Wednesday, 15 May 2019

TIME TO TAKE REALISM TO THE POLLS

“An election is no time to discuss serious issues,” suggested Prime Minister Kim Campbell in the 1993 federal election — a comment for which she was mercilessly pilloried. In the current NL election, the Liberals, Tories and NDP have ignored the 'elephant in the room' - our impossibly large debt. One need only look at the thin veil that separates “Direct” from the “Total” debt to wonder why something as basic as fiscal solvency can completely escape mention.

Every accountant in the province knows that, as soon as the Government attempts to “mitigate” the power rates caused by the Muskrat debacle, the bondholders - followed by the Government - will be forced to move most of the so-called "self-financing utility Debt" into the “Direct Debt" column. That's the kind whose repayment depends on taxes and like revenues 

Unless, of course, people are prepared to pay 23 cents per kWh for their power or, failing that, the arrival of the tooth fairy. 

Though the figure of $23 billion is kicked around as the Total Debt even that monstrous sum does not include, as the notes to the Budget Estimates confirm, “unfunded liabilities related to pensions, severance or post-retirement benefits.”

So here we are with a day to go before casting those ballots, and the most serious fiscal problem dogging voters since the 1930s has avoided the stare of each and every one of our Party Leaders.

In fact, the seventh budget deficit in a row, delivered a few weeks ago, did not stop Ball, Crosbie and Coffin from making still more spending commitments.

The most recent Budget is instructive. The Finance Minister proposed $926 million for infrastructure, including $491 million for Nalcor. Defying promises of Budget balance, Dwight announced another $400 million or so for infrastructure using P3s.  As the Campaign advanced he added other unbudgeted programs for extra health services in Botwood and expenditures in other Districts. Ches Crosbie is talking tax reductions and subsidies! The NDP wants even larger University tuition subsidies in an institution oblivious to our dim fiscal prospects and taking far too much from the public purse.

Little wonder that the Federal Government's Parliamentary Budget Officer too, unfettered by partisan politics, has noted this province as the worst debtor, per capita, in the country.

Do voters know that they are being bought with their own (actually borrowed) money? Of course they know.

Likely, it explains the massive public cynicism depicted in some recent Polls which show the “undecided” group nearing the fortieth percentile. Equally, the despair is on display in mainstream and social media platforms. Will anyone be surprised that that despair may be responsible for the lowest voter turnout in modern NL history?

Admittedly, people have not shown pushback in a manner that they might, if the bill for Muskrat had already arrived. But they know that it is only a timing issue.

Having lost Responsible Government once, real political leadership would raise the question of whether, as a society, we lack a braking mechanism against the worst threats to our survival, taking into consideration our size and well-known demographic challenges.

Real leadership would ask: how can we attract immigrants to replace our aging population if an over-indebted economy discourages investment and job creation? They would ask: how can we provide decent public services when, lacking discipline, the sum dedicated to interest on the debt continues out of control?

Real leadership would tell people that they will have to modify their expectations failing which small business and lower income earners will suffocate under impossibly high taxes and other costs.

Simple honesty suggests that those matters should be raised - now - at election time.

It may sound out of context, but occasionally people ask why so many boaters take the fatal step of leaving the harbour without a life jacket? In context, why do we continue to run a province knowing that, to save ourselves from drowning in debt, a fiscal “life jacket” is as essential as the other kind?

Who will keep NL solvent if not us?

In Thursday's General Election choice is only barely on the ballot. None of the Leaders are convincing leadership material. The Tories have imposed on the province a terrible albatross. While Crosbie presents as a new broom, it was not within him to sweep from his Party the responsible culprits or even to acknowledge the damage done by Administrations from Williams to Davis. What is the purpose of “new”?

The Liberals were given a chance to manage a way out of the debacle, but were spineless and made it worse.

The NDP have imploded. The NL Alliance, despite having no history, formed a Party prematurely and, as a result, will likely have no future either.

The choice for voters is a stark one.

As it stands, some in despair talk about leaving the Province. Others suggest that the political system has failed them, and seek solutions in proportional representation and other questionable institutional changes.

In truth, the political system can't fix broken political parties. You cannot blame the "system" when, having won a majority in the House of Assembly, a Party can't constitute a decent Cabinet. 

Unable to agree even on where the problem lies, we haven't fixed it. The ultimate consequence is that we continue to defer to incompetent political leadership. 

It may be argued that we are not alone in that circumstance but unlike most other provinces we also lack an institutional structure - whether business, the professions, academic or governmental - strong enough to push back  when public policy goes off the rails.

While idle chatter suggests that we can just get up and leave, most of us are here because we wouldn't want to be anywhere else. That fact, alone, suggests we have to make this place work. 

Right now we can still vote, and we should - everyone that is eligible. Every mind in the Province is needed to determine who should represent us. But the precious act of casting a ballot, alone, won't guarantee that this small society will either survive or, more optimistically, thrive.

We have to be prepared to do more, ourselves. We have to stop depending on the tooth fairy. We can begin by demanding less of what we want and more of what we need. If we don't act voluntarily, someone else will make those decisions for us. 

Right off, we should demand of the new Government the truth of what a “life jacket” might look like - knowing that the outcome will not be a happy fit for everyone. We should give encouragement to any politician who exhibits values, ideas and spine.

During the past four weeks we have allowed our political leadership to employ Kim Campbell's mantra to the public debate. But, on Thursday, its our turn. 

It may not seem the easiest thing to do, but it is high time that we took realism to the Polls.

100 comments:

  1. Let me see if I have this right? We have a provincial population, smaller than the population of a medium sized city. We have the highest unemployment in our country.

    But we want 50,000 km of perfect pavement and we want it cleared of snow in the winter and clear of moose all year around. We want multi-million dollar ferries to every island around our island and icebreakers to keep them running. We want state of the art healthcare in all of a our backyards with no wait time. We want our seniors taken care of. We want low taxes little or no fees. We don’t want a deficit. We want an uninterrupted power supply. We want uninterrupted ferry service to the mainland. We want a tunnel to Labrador.

    I’m sure the list just goes on.

    Anybody else think the people of this province need to wake up and smell the roses.

    Anybody really think this is possible.

    Government, no matter who they are cannot manage a province with these expectations and no money.

    If you can solve this riddle, you are not a politician, you are a magician.

    If this province is to survive, we will need changes in the way we think and a damn miracle.

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    1. Hear, hear.

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    2. Are we asking for too much? Most likely however none of the many NL'ers struggling to get by asked for our dollars to be tied up in MF for the next 50+ years. We are hog tied with nary a solution to get free.
      Noone came knocking on my door this election cycle...

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  2. Wakeup: Of course you use hyperbole as to our wants.
    Example ;
    1. as to uninterrupted power supply. 2.8 hrs per year has been the standard achieved long term. No one complains with that, but it may get much worse.
    2. As to no health care wait times. is not 12 months for a colon scope exam too long? Or 2 to 2.5 years for a neurology consult?
    3. Or to send a CT scan to an out of province facility for a second opinion, to take a 2 or 3 days or longer via courier, when it could be done, for lower cost, in 30 minutes over the internet? Some cases are urgent and life and death issues.
    Is any of this expecting too much?
    I can suggest a simple low cost, or no cost solution to the last item, yet not a magician.
    Winston Adams

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  3. After the debacle that first past the post has manifested in NL electing unaccountable strongmen with a megalomaniacal bent how can you disparage proportional representation as a questionable institutional change?

    PR offers the only hope for a responsive and responsible government. If not PR perhaps Danny can be resurrected and elevated to his throne for solutions to 22 cent power rates!

    Only proportional representation can save your failed democracy if anything can. NL is still in denial about what a disgrace to your province the emperor was! Empty the rats nest at Nalcor and move to PR to save your future!

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  4. Big hydro uncertainties

    https://physicsworld.com/a/big-hydro-uncertainties/

    "It found that, although net emissions were reduced, countries relying on hydro power saw poverty, corruption and debt levels rise and their economy slow at significantly greater rates than nations that used other energy resources." Sound familiar???

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  5. I agree with most of this commentary, especially concerning our needs and wants. I've been saying for years that we must lower our expectations, curb our conspicuous consumerism and simplify, simplify, simplify. All the $400,000-homes and $80,000-pickup trucks, all the so-called toys (time to grow up) and mid-life addictions need to go. Alcoholism is rampant, as it always was. Crystal meth, cocaine and opioids are killing us, literally, as suicides soar. Bubba Newfie Jack, with ball cap on backwards, pig-Latin Newfinese in full, uninterpretable, ignorant flight, and the crack of his hairy arse popping from blubbery gut-filled jeans and stinking up a kilometre-radius of surroundings, might consider reading a book or two. When asked what I did for a living, I once foolishly confessed to Bubba Newfie Jack that writing is my vocation, to which he replied, "Get out of here, my son. We don't want your likes around here." That is no lie. Newfieland is -- excepting a few educated societal pockets -- a blue collar, dumbed down jurisdiction that were it American would support Trump. Education is shunned while Snook remains revered. And we are too cowardly to face that fact. Neither Crosbie nor Ball appeared at the recent teachers' association event to debate our education system's woes. Rhetorically speaking, what does that say about our attitude toward the ideal of an enlightened society? This is why we now face an election offering imagination-challenged, predatorial, neo-liberals Ball and Crosbie -- dullards deluxe. Like those two, the other two probably being worse, if that is possible -- prattle on with platitudes about obvious issues while offering no solutions let alone details. They are hoary products of a hoary society that, due to its micro-mindedness, has lost any ability to conceptualize on a macro level, hence continuously searches for a savoir to sate its hunger for someone to crucify. I could go on, but why, other than to say that because of the dim and depressing political leadership we are being offered this election, I fervently disagree with the flaccid propaganda that, for democracy's sake, each of us must vote. To do so, with the above-mentioned products of our society being our only choices, would be an insult to anything approaching civic duty.

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. This is classic victim shaming while tripping over self congratulatory oratory. The insult to civic duty is the smug self congratulation of the impotent!

      Get off your ass, realize your responsibilities extend beyond an X on a ballot every four years and get involved so the choices are not as dismal as now face residents.

      Some of us called out the democratic deficit, challenged the emperor and the totalitarian Nalcor construct that threatened both your fiscal and physical future if you are downstream of Danny's Delusion. Where were you??

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    4. Wesley Reid,no need to denigrate 90% of the population you pompous asshole.First off I sometimes wear a cap but never backwards and I don't wear blubbery gut filled jeans.I am a retired tradesman who worked hard for many years and I like to think that I contributed something to society.I also consider myself to be fairly well educated,though not a true academic like yourself,maybe more along the lines of Average Joe.I did try university after high school but for some reasons did not continue,one of which was immaturity,so I chose another route,and have no regrets.There are many more like me.This province has had its share of so-called educated politicians,from Rhodes Scholar lawyers to retired teachers,and where has it gotten us?From what I've seen of the Muskrat Falls inquiry most of them didn't have their caps on backwards,they had their heads on backwards.So,please don't refer to blue collar workers as dumbed down.

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    5. Those living in a democracy inevitably wind up with exactly the type of government they deserve.

      So think about that while you take a long, hard look in the mirror.

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  6. The debt crisis will not be solved by catering to self interest groups such as the teachers and other unions. Ask not what you can do for your province but only what your province can do for you.

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    1. Agreed. The NLTA is a highly partisan political actor that may be outspending all the political parties on paid advertising! Submitting to a private leaders debate is absurd. I despise both the Libs and PCs but blowing off the NLTA was the right move.

      Good post Uncle. I've resigned myself to voting PC because in my riding we have a terrible Liberal cabinet member who must be defeated. A vote to a practically non-existent third or fourth party would only serve to reelect the stupid Libs. Defeating the spineless Libs is important. I hope there is a Green Party here next election.

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    2. It's difficult for me to retort anything you have said.

      Unfortunately I will be voting Liberal for a number of reasons:

      1. Mr. Crosbie has not acknowledged or disaccociated the incompetent fiscal management of the 12 years under Willimas/Dunderdale/Marshall/Davis. Other than to say that was then this is now.
      2. Those PC years saw a dramatic shift to the left. The unions were all bought off by big personnel increases and generous wage and benefit packages. To be fair Ball & co. have done little if anything to improve the situation. When there is no labour unrest you have to wonder.
      3. Mr. Crosbie, from my perspective, is moving the party further to the left than it was. During the debate he was in full agreement with the NDP candidate for crying out loud.
      4. Mr. Crosbie appears to see the world through the lens of a tort lawyer. That did not serve us well under Mr. Williams.
      5. When Mr. Crosbie removed Mr. Normore as the PC candidate in Labrador I was appalled. It was a violation of the Constitution Act of 1982 (aka. Charter of Rights & Freedoms). It is highly hypocritical that a man sworn to uphold the law sees it fit to do this. The party should rename itself the "Progressive Party of NL". They are not true to any conservative principles that I understand.
      6. This party and its' supporters gave us Muskrat Falls. This was a political project and Mr. Crosbie continues to indirectly defend this project by not condemning those that perpetrated this fraud.


      The Liberals have failed the test of leadership over the past four years so why am I voting for them?

      The fiscal damage done by the previous PC administrations was so egregious, the lack of contrition observed at the MF Inquiry, and other factors as well have left this voter in no-man's land. None of the parties represent me but I feel an obligation to vote for least worst of the two.

      Keith Ryan

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    3. Keith, Why do you put the Liberal candidate, (strengths weaknesses), ahead of the other candidates in your own riding? Aside from the coin flip on Party Leadership, are you hoping for another majority win for Ball? Will Stan stay ensconced and NALCOR intact?, should Ball keep his power stick?

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  7. Charlie Brown is getting the stuffing kicked out of him this morning by an animated Learmonth. He is exposing the "Oversight Committee" as a Nalcor clone doing no oversight.

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    1. Yup...we are back to who knew what when. Nalcor and govt. were always cheek to cheek, Joel to Joel and bum to bum. But when it comes to the cost at fincincial close only nalcor knew, and govt. did not know until six months or more that the cost had gone from 6.2 to 6.5$ billion, a $300, 000, 000 difference. Who is lying here???? Or did govt. tell nalcor not to tell us officially for political reasons, or was nalcor trying to hide it. If the govt. Really wanted to know, I am sure they could have easily found out. But what a secret!!!! And do they think the people are that stunned.... That, that info was not known by both sides. The public officials didn't know, the ministers didn't know, the premier didn't know, they have all testified to that. This is a small town and everyone knows everything.... But don't make the info official. That's the kind of govt. we had says Joe blow.

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    2. Does anyone know why mr. Meaney, nalcor fincincial officer, was recalled to the stand again this morning. And both the commissioner and Mr. Learmonth were quite visibly upset, and expressed it????? Yup... Because of the email he sent to Mr. Bown, after he had testified back in March. He did apologize for the email, but he was saying everyone in govt. knew the cost at fincincial close was 6.5$ billion, or that's my reading from it, did anyone else follow it at 8:30 this morning, ask Joe blow.

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    3. Hoops...it was not email, ...but a text..Joe blow..

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    4. Joe @ 12:12:

      I thought Meany was always due to be recalled - infact in you check the witness list Rev5a from mid-April it shows him as being recalled this week.

      Anyway, might be worth your while to have a look over P-03589, pretty well confirmed verbatim what I said about pausing MF as not being practical (as in the discussion 26-Mar-2019).

      PENG2

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    5. Well, since he sent the text the day after being on the stand, March 29th. , 2019, the judge must have decided to call him anytime after that, or when brought to his attention. Pausing, putting on ice or whatever did not happen, so maybe when Ball and or Marshall is on the stand, they may be asked that question, and given the opportunity to respond. Cheers, average Joe.

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  8. "how can we attract immigrants to replace our aging population if an over-indebted economy discourages investment and job creation?"

    Immigration is not the problem. It is emigration. Our population is smaller than it was in the 1970s while the rest of Canada doubled in size. There has been an recent and drastic drop in the 0-9 year old population. Our graduates cannot find employment and are leaving.

    We can bring in thousands of immigrants. They will leave just as our children do, and for the same reasons.

    The problem is the economy. We were fishing and fish processing. Unless we can reinvent ourselves, we will dwindle away to about 250,000 people who like the life style or managed to snag a federal job.

    If I was to have a crack at increasing the population, I would offer land grants or leases so that any Canadian could come here and get a homestead. This was common in late 1800s and I believe would be wildly popular.

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  9. Here are some ideas that would help:

    - Set up a threshold to unpave roads and revert to gravel (some US states do that). It costs a quarter million an km to mill and fill.

    - increase K-12 class size, my generation received a decent education with only grade 11 and 30+ kids per class. Get rid of the English school board and have a single, lean organization. Offer distance education to small communities with single digit enrollment. Borrow curriculum from another province.

    - Reorganize the entire civil service and analyze all procedures. At least 50% of the confederation building is useless, not because of laziness, but because of chaos and lack of direction. Fire management (director/ADM/DM) across the board and have public competitions for the best people.

    - Find the brightest people in every department (they may be at the bottom of the org chart) and get them to lead change. You can go to any government office and people will can tell you what is wrong.

    - There are existing studies that cover everything you can think of and we have been commissioning these since the 1970s. Once written, they are almost always shelved. Roads, marine transport, economic development, hydro development etc. They should all be public and easy to find on a web site. We need to start implementing many of the recommendations in these studies. There were also good ideas on the governments "Dialog" site before it was taken down.

    - Sell off the liquor corporation. GNL will still get is cut via tax.

    - Talk to font line doctors - they will tell you where terrible inefficiencies and abuses are in the health care system. End those abuses. They will also tell you where more staff are needed to support our aging population.

    - Accountability: we need to aggressively go after the bad actors that have abused this place. Public servants need to know that there are repercussions for enabling public frauds or doing things that the vast majority of citizens would strongly agree is wrong/immoral.

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    1. - MUN has a far larger bureaucracy than it had in the 1970s and has been growing wildly like a cancer. The overpaid administration needs to be chopped down to size and MUN should concentrate on basic things like teaching and research related to provincial interests. Reduce provincial subsidies to MUN, offer paid scholarships to the best students.

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    2. Hear, hear.

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  10. These are ideas worth considering and there are many more that need to be brought forth. There is one issue, certainly one of this province's biggest issues, but nobody dares speak of it: our underground economy, practically tax-free and comprised primarily of people receiving some sort of government assistance. I.e., people who pay substantially less in taxes. How much revenue is government losing there? By taxing that huge, false economy, might our province reap desperately needed revenue while saving legal businesses and workers from being fiscally nailed? I don't know how we'd go about policing and legitimizing that black market -- or at least a portion of it -- without adversely affecting those involved. Or may these people be brought on board in a positive fashion? Are there case studies and actual programs and experiments in other jurisdictions around the world that have worked? One thing is clear: our underground economy eats into the real economy's tax base by generating a great deal of untaxed income and profit. It's a double whammy world where individuals receive money from taxpayers without financially contributing much to socioeconomic concerns.

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  11. I take polls for what I pay for them - not much. But I would say that with a series of polls there is likely an indication.

    Currently (and considering past NL voting history of not usually ousting an elected premier) I would guess that DB will be reelected.

    I think this is probably why the Liberals didn't respond to the MFCCC request to commit on a Spur assessment - the Liberals expect to be re-elected and the NL Alliance / NDPs being also-rans wont form a government and forced to live up to a commitment. Does this mean the PCs sort of expect to lose - if I were a gambler I would say probably yes.

    In any event, as long as the 6-7 MHAs/ADMs who previously voted for MF and are running lose their seats I would be happy enough.

    PENG2

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    1. I suspect they will win their seats. It was only when govt. changed that we found out how bad and how much muskrat boondoggle was really going to cost us. So, a lot of people want to forget that and return to the good old Danny days, where there was lots of milk and honey flowing, along with oil and money, so let the good times roll again with chess and his best, says Joe blow.

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  12. What was the content of the email sent by Meany to Bown...... was it that everyone at Govn knew the cost had jumped 300 million, but Bown says he does not know who he learned that from, just knows he knew some 6 months later by the paper trail?
    Was Meany trying to influence testimony....why the rebuke from Leblanc, was it more serious, I missed the first 30 minutes.
    Meanwhile Learmonth hitting away at Bown, Nalcor spouting baloney, things were not stated factually, questions and answers for govn prep for media by Nalcor PR people that was not factual and misleading, so false, (and to be blunt, seems to me to be lies). Bown forced to agree with much of what Learmonth laid put.
    How will Ed Martin later deflect some of his emails saying he would oppose EY.......will Leblanc have to thump his desk again? Teflon Ed ruled the roost, but govn was all in with him, is obvious.
    Facts are stubborn things, and facts are starting to catch up with the lies.
    Then lawyer for Ball and Coady trying to spin one day before election, saying that Nalcor trying to stop EY was all before Ball's time.
    But I seem to recall some evidence yesterday citing Ball as Premier and he playing that game too.......maybe I misheard , if others know, but if right , then today his lawyer trying to deflect that, and Ball can't be quizzed until after the election.
    Bown seems as guilty as sin, his memory deficit response. Meanwhile, under his watch, all this EY stifling went on, and he still with MFs under his list of projects, and more under another department, so a promotion..........by Ball.
    Learmonth asking Bown why he didn't order Nalcor to comply to assist EY.......and Bown with this expression as if this approach, having spine, is never an option. So it is that all get rewarded as being yes men and yes women. No spine.
    So, of all running, the biggest slime ball is Ball.And always a smile like like Walmarts lowest price yellow sticker, so too, promising lower power rates than Ches. Can Ches's Honesty Act catch him? What a gutter ball business.
    And nary a green party to vote for. Pity.
    I would vote for Bruno, except he favours native coal and gas, so at best is pale pale green, with specks of red and blue.
    Winston Adams

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    1. WA @ 21:18:

      I dont know what to make of the text from JM to CB - inappropriate for sure, but I don't know if I would term it witness tampering. The exhibit in question is P-03438, seems pretty innocent on its face but time will tell - to be conservative I wont quote/cite out of respect for the Uncle, we all rely on his ability to provide confidentiality and a good sounding board.

      What I am waiting for is why the estimated costs went for $7.65b in Sept 2015 to $11.7b in June 2016 - I think only SM can answer this. If memory severs, SM said something to the effect '...the answers wont be found in Hydro Place....' in June 2016 after releasing a budget update.


      PENG2

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    2. I will try and check the wording of the text.
      Yes a 4 billion jump in costs, possible reasons:
      1. Ed martin and the gang that couldn't shoot straight, were hiding a lot of increases from exposed risks, being kept secret, seem logical.
      2 Or Stan over estimating, to avoid future incremental increases and look good, for a strong finish.
      3. Or corruption and missing money, if answers not to be found in Hydro Place.
      I lean on #1, but if so maybe it means answers, as to paper trails much eliminated ?
      Any other ideas?
      Winston

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    3. For UG readers who like me, missed the text:
      Meany says to Bown(about as too who didn't recall being told about the 6.5 billion capital cost estimate)...."I sure hope you are not one of the folks who suddenly have amnesia from that time, that wouldn't seem to me to be the "Shareholder" I've always respected"
      Meany today explained that the word "shareholder" was a sort of nickname for Bown( I presume he meant that Bown was, in theory, representing the shareholder, government).
      So, what to make of that? Meany apologized,seemed t satisy Learmonth, and a mild rebuke from Leblanc, and all seemed pleased, move on, and Meany relieved to get past that close call.
      Not knowing the words, I wondered if intent to obstruct justice to witness tamper as you say , PENG2.
      If so, why solved so easily.
      Seem clear to me that all knew of the cost increase but deny it, which is perjury if evidence to prove it. Will there be evidence, or poor memory prevail as an excuse by many. Easy when no written record, by design.
      Almost seems like a threat to Bown that his denial, via no memory of being told, might be exposed by Meany or someone else.
      This is getting like US politics, with Republicans wanting to protect Trump, hide the details from the public,and declare no collusion, no obstruction.
      So, the crime, like Nixon, was the coverup, but they got the tapes.
      Are we witnessing a coverup, and maybe the exposure by this Inquiry, or too delicate to expose?
      Winston

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    4. WA @ 22:24: I am inclined to go with your #1 also – the real question will be was the June $11.7b known in winter 2016 and it was what led to the EM ousting or was it wholly the clarifications of SM.

      WA @ 23:08: Probably it was solved so easily because it wasn’t really a ‘threat’ – how would encouraging someone to be honest be a threat?


      As a recap, since we now have both:
      1) the GT audit saying MF couldn’t be stopped once started
      2) the GT audit saying the procurement was suspect at times
      3) the legal opinion of FMD saying that delays to MF in 2016 weren’t possible due to the FLG terms
      the only remaining question is timing of the government being advised of the true $ situation and the final bill when REAs are settled. I think about all that DB can testify to is what led to the FMD analysis in March 2016 and how the decision was made to update the $7.56b figure to $11.7b.

      In terms of the ToR, only item 4(c) remains to be settled (and establishing – from what I see, there is little question that Nalcor/Government have been shown to e deficient or willing blind in items 4(a), 4(b) and 4(d).

      PENG2

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    5. Thanks Winston for providing the text. When I tuned in they were in session, so didn't know how much I missed so was asking if others had watched it, guess you watch it after being posted. So guess I got it right in my own words. Think it had the potential for a blow up, if he had stuck by his guns, that others knew about the 6.5 and provide evidance. But he sincerely apologized immediately and said it was from stress and frustration after being on the stand for 4 days. But non of the lawyers would touch it with a ten foot pole, but could have had a hey day, even the citizen coalition lawyer when questioning used the 5 T's (Tipped Toed Through The Tulips....) of course he did say that KD had used the 6.5 on the stand, but no one questioned him on that. So no, no John Dean, just a JD moment. And as long as they stick together the devil will remain blindfolded in the dark says Joe blow.

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    6. Guess if Stan said the numbers were not to be found at hydro place....guess he meant that were not laying on the desk....he had to go find them....and talley them up. Average Joe.

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    7. Yes thanks for the context Winston. PENGzero is so arrogant with his refusal to elucidate his points and his rude initials "JGF told hsd that res and flg went to msg for a..." are lazy and inconsiderate if someone cares to follow his scattershot logic.

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    8. Joe @ 08:45:

      Wrong context - the comment by SM had nothing to do with the incurred costs, rather it was a statement as to the reasoning why the initial estimated costs were lowballed.

      SM is correct in that MF should have initial been estimated to cost about $12b - he was saying the reasoning as to why it was estimated at $6b wouldn't be found at Hydro Place. Memory tells me he made this comment in June 2016 when the estimated cost was raised from $7.65b to $11.7b.

      A couple of media links that are interesting to read for hindsight:
      https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/newfoundland-labrador/stan-marshall-muskrat-falls-update-1.3649540
      https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/newfoundland-labrador/stan-marshall-muskrat-falls-nupdate-1.4174569
      https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/newfoundland-labrador/stan-marshall-muskrat-falls-morale-1.2745704



      PENG2

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  13. CFA happy to be here16 May 2019 at 00:51

    Talk all you want about deficits, nobody cares until the services stop. A fundamental difference between personal debt and government debt. Personal debt, they repossess. Nobody in NL will change anything until they repossess.
    When Crosbie's handling of Normore displayed his dangerous incompetence as a leader, I looked around. And saw no difference. just fine-tuning a few details here and there. Nobody will do what needs to be done until they are forced to, and we are not near that. And who blames them? Who wants libraries closed, as long as we can muddle through?
    The comments about ignorant Newfs was just ignorant. Newfoundland has a fine history of education. Were the nuns and brothers brutes? Maybe some, but education happened. The real Newfoundland tragedy is not what happened in 1949 or 1969, but the drift from independence of thought to dependence on the government to do your thinking for you.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Just to comment on Mr Tranquilla testimony. He was involved for Nalcor as to the dome, a 100 million waste.
    His testimony showed a sincere capable guy. He said of about 20 involved with this, only 1 other had some experience with such structures. He himself had worked on such structures larger than this one, and they are common for the mining industry. Someone had told him that he was the only one at the site with good knowledge with these structures, but he had no authority.
    He said the structure could have been of value. But they started the structure late, Sept , I believe, and essentially nothing could be done after November. He said that this should have started in May or June, to be complete before winter. Seems late signing of contracts with Astaldi was the reason for the late start.
    Now it is common sense working in Labrador, building houses or schools or anything, the necessity of working with the short construction season.
    Even Our Labrador fishery saw thousands travel by schooner or coastal boat in June and back by October, beyond that you could be trapped there all winter on the coast.
    PENG2, is this a result of engineering or management, and if management, is that by engineers?
    Even on the island, starting late on awarding tenders has been the hallmark for decades in Nfld, causing delays and problems for contractors, but caused by government officials. It is carelessness and no accountability. But when part of a mega project, it can be crippling.
    So, 100 million tore down and given away for scrap, as if it was a mere 10,000 dollars.
    The scrapped dome cost could have paid for a 100MW Bruno battery, or a nice wind farm, or a back up gas turbine, or incentives for HPs for 30,000 houses, or half the cost of a new mental health facility or jail, to replace existing ones around since President Lincoln times.
    And seems the Astaldi contract allowed them to get paid for time, not production (like most lawyers sitting at the Inquiry who asks no questions).
    The poor ratepayer. Who got their hands in your wallet? Too many to count.
    Meanwhile, the new scallywag ads on TV, an older woman putting clothes on a line to save on her power bill,what an insult, as Synapse, another consultant with hands in our pockets, praises minisplits, time shifting, EVs etc. Fortis, Nfld Power, Nfld Hydro, Nalcor.....all with their hands in your wallets, with the worst CDM in Canada, and content with that. And customers don't complain. No more than 1 in 100 ratepayers, I suggest, knows what CDM is, and that not good , sincequestionable if MFs ever operates, or little unreliability.
    Winston Adams

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Delete the "UN" from unreliability.
      WA

      Delete
    2. Stay with the Shadow Inquiry; Who enriched themselves, at the expense of the ratepayer? Who are you voting for today?

      Delete
    3. WA @ 08:29:

      A sound guess would be management and that the management persons were a combination of government and highest level of the org chart - so, less of an emphasis on engineering judgment and more on politics and appearances.

      Astaldi definitely started late and realistically probably shouldn't have started until the next construction season. Not sure I necessarily agree with the suggested lack of experience with temporary domes - very common and I can think of several erected on site (MF, the line and in CF) maybe not of the same size but essentially the same methodology used for erection. Procco is a supplier for so-called Mega-Domes(tm), I think - so shouldn't have been any surprises.

      PENG2

      Delete
  15. What goes round and round; Follow the money. What effect in NL has Muskrat Ramble had on house prices, car sales on the island? Was cash flow from offshore activity slushed to the few, at the expense of the taxpayer? BC has called a General Inquiry, (Just like NL), to find out who benefitted;

    https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/money-laundering-public-inquiry-decision-1.5136952

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think David Suzuki did alright hey Robert. That's okay cause he is not a greedy capitalist.

      Delete
  16. The inquiry was all about the Liberals getting re-elected ! This will be done today. Nothing else about the inquiry will matter after today. I will say though that it almost back-fired for Ball !

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anon 11:18

      Don't you agree that the Inquiry has established fraudulent acts were perpetrated on the Ratepayers. That while the NALCOR CEO and related officials were changed to bring light to the magnitude of the fraud, the current Government has done little if anything to stop the bleed. Hardly an endorsement for re-election, and carry forward with a majority power stick.

      Delete
  17. No, the oil glut has not gone away;

    https://oilprice.com/Energy/Crude-Oil/No-The-Oil-Glut-Hasnt-Disappeared.html?utm_source=browser&utm_medium=push_notification&utm_campaign=PushCrew_notification_1558040833&_p_c=1

    Demand seems to be topping. What's the rush to drain NL offshore, acting like greedy Alberta oil barons? This could affect Finance Minister's blue sky forecast Revenues, to pay down the Muskrat debt.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Should it be BREAKING NEWs that govn has been involved in destroying note books kept by these scallwags?
    This morning that was stated , and seems to have been raised as a possibility before, as they were missing, but that destruction has occurred, did I hear right?
    No crime there.......because it is accepted policy? Lebalnc suponeaed records and notebooks last year, and only not this an issue? He is now concerned and wants answered. If burned, bad for global warming, so no crime.
    Has any media to day reported on that, or I got it wrong?
    Winston

    ReplyDelete
  19. Read Mr. Hollett's post of today, predicting a minority government, and indicating it is not good as we will be back to the poles in 6 months. Can't disagree if his numbers are right. When I was predicting and hoping for a minority government several months ago, I was counting on the NDP, a well established party getting a half dozen seats or so and forming a coalition with one of the other major parties, and providing a fairly stable govt. for maybe 4 years. But when you are counting on one independant guy here and another there then that will not last, as he will be easily bought off. Anyone remember Tom Burgess an independant from lab city. No one could depend on him, he was back and forth between the two parties like a yo-yo. But as I said before the NDP screwed it up for not only themselves but also the province, as now I doubt they will get any more than a seat. A collation govt. is what we need right now, but no chance, and one or two radicals will not achieve that. We needed a coalition govt. as they could hold their feet to the fire and make some right decisions that is just not in the ruling parties interest. Most of Europe is run by coalition govt. Lester Pearson back in the 60's had two successive successful minority govts.In Canada. If you would just look up what they achieved or laid the foundation for, it eas everything we take for granted today, like Medicare, Canada pension plan, a bilingual country, the Maple Leaf Flag, just to mention a few. And he had in his cabinet, what turned out to be 3 prime ministers, Trudeau, Turner, and Chretian. He also had Paul Martin senior, and Paul Martin junior also became a prime minister. In those days the best and the brightest were in politics for their country as it was a more honerable profession then. Now I won't forget the PC prime ministers of the time either, John Definbaker, joe Ckark, and Brian Mulroney. And of course let's not forget Tommy Douglas. And maybe we should not forget our own John Crisbie, who never became premier, but took a shot at the top job of becoming prime minister. Heard people on open line today saying I will vote for my member who can do something for me. We are at a critical and dire time in our province where we all need to be saying what can I do for my province, before we have to say, "she's gone by, she's gone" and this time down the road it could actually happen if we continue on the same borrowing binge. Joe blow, average Joe, AJ.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So Joe, I have done my civic duty. My wife mentioned yesterday she was voting PC, because Parsons here was the only guy that came to the door to talk. I didn't see him or anyone else, but a bit of stuff from the mail, that showed a guy Ryan , I think, an independent, and figured I'd go with him. I'd rank Ball last as to honesty, and PC's have the MFs legacy,and NDP have just screwed up.
      So I tell my wife to vote as she please, and we walk the half mile to the station. Enroute I say to her " You know the PC's want to double the oil production which is bad for the climate change. So she laughs. And I said "Ches says we have ethical oil, so its's ok". And she laughs harder, and so did I. With all so bad, a laugh helps.
      She says but our member does a lot for the area. I agree with her and say : "OK,so I think about the earth, the planet, and you think about the local issues, so between us, we have covered all the bases". She agreed.
      My wife is visually impaired , so I go in and assist her to mark her X, and she for PC. Me ....I lingered with indecision for 10 seconds, NDP or Independent? I went Independent.
      So on leaving, I say to my wife, "you voted Liberal", as she just trusted me. She laughed and said "No I didn't" . She knew I was pulling her leg.
      So, the deed is done. We were told there is a significant turn out so far. No statesmen on the ballot, and no greens. Of the whole lot, I cannot think of one that impresses me. Maybe we'll get lucky, but more chance of luck with the lottery.
      Winston

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    2. I voted earlier today - I wonder with the change in the appearance of the ballot if there will be an increase in spoiled/invalid ballots this time?

      I mentioned before my PC member voted fro MF in 2011 ( I am one of those 6-8 districts with direct PC ties to MF) and didn't vote for PC, I also said same to my spouse hoping to finally rid NL of MF supporting HoA members.


      WA @ 17:08: acknowledged that its not your place to influence your spouses vote, but KP did vote in the HoA for MF in 2011.

      PENG2

      Delete
    3. I did say to her yesterday that the PCs was the cause for MFs, and today the environment issue. But wouldn't push my luck beyond that 5 minutes of attempted influence.. Recall that mostly white women voted for Trump.....(she don't like Trump, but has a photo with "her " Bill Clinton, when he was here years ago). So I cannot explain how a woman's mind works, maybe that helped get us to 50 years together.
      Winston

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    4. Yes, I voted too....but mine is a secret ballot, so you will never know, lol, but I intend to continue doing what I always do, call them as I see them, with no political affiliation. But will mention one thing a little different, not complaining, just saying. I have walked to the polling station sometimes, and sometimes driven, depending on the weather, just a couple of km, but today I had to drive 9km, either way for a total of 18 km, as I said not complaining, as I would have driven 20 miles either way to cast my vote. Now I don't really live out in the sticks, will just say I live somewhere between Holyrood and you out in Logy bay Winston. I got my card in the mail as I have been living at the same address for more than 10 years. I drove by one polling station to my assigned station and must have driven by streets that had probably 10 or 20 thousand residents, in other words from one end of the riding to the opposite end of the riding. When I got home I called the district office just to inquire, and after a little discussion, it came down to, well it was like the luck of the draw she told me. More confused than ever, but I think in the US of A they call it voter suppression. Cheers, Joe blow.

      Delete
    5. I would be wondering at this point who called whom first. ... Eddie or ball et al??? Because without Eddie and maybe a recount in lab west we in fact have a minority govt. but of course still some final counting to be done. Average Joe.

      Delete
    6. peng2.... How many of your counted muskrat enablers got elected... I would think all of them.. Joe blow

      Delete
    7. Have to call them as I see them....chess is showing his true colours ....appears more like trumpie would do if he were defeated.....he would or wants to claim power...or certainly not concede...says Joe blow...a constitutional crisis he says..

      Delete
    8. Joe @ 22:33:

      All except 1---this isn't much of a statement on the N voters.

      Agree with you statement on CC---probably best the PCS didn't win outright.

      PENG2

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  20. You all seem to want media coverage;

    https://thenarwhal.ca/a-reckoning-for-muskrat-falls/

    Pretty good summary wouldn't you say?

    ReplyDelete
  21. This one is for Keith, and any angry oil and pipeline promoters;

    https://energi.media/deep-dives/debunked-vivian-krauses-tar-sands-campaign-conspiracy-narrative/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This very long piece, a novella, debunks Krause and puts the debate in focus. It is consistent with how Canadian campaigns function, primarily driven by volunteers , with sometimes funding for our work from US Foundations when a global campaign, like climate action, provided a portion of funding.

      Canadian ENGO's have long decried the lack of US foundation funding for most of our work. Funding for a handful of years is paltry compared to the O&G lobbying efforts.

      Krause reverse David and Goliath claims are laughable and of course are not supported by the facts as this piece points out in detail.

      Delete
  22. Not much on UG about the election.....? ? It should be a no brainer, independant Paul Lane should be speaker of the house to stabilize a government. Paul has been a former member of both major parties, and now an independent. What better role for an independent. What does the law of the land say, what is tradition, does the speaker have to come from the governing party? Where are the constitutional experts. Formally appointed by the premier, but now voted on by all members. What does Paul Lane say... Ask Joe blow.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lane was on CBC radio a few minutes after your question. His answer is no way, as it should be. Ball will have to give up one of his own for speaker. Eddie Joyce could stay an independent and be the linchpin that holds things together. Hmmm, does Joyce have any policies Ball will have to adopt?

      Delete
    2. Read Mr. Hollett's piece this morning and he covered most points. I would add to his points we can't ignor the recount in lab west, and maybe a judicial recount, but it may also be a mute point if the NDP is confirmed. Just to be fair to all, if ball and chess seat count were reversed, would the same things that people are saying still apply. Yes, I referred to independent wild cards yesterday. Can Eddie be bought off, can Paul be bought off. We assume the NDP is a stable party. But one thing for sure I don't think you will ever see Edie supporting chess, as a matter of fact he said that on the radio this morning. So it may be all up to coffin in the final analysis says Joe blow.

      Delete
    3. Joe @ 07:35:

      Fro the HoA website on the speaker:
      [start]
      The Speaker is the key figure in the House of Assembly, a position that is open to all Members of the House of Assembly (MHAs), except for party leaders and Cabinet ministers. He/she is elected in a secret ballot by other Members immediately following each general election or when a vacancy occurs. The Speaker must maintain order in the House in an impartial manner and serve all MHAs equally.
      [end]


      Who for speaker:
      1) PL said quite a while ago a return to the Liberals was a no-go - also considering he is a MF 'enabler' I would rule him pout totally.
      2) EJ - would he even qualify as the Speaker with his recent history?
      3) someone from the NDP - I think there is funding dependent on having 3 seats in the House, could this be affected if a NDP member is elected as Speaker? If so, this would rule out the NDP.

      Most important, I don't think the public has an appetite for another election - and the members need to recognize that, time for them to grow up.


      PENG2

      Delete
    4. PENGzero I wish you would take your paid backside to the curb in these debates. You and your staff can attempt to rewrite history but you will never be taken seriously with that mask on.

      Delete
  23. The budget is not going to be easy to pass. If they propose a steady-state a budget for the only the basic funding for government to operate, then it will pass easily. If they include P3, layoffs, taxes up/down or anything controversial then we will have a political circus.

    I found it interesting that people are willing to vote for independent candidates that they like and that the NDP got three seats despite being absent from most ridings. The PC and Lib vote percentages are very close. Ending the binary Red/Blue two headed puppet is a good thing. The puppet masters responsible for pre-selecting our leaders will have a very difficult time controlling smaller parties and independents. It is also interesting that the majority of people did not vote for the ruling party so they have no claim to a mandate from the general population.

    From a overspending perspective, the inability to ram through huge long term contracts (P3 for healthcare and jail) is a good thing. Also, without a budget, government departments wont have a "program" to release anytime soon so all large expenditures will be on hold yet the construction season has already started. Failing to spend all the budget this fiscal year means less money borrowed.

    On the flip side, there is no way everyone will agree on painful measures such as downsizing government programs required to live within our means. I expect the status-quo will be maintained for a little longer and the cans will continue to be kicked down our faintly striped, water-based painted roads.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Business as usual. Financial support of continuance by Ball governance style; steady as she goes. Stan, get er done, pay out the contractors, commission the Muskrat, whether needed or not. Fire up the Holyrood one more time. Fill a pothole. Drill the ocean. etc. Independents will have to support Ball. Tories weaker than thought. NDP/Greens on the rise? Oct. election may be interesting. Maybe one NDP/Green will show up.

      Delete
    2. What do you suppose will become of the budget when MF is now updated for the first time in years. When 12.7 becomes 14.5 and counting what will the government do for the extra 2 billion or so needed for Danny's Delusion?

      Delete
  24. The minority Government situation is proof that both the major parties have weak leaders. Crosbie needs to look in his own mirror too. Problem is there is no maverick heir apparent who can break from the party elites to offer anything new or honest in either party. We may be into a stalemate for a more lengthy period of stagnation than expected.

    ReplyDelete
  25. For conclusive evidence that polls are fit only for dogs see:
    "What we're seeing is that Ches Crosbie and the PCs do have an advantage. It's small, but it's outside the margin of error of the poll," said Abacus Data CEO David Coletto.

    I feel an urge to use that poll!

    Lie early and often to pollsters to relieve that urge to trust them. Now excuse me while I raise my leg!

    Coletto and his pal Powers are partisan hacks! They peddle bullshit to confuse voters.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Seems there were quite a few like-minded fellow citizens --- good for democracy.

    Here's my May 12th UG comment:---

    Maurice Adams12 May 2019 at 14:42

    I would add a 6th ---- if only a Lib or PC option, vote for the one that would most likely help bring about a minority government.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How Greta Thunberg, Uncle Gnarley and I delivered a minority government:
      We know that climate change has been a non issue in Nfld, and not much of an issue world wide,despite hard science for 30 years. Trumpie says it is a Chinese hoax, and also that windmills cause cancer, and that oil, gas and coal burning is great. So too here we want to double oil production, and that is okay, because we have "ethical" oil, say Ches. And who wants to mess with Ches, who says
      he is now aggressive.
      So,.......Last fall Greta took a stand as to school strikes,way over in Sweden. Then there was Extinction Rebellion protests in London for 2 weeks and 1000 arrested, but Parliament declaring a Climate Emergency.The followed school strikes locally (but comments ridicules these students, as also does Brian Peckford).
      On this UG blog, I have brought attention to these issues. Robert Holmes too has constantly promoted the green movement, and the folly of MFs.....so a couple of voices from the wilderness.
      Here, meanwhile, Graham Letto, Minister for the Environment, brought in his nothing burger climate action plan, appeared at a local school with small children, promoted by VOCM etc. While Synapse was advocating for big Conservation and Efficiency measures,to help for MFs rate mitigation, Letto was doing nothing, a mockery of his responsibility. I called him out on this blog.
      Now they say a single vote can make a difference.
      Letto, in Labrador got 1361 votes. However , the NDP got 1366 votes, just 5 more, so Letto is history.
      Now if UG readers from Labrador , some who are a bit of the green variety, said enough of that BS, Graham is not Green, so vote against him, it is not reasonable that some voted for that reason?
      So 5 votes less for Letto, the fake Environment Minister, was sufficeint to take away Ball's majority.
      I explained this to my wife last night , and she laughed, saying "Don't let anyone hear you say that, as they'll figure your're losing it". I said I might tell in on UG, and we laughed again.
      Now Ed Hollett says all spin is bullshit.
      So too for this, a bit of spin. But who to say that Greta, UG and I did not make the difference?
      If a tree falls in the forest, and no one there to hear it, did it make a sound?
      A minority government, good or bad......time will tell. Robert asks if NDP/Greens on the rise?
      The reds and blues believe we have ethical oil, so a thought road ahead on that issue.
      Winston Adams

      Delete
  27. Seems like Paul Lane may be the statesman of the lot? Statements to get down to work, work together to solve problems, and won't be bought?
    Did he have a conversion on the road to Damascus?
    Meanwhile Ball pledges to "stay" humble going forward. Humble? And how about honest?
    Aggressive Ches has not gone over well. Apologies already.
    Coffin beats her chest and says she will be formidable. Certainly, she has a lot of tongue, so a gift of the gab. Not sure of her competence in economic policy, despite being a prof at MUN in economics.Has she said anything on rate mitigation, CDM, wind energy, MFs reliability?
    As to oil prices, Saudi Arabia needs $85 oil prices to balance their budget, and they with about 200 billion bbl reserves.They are actually reducing production to increase prices, which is working. So can more oil balance Nfld budgets?
    MORE OIL, MORE OIL, like TIM the Toolman: MORE POWER, MORE POWER, and grunts like an ape. Bad disease, oil on the brain.Do all MHAs suffer from that?
    Winston

    ReplyDelete
  28. For anyone following atmosphere CO2 ppm levels,350 was hit perhaps a decade ago. Prior to the industrial revolution it averaged about 250, so it took a log time to get to 350, which was considered higher than safe.
    When it hit 400 not too long ago, some media mentioned it, most did not.
    On May 11, I intended to post,( it is climbing 2-3 parts per year now), as it exceeded 415 for the first time, at 415.26.
    But that record did not last long, on May 15 it hit 415.7
    And Bruno thinks we can easily roll back the climate emergency.
    The data is plotted on the Keeler chart, recorded high on a barren non active volcano peak in Hawaii.
    WA

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. To see more, Goggle Keeling Curve rather than Keeling chart
      WA

      Delete
  29. Anyone watching the water levels at Mud Lake Road.... Seems to be rising says average Joe.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's been on my mind, Joe for the past week, and yesterday the 17th, being the day the flood occurred 2 years ago.
      With election, Inquiry, and other matters (like the Health Care crisis here), I am behind on following the river levels. Thanks for the reminder.
      Winston

      Delete
    2. A modest rise at Mud Lake, but just to the top of the river bank.
      The rise a few km below MFs is modest. Rise at Kettle Rapids 57 KM above MFs is still rising and not peaked yet. Snow cover in MFs area is most all gone, so should temper the rise. Flow from the Churchill Falls plant was reduced some this past 2 weeks, assume to reduce risk of flooding.
      Data seems favourable, and unless ice jambs occur, should go smoothly. I would not give assurances as Gilbert Bennett did 6 hrs before the big flood 2 years ago that all is fine! With ice jambs water can rise fast as Mud Lake. If I was living there, seeing the ice moving through and not too tight or thick would give me comfort, more so than the water gauge data alone. But for flow control, the data is essential to control CFs flow and the MFs spillway flow in advance. At MFs the water has been very steady at 21.5 meters, more steady than last year , I think, so either controlling it better, or the weather has been good to permit less of a spike in the flow, so not much fine tuning needed.
      Again it puts the flood 2 years ago at question, and I think Nalcor at fault. Would PENG2 agree? I see the class action in in the works, not sure if it was approved to proceed? I think a good engineering study, a real independent one would find Nalcor at fault, on the balance of probabilities.
      Winston Adams

      Delete
  30. Inquiry issues: the Telegram cites evidence this week that the management approach of control from St Johns led to failures and added costs.
    And to, we know the negative fall out from reduction of the SNC responsiblities, recall: SNC people treated like slaves etc.
    So, for PENG2, how much of all this is engineering and non engineering management / political decisions? There was considerable engineering talent in management, thought Ed Martin was not but Gil Bennett and others.
    So, on engineering failure we see much of it, that could have been reduced with good management, but overall on a scale of 0 to 100, where would you rate engineering failure/success on this project, at this stage of the Inquiry? I think you have moved some to acknowledge engineering failure from your original position? And the show is not over yet by far.
    Winston

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    Replies
    1. WA:

      RE 08:49:
      Id say the Engineering fail is still small in comparison of the overall fail - the decision makers were primarily making political decisions and satisfying agendas, most of the key decisions were based on Engineering facts. Granted there may have been a couple Engineers in a position of decision making authority (eg GB), but they were practicing well out of their league and may as well have been a Grade 1 kid. It would be interesting for you to review the Org Charts and just see how few qualified professionals (Engineers, Accountants, Geologists etc) were making the decisions - most were hacks that were connected. Most had experience in the private sector and had no concept about Ethical Decision Making processes in the public arena.

      RE 08:26:
      My stance hasn't changed - I wouldn't live downstream, I said this before.

      PENG2

      Delete
    2. PENG@ @ 11:46:

      Typo correction:
      '...most of the key decisions weren't based on Engineering facts...'

      PENG2

      Delete
  31. Who will be our new Environment Minister under a minority government?
    Will we have someone who will follow the example of the Mother Country, England? There in Oct 2018 they released their 74 page report "Managing the coast in a changing climate".
    Over the next 60 years risk to properties is expected to increase 5 fold, from 0.1% to o.5 %. This means 1.5 million properties at risk from flooding, 1.2 million of those being houses. Also 1600 km of road, 650 km of railway line, and 92 railway stations. Sea level is expected to rise by 1.1 m by year 2100. With 0.5 m rise, 20 % of England's coastal defences are vulnerable to failure.
    Recently the first town in England is scheduled to be decommissioned in 26 years from now, by decision of the council, and no compensation. Property values have fallen 40%. That town is Fairboure, 410 homes and 850 people. In 26 years they will demolish the village: houses , shops, roads, sewers, gas pipes, and electricity.
    Can someone direct me to a link where Graham Letto commissioned such a risk assessment for coastal Nfld and Labrador?
    As to MFs we saw 6 or 7 levels of risk assessment all buried or ignored. And too, on Friday, we saw that Noseworthy too had written on the need for oversight committee to deal with MFs risks, and that too ignored.
    Given our experience with MFs, what can we expect for climate change risk for coastal NL?
    The report from England notes that sea levels will keep rising for centuries from past GHG emissions, and that dramatic reductions of GHG are needed to reduce risks as now expected.
    Perhaps this may explain why London and England seem to be taking the climate emergency serious, but here not an issue, as we are on a different planet, and we pump ethical oil.
    Winston Adams

    ReplyDelete
  32. The deals are on, Allison Coffin and the other 2 NDP in the driver's seat. The independents are remaining independent. It is indeed time to tackle the deficit and then the massive debt, including impending MF debt. The health care system is a good place to start. Can't you hear the howling from people already, based upon the howling from a few simple tax increases of a few years ago!! Ask not what you can do for your province but only what your province can do for you!

    ReplyDelete
  33. Ah yes, the debt is at almost 50% of GDP, Allison, as an economist, should understand that serious fiscal problem that we face. Eddy Joyce has political baggage and Paul Lane's roller skates are in need of lubrication. It all makes for interesting political times in the province.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Recall that the UG piece on Choosing Wisely said 20 % saving possible on health care, so on 3 billion, that is 600 million a year, from efficient and streamlined operations. Choosing Wisely is promoted by medical professionals, is it not?
    PF

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    Replies
    1. Don't recall (I am not Kathy Dunderdale) but good luck with that, is it 20%. I am a senior citizen and do not see very many positive outcomes ahead.




      Delete
    2. Health care is run much like Nalcor, lots of money spent and worse outcomes in Canada. Weekly there is reports of incompetence. Inquiry needed there too to expose the rot.

      Delete
  35. With the shenanigans about to unfold at the HoA, imminent insolvency has been fast tracked in my opinion. Wall/ Bay St. couldn't care less about Backwater politics.

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  36. A few thoughts on government stability. Seems a small minority want to return to the poles today, think even VOCM 's straw pole showed that. So the people that has been elected will have to make government work for the province and the people. So first things first. Will we have a minority govt?? Most likely, but it depends on the 5 vote majority in Lab West. Will the NDP have 3 members or 2??. And the choosing of a speaker is another mile stone. Most likely it will come from the govt. side. So if we have a govt. of 21 members then it is by the slimmest of all margins, and every member is of paramount importance, that will put their province before their district and not want every nook and cranny filled with ashfelte and a dr. In every home, or a home in every community etc. That can happen in some cases if we have not chosen wisely. But, if it turns out we have a minority govt. of 20 members then it will be up to the other members, especially the NDP to decide if we have a stable govt. what that govt. does and for how long. They all say, work together for the betterment of the province. Not sure about chess, after his election speach and his cancelled news conference from Friday, that will come in the next couple of days, I guess. As for minority govts, I gave my opinion on that before the election, using Pearson's two minority govts of the 60's and what they were able to achieve, much more than the previous and following majority govts. And one may say, ball et al is no "mike" Pearson, or John Kennedy. And I agree with that. So let his leadership be tested. As I also mentioned, in most of Europe minority govts have become the norm for many years. When was the last time Isreal had a majority govt? Others will tell me. Usually they have 2 or 3 parties forming the govt., the only democracy in the Middle East. On election night last month PEI elected a minority govt of 3 parties, have not followed it to see how it worked out. Haven't heard a peep or squeak about it since. Am sure others will tell me. It will not only test every member elected, but whether we as a people are able to govern ourselves after exercising our democratic right. Or we will ramp and roar until we get a govt. with a Hugh majority that will give us things like muskrat falls all over again ask average Joe.

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    1. Joe @ 11:23:

      I posted my thought above on potential speaker candidates - but to be 100% accurate we don't yet have a minority government (but most likely will for my reasons above).

      20 seats is sufficient for a majority since the Speaker isn't normally a voting seat in the traditional sense - though this is trivial at this point, it might be the incentive for DB to work with the NDP, PL or EJ. The Speaker is a very powerful position, but I am not sure there are really good options - but am sure DB will try to avoid a direct minority.

      PENG2

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    2. Will with 20-20, including the speaker, who will no doubt vote with the govt. if from the govt. side, on something like a financial matter. So the speaker's vote may cause a tie. Does that require a trip to the LG to disolve parliament ask Joe blow.

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    3. Joe @ 12:31:

      Speaker only votes in event of tie as I understand - His vote isn't normally along party lines (above I posted he is to be impartial) and He is to extend debate/discussion/cooperation etc in events of ties.

      Many see the Speaker as trivial - in actuality probably 2nd most powerful position in elected politics.

      Confidence motions not passed clearly require a trip to the LG - nothing to do with financial matters etc - though most budgets are termed confidence matters.

      PENG2

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    4. Guess the experts will have to weigh in, with 20-20 the including the speaker the result would be the same, a defeated or tied motion, requires a trip to the LG, and I think it does require something important, like a fincincial matter, but hey what does average Joe know, lol.

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    5. Minority or majority govt...that is the question with 20-20???? Guess it depends on from which 20 the speaker comes from. That is why the speaker election is so important. Someone tell me I am wrong says Joe blow.

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    6. joe @ 13:35:

      The speaker is important, not because he has a vote (he doesn't have a vote like other members) - but because he gives up his constituency's vote on the floor for other rewards. The Speaker will get most whatever he asks for in his constituency - provided it doesn't blatantly show favoritism.

      Id say the Speaker is at worse 2nd most powerful position in the HoA - if not most powerful since his requests would be private and not played ion the media, or has been my observations. Voting is not 20-20, rather its 39 regularly eligible votes - so the speaker selection is critical now.


      Robert @ 14:25:
      If you check out the number of voters, participation ranges from 224k - 200k since 2003 (so the 212k last week isn't unusual, just a hair low considering population changes), inorder to get very high turnout you need to go back to the CW administrations in the 90s - upwards of 300k voters then. My guess is since we still have 7 elected members directly ties to the sanction of MF is that the MF Inquiry publicity (and indirectly the MFCCC) had little effect in the outcome.

      PENG2

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  37. Before we depart this important wrap on election results, the Pollsters an Analysts need to inform us of the following;

    How did less than 10% of voters produce the minority? deciding issues, and regional distribution of discontent?

    What of the 40% who did not vote or spoiled their ballot? Age grouping? Issues and regional distribution.

    Advice to the ruling parties, lessons learned? modification of agenda, programs and budgets?

    Best of the reduced lot to choose from in cabinet appointments.

    Finally, what effect if any, that Concerned Citizens on Muskrat may have had on the election outcome?

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  38. PENG2 @11:46. I struggle with your statement " most of the key decisions were't based on Engineering facts", and so you see little engineering failure overall.
    I suggest much was based on engineering alternative facts, or false assumptions.
    Politicians, in ignorance, might say the Anglo Saxon route is good, technical sound and economic, and select engineers who are hacks to deliver the evidence to support the political view. Is this what happened?
    So the initial questions: Did we need the power, and was it lowest cost?
    If this was not supported on engineering facts, and I suggest it wasn't, then the engineering to get it to sanction, with these 2 questions answered positive represents engineering failure. does it not?
    Beyond sanction, the engineering false assumptions continued, but as to the first 2 questions, is there much or any defense that engineering was sound? If not , then a failure, to that point, would you agree?
    Winston

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    1. WA @ 18:44:

      To be fair I struggle with this too.

      But when I look it over, I see too much information suggesting MF not be completed - some dating back 30-40 yrs, nothing changed since the 70s to make MF viable. So, why then was MF executed - probably as you say, an outcome was selected and then talking points (no facts) selected carefully to support the case.

      Considering that Nalcor ousted SNC(a group of hydro experts), ignored SNC advice and took on roles for which there was no inhouse ability I am inclined to say that no one wanted to hear that MMF was a poor idea. The other side of the equation, is duty of care - the owner (ie government) likely told Nalcor to do MF at all costs. Using this scenario, I am not so sure there really is a duty on Nalcor to object if the owner says go. Nalcor and the MF PMT certainly has no duty of care to the public that I can see.

      I outlined the 3-4 players/groups in the MF hierarchy and their duty of care to the public last week or so - wasn't a lot of discussion on that.

      PENG2

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    2. WA @ 18:44:

      Maybe the way this situation needs to be analyzed is how would the response and actions be different if it was Fortis/NL Power developing MF rather than Nalcor?

      I would say that if it was Fortis/NL Power developing MF, most people would say that's their problem irregardless of why - the problem is with Nalcor leading the developer is that the tax payer is eventually on the hook for the bill, and I offer that it was mostly governance responsible (remember that Fortis said they wanted no part of MF likewise with several other consortiums/partners when it was assessed).

      PENG2

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