Monday, 4 February 2019

THE TAIL WAGGING THE DOG


Guest Post by Ron Penney
The Tail Wagging The Dog: 
Reflections on Phase 1 of the Muskrat Falls Inquiry

The Muskrat Falls Inquiry has competed Phase 1 of the hearings, which focused on the events leading up to the sanction of the project on December 17th, 2012.

We hadn’t fully understood before the depths of hatred and contempt towards us arising out of our early warnings about the dangers of the path that we were on.

A senior federal public servant told us in 2011 that the tolerance for dissent in Newfoundland and Labrador was very low and that proved to be the case. So much for the notion that “dissent is the highest form of patriotism”. We were treated as unpatriotic because we opposed what has been turned out to be the worst public policy decision ever made in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Ron Penney
Perhaps those who comment on this piece would vote on the best insult sent our way: “Bottom Feeders” (former Premier Danny Williams), “petty and narrow detractors” (former Clerk of the Executive Council, Robert Thompson), or purveyors of “bullshit” (former CEO of Nalcor, Ed Martin).

In the case of Mr. Martin I will leave it to others to decide who is the real bullshitter, but to assist readers I quote from the Commissioner’s comments about Mr. Martin arising from our counsel’s Geoff Budden’s, vigorous examination of him on December 12th. I happened to be in the hearing room at the time, and was startled by a loud bang from the front of the hearing room, which I take was the Commissioner banging his fist on his desk in utter frustration with Mr. Martin’s antics.

“Now. I’ve had it. I’ve had this foolishness - I’ve had it Mr. Martin. You’re not being the witness here. You’re trying to run the show. It’s gonna stop right now. And if it doesn’t stop, unfortunately I won’t be able to hear the rest of your story.

Now, I’ve had it. I’ve listened. I’ve been very patient. I’ve tried very hard to take notes on everything you’ve said because I wanted to know it. But I don’t like the attitude that you’re displaying here, to be quite frank. You are not responsive to the questions; you’re actually being rude, as far as I am concerned, as far as I am concerned, and I don’t want it anymore. I wouldn’t put up with it in court, and I’m not gonna put up with it here.”

Turning to the hearings.

We have learned a lot of detail about how sanction came about, much of which confirms what I and my fellow naysayers thought about what led up to this disastrous decision.

The key takeaway for me is that the key actor in sanctioning Muskrat Falls wasn’t Danny Williams after all, it was Ed Martin. He was the tail wagging the dog.

While Mr. Williams announced the project on November 18, 2010, he resigned soon after. Before he resigned he had ensured that those in charge of the project and the Board of Nalcor were allies of his and strong supporters of the project, so he isn’t totally off the hook.

The light came on for me when I watched Mr. Martin give evidence. He exuded the same self confidence and certainly about the value of the project that he had throughout the sanctioning phase of the project, and during the construction phase up to the point since he was either fired or resigned on May 20, 2017. He continues to confidently praise the project and predict billions of dollars in benefits, no matter what the cost. This is utter nonsense, as Dave Vardy and I have pointed out in a recent letter to the Editor

Early on I described Mr. Martin as the most dangerous person in Newfoundland and Labrador precisely because of the personal characteristics described above.

It was clearly his vision which carried the day and a weak and gullible public service and even weaker and gullible political class were never a match for his self confidence and his communication skills. They all drank the Kool Aid proffered by Mr. Martin.

In fact it was worse than that. We have learned that the public service not only didn’t ask hard questions about the project, some of them became cheerleaders.

We also learned that efforts were made by Nalcor, mostly successful, to edit and downplay the risks that ought to have been identified, to keep the public service and politicians ignorant of those risks, and to circumscribe the MHI terms of reference so as to limit the effectiveness and usefulness of their independent report to government, which in turn led to sanction based on a less than fulsome independent review.

Even the preferred method of communication with the government was designed to manipulate the officials and politicians. Rather than use the normal process of a memorandum setting out the issues and and policy alternatives, which I was used to when I was a Deputy Minister, Nalcor used PowerPoint, which should only be used as a presentation tool not as a way of making decisions.

So far, Inquiry Counsel, with assistance from our legal counsel and legal counsel representing the Consumer Advocate, have succeeded in showing us how this disastrous decision came about and the role played by Mr. Martin, other Nalcor officials, the public service, and the politicians of the day.

The next stage will show us why they did such a poor job in managing the construction of the project.

Ron Penney
Chair, Muskrat Falls Concerned Citizens Coalition

101 comments:

  1. 2016 he resigned. Not 2017.

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  2. Excellent summary Mr. Penney. Well said.

    I would note that in some of my earliest comments on my vision2041.com website, in 2012 I described Ed Martin as the proxy premier.

    What took you so long? :) !!

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  3. OMG, you must be all tired of hearing me repeat the same words, but Mr. Penny echoes them too. I used the words that Danny's and KD govt. created a monster, and gave it total control and then was unable to take back control, yep our very own company and monster. Nalcor, Frankeistein, and Dracular, all in one. That's where our government failed us. Nalcor told them they were world class, and they believed it and became cheerleaders and enablers of muskrat. Yes, it is all so clear. Yes, in 1934 we were ruled by a commission of govt. that we invited in, to rule us. This time we got ruled by a creation of govt. and we didn't invite them or ask them. And most didn't even know we were being ruled by our own company, as it was all done behind closed doors and in secretecy. We voted for a govt. but the unelected ruled. Yes, not with just with KD's govt. but also with the Marshall, and Davis govts. Is it the same under the ball et al govt?? If so, I must admit they are doing it more secretly, as we never hear them saying anything in the media. Quiet as mice says Joe blow.

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  4. Ron your conclusion that it was Martin and a weak and gullible public service and even weaker and gullible political class that drove the MF debacle is not supported by the facts.

    Rather than coming to your conclusion Ed did it, at the faux inquiry if you had watched a parade of cowed civil servants looking over their shoulder at the Justice lawyer at the JRP who did nothing more than hold the States jackboots to the throats of the civil servants. He entered not a word into testimony, his sole purpose was to intimidate. He performed his function, on orders from the executive council, not Ed Martin!

    Only the executive council that had the power to enforce order on the uncivil service, neuter both the PUB and the JRP, give Ed the keys to the treasury, well insulated from public scrutiny and negotiate in complete secrecy with now convicted fraudsters.

    Your late arrival to the conclusion Ed did it, at the LeBlanc circus is quite naive for a former deputy minister.

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    1. All very true and apparent Bruno, but was the Justice Lawyer and the executive council taking their orders from EM, or on his behalf. ??? As the inquiry told us there was a hit squad. Joe blow.

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    2. Ed did not have the power to tell the uncivil service and the executive council what to do. He was and continues to be the spinmeister doing his masters bidding. Eds job is to say black is white, don't worry be happy. He still convinces Ron Penny or more likely Ron can't admit the truth that has been staring him in the face all along!

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    3. I don't disagree Bruno that the Premier(s) put the political pressure on and kept it on to get Muskrat done, but I have long believed that Ed was given the effective authority to do whatever it takes to get the job done. In that sense, I (early on) referred to him as the "proxy premier".

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    4. Proxy premier perhaps, but only the emperor could empower (and protect) Ed who was royally rewarded for his service. Once the deed was done the others were afraid to challenge the narrative. In that sense Ed was the proxy premier until his elevation to his Jamaican retreat with his millions in severance.

      Nice work if you can get it Mon!

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  5. Bruno. I was told by a government official at the Inquiry that the Justice person at the JRP hearings was one Rolf Prichard. Look him up. He is now acting deputy minister under Andrew Parsons. It obviously pays to do their bidding.

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  6. It also shows that there is little if any sunlight between the 2 parties.

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    1. That is sad but true Maurice. Voters have nowhere to turn. The two major parties are the same and the NDP can't be trusted to run a daycare or a gunfight will break out.

      The first step is to expose the rot. My claim that the key to the festering mess is the contracts with SNC Lavalin that remain secret even today. The "agent" who negotiated the contracts between SNC and NL is the key to the entire mess.

      The lack of interest even today in these seminal multi billion contracts, as sole source contracts continue to be let in secrecy, is puzzling to me. The pricetag for a puny amount of power makes MF the most expensive hydro on the planet.

      Who will investigate and determine the emperor was naked when he squandered the contents of the treasury that your grandkids will be paying for in sixty years thanks to the "novel" funding arrangements for MF.

      I hope it will not be by our grandkids after we are all gone who will finally find the courage to ask what went on.

      And as always I pray that there is enough warning when the spur fails.

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  7. While Mr. Martin was the ringleader, he was aided and abetted by many inept - senior public servants, politicians, senior Nalcor officers and managers, and Nalcor board members. There were many, many people who could have done the right thing for the people of the province, but none acted with integrity and leadership demonstrated by Mr. Vardy, yourself and others to serve the public good. The system is broken and it remains broken.

    If it was only so simple as replacing Mr. Martin. Indeed, that has happened, but Muskrat Falls continues to this day to be generally poorly managed with many of the same inept people involved at all levels. This mess is still unfolding and it will not change until there is a complete reckoning and the people of NL take back their government and its institutions. The biggest question remains can NL govern itself.

    Muskrat Falls clearly demonstrates that we have much to correct and change if we are to progress. This mess is deep and at the heart of so much that is wrong with NL.

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    1. Agreed, the governance system, under which the sanctioning of Muskrat was corruptly set up and run, remains in force today. The soon to be released Grant Thornton (Forensic Audit?), will give more insight into how corrupt and inept the contract admin function has been, to today, hopefully. We continue to be obfuscated and lied to by the current administration, with respect to cost forecasting and cost management. Elections have gotten in the way, and "can't comment on matters before the courts" statements. Oh well, we must remain patient while truth trickles down like Tory mantra dictates. Keep the spirit of Shadow Inquiry alive, while we old timers, (trouble makers and shit disturbers) ,slowly but inevitably die away.

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    2. From 2008, the CBC reporting: the judge hearing NL's breast cancer inquiry demanded Monday to know who ordered a govn lawyer to ask for clarification on the role of inquiry lawyers. ..... govn lawyer Jackie Brazil appeared before Justice Cameron with a request on whether inquiry counsel Bern Coffey and Sandra Chaytor have an automatic right to cross examine every witness.
      The request came after Premier Danny Willaims used the term "witch hunt" to describe the tone of the inquiry, which he said was using " inquisitorial methods" and which appeared " to be more of a prosecution than an inquiry"
      Justice Minister Jerome Kennedy called a St John's open line radio program to complain about the inquiry's cost and what he called a slow speed.
      Brazil said that Cameron should not assume that she took her instructions form Robert Thompson. Cameron then asked if her instruction came from the attorney general, for example. "I just want to know the entity I'm dealing with . I thought it was a simple question" Cameron said.
      Brazil only said she represented the government. Her refusal seemed to agitate Cameron.
      Rolf Pritchard , who represented the prov govn at the inquiry , intervened to say Brazil represents "the same source" as from whom Thompson gets his instructions.
      When this was raised in the HOA, by the opposition, Williams said Brazil appeared not only on behalf of himself and the other cabinet members who form govn, but also on behalf of patients. "Our big concern is that if this goes on,we are going to have trouble , as a government, putting Humpty Dumpty together again" William said.
      Kennedy had said the inquiry could destroy the province's health care system if it runs too long. It had already cost 750,000.00 said Kennedy (other past inquiries had cost 7 and 14 million)
      VOCM Bill Rowe said Eastern health had delayed by 2 months because Eastern health had tried and failed to block public release of external reviews of the pathology lab that found significant troubles with how they operated. Rowe, a lawyer challenged Kennedy why a sitting justice minister would critsise an ongoing inquiry. Kennedy said the inquiry was taking too long, and should abide by its terms of reference. Williams meanwhile committed to improve pay and working conditions for specialtists: pathologists, oncologists, and other health professionals.
      Rowe said Williams tactic with the doctors may have backfired, to undermine the credibility of his own inquiry.
      The spectre of a witness being on the stand for an inquiry, is unheard of said Kennedy, but at a past inquiry, least 10 witnesses were on the stand for 4 days, four of them for 6 days.
      PF

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    3. Anon 11:55..I think it's important to remember at that time Mr. Williams enjoyed an 80% public approval rating. There were very few voices of discontent. So much so that even Ray Guy, in one of his last columns, couldn't take it anymore as the ghost of Smallwood's demagoguery had indeed infected NL yet again. Heck even you are anonymous in this post.

      I suspect that many, if not most, who contribute to this blog were in the fan camp at that time. Who was going to stick their neck out lest you face the wrath of Williams and his minions? Remember Craig Wescott, Randy Simms, Sam Sinyard, PM Harper, Ed Hollet, etc.

      (https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/danny-williams-king-of-newfoundland-reigns-supreme/article4310914/)

      Just my thoughts...Keith

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    5. Just read the report from the Globe and Mail.Danny's big ego really turned out well for us!

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    6. Indeed Keith, the Globe and Mail piece reflects the popularity of Danny with the public. Ray Guy must have felt the sadness of seeing this happen.
      Just now NTV poll result shows support for MFs has dropped from 71% in 2011 to 26 % now and 48 % against. Still 55 % says the Inqury has had no effect on their opinion, and many are still neutral. How could so many say the Inquiry has not effected their opinion, unless they have not even bothered to follow the happenings there? Bring on double the power rates and then do a poll.
      WA

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    7. Agree,Winston.I believe the big majority still doesn't realize what is in store until the power bills double, and then the complaining will begin .Watch in a few years we will be blaming Nova Scotians for our problems.

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  8. I can't believe that Mr. Penny would be so naïve as to think that Ed Martin was the sole architect of this fiasco. Mr. Williams stood arm in arm with Mr. Martin all the way through this and in fact Mr. Martin was only brought on to bring Danny legacy to fruition.
    Even when he left office Mr. William still held sway with the Troy cabinet and caucus. Doesn't he remember the pictures of tory cabinet ministers and caucus member watching the icecap's games from Danny's private box and who was behind the attempted appointment of Frank Coleman to the premier's office with not one member of the tory caucus coming forward to challenge him? There were probably people in the tory government of Kathy Dunderdale who had second thoughts about Muskrat Falls but none had the courage to come out against Danny's legacy and tell the little emperor that he had no clothes.

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    1. A good place to start is with whatever is still hidden. If the sole source contracts are still secret, there is a good chance that someone is worried that they might be their downfall.

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  10. The Canadian Press March 31 2008: the minister of health Ottenheimer testified that he informed Williams office upon learning of the problem , but Williams sat on it for months until the story broke in the media. The cover up had been going on for years at Eastern Health. About 400 given the wrong test results and 108 died.
    Many if the same actors today as to MFs

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  11. Governments everywhere are run by sociopaths. They don't care if people die in the healthcare system from bad lab work, or if a $15,000,000,000 megaproject bankrupts a tiny population of half a million, or if someone gets executed over a tweet with a shot to the head or if the North Spur ends up being Canada's worst engineering disaster. It is just noise to them. The only thing that matters is what these sociopaths want at the time, and financial gain seems to be the number one motive.

    There is a infamous quote from Madeleine Albright demonstrates how little sociopaths care for the general population -- and their lack of empathy and willingness to do evil reminds me of our local sociopaths:

    Lesley Stahl on U.S. sanctions against Iraq: We have heard that a half million children have died. I mean, that's more children than died in Hiroshima. And, you know, is the price worth it? Secretary of State Madeleine Albright: I think this is a very hard choice, but the price–we think the price is worth it.

    To Danny et al, the price is worth it. They win, we lose.

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  12. Good to see Ex Military joined the conversation (a recent posting on the last piece) as to electrification in Quebec on electric vehicles. He say infrastructure there is growing fast and soon be a a critical mass for much EV uptake.
    This a main measure proposed by Synapse, and even Nfld Power Peter Alteen seems on board ( why wouldn't they want to sell more electricity, its the HPs they don't like).
    If incentives here for EVs are small or not at all, how low would EV power rates have to be for AJs to consider switching? Would 5 cent rates for charging be incentive enough? This would match wholesale rates to NS.
    Winston

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  13. I may be wrong, but one of the earliest to warn on MFs was Ed Hollett. MA was an early bird too. PENG2 says he was against the ANglo Saxon route in the 1990s, via documents with his signature on it. Bruno asks what documents?
    PENG2 who wants to not go public, has not commented further. I wonder what other people has early on was opposed, especially Nfld Hydro people?
    Winston Adams

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    1. WA @ 12:26:

      https://www.thetelegram.com/business/muskrat-falls-too-small-by-itself-grimes-132762/

      Grimes was early too - mostly political in down talking the PCs though.

      And I really disliked Grimes, but he was right on this. Working with Quebec would have been much better.

      PENG2

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    2. Yes but Roger didn't have the pizzaz that we NLers so much love,and he wasn't anti Quebec,which also suits our psyche.

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    3. TM @ 18:53:

      We had all the indicators of what would happen. I could never understand why our electorate was so shorted sighted - a perfect example is the '...until the cows come home...' and the aftermath.

      PENG2

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    4. Thanks for that piece, PENG2, as he has been proven so correct. He seems to have had much better business sense that Williams, so to the public purse. He was a teacher, yes? Makes one scratch one's head "what the frig was Danny thinking, a successful business man yet to be so stupid in this"? Even hating Quebec, if he does, should not provoke one to be this stupid to sink our province, and injure his own personal business interest, as to Galway not now going well. If the offshore oil kept flowing, it could have absorbed this, I guess, and made Galway a success. Seems the fracking success in the USA and then the Arabs driving down the oil price to 30 dollars to try and bankrupt fracking companies, put a clinker into his plan. THE BEST LAID PLANS OF MICE AND MEN. As AJ often says "OIL ON THE BRAIN". Even now Nalcor says oil will save us and pay for MFs.
      Winston
      WA

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    5. Danny is still saying that we can use oil revenues to mitigate electrical rates.He's not that smart. Remember that when expropiating the Abitibi generating assets he also unwittingly also got a paper mill with its $200 million cleanup costs.And yes I believe that his main objective in doing Muskrat Falls was to show Quebec we could go it alone,and in doing so he screwed us royally.

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    6. Winston...I was speaking with, from my perspective, a reliable source a number of years back who said that the executive of NL Power just assumed MF would die a natural death owing to it being not feasible (Yes I am being kind with these words). What bothers me to this day is why Mr. Marshall and senior executive of Fortis stayed silent.

      Keith

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  14. Another section of the Atlantic Grid, needing an overhaul;

    https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/nb-power-behind-on-debt-reduction-commitment-1.5005527

    What is it that Provincial governments don't get, regarding Business Planning for the Power Utility?

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  15. FYI

    https://www.thetelegram.com/opinion/letter-to-the-editor/letter-many-people-saw-the-obvious-about-muskrat-falls-early-on-281432/

    Most popular letter on The Tele website 500+ views

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    1. A very good letter, and out does Russell 2 pieces at about 300 views each. But the most popular story in the Telegram is a ghost story with over 4000 views. What does that say?
      Winston

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    2. It probably means that we will be haunted by the ghosts of muskrat.

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    3. MA @ 19:32:

      You missed 2 important academic people from MUN - Prof Gaskill; (then Head of Mathematics at MUN) and Prof Clouter (then former Head of Physics) as MF dissenters in 2010/2011.

      Considering their backgrounds and positions at the time, their opinion should have raised substantial government within government.

      PENG2

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    4. What I see as most troubling is the lack of engineer dissenters apart from Bruneau: not from MUN, Nfld Power/Fortis, Nfld Hydro, or others. This being primarily an engineering project, and we see from the inquiry manipulation of studies, reports and analysis.
      Winston

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    5. WA @ 12:15:

      I don't disagree, but maybe check the CVs of these guys - not pure academics. There was also, deYoung, and then the Eddy Campbell fiasco.

      MUN had done a lot of research in ice/soils, have great geotech/ice modelling facilities and personnel - has any of this been used?

      PENG2

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  16. A little off topic here, but still well within the scope of UG's motto "Opinions on NL politics that bite"... now here we have a very well-written and well-researched submission to the editorial pages of The Western Star written by a MR. BERN KENNY.

    In his submission, Mr. Kenny does an outstanding job of calling out the colossal hypocrisy of the Crown Prince of Warm, Steaming Pies of Bullshit himself... GERRY BYRNE, whose repugnant, vile missives carelessly tossed out in a truly revealing display of his wretched character, and that... thanks to rational, independent thinkers who can't be duped such as Mr. Kenny... will continue to haunt the Crown Prince of Bullshit throughout his cheesy career as a cynical, oily, charlatan in the fine tradition of the typical NL politician... primarily focused on securing his MHA's pension above all else, and armed with an endless supply of bullshit with which to grease his way to it... truly enough to make one want vomit.

    And Mr. Kenny, well done!!

    https://www.thewesternstar.com/opinion/letter-to-the-editor/letter-to-the-editor-a-response-to-gerry-byrne-281554/


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  17. If no one thinks EV power at 5 cent rates is a deal, what about 2 cents?Recall that Erco got almost free power for many years. 2 cents is better than spilling water. Real cheap power would be needed to get her movin.
    At 2 cents I should to the cost of energy to drive 100 miles.
    WA
    WA

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    1. At 2 cent power rates, a Nissan Leaf with a 40 kwh battery would cost 80 cents to charge up.
      At EPA of 151 miles on a charge, then from St Johns to Spaniards Bay, 100 miles costs 53 cents, and about $16.00 for a gas engine.
      To Clarenville, 125 miles costs 66 cents,vs $20.00 for a gas engine.
      For about 550 mile across the island, about $2.92. for electricity vs $88 for fuel.
      I assume gas at about 1.25/litre, 5.50 a gallon, and 35 mpg for the gas engine.
      I'm taking orders.Tesla pre sold about 1/2 million in 30 days on their model 3. At this electricity price for EVs, let our politicians speak up if we should electrify.
      Some one pleas check my figures as this suggests very low transportation costs.
      Winston
      f

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    2. Another selling point: as Ex Military says Quebec is moving fast on EVs. So as for tourists from like Ex,and others, who will soon want to drive their EV to see the best scenery in Eastern Canada, and dirt cheap charging costs once they hit the ROCK, we will need to get moving on the charging infrastructure:The Way Forward, Yes?
      Winston

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    3. Winston you seem enamored with the fictional character Ex Mil.

      You still need some remedial arithmetic I'm afraid. If you can believe Nalcor that it costs 11 cents kWh by the time it is produced. If it costs 11 (never mind the transmission costs) to produce and you sell it for 2 cents how much money will you make Winston?

      A bit of homework for you Winston. Is it cheaper to sell the energy or let it go over the dam?

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    4. Bruno, as for Ex, I don't see him as an enemy, and see him with much in common. As you too, much but not all I agree with. Ex is an engineer, and locally it is only me and one or two other who occasionally comment here. There are many good Quebec engineers, and too a few crooks.
      There is arithmetic and also economics. Arithmetic says MFs loses money, maybe forever, even IF it can be made safe and operate with reasonable reliability. That seems largely factual.
      Economics says can the losses can be reduced and minimized, even allowing for operation costs of about 110 million a year?
      Now we need about 700 million or so in revenue to pay for it for no loss say. If it can generate 650 million, would you spill the water or say not too bad, we are 50 million short to make up by other means, so we can pay the banks the loans?
      So, we cannot make near 650 million, but what about 325 million a year, half of what is needed. Do we go for that, and operate or spill the water? And if Mfs don't operate at all, and we can get considerable power from CFs over the line? If we pay 4 cents,and add for transmission, and still sell it for 2, for EV use, and also to shut Holyrood, and for several years to get EVs established, and then increase the rates gradually for EVs, does it not have merit?
      A small loss you can carry for a long long time, a big loss that is not improving, is not so rosy.
      We have made a hard bed and must lie on it. This can be a decade or decades to absorb, but it can have to merit. The bright side too is the GHG reduction on transportation added to Holyrood GHG reduction.
      I invest a little Bruno, win some , lose a little, but do very good with arithmetic. I felt it wise to pause and assess when Martin went. Now at 96 % complete, maybe finish and operate or not, we will see, whether even the line makes sense long term.
      EVs we need, if not this way then from island wind, CDM etc,
      Minisplits is a done deal, no stopping that. Now time for EVs, charging, infrastructure, low power cost for EV incentives. If you have a better path for EVs, state it.
      Winston

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    5. Winston you did not answer my question.

      My math tells me you lose 9 cents in this example for each and every kWh produced. The more you sell, the more you lose.

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    6. Winston, N Power will need to get paid for distribution, therefore adding 5 c/kwh to the energy cost. Also have to wonder how consumers might pay different rates by end-use when everything flows through one meter. More sophisticated metering costs more money and would be self-defeating as far as trying to drive the cheapest rate. A single meter system is likely to prevail as the most economic way to deliver electricity for some time yet.

      Also, let's consider that most people who buy EVs are the energy conscious types who will get minisplits first. Quick math says the energy consumed by the EV is pretty close to an equal offset to that saved by minisplits. Net difference in household energy use might be zero.

      Bottom line here is that total NL energy demand won't increase and is more likely to decrease due to a far greater rate of minisplit adoption than EV adoption. Not to marginalize EV benefits but a major energy sales bonanza and unlocking of revenue potential is improbable. If rates generally see a significant increase, elasticity will be certain to decrease energy sales despite the most optimistic view on EV adoption and special rates for EVs.

      Another important consideration is that EVs are an option for relatively high earners only. The poor will be driving old used cars for a long time and will be unable to benefit from Government policy that subsidizes EVs or electricity rates for EVs. Such policies would widen the inequality gap leading to other taxpayer burdens.

      EVs may be a happy inevitability we are all looking forward to, however, trying to accelerate their adoption risks imprudent and regressive fiscal policies.

      As for Muskrat, EVs just can't hardly make a dent. Dwight Ball has us talking about weatherstripping a window when what the front door is missing off the house. EVs are a sexy distraction for the lifestyle concious middle and upper classes as the shadowy mischievous political class try to permanently allocate $13B onto our backs.

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    7. Some of your concern are valid, but:
      The concern by Vardy,Feehan, PlanetNL is that elasticity with rising rates will destroy demand causing no need or use for MFs power. This is a very valid concern.So to even stabilise energy use and demand is a concern and problem.
      The idea is that reduction and savings from minisplits etc can be offset by uptake in EVs and concerting oil use households to minisplits also.
      Key also is time of day use especially for winter peak so that charging is not at peak power use. If peak power don't increase, meaning that substations, transformers and lines don't need to increase, more why does NP need 5 cents per kwh for this distribution? Maybe PENG2 would address that?
      Yes energy conscious types may be first to want this, next is cost savings for transportation, which means middle class and well off. The poorer class is last to benefit: but a 35,000.00 EV in 3 or 4 years is a good used car for half that price, allowing many more to buy for cheap operating benefits.
      Norway is big into EVs, Quebec is on the way (both with huge hydro renewable resources). No , a sales bonanza it is not, but a important tool to prevent a collapse of power sales, and lower GHG. Many countries would envy our renewable resources to solve their problems. Our transport GHG should take priority over NS coal GHG.
      Electricity rates should not see a big jump, as this would counter any mitigation plans such as EVs etc, and speed up minisplit uptake very rapidly. A balance of these things is required.
      Not just Ball, but NfldPower and Take charge long advocated for mere weatherstrips on windows, instead of serious measures to reduce customer costs.
      Paved roads was needed for cars and not for horse and carts, so that too, pavement initially benefited those who could afford cars. So too now, but eventually the gas engine will be banned, as many EU cities now dong for diesels.
      We have an energy warehouse and not using it wisely.
      I expect Synapse will make recommendations going forward on the economics and rates. The 13 billion is now on our backs, so how do we carry or lighten the load? Political views on this should be put out before the next election as to who has foresight or just "trust us " as Ball says. The carbon tax should go to see black gold as inferior to measures to greening our economy.
      Winston

      Delete
    8. Anony @ 09:10:

      Check your math - NL Power profit on kWhr basis is closer to 0.5c/kWhr, you missed a decimal point. In any event, considering that NL Power profit is based on expenses (not revenue as some think, verify via the PUB reports if you want), a decent estimate before demand changes necessitate changes in cost(that is NL Power can reduce/increase their servicing component) is about +/- 20% of peak consumption (giving an approximate range of 1400MWhr - 2100MWhr). For EV charge $/kWhr reductions, a twin meter setup wouldn't be hard to implement - simply as people add a EV (just like an apartment in your house), they call for an added meter or even a reprogram of the current digital meter as consumers buy EVs, I think the base meter charge now is about $15/month?

      Otherwise, WAs analysis of considering only the ~$110M/yr of operating costs is correct since all that needs to be considered in profitability of operating MF, the $12.7-15B for construction is spent and will be recovered from NL taxpayers even if 0MW are ever produced at MF, also we are committed to providing 150MW to NS from our Island supply.

      Safety, enviro, sanction decisions, FLGs etc are separate discussions to be had and have different economics.

      PENG2

      Delete
    9. Bruno, you talk arithmetic and not economics.
      we have 13 billion to pay off. If we sell none of it, we lose the most,with no revenue t pay that loan. If we sell sufficient with island rates of 23 cents we pay if off, but common sense says this destroys demand through elasticity (that little item that Nalcor ignored, and too Stan Marshall dismissed it to Vardy)
      So you say the more kwh we sell, at a loss, the more in total we lose. Arithmetic says that yes.
      I say the more we sell, thought at a loss, produces added revenue to help pay the 13 billion. Added revenue results if rates are such that it does not dramatically increase elasticity that cuts demand, but can increase revenue. So, a balancing act to get it about right. Economists and engineers together should analyse and produce the best estimate. There are many variables, and obvious we can not leave it to Stratton and his methods. It is not an exact science, and whims and choices by consumers is a factor. In the past , consumers were dismissed, as not a stakehoder, just the Consumer Advocate, in the pocket of business and power company interests. This led to MFs. Peter Alteen said we have to think differently how we use electricity.....only 6 years too late for that speech, but better late than never.
      So, you are both right and wrong, I suggest.Because you separate arithmetic from economics.
      Winston

      Delete
    10. Generally, as i see it:
      Worse case; is if sales of MFs power is so low it cannot pay it operating costs to maintain, of about 110M a year. Now export is estimated at mere 50M a year. Say 100M saving on Holyrood fuel. So marginal to keep going. Higher rates can reduce demand on the island, so further strain on MFs economics.
      Synapse suggest sales can increase by 100M a year plus export up to 160 M, but likely up to 140 M a year. These together is a revenue of say 240 M. A saving of 100M a year on Holyrood fuel is equal overall to 360 M a year..... perhaps a half or better than what is needed.
      Also the EV issue reduces 300 M a year on gas saving on consumers, which is beneficial for going this way, and also a large GHG reduction for transportation. Carbon taxes should help pay for this greening of the economy. And too, CDM is an economic benefit for adding jobs, even in rural areas. What's not to like?
      No bonanza , but can be significant mitigation, but much more needed. Or we lie down and die?
      A motto Bruno would like: a minisplit in every attic, a chicken in every pot, an EV (or two) in every driveway. Maybe a small, 1 kw solar array to help charge your car,and run your minisplit by 2030.
      Winston

      Delete
    11. Another EV big economic picture issue is declining gas tax. The marginal benefit of electricity revenue gain results in an offsetting tax revenue loss. This does not pay for Muskrat. Just saying we need to keep our eyes open to all the consequences, good or bad.

      Delete
    12. Peng2 - no reference was made to N Power profit. Just pointing out the retail price of EV energy in WA's proposition missed this big detail that N Power costs almost 5 cents on every kwh sold and it's very unlikely this cost could ever be excluded. You can put my decimal back please.... and WA's EV operating costs stand to be multiplied by 3-4X which is still good but not as tantalizing.

      Delete
    13. Wrong Winston. You forget the 800 million per year you will lose operating the damned thing.

      Delete
    14. Bruno, operating costs, O&M is about 110M per year, not 800.
      So fuel savings at Holyrood more or less offsets O&M. So my figures above would show mitigation of 240 M in revenue to offset what is needed to pay the banks (is that about 500M or more for bank payments?) Also with EVs a saving to consumers , if went as planned, about 300M a year on fuel.... So Synapse says, generally, being ramped up over 10 years.Also CDM saving on energy and peak deamnd allows EVs, conversions from oil to Hps, and some additional export, if all is managed properly. That is the concept, and seems sound. Hard to DW's Humpty Dumpty together , but that would assemble a few pieces, about 1/3 or more, so I think.
      To anon@ 13;56 that Nfld Power wants 5 cents for every kwh: I think at present maybe 4 cents for distribution costs? If there is no additional distribution expense to Nfld Power for EV use,and there appears not to be, why can't 2 cent power for EVs just be pass through, like Holyrood fuel cost, I think. Others might clarify. The EVs do not add to either energy sold now or peak demand, as to present situation, so no infrastructure changes.

      Winston

      Delete
    15. WA, I share your aspiration for the ecomonic efficiency of EVs. They will eventually make sense and prevail.
      However, I think I'm being more realistic about what policy is or should be considered when climbing Muskrat Mountain and knowing an avalanche of debt awaits us AND that amount grows annually as our fiscal capacity declines.

      Delete
    16. Agree, anon, but every journey starts with a first step.
      Like CDM and efficient heating, we are already 10 years behind NS, and only now considering this as worthwhile. Taking that step a decade ago could have avoided MFs, so we look at it now.
      While other jurisdictions make strides with EV plans and action, you say here they will eventually make sense. I suggest it makes sense now as an aid to countering mFs debt.
      What is your more realistic plan? Nice if the Feds said forget the guarantee, but is that realistic?
      Winston

      Delete
    17. As Nfld Power's Peter Alteen raised the issue of benefit for EVs, why wait for Synapse, or government policy, why lot set the example , immediately:
      1. A policy for all meter reader vehicles to be EV. I have seen them let their vehicles stay running constantly as they do their job, not bothering to turn it off. Some car makes will auto turn off like the Prius, but most do not.
      2. Fortis CEO and fat cats, can drive the expensive Tesla sports model or sedan, these about 100,000 to buy , but not a load on them.
      3 Incentives for Nfld Power employees to buy regular EVs,
      4 Small incentive for customers on rates, instead of 11.3 cents, say 9.2 cents, until Synapse and govn policy brings us the 2 cent rates. At 9.3 cents Nfld Power still makes a profit and sets an example they care, so good PR.
      All this increases power sales and revenue to help counter a, a little, present downturn and elasticity effect.

      Then too why has Nfld Power not been invited by govn/PUB to participate in mitigation? Synapse has contacted them,their report says for info, and they will be involved going forward,likely, but not the same. KD didn't invite Nfld Power for opinions on MFs, now likewise Ball didn't invite them for mitigation ideas. What of potential for Nfld Power to develop island small hydro and wind going forward, especially if MFs plant never operates? What is plan B to replace thermal?
      Why not invite Nfld Power for improving rural diesel systems with wind hybrid systems? Nalcor has proven their incompetence or lack of interest in aiding these communities for less costly and very expensive fuel costs.
      And why is Bruno so dismissive on greening our power system with EVs and transport GHG reductions, and he a Musk advocate for battery storage also. During a power failure a fully charged battery can backfeed the house for power, and there are stand alone residential battery storage, maybe 10kwh, but a car would have 4 or 5 times that storage.
      Winston Adams

      Delete
    18. Winston, I have never been against incentives for EV. They COULD take up the slack when the energy elastic shrinks when prices double.

      The trouble is there is and has been no rational energy planning in NL. They are and have been a political instrument. MF is a legacy for the emperor remember?

      Rather than weak excuses for the most expensive hydro ever it will take political action to get change. You need to demand a $10,000 rebate from NL for electric vehicles (not hybrids) and NL must build out the infrastructure.

      An engineer needs that kind of vision, not get bogged down with commiseration with the "Order of the Iron Ring" that lacks vision.

      Delete
  18. https://www.thefreepress.ca/news/electricity-use-spikes-by-13-during-cold-snap-bc-hydro/

    And still no Demand Management, (embargo), on baseboard heating in Lotus Land. At this rate, another Site C dam project will be required soon.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Robert G. Holmes: The spike in electricity use in Lotus Land, this winter, must be seen not only in the context of below-average temperatures but also in the context of the natural gas shortage caused by the pipeline explosion near Prince George last year (October 9: the pipeline is now repaired, in principle, but still not working at full capacity): since this pipeline explosion has also contributed to a local increase in natural gas prices (9%) starting January 1 this year, it would be unrealistic to treat this winter's increase in electricity use as typical or normal.

    Since I am here, here's a question to everyone, if I may: Does the recent Supreme Court decision (to the effect that oil companies cannot walk away from their environmental obligations relating to abandoned wells, even in the aftermath of bankruptcy) have any relevance/consequence as to what the NL taxpayer/ratepayer might potentially be on the hook for with regards to MF?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This has been a relatively mild Winter here in the West, Etienne. What is evident that new builds are increasingly baseboard heating, with little or no transition on re-builds to green energy. Even with carbon taxes, (green revenues), the green build movement at Municipal level is barely noticeable. Why is this? The economic benefits of low carbon are being denied by 1950's community planning. Good to have you back commenting from a Quebecois progressive point of view.

      Delete
    2. The economic liability for cleaning up muskrat falls if the spur fails or decommissioning abandoned assets isn't an issue for the provincial government. The provincial government generally just lets things decay. Government agencies are above the law, nor do they have the cash to clean up abandoned infrastructure. We have shipwrecks, abandoned pulp mills, swine breading facilities, abandoned wharves / schools / dumps and no plan for cleanup.

      I saw a documentary once on a no-go area in the southern USA that had been radioactively contaminated. Despite the toxic contamination, the area was thriving with wildlife and vegetation. Nature had reclaimed everything and all it needed to regenerate was to get rid of us.

      Delete
    3. Watching the news article on the situation of an abounded fish sauce plant in St.Mary's will tell you how much the government cares about cleanup of toxic sites.This plant was put there with NL gov.and ACOA money for the sake of a few short term minimum wage jobs,then left abandoned with hundreds of thousands of liters of rotting product,seriously affecting the lives of residents in the community.So much for gov.responsibility.

      Delete
  20. Robert G. Holmes:

    1-My reference to the unusually cold weather was simply repeating the mention of the "cold snap" in the news story whose link you provided upthread.

    2-I had written that I would only leave comments here in answer to questions or to correct anything which seemed to me false: it seemed and seems to me that one cannot meaningfully comment on trends in electricity use in B.C. this year without factoring in the natural gas shortage + price increase. Hence my comment today, to which I added a question which in my humble opinion is relevant to this blog.

    3-I am thus NOT actively commenting here again. And if I ever did, I hope everyone here is aware that I would be doing so as an individual: I assure you that much of what I believe would utterly horrify many "progressive"-type individuals, inside and outside Quebec. And conservatives too, actually, for that matter...

    ReplyDelete
  21. We have 200MW of free power at Churchill Falls A DC transmission line from Labrador to Soldiers Pond.Can anyone tell me if we are using energy from the dc line to offset burning oil at Holyrood .

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yep. The LIL has delivered on average 100MW over the last couple months and Holyrood is down by the same.

      FYI - the winter capacity available is much less than 200MW. 110MW is the firm expectation and as presently configured the LIL's max is 120MW.

      If we extrapolate 6 months of average 100MW delivery we get 440 GWh of Holyrood energy displaced. Maybe 50M in fuel savings? But Nalcor is charging Hydro O&M fees that will claw back most of that benefit.

      Delete
    2. As Nalcor intended to charge Hydro over $50 million for the O&M costs of the LIL this year, there shall be no fuel savings realized if transmission constraints remain at around 120 MW. Nalcor's theoretical max was 170 MW so even if they work out the bugs, the benefits are small. The word benefit may be overstating it as all the capital cost recovery is still lingering deferred until late 2020. This is the tiny bit of sugar Nalcor is throwing our way before their avalanche of debt comes for us late next year.

      Delete
    3. A page from the BC Hydro accounting methodology, (double books), just blithely, defers debt to our grandkids account:-)

      Delete
  22. We are so screwed up with BC Hydro;

    Have a listen; http://www.bcauditor.com/pubs/2019/rate-regulated-accounting-bc-hydro

    Wonder where the Accountants are taking the NL Ratepayers, and does Ches and Dwight have a scintilla of understanding of good bookkeeping?

    ReplyDelete
  23. The Telegram has a piece on a call for a GREEN NEW DEAL in the USA. At first i thought if was the local NDP party here.It is Cortes, the spunky USA woman politician and I recognized the NEW DEAL phrase as from Roosevelt's plan to counter the Great Depression in the 30s with social programs for jobs and the economy, and including electricification.
    She wants all an renewable energy plan pronto. She calls for a Marshall (not Tom Marshall) type plan after WW2,(that rebuilt bombed out Europe) or JFK plan to send a man to the moon in 10 years. Now that's my type of politician with good ideas, and to also create jobs and transform the economy and protect our environment and a concern for our children and grandchildren.
    Will local politicians take notice? Time to ramp down, not ramp up off shore oil production. We have 10 years to reduce GHG by 50 % , worldwide, or we likely fail to rein in runaway climate change. Time for action, not just words. Trumps days are numbered.
    Still, not 5 concerned citizens here on this blog. As Kermit said;It's not easy being green.
    Winston Adams

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    Replies
    1. Well said Winston.

      We will have to get you a red flag to lead then parade!

      Delete
    2. Until local, (Municipal level), leadership seriously tackle the continuation of reliance on non-renewable energy systems, the "ramping" is in the wrong direction. How effective is the new Climate Change Co-ordinator at the City? When innovators like Sandy Hickman presents an economic beneficial long term plan to deal with excessive runoff on Water Street, he gets trashed. Progress is best accomplished through small well thought out projects, ramping into the overall best goals direction. Like the runaway train on the CPR, reliance on more rather than less hydrocarbons to energize our communities, is headed off the track. I appreciate your continued concerns Winston for the future we are leaving our grandchildren, and what still needs to be done. Des has a very interesting comment about the undecided votes in the upcoming election. Change is in the air, and the concerned citizens has a role to play.

      Delete
    3. I think I meant to refer to Ed Hollett's latest column, not you Des. Sorry.

      Delete
    4. Winston, Here is an islands solar plus storage future. NL can do the same with wind plus storage.
      https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/hawaiian-electric-solar-plus-storage-solar-summit#gs.uxqKTCTv

      Delete
    5. Compare Hawaii's energy future with this from a right wing think tank. Hydro and remote transmission is dead.

      https://www.cdhowe.org/public-policy-research/dammed-if-you-do-how-sunk-costs-are-dragging-canadian-electricity-ratepayers-underwater

      Delete
  24. Well well, Looks like Junior is fronting for fraudsters. Caught red handed for crimes that went on at the same time that MF was negotiated by the same people, he is trying to get SNC off the hook for criminal charges.

    In NL everyone looks the other way and pretends that SNC did not do the same thing in the secret negotiations for MF. 15 billion out the door for a project that is not needed and may never work and there is no investigation in NL!

    I guess NL needs Alice and a hooka smoking caterpillar to ask the logical questions. In NL there is no need for a deferred prosecution agreement or remediation agreement because no questions have been asked and as a result no laws have been broken in NL.

    It gets curiouser and curiouser in NL says Alice!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I forgot the link.

      https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/trudeau-snc-lavalin-fraud-corruption-1.5009578

      Delete
    2. Interesting and the slap on the wrist given to Pierre Duhaime , former SNC-Lavalin CEO, for $33 million in bribes on the McGill Hospital project may be just the tip of the iceberg on this story. It may be a harbinger of things to come on the Muskrat debacle. No wonder those loan guarantees were so easy to come by!! Follow the money on Muskrat if you can find the trail??

      Delete
  25. Bruno @16:55 yesterday.
    You suggest NL should develop wind plus storage like Hawaii is doing with solar plus storage. For UG readers, you mean battery storage, to store the wind energy when not needed and use it at peak times, so something like water reservoir storage.
    I have never advocated battery storage for Nfld, at utility scale. Jerome Kennedy had MHI do a study that showed a cost of about 17 billion to replace Holyrood this way. Battery storage is indeed a promising technology now economic for cars and transportation , EVs. Synapse promotes it , Quebec and Norway, China etc are big into EVs. Bruno's darling Tesla is an EV and battery storage manufacturer.
    As to Hawaii using solar and storage, the piece has a headline saying "mind-blowing' (but this by the Solar Energy Association there). Hawaii's Provision Solar, says they are on a PATH for grid support, and "we are on the cutting edge". Sound terrific.
    But what is it that is "mind blowing"
    It is in fact a very very small progress step for renewables to contain global warming in a timely fashion
    Of more interest to Nfld should be the New Hampshire "Groundbreaking" installation of 500 tesla Powerwalls in residential homes by the power utility there, intended to save money for customers. Synapse is not considering that option.
    Bruno, if you do a little basic "arithmetic" you would see your error.
    I would not yet recommend you for an iron ring. But not to say you are not capable. Be careful of what blows your mind , Bruno.
    I caught a bit of Vardy's comments on NTV, at the Rotary . As usual, he is showing he is "past the best before date" as Danny Williams said about him, and showing strong signs of dementia, who would agree? . Do we see DW to follow up at the Rotary to confirm all the MFs good news, and if he would still invest, and we then too assess his mental state? Who has the better "best before date"?
    Winston Adams

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    Replies
    1. My friend, John Williams, now in Florida (no relation to Dan) says he watched Vardy on NTV last news last nite, he sees it on his computer. He says Vardy had som dos and don't, and suggested the feds should take an equity position of 2 billion dollars.
      I aske if he thought Vardy was past his "best before date". He laughed saying "He seems pretty smart. They say he is nearly eighty, but he sure don't look anywhere near that".
      I am surprised at how many of my generation, who grew up on nothing in the 50s,now spend their winters in Florida, as John mentions many people there now, who I also now. I guess they turn their heat down in their houses here,( who could blame them ) so how does Synapse address that?
      Winston

      Delete
    2. WA @ 10:52:

      Who was the original source for the '...best before date...' comment - I thought it was DV regarding a potential MF debate with WL? I don't think it was a DW original.

      Interestingly enough like I mentioned 2 wks ago, if we check the current polls for a provincial election, we have the opportunity to reelect a government that still contains 30-40% of persons that originally voted for MF in 2010/2011.

      I cant understand the voter base in NL - 'maybe fool me once and might as well go ahead and then fool me many times' is appropriate?.

      PENG2

      Delete
    3. I believe you are correct: Vardy backed out of a debate at the Harris Centre, with Wade Locke, saying Locke had more expertise in energy issues ( I believe Vardy was referring to Lock spending much time and analysis on offshore energy, as to oil and gas etc. A debate on MFs on overall economics and reliability and export markets etc involved much more than just the price of oil, so Vardy I suggest wisely bowed out in a debate that seemed tilted in Wade Locke favour if centered on oil and gas ( Locke,a world class economist we were led to believe, by local media).
      So, I suggest Dave Vardy in his humble way, stated he was past his "best before date". Maybe technically so, maybe not, and as good as ever. Many would wish to be as good as Vardy in his self described not as good as "his best before date". Perhaps most peak at about age 50-60 in their career?
      Danny Williams picked up on that, after Vardy testified at the Leblanc Inquiry. DW at the end of the day, approached the media, stating that Vardy was no expert on energy issues, not a court certified expert, and that he was past his best before date.
      I notice regular milk maintains best before only about 2 weeks, but Lactose free milk is good for 4-6 weeks. Perhaps Vardy drinks the Lactose free type, or his genes gives a much slower rate of cognitive decay than most. Wonder if Vardy uses the mind expanding weed proposed by Bruno? Something seems delaying the usual ageing proceess, as he just keeps on ticking, like the energiser bunny. Being on Nalcor's hit list has not slowed or silenced him.
      I notice neither CBC online nor the Telegram carried anything on Vardy's Rotary MFs speech. Ashley must have been too busy.
      Winston

      Delete
    4. WA @ 14:11:

      My view is if we look at the resumes and reputations of the people that have appointed or given honours to Des, Ron or Dave (ie Moores, Peckford, Wells etc) vs DW who belittles only and nitially succeeded in business primarily due to what effectively amounted to a monopoly, its not hard to see who has credentials.

      PENG2

      Delete
    5. PENG2, I guess there is little choice between PCs and Liberals and NDP here. More telling is only about 35 % voted in the recent election. And I was in disbelief to see Ball so apparently pleased that Dinn won, as if Dinn was his man. Maybe acknowledgement by Ball that Dinn joins the gold plated pension club.
      But Ball is all smiles even when the food bank burns down.
      13 billion wasted on MFs and we with a bigger percentage depending on food banks than any other province, and coastal labrador 60% or more have food security issues. So, the more in need of food,the better the province and it's people, right? And the bigger the smile from Premier Ball.
      Now firewood burners for home heat are being harrassed by govn watchdogs, according to VOCM Open Line this morning. Part of Ball's MF rate mitigation plan it seems. Centuries before Nflders were not permitted to have chimneys, least they stay all year round instead of going back to England. Now a chimney is ok, but not firewood.
      Soon we will have the yellow jackets as in France, to protest such bullshit from politicians. We grant Northern Peninsula wood right for fuel to Poland, to a London based company with no assets. BUT: they are from a Commonwealth country says our politicians. So was Brinco,with 200 year water rights for the Churchill River. And locals now being denied a pick up load of wood, having to prove the seller had legal title.
      The caller Ranted and Roared some, on VOCM. Maybe next, the gas stations selling wood junks get fined?
      WA

      Delete
    6. Moores replaced Joey, who was indeed past his best before date. Moores was a womaniser mostly, and rich from the family fish business. He partied and screwed around more than governed.I have heard first hand accounts. He later became a lobbyist and likely involved in the Airbus scandal, as was Mulrooney who took 300k cash in a paper bag, if my memory is correct.But Moores had some good cabinet ministers.
      Peckford: he had some qualities I liked, but now he stands to the right of Trump, and with his own blog. He recycles a lot of garbage information from others. He maybe used more than tobacco in those cigars he smoked. I think his mind expanded too much as Bruno says can happen.
      Wells: Made it to the Court of Appeal without any lower court experience as a judge. Recently Appointed over other appointments, by Ball. Quiet as a mouse over wasting 13 billion, but outraged when Joey was doing comparatively minor waste of the public purse.
      Wells wanting to sell off Nfld Hydro to Fortis, or Nfld POwer, and overtones of that idea playing out at the Inquiry now.
      Have we had a world class politician since Robert Bond? And he is honoured slightly more than the Beothic, me thinks.
      Winston,

      Delete
  26. That man Ben Aissa;

    https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/snc-lavalin-corruption-fraud-bribery-libya-muhc-1.5010865

    Did he not have some involvement in the early stages with the Muskrat Project, working out of the St. John's office?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, but everyone tries to deny this. Tracking his involvement early in this project would explain a lot but everyone fears riling the Emperor. I can not explain this any other way.

      Delete
    2. One story I read today said SNC sprayed money in every direction that needed greasing in this period. Ben Aissa held the hose.

      Delete
    3. Bad news Robert. Ben Aissa ratted to the RCMP for reduced charges.

      "The documents say the RCMP and Ben Aissa reached an "investigative assistance agreement."

      Under the deal, Ben Aissa agreed to co-operate with the investigation in return for the assurance that information he passed along wouldn’t be used against him."

      Delete
    4. Ah yes Bruno. The Canadian version of the 5th. Remember that guy Eagleson, (Bobby Orr's Manager)? He was allowed to walk in Canada. Then there was Conrad. We do have a habit of letting some big fish slip through the mesh.

      Delete
    5. Yes I met Carl Brewer who was in town for a hockey tournament two years before he died suddenly. I got to tell him he was my hero for his dogged trashing of Eagleson at a time when he was still a hockey god. He looked straight into the camera and said I don't care what you think Eagleson is s a crook.

      He inspired my activism and I am happy I got to look into his eyes and thank him.

      Delete
    6. There's a memory. I sat behind the great Tretiak in the third period at the Forum. The Canadian team scored late to tie, and Brewer was on the play. The Russians greatly respected Brewer. Studied and copied his defensive technique. Thanks for reminding me of the old hockey Gods.

      Delete
    7. Bruno, you actually had an inspiration and that was from a hockey player
      "Say it ain't so Joe"

      Delete
    8. It was not any hockey player. It was Brewer who single handedly brought down Alan Eagleson. He was also a master tactician as a player and coach.

      If you had a Brewer in NL now you would get to the bottom of the MF disaster.

      Delete
  27. So where are their plans before the election. We need to know them before, not after. It was always Danny's intent and KD's policy to use non-renuable resources to pay for building renewable resources. Hence, to use oil money to pay for muskrat. Does that policy exist for the coming election. Ball has had negioations through the Atlantic Accord to use the accord to pay or migitate muskrat power rates. So, even without the details one could infer that oil money directly or indirectly will be used to pay pay for muskrat. Whose share of oil revenues under the Accord will be used for power rates , our share, or the Feds share?? Mr. Vardy in his remarks to the Rotary Club said that the Accord should not be changed, or words to that effect as I understood it, to pay to mitigate rates or pay for muskrat. He says the way the Feds should be involve in paying for muskrat is through a equity steak in muskrat. Now what is Ches's plan?? What is his policy, the same or similar to Balls, or similar to Mr. Vardys. We need to know, the debate needs to be had now, so that we the voters will know who or what we are voting for in the next election. Or is Mr. Crosbie quietly just coasting to the election, and afraid to say anything about his policy, as Ball did before the last election. The last polls showed both parties neck and neck, and in today's VOCM straw poll The pc's are well in the lead. So if I were a betting man today, I would place my money on Chess and his best to win, but will not say where I would place my vote, as their plans and policy are not clear enough, especially Mr. Crosbie's. Cheers, Joe blow.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Anyone on this blog hear of Greta Thunberg before now? She is a 13 year old girl from Sweden who went on strike from school last fall and sat outside the parliament buildings. Recently she took a 32 hour train ride to get to the Davos meeting in Sweden to address the gathering there. The gathering of politicians and richest people in the world arrived by other means: 1500 private jets. It is said that 26 of the world richest billionaires own as much as one half of all the world's population. DAVOS is where the super rich they meet yearly to chat and consider the world's problems. Climate change was on their agenda, but Greta told them they were the problem, that a solution was not happening.
    She spoke about climate change: that her generation have no future, no serious action is being taken by those in power, and she told them they were behaving like children. So why continue school if there was no future?
    Many children have since followed her example. Some marches in Europe have had as many as 30,000 children. Now next Friday, the children's protest marches start in Britain. Many teachers support the movement. Marches generally occur on Friday's. March 15 is planned as an international day of protest.
    Neither Al Gore, the Pope, nor Green peace have achieved much to counter climate change.
    Thunberg.....an interesting name, part thunder, part iceberg, two forces of nature.
    Climate change: a crisis that is not being treated as a crisis she says. If you believe the science, and she does, we have 11 years to reduce GHG by about 50 percent, or her generation has no future on this planet.
    Winston Adams

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    1. Have a look at the New Green Plan, that progressive Democrats are putting on the 2020 election agenda. Can the Sheercon/Ball/Crosbie team match this in the upcoming vote. If not, what are our options? I have added this to the Annual meeting of the coalition, for consideration. I do hope that those good souls on this Blog will make a special effort to attend, and make change happen for your children's sake.

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  29. The law is complex, is it not? The USA constitution in the 1700s defined freedoms of persons, but persons included white men only. Even when the black man got the vote, nor was a woman was a legal person. And too in Canada, a woman was long denied the vote being not a legal person.
    New Hampshire has a motto: Live free or die. No law there requires a helmet to be worn on a motorcycle. You have the freedom to do that or not.
    So it was in 2017 three women in New Hampshire wanted freedom equal to men. They went topless on a public beach. "Free the nipple" was the cause, if a man can go topless and expose the nipple, a woman should have equal freedom. They were charged by police. They challenged it in court.
    This freedom has since been denied by a high court, saying local jurisdictions can decide and deny the right. Other jurisdictions have not not said the same. It remains not a constitutional freedom. It may have to go to the US Supreme court for a final answer.
    So too Peng2 makes the case why even if criminal actions occur at to MFs, Leblanc cannot bring a finding of criminal activity. This should not be surprising, given the complexity of who is a person, and discrimination on nipples. A woman's nipple must be fully covered, with a material that prevents seeing the same.
    Now, I wonder if that was why Peyton's men killed Mary March's husband? On the ice of Red Indian Lake, they outran and caught her first. In a desperate attempt for mercy, she exposed her breasts. For her to show she had recently given birth, and had been breast feeding. But they held unto her, and her husband tried to rescue her. Maybe this nipple exposure by Mary was an unlawful act in the eyes of our ancestors, who killed her husband and took her captive? It was not uncommon for white men, especially in the USA, to kill Indian women and cut off and use their breast as a tobacco pouch. Poor Mary. Her husband was murdered then and there,and her baby soon perished. Mary was transported to St John's, where she was gawked at as a savage Indian. We are being told that their remains, the skulls only, will be honoured when returned to Nfld.

    200 years later, a free nipple is still unlawful, unless in Spain or some other countries.
    Meanwhile, the Beothic,falsely depicted as warriors, on our Coat of Arms, is daily on display behind judge Leblanc. Most Nflders prefer it remain unchanged.
    They say the wheels of justice turn slowly. I ask, When was the bearings of those wheels last lubricated, as the wheels appear stopped?
    PF

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    1. Our white colonials, like Peyton, were just following the dictum of Pope Nicholas V. Elements of colonial rule exist in our governance systems even today.

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