Friday, 21 September 2018

FORENSIC AUDITOR CONFIRMS NALCOR UNDERSTATED COST ESTIMATES FOR MUSKRAT

This post co-authored with David Vardy
The Forensic Auditor's main conclusion was that based upon its “findings and observations, at the time of sanctioning” a “combination of…potential misstatements may have resulted in the Interconnected Island Option (the Muskrat Falls project) no longer being considered the least cost option at the time of sanctioning.”

In coming to this conclusion, Grant Thornton has confirmed long held suspicions that Nalcor planned to advance sanction of the MFP regardless of the consequences. Essentially, the Forensic Auditor chronicles a narrative that suggests recklessness on the part of Nalcor Energy. The Forensic Audit was made public by the Commission of Inquiry September 21, 2018.

GT reports that there was:
1. A potential overstatement of the Cumulative Present Worth (CPW) for the Isolated Island Option; and

2. A potential understatement of the CPW for the Interconnected Island Option.

Presumably GT’s use of the qualifier “may” is intended to defer final determination to the Inquiry Commissioner.

At the outset of the project, Nalcor claimed that the Interconnected Island Option had a $2.4 billion CPW advantage over the Isolated Island Option  (a phased approach using wind, Island Hydro, and upgrades to the Holyrood GS).

The Forensic Auditor confirms that Nalcor not only misstated the figures for the two options; it also misapplied the advantage to claim Sanction for the Muskrat Falls project.
Does anyone still dispute the need for the Commission of Inquiry?

Nalcor’s "misstatements" were many and substantial which is what makes the Forensic Audit a profoundly important piece of work. GT's forensic analysis and conclusions contain extensive implications bearing on the integrity of our public institutions and upon the governance of the province.

Here are some of the other conclusions of GT which also influenced the overstatement of the CPW for Muskrat Falls:

- an "...overstatement of the load forecast used in the sanctioning decision".

- omission of price elasticity for NP General Service customers and NLH industrial customers as well as the effect of Conservation and Demand Management (CDM).

- Nalcor over-stated "numerous macro-economic variables” such as GDP, personal disposal income, population and average housing starts - relative to projections prepared by independent agencies including Statistics Canada and the Conference Board of Canada (CBOC).

- "there was no formal review and acceptance of the load forecast" and there was a "lack of quality control review surrounding the...process, too". 

- "Nalcor also used higher customer rate projections for the Isolated Island option” than for the Muskrat Falls option which would impact the CPW due to price elasticity.

- Nalcor employed an unrealistically low - P50 - Risk rating to the assessment of Tactical Risk contingency. (GT defines "Tactical" Risk as those associated with "the base capital cost estimate as a result of uncertainty with..." project definition and scope admission, construction methodology and schedule, performance factors and price (excluding escalation). Rather than P50, GT states that an independent assessment shows that P-factors ranging from P70 to P90 are more reasonable. (P-Factors indicate the probability that costs will exceed or fall below the estimate. A P50 means there is a 50% chance of the project costing more than the estimate while a P90 would have reduced the probability to 10%). This decision alone - based upon a P90 risk rating - would have increased capital cost by $767 million and a higher CPW for “Inter-Connected” Option. 



- In addition to the inappropriately selected "Tactical" Risk contingency, Nalcor also excluded approximately $500 million of "Strategic" risk exposure from the capital cost estimate and "incorporated (it) into a "management reserve". (GT defines "strategic" risk as to those risks linked to labour availability, productivity and schedule risk exposure.)  GT reports that that strategic risk exposure "did not form part of the capital cost nor was it included in the CPW calculation".

- The contingency for only for Tactical and Strategic Risk omitted from the Inter-Connected Option amounts to $1.267 billion. GT chronicles myriad other omissions.

- Nalcor's failure to account for the contingencies recommended for high risk projects like Muskrat Falls, means that the DG3 estimate should have been $7.5 billion rather than $6.2 billion (without financing costs). GT quotes a former member of the LCP Project Team stating that “if the P75 recommendation from the 2012 Quantitative Risk Assessment (“QRA”) had been selected as the sanction cost basis, the sanction basis would have been $7.5B”.

In addition:
- GT stated that the original “July 15, 2017 schedule was a P1 (which) meant that there was a 99% probability that the schedule for first power would not be met". In other words, Nalcor sought project sanction knowing that there was a 99% probability that the Schedule could not be met. 

The PMT (Project Management Team) recommended to the Nalcor Executive that a provisional schedule reserve allowance should be made to account for the difference between the target date and the probable date. The Report makes this observation: “GT notes that Nalcor Executive wanted to maintain the Target Milestone Schedule, and thus no schedule reserve allowance was made to accommodate the residual risk exposure identified in the QRA.”

- GT noted that only $34 million operating costs for Muskrat were included in the CPW calculation at Sanction. The new forecast (announced by Nalcor CEO Stan Marshall) is $109 million.

- Nalcor included $418 million in the CPW calculation for refurbishments to the Holyrood Generating Station when in 2012 AMEC had completed a study indicating a total cost of $353 million for the refurbishments – an 18% difference which Nalcor described as a contingency. The misreporting cited by GT had a material impact giving the Interconnected (Muskrat Falls) Option an unwarranted advantage.

This is a partial list of Nalcor’s omissions from the CPW calculation; others were noted by GT which helped favour the MFP.


Here are some other issues given prominence in the GT Report:

- The conclusion made by Nalcor around availability of power from the Upper Churchill “was inconsistent with the findings of the Nova Scotia Utility and Rates Board (NSUARB)”. 

Nalcor had vigorously asserted that there were risks that power from the Upper Churchill might not be available to the Province upon expiry of the Upper Churchill Contract.
Bewilderingly, Nalcor was telling Emera a completely different story than it was telling either the PUB or the public of this Province.

- GT confirms that Nalcor "did not have formal discussions with Hydro Quebec" regarding the import of power from/via that source.

- GT delivers this disturbing conclusion:
“Although strategic risks were not included in the capital cost estimate at DG3, they were included in the project estimate at DG2. It was noted that this change was made during the negotiations with Emera Inc. Nalcor stated “that it was required to respond to Emera’s concern regarding its ability to sell the strategic risk concept to the Nova Scotia regulator, the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board”.

This statement is highly significant. It IS the boldest confirmation yet of outright misrepresentation to a public destined to shoulder the burden of this unnecessary and falsely “sold” project.

Without the Nova Scotia UARB having signed on to the project, the Federal Loan Guarantee would not have been approved. The Forensic Auditor has confirmed that Nalcor was prepared even to misrepresent the actual costs of the project in a bid to make sure that the FLG was approved and that the Muskrat Falls project would proceed at all costs.
Given this evidence, it is clear that the Commission of Inquiry needs to investigate why Nalcor withheld important information to make sure that the Muskrat Falls project proceeded.

Finally, it is noteworthy that the GT Report was based upon a limited Audit.

GT does not quantify the full effect of the poor data, low-balling of Risk and costs on the CPW analysis. It does not examine the risks surrounding the Strait of Belle Isle crossing, potential food contamination, the North Spur or Water Management issues.

There are other shortcomings, too, which the Inquiry needs to address in the coming days. Not least of them is consideration of the "origins" of the SNC-Lavalin Risk Register of April 2013 - ostensibly given to Nalcor not long after project sanction - which identifies 40 risks having a potential cost to the project of $2.4 billion. Former Nalcor CEO Ed Martin has stated publicly that he did not receive the document. 

We need to ask GT to identify whether the $1.3 billion shortfall in strategic and tactical contingency reserves which Nalcor withheld are included in the $2.4 billion SNC Lavalin Risk Register. Has GT reviewed Nalcor’s Risk Registry to assess whether the 40 individual components and their collective risks are fully encompassed by GT’s risk distribution database and how this database compares with that of another of the Commission’s expert witnesses, namely Dr. Bent Flyvbjerg?

Now that the analysis and conclusions of the Forensic Auditor have been released, the public has confirmation that there was a deliberate plan to advance sanction of the project, regardless of the consequences. This plan fell short of the mark in many ways but most particularly by failing to apply due process to the need for the project and to robust and transparent consideration of all the alternatives.

The Report's frightening conclusions constitute a condemnation of Nalcor's leadership at the time of Sanction and of the Government of the day, which also failed in its duty to protect the financial interests of the province.

The GT Report confirms that the 2012 Sanction of the Muskrat Falls project constituted a serious breakdown in our governance processes.
_______________________________________________
Editor's Note:
Readers who want more information on the contents of the Grant Thornton Forensic Audit written in a comprehensible manner should read GT's PowerPoint Presentation to the Inquiry. The PPP is found here.

65 comments:

  1. MFP? NP?

    Please avoid abbreviations, and if you must use them, expand them first.

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  2. Such incredible malfeasance. It seems everything the naysayers feared and alleged is true.

    Yet this week, Danny has the gall to threaten Ron Penney with a lawsuit for smearing his reputation? With this GT report coming out 2 days after the threat Danny shows he has no sense whatsoever. In fact, the timing is simply awesome. Danny must be intending to throw his old best buddies Ed Martin and Gil Bennett under the bus.

    Week 1 of the Inquiry has already demonstrated the project was a complete farce - well done! Interesting couple of months ahead as various involved parties try to deflect blame on the other.

    If premier Ball is listening, don't gloat. You still had every opportunity to stop this useless project and save billions. You failed as much as the starters of this project.

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    1. Anytime someone says something that reflects badly on Danny, it's "publicly apologize or you'll be speaking to my lawyers". Ron's entitled to his opinion, and many agree with him.

      - my thought for today

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    2. DW's threatened lawsuit is a bullying tactic meant to send a message to anyone testifying NOT to put him in a bad light or there will be consequences. Is it any wonder that even on Blogs like this that identifying names are seldom used , me being one of them---I am long retired but I have children and grandchildren who would be targeted by him. He is ruthless in his quest to remain in control. EM was head of Nalcor but you can bet your bottom dollar it was DW calling the shots. His message?--be careful what you say or you can expect a lawsuit!!
      Roger Grimes was on Open Line this AM with Paddy and he was spot on in his assessment of "the exalted one", even saying that he expected a lawsuit as well because of his comments. God Almighty! what kind of a cesspool is DW living in?? Make no GD wonder MF was barrelled thru with the likes of this egomaniac still calling the shots.
      When DW first became Premier, a lot of people (me included) thought we finally had the right person to run this province. What a G-d Dam--d disappointment---look at the serious sh-t he has gotten us into and yet still has the inmitigated gall to profess MF as a good project. His demeaner is Trumpian.
      After the inquiry is completed he and his cronies should be taken to task---that is if there is anyone not afraid of a lawsuit---Ron Penney hang in there--you said nothing wrong.
      To DW Smarten up---you portray yourself as an arsehole everytime you open your bullying mouth.

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    3. Shouldn't the inquiry issue a warning to Danny Williams and his frivolous lawsuits at critics of Muskrat Falls, if he is actively trying to intimate people the inquiry should treat him as a hostile witness. Danny appointed Ed Martin a mid-level VP on Hibernia to head newly formed Crown Corp Nalcor AND Chair Hydro. Ed Martin had literally zero experience and expertise in hydro and the utility sector. Rhodes scholar Danny Williams was fooled by his own appointments to his pet project? No one will believe this narrative he is trying to save face just like Trump would. Legal Q if Danny follows through on his SLAPP huffing and puffing lawsuits will the opposing lawyers be allowed to question his mental state? His actions before during and after he was a politician have a disturbing Trumpian nature/slant to them and he will be exposed as an Emperor without cloths.

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    4. Anom @ 12:42:

      You are so right. The lawsuits are an attempt to shut down the inquiry. By advancing a lawsuit against a presenter to the inquiry it is believed by DW and EM that they can intimidate others into submission. This tactic of intimidation, threats and degradation of character was used against all opposition during the DW' reign of terror-especially if it was someone of the caliber of knowledge and expertise that Ron Penney and David Vardy process. Anyone remeber when Tom Rideout expressed opposition to the control DW had over road construction and repair? It became bad enough that the former premier had to sit as an independent all while DW was building an $800 million road across from Kenmount road to Brookfield Road (which wasn't needed nor probably never will be needed) to service his then planned Galway. He did brag about buying that crown land while still premier by the way.

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    5. @anon 07:52

      Forgot about DW and Galway (still believe Dannyville was more appropriate) and that road. Perhaps the province should lawyer up and expropriate some/all of DW 's and his buddy's profits of Galway to help pay for MF. Of course, it might not be worth the lawyer fees as Gayway is really slow growing. I can see why anyone in there right mind would want to give Danny any more money.

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    6. Danny seems upset in that Ron Penny said people feared being hurt if they spoke up, and so that puts Danny in a bad light as being dictatorial or worse.
      As to being hurt for being anti Muskrat and speaking up:
      I have operated a business in Nfld since 1975,and supplied heating and ventilation equipment on many projects including schools and Nfld Hydro. These were always via competitive bids and often secondary through contractors. After 10 years, it was common to see some need for replacement parts.
      1. From the English school board, perhaps 2 or 3 thousand dollars a year, so not much . Since MFs sanction ZERO
      2. Fron Nfld Hydro, occasionaly something like 20,000.00, but more typical average 1500.00 a year. Since MF sanction;Zero
      3. Of MFs 12.7 billion, and their many buildings : Zero
      4. After my second involvement with the PUB, condemning their Conservation and Efficiency Plan, I was slapped with a legal issue drafted within 48 hrs after my appearance at the PUB. The issue was old, dating back to the 1990s, and dormant for the last 7 years, and assumed dead.This was unrelated to MFs, but an health issue of my deceased mother. I had to appear, and this dragged on then, distracting me from MFs, the intent I suspect. Guess what they produced in court against me? A copy of my 8 page formal presentation at the PUB in 2012, warning of the danger of heat pump technology replacing baseboard heaters, so that technology a threat to the business case of Muskrat load growth. Feehan has recently confirmed that threat as to the elasticity issue.
      Yes, my 2012 presentation dug out and formulated a notice in 48 hrs that I appear in court soon.
      Were people hurt if they were anti Muskrat and vocal, damn right, and likely many feared to speak. Perhaps some of those fearful would support Ron Penny in that legal threat to him.
      Winston Adams

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    7. I think Ron Penney would get a lot of financial support if DW continues his folly with his frivolous lawsuit. Someone has to stand up to this bully or else he gets away with it again, and again and again---

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  3. Speechless in Cranbrook, BC. I agree with Winston. No further General Inquiry expense is necessary. My own worst fears have been confirmed regarding the breakdown of fundamental project management principles, from pre-feasibility through commissioning and start up. Shut
    the whole operation down and bear the consequences.

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    1. You'd think this was organized crime orchestrating a big shakedown of the residents of Newfoundland and Labrador. They must believe they are too big to jail.

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  4. If some still need more evidence of how the entire thing was an emotional decision aimed against Qc instead of a rational decision taken for the benefit of Newfoundland, go and re-check this interview by Danny William backin 2010 :

    https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/newfoundland-labrador/would-put-own-money-on-lower-churchill-williams-1.912187

    When the leader admits that his career was focussed specifically on achieving that project, no surprise he can not distinguish the right and the wrong any more.

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  5. As trumpie says, lock 'EM up. He had no real evidence for that conclusion, but in this case the evidence is all there. Of course a lot of us could see most of that from a distance, but now we have the hard evidance up close. What will be their fate, ask Joe blow, besides throwing up every time they pass a mirror.

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    1. Might also add.....history repeats itself. From the beginning of time there has always been evil little Emperors, and even worst evil tiny men ((and women) to serve and carry out their wishes. If that's not a proverb, then it should be says Joe blow.

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  6. fundamental project management principles........

    Lets see - who from the project management team had the most to gain from the PROJECT going ahead??? Find these few guys. see what they made (personally in pay plus via their company)

    Now you will see where fundamental project management principles go out the window and personal gain and greed enter BIG TIME

    Some of these guys may even be listed to give evidence soon... wink wink

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    1. RCMP should now move in and lay fraud charges.

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    2. But Robert, how long did Richard Squires spend in jail? And even taking money from funds for WW1 vets,and the Liquor Board, and getting bootleg liquor from the French Islands, him and the Chief Justice Hickman in the 1920s.
      Did not the British Inquiry in 1934 say there was much corruption in Nfld, especially in politics? What has changed,with more opportunity with oil wealth?
      And, We have, as a society , to protect the image of the Crown. And who better to protect that image that the Mounties?
      So people close to the Crown must find a way out for these unfortunate individuals who by error, not intent, stumbled into this mess. So, in the end, no Lock em up, everyone is happy and we move on, and just find another oil well. That is the why this inquiry can not lay criminal blame. It is just errors of judgement. And the average Joes will buy into that won't they?
      Although there was a bit if rant and roar in 1932, and a little damage to the House Chambers, and windows broken, but that was then, people half starving. Now we have UIC, Medicare, make work projects, even like MFs for economic stimulus. So stay cool Robert. The learned Judge Leblanc has plans for sheriffs for security, in case the specators there go from now 10 to 20, they jump in for crowd control.
      Winston

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    3. As Rachel Maddow asks; The GOP, (Tories), must give some validation why the FBI are NOT called upon to do the investigation. People must now ask what reason has M. Ball and M. Trudeau to NOT call on the RCMP to lay charges! Where is Ches, when a Kiss is worth more than a peck?

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  7. ""Nalcor was prepared even to misrepresent the actual costs of the project in a bid to make sure that the FLG was approved and that the Muskrat Falls project would proceed at all costs.

    Given this evidence, it is clear that the Commission of Inquiry needs to investigate why Nalcor withheld important information to make sure that the Muskrat Falls project proceeded. ""

    Just look into WHO made millions! I don't mean construction companies I mean the actual members of the Nalcor PROJECT MANAGEMENT TEAM (PMT) These are the contract staff hired to manage the project, some of the same who don't want you to know how much they were paid!!!!! Yes folks these people have been paid MILLIONS !

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  8. Poor Kate O'Brien, the co-counsel leading us through this winked exposure, she is a bit shell shocked,and who could fault her, and need a break "to collect her thoughts". Indeed, right from the get go, I wondered about her thoughts being scattered. UG readers may not know, but whereas Stan the Man is not an electrical engineer, who I think I gave him a A for his presentation discussing and explaining complex electrical power systems, Kate on the other hand is an actual electric engineer, with some experience with power systems, who who could guess? Now on the one hand, she dumbs it down so the Leblanc and other non technical people(also think Bruno and Heracles), can understand it. But on the other hand, I noticed a confusion on her part that almost misled the learned judge, if not corrected by David of GT, and went unnoticed. More on that later.
    Winston

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    1. WA @ 15:37:

      That's noting a subtle, but important detail.

      If a close analysis of the period 1995-2006 is not completed, the most important parts of the who/why/how will be missed. I am not so sure most really appreciate the importance of the 2006 NL election.

      Have you considered section 4.13 of the FLG in relation to the GT release today?

      From what I can see to date(though early in Inquiry yet), most of what I have said the past couple years is proving true.

      So you know, I did stop by Logy Bay a while back - you weren't around, and I have 100% faith in your HP numbers.

      PENG2

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  9. Considering the FLG, in section 4.4, stated that misrepresentation was considered as a default and that section 4.6 stated that all of Nalcor's assets are put in guarantee, everything that is Nalcor as of now can reasonably be seized at any time because conditions for that are satisfied.

    https://muskratfalls.nalcorenergy.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Terms-and-Conditions-of-the-Federal-Loan-Guarantee.pdf

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    1. Wow. You had that one ready and waiting for your moment to use it, didn't you. A friend indeed. Your desire to have HQ seize CFLCo is as overwhelming as Danny's urge to sue somebody. You really do humour us sometimes.

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    2. Notwithstanding the anti-QC brainwashing obviously afflicting anon 16:30, Better HQ run the bloody thing than those effing "world-class" culprits at Nalcor. At least it would be run efficiently and competently, without those goddamed low-balling Nalcor bastards involved in it.

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  10. This report also presents a problem for UG and fellow travelers (e.g. Average Joe Blowhard (AJB)) whom seek to pin the blame for the boondoggle on the Federal Loan Guarantee (FLG). In arguing for Federal Government (FG) reparations, they suggest that the FG was remiss in not doing their due diligence on the project. The GT report is a forensic audit. Are UG, AJB and the like, suggesting that the FG needs to conduct forensic audits on sovereign provinces in the Canadian federation before they can accept facts and figures given to them by those provinces. Or is NL once more different in that it can make shit up, pull numbers out of its ass, and still demand that somebody else must pay.

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    1. You still don't get it!!! Nothing has changed. Tell me something I don't know. The FLG was given in bad faith by the PM in revenge against the ABC campaign etc. not to help this province but to screw us, but if there was any benifit or power from muskrat it would all go to NS. The Feds made it a condition of the FLG that NS had to be in and meet their demands. Since it was backed by the Feds the financiers, bond holders etc. Knew the Feds were good for it, no matter the outcome, so they did no forensic, or employed anyone to do the back checking. If the Feds were not involved the finianciers would have done their own forensics with a company like Grant Thorton, or some one else. They would not just hand over 10$ billion to such a small province without varifying the numbers, but with the big federal Govt. of Canada, they couldn't loose, either way. Plus during the construction, the Feds had their engineer there to keep them informed, so why wasn't he doing his job, and passing the info along to his boss, the Feds. Guess we will hear from him later. And you may as well use your handle since we all know who your are so man up boy says average Joe, Joe blow, AJ.

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    2. Ottawa needed to do due diligence and it did not. Put it this way, whatever risk they took - and that may be the real question - they deserve. They dropped the ball on their own foot because they could've examined the business case and found these flaws. They may well try to wipe their hands of any liability but it doesn't change their own incompetent and direct action.

      Ottawa will eventually be found to have practiced wilful blindness.

      Basically when you know something is bad but you decide not to follow up on investigating the intuition or risks be examining the problem more closely, then you are practicing wilful blindness. It is not a defense in the courts.

      By the same logic, for Ottawa to insist on the FLG that NL ratepayers must pay the unpayable is also an act of wilful blindness. That NL took the offer is similar to Emera's alleged complicity in taking part in a sham deal they knew the principal proponent could not support.

      Eventually Ottawa will be pursued and will have to settle up. Maybe Emera will lose something too.

      Today is a great day. The dark clouds are yielding to the light. More sunshine is on the way!

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    3. Waldo.. you don't just make up numbers and pull them out your ass, you also make stories. FLG given in revenge, etc., etc... blah blah blah.. the FG engineer was not a forensic accountant, he was an engineer.. was he supposed to engage in forensic engineering as well... The whole point is that it took forensic (i.e., "1. Relating to, used in, or appropriate for courts of law or for public discussion or argumentation. 2. Relating to the use of science or technology in the investigation and establishment of facts or evidence in a court of law") investigation to uncover the truth. You seem to be suggesting that even though the NL government and agencies can't be trusted to provide real facts without forensic review, it becomes the problem of those to whom they provide the figures/facts and that these latter people must pay for any misrepresentations. Good luck with that in a court of law. I get swindled and I have to pay for the swindlers losses????

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    4. Anon 16:50
      what an amazing, but typical NL trick, bend of logic
      So the perpetrators (perpetraitors) of the boondoogle, the NL government and Nalcor bear no responsibility for the scheme because the FG believed them. Jesus Christ man have you and AJB no backbones. Man up, you own it.

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    5. Anon 16:50 You make the assumption that the Federal Govt knew the MF project was "bad". Why would they think that? They probably thought that NL and Nalcor had capable, honest (remember "world-class") and intelligent people working for them. Why would they assume any were bad? So if they assumed they were not bad, they didn't enter into anything with "willful" blindness, unless, the blindness means that you can't trust NL, its people, or it institutions; after the government is the top dawg.

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    6. Clearly you are bent on one narrow outcome - sticking it to NL. You know it's only week 1 of the Inquiry... surely there will be plenty more evidence to come pointing to the complicity of varied actors. This may not change your attitude but it will weaken any logical basis you may have for asserting that NL must be solely punished for this massive misdeed.

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    7. The idea to build the MF dam came from where? 1) Daniel "L'il Trump" Williams and his merry band of Quebec bashers; 2) HydroQuebec itself, or 3) Martian overlords?

      The rationale for the dam as pointed out today by GT came from: 1) Daniel "L'il Trump" Williams and his merry band of Nalcor "world class" experts, 2) HydroQuebec, or 3) Tommy Toe in Bunyans Cove?

      The financing ideas came from 1) Daniel "L'il Trump" Williams and his merry band of Nalcor "world class" experts, 2) HydroQuebec, or 3) Peter McKay and the evil Williams-whisperer Stephen Harper?

      The topnotch "world class" dam building was carried out by 1) Ed Martin and Nalcor, 2) Luigi from Montreal, or 3) buddy from down the road?

      Not much more room to put any more complicit actors into this tragedy. Perhaps we can blame Professor Plum in the library with the wrench?

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    8. How convenient that you ignore the Joint Review Panel that failed to endorse the project and raised many misgivings about the business case - GT have proved them right. The feds had plenty of cause for doubt arising from the JRP and they subsequently ignored it. Politics won out over sense. That's wilful blindness and a firm hand in the decision. The feds are accomplices who have only a thin veil to hide behind.

      This was a political project both the feds and local PCs wagered for votes. The subsequent Liberal governments upped the bets considerably. Ottawa will pay a substantial share - it will be a political negotiation of the post-2019 election winners that resolves this. Let's hope candidates and parties at both levels will state their plans before the elections.

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    9. That average joe blow guy is lost, hopelessly lost... typical NLer, looking to blame anyone else but himself for his wretched plight...

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    10. Anon 9:07
      And how conveniently you ignore that the whole Muskrat madness scheme arose from the febrile imagination our own L’il Trump and his sycophants so that he could leave a legacy of sticking it to Québec. And how these same people cooked and stewed the scheme. In your willful blindness, you cannot accept that the whole scheme was conceived, hatched and nurtured in NL. To suggest that the East Block was involved in creating the monster goes beyond even Greg Malonesque conspiracy theories.
      As to the JRP, didn’t the “world-class” experts at Nalcor and their “world-class” experts at Manitoba Hydro dispute the JRP? So there were two narratives out there, including one from the sovereign province of NL.
      But let’s get to the FLG. It is what it is, a loan guarantee. The FG says to lenders that we guarantee that 1) the province of NL has the assets to cover the loan; it doesn’t say, we will cover cost overruns, and 2) if NL defaults on the loan then we will cover that, but only after all Nalcor (and NL) assets are sold off and they are the edge of bankruptcy. The only time the FG assumes any financial burden is when we are completely broke. Which will mean no UC, no offshore royalties, nadda, plus we will be in receivership. At no point does the FG state that they have any skin in this game except to become our overlords.

      Blaming others for your mistakes along with kicking the can down the road as the Ball zombie government is doing, are the actions of the immature. Our financial apocalypse post 2019 elections is only gonna be even more dire if we don’t start to come to grips with our own culpability. You better get down on your knees and pray that post-2019 the Liberals are still in power nationally, rather than the party of Ford-Kenney-Scheer, cause they won’t have any mercy for your “we was robbed” sob story.

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    11. Right on anon 13:36, well put.

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    12. "I get swindled and I have to pay for the swindlers losses????"

      As someone who was too young to vote during the 2000's elections, and most certainly didn't vote PC/Liberals during the 2010's, and is now currently a rate payer, that is exactly the position I find myself in. The Swindled, paying for the Swindler's mistakes/corruption/idiocy (take your pick), yet I still have to pay for it? Perhaps I should refuse, and my young family and I will live in the dark for the next 50 years.

      Listen, I don't care which people in positions of power from NLGov or the Feds are to blame for this mess, as long as I don't have to pay for it, and they are held accountable, because through all the fog surrounding this boondoggle, the only person I can say with certainty know who ISN'T responsible is ME.

      I don't want to see this as one more example of elitist a**holes making a**hole decisions that end up causing the average joe undue hardship and get off scot free. Come out from behind your a**hole anon veil and tell me that I, a citizen who had nothing to do with any of this mess, deserve to bear this burden for what should be the best years of my life while the people who ARE responsible are likely dead, and hopefully forgotten. I'm not the one who "made shit up", as you so eloquently state in your OP, yet you seem fine with throwing me into the fire with those who did - an easy a**hole statement to make when no-one knows (and perhaps cares) who you are.

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    13. Whew.. that's a lot of steam
      In my comment "I get swindled and I have to pay for the swindlers losses????", I was referring to the suggestion by some that Federal Government was complicit in the boondoggle because they used Nalcor's facts and figures (which the inquiry seem to be showing were pulled out of their ass).

      So you were too young to vote, I suggest that you ask your mom and dad and other relatives how they voted, where they stood. At one time the NL masses were so juiced up about Muskrat Falls that L'il Trump's approval ratings were in nosebleed territory (after Ray Guy).

      So I never voted for the party of L'il Trump either. Does that mean that I should get free electricity as well?

      Like it or not, if you live here you will have to pay, and pay big time for all the "old farts' " mistakes. It sucks. But if you wish to get angry, do that with the people who made the mess and the people who can't come to grips with the problem and kick down it the road for perhaps your kids.

      No Waldo

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    14. "In my comment "I get swindled and I have to pay for the swindlers losses????", I was referring to the suggestion by some that Federal Government was complicit in the boondoggle because they used Nalcor's facts and figures"

      That's what makes them complicit in the scheme man - when a project is sent to the Feds for review, I don't think it would be an unreasonable expectation for them to actually review the information to make sure its sound and in the best interests of the people they represent. Their failure to do so makes them just as responsible for this mess as Nalcor and NLGov.

      To refer to it as being "swindled", you imply that there is no way they could have known better - but that isn't the case. Any competent government would have done their own assessment, not just swallow what was given to them by the proponents of the project - which is negligent on their part.

      Nalcor incompetence does not forgive Federal negligence. When you dismiss the theory that there was some deliberate political wrong-doing on the Harper Gov's behalf, you appear to support the idea that NLGov/Nalcor tricked the Feds. I'm no fan of Harper, but he's not an idiot. It's one thing to dupe a politically illiterate electorate, but do you honestly believe that a man of Harpers caliber was "swindled" by the likes of Danny Williams and Ed Martin and the rest of the court jesters? Harper was every bit aware the well was poisoned yet he offered the FLG to encourage Nalcor to keep drawing the water. The scheme may have been conceived and hatched in NL, but the nurturing came in the form of a federal loan guarantee, because without it the chick would have starved to death before taking its first steps.

      Delete
    15. OMH here we go again
      to start with I wouldn't characterize the Muskrat project as a chick, more like a crocodile
      and this crocodile would have gone forth to bite us with or without the FLG.. Daniel "L'il Trump" Williams would have gone forward with the plan anyway.. the FLG only saved us a billion or so which is peanuts compared to $12.7 billion ("cost of doing business" L'il Trump).

      I realize that you are a millennial, or least you self-identified yourself as such, so I might need to give you history lessons.. L'il Trump tore down the Canadian flags cause he didn't get want he wanted.. he stiffed the FG with a $130 million NAFTA fine.. in one of the most astounding examples of cutting off one's nose to spite one's face, he started the ABC campaign with left NL with no cabinet representation.. so yes, as Emperor of NL (the lack of clothes would come later), he would have gone it alone

      but I'm suspicious of your millennial cred.. as you seem to be using the oldest arrow in the NL nativist quiver, that of not accepting responsibility for your actions and concocting a ludicrous conspiracy theory

      anyway the real problem is that MF has become a hot potato that no one wishes to catch.. who will pay
      Not me say the millennials, we are lily-white, we had nothing to do with this old man's boondoggle
      Not me say UG, Average Joe Blowhard and you, we had nothing to do with it, it's all FG-Emera-Quebec's fault, we was robbed
      Not me say the Ball Liberals, the taxpayers aren't paying and the ratepayers aren't paying, the PUB will find a magical cure
      Not me say the Crosbie PC's, that was another time, let the PUB find that magic cure

      But here's a newsflash!!!! The bankers and bond-holders don't give a SHIT and they will be repaid and repaid again. And if your think the other 36.5 million Canadians are gonna be happy to be on the hook for the gambled potential of 500,000, as you put it "politically illiterate" people, then I suggest you wait till October to buy some marijuana.

      The longer we toss that potato, hunt for conspirators, deny our debt; the bigger it gets. That drip drip drip you hear is your money flowing into a bond-holder's wallet.

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    16. Listen to those words of wisdom DT1989... the reality of this dire situation is that if you truly have the best interests of your young family at heart, you'll seriously consider relocating to another province in the next few years.

      Unfortunately this one will no longer provide any opportunities for its young people for the foreseeable future, thanks to the Williams/Dunderdale MRF fiasco, and the Ball/Osborne liberal gravy train that allowed the MRF disaster to unfold while simultaneously perpetuating the most hideously bloated public service in all of Canada by tax-gouging what's left of the middle class.

      This place won't be fit to live in a few years from now...

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  11. No way this is all incompetence and inexperience. Costs, risks and every assumption was adjusted to get the outcome they wanted. This is willful deceit. The change of wording in the final report from "included" to "considered" was another last minute adjustment - and I would like to know who ordered it.

    The entire upper management team needs to be fired and charges need to be laid.

    Any lawyers reading this blog care to comment on the changes of having the RCMP press charges based on what has been presented so far?

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    1. Most every lawyer in Nfld is part of the cronyism one way or another, a very few exceptions, so don't hold your breath, unless some one posts as anon. most all have their in the pie, many now at the Inquiry.

      Delete
    2. Newfoundland is a Banana Republic - it is time for commission of government and a massive purge. After that, we can transition to becoming a territory like Nunavut.

      Delete
    3. ANON 16:28. That has been my thought all along. There were/are far too many issues for this to be chalked up as incompetence or coincidence. One good thing is that many naysayers pointed out many these flaws long ago so those calling shots really can't plead any ignorance. That said, I bet we do hear a lot of 'I don't recall' and 'We didn't know at the time'. Also, I just wanted to add that Roger Grimes assessment was spot on this morning. Good on you Mr. Grimes.
      dm

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  12. The question then is:
    Was NALCOR instructed, ordered, coerced, or co-opted to fudge?
    or was NALCOR a bunch of nitwits who thought they had a handle on it and passed their mistaken fudges onto he whose name cannot be mentioned and his merry band?

    Either way, it stinks and will do so in perpetuity.

    Everything else is blather, rationalization and, whining.

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    Replies
    1. To get a high level job at crown corporations or within government departments, you need to be a crony and since cronies are all part of the same club there is no need to order anything. Someone made their wishes known, and willing sycophants went ahead and made it happen. Later, cronies get rewarded -- like Ed Martin and his golden parachute that was activated by the board which then promptly resigned.

      "On Tuesday, the Premier said Nalcor’s former Board of Directors fired former CEO Ed Martin “without cause” allowing Martin to collect the pay." ($1.4 Million dollars)

      https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/newfoundland-labrador/ed-martin-severance-1.3597700

      https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/newfoundland-labrador/nalcor-board-resigns-1.3545761

      Welcome to the Banana Republic of Newfoundland Labrador

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  13. Apparently all those MF critics who are labelled NAYSAYER in public media and other places should be apologized to and instead called TRUTHSAYER.

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  14. The Grant Thornton report is worth reading and sickening. They have to be careful with language since they are not to lay blame, but it is blatantly obvious that the justification for and cost of Muskrat Falls based in lies and even final reports were modified last minute to make things look better. So many inputs were bogus: population growth up forever, people don't turn down the thermostat no matter what the cost, proposing dates that had a 1% chance of happening, purposely removing the cost of risk that is 100% certain, pretending that demand reduction wouldn't work, etc. There are literally of dozens of absurdities that individually might be due to incompetence, but collectively, reek of organized crime. Many people were complicit in this. Lies and deceit were everywhere.

    Here is a great quote: "Validation Estimating noted that “something is very wrong, it’s driven by the management – what they want. If they had $300 million contingency that should have been a billion."

    On top of that, Ed Martin was gifted $1.2 million when he should have been fired with cause. Several politicians had conflicts of interest.

    A criminal investigation is warranted.

    https://www.muskratfallsinquiry.ca/files/P-00014.pdf << report is here

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  15. Public uproar is the only way to initiate a criminal investigation. The Grant Thornton report practically begs for action while trying to remain neutral. Public uproar can only come when brave media comes on board.
    Wouldn't it be nice for W5 and/or The 5th Estate got a copy of the report!
    MF reeks to the high heavens and everyone knows the players involved. This "you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours" mentality has to stop and the only way it will stop is if a criminal investigation commences. The RCMP shouldn't be waiting for public uproar. The GT report practically demands it.

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  16. MORE ON POOR KATE
    Friday afternoon I awaited for her to "collect her thoughts" and return, but soon my screen said the Inquiry was over for the day. Well it was Friday after all, and a rough day for Kate and others, but not for Teflon Edmond Martin. He showed no distress, confident that GT said much in his favour, and indeed they did. Probably 3 to 1 did David of GT say Nalco was "not inconsistent with acceptable practises". If that continues, on the balance of probabilities, (more than 50 %) of the time they did just fine, so no big deal with the 1/3 they got wrong.
    Consider that the effect of "elasticity was avoided" as to analysis, This was mentioned, but glossed over by Kate. Why? Even GT said little,
    Winston

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    1. GT, who did the audit,has a report on elasticity, Exhibit 00108, 21 pages.
      Page 3 shows a typical chart showing elastic vs inelastic. Page 5 show one more typical as to its effect for electricity usage: price per kwh vs consumption.
      If there is a small price change then it is inelastic, but if a large price increase in rates, then the consumption can drop significant. The factors used in Nfld has typical been o.2, due to small increases in the past.
      Page 16 and 18 gives more data from international studies:
      1.Common ranges for electrical systems can be from o.1 to 0.6
      2.Where air conditioning is much used,it can be 0.6, and for electric space heat(baseboard heaters) this jumps to as high as 1.0
      3 Where gas is used as a substitute for electricity, the number is 0.83, but some studies show as high as 1.2
      4. For where household income is high, there is a tendency to substitute to more price inelastic use. In the long run, o.6 to 1.0 is the factor as customers use more efficient appliances. (Heat pumps for space heating would be significant as to elasticity changes, and power use reduction).
      5. elasticity factor even 0.3 is high enough to defer enough demand to save a substantial amount in avoiding costs (page18)

      While not mentioned here, I believe HQ has done studies to show greater than 1.0 effect, where gas is available as an alternate to baseboard heat.
      These are numbers that may suggest even worse decline of power use to switch from baseboard heat ,than Fehan suggests. So for space heat, as high as 1.0, if for wood or gas as substitutes, or 0.6 if for heatpumps, as they use electricity.
      Feehan uses as assumption of 0.4 which may imply overall residential , not just space heat.

      Such considerations for the residential sector would fall under Nfld Power, a Fortis company.
      So why was this not considered a factor for forecasting, to drive down power demand in MFs analysis? And why not Nfld Power a party to the Inquiry, to take or answer questions on that, or maybe they are?

      Winston Adams

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    2. Parties are posted, some are defined as limited, Nfld Power is defined as SPECIAL, but not explained further.
      WA

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  17. So what has changed with the GT report, nothing really, just confirmation of what a lot of people already knew and others suspected. "They cooked the books." They deflated the true cost of the inter grated Island option, and inflated the true cost of the isolated island option, as their objective was to show that the integrated island option was the "least cost option". We all know that was their basis for sanction. Then there is the question to be answered "did we need the power". And we also know that the answer is no, we did not need the 800 mgw of power. The little bit of power we needed was easily available from smal hydro and wind on the island. And every study that was ever done showed it was uneconomical to develop lower Churchill for use on the island. As I have said many times before where else in the world does such a big island with such a small population and very little heavy industry get as much wind and rain as we do? The answer is nowhere. It's as simple as if we were short of water on the Avalon, why go all the way to Labrador, 1100 km, to get it when we have lots of water and wind in all parts of the island. And not to mention we had power in central and the third line to bring from B'despoir. that we were not even using. Plus if we follow Winstons plans, which he has explained a thousand times, heat pumps and a little conservation, we could even shut down holyrood in a few years. So if the scoundrels, did not have alterial motives, we would not have been in this boondoggle mess. Now, I know the scroundrels will have their day on the stand, and will twist and spin and lie in every direction they can, but it will not change the facts, that we did not need the power, and muskrat was not the least cost option, says Joe blow, average Joe, AJ.

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    1. You cover most all Joe,that we needed a little bit of power, as we were already 85% green from our island hydro. During winter cold snaps, those god damn baseboard heaters, which are actually banned in some progressive countries, first used here by Coaker in his cottage in 1917, here they make us only 70% green, but for only about 10 days during cold snaps. Then we are burning oil, sending up more smoke than the Kyle, maybe 3 days of the winter, hitting 18,000 barrels a day of dirty fossil fuel, spewing toxins and GHS (which is OK says Heracles, who seems he denies this an environmental problem). So Jerome Kennedy, who is on the witness list, and will get to squirm, made much of this 18,000 bbls a day, as if we were doing this every day. Vision 2041 blog debunked that myth.
      So, for a minor engineering problem, to go from 85% green to 98%, they spend 12.7 billion, and risk to bankrupt the province. Is treason any worse a crime?
      So this combination, as you say, of more island small hydro, and a reasonable amount of wind (we having one the best wind average speeds in the world),and then conservation and energy efficiency. You missed only one thing Joe, we include also DSM (Demand Side Management) which most jurisdictions do, and enforce power companies to do it, by DIRECTIVES form the government minister. They say in writing " Reduce your peak demand in winter by so and so Megawatts, or you are fined big time". And the power companies snap to attention, and say "Yes sir, that will be achieved this year, and we will do more next year, as we know you want that.
      DSM is achieved by customer EE (energy efficiency, which there are many measures, hps , insulation, better windows, air sealing, better housing standards etc), and even time shifting if needed, incentives for better rates at off peak times.
      And so Holyrood use is trottled down , and then not needed except for emergency standby, or a little gas turbine for this purpose.Nothing magic there.
      Now Joe, many good local engineers would know this, but are silenced, and MUN engineers and profs bribed with consulting work to look away from common sense approach. And Wade Locke the kingpin for mega project, and he moonlighting, consulting on the side, is he not? Did Ed Hollett say $700,000 he hauled in, maybe someone knows the number?
      You call them scroundrels, I call them scallywags too. Like the
      4 legged masked bandits that Nlfd Power ads shows stealing our energy, but here they are 2 legged one, and not speaking French, stealing our future, destroying our whole economy, and making Heracles jump for joy. Heracles like a jumping frog, yelling "You need to be hurt, big time, and HQ can take all of CFs now to save your ass from default"
      So how to control our rage, Joe, against our enemy within, is worse than a few outside bad neigbours. There must be exposure of the rot here, and justice. But can Leblanc, led by Kate deliver this? We need the style and stern attitude of the Inquiry against the mafia type in the construction industry in Quebec, this woman judge who kicked ass. We can learn much from Quebec in better governance.
      It can make your blood boil like John Efford says. It can drive you to drink, or worse,smoke the wacky backy. But not abondon the Rock, as Etienne suggests. So much rests with David, Ron, and Des, and their legal beagle.
      WA

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    2. Winston: I have never suggested that Newfoundlanders should abandon the island of Newfoundland ("The Rock"), as you write: I have claimed that the impact of increased taxes or increased power costs (or some mix of the two), as a result of Muskrat Falls, will accelerate the demographic decline of NL, leading to a potential feedback loop whereby the accelerated greying of the population of NL will lead to its economic problems becoming more intractable, thus causing the emigration of the young and the educated to accelerate, ultimately leading to the depopulation of NL. An outcome which I would find *sad and highly undesirable*, rest assured (Is that clear enough?), and I hope the inhabitants of NL will find a way to prevent this from happening.

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  18. THE WITNESSES:
    WE see that GT and Stan had to travel to Goose Bay to be heard for a few days at the scene of the crime, and to get the tour.
    But then the Inquiry returns to Beothic territory headquarters, the Beothic Building in St John's for Oct 1. AS Danny could not find time to travel to Goose Bay, and risk being scalped there, the mountain came to Mohammed, that he might explain his vision and our heritage investment of MFs, on Oct 1st and 2nd. Now if that was Joey, it would be duck soup, as he would just repeat his vision over and over and over, and not get mad. But Danny is already threatening lawsuits here and there, having gone after Bruno long ago, and now aiming for Ron Penny. Will he be so bold as threaten Leblanc if he does not bow to Danny?
    But then on the 3rd and 4th, First Nation leaders must travel to the Beothic headquarters. Prote Poker I once met,in the 1980s, he an Innu and suffered the living of Davis Inlet, during the height of the gas sniffing. I think from him I learned that my father was given an Indian name: Kanimist, (meaning The Dancer, though we was a Master Mariner), in the late 1930s. And Todd Russell appears too that same day, so that may be tense for Leblanc, to avoid land claims issues.
    On Oct 5 we have Stephen Bruneau,the lone brave MUN engineer, who advocated for gas to fed Holyrood as much cheaper than MFs, so out of step with Locke's vision.
    On Oct 9 we have 2 doctors appear, from MUN. Locke and Feehan, both economists. Locke had the foolish plan, Feehan the wiser plan. But the foolish plan prevailed, and we must learn why. Locke ignore elasticity. Feehan saw the light on that in 2018. Vardy preached it constantly, and was ridiculed by Stan in public an being of a no importance. How could Stan be so smart while being so stun? Locke too might risk scalping if he appeared in Labrador. As readers know, I and Ex Military from Quebec are doing our best to discourage that practise.
    After that our heroes appear, Ron Penny and Dave Vardy, assuming Danny allows Ron to speak. Ron and Dave is with the Concerned Citizens, all 200 of us including AJ blow, but but soon will represent most all AJs, many thousands.
    On Oct 15 and 16 we get to see a whole array of the Nalcor scroundrels, except John Mallam somehow lumped in( a very competent mechanical engineer, who I had known)
    Oct 25 : Andy Wells and Fred Martin ( Martin a very competent electrical engineer, who I had known and worked with in the 1970s). Andy will not disappoint and be boring, we know.
    Oct 18 and 18, more of GT the auditor
    Jerome Kennedy for 1 day on Nov 19. He might shout back at Kate, or even Leblanc, being a bit of a crackie.
    And the best for last: Gilbert Bennett for 4 days , no less, after Kennedy. Guess he has a lot of explaining to do, over 4 days. First they must find him, long under the cone of silence since Stan took charge. I speculate that Gil knows where all the bodies are buried. So will he flip, like Cohen, Trumps fixer? But I expect too much. There, in the US of A, they have Mueller, here only Kate and Leblanc, and no crimes to be uncovered here, hey b'ys. But should be riveting, as to where did 12.7 billion go?
    WA

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    1. As a member of the concerned citizens, I would suggest the following;
      Listen and learn, by all means, the General Inquiry, as well as the political rhetoric.
      Hold the view that given the way politics plays out nowadays, (Elsewhere as well as NL), we must realize that politics does little in the facilitating or practice of Democracy.
      Which leaves us with the available tools of dissent, critical debate, and legal action.
      We seem to be doing OK with the first two, but need now to consider the third option.
      The feeling now, following the Grant Thornton findings, is that there are grounds for class action against perpetrators of fraud. I leave this for the MFCCC and its legal advisors to consider at this time. There is no will for the elected representatives to act, and it is apparent that RCMP crime division cannot be relied upon to "run the gauntlet" on its own.

      Delete
    2. WA, You are not just a little suspicious of the fact that John Mallam was recently appointed to the bored of directors of Nalcor by the independent liberal appointments commission?

      Delete
    3. Anon @ 16:16
      No, I didn't know that.That past directors lacked technical knowledge, it could be beneficial, so, can't say much on that, but always a concern of politics at play.

      For me, gob smacked by the Inquiry testimony,I am now half through the actual GT 80 page report. My feelings: Christ may forgive this croud of supposedly world class experts, but many and likely most of our citizens never will. The trail of imprudent decisions are so numerous it can only be due to stupidity, indifference,or corruption.
      WA

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    4. One could call it the inquiry board but not the sanction board.

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  19. Many thanks to Mr. Todd Lee of Deer Lake for exposing yet another steaming pie of the Ball/Osborne-liberal bullshit and it's reckless determination to maintain the most hideously bloated public service in all of Canada by focusing increased taxation on the middle class...

    http://www.thetelegram.com/opinion/letter-to-the-editor/letter-crunching-the-nl-deficit-numbers-243814/

    Note also that as of Sept 6 2018, these bloody connivers have discontinued posting financial statements on the government website, the polar opposite of the truth-challenged Ball's commitment to running "an open, transparent" government, and doubt to enable the continued bullshit story they're purveying to cover up their ongoing mismanagement of NL's horrendous deficit.

    RESIGN!

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  20. For those that say bring in the RCMP: GT contracts says that if they uncover criminal activity they report it to the Commissioner of the Inquiry, but secretly, and then up to Leblanc what is done with that information.I would speculate sealed for 75 years or maybe not, maybe other know better. What happened to the David Day report as to Mount Cashel?
    WA

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    1. I hope that the contract files have been made secure. Protect the data. Who is in control? Does the Commissioner have the authority and has this already been done?

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    2. I speculate destruction of files and emails already done, but maybe Leblanc has this? Doubtful

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