Monday, 10 June 2019

DOES CHES CROSBIE HAVE A FUTURE AS TORY LEADER?

The aftermath of the general election remains dominated by talk of recounts (especially in Labrador West), the NDP’s “balance of power” and, of course, P.C. Leader Ches Crosbie’s unscripted outburst on election night. In Minority Government Likely Short-Lived the Uncle Gnarley Blog allowed Premier Dwight Ball, at best, another year to get his affairs in order. A later Post entitled NDP Leader Alison Coffin Next Finance Minister? described the challenges that a mildly resurgent NDP will encounter as they navigate the terms for supporting Liberal dither.

Of course, the Tories didn’t exactly drop off the face of the Earth, having captured 43% of the popular vote in comparison with the Liberals’ 44%, and winning fifteen Seats. That is reason enough to consider what the election outcome says about the Tory Campaign and what it portends for Ches Crosbie.


Strange as it may seem, the biggest post-election consequence for many may have been a mild case of PTSD. The mere mention of the word “promise” instantly overwhelms, resulting in feelings of love and affection similar to that which la Francophonie might have experienced during the 1995 Quebec referendum. It was as if Brian Tobin’s antidote to a Federalist defeat — kill them with kindness — was replicated here during the pre-Budget period, with untold pre-writ droppings. Evidently, the placebo imparted one particular side-effect: a particular ringing in the ears. First-hand accounts suggest that the malady had the character of a coin reflecting the sound of an empty Treasury and an unimpressed electorate, many having refused to swallow it.
Ches Crosbie’s “Cheap” rate mitigation plan held similar effect as did reminders of Muskrat and Tory fiscal recklessness.

Nevertheless, the late bid by Bill Matthews, former Tory MHA and former Liberal MP, to become the Tory MHA — again — in Burin-Grand Bank constituted warning that Crosbie’s crop of new candidates was thin. The close of nominations also recorded that St. John’s South would have no Tory candidate on the ballot.  

Lucky for Crosbie, he had the gutsy lady from Roddickton, Sheila Fitzgerald, to inject a bonfire of pluckiness into the Tory campaign — one that, as Leader, he failed to incite. He may be fortunate that she lost. Now he only has Tony Wakeham, who opposed him for the leadership last year, watching for his next stumble.

Still mind-boggling is that he refused to distance himself from the baggage left by Danny Williams, Tom Marshall and the Constable Premier, or acknowledge their role in Muskrat and a ruined Treasury. That he was able to juggle fake rate mitigation and the evolving catastrophe those names represent, coming up with fifteen Seats anyway, is no minor miracle.

The result only gives the pundits further proof of the adage that ‘Oppositions don’t win elections — governments lose them’. Those Tory gains are in every respect a judgment on Dwight Ball’s three-and-a-half years of miserable leadership.

Crosbie may never again get as good a chance to take down the Government.

While some will point to his lack of charisma and poor communications skills, those issues paled against the challenges posed by a P.C. Party in deep disarray.

Skilful and well-organized local district organizations helped the Tories take down Joey Smallwood in the 1971 and ’72 general elections. It was a system directed towards voter identification and turn-out that Brian Peckford understood and took pains to encourage — with great effect. Later Tory Premiers, from Williams to the Constable, let a system critical to grass-roots engagement slowly lapse. Granted, the decay was aided, too, by social change, including an aging population and the substitution of the iPad for face-to-face contact as the principal means of social and political connectivity, but no Party can advance without boots on the ground.

Unlike the Liberals, however, who at least set up a central Call Centre to connect with voters, the Tories, their coffers long empty, offered few supports to local Candidates. In some quarters there is talk that Crosbie’s own name is attached to a large bank Note, without which the outcome of the election might have been far worse.

Few would argue that a better-financed operation might have delivered a more expert media campaign (a fact that applies to all the Parties equally) which, in turn, may have delivered better message penetration and smoothing of the blunt edges on a stodgy Party leader.

Notably, in metro St. John’s — the Tories’ traditional stronghold, where much hope was placed for unseating the Liberals — the sparsity of even basic signage gave no hint of either energy or confidence, let alone a resurrected bastion of blue.

Admittedly, this minutiae of political campaigns and why the Tories failed is tangential to the larger picture.

As it stands, not just the public, but no Party wants a fast return to the Polls even if the recycled lawn signs should not be returned to long-term storage. The NDP bask in the glow of discovery. It is their claim on the ‘balance of power’, nevertheless, that makes the Tories’ fifteen-Seat achievement momentarily inconsequential.

It’s the Liberals who have the upper hand, if only because they know that the refusal of support by the NDP is a choice that, at its core, carries the weight of immense political risk. Alison Coffin does not seem like somebody who is oblivious to oblivion.

On the other hand, Premier Ball is done like toast, his ineptitude now given manifestation by ‘minority’ status. He will exit stage left as soon as the powerbrokers tell him it’s time. This time the white smoke of a leadership convention will likely contain less carbon than emitted when Ball was the choice of the Convention. 

Don’t think for a moment that a tired electorate is a sufficient ward against pursuit of a new mandate, especially when the awful realities of Muskrat and empty public coffers bear down, threatening to ruin a good election message.

This is a long way of saying that the Liberals are mindful perhaps less of their minority status than of a narrowing political window within which to secure a majority. In the forthcoming struggle of partisan politics, Ches Crosbie will play only a minor role — and possibly only a temporary one — unless he gets busy.

Assured of victory by mid-election Polls, he heads a disappointed Caucus who will assess his every failing and wonder if Tony Wakeham might perform better. There is no group more fractious than those denied the largesse of victory, especially the role of Minister or the plum job of Parliamentary Assistant. Then, too, Wakeham’s disciples are Danny Williams’ children. There will be trouble.

Crosbie will have to begin now to do the rebuilding — finances, policy and organization — denied his Party, in part by his own inexperience, but in greater measure by his recent predecessors who were as reckless as they were unwise and self-aggrandizing.  

It will be a tough slog for him, and there are no guarantees.

He will need a good script and stick to it.

75 comments:

  1. The upcoming budget and who makes what compromises will tell much regarding their respective futures. It's true we may be campaign weary but bad compromises for the sake of political survival is a bad choice.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Omg the UG blog is getting so political these days, but must admit most of the commentators are not, or they rarely express political comments. Yes from finance minister Coffin to Crosbie out burst to balls minority government, and all of them maybe add up to an even zulch. But since it is the topic of the blog again today may as well make a comment or two, and may even be with tongue in cheek. So after chesses outburst on election night I was expecting to see a fighting Crosby with fist clinched and and threatening to take on the best 3 liberals at once and the out come would be that they would be reduced by at least two members permanently. Or baring that I was expecting the threatened news conference for the next day would be positive action like Danny, that flag is coming down, and that flag, and that flag too. And to be one up chess would say and I am going one steps further and all the flags are coming down. Now take that, but don't ask me why. Was expecting Alison to call for a street parade, similar to the Growlers, and she would be featured as the miss GO-GO dancing girl the entire route with just a head band showing. As for Dwight was expecting a held in secret happy, no holds barred, love and kisses in a reunion with Eddie. But none of that came to pass. Politics has become so boring, hardly worth ones effort to vote, just more talk of all working together with a minority govt. and pass the budget or interment supply. Think the next 2 to 4 years will be just as boring as I digress and think of the Joey days, Moores, Crosbie the elder, and the one man band Danny. Now that was politics at its best not to mention our Brian. Average Joe.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Joe methinks you are into the acid again. Ms Coffin will nail you for your comments.

      Delete
    2. Bruno, expecting to get nailed by ball et al, with words like, secret, no holds barred, hugs and kisses, but the problem is none of this stuff happened. Lol, average Joe.

      Delete
  3. At its best ------- and its worst.

    ReplyDelete
  4. At its worst and at its worst Maurice from my point of view!

    Danny's bluster brought federal provincial relations to an all time low. Let us no forget he also flattened the treasury with MF as his legacy project.

    ReplyDelete
  5. In some respects, perhaps so Bruno.

    Although I have long felt that Brian Peckford and his advisors are primarily responsible for the hard-fought-for Atlantic Accord rights/revenues (notwithstanding that more recent governments have misused these revenues).

    ReplyDelete
  6. Much could be written, but will just summaries. We are witness a public flogging of which was never seen before, maybe unknowing, with a babbling iodit. Who is he trying to fool. Am sure the commissioner will see it that way too, and strike his testimony from the records. Must be taking his q from minister of NR, where he said I didn't need to read the report because nalcor read it. Who needs to take minutes when we inform each other verbally, and no records, nothing official, we can do as we please. Yup, tail waging the dog, train left the station, and nalcor is the monster all proof positive evidance says Joe blow.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Time to sell Nalcor!!!

      Delete
    2. Sell selective assets, and disband the waste of one Crown Corp. Bring 21st century Energy Policy to NL.

      Delete
  7. Don't you all think that bringing the future of the Tory Leader into focus is a red herring, diverting from the Inquiry questioning this AM? What an embarrassment that the Board Chair, and his Accountant-trained Members did not know that the spreadsheets were "cooked". Fraud.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Of course Marshall was not not alarmed at increasing costs in 2013, before financial close, because he could compare to the 2.4 B cushion higher cost that the alternative, the Isolated Option was pegged at.
    As I have said that figure with interest was inflated about 7 billion higher than what the lowest cost option should have been (and not assessed by this Inquiry.) . So Marshall with his accounting insights, and trickery, can suck and blow at the same time.
    Winston Adams

    ReplyDelete
  9. Well spent the rest of the day throwing up again, from the little bit I could watch. Will just comment briefly on one questions. Why did you serve on the board. Right answer: for 12 years because of political affiliation, came in with that govt. and went out with it. But I am a proud, committed, dedicated and pasoniate Newfoundlander, and I would die for my province and people, work long hours for very little or no pay, but as soon as the govt changes, I change too. And I don't care about bringing this provincial to its fincincial knees as long as I am doing it for the right party. As for treason and traitors, if nalcor said give away our paid for, cheap, reliable power to NS, I say count me in with full support.Yup just the kind of people that got us in this mess, all about commitment to political parties, and in doing so the devil take the province and its people. Average Joe.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Given the contrived manner and extent of the misuse of billions of dollars of the people's hard-earned dollars and oil revenues, much of the cross examination by counsel for ratepayers has been and is pathetic.



    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And by far, the kind of representation that the people deserves, and should have, is best demonstrated by the vigorous representation provided by counsel for Nalcor, for Dwight Ball and Minister Coady and for some of the most senior government officials --- many of which are the culprits behind this multi-billion dollar deception.

      Delete
    2. There has been a lot of discussion by counsel that would lead one to think, at first blush, that everyone on this project should have been an engineer and that would have solved everything. Of course this is hogwash. It is interesting to me that most of the lawyers have been disinterested and uninspired, sitting there to collect daily rates or to pop up every now and again to say "no questions". With the exception of Mr Martin's counsel who is using his time wisely to catch up on his sleep. For all of this money, could we not have had a few of the counsel with some capital project experience on major projects who had some understanding of the subject matter ? It is embarrassing to listen to some of these people who, once taken off script, look like deer in the head lights. Many of the questions are repetitive and pop of the same exhibits to go over the same material. Seems a shame to waste this money. There's perhaps only three of them carrying the freight.

      Delete
    3. Sadly you are right again Maurice. The representatives for citizen groups are sadly much weaker (to be polite). To a large extent this was politically determined with little cash for many and none for some of the best informed, like Phil Raphals (only to be called in for an in camera discussion that the public will not ever see).

      Delete
    4. I agree Bruno. Leblanc says that politics is not at play here. But I would strongly disagree.

      Delete
  11. Again today we see that the Nalcor Board kept no hand written notes of discussions at meetings. Pretty well standard procedure, and we are to believe Ken's poor memory with no note backup, over others who give testimony that's opposite.
    We see lawyer Fitzgerald point fingers at Marshall, and then Dan Simmonds white wash Marshall and point fingers at Government, so "Who's on first base" Abbott and Costello played out daily in this Inquiry. And Julia who kept notes, well they just conveniently disappeared.........and no police investigation.
    What after all the writing Leblanc does, his notes just disappear to?
    Not to either take notes or record important meetings shows incompetence, and to take notes and loose then shows incompetence, and if someone destroys them is a crime it seems. Can someone explain to me why Leblanc has not acted to get to the bottom of the Julia's lost notes, or did I miss some thing how this has been properly handled?
    Winston

    ReplyDelete
  12. Well, what should I write today. All hands on deck at 8 this morning, long day for some guys, but Eddies lawyer will take advantage of it again as someone else has noted and get a few winks in. The commissioner seems to have shown good judgement in scheduling witness to date,not sure about missing notes, but seems he went of track with chairman of the board. Only scheduled him for half a day, and started only at 9:30. What is his thinking. The main man, the equivalent of the premier under those circumstances, only half a day, should have been at least 3 days, to give them all time to take a deep dive into his inept actions. Yes said he was only acting chairman, most of the 12 years that he was on the board. Agree with that, because de facto, Eddie was Ed of the board. They all did Eddie's bidding, and Eddie reported only and directly, to DW and KD the premiers, and after they left, he reported only to himself, but was responsible to no one, not even himself. Now as we all know, the Chairman of the board is in fact the CEO's boss, and reports to no one, other than directly to the people, not even to the premier, as our direct representive as head over it all. What responsibility does he have for the boondoggle or has he taken. None. He wasn't given any info by his so called boss Eddie, except verbal and secretive. Yup, what a tangled web they weave, when they weave to deceive, you and I, but true to their political parties, says average Joe.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Great piece Cathy wrote as editorial in the Telegram in high praise of Nalcor , world class, and the business case, and her involvement with local business heads........she would not state their names except for John Steele, but all in the email, guess she forgot their names. PENG2 talks about the letters by naysayers but say little about the pro Nalcor propaganda, by hi profile people like Cathy Bennett and her group. PENG2 should be more balanced in how the public was deceived.
      Winston

      Delete
    2. More balanced?? PENGzero is a troll! If you don't get that yet there is little hope for you!

      Anyone with that wretched ring is to be believed (even imaginary ones like zero's) despite recurrent evidence that the truth has little to do with what they say. Is that it Winston??

      Delete
  13. Well now, the fincincial adult in the room I think CB was. She understood who her real boss was...the fincincial markets, a very good place to start, she found a project and a province in fincincial mess when she became fininciace minister. She was originally a great supporter of muskrat. But when she saw the writing on the wal, she broke with muskrat. Much like John Dean being a great supporter of Nexen, but he broke the bond when he saw corruption, seems similar to CB. Is she the real John Dean, or just a JD moment, will have to seei guess. She was not in balls pocket, she was not in Stans pocket, she was not in the oversights pocket, she was her own person, taking on almost alone the fincincial situation of the province when she recognized it. So far I give her a 9 out of 10 for being the adult. Let's see what happens, says Joe blow.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I can't believe I am rooting for Tommy Williams in his grilling of Cathy Bennett. From board chair to MF critic in 6 months is quite a political metamorphosis. She deserves good grilling!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And it took her some 12 to 15 years, years of business/board and provincial department ministerial experience, to come to the views that she now espouses --- views that even non-expert nay-sayers espoused even well before sanction.

      Remarkable how it is that she needed such higher education, business and political experience to bring about views that were practically from the very beginning so obvious to those with open minds.

      Delete
    2. It was clear to anyone able to do basic arithmetic could soon determine it was nuts to build MF and the delivery system to nowhere but Danny's "Anglo Saxon" dreams.

      Delete
    3. Agree Bruno on your TW point and grilling of CB, as I said before two very important directors of the board, being rushed through. Bit should have had a couple of days on the stand each. But, hey we are not making the schedule, Leblanc is doing that and the final report. Yes watching this morning, seems like a rush by all to get pass CB, a mere hinderance in the proceedings, let's get back on track to the real stuff, like JM as directed by the commissioner. Yes, agree she made a 180 turn, nothing wrong with that once you realize you have made a mistake and have learned from your errors. So, yes she baca me fininciace in early 2016, after leaving the board mid 2013. She was finance critic in 2014-5, but you don't learn a hell of a lot outside looking in. But agree she should have been grilled on, why do you think it was the lowest cost option, why did you think we needed the power and how much. I suspect here answer would have been much similar to the general public at that time. I believed nalcor and I believed govt. they sold the average Joe and Jane a bill of bogus goods. She was busy running her macdonalds bergers etc. at the time so an average citizen. But she learned a few things and assumed a few things on the board, and was elected chair person by her co members, not appointed by govt. and served less than six months. She asked for a meeting with the premier when leaving but was denied. Then resigned you might say in frustration and the amount of time it required. Her predecessor was frustrated too, but did not resign in protest until govt. changed after 12 years. Think her total time on the board was less than 5 years. And as soon as learned the cost was over the predicted of 6.2 she balked and changed her mind. Many others stayed with muskrat at 7B$ and rising and still with it as a good project at what it is today. She understood fincinances and meeting a payroll, she was concerned about the provincial debt and the bond rating agencies, didn't see any one else's concern. She stood up to Stan the man and said this money you have coming in from sales, is provincial money, not yours to spend as you see fit. That what I call a lady of principal and real concern for the province and people. Now she didn't last very long in the ball govt, because that all turned on her. She wanted to control the public purse as finance minister, and most of the MHAs turned on her because thay wanted more goodies so they could get elected again. Now I don't know CB from Adams wife, other that what I saw of her as finance minister on tv and what I saw this morning, and I don't think she was permitted to tell her entire story. She is very straight forward, very deliberate and professional in her testimony, and many direct questions answered with yes, or no. Yep, good riddance to anyone who wants to control spending says Joe blow.

      Delete
    4. Good post Joe. Agree with most all of what you say.

      So was Leblanc playing politics when he cut her story short --- perhaps not good for Ball/Coady/Liberals for her to say too much.

      She kept associating her support for MF to the $6.2 billion, as if that was the only consideration. Yet no one challenged her on that (and much more, as you have mentioned).

      I think she came to see the light only after separating herself from the party cult(ure).

      Delete
    5. Joe it was Ed Martin that bragged during his tenure as supremo that any profit was Nalcor property do with as they pleased. Stan Marshall was just following established protocols. They are all crooked self serving, self dealing bastards.

      Delete
    6. Not disagree with you, but that was the story CB told this morning, and that would have been in 2017 I guess, the first power that came over the line from CF but maybe we better default to Winston, your battery combaton. Or could have been the power from the HQ line that Emera had been marketing for us for a number of years, but think it was the former. Average Joe.

      Delete
    7. Just confirmed on line, line first energized last May, and first power flowed June 27, 2018. That is from CF via the LIL to soldiers pond I guess. Recall power I guess.. Couldn't read the article my high tech PC kept kicking me out. So assume this was the power CB was discussing with SM a year earlier before she left in July 2017. Average Joe.

      Delete
  15. For someone with such a diverse, inside, changing and johnny-come-lately perspective and story to tell about this MF fiasco, was not this direct, non-redirect examination and cross examination pathetic?

    "Get the inquiry over with" seems to be the critical objective.

    ReplyDelete
  16. John Mac on the stand - from potato maker to president of NL Hydro to EVP of Nalcor

    ReplyDelete
  17. Commitment to an 'aggressive schedule' must be something that is contagious.

    ReplyDelete
  18. JM tells a good story and has "all the answers"

    Can't even remember the name of his Deputy Project Manager of HVDC - such a critical role !!!

    ReplyDelete
  19. WoW Irene let JM do ALL the talking on Valard !! she hardly asked a question and certainly nothing deep probing ! JM tells a good tale ! WHY did Stan fire him ?

    ReplyDelete
  20. I was impressed with John M in the first 5 minutes and continued to be impressed so far, as to his knowledge and skill, and explanation. Seems from the get go he understood problems of integration of these GE packages, but still wonder if the software issue was a Nalcor oversight and booboo that is being addressed at very late stage.
    Surprised that Leblanc seems he is too technical and wants him to move along at a "HIGHER" level which means dumb it down, to Bruno level or lower,..... Whether this damn MFs works is to be seen over next 6-12 months, and this guy giving the most insight yet where we now stand, and Leblanc want to rush him.
    Leblanc rushed Stratton and the Trio, and felt satisfied with a pile of BS as to best practice for forecasting and energy supply/CDM options. Extra time with John M and less time with Ed Martin BS seems better to me.
    Was John M fired.....maybe later I will have change of mind in him ......see what happens this afternoon.
    Winston

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That was a cheap shot Winston. What issue have I yet to grasp? Methinks that ring has caused iron toxicity.

      Delete
    2. I understand chelation therapy can rid the body of excess iron.

      Delete
    3. Yes Bruno, a cheap shot, but you say anyone able to do basic arithmetic would know MFs was nuts. MFs should involve complex arithmetic and best practices. Nalcor and consultants often used simple arithmetic and assumptions that were false, or guessed wildly, to mislead.
      How many times have I challenged you to do basic arithmetic, as to your opinions, and you never do,whether you can't grasp it, too lazy to do it, or close minded tunnel vision.
      And so too ,you speculate as to me and rings, you obsess about iron rings that most engineers wear.
      I have never ever worn a ring neither gold, nor silver nor iron. You condemn all engineers. I call it as I see it, with MFs boondoggle, I mostly condemn key ones in this blunder, and praise a few.
      As to rings, I notice Harold Smith sports a gold one on his left hand and 2 gold ones on his right hand, for someone who sleeps through this Inquiry, he must do well on earnings. JM wears a so called magnetic bracelet on his right wrist, did you notice? Some claim health benefits, but a fad I think.
      You ask ...What issues have you yet to grasp? Today with JM was what you generally call technobabble. But soon you will claim copy right to the issues.
      I could easily name 5 issues and more you little grasp (from past discussions). And there is a thousand and more I don't grasp, ones I have not studied.
      But take it in stride Bruno, even JM today speaks just generally when outside his technobabble expertise, a wise man, and yet knows a lot , I think.
      Winston

      Delete
  21. Was he fired ? I guess we are NOT permitted to know !!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  22. Mac Issac can't be asked why he left Nalcor! What a farce this inquiry is!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Maybe we sometimes smoked weed for health reasons but that may be a safety issue, ......so a mystery really deserving of someone to state the real reason as BREAKING NEWS, as I doubt he smoked weed.
      Winston

      Delete
    2. WOW is he really that connected (we did hear his wife was very tight with the minister of Nat Resources) to the liberals that FOUR LAWYERS objected to his being asked why he was fired ......

      Delete
  23. Is there not an insider that can tell us anonymously why MacLeod left Nalcor?

    ReplyDelete
  24. Did Leblanc just cut off Collins who asked but never got a good answer to the questions : Is say 1;50 or 1;150 return period an input or output. I agree with Collins that it should be an input, and if so, then the Nalcor
    (and MacIsaac) may be misleading us on transmission reliability. Seems Leblanc may have understood this also and avoided the Inquiry going down that road, and terminated saying it was late in the day? Too much already as to lack of reliability today?
    PENG2 can speak to that I'm sure.
    Winston

    ReplyDelete
  25. It would appear this bloody fool ANDREW PARSONS has no inkling of the concept of deterrence, yet he's a member of the bar and the provincial minister of justice??

    Bloody-well ridiculous... inept twit.

    https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/newfoundland-labrador/andrew-parsons-fine-option-pilot-project-rollout-1.5166493

    ReplyDelete
  26. To me today perhaps the most disturbing yet, as questioning went on , with JM's testimony, first with Irene, I think her name,gently closing in on the GE and the software questions and impact and then Collins focusing in on that more.
    He saw it as the most serious risk, says his team are optimistic, but he is cautiously optimistic.
    So about 13 billion and cautiously optimistic, might sound good to some , not to me. Says they got the single pole line operating at 99% of the time , may sound good, not to me. (if down 1 % how many hrs is that per year? I don't have my calculator.
    Worse I think , is his statement that single pole should do 250 MW. We know they maxed out so far at 150 MW.
    The line bipole should be capable of 800 MW delivered, and if memory serves, single pole do 675 MW for 10 Minutes and then maybe 500 MW or so continuous.......so if he says 250 MW single pole , that is about half of design capacity. As he says 250, I stand to be corrected, like the witnesses, my recall is not perfect.
    And too 2, we learn other mfgs have better software it seems, so we are a test case maybe for GE grid, and so far using older software, and just now developing new stuff. He says we must have a plan B.......
    He serves away from questions on why this not an issue early on, and now seem certain to me that this a big BLUNDER by Nalcor in the original specs,as I suspected, and only really questioned by JM in 2016.
    SOFTWARE has been under the CONE OF SILENCE for years now, 2012 to 2018.
    So we have the generation plant all at risk from a potential the North Spur failure, and now the DC line and converter stations all at risk from integration software problems.
    Rather than lessen my concerns on this, JM has heightened my concerns.
    Also he confirms this is complex technology and no prior experience in Nfld, but this is what Liberty said 2 years ago.
    He avoided any answer as to backup power if the DC line goes down.Not his scope!
    I found him evasive a few times, but mostly straightforward.
    Not his fault for specs done before his time here.
    I flagged reliability issues early on, and at this late stage, I'd say 50/50 if it works well, which is terrible odds. Hope I am wrong, as so much work done and money spent. So JM can bail out now, someone else's worry. 4 companies he named besides Nalcor working on the software: GE, Growler and 2 others.....this shows the depth of the problem.
    Holy moly , what a mess, unless we get very lucky. They can only experiment trial and error in spring and fall, not winter, yet winter we need the power, so we'll see Oct and NOV.....if the Spur don't fail before that.......Job's conforter, but that is my view.
    Winston Adams

    ReplyDelete
  27. What is the current status of the resevoir filling? When will it be filled to full capacity? I also hear about vegetation removal demands (reduce mercury). Does the resevoir have to be lowered for tree clearing, or are the trees in question not flooded yet?

    Does anyone know if the turbines and generators have been tested yet? Do they even work? I remember hearing things about Chinese made turbines, GE design problems etc. "Manufacturing of the main turbine and generator components — the heart of the Muskrat Falls power plant — is being completed by Andritz-Hydro in China." -- The Telegram. I wouldn't be surprised if things don't go smoothly.

    ReplyDelete
  28. We have a 1998 moratorium on small hydro. https://www.releases.gov.nl.ca/releases/1998/exec/0831n01.htm

    The press release is interesting: Things like adding turbines to the upper Churchill and Muskrat Falls being a feasibility study. It amazes me that Muskrat went from a feasibility study to a pathological obsession in just a few years.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Ed Martin Can't hold his pee? Need frequent breaks at the Inquiry

    ReplyDelete
  30. Omg, gotta go through the lies and half truths of a decade ago, about needing the power and least cost option. First hour couldn't disagree with anything he said, but after the first break right back to where he always was. No contingency in the 6.2, and red meat stuff. Contingency was in the lies and half truths, money made from sales, gravy' etc., all Bs. Small town so red meat, everyone has it for supper the same day, so can't let it get out. Sure easy to control that roumer, contingency all used up, and everyone would know that by supper time according to him. What bs to be telling for over a decade, but we know why, and he knows why, just to cover up his boondoggle. Average Joe.

    ReplyDelete
  31. According to P. Harrington, a 'very aggressive cost estimate and schedule was imposed' on the project team early on.

    It was my long held and oft expressed opinion that that is what was done (cost and schedule purposely low-balled so as to achieve project sanction and to assuage public opinion).

    I would also suggest that demand and oil price forecasts were also unjustifiably and aggressively high.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And further --- listening now to Martin testimony, ideas being floated like foreign exchange costs, Gull Island costs, and shifting Astaldi capital costs to power plant operating costs, ---- imagine what may have been done to influence the demand forecast, the oil price forecast, the CPW input factors, etc. etc. (which the Inquiry has all but ignored).

      Delete
    2. MA: the conniving of ideas as you mention were must have applied to demand forecasting etc,(so were silly and off the wall) and passed over quickly by this Inquiry. Essential to do a similar deep dive into those issues.

      Delete
    3. Martin was the best operator and facilitator that the Administration could find to deceive the Ratepayer into thinking they were getting the "Deal of the Century". Gaming the Contractors and bid process, yet!

      Delete
    4. He takes not a shred of responsibility for the MF design, cost overruns, secrecy about the cost overruns, or the 300 million he hid from the public. He can speak endlessly about nothing, his cotton mouth saying nothing about the escalating cost prior to FLG. Learmonth lets him get away with saying nothing over and over.

      Delete
  32. Testimony sounds like increased cost estimates were disclosed in digestible chunks (and I have had that view since around 2011/12).

    ReplyDelete
  33. Learmonth, says you stand alone. Everyone else says you should have disclosed that number in July 2013 to government and the board of directors so they could assesset and and decide if they wanted to make a final decision before fincincial close. And he names all those who gave evidence to that effect. I say could probably add up to a dozen, politicians and govt. officials say that including 3 premiers and a number of ministers. So why did he not disclose. He was the head of the monster that govt had created and was greater than govt itself. That's why he didn't disclose. The real power and authority rest with the monster they created, Frankeinstein itself. He wanted the govt. to do the internal audit, Judy Malloey said we can't do it, you are too big, we have to bring in EY an external auditor who has the resources to do it. Yes, out grew govt. and just demanded more cash. Eventually 10B$ and he was holding back on anything over 6.2. Oil on the brain Syndrome I think we concluded some time ago says Joe blow.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Didn't I read somewhere that Ches,the subject of this lead article, was an exponent of PPP?

    Might want to read this;

    https://www.thechronicleherald.ca/news/local/cobequid-pass-cost-232-million-more-as-p3-project-says-new-study-318383/

    Boondoggles Left and Right. Ball seems on side also. Isn't the Waterford re-build on tap with PPP?

    When is the Budget Debate? Has the Energy Guy shown up yet? What's the Green New Deal look like for NL?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Robert you pay way more for substandard product (see highway 407 in Ont)with PPP. It is an accounting trick so that only 1/30 the capital cost appears each year on the books, not all the cost when the project is complete as is normally done. It has become a mainstay for self serving politicians with no concern or the future.

      Delete
    2. Bruno, 407 was a public giveaway by terrible tory Mike Harris, to his buddies, SNC-Lavalin included. I drove it once or twice, paid the toll, and found a better way to get around Ford Toryland. All over Canada, it seems, the Public Purse is being raided by scallywags, (Winston refers to), aided and abetted by our elected and appointed deputies and such.

      Delete
    3. It was a menace from the start and had to be redesigned at public expense.

      Delete
    4. " Professional Engineers Ontario, released a report outlining concerns regarding the decreased loop ramp radii and a lack of protective guardrail at sharp curves, in addition to the lack of a concrete median barrier to separate the opposite directions of travel."

      This is another example of disgraceful design by engineers.

      Delete
    5. Any idea who the Engineer of Record was?

      Delete
  35. Wow Ed was not a fan of detailed minutes because he did not want to get a reputation for blocking commercially sensitive information. It was so much easier to not have substantive minutes. This is also handy in criminal enterprises!

    Ed just can't admit he hid 300 million long after he had informally informed the board and government.

    This is CRIMINAL behavior. Only the chump, the ratepayer was kept in the dark until after the FLG was secured. Too bad bumbling Ed is above the law, like all his comrades in this criminal enterprise! Where is Dudley Dooright when you need him?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "Two points to that" as Ed usually says to Learmonth.
      1. As my mother used to say "The best church to belong too is the round church, where the devil can't corner you" Is that Ed's church?
      2. Recall the Startrek scene when logical Spock was up against a computer that was in control and causing a lot of problems, but the computer was responding in an illogical fashion. Spock, who was always logical, engaged with the computer and so confounded the computer that eventually it started to smoke and short circuited and shut down, and that saved the situation. Can Learmonth so trip up Teflon Ed? Ed admits to no error, the ratepayer always uppermost for his key concern, and so deflects, twists and turns. Last time Ed was on the stand, Leblanc grew tired of that and hit his desk. Now Learmonth has much more evidence than before, but as of yet, Ed's wiring is not smoking.
      For wires to smoke, it must overload, and brain energy must be sufficient for that. In terms of energy devoted to ethical decisions,that part may be deficient,low energy capacity, (like MFs on monopole) and therefore Ed is not into overload.
      As to the part that is self serving, he did very well at his pay and severance and pensions etc, and says he is now retired , except for looking after investments. So Ed looks after Ed, and his least concern is the ratepayer.So, lots of energy there like the Energizer Bunny, and keeps going and going, those circuits just fine, so no smoking there.
      He swore to tell the whole truth. He held the Bible to assure us that he is honest, very honest.
      Honest Ed? We know from the Bible that all men are liars. Some more than others,we know, like Trump with over 8000 documented. Who's counting for Ed? Maybe Leblanc's notes hold the answer. As for Ed's notes, scarcer than hens teeth.
      Winston

      Delete
    2. Your mother would have been safe at the "igloo" church in Inuvik that is built in the round. It looks quite striking.

      Delete
  36. Harrington said the monopole was operating 99% of the time. This may seem great, but that 1 % is off about 100 hrs per year, and our standard is 2.8 hrs per year. About 30 times higher than what is reasonable and reliable for our present grid. In winter 4 hrs off is bad, and 24 hr off is crisis. From that perspective 99% energised is not go great?
    So the 99% figure, while it may be correct, is misleading arithmetic, and never got questioned.
    Bruno promised just 1 hr off with mega wind and batteries,I'll settle for the 2.8 hrs wit island hydro.
    Winston Adams

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Should read MacIsaac , not Harrington........this story has so many characters , it's hard to keep track.
      As Robert says, Is PENG2 missing? So much to comment on, and Growler too was discussed, which he mentioned months ago, so waiting his insights.
      Winston

      Delete
  37. Is that fucker Ed Martin still living in NL?

    If so, he should be arrested.

    ReplyDelete
  38. Many know of our Take Charge rebate programs, 2 dollars for LEDs or window plastic, etc.offered by Nfld Power a Fortis Company.
    Fortis BC shows the following
    Heat Pump : Rebate 2000.00 (here zero), or 6500.00 loan at 1.9 % interest (here 5 % interest)
    BC Insulation Rebate 2000.00
    BC New Home Code rebate:1000 to 8000 dollar rebates.

    But here we get the scallywag Tv ads, paid from money skimmed from our power bills, for stuff that saves minimum energy, and keeps energy sales up.
    Yet Fortis BC is headquartered in St John's, run by super scallywags, giving ratepayers the shaft for decades on this Take Charge crap here.
    Why does this go on? Because no one complains. We are all suckers as the scallywags love to see us waste energy here, as does our government. Second worst in Canada is the reality.

    Winston Adams

    ReplyDelete
  39. Ed Martin is the worst case of perfection that has been seen in the province since Valdmanis!

    ReplyDelete