Thursday, 5 December 2019

CARLA FOOTE AFFAIR: DOES OPPOSITION HAVE METTLE TO FACE DOWN DISHONESTY?


Dwight Ball's effort to dump the Carla Foote appointment on Chris Mitchelmore is akin to leaving the house in the charge of a kid whom you wouldn't trust near a hot stove.

Ball is not credible on the issue. Anyone who knows anything about government in Newfoundland also knows that the kind of cronyism represented by Foote's appointment minimally requires the boss' approval. The attribution by then Rooms' CEO Dean Brinton to the Departmental Deputy and Mitchelmore, to the effect that the Premier "had offered Carla Foote the position", is simply an acknowledgement of the chain of command.

Monday, 2 December 2019

MUSKRAT COSTS “HARD WIRED”?

Guest Post by David Vardy
In August of 2018 Premier Dwight Ball told us that ratepayers would not have to pay for Muskrat Falls. Recent news reports indicate that the Premier has met with the Prime Minister and further federal support will be announced in January.  Does this mean that Nalcor CEO Stan Marshall was wrong when he told the PUB the cost was inescapable? The PUB heard little in the way of proposals to lighten the burden other than the shifting of costs from ratepayers to taxpayers. This offers little comfort because for the most part we are all both ratepayers and taxpayers.

Tuesday, 26 November 2019

SIOBHAN COADY OK WITH STURGE’S BOUGHT SILENCE


It is tough to be kind to the Ball Administration. They cause members of the public to label them “lame” and “dumb”. On what basis should they think differently?
The Liberals ought to have immediately understood the rationale for Nalcor’s $900,000 parting gift to VP and CFO Derrick Sturge and stopped the move. Even a modicum of intelligence would have helped them see through his “without cause” departure, complete — the Uncle Gnarley Blog has learned — with “Confidentiality Agreement” attached. The Agreement was key to the whole arrangement. It would provide the assurance Nalcor needed that Sturge’s lips would remain zippered about Executive complicity in Nalcor’s $12.7 billion debacle.

Thursday, 21 November 2019

ROCK SOLID: ANOTHER MYTH EXPOSED

Guest Post by David Vardy
Our credit rating, albeit already downgraded, hangs on a slender thread. It depends upon the false premise that Muskrat Falls is self-supporting and that Nalcor Energy is a “self-sustaining” Government Business Enterprise (GBE). Nothing could be further from the truth. This is the myth which supports our credit rating and which is our tenuous buttress against falling over a steep fiscal cliff.

Sturge: Project Rock Solid
On March 28, 2019, Nalcor’s then Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Finance Derek Sturge told the Muskrat Falls Inquiry that the financing of the project was “rock solid”  (page 26). This is the same CFO whose contract has just been terminated “without cause” and who was awarded a compensation package of $900,000, in keeping with Nalcor Energy’s entitlement culture. Legal counsel for the Muskrat Falls Concerned Citizens’ Coalition had asked him:

Monday, 18 November 2019

$900,000 TO STURGE: NALCOR BOARD AN ECHO OF THE LAST ONE


It isn’t hard to tell that it is public money about which the Nalcor Board of Directors is so cavalier, not their own.

The previous Board gave former Nalcor CEO Ed Martin $1.38 million severance even after having resigned for “personal” reasons, “to spend more time with his family.” Fired “without cause” soon replaced the well-worn excuse of the empathetic family man booted out the corporate door. The Board, caring not a whit about Mr. Martin’s behaviour — or record — as CEO, used the contortions of legal camouflage to justify the decision; even Premier Ball allowed that Martin was awarded severance in accordance with Nalcor’s contractual obligations, until this Blog caught him out in the lie. 

Tuesday, 12 November 2019

VULTURES SIGHTING AN OMEN, SAYS THE BARD


VULTURES
(A Turkey Vulture (bird) was seen by local birders on Roche Street, St. John’s, on Nov.05. Seen again in flight on Nov. 10 - last seen over Confederation Building!)

A Vulture sighted in St. John’s -
It scavenges from dead!
Perhaps it is an omen
Of the coming of The Fed
To bare the bones of Province
That debt and folly’s fed?

Thursday, 7 November 2019

FISCAL CLIFF: HARD OR SOFT LANDING?

Guest Post by David Vardy
How many people in this province believe we are heading for a fiscal cliff? How many are aware of how precarious our position has become as a result of our high public spending, combined with the tragic decision to build Muskrat Falls? What are the options available to us? This post will review some of the options, including early negotiations on a possible power contract with Quebec after 2041 and the prospects of enhanced federal support. My intention is to bring some of these options to light for respectful, informed dialogue. With final reports due soon from both the Muskrat Falls Inquiry and the Public Utilities Board there is a plethora of evidence and ideas. Sadly the greatest dearth of research relates to the fiscal impact of Muskrat Falls, which is the real elephant in the room.