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

Friday 29 January 2021


A Nalcor communication memo dated January 27 describes damage to “a small section of the electrode line” on Transmission Towers located on the Labrador Island Link (LIL) in an area between from L'anse au Diable to Muskrat Falls. The incident, it said, occurred “following a recent winter/ice storm in Labrador.”

The note stated that the section of the electrode line “broke and fell to the ground”. (HVDC electrodes are used to improve reliability on HVDC systems permitting continued operation but at reduced capacity.) The Nalcor statement also noted that “Repairs are required to be made on eight of the 1,282 towers.” It states that “(t)he main components of the transmission towers and the primary transmission lines were not damaged.”

The statement does not say when the event occurred (though mid-January is likely) or what the impact would have been had the Holyrood Generating Station been shuttered as part of Nalcor’s scheme to give economic justification to the failed Project. The Statement does not appear on Nalcor’s Web Site; the incident is embedded with information of the more innocuous kind, and it has not been reported in the media.

Nalcor does not acknowledge that all it takes is one damaged tower to bring down the whole system; damages to eight towers constitutes a catastrophe.

Thursday 28 January 2021

FISHERY ALLIANCE ISSUES "Fish Challenge" for Election 2021

Guest Post by the Fishery Community Alliance

Rising to the FISH Challenge?


During Election of 2015, the Fishery Community Alliance (FCA) was asked to provide the then Liberal Opposition Leader with a guide to develop a fisheries policy should the Party be elected to govern the Province.   This document was followed up with a number of meetings with Dwight Ball at his request, so he could be better prepared to tackle the fishery file.

Following his election in November 2015, the Premier and his MHAs not only ignored the document and its recommendations, but avoided any reference to the state of our fishery and the fact the Province lost 30,000 jobs and thousands of people since the 1992 Moratorium.

In fact, no effort, whatsoever, has been made to rebuild the fishery by the Federal Government, who is responsible for it management, since Clyde Wells was Premier over 30 years ago.

Monday 25 January 2021


Guest Post by PlanetNL

PlanetNL31: Muskrat Must Be an Unregulated Government Business Enterprise

Rate Mitigation platforms presented by the Liberal and Conservative parties are way off base and pose great risk of rate escalation when difficult and contrived mitigation measures fail to work.  Worse is that the mitigation strategies completely fail to recognize that ratepayers should not be responsible for paying Muskrat project costs at all.  Muskrat must be made into an unregulated export-focused Government Business Enterprise with energy made available to any buyer, including NL Hydro, at competitive market rates.  There is a compelling case to do so, yet the political parties appear indelibly committed to the deceitful plans laid out by past governments, setting a course for maximum economic destruction.

Thursday 21 January 2021

When Does Granny (and Grandpa) get the vaccine?

Guest Post by Ron Penney

I’m poppy to my grandchildren and at an age where the risk of an adverse result from a bout of covid is high. 

I’ve been taking all the precautions recommended by public health authorities and we are fortunate that the public health measures have worked so far. 

But the risk is still there until vaccines are widely administered and herd immunity is accomplished. Community spread still can occur despite our public health measures as we can see from New Brunswick, once part of the Atlantic Bubble. 

In the US, 8 out of 10 deaths from covid occur in people 65 and older. 

Monday 18 January 2021


As much as Newfoundlanders and Labradorians heading into a new General Election are hoping, wishing and praying for the status quo, change is what they will get. That is the case regardless of who wins.

That is a view you won’t hear from the Party Leaders. You'll need to decide whether to read on.  

The Province has lost thousands of people, especially since the ‘60s and ‘70s, and more following the cod moratorium. The latter were mainly tradespeople and other workers who looked westward for their pay cheques, earning the ascription “rotational” workers. Leaving, they looked back at a society that had not figured out how to leverage a huge fishery and other natural resources into enduring wealth and jobs.

Then, and later, in the pubs and occasionally on the hustings, as offshore oil development created new optimism, debate was rife over how we might hang on to what was left of our rural character against the steamroller of big oil and swaggering oil men.

Back then, too, unemployment was high and wages low. The Government delivered services meeting no one’s expectations. Still, many had seen a lot worse. And, as tough as it was, there was a grounded-ness in how we, and our politicians, behaved.

Wednesday 13 January 2021

Did Trump Copy Nalcor’s Playbook?

Guest Post by PlanetNL

PlanetNL30: Did Trump Copy Nalcor’s Playbook?

Déjà vu really stings when you finally see it.  Virtually everything communicated about Muskrat Falls pre-sanction by Nalcor – and the Government that manipulated Nalcor’s puppet strings – was a shameless string of Donald Trump style falsehoods.  We know the kind well now as soon as you hear it: some ridiculous statement from the huckster-in-chief is best understood when you simply turn his premise around 180 degrees.  Then you instantly recognize the truth as the exact opposite of what was said.  If only we were all so smart 10 or so years ago.

Monday 4 January 2021


The year 2020 will not be remembered fondly. Covid-19 represented a monumental social and economic challenge for millions. Yet, in NL, a small and dispersed population suddenly found their large landmass a refuge against viral spread, as more populous parts of the Country continued to struggle with the problems of density, stress and indifference.

Now, each Province's capacity to quickly distribute and inoculate large numbers of people will give further testimony to whether our vital and expensive health care service is much more than an overindulged bureaucracy. In NL, too, a review of delayed surgeries, testing and other services will provide greater clarity about a system overfunded by, at least, $400 million and a propensity for inefficiency, inflexibility and resistance to change.

Change is on some minds, including the Premier's, though the jury is "out" as to whether his enthusiasm for political leadership has staying power.