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

Monday 28 January 2019


EDITOR'S NOTE: The author of today's article is the whistleblower, dubbed the "Anonymous Engineer", who disclosed – on this Blog - falsification of the estimates for the Muskrat Falls project. That was January 30, 2017 . His comments were recorded in a post entitled Muskrat Cost Estimates "A Complete Falsification". A second post called Muskrat: Allegations of Phony Cost Estimates provided significant additional details of low-balling which ultimately were used to justify the Sanction of a project that has become a scourge on the Province's economy. His alarming assertions have been supported with revelations which emerged from Phase I of the Commission of Inquiry. This article attempts to shed light on an issue that is likely to be assessed during Phase II, often referred to as the Construction Phase. — Des Sullivan

Guest Post by the "Anonymous Engineer"
Impact of Labour Productivity on 
"Base Estimate" for the Muskrat Falls Project 

It is almost two years to the month since I spoke with the host of the Uncle Gnarley Blog, Des Sullivan, and subsequently with Anthony Germain of the CBC Morning Show. At that time I revealed that  the estimates on which the Muskrat Falls project was approved were low balled and falsified. I am confident that those statements were heard at the political level and that they might have influenced the Government's decision to  commence the Inquiry which, of course, I have been monitoring. 

Thursday 24 January 2019


The latest Muskrat Falls Oversight Committee Report evokes all the excitement of yesterday’s breakfast. Released on November 22, 2018 it is a project status report to September 30. Where was I to find a sense of urgency in ancient history?

Gnawing at me, however, was Nalcor’s warning that the project Budget did not account for certain specific risks — chiefly protest unrest, unforeseen directives from Government and (wouldn’t you know it) the Muskrat Falls Commission of Inquiry. Those risks had been quantified by Westney Consulting as having a potential cost of between $170 million and $370 million. 
The Inquiry alone evidently endangers the MF Budget Estimate (that’s the $12.7 billion figure, not the one contrived) by between $45 and $165 million.

Monday 21 January 2019


The Premier’s annual address to Rotary had all the content one would expect from a politician seeking re-election. It is no surprise, therefore, that Dwight Ball lauded his Administration’s accomplishments and signalled a warning to voters to ignore the “noise and fiction” expected from political opponents in an election year.

In the political arena, the mastery of synthetic truths is claimed by far too many.
Ball himself is well-known for the deceptive arts, having feigned innocence over the approved gold-plated boot in the derriere for Ed Martin. Last year he upped the ante with the assertion that neither taxpayers nor ratepayers will take the hit for the $12.7 billion Muskrat Falls project.  

Saturday 12 January 2019


Written by Des Sullivan and David Vardy
(with research and analysis contributed by PlanetNL)

The Ball Administration asked the PUB to examine alternatives to offer ratepayer relief from unaffordable Muskrat Falls power. Because the cost of rate mitigation is too large to be imposed on either ratepayers or taxpayers not that they can be distinguished the public should be wary that the PUB is possessed of a magic wand. The Government has essentially kicked the “mitigation” can down the road, too.

Having declined to suspend the project to examine the wisdom of continuation vs termination, the Premier was right to engage the PUB for the purpose. Unfortunately, the Provincial Government offered the PUB and its Consultants absolutely no guidance as to what interventions may be available from them or the Federal Government. Even a plethora of nips and tucks won’t suffice given the magnitude of the problem, yet they must know that MF threatens not just the public welfare but our collective solvency and, hence, the Province’s sovereignty, too. 

Monday 7 January 2019


VOCM, in a year-end news story, quotes Finance Minister Tom Osborne saying that “the province has made some significant progress in the last three years in knocking down the deficit.” The Minister asserts that “in each of the last 3 years they’ve eliminated $2-billion from the deficit.”

Perhaps such comments should be dismissed as election fever builds and the propaganda machine is stoked. However, I do remember the Premier stating his commitment to transparency, and it is in that spirit Im hoping the Minister will release details of his quite fantastical assertion.

Could he also inform us why killing the deficit had to be such a painless exercise? How will we ever learn not to repeat the last decade of fiscal irresponsibility if correcting financial recklessness is done so easily?!?

Of course, I am being facetious.