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Monday 22 February 2021


Cabin fever is consuming the Province. The latest manifestation is on social media, and the Chief Medical Officer of Health acknowledges, dozens of people are sending her gifts. Some propose that a street should be named in her honor. Some call this virtue worship.

Dr. Janice Fitzgerald is a busy gal to be sure and we should applaud her work - and those who support it – but I find myself in the group that will let time and perspective evaluate the enduring contributions of society’s presumptively worthy.

The idea of virtue worship, the unwavering belief in and an unquestioning reverence for authority figures, was something to which I gave mental notice recently. It happened as I took a hard right at the bottom of “Danny Way”, the stark empty landscape confirmation that I had either come face to face with prophesy or landed in a place reserved for Mars' Perseverance. Worryingly, I reversed and drove in the other direction; my intended destination, the site of COVID-19 testing, was situated a little to the east.

Thursday 18 February 2021

The Variant and the Election: throwing the Chief Electoral Officer under the bus.

 Guest Post by Ron Penney

The announcement on Friday night that we now have the UK variant has certainly got our attention. It is much more contagious, and contrary to what was said at the press conference announcing the arrival of the UK variant, it is also likely more virulent and may have an increase in mortality of 35%. 

This is a serious escalation in the pandemic and it did not need to happen. 

It is only recently that we have started to use rapid tests. Nova Scotia has been using those tests for months to gauge community spread. If we had followed their example we would have likely identified community spread much earlier and taken the appropriate public health measures also much earlier and likely nipped this in the bud, instead of being in the situation where we find ourselves now. As a result NS has 14 active cases and we have 338. 

We had cases over two weeks ago which were of unknown origin. That was the time to have gone to level 5. 

Monday 15 February 2021


A new “Major Incident Announcement”, reported internally at Nalcor and, otherwise to the PUB, reports additional damages to the Labrador Island Link transmission line (TL). It stated that “While conducting repairs to the electrode on conductor 1…the electrode conductor 2 broke and fell to the ground.” The Report is dated 02/07/2021. It also states that during the operation, pieces of ice fell to the ground “in the vicinity of employees” causing work to be stopped pending an “evaluation” and preparation of a “safe return to work plan.” (Nalcor should clarify if this was the incident that occurred on February 3, 2021 so that the public can see how many of those incidents have occurred and when.)

Nalcor’s reported an earlier January 11, 2021 incident, made to a select mailing list, about damages on 8 towers (the electrode cross arm circled in red in the picture below is reported by Nalcor as the location of the damage on the towers . We now learn from the Liberty Report for the PUB that "16 areas have been identified as experiencing electrode line conductor damage..."

Multiple engineers have confirmed for the Uncle Gnarley Blog that the damages from icing on the LIL are far more serious than Nalcor admits.

Thursday 11 February 2021


Dr. Fitzgerald’s body language did not betray her when she shuttered most of the Province’s economy for the second time on Wednesday. Her demeanor and countenance suggested that she had just endured the kind of pushback from the politicos on the 8th Floor that lets you know “doing the right thing” is not easy especially during an Election; she might have still been feeling the bruising. She was probably thinking, too, of the unwise Premier sitting six feet away and of the arrogance required to play Russian roulette in a pandemic.

Where have we seen it before? Danny Williams and Kathy Dunderdale come to mind; too smart by half, a pair of Wiley Coyotes so full of themselves seeking political advantage by crushing common sense. Premier Furey’s manoeuver – too slick by half - now sees him looking down the wrong end of the gun.

If it was only about winning an election, a healthy society and economy would work its way through one more dalliance with “amateur hour” he exhibits. We have certainly seen this before: Danny, Kathy, Tom, Paul and Dwight have not defeated this place, even if they have given it a good shot.

Monday 8 February 2021


 Guest Post by Ron Penney

In my recent guest blog, the Timing of the Next Provincial Election, I urged Premier Furey to await Dame Moya Greene’s interim report, due at the end of February, and her final report due at the of April, before calling an election. 

Not surprisingly, that advice was ignored and the resulting campaign is exactly what I had worried about. One conducted in total denial of the reality of our situation. 

As former Premier Smallwood used to say, “the first job of a politician is to get elected, the second job of a politician is to get elected, and the third job of a politician is to get elected.” You get the point. 

Premier Furey, while a political novice, has taken this to heart, with advice no doubt from a certain former Premier considerably more experienced than him in running successful campaigns. 

Thursday 4 February 2021


When the Province’s dire fiscal position ought to be center stage in Election 2021, it  is not.

This is a place where, it seems, neither politicians nor reporters are willing to even describe the full extent of the problem.

A few days ago, Premier Furey could be heard saying that the “fiscal gap” – the difference between revenues and expenditures - is $800 million, when the correct number is around $2 billion. In the same breath, he added that the Feds had taken care of the initial debt payments on Muskrat Falls of $844 million – forgetting to note that they were only deferred.

The great majority of people likely have no idea how high the public debt has grown or what it means to have debt beyond our capacity to pay. They do know, by and large, that we are in financial trouble; otherwise, there is widespread confusion. 

On the other hand, few who know better would put their hand up and tell Furey, Crosbie and Coffin to cut out their nonsense. While the Employers’ Council is showing Polling data offering widespread public support for measures to deal with the fiscal mess, where is the clamor of advocates for such change? 

Monday 1 February 2021

A Fair Price for MF Energy Is All Ratepayers Can Afford

Guest Post by PlanetNL 

PlanetNL32: A Fair Price for Muskrat Energy Is All Ratepayers Can Afford

It is an indisputable fact that Muskrat Falls was an enormous mistake filled with stupid errors and driven by fraudulent assumptions.  The biggest miscalculation of all was committed by the Province and the Government of Canada in legislating Island ratepayers to wholly pay for the project.  It is high time both levels of Governments face the facts, remove the severely misguided and harmful legislation, and get on with an extensive restructuring of project financing.  Island ratepayers can be billed for energy they use but only the same equitable terms as the project’s main customer, Emera, in Nova Scotia.