented by the Minister of Natural Resources…” Disconcerting is that the IE doesn't also say that its conclusions went through Nalcor’s washing machine. 

Gilbert Bennett’s free-wheeling language — “once we’re all good we can lock these in” — is certainly proof, if any more were needed, of the Crown Corporation’s determination to keep key information regarding a failed project under wraps.

The Office of Independent Engineer was established under the conditions of the “Term Sheet” for the Federal Loan Guarantee. It is responsible to the Federal Government. But the group that performs that role — MWH Canada Inc. — was selected by Nalcor under a long-term contract, and paid by Nalcor too.

It is the perfect set-up for a potential conflict of interest. For that reason, if the IE was oblivious to that potential conflict, or didn’t care, the very fact that the information  is formally released to the public with the knowledge of the Government of Canada obliges it to give fair warning to all, including the parties for whom the IE’s reports were prepared.  

Let’s not kid ourselves. For Nalcor’s Gilbert Bennett to have had access from the very beginning and the right to engage in the “mark-up” of the report, including a great many redactions, suggests that the Office of the Independent Engineer was likely never intended to be “independent”.

Not just the Nalcor Vice-President but the President and CEO, the VP Finance, the Construction Manager and the heads of Nalcor’s PR department (O’Neill and Dalley) were all invited to subject the document to editing and redaction.

What a cozy arrangement for Nalcor!

Just as former Premier Tom Marshall was content to ascribe “Oversight” to a Provincial Government Committee that provided anything but, the Federal Government was equally content to include “Independent” in the naming of the oversight engineering Office for the project. Except that neither offered oversight or independence.

One has to ask: on what basis does the group that runs Nalcor deserve such deference?

Why would MWH Canada Inc. condone the creation of the perception of “independence” when Nalcor’s involvement prejudiced the integrity of the reporting process?

Likely the public would accept that very select “commercially sensitive” matters should be redacted. But that is not the same as putting Nalcor in charge of editing the document and keeping from the public knowledge of invited interference.

Consistent with the norms associated with concepts of transparency and integrity, of course the public would want to know that that consent was granted, including how often, and the reason for each one. That would have required that MWH Canada give disclosure at the outset of the report. Their failure to do so is not acceptable, even if the public is not on their client roster.  

What about specifics?  

If the reader conducts a page by page comparison between the two versions of the report, they will find that entire sections have been rewritten, new sections added (some of them redacted, too), and others omitted in the published version. 

Were all of then - there were a great many - performed by Nalcor? I don't know. It is not as if Nalcor ever came running to confess their incompetence or complicity except when they are running out of money. That said, what is clear is that some sections of the Report disappeared altogether; the IE's concerns over Nalcor's methodologies and analysis were toned down or changed outright in the final published version.

A few examples:

The last sentence in paragraph 4.2 contained a proposed Nalcor redaction. It read in part: “MWH considers all of the CH0006 (Bulk Excavation) work to have been completed satisfactorily and conforms to industry standards… Nalcor has advised that there is a pending acceleration claim, which may have an effect on the final contract price.”

The paragraph was completely omitted in the published version.

In the case of Table 5-2 Expenditures to Date versus the DG3 Capital Cost Estimate (the title given in the published report) the Nalcor write-up version showed no proposed redactions but the published version is substantially redacted, suggesting either that Nalcor had more than one opportunity to change the document or that more than one version was on Nalcor’s operating table — which is likely, given the number of Nalcor officials with access to the document.

The December 30th  draft of 5.1.3 Defined DG3 Contingency Analysis stated:

“… the IE is of the opinion that the calculated overall 6 percent scope contingency representing an adder of $368M to the project budget is not conservative relative to our legacy experience with similar remote heavy-civil construction endeavors, and is, therefore, judged to be somewhat optimistic. The IE typically sees scope or tactile contingency allowances in the range of 8 percent to 12 percent at comparable DG3 stage gates, A mitigating circumstance for the current LCP budget is the fact that cost certainty has been achieved for the awarded-to-date work (See Section 5.1.4) that provides a rationale to carry a reduced contingency allowance.”

In contrast the published account stated: 

“… the IE is of the opinion that the calculated overall 6.7 percent scope contingency is aggressive relative to our legacy experience…” though “the IE would advocate for adjustment of the project contingency fund", suggesting, after some redaction, that “[t]he IE believes the drivers on contingency will be varied and not entirely predictable as the project unfolds…”

It is not hard to discern the differences in tone and emphasis after the Nalcor editors got their black pencils in gear.

The original 5.1.4 Reconciliation of the DG3 Capital Cost Estimate to Actual read:

“To account for uncertainty in the project’s cost opinion, stakeholders should be aware that a range of probable outcomes is possible. Reconciliation of the project's DG3 capital cost estimate to actual tendered amounts up to mid-November 2013 provides a means for interested parties to trend the current budget and understand variance relative to DG3 metrics.”

Again, in contrast, the published report was far more understated.

It read: “Estimated capital costs included in the DG3 estimate are costs based on 2012 values. These values were escalated in the Nalcor financial models to reflect expected cost bases in the years of construction.” (p. 85)

That is a significant departure from the original copy; any gravitas expressed as to the reality of Nalcor’s cost position has been purged.

Engineers will tell you that “trending” of costs is the basis of forecasts once a project is under way. Presumably Nalcor didn’t like that phraseology because Ed Martin’s public utterances did not reflect the terrible trend portended by the Tender results piling up.

At the time of the IE’s first report, it would have had access to a good many confirmed Tender awards and been able to compare them with Nalcor’s budgeted figures. The Office ought to have sounded the alarm giving truth to the concerns about cost overruns. Instead, they were more preoccupied with giving Ed Martin and Gilbert Bennett, among others, plenty of time to obfuscate the real story unfolding.

Overall, comparing the original and final report of the IE requires one to sustain a level of nausea required for the Manitoba Hydro International (MHI) and Navigant reports. They were the Consultants hired by Nalcor (following the PUB’s refusal to endorse the project based upon DG2 estimates) to assess Nalcor’s DG3 assumptions, estimates and analysis and found, with few exceptions, everything to be “reasonable”.  Ultimately those reports were horribly wrong; yet they fuelled the process, if any were needed, allowing Nalcor and the Dunderdale Government to hurry project sanction.

Elswhere in the IE’s report, Part 5.2 was completely changed. For example 5.2.2 Allowance for Contractor Bonus was added and then completely redacted.

5.2.3 Highlight Sensitive and Critical Areas was also added and partly redacted.

Contingency was, in the version given to Nalcor, a major issue addressed by the IE. But it got substantially toned down in the final draft, too.

The first IE Report contained this nugget under Price Risks in part 5.2.4, which should not go unreported. It states: “The risk assessments they [Nalcor] conducted… appear to be carefully performed and were taken into consideration in their economic analysis.”

Of course, it is now well known that Nalcor hid the SNC-Lavalin Risk Assessment Report detailing a plethora of potentially large-cost Risk issues. The EY Interim Report, too, expressed deep concern that Nalcor had disregarded major strategic and tactical risks. 

****************************************************************************
This disclaimer, inserted in the IE Report, should give the reader cause for pause when the current state of the Muskrat Falls project is considered. That it was "based on information supplied by Nalcor…", the IE judging all of that to be "reasonable" gives new meaning to the common usage of the phrase: "garbage in, garbage out".  

*****************************************************************************
As it stands, the public is none the wiser — the Independent Engineer (and the Government of Canada, too) having failed to perform their most basic obligation: to disclose, to inform at the very least the group identified as the intended recipients — the “rating agencies, lenders, guarantors, and other organizations that may be involved in providing financing for LCP…”

At least the Federal Loan Guarantee secures the bankers. Likely they won't care how many versions of IE reports Nalcor has scripted. The public is not so lucky.

Don't expect the Premier or any of the seven Federal MPs to make inquiries or to give explanations as to the behavior of the IE and Nalcor.

Acquiescent politicians and public servants are a virus on transparency and democracy.

‘Fake’ is not limited to America, either. It threatens institutions and democratic government everywhere self-interest is deemed paramount. Elected and non-elected alike are complicit; an uninformed public mere pawns.

That is why you will likely never hear another word about what you have just read, or of the other nineteen reports that were subjected to Nalcor’s censors. 

Of course, continued silence by the IE may confirm the doubts that we fear most.  


64 comments:

  1. The November report is locked into some online thing requiring registration. Can you make it available as the redacted version?

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    1. Tor: I checked and I am not experiencing that problem and have not from the beginning using Scribd. If it is a frequent problem perhaps readers will let me know and I will look at a new platform for this purpose.

      Delete
  2. Like Site C, Muskrat is a Shakespearian Tragedy;

    https://thetyee.ca/Culture/2018/06/25/Site-C-Shakespearean-Tragedy/

    I'm trying to find the characters in my Grade 11 English Notes. Smallwood, Williams, Dunderdale, Ball, and now Crosbie, who seems to lump PC's and Liberals as Tweedle Dums??

    I need an aspirin please.

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  3. The timing difference straddles the sign off on the financing by a legion of lawyers on Dec 13th, 2013, eight months after the SNC Lavalin report. No Bank would have financed this thing without the loan guarantee which was given and monitored under strictly political circumstances.

    We have a strong case to share the downfall with the federal government. We pay equalization to other provinces while we drift towards bankruptcy.

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    1. Dec 13, 2013 was a "Friday the 13th"

      - no skin here just bones.

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    2. No province pays equalization to any other province.

      And if we are drifting towards bankruptcy, it's our own damn fault: the "naysayers" were warning of the impact of Danny Williams' gross waste and overspending, for short-term partisan gain, more than a decade ago, only to be called "traitors". And that was even before the Muskrat announcement in 2010, but make no mistake... even without Muskrat, the province's finances were pooched by the idiot who still thinks he's the greatest Premier ever.

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  4. And I would ask --- How much of the terms of reference for the public inquiry into Muskrat Falls require Leblanc to apply the standard (?) of "reasonableness" to his analyses, findings, conclusions, etc.?

    Just one of other 'get-out-of-jail free' cards that Leblanc seems (in his interpretation of the TOR) to have no problem with.

    ............ and another brick in the wall of our public-interest-be-damned and deeply flawed political and governmental institutions continues.

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  5. Great work UG. These revelations alone should be reason enough for the Leblanc's inquiry, and if he brings these people to account, and criminal charges later layer, then the inquiry will have been well worth while. This is not a mom and pop operation of a couple thousand dollars, or even a few million, affect a few people, but rather upwards of 15$ billion and the sovereignty and bankruptcy of a Province, the effect on its entire population, and the honesty and intriguity of the federal govt. of Canada. This is treason. This is a cesspool of crime and corruption of the highest order, and the common white collar criminals, should be dealt him with in a court of law, in the same way that the common criminal is dealt with for petty crimes, and sent to prison. Will we be seeing a double standard. One law for the white collar, and another law for the common petty criminal. I want judge Leblanc to deal with that in his inquiry, says Joe blow.

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    1. Should read "criminal charges later laid",

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  6. UG continues to unearth evidence of massive fraud and corruption which allowed MF to go ahead. With all the information provided by Nalcor to the public and with the blessing of the NL Govt, with them knowing full well that the evidence showed that MF was unfeasible as a "good for NL" project, the question of who benefitted from this $12.7-$15 Billion dollar un-needed project must be answered. This project was and is WRONG. We as a small populated province simply cannot afford the massive power rates and tax increases about to be levied on us.
    If we were correctly informed of what was known by Nalcor and the Government of the day,it would never have seen the light of day. Over the last couple of years, UG has been continually providing information provided by those in the know that MF should not have started in the first place and should have been halted a long time ago---"if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck then----". For a corporation like Nalcor to have unlimited and unquestionable access to a never ending supply of money and not answer to anyone is WRONG. Someone had to be pulling the strings of fast Eddie and cable Gilly with big financial gains to be had. It was not ego satisfaction alone.
    DW and KD have a lot of explaining to do.
    If LeBlanc doesn't have a mandate to recommend charges,there should be a criminal investigation started. Those who perpetrated this massive fraud on a province of Canada bringing it to it's financial knees must be exposed and dealt with in the courts. No one should be above the law.
    Those who can't afford today's power rates are in for a very rude awakening when MF comes on stream all because a a few greedy and unscruptulous people.

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    1. But I hear no outcry of the July 1 power hike, so are Nflders richer than we think. Some 30,000 may leave here over the coming decade, but we can never get as many as 300 to protest the project.
      Yes UG does a great job, but only a dozen or so comment here, all men it seems too, and senior men for the most part.

      Delete
    2. Some other stuff may happen soon;

      https://www.jsmineset.com/

      Sinclair is shaking the Trump Tree, and this could wipe out the Muskrat debt overnight! Maybe Danny knows Jimmy :-)

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    3. Wayne at 14.12. You read my mind as I was just thinking the same. What evil cabal is rubbing its hands over the massive loot gained on this doomed project?

      I just drove through NB and the many wind farms. Yet when I posed the question, pre-MF, to the NL government as to why this alternative wasn't being fully explored, the answer was "there aren't batteries big enough and the wind is not a stable force."

      Seriously.

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  7. Interesting revelations. Problem is that the Federal Govt (FG) is not the IE. If the the IE was compromised by Nalcor as the ATIPPA documents suggest, then the FG were swindled as well. The blog post outlines the extensive lengths that UG and his friend had to go to ferret out the truth. Why would the FG assume that it would need to conduct a similar amount of digging. They put the IE in place, were they supposed to put a 2nd IE in place to monitor the first one? There is no evidence that the FG knew of any of these issues, ergo, the IE and Nalcor are responsible for any wrongdoing. So the FG doesn't owe a penny for the fiasco; in all belongs in Nalcor's (and NL peoples') lap.

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  8. What does Peng2 think of Gilbert Bennett acting this way to rewrite the reports? Is it ethical? And should be be before the Leblanc Inquiry to defend his actions?
    PF

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  9. Ches Crosbie calls Ball a lap dog and says what we need is a bull dog.
    Ches often mentions his admiration for Churchill, who was often described as a bull dog.
    Why is it hard to picture Ches like Churchill? Maybe a cigar would help.

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    1. Ches implies that Ball is more responsible that the Tories since Ball could have have assessed putting a stop to the project when he got in power. UG called for that. But has my memory failed me, as I seem to recall Ches was silent on that possibility as a prudent move, but now when it is too late, he blames Ball but Ches was silent was he not?

      Delete
    2. Look, putting Ball in charge of the province after that idiot Dunderdale sanctioned the MRF fiasco was like putting a sea cadet in charge of the Titanic after it struck the iceberg.

      Delete
    3. In the Telegram article on Monday Ches Crosbie says that Muskrat Falls was a mistake but they acted on the best advice available at the time. Actually, they ignored the advice of the only two independent bodies and were downright hostile to detractors. Everything was set up to push it through from an attack dog lawyer as energy minister to a party lapdog consumer advocate. The Inquiry may see if Nalcor acted alone. The evidence so far doesn’t support that theory.

      On the spending problem, Crosbie says they were faced with great needs to fix issues such as road infrastructure. If that were the case then the spending would be over and could be curtailed to fit the current account. What really happened was they increased the size of the civil service and greatly increased pay levels to compete with the oil industry. The oil industry has since reduced both staffing levels and pay and nothing was done with government expenditures. This part was curtesy of the Liberals.

      What is one to mark on the ballot in the next election.

      Delete
  10. Who to vote for in the next election? Well, they're all guilty of this boondoggle, lib., pc, ndp, independant Lane- All GUILTY as CHARGED!! So i wouldn't waste the precious fuel in my cars tank to drive to a polling station to vote for this organized mafia. My goal now is to vote with my feet, move west and rid myself of that ridiculous name "levy payer".

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    1. LP, I agree wholeheartedly with your sentiments with regards to getting clear of this tortured, woefully mismanaged rock and never looking back, and I will be following in your footsteps as soon as I'm retired.

      In the meantime, in regards to voting, you MUST CAST YOUR BALLOT no matter what, and if you cannot abide any of the candidates on offer, then you can still availof your democratic rights by SPOILING YOUR BALLOT... just write on your ballot "None of these idiots are worthy of my vote".

      That's all there is to it.

      As for myself... when I cast my ballot, I for one will be heeding the wisdom of one Samuel Clemens, who so astutely observed that "politicians are like diapers... they must be changed often, and for the same reason."

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    2. Where's Waldo?

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    3. Waldo Boy, or mil eng. I am where I have always been. Taking the high road, and speaking truth to power. Where as you are where you normally are, in the mud and gutter, spreading your distain, dislike and lies, as you moonlight, masquerade, and portray your foolishness. I will not wrestle a pig in the mud and gutter, as I will get messed up, but the pig would just love it. Have a good day, Joe blow, average Joe, AJ.

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  11. Bloody-well criminal that those crafty, rotten skeets might get away scot-free with such a vile scam on an innocent, unsuspecting people.

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  12. This manipulation of the so called independent reports by Bennett and others is a serious and big deal. Has the Tely or CBC picked up on this yet, or just does not want to acknowledge UG exposing this...
    PF

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  13. Why doesn't someone consider a P.Eng. is suppose to follow a code of ethics? Maybe if you are claiming an independent third party had written a report and you are doing the editing, you may be in a conflict of interest which could go against PEGNL's code:

    http://www.pegnl.ca/documents/bylaw3_final%20Code%20of%20Ethics%20May%2013%202010.pdf

    Maybe someone should challenge this P.Eng.'s actions and have them possibly removed from the organization?

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    1. Right on, Jason, and i am waiting for Peng2 to comment on this question.
      PF

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    2. You might find that Nalcor was in a conflict position with the PEGNL organization also?

      Delete
    3. Terry Gardiner Nalcor Vice President, Engineering Services but "currently serves as the Vice Chair of the Registration Committee and Chair of the Experience Review Committee (ERC) for PEG-NL"

      Jennifer Williams Nalcor Vice President, Production but previous member of the Board of Directors of PEGNL.

      Nalcor is intertwined with MUN and PEGNL.

      Delete
    4. PF:

      There are few possibilities(I wasn't there, so I don't know the full story):
      1) GB edited a sealed report of another engineer without qualifying the action---unethical and possibly illegal
      2) GB was working with a draft report from a consultant to finalize it and he offered back with comments, then pressured changes to make MF look more appealing---questionable for GB, and unethical for MHI to accept unfounded edits
      3)GB or MH made redactions before releasing---sleazy for both provided the actual info was used in decision making, otherwise questionable or worse

      It makes it seem more and more like MF was due to political pressure and aspirations....

      Anyway, I don't get all the nonsense here trying to bury PEGNL---only an engineer can assess another engineers practice, we are the same as doctors/lawyers in that respect. Engineering is a small community and it is impossible to not be acquainted with most, I probably personally know over 75% of the current members actively practicing here(excluding the imported oil and SNC-MF guys here only for a check).

      Before going on with that crap, at least research and understand that globally the profession is setup effectively the same. There is no conflict or conspiracy like some say. We have the ability to censure, provided there is proof of action unbecoming and a complaint.

      I know of no complaint that was not addressed, even back to the APEGN days-maybe some didn't get the result they wanted but we have always self-regulated well---apparent conflict as describe wouldn't occur because persons related to the complaint would be removed from the process.

      PENG2

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    5. Something rotten in Denmark? . Possible corruption in many quarters here, and all the bases covered. With billions of dollars it can grease a lot of wheels. Make no wonder such silence from all quarters and political stripes. And is our judicial system above question. Up to 3 years to make decisions that should be made in 6 months at the Court of Appeal. And judges now to get a little raise of 32,000.00 just in time.
      Make no wonder Brad Cabano got nowhere when he questioned Muskrat falls in court.
      Are we any better than a banana republic? Wells goes from the Court of Appeal to head appointment commission etc.
      Ethics,and conflict of interest is little practised here. Even our ambulance owners seems on the take.

      Delete
    6. Peng2, I recall many here questioned why Gilbert Bennett was kept on in a high position after Stan took over.Obvious Gil knew where the bodies are buried. Almost like Cohen with Trump.
      Except there they have investigative journalism and special counsel to investigate possible corruption. Here we lack both.
      Nalcor is like an octopus, even today Goose Bay getting the go ahead with a recreation facility. Did not Nalcor kick in 1 million, grease for them too. Our tax dollars, billions in debt, and they acting Santa Claus.
      You may be right, nothing to see here, but I am not convinced.If the complaint is valid, does the cost of investigating by PEGNL get borne by the person that did wrong, believe the Law society acts that way.
      These self regulating professions seem more about protecting their own turf and and collecting member fees then exposing any rot. Engineers no more ethical than any other group, My opinion. Maybe they should wear round white collars, more prominent than the iron ring.
      If thousands of the manly Mounties can be bullied and harrassed, so can good engineers. Now, even the Mounties have had enough and spilling the beans on their culture. A few rotten apples as they say, not that most are unethical.
      Make no wonder Bennett has kept his head low since Stan took over. Yet he is not even on the Most Wanted list for Leblanc. Maybe that will change.
      PF

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    7. PF:
      I am not saying 'nothing to see here', just that I wasn't there and there are possibilities that range from normal practice between a client and engineer to actions deserving of censure.

      It is easy to complain about a doctor, engineer etc---but how many actually have the background to examine professional practice, even courts call expert witness because the judges are not normally qualified. A censure hearing is exactly that--a hearing before a group of peers that are qualified(at a minimum) and probably experts in the field.

      PENG2

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    8. Peng2, as I understand it, expert witnesses at court are the only people that can make false statements, that my be lies, and not be charged for perjury, because they only provide OPINIONS! They are highly pain for opinions on one side or the other. I know of amateurs, who are intelligent, and with self study can be better than some professionals. Granted this is not usual, but the title of "professional" is not a guarantee of such. And when judges by peers who are friends is a poor quarantee of justice. It is said that courage is not one challenges an enemy but when one challenges a friend.
      Seems a jury by ordinary persons without bias in a case is more fair than a hearing by a group of self interested peers.Then we need independent experts to explain the technical issues. So it depends what meaning of INDEPENDENT means.
      And this goes back to the core question here :was Gilbert and others using trickery and making a mockery to fool the public that so called independent reports were not actually independent.If so, was it unethical, a conflict of interest and was it illegal? And is this but the tip of the ice berg?
      PF

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  14. Well done UG. At least there is one investigative journalist on the Rock. The so called 'mainstream media' should all be sent back to school to take a course taught by you. Great, and relentless effort exposing the sea of corruption surrounding MF. My hat is off to you. Keep up the fabulous work.

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    1. There are a few engineers who comment on this blog, what do you all think of Bennett and buddies given this damming piece by UG and his source? Such exposures should be almost daily events if the main media were concerned about the public good and good governance. So, do they protect crony capitalism?
      AG

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    2. PEG-NL's role is to protect the public from the malicious actions of unscrupulous engineers/geoscientists. They do not initiate investigations unless an official complaint is made against an engineer/geoscientist whom is a member of PEG-NL. So all the Average Joe Blowhards out there, put your money where your mouths are and file formal complaints with PEG-NL.

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    3. Anon@15:52, this seems excellent advise. I wonder if UG could coordinate a formal complaint process, where many could sign on to the complaint,instead of many individual complaints.
      AG

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    4. Google PEGNL past directors and check linked-in. PEGNL is infested with conflicts of interest.

      2008 Gilbert Bennett, P.Eng. Councillor-at-Large PEGNL
      2009,2010,2011 Gilbert Bennett, P. Eng. Director PEGNL

      Gerard Dumphy, chair elect: Accountable for the successful execution of the annual capital and operating project programs for Nalcor's non-regulated ...

      There are lots more. We should file complaints. However, be aware that corruption and conflicts are everywhere.

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  15. The Independent Engineer deserves a complaint http://www.peo.on.ca/index.php/ci_id/16338/la_id/1.htm

    Gilbert is unethical too since he was interfering with the independent engineer. See the code of ethics: http://www.pegnl.ca/documents/bylaw3_final%20Code%20of%20Ethics%20May%2013%202010.pdf

    Let's see how many ways the ethics were violated -- I will then add those ideas to an official complaint.

    Note that Gilbert Bennett had held senior positions with PEGNL and is well connected there. It will be similar to accusing a police officer with ethics violation and expecting his co-workers to pursue your complaint. PEGNL should go down too.

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    1. The public shouldn't even have to complain to PEGNL. Of course PEGNL knows what is going on. Nalcor has had senior people on PEGNL's board of directors for many years. The fact that PEGNL does nothing to police the profession on its own initiative is telling -- and a good reason that PEGNL should be disbanded. It just gives the public a false sense of security.

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    2. You are mistaken. PEGNL like all other professional organization is self-regulated under provincial statute. It is not a police force, it can only act when a compliant is leveled against one of its members. It does not drive around inspecting work sites. All complaints are treated with due respect and investigated. If you believe that Nalcor engineers or the IE practiced unethically, bring your complaint to PEGNL. They will ask for the proof of your allegations. If you think Nalcor engineers or the IE committed a crime, go to the RCMP and report them. If all you can do is blather and smoke about somebody committing an ethical or criminal offence, then sit on your arse and gripe. If you have proof, get off your arse and do something.

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    3. Anon @ 20;23, I thought it was only necessary to make a complaint. A complaint would need some allegation and some evidence would help, to warrant an investigation. But you say you need proof, which implied that PEGNL will do no investigation, all the onus is on the complaintant to prove it.
      Circle the wagons.

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    4. I misspoke. You can make a complaint against a PEGNL member and they have a legal duty to investigate it. If you wish the complaint to be taken seriously then you will need more proof than the ravings of any Average Joe Blowhard.

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    5. So, does Bennetts own words as cites in this UG piece be considered evidence, or just blowing air?

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    6. A few things of note regarding project dynamics under the EPC regime, contributing to the Boondoggle;

      -Public tender routine replaced by "Supply Chain" bias, and outright bid tampering
      -Distortion of the project accounting, through error prone spread sheets, not data based software. (easier to twist the facts).
      -Project data, "massaged", to contain project goals. This now appears the case where the Project Engineer, (project certifier?), reserves the right to twist the damaging findings of the Independent Engineer.

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    7. so make the complaint

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    8. Jean Chretien said that a proof is a proof. What kind of proof? It's a proof. A proof is a proof and when you have a good proof, it's because it's proven.
      Put that in your pipe and smoke it on cannibus day.

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    9. We all are waiting the forensics Grant Thornton are doing on the contract admin. files. Proof of criminal intent, professional errors and omissions, malfeasance should be the result. That is, if the final report is not redacted also :-)

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  16. It gets better ..
    PEGNL Complaints Authorization Committee

    Consistent with the Act and Regulations and the PEGNL Complaint procedure the Complaints Authorization Committee reviews and mediates the complaints referred to it, and prepares a written decision regarding the justification of the complaint.

    Guess who the Chair of the Complaints Authorization Committee is?
    Gerard Dunphy, P. Eng., M. Eng., MBA, PMP, SMIEEE, FEC Nalcor, Vice President, Engineering

    So to complain about a past director of PEGNL, it would have to be approved by a Nalcor director of engineering?

    Am I missing something here ?

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    1. Yes, the real blame lies with the political elite from the recent past. You know who they are. Remember the words used when the deal was made, "SOME GOOD DEAL BYE, SMILE!!!"

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  17. Mr. Bennett should not be chastised because he is a former employee of Mr. Williams and later a personal friend of the former premier. How do you suppose he got the job in the first place? However, he must be qualified for the job, after all Stan,the boondoggle slayer, kept them all on because they are good people. We must keep the lid on all this smelly activity and finish strong while the inquiry will be distraction.

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  18. Hey folks, seems that not only will Nflders leave this place. Seems all our capelin are leaving for the Gulf area, so cod may follow them there. the ecapelin site show twice as many locations there(20 vs 10) than here with capelin rolling so far,and most unusual, but likely this will change as the weather and ocean temperature gets warmer here. But a great ignorance by Fisheries on this stock and why this happening, likely climate change, affecting the ocean, but Brian Peckford would dispute that, as he prefers fake news as to climate change.
    WA

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  19. Well, I'm all excited. The Canadian Press has a piece carried by the Telegram telling that this is an historic day here on the Rock. I last waived a flag as a child when the Queen was crowned. It was the Union Jack I think. At that time the celebration was such that some received a small can of candy with the Queen's picture on it.
    Our last big transmission link event was about 1858, which was a big success, with the Great Eastern laying cable from Ireland or England right into Trinity Bay. Rather remarkable that was, and allowed communication across the Atlantic to be cut from a month to a minute.
    It helped link up the British Empire. A great feat in engineering and technology for that era. Cyrus Field a key player if I recall, it was in our school books.
    This piece in the Tely says today we have another HISTORIC EVENT. A power link from Muskrat Falls connecting our capital will be formally energised today, the connection on this end at Soldier's Pond.
    Of course the power will not be from Muskrat, as that is not operating yet, so will be Churchill Fall's power.
    To think in the 1960s I helped build those dykes. I did compaction tests on the soil, keeping an eye on the contractors that things must proceed to spec. And 50 years later, my work and that of thousands of others brought a project in on schedule and on budget, and still a very valuable asset.
    The Tely piece says Stan Marshall will speak to the media today.
    But where is the main celebration taking place? Where do I go to wave my flag of pride and accomplishment? Seems there is a news blackout this morning as to the start of the car parade, and who will lead the procession, whether Danny, Dwight, Ed, Gil, Kathy, or Stan the Man, for getting this project back on track and another few years to have a strong finish, with power actually,... maybe, produced at Muskrat.
    Now the Tely piece says once the power line is active, electricity prices are expected to double for consumers by 2022, a burden that Dwight said he is working to mitigate. Surely that is no reason to put away my flag. How can we not celebrate an historic event.
    Soldier's Pond, this end of the line and a mere 12.7 billion to get this feed. Tomorrow we may be able to ship some free power to Nova Scotia.
    What is not to celebrate, neighbour helping neighbour. Unlike at the Mexico border, we build links instead of walls. We give our resources away instead of putting on tariffs. It's the Nfld and Canadian way.
    If we need to turn down our thermostat here to help a neighbor, what's wrong with that?
    Has all the naysayers from Uncle Gnarley conspiring to fool up a potential great celebration event? Why not turn the cheek and join our esteemed leaders for their insight and wisdom in this great accomplishment : our legacy project from our God given oil resources, and a little bit of public debt.
    If we can take snow in late June,with a sense of humour, then this historic event too should not deter us. So lets wave our flags, hey b'y. We can then say we participated in an historic event.
    W Adams

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    1. Yes Winston ,just listening on the air waves. Walter parsons, the main man there today from CF. a technical person no doubt. But no, CEO, or minister of natural resources, or premier. So guess no big deal.and of course the brave media were there, wanting to know if there were any hiccups, not sure if it was a personal question, or about the grid. You probably answered this question before fir me. But my understanding from him was all Labrador power wether UC or muskrat will be brought to solders pond as DC, converted there to ac and onwards to St. John's etc. Including to the NS link. Is that correct, or maybe it's just the brave media, doesn't ask the right, or know the right questions to ask. Of course his main point was we will be saving money with the cheap UC power rather than operating holly rood from expensive oil power. Except at the same time 3 power increases are before the PUB. Go figure that one. But no one asked. Guess that's why they left it to the technical guy to answer the questions, who has no responsibility for the overall system, or our power rates. So no need for flag waving and guess there will not be, this year or years down the road, for the boondoggle. Thanks, average Joe.

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    2. So, is Holyrood now redundant, and will be de-commissioned?

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    3. Unlikely. It is still needed for redundancy, and lets hope it is never actually required due to failure of the reservoir, underwater links or some other event deemed low probability.

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    4. Lorna, do you happen to know what if any studies have been made on carbon reduction, alternate renewable sources; Solar/thermal storage, geothermal, wind, etc. to extend the life of this much needed "redundant" thermal generation plant?

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    5. Joe, correct that the feed to Soldiers Pond is DC and converted to AC, as our existing island grid is AC, 230 Kv. But none of this DC infeed goes direct to NS. The feed to NS is a separate DC line, 500 MW capacity. Labrador feed is 900 MW capacity, now getting 45.
      So 2 separate DC systems, both connected to our AC island grid. One DC line, the one energized today goes to Nfld east coast near St johns, the other separate DC on the west coast taking power from our low cost island grid, feeding that to NS. But all 3 systems, DC from Labrador, AC island grid, and DC to NS all connected together.
      Now do you believe that the DC from Labrador is more robust as to reliability as Marshall says? Wait for the winter wind storms bringing salt and ice unto the lines. Then see if Holyrood will be redundant. Will take at least 5 years of no serious problems which seems unlikely.
      Saving 50,000 a day is what the import of dirty coal power was supposed to save, and amounted to pennies a day. And right now over the summer, we have about 600MW load on the island,and 1100MW of island hydro, so where does the present 45 MW go, .....NS it seems, very soon.
      Savings is Fake News it seems.
      Maybe PENG2 can clarify this better as to where the saving go?
      But, hey, anyone who works like this on his birthday, and maybe a few drinks today, may spin any tale. But at least he has more guts than our sleazy politicians. He is on the job on his birthday. But the CBC photo still has him look like the grinch that stole Christmas, and probably is, as he kept silent on the false assumptions of the boondoggle. The next power hike is Jan 1, fewer Xmas light burning, old people a bit colder. Heat poverty marching our way. Let me get my flag and wave.

      Winston

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  20. Our brave media should be all over this and not a peep. Des was on Paddy's show this AM and as usual, Paddy did little to pursue it.
    Is there no way that W5 and/or The 5th Estate can be enticed to take this on considering the "high profile" names being bandied about and the dire consequences we as a province are facing?? J--us Ch--st!! we're adrift in a stormy sea with no paddle whatsoever!!

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  21. It appears to me from the PUB data that we have made some export power to NS in recent weeks, and that some power also wa coming from Labrador. So today was for the media it was oficial first power, but not actual first power from CFs.
    Now the Maritime Link has been operational since after Xmas, and a little, very little dirty coal power coming our way occasionally, for PR as we doing the importing, but never exporting.
    But surely the historic event was the first day export of power to NS, which was kept quiet, at least to me. Of course that power brings no revenue. A day of infamy.
    CFs power over this summer allows exporting what comes form CFs to NS for zero revenue, while charging almost zero cost CFs power to Nfld residents for about 12 cents, or that is the intent.
    Perhaps PENG@ can verify the export to NS slipped by quietly? Was it even public in NS?
    If I misunderstand the PUB charts, someone correct me.
    Winston

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  22. Who's going to continue to abide this god-damned bullshit??

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/newfoundland-labrador/ball-housing-conflict-of-interest-report-1.4725444

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    1. It isn't justice, it is Just Us. There is one set of laws for regular people (institutionalized vengeance for even small things) and another set for the sociopaths that rule us. Powerful people are seldom charged because the own the system.

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