The Uncle Gnarley Blog has a new website. Click here to visit to view the latest posts!

Tuesday 31 May 2016


The release, yesterday, of a statement by fired former Nalcor CEO Ed Martin underscores a concluding comment contained in Monday’s Uncle Gnarley Post. It is this:

“That he (Premier Ball) would afford a bunch of Danny Williams’ cronies, including Ed Martin, such power over his own political future, giving himself no protection via a paper trail and having failed to disclose the firing on the heels of Martin’s ostensible retirement, constitutes one of the worst acts of political stupidity since Dunderdale declared DARKNL ‘not a crisis’.  

Ed Martin’s written recollection of the two meetings (April 17th and 19th) held with the Premier might give rise to an expectation that Dwight Ball is able to refute Martin’s assertions with the release of his own notes or ones taken down by his own officials.

The Premier could produce nothing of the kind. He is left standing by an inconsistent verbal record, unwilling to release even the Department of Justice opinion on the issue, having promised to so do. He does not afford even a peek into his claims of truthfulness or give us reason to have confidence in his integrity or his leadership.

Monday 30 May 2016


It is bad enough, having served four years as opposition leader, that Dwight Ball arrived on the eighth floor unaware the province is in a fiscal crisis!

Now, he has awakened a sleepy public and a media normally preoccupied at this time of year with the circumference and depth of pot holes and whether they are swimmable.  

The media’s rapturous embrace of the mundane took a turn these past few weeks and it is damn good to see.

Their special access to the Nalcor leadership, accommodating for the most compliant reporters, likely won’t have the same currency, now. All will be on point, at least for a while.  

Perhaps they sense a change in what consumers of news are interested; whatever the reason the travails of Dwight Ball, and public knowledge of them, are connected to this new focus.

The public are angry and they should be, even if they and their petit business, municipal, and institutional leadership must share the blame for the mess we are in.

It is high time manifest corruption and a government in disarray and going broke should occupy a persistent presence on the front pages.

The Premier is rightfully in everyone’s crosshairs.

Thursday 26 May 2016


Incredulous. Unprecedented. Absurd. All of those superlatives, and others, fit a Liberal Government coming apart at the seams. Premier Ball’s 17% approval rating, according to the latest Angus Reid Poll, confirms a public bewildered by his refusal to do anything but stumble.

Monday’s Uncle Gnarley Blog post, confirming Nalcor was not contractually obligated to pay Ed Martin severance, contradicting the Premier's earlier assertions, now seems just a warm-up for an even larger charade.

Still, the post claimed a direct hit forcing Ball to reveal a scheme whereby the former Nalcor Board of Directors had fired Ed Martin after he had resigned. 

Some third world countries are run better than this place thanks, in part, to the people on the former Nalcor Board.

Ken Marshall and his cohorts are gone; the problem is the Premier appears complicit in their decision.

Monday 23 May 2016


 In this Blog Post:

-  inappropriate severance paid out by Government to former Nalcor CEO
-  inappropriate bonuses awarded Ed Martin, too.
-  Ed Martin’s employment contract offers no legal basis for either severance or bonus
-  Premier Ball has obscured the reason for Ed Martin’s departure and failed in his 
   obligation to tell the public the truth.


The assertion by Premier Ball that he was contractually obligated to pay severance to former CEO Ed Martin who resigned from Nalcor on April 20th, 2016 is neither based in law, nor in fact, at least not as it applies to his employment contract.

The Premier stressed, according to CBC, that Martin's resignation was a "personal one". Ball said it “was first discussed at a meeting between the two on Sunday, and later confirmed on Tuesday evening". The timeline is just one important detail.

Thursday 19 May 2016


Back in November 2012, as the Dunderdale Government was about to conclude sanction of the Muskrat Falls project my brother, Brendan Sullivan, found himself among the handful of “naysayers” who could see through its economic folly.

Nalcor and the Dunderdale Government had concluded their end run around the PUB, having ring-fenced the two power options it wanted to give evaluation. Of course, the outcome was already predetermined, many of the assumptions favouring Muskrat Falls having been contrived. In the end, the charade served only to justify a truly “nutty” project. 

Brendan, a former provincial government economist, explained some of his concerns in a Blog Post entitled “Muskrat Falls and Voodoo Economics”. He wrote at least one other article in the Telegram.

Brendan passed away on Monday, after a long and heroic battle with a rare disease called Wegener’s Granulomatosis. I am re-posting the Piece today in his memory.

Monday 16 May 2016


Guest Post by David Vardy and Ron Penney

Commentary on Briefing Note to the Minister of Natural Resources from Nalcor Energy on suspending or significantly delaying the Muskrat Falls Project

We were appalled with the briefing note released May 12, 2016 by the CBC on the option to suspend or delay the Muskrat Falls project, based on an ATIPPA request. While the note was highly redacted we have to say it was most unbalanced, inaccurate and unprofessional.

Here are our responses to the specious arguments made by Nalcor:

Monday 9 May 2016


The new Liberal Government is taking a political shellacking. 

Ball is turning fiasco into a phenomenon. If he doesn’t use his own political instincts, assuming he has any, he won’t last as long as did Kathy Dunderdale.

Such a conclusion, little more than five months into his tenure, seems ridiculously premature. But it isn’t. That the Government’s first set of decisions were so strategically ill-chosen, suggests the Premier is quite prone to stumble.

It is not just the deficit levy or the doubling of the gas tax, though these measures are the predominant catalysts of dissension. His public relations capacity seems to mirror his own lack of fire; a relaxed and passion-less treatment of deeply felt political issues magnifies an incapacity to connect with a public jolted by their vastly changed financial circumstance.

Thursday 5 May 2016


A feeling came over me like I had received a kick in the guts. It wasn’t just the Budget. That news had been delivered days earlier by the Finance Minister. She was clearly a party-pooper. And Dwight had confirmed he's no Danny.

This was Monday. I was reading “Get out if you can”, by the Telegram’s Russell Wangersky.
“That would be my advice” the award winning writer warned, as one might caution a neighbour of an impending tsunami. “If you’re young, not tied down by investments like a home you might take a financial bath trying to sell, if you have an education or a trade that you can use to get a mainland job, just go. Go because we made this mess and you shouldn’t be forced to pay for it”, his rant continued.

I found myself gripping the edges of the kitchen island, on which I had unfolded the broadsheet, holding on tight as a wave of anger struck like an angry sea, making me nauseous.

Monday 2 May 2016


People are understandably outraged over the recent provincial Budget. Fiscal mismanagement and the debacle that is Muskrat Falls has kicked them where it really hurts; in their pocket books.

The Government of Dwight Ball is seeing the face of public rebuke. Public protests, angry calls to Open-Line Shows, and disenchantment exhibited on social media, depict government’s failure to meet public expectations. They include those which the Liberal Party created during the general election campaign, and an ill-advised Budget that hurts low incomers disproportionately, and the middle class, as it ignores bureaucratic bloat generated by a decade of over spending. 

Ball has not performed the job for which governments are elected. That is he has failed to define the problem, elicit public support, and make the tough decisions to resolve it. 

Still, the ubiquitous anti-Budget signs make no reference to a fiscal crisis. 

That is unfortunate because they mirror the Government’s own inability to articulate the sheer magnitude of our fiscal challenge. We can chant: “SAY NO TO AUSTERITY” as it pleases us. But, realistically, we waived even the mere possibility of avoiding painful change when so many of us cheered Tory fiscal madness.