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Monday 7 July 2014


In common law, the doctrine of “res ipsa loquitur” (Latin for "the thing itself speaks") states that a conclusion can be inferred without direct evidence.  The photograph (below), recently obtained by this Blog, is an excellent example of such a proof.

The image offers visual certainty, to arguments advanced by Muskrat Falls’ critics, that there is still time to cut our losses on the project; we should shut it down.

Nalcor CEO Ed Martin, stated recently in announcing an additional $800 million cost overrun, that he is now “comfortable with the cost envelope”.

Martin's comment accompanied no documentation, no independent verification, and no evidence of the kind of contracts to which Nalcor is committed.

A recent Post, on this Blog, COST OVERRUNS: YOU CAN'T HANDLE THE TRUTH included this comment: “with no work begun on the North Spur, the power house or the transmission line, as well as on other major components of the Project, no experienced builder would give the kind of assurances Martin is attempting.”

The photo was taken from a public area of the North Spur, looking south.  

Muskrat Falls Construction  Site Viewed from North Spur - Uncle Gnarley Blog
Those knowledgeable of the site will recognize the location as the second drop on Muskrat Falls. 

The structure you are seeing (center photo) is a cofferdam (a temporary watertight enclosure) made from concrete to keep water out of the planned spillway and power house (not begun). Two cranes have been erected. Other than basic site work, including a hole in the ground for the power house, there is not much to show for the money spent.  A temporary camp is located elsewhere.

We are already into July.  Labrador summers are notoriously short.  Surprisingly, no work is evident on the temporary dome, the $100 million covering proposed by Astaldi to permit winter construction. 

No work has begun on the North Spur “stability problem”, either.

Nalcor plans to have first power when?

This is not just a picture of money squandered; it is an image of a weak Provincial Government.  Strangely, it is also the product of even weaker and conflicted Opposition Parties who lack the courage or the vision to put up a fight.  It is a picture of an energy agency (Nalcor) out of control.  

But, as already noted, res ipsa loquitur....the thing speaks for itself. 

P.S. Tomorrow, Tuesday July 8th this Blog will feature a review by David A. Vardy of  Cabot Martin's new book: "MUSKRAT MADNESS". The book is available at Afterwords Bookstore, 245 Duckworth Street, St. John's.