Thursday, 1 June 2017

WHO IS DWIGHT BALL AFRAID OF?

When malfeasance on a grand scale is alleged against senior government officials by credible people, what are we to make of it?

According to Stan Marshall, the decisions were directed at a senior level, but he says he doesn’t know who is responsible and doesn’t want to find out.

Yet the consequences are enormous. NL society has been laden with an unspeakable debt and a failed project, fallout from which will cause great social and financial pain over many decades.

The situation begs another question: do the authorities have an obligation to investigate and to hold the complicit to account, in keeping with the laws of civil society?

Is the Ball Administration’s seeming disinterest in the matter proof that what is still if only barely obscure should remain that way; that a higher standard applies to those wielding power?

We will return to this question. 
Premier Dwight Ball - Photo Credit: CBC
More generally, is NL society so immured to incompetence, self-indulgence, deceit, and even corruption, by public officials that news of more of the same no longer holds the power to unsettle the fair-minded and law-abiding? 

Does it even matter that the allegations directed at Nalcor are so serious that their failure to trigger an immediate investigation is, alone, cause for alarm?

There was a time merely a decade ago when far smaller revelations would have been met with outrage by the public, and by our elected representatives too.

This is not about a few hires who conned the Public Service Commission or a public employee paid twice, having submitted the same travel claim as many times. This is about deceit possibly fraud on a grand scale. 

Perhaps the public can be forgiven, the matter just seeming too complicated, though it actually isn't.

But the Government, including the Premier and the Natural Resources Minister, have no right to any such claim. They employ professional advisors, have access to public money and to investigative resources. They also have a sworn duty to protect the public interest.  

What is absent, now, is that sense of duty and the energy necessary to ferret out the full truth. Missing, too, is an acknowledgment that the public interest exceeds that of private individuals. 

Even the Justice Minister has slunk into the shadows, preferring to play prison guard when he should be ensuring that the justice system has not consciously left out of the gaol those enjoying unwarranted political protection.

NDP Leader Earle McCurdy
The NDP expressed unequivocal support for a forensic audit. Leader Earle McCurdy released one of the best documents ever produced by his Party on this issue, and he should be commended for it. But McCurdy and his two sitting Members need to learn that there is a place for follow-up.

The Opposition Tories who can be counted among those with the most to fear from a forensic audit of the MF project estimates should have been at the forefront of the issue.

PC Leader Paul Davis ought to have been embarrassed by the allegations for himself as a Minister under Dunderdale when Muskrat Falls was sanctioned, and as a former Premier, his Administration having been in Office during part of the time in which falsification is alleged to have occurred. He should want to know what went on under his nose, or if he wittingly - or otherwise - concurred.

But there is no outrage expressed by Davis, no embarrassment that members of former Tory Administrations may have been complicit, and no concern that his Party may fly the flag of treachery for years to come.

The most he could utter was: "Anything that can be done to get details and information to the benefit of the people of the province, I'm all for it".

Such passion. Such an expression of umbrage. Such a sense of betrayal!   

Opposition Leader Paul Davis
Has the Cop been washed clean of moral standard by the cynicism of partisan politics? 

While in a democratic society it is the responsibility of the Official Opposition Parties to push the Government to act, it is ultimately the role of the Liberal Administration of Dwight Ball to establish the form of investigation, confirm its independence, and give it a speedy start.

Speaking for the Government, Natural Resources Minister Siobhan Coady told the CBC that they were "certainly not opposed to really questioning, because we have a lot of questions ourselves."


What is the use of “not opposed” when they are the Government the ones expected to make the forensic inquiry happen?

And her comments lack an iota of concern that the government is worried that the public may be the unwitting victims of deceivers and charlatans.

"We're going to look at what the auditor general does uncover and talk to the auditor general at the time, and then consider how we move [forward], what's the next steps from there," the CBC reported Coady lamely commenting.

Natural Resources Minister Siobhan Coady
Coady’s comments transmit the unmistakable odour of delay.

The public has seen it before in the case of the Humber Valley Paving affair involving no trifling sum either and also linked to the PC Administration. Premier Ball did promise a Judicial Inquiry into that matter, but has not delivered.

It seems strange, therefore, that the Administration can be so dismissive of the very fuel integrity on which every government runs.

It is even stranger that one Administration is so unwilling to hold another, (ostensibly) a political enemy, to account!

And remember that the anonymous engineer, whose story Coady has embraced, alleges not just that the project estimates were falsified to justify sanction, but that the cost overruns were supressed for the entire period leading up to the 2015 general election.

The Premier’s uncompromised silence forces us to ask: if not the public, who does the Ball Government owe?

Why is he so afraid to expose profoundly unethical behaviour and possible illegality under the Tories?

The Premier doesn’t have to wait for the A-G’s Report to determine if a forensic audit would overlap his review.

He can ask the A-G now.

Naturally, the A-G is unlikely to disclose any of his conclusions prematurely, but it is perfectly legitimate for the Government to ask about the scope of his investigation, and whether a forensic audit would overlap his work.

A normal government one completely free of conflict would also want to convey to him its deep concern that the allegations suggest great offence may have occurred to standards of probity at the highest level. He might even inquire whether the A-G possesses adequate resources for his own inquiry and offer him more assuming he is attempting to hold Nalcor up to the light.

A short visit to the A-G’s Office by the Clerk of the Cabinet would put the matter to rest.

All those reasons taken together, Premier Ball’s reticence can’t be explained by something as foolish as an overlapping audit at a crown corporation given no restraint or even oversight since its inception a place that has blown billions of dollars of public money on a project sanctioned, allegedly, through deceitful means.

The Premier is afraid of something. I don't know what it is. But the government is not acting normally.

For that reason, we should ask again: who else does the Ball Liberal Government owe?

60 comments:

  1. Fact 1: The project will be completed
    Fact 2: Power bills will double, having a grave impact on the economy and the future of this province.
    Fact 3: It is well over budget. 2 x over the budget presented to the PUB.

    Fact 4: People will not react until power bills double. then there will be outrage...

    excellent post

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    Replies
    1. Fact 4 is sad. True but sad. Most people only know what they see on corporate TV or hear on corporate radio and totally believe the propaganda. When they have to worry about their electricity being disconnected for non-payment, it will suddenly dawn on them that they were abused.

      I see fear already over the July power increase. People are already maxed out on their power bills and looking to change their heating system but retrofitting existing baseboard heated housing is often complicated and none of the options are cheap. When the big increases come on line, there will be widespread outrage. It will be too late to stop the project but not too late to prosecute those responsible.

      Also likely is that government will increase rates in a series of steps, and when the outrages starts to boil, will just take what extra they need from general revenue and cut back on healthcare / education / roads and increase fees of all kinds.

      Delete
    2. The same people responsible for getting the Williams government to start this project, force it through even though there were several legal, ethical, and money issues associated with it, are the same people responsible for getting the Ball government to finish it.
      They are rich, and powerful, and their families and friends will profit off of this for decades, just like they are profiting off of Churchill Falls at our expense.

      I do not want to know who the whistleblower is, as his safety will be at stake for me to find out.

      But I do want to see everyone and anyone responsible for the fraud that is Muskrat Falls outed, and prosecuted for it. Hopefully before Galway is finished. lol

      Delete
    3. "When they have to worry about their electricity being disconnected for non-payment, it will suddenly dawn on them that they were abused." - There is a plethora of us already, the forgotten have varied realms, and the precipice is closer than you believe. Grim perhaps, but accurate.

      Delete
  2. Always remember that Ball, Coady and Bennett gave full-throated support for the project when it was proposed. Couple that with their admiration/ awe of Danny Williams. Finally, realize that Ball, Coady and Bennett have the thinnest veneer of education and experience and you see why they are reticent to act: they don't know what to do.

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  3. Ball owes his allegiance to the feudal state NL has lapsed into. They owe fealty to the feudal chieftains. The democratic state has been systematically dismantled, one piece at a time.

    Recall the PUB neutering, civil service neutering at the JRP and now the judiciary acting like the arm of the corrupt and incompetent, victimizing the victims of MF. The police have become the murderous thugs carrying out extra judicial killings for political strong men.

    Is it not time to admit that democracy needs to be wrestled from the hands of local strongmen? Politicians of every stripe tremble in fear of your oligarchs. They are a smokescreen protecting the guilty and the massive corruption that is the raison d'etre of MF.

    Will democratic institutions be made functional once again or will the disgraceful self interest displayed again this week confirm that feudal terror will continue to trump democracy and transparency?

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  4. A good post, for sure. It seems that familiarity, instead of breeding contempt, has instead inured our population to what is outrageous, contemptible, and corrupt. The crazy has become normal and it has become a challenge to stir ourselves from states of confusion and helplessness toward action, investigation, and redress. Politically, the closer to the seat of power the greater that inertia becomes. The NDP could indeed be more strident in its call for action, while the silence of the PCs and the blatant inaction of the Liberals amount to a betrayal of public trust.

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  5. You are asking very important questions - who is he afraid of - who does he owe? These answers might shock the whole works of us... the answers will come - however...

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  6. A record, I wonder........5 comments nd 4 with their names attached.......who`s afraid of the big bad wolf.........so many are have fear to give their identity
    Winston Adams

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  7. We have a grandmother jailed at Goose Bay, while those supporting her keep a vigil around the RCMP jail.
    A lone protestor, in support of her, has set up outside of the Nalcor office in St John`s, and pledges to be there for 28 days. One of his demands is for an audit of this project.
    The Telegram, I thought, had avoided the story of the protestor at Nalcor.......but I came across it , not on their NEWS listings, but under the BUSINESS section.........was this to diminish the public knowing of this action........
    At `the independent.ca` is a full coverage of the grandmother hero, and CBC online also mentioned it. Neither TV station mentioned the story, so far as I know.
    Here the NEWS stories are of Galway, Danny Williams, Andy Wells, and the occasional dog, cat or seagull in trouble. The faith of Labrador people is little on the radar. Disgraceful. And all MHAs happily gone off on holidays, with the House closed.
    Winston

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  8. Excellent Questions!
    Well past time for Dwight and Stan to give a meaningful media conference in which they release the answers and hand out pink slips with the RNC instructed as to which persons to arrest.

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  9. If the COD (Coalition of Determined) gets the reins of power in 2019 or sooner if there is a leadership change, then a Anti Corruption Unit, modelled after Quebec, will be established and Special Court created

    Wayne R Bennett
    Interim Executive Director COD
    Independent Candidate Corner Brook

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  10. If you take a look at what is going on in the USA with corporate media, google, YouTube and Reddit implementing censorship and journalists like Ben Swan who, when daring to talk about anything too controversial, simply disappear from their jobs. We had a local version of this with Snook. The largest current crowd sourcing efforts are focused on the death of Seth Rich but what I think really sets off the powers that be is the linkage between certain illegal activities and blackmail. If the blackmail evidence ever leaked out, there would be a temporary, global chaos in governance. You have to get compromised before those already in power (who are similarly compromised) can trust you. This mutual blackmail would explain how politicians everywhere that get elected on good promises do a 180 once in power. It also appears that a good hunk of the political landscape, judges and senior positions law enforcement are compromised. My theory is that Newfoundland is no different than the USA and that several of our politicians are also compromised. The answer therefore to the question is that they are afraid of those that control them via blackmail.

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  11. NLM are still slacking on the MF file a decade later, either not possessing the required intellect or patients for investigative journalism or told it won't get the most views in NLs topical-based "news" where roundabouts and the architect of MF, Saint Danny are in the news for all of the wrong reasons (cheep and easy/lazy journalism). OTT OL host thinks DW is being treated differently V other developers, super townie elite defending one of his own PC members who tries to rile up people - personality wise the OL host and DW are too similar, we have seen this dog and pony show before with disastrous results.
    Not once questioning MF nor the shady dealings the extra 550 acres acquired while DW was Premier, wouldn't want to rock the boat.

    Des, Davis has never come across as the sharpest tool in the box along with the other amigos Kent and Sandy (living proof university degrees isn't indicative of common sense) and most currently involved in the NLPC Party are rabid Muskrat supporters. Tools for sure just not sharp or correct ones for NL/MF.

    Ches or whomever wins the leadership has a lot of work to do to gain an ounce of credibility on the MF file - I'm afraid no one involved in the NL tea party since 2003 will see them reelected. Kent becoming the leader or Davis remaining would be a godsend to the battered Liberals.

    Old PC stalwart Tom Marshall supports finance reform for NLs parties only after being out of Gov for years, not like he was Premier or anything that quit before the first steel girders were up for CBH. Tom was/is part of the problem in nlpoli, Captain hindsight.

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  12. A post that every NLer should read. Everyone should post it's link on their facebook so that it reaches the masses. It clearly demonstrates the reluctance to dig deeper, to stand up for the people and generations to come.

    "Does it even matter that the allegations directed at Nalcor are, so serious that their failure to trigger an immediate investigation is, alone, cause for alarm?"

    'Their failure', being Ball and the Liberal Party, the oppositions, the media, the AG and even Nalcor itself. A brilliant assessment Des.
    dm

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  13. Maybe as the story suggests he owes somebody, but equally likely he just does not have the drive and intellectual capacity to take this on. He has never shown any political savy or intellectual prowess. Just got stuck as leader when no one else wanted it and was lucky enough to be wearing a red tie when everyone hated the blue team despite the complete lack of vision and platform. Though still cannot figure out how he managed to win the party leadership in 2013?? Perhaps he owes big from that!!

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  14. Des, I keep seeing the words "alleged" and "supposed" isnt it plausible that the reason the "supposed" "allegations" by stan marshall and others are not being followed up on, is that in fact there is no substance to them?? is it plausible that ball and marshall need to make this look horrible but are not willing to find out who is to blame because it is not as bad as they make it out to be?? anonymous, rehetoric of "supposed" "allegations" is all we see from marshal and ball...... could it be that by making it seem so terrible that they are simply laying the groundwork to look "great" when it is "completed" and "not as bad" as when they inherited it??? think about it, why would marshall take on a boondoggle at this stage of his life if not that he saw an opportunity to flay at the party that caused grief to his wife and at the same time lay the groundwork for being the messiah that saved muskrat falls??? why would a newly hired head o fnalcor NOT weed out those that are responsible for this "supposed" "aslleged" incompetance......why would he turn a blind eye to it and allow those that are "supposedly" "Alleged" to be so incompetant still work on the project????? i think it is being clear...... it aint what they are saying it aint......

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    1. You must be delusional if you think there is no "substance" to these claims. The project is grossly over budget by many billions of dollars. The underlying assumptions that lead to sanction were false. Quick clay does flow and there are videos of similar mud flows so it is not hypothetical that the north spur could fail. SNC executives have pleaded guilty to corruption and more trials are upcoming. The transmission line was sole sourced to Valard. None of this is "alleged". Hundreds of damning facts make it clear that a forensic audit is required.

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  15. Darryl,how can $11.8B and counting for a project that was conceived and sanctioned on PROVEN misinformation and outright lies with a total disregard for human life and the environment,that was unnecessary if all options were allowed to be looked at in the first place, fit into your assessment of this scandalous Boondoggle? Those who were and are involved are being "protected". Marshall is the head of a Crown corp and is ultimately under the command of the Govt of NL. You are essentially saying "give them the benefit of the doubt". My grandchildren will be paying for this the rest of their lives.
    21-22 cents /kwh (blended)!!!!We will sell what little is left for less than what it costs to produce. For sure you're not a businessman. The people of this province were, still are and forever will be SHAFTED all to satisfy the ego of a miserable little man who must get his own way or else.

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  16. Darryl, The words " alleged, supposed, allegations" are very appropriate in this context as the infractions referenced will remain as "allegations and suppositions" until a Forensic Audit confirms their actuality. Hence the awesome silence by all branches of government as no one knows how wide the spiders web is and who will get trapped. In the mind of the Government, the longer you can delay the Forensic Audit, the better.

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  17. Still puzzling why the public is not more outraged and demanding of answers - is it complacency or fear of reprisal? Hopefully, as a mature democracy, we're beyond the latter.

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  18. Maybe its because most people don't subscribe to the conspiracy theories that are often espoused by the subscribers of this blog? Some of the conjecture stated here would fit right in an episode of the X-Files.

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    Replies
    1. There you go trolling the informed, the dispossessed and the activists once again. You as usual have little to say save for your insults.

      Your loathing of your culture is pathetic at this point.

      Delete
    2. The facts contained in this blog are not unfounded theories. They are verifiable facts. Furthermore, many of the contributors to this blog, both as guest writers and behind the scenes support, work for government and/or government contractors. Since it is not possible to change things from within the bureaucracy, we have no choice but to go public.

      "Since the 1960s the label (Conspiracy Theory) has become a disciplinary device that has been overwhelmingly effective in defining certain events off limits to inquiry or debate. " - Professor James Tracy

      The term "conspiracy theory" is about as meaningless as the term "terrorist".

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    3. "Since it is not possible to change things from within the bureaucracy, we have no choice but to go public."

      Didn't the public just do this with electing a Liberal Government and Dwight Ball? How did that turn out?

      I am not saying that the facts presented here are false. I just have a hard time accepting that all the powers that be in terms of government, big business and, as Bruno likes to use, the oligarchs are all in cahoots to destroy the Newfoundland economy and intentionally poison people.

      These are not facts.

      Delete
  19. Mike,.........Recently a friend told of his family burning records from the 1960s. Their father was a govn superintendent over various projects such as schools in Joey's day in the 1960s. Materials that was to come to the job sites was was checked by him, and compared against the list shipped, and large amounts of material were almost always missing. This honest man, would write up reports of the missing materials and send it to his government superiors. Nothing was ever done about it, it continued to happen. He made copies of his reports and kept them, for the last 50 years. The man is still alive, but his family burned the reports just recently. It was explained to me that he kept them for his own protection. I suggested they should not have been burned.
    I first heard of stolen materials in the 1960s when the Holiday Inn was being built. Yet such went on, known to many, but yet kept secret.......why?
    Part of our culture.........and rear of reprisals?
    Winston Adams

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  20. D.Moores - The fear of reprisal is an integral part of today's workplace. There is no such thing as "Open Communication." Most communication sessions are staged. The fear of reprisal in the workplace is a primal instinct - particularly at Nalcor. Most people want to speak up, but they can't for fear of losing their jobs. If not for Des Sullivan, the Muskrat Falls catastrophe would never have become public. Keep it up Des, NL needs you.

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  21. This is bigger than the employees of Nalcor who are understandably concerned about job security. This is about the people of Newfoundland who deserve better - Des is doing courageous work - where's everyone else? We should all be putting pressure on our elected politicians to get answers. I've done nothing to date except complain privately. Tomorrow I will do differently.

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  22. Today I was engaged awaiting Trump's decision on the Paris Climate Accord. No great surprise as the decision was made public and Trump then went live to say why he was pulling out.
    I concluded that Trump had declared war. War with God.
    Well, if one believes that Mother Nature, and this planet is God's creation, then .........same thing........war with God.
    He previously condemned the Pope, so destroying God's creation is no big deal. But then there is is Book of Revelation, and the issue of the number 666. The Donald has not shown any such mark .......has he?
    I seemed to recall some months ago some reference of a property in New York with he number 666.
    I Googled " Donald Trump 666 Mark of the Beast"
    Boy.... one site called The Hyper Texts goes on and on..hundreds of references.......like the building 666 Fifth Avenue, bought by Jared Kushner and controlled by his family trust....
    Some references are funny: Jesus turned the other cheek, Trump grabs your pussy.
    So much there I couldn't read it all.
    Meanwhile, the warm waters continue to melt the ice at the poles. Trump will help speed that up.......but then all who deny that climate change is largely man caused, or do nothing to counter it, are Trump-like. If Trump is the sign of the Beast, then he has many helpers.
    On the bright side....Yesterday 62 percent of Exxon shareholders voted for disclosure how climate change might negatively impact the share value. Last year only 38 percent voted for that. Shareholders were pressing for that since 1990 , and the company had previously squashed 40 such shareholder proposals.
    Any wonder White Rose is moving ahead.............oil companies fear stranded oil assets, oil that can never be recovered least we destroy the planet.
    Last month I tried to hold Fortis to account for their poor climate change record, a lone voice of dissent at the Holiday Inn here. And they are much , much worse than i imagined then. !5 million tons of gas per year into the atmosphere.
    Trump vs God. How can God win? CNN and Wolf Blitzer have their hands full.
    Oh my!
    Winston Adams

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    1. We should show some leadership in Canada and NL and stop the tow out of the Hebron platform, stop the pipeline south to Texas from Alberta and the pipeline to the BC coast, after all the planet is in danger from climate change due to CO2 pollution, right, and that is not a hoax or a fraud or an economic maneuver of any kind right!!??!! Or should we ask to see the evidence of the link between climate change and CO2 emissions??!!??

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  23. Now that the American East Coast will be burning dirty coal to generate power, I predict we may get 2 cents per kw fir our surplus Muskrat Falls power that we will
    Be delivering to the US East Coast at a cost of 31 to 26 cents per kw, Talk about a Liss Leader!

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    Replies
    1. Isn't the production cost of MF power 55 cent/KWh? How then can we deliver it for 31 to 36 cents?

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    2. Production and transmission of MF power to Soldiers Pond near St John`s cost 55 cent per kwh, I believe , and blended price with existing island power at 21.4 cents expected for Nfld.
      So, yes, MF to USA much more than 55 cents.But on Jerome Kennedy`s math, we could sell that to the Boston market at 1 dollar per kwh instead of the 2 to 3 cents now going rate.
      I bet Kennedy`s math is much better when sending out his legal service billings.
      But existing island power mostly going via the Maritime Link, and MF to the Avalon, but all linked together.
      Meanwhile Emera is looking for about 160 million a year from ratepayers to pay for the Maritime Link, which was supposed to deliver about 160 MW of power.The link cost about 1.5 billion. What does that suggest ratepayers here will be hit for the balance of about 9 billion of the total project.....how many hundreds of million per year needed from ratepayers here.
      WA

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  24. If of interest, an attic mounted minisplit for 1000 sq ft cottage, heated at 73 F constant.......
    April month heat kwh used was 318 = 30.80 cents for heat energy
    May month heat kwh used was 230 = 23.04 cents for heat energy
    June Month projected (based on first 2 days) 124kwh = 12.22 cents for heat energy for June.
    May was one of 5 coldest since 1940s.

    Monitor was installed Mar 19, so I can estimate full Mar about 54.00 and Jan and Feb about 60.00 per month.
    Yearly energy previously estimted at 268.00 for heat, based on meter readings, and deducting other loads. Present monitor acturately tracks heat load separately.
    Winston Adams

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    1. Should read 30.80 dollars and 23.04 dollars and 12.22 dollars for Apr, May and June.
      WA

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  25. Peace in the valley;

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/ndp-horgan-site-c-1.4142590

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    1. Good news Robert. Now let us hope the NDP and Greens are allowed to form a government.

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    2. We are watching, fearful, that the Lieut. Governor may bypass normal parliamentary procedure, and throw out the first past the post tie vote, and not recognize the 60-40 (NDP/GR),popular vote for change. IF and when the BC Hydro open the books for scrutiny, we are chasing the usual strong lobby to hide the files, protect the usual list of overpaid executives/board members/politicos, etc. It is stated that up to a third of the highly paid on BC Hydro payroll should be let go as they serve no worthy service.

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  26. Winston ... with such overwhelming savings, why is it that more people have not switched to heat pumps?

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    Replies
    1. Mike,
      1. Power companies here do not want heating efficiency........as it goes against MF power scheme.
      2. Proof of such performance requires field monitoring.......called end use research. Most power companies do this. here they will not.....so they do not engage in best practices for forecasting.......pointed out by Manitoba Hydro at the PUB hearings here in 2012.
      3. Units are fairly expensive to install.....NS for years gave incentives of 1500.00 per unit to households .......100,000 installed in NS. Payback is about 6 years without incentive, 4 years with incentive. Savings typically 15,000.00 after the unit is paid off, with 15 -18 year life. Saving double that when power rates double.
      4. Most people have never heard of a heat pump. Take charge finally give a little info this past year .
      5. Best saving require no baseboard heaters to be used, proper sizing, good models and good installation. Nfld Power suggest saving up to 40 percent, whereas up to 75 percent possible.
      6. Nfld power suggests units may not handle our cold winters. BS. Our nite time avg this Jan and Feb was -6.6 C. Units operate to -20C or lower, so handles even our cold snaps.
      7. people are ignorant of the technology potential, not that the people are stupid, but because take charge group wants to keep people in the dark as long as possible as to the saving potential, so lack of customer awareness, and they do a good job of providing as little info as they can get away with.
      8. with power rates at 10 cents, people tend to be satisfied, but at 16-21 cents everyone will switch to these. But this should have happened 5-10 years ago, as in NS......and avoided MF
      Winston

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  27. Silence, silence, silence - speaks the loudest. The Premier Dwight Ball is obviously terrified. He is surrounded by people who speak absolute rubbish. Just listen to the interview with Anthony Germain of the CBC on May 10th. Stan Marshall, CEO of Nalcor, refusing to look back at possible falsification of Estimates on Muskrat Falls, and Minister Coady has "nothing against" a Forensic Audit. She clearly does not want it, fearing what it may uncover. We NLers, will not stop screaming. We will meet your silence and stupidity with our screams. We will not stop screaming until we get the Forensic Audit we so rightly deserve.

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    1. It's not about who, but rather how many. It takes MANY people to be involved in a project that escalates to where it has and no one having to answer of it.
      dm

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  28. Maybe Ball is having his strings pulled. I can't tell anymore. Is this Premier and government any worse than any other we have had since 1949 and before? How often has any NFLD or NL government gotten it right? Yes, I believe Peckford, Crosbie and Co. did deliver on the Accord. But let's face it - we have mismanaged this place from the start. Blame Ottawa, blame the Brits, blame the former government, blame the current government, blame the weather, blame DFO, blame St. John's, blame the bay, blame the merchant, blame each other. After MF, outsiders will wonder if a Commission of Government approach is the only solution for NL. Are we really fit to govern ourselves? "The fault dear Brutus is not in our stars but in ourselves." Fundamental change in thinking is required. Facts: MF will not be halted. Ether we or the Canadian taxpayer will pay for it. There are a handful of powerbrokers who got us into this mess. They should be identified. And we need to move on with changing how this province is governed and how we as citizens can make a real difference by ending our sense of entitlements. A huge, huge change is needed.

    On a practical note, I agree with Winston's encouragement of conservation practices, in particular the mini split heat pump. After two years of planning I will have the installation done this year. I expect to save on baseboard heating. Insulation and LED lighting will also help. Will I still pay for MF? I am sure I will in one way or another.
    JDW

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    1. So true JDW. We have a history of enept government with the far greater number of politicians in it as a career, with the final outcome: a lucrative pension. Inside information has been,still is, and will be, icing on the cake.MF undoubtedly falls in this category and would most certainly raise eyebrows (or probably wouldn't) should they be identified.What politicians and/or politicians family members have shares in companies associated with MF? Their identities are most likely obscured by being a numbered investor. The handful of powerbrokers should and must be identified.
      On the subject of heatpumps, I recently had one installed but as power consumption diminishes, taxes will increase. MF has to be paid for one way or another

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  29. As to efficient heating, most are concerned about the monthly or yearly power bill. but as important is the peak load needed for heating, as this determines whether Holyrood needs to be fired up ......., and how much back up capacity we need.....this was the essential reason why MF was wanted, cheapest option they said.
    I just went back to March , at about Mar 27. The peak load for the heatpump at night was o.86 kw. When switched to baseboard it was 2.85 kw, so 3.3 times more.
    For a large R2000 house,(I also monitor) at -17C at night this winter, our coldest night, , the minisplits total was 3.7 kw. Switching to baseboard with programmable thermostats brought on 18 kw of baseboard heat, 4.8 times greater load.......yet they promote this type of waste! It guarantees we need more capacity at peak load times.
    Last April Tom Johnson asked me if the power companies knew of this type of efficient heating performance before deciding to sanction Muskrat. I replied that they either knew or should have known. Seeing now what Nova Scotia did from 2008-2012, before MF sanction, the power companies here were obviously incompetent if they did not know.
    As Wayne says , MF has to be paid for.......but whether it should be stopped determines whether we need pay for 6 billion already wasted or that 6 plus another 6 or more.
    I see in BC, they are instructing BC power that site C may be cancelled and not to sign more contracts!
    Winston

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  30. Hope you are all keeping up with the news. Paul Withers is a good one and a Newf to boot.

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/nova-scotia-power-emera-maritime-link-fees-ratepayers-1.4142215

    Pay attention to what Scotians are saying about Emera.

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  31. Yes , I did Robert,thanks to your reference.
    And as to a forensic audit, I think the question(Tom Johnson`s) whether the power companies here knew about efficient heating before sanction of MF. MF was deemed necessary to address the increase of electric heat load here, as many were using that.
    One could increase the electricity supply , such as MF or other supply options, or address the reduction of energy needed for heating via efficient heating. Obviously this was ignored.......but why!
    Lack of knowledge, incompetency, or deliberately ignore it as MF was for political reasons, not for need.
    That was 5 years ago, but it is still be ignored today, lease demand on our grid drop rapidly, as it is already dropping.
    WA

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    1. Gentlemen this report shows the installed US renewables and the tumbling costs of solar and PV. Compare this to the horrendous cost of Muskrat falls.
      https://www.lazard.com/perspective/levelized-cost-of-energy-analysis-100/

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    2. That should read solar and wind.

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  32. Beatrice Hunter, the Inuit grandmother, and MF protester, has been transferred from Goose Bay RCMP jail to St John`s (male) pen!.
    This effectively separates her from visitation from her family.
    Did someone say we were moving forward with reconcilation with aboriginal citizens from centuries of mistreatment!
    Just following the RULE OF LAW says Parsons , our injustice minister.
    One rule for the white race of elite class, another rule for the so called savages, as they were long viewed. Who are the uncivilizied!Same rules maybe, but applied differently, discretion goes a long way.........I mean an RCMP on the Labrador coast, charged with sexual assault was let go as it too long to bring the case before the court. Another RCMP officer who arrested a female protester at MF, that male officer was voted officer of the year by Crime Stoppers. The poor RCMP officer who was probably a hero,kept the Innu safe during the occupation, suffered from PTSD, and took his own life at the Legion in Goose Bay,well............he should have been Officer of the Year, me thinks.
    Winston Adams

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    1. She broke the law and should be dealt with accordingly. We can not succeed as a society that authorizes anyone to break the law, regardless of ethnicity or racial background or profession or age or sex or anything else , period end of story.

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    2. End of story.......end of your story.....and one who is anonymous.
      Consider, a man, a pedeaphile, here upon charges, has not one but two lawyers to argue why he should a child like sex doll to satisfy his desires, which the crown says is a crime.This going on now since 2013, and no end of that story yet......apparently he has many rights under the Charter yet to be fully heard before the courts.
      Beatrice Hunter, is now at a facility enclosed by barbed wire, but not before spending a night at the lockup.......a place even worse than the pen. No lawyers to her cause yet.
      What is her cause for not agreeing to stay away from the Muskrat site:
      Initially it was the mercury poisoning issue and inability to harvest food safe to eat. It was determined that they were misled by Nalcor on the effects of mercury.
      There was also the risk of flooding from the MF construction or operation, and reinforced by the instability of the North Spur issue.......by opinions based on technical evidence of Mr Gordon, also the Swedish expert on marine clay, on technical analysis by Maurice Adams, and on poor studies by Nalcor to provide safety assurance.
      Then, there was the failure of the cofferdam last fall that required immediate release of water downstream without adequate warning systems in place.
      The final straw as to safety of lives from flooding came on May 17 when all (some 60 people) were flooded out of Mud Lake, and also some lesser flooding at Goose Bay -Happy Valley,... an event of such magnitude not seen there in 200 years of the community existence. Some 60 people has been arrested or charged since last fall, and the assurance for safety for lives has plummeted. But Nalcor says not their fault.
      Even Jim Keating of Nalcor acknowledges they were dismissive of the concerns of residents......as the cause has not been investigated.
      So, no end of that story.....
      So, anonymous, this brave woman is not a law breaker, unless the cause for her action and statements are heard where she has professional representation......if the pedeaphile can get professional counsel........why can`t this brave woman get it.
      She has taken a stand with courage, and is acting upon the opinions of many that follow this blog.....that fear of dam failure is reasonable grounds for her actions. Expert opinion of Mr Gordon and others should be heard in her defence, and orders by the court to provide technical proof of the safety of the dam.......to release all relevant studies and documents on this matter.
      Until such time this is heard by the court, this woman should be freed, without restriction, or such limited restriction acceptable to her. Further, an injunction should be put on Nalcor against further work on MF pending assurances, satisfactory to the court that safety from both dam failure and flooding is assured based on quality evidence based data and studies and construction quality.
      Perhaps then we can start to succeed as a society.
      Winston Adams

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    3. Beatrice Hunter and the other protestors should be commended for doing what most other NLers are neglecting to do. What Nalcor has done, is doing and will continue to do is WRONG in the strongest sense of the word. Nalcor is the antichrist, answerable to no one. They are given our money to spend as they see fit and we are not allowed to protest because injunctions are imposed at their whim?? The silence of Dwight Ball on everything will have him go down in history as the weakest and "donothingness" premier this province has ever seen. The only other Premier who had a sense of conciousness in looking out for NLers in my opinion was Clyde Wells. Danny Williams "appeared" to start out in the right direction until his ego and personal agenda exposed him for what he is and what he has done to the people of this province and continues to do--he is still calling the shots.I couldn't believe it when during a news interview about City Hall's insistance he pay for upgrades to the infrastructure in the area of Dannyland, he said he was being "bullied" by Ron Ellsworth---Danny was being "bullied"!!!??? The Bully was being Bullied!! HOLY S--T, we've heard it all!
      There should be more Beatrice Hunters and she should not be jailed because Nalcor wants her jailed.

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    4. Certainly Beatrice Hunter should not be in jail. And being removed from Goose Bay to here.......it reminds me of the British policy of `transporting` people centuries ago, to some remote far corner of the Empire so they never see their family again.
      Surely this woman should be released, even if subject to some acceptable conditions or a bond.
      She appears without much financial ability, so a bond should be moderate, if at all imposed.
      I can but offer this: If terms are offered and agreed to her immediate release, even if she had to stay on the Avalon, I would post a bond, if not more than $10,000.00, and also to arrange accomodation for her for 30 days, at some place better than the jail or lock up.
      Anyone, that might assist her with counsel, can contact me at 709-589-2720, if providing such a bond can assist with assuring her freedom.
      I have little doubt that she would abide to any undertaking that she might find acceptable.
      Winston Adams

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  33. There is one thing we NLers have forgotten. We don't have a government. We have a lethally incompetent person in the Premier's Office, who does not know which way is up. For all practical purposes, Nalcor is the Government - accountable to no one. Will the de facto Premier - Stan Marshall, CEO of Nalcor, initiate, authorize and approve a forensic audit to investigate itself, not in a million years.

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  34. Have I heard this song before?

    http://business.financialpost.com/news/energy/its-going-to-cost-a-fortune-to-cancel-it-cancellation-of-8-8b-site-c-dam-would-scrap-billions-of-dollars-in-contract-work. Earth movers; highly overpaid for what they do, destroying habitat, perpetuating boondoggles paid for by ratepayers, electing mostly Tory-minded powerful people, who get instant gravy returns. Story without end.

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  35. The writer of this column appears to make the flawed assumption that the so-called politicians "governing" NL are doing so in the best interests of the unfortunate, over-taxed wretches residing there.

    Nothing could be further from the truth.

    The governance of NL is nothing more than a bilateral sham perpetrated by oily con artists comprising political parties of both stripes.

    Indeed, the so-called "partisanship" seen on display in the HOA is mere facade... an elaborate act so as to dupe the rubes who vote for these culprits into believing that the bloody grifters are actually sincere.

    Once the NLers face up to the reality that they're being played like a fiddle... that their psychological stasis and loathing of change is being taken wholly advantage of by a small group of scam artists... once they realize that, perhaps then they might begin to resolve their wretched plight.

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    1. Are you saying that the writer of UG, Des Sullivan, is making flawed assumptions that the so-called---. ?? He is saying exactly the opposite?? Maybe I'm missing your point.

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    2. I get your point @9:14. If you look at the important decisions made by politicians (here and everywhere for that matter), there is often no positive correlation between those decisions and the betterment of the general population. There is an excellent correlation between those decisions and special interests. The conclusion is that politicians only pretend to represent the voters. They represent their sponsors and the political process is just to give us the illusion that we actually govern ourselves.

      It distinction is important since once you accept that all parties are basically the same and none are willing to protect the general voting population, then you have a difficult choice to make; accept your fate or fight back. Educating people via social media is a first step in fighting back.

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    3. I agree anomymous @ 13:52. The point I understood that anomymous @19:14 said that Des was in support of all Government is doing and is in the best interests of the people when in fact he is critizing what they are doing and the way they are doing it as if he supports the way we are being governed. Des (UG) is exposing a lot of what we don't see and generates important discussion. Without bloggers like Des Sullivan, we would be totally uninformed. Kudos Des.

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