Monday, 3 July 2017

PUBLIC SHOULD BE AFRAID OF POSSIBLE CORRUPTION

SNC-Lavalin was responsible from the start in devising the financing strategies and engineering design for development of the Muskrat Falls project. When such a company throws down the gauntlet to its employer, Nalcor detailing incompetence, a lack of technical and logistical readiness, and recklessness and neither Nalcor nor the Provincial Government performs their duty and investigates, it is time for the public to step in.

Describe it as one might, but the public interest is under attack on an unprecedented scale.

The evidence, detailed in a 2013 Risk Assessment Report only now brought to light by CEO Stan Marshall illuminates a Government seemingly incapable of responding to the allegations against its own crown corporation. Those accusations, by any standard, constitute the worst crisis that has faced a public sector agency since Confederation.
Even if the ‘Anonymous Engineer’ had never come forward with his story of “low-balled” or “falsified” estimates, the SNC Risk Assessment Report ought to have triggered an expression of horror so great that the Minister of Justice would have been directed to immediately call the Chief Justice in pursuit of a Judicial Inquiry.


It is not my purpose to pillory a timid government. As the premier has failed to act with a response proportional to the allegations levelled at Nalcor, the only plausible next step is to get the attention of the public.

The seriousness of what SNC-Lavalin has reported needs focus and context. Those responsible need to be exposed. 

SNC-Lavalin is an important player in this issue. It was the firm that designed the financing structure and the basic engineering plan for the Muskrat Falls project. 

The SNC Report identified no fewer than 40 risks (aka serious defects) to the project’s finances and schedule. Nine of them are major, having life safety and cost implications in the billions. The project is in desperate trouble, experiencing egregious cost overruns and schedule delays. And virtually all the issues causing this trouble were detailed in the April 2013 SNC-Lavalin Report, at a time when it was still relatively painless to stop the project.

I repeat: the SNC Report foretold grave consequences if it was allowed to proceed. It details the very specific issues which prevented a successful outcome.

The Report was kept hidden from the public and possibly from the Government too (we don’t know) when it contained the basis for a more prudent course of decision-making, allowing the project to be shelved or, at least, delayed.

Though some have panned the Report as the work of a company protecting itself from possible future litigation, its contents warrant not dismissal but confirmation and investigation.

It is not that the SNC Risk Assessment comes as a complete surprise, nor that everything in it is new. Critics of the project, including several knowledgeable engineers, warned of many of the items raised by SNC and were pilloried for their advice. However, the SNC Report must be given status for a different reason.
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Related:
Uncle Gnarley: Engineers Break Silence On Problems At Muskrat Falls
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SNC-Lavalin is a major international engineering and construction company. It had a relationship with Nalcor and the project which was not shared by any other company. Notwithstanding its tarnished image, it has plenty of megaproject experience and expertise.

When SNC-Lavalin comes forward, not as a consultant but as a whistleblower, only the foolhardy will ignore their claims unless, that is, there is another motivation.

The MF project received sanction in December 2012.

The wait for sanction hinged, the public was told, not on whether Nalcor was ready to proceed, but only on the grant of the Federal Loan Guarantee. 

Contracts were immediately let. Billions of dollars of public money was committed. The haste was such that Nalcor had not even finalized the deal with Emera for the sale of "surplus" power, the NS UARB having demanded a sweetener to the free 20% of MF power that constitutes the NS Block.

The date of the SNC Risk Assessment Report is April 2013. That is barely four months after sanction (December 17, 2012).

While someone should eventually require SNC Lavalin to divulge under oath the details of how the Report was given to Ed Martin, such minutiae is irrelevant when considered against the sheer magnitude of what it alleges.

This is a report that paints Nalcor as unfit, as much as unprepared, to undertake a project of such enormous size, cost, and challenge.

The sheer scope of the risk analysis is underscored by SNC’s assessment not only of Nalcor’s lack of management readiness (the management team was more familiar, it noted, with the oil and gas industry than with heavy civil and hydro works) but also of inadequate engineering on critical factors, greatly underestimated labour requirements (aka costs), limited availability of competent contractors, and other issues. Indeed, the recklessness of the decision to proceed with sanction anyway can only be evaluated in the context of SNC’s specific claims.

Let’s look at those which the Report defines as the largest risks. 

Consider this statement on page 6:

 More specifically, the largest risks are these:

(1) Failure to do adequate geotechnical investigations on the stability of the North Spur a potential show stopper demonstrating a cavalier attitude to project completion, operation and downstream safety.

(2) NO geotechnical investigations in the riverbed under the footprint of the dam and coffer dam; SNC emphasises that adverse conditions could be discovered during construction leading to major rework, cost overruns and delays; at the upper end, this could rise to impractical to complete.

(3) Failure to do supporting engineering on the coffer dam that could lead to catastrophic failure causing injuries/fatalities and loss of equipment.

(4) Restricted pool of major contractors… The project will face multiple problems with the large EPC (engineering, procurement, construction) contractors who would hold the project's budget and schedule hostage…

(5) Gross underestimation of labour requirements (Nalcor was then using 1500 workers when SNC said 2500 were needed); a sure sign of cost low-balling to gain sanction. This, in SNC's eyes, was reflected in the unavailability of sufficient camp accommodations… which could lead to mobilization and start-up delays… resulting in claims and ultimately project schedule delays.

6) A significant portion of the local labour market was working in Western Canada… workers are inexperienced… Unavailability of… manpower may lead to schedule delays and extra labour costs, as well as impacting on the quality of the work.

7) Due to the heated market conditions in the transmission lines market (currently the case in Alberta; LCP Is dealing with the same bidders) and the size of the construction packages, fewer bids could be submitted and at higher than budgeted cost. Also, very few of these major contractors will be able to perform these large packages in the proposed time frame. 

8) Major components, such as turbines and gates, will be procured and manufactured in China. Based on SLI (system logistics integration) and past experiences, quality, performance, warranty, service and schedule problems can be anticipated…

9) Powerhouse and spillway concrete works are planned on a three year duration (two winter seasons) with a very tight and aggressive schedule… which might result In additional delays… and costs.

10) As the start-up of the spillway, river closure and river diversion are to be fulfilled during an "ice-free" window. There is no float in the schedule with the preceding activities… any delay in these previous activities may trigger missing the diversion window... in the project schedule. This actually happened, with river diversion in October 2016 missing the May 2015 target by 18 months. 

11 Large EPC (Turn-Key) bid packages were being sent to a restricted pool of specialized DC (Direct Current) manufacturing firms not used to performing all-inclusive Turn Key work… added risks will most likely result in higher than estimated Bid Budget costs.

The Report adds: SNC-Lavalin, as the Projects E.P.C.M. has the legal obligation to advise its client of any risks that will cause prejudice to the project and which deviates significantly from its budget and schedule. Our concern is we foresee that the project will incur more than a 30% cost overrun if the project does not take action on the risk elements raised in the Risk Assessment Report. The actual project structure is contributing to this increasing risk factor. Client has limited experience in huge civil work and earth-filled dam work, power line and power station works.

When a major engineering and construction company like SNC Nalcor’s major consultant gives so many warnings that, in their scope and implications, even one or two would constitute a “show-stopper” for the Muskrat Falls project, the public has the right to be concerned very concerned.

For Nalcor to have proceeded anyway without, at minimum, pausing and taking a variety actions to confirm the feasibility of proceeding though stopping it altogether should have seemed the safest and most appropriate step is not just mind boggling.
It demands an assessment of what was really motivating senior management what the driving force was that disallowed a delay.

Ed Martin has denied seeing the Report. His suggestion is that all the risks it contained were accounted for by Nalcor, anyway, cannot be believed. The record of the project simply does not bear out his assertion. Indeed, the Report forecasts virtually every problem the project has actually experienced.

Outstanding, of course, is arrival of and commissioning of those Chinese-made turbines. Will they have serious defects like the transmission lines?

Let’s be clear (and SNC-Lavalin should not be surprised by this comment): we have many questions for that company and want it to explain its involvement in this project, its relationship in the early years of concept development at the political level, and the role played in it by disgraced SNC officials like Duhaime and Ben Aissa.

SNC will not be surprised that any Forensic Audit, of necessity, will begin in 2006 and work forward.

When a society is threatened, in consequence of this single project, all the hands that touched it will need to publicly face up to their role.

That Nalcor sought sanction based upon “falsified”, “low-balled”, “absurdly low” estimates choose what words you wish has entered into the realm of fact.

That Nalcor sought sanction, having possibly jigged other critical data and having entered into highly questionable arrangements with Emera, is also on the table.

But the SNC-Lavalin Report wasn’t about deceit and falsity. It chronicles unpreparedness, incompetence and recklessness.

The Report was hidden from the public.

We don’t know if it was given to the then-Premier and her Minister of Natural Resources. But we need to.

The enormity of the breach of faith of trust that occurred at Nalor, as chronicled by both the Anonymous Engineer and SNC-Lavalin, can’t be dismissed as a mere “boondoggle”.

That term is too trite, incomplete and unsatisfactory.

It does not capture the possibility of malfeasance or corruption. It does not do justice to even the most minimal demand for accountability or transparency in a matter of public interest. It gives mere political taint to a group who may, in fact, be guilty of matters criminal.

In short, it does not do justice… to the need for justice.

And the Premier’s suggestion that a Forensic Audit or other inquiry can wait bears a striking resemblance to how Nalcor treated SNC’s Risk Assessment.

The time to draw a line in the sand on deceit and on possible corruption in government has long passed. This Premier should not be one with his recent predecessors in deep-sixing the public interest.

The public needs to inform him that he will continue do so at his peril. 

64 comments:

  1. Do you think that criminal charges can, or will, be brought against those who help progress this project?

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    1. Danny Williams will NEVER be held accountable for this episode of the downfall of of Newfoundland & Labrador. More likely we will build a statue of him near the gates of his private community that he also pretty much stole from the province. No one will answer for this - the people of this island and the big land up further will have to swallow it and deal with the increased rates they force us to pay.

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    2. Yes the chargers are happening, and ALL involved will be Jailed. Not even Danny can get out of this one. or the LAnd that he got for $400 a acre. Investigation as to why NL housing would have this land in their department. It was not a development area. Who transfer the land from Crown lands, to NL House? When did it happen? Why would it be transferred. There are more unanswered questions, and I have been asking and NOT ONE reply for GOV. So this is another coverup. This is WHY This GOV and ALL in it MUST Be put to Side Wall. THey are ALL Supporting the Corruption. Maybe Paul Lane and the NPD are Not, the Rest are!

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    3. Yes and the Govt wants $40,000 for cabin lots.

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  2. We are like lambs being led to slaughter.Those who still support this runaway train must have a vested interest in the project--i.e. employees and investors. Our impending, huge electricity cost increases and tax increases are inevitable.
    It's total insanity for our Government to allow this to continue without a forensic audit AND public inquiry. Damnit! can you not see we cannot afford it. It is absolutely imperative the truth be found out and those sleeveens brought to justice. How in God's name can anyone justify a 60 cent delivered cost to Soldier's Pond and sold on the open market for 2 cents???
    The media never asks the right questions to those involved. I'd like for the "exalted one" to explain this and also ask the politicians who were/are involved if they still think it is a "good" project.
    We have had, and still have, no protection from those we elected to look out for our best interests. For Dwight Ball to still sit on this makes one think someone is pulling his strings.
    When electricity costs and taxes go up EVERYTHING else will go up as well. For the 40% who still support this --WAKE UP!!!

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    1. NLM are more concerned about sensationalist, laze/easy fluff pieces to get the most views and listeners - substance and investigative journalism are no longer part of NLM, dubbed aptly as glorified stenographers.
      Many of the NLM did hatchet jobs on the people whom questioned MF from the start couldn't win a debate intellectually if their careers depended on it.
      NLM contains many a member of PC/Nalcor spinologists (spin+apologists) in regards to MF. Claim they won't permit words being put into their mouths, yet just happen to be true PC believers like their bosses. Many in the NLM were cowards, timid and passive with DW/MF too afraid to rock he apple cart.
      Even self described "tough" media personas (saucy crackie townie) were limited in tackling MF and its proponents because of their extreme bias and complete lack of objectivity, as they were just as rabid Musketeers as any PC staffer was.
      Wade Locke, Ed Martin, Danny Williams, Dunderdale, Gil, Tom Marshall and Nalcor Chair Ken Marshall need to go on record in an inquiry/commission to justify how a project with "the most information available in NL history" also had the least due diligence.
      Clyde Wells to head up the inquiry/RC?

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  3. Out of the blue, my 13 year old grandson on Saturday said `I learned last week the meaning of insanity: it when you do the smae thing over and over and expect a different result`
    I smiled saying `Yes, I `ve heard that description`
    He replied: Whatever Ball does things just gets worse`
    Seeing I looked puzzled by his statement, He replied `Dwight Ball`
    There had been no prior discussion for Muskrat or Ball,in fact he watched a little of the Ottawa Canada Day celebrations before this.
    I was rather surprised tht a 13 year old was so tuned in to Ball`s performance.
    I also smiled this weekend when my 6 year old grandson, out of the blue said `I hates Donald Trump`
    I guess incompetence and stupidity is apparent to children. SO how do we adults get so taken in for so long..............

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  4. Des, I interviewed Tom Marshall, the Minister of Natural Resources in May, 2013, for an article published in theindependent.ca. Mr. Marshall says he never saw the 2013 SNC-Lavalin risk assessment nor was he ever advised by Ed Martin that it existed. He told me that if he had known about the risk assessment it would have "rung all kinds of alarms."

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    1. Didn't Ms Dunderdale, after being the natural resources minister and was appointed premier, keep the Muskrat file rather than pass it on to the new natural resources minister? Perhaps someone remembers, my memory is not as great as it used to be.

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    2. I appreciate your comment in a journalistic context only. It is worth looking at Tom Marshall's comments even in the dying days of his Administration when the Muskrat Falls project was already far over budget than Nalcor revealed. He was still claiming the project would bring the province hundred of millions of dollars in revenue when he was, perhaps intentionally, confusing revenue and profit. Additionally, this is the guy who established the Oversight Committee, selling the impression that it was "independent" when it was comprised only of Deputy Ministers who understood little of the project and who essentially regurgitated Nalcor's numbers - given them no independent confirmation whatsoever. Tom Marshall is one of the Government Officials who will need cross-examination by a Judge at a Public Inquiry.

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    3. Bring on the the inquiry ASAP. This project just might be the worst case of perfection gone wrong in the history of personkind on the planet let alone NF.

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    4. Love the picture 'Lest We Forget'. It shows some of the cheerleaders. The indefensible can not easily be defended. Some say the first casualty of war is the truth. It was surely also the first casualty of the Muskrat Project. An inquiry might be able to bring some truth where it has thus far been absent.

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  5. The most glaringly-obvious question arising from this disturbing development is... why is the public just now learning about this SNC Lavalin risk-report, 4 years after the fact?

    It also raises the following questions...

    What were the murky and mysterious circumstances as to how this report was presented to Nalcor?

    With regards to conducting a forensic audit of the Muskrat debacle... why is the current government so reluctant to determine whether massive fraud was perpetrated on NL taxpayers? Indeed, reckless disregard of the highest risks identified in the SNCL report could possibly constitute criminal endangerment.

    This apparent reluctance of the Ball government to get to the bottom of the Muskrat debacle is most troubling, and raises a couple more unsettling questions...

    What are they trying to hide?

    Who are they trying to protect?

    The public's confidence in government demands an answer to these questions. Therefore, it is imperative that a forensic audit be conducted into this debacle ASAP, and if that audit exposes the possibility of fraudulent or otherwise felonious activity, then a criminal investigation must be launched.

    The perpetrators responsible for the Muskrat debacle must be held accountable.

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    1. Wanna take a wild guess who Ed Martin was taking advice/instructions from?? Wanna also take another wild guess why Dwight Ball is not acting on this?? Fear of repercussion from the venom of one person is the likely answer!
      The truth must be exposed regardless of he who spits vile!!!
      One man should not have so much control over the lives of 500,000 people.

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  6. Uncle narley, you say " it is now time for the public to step in", how the hell do you expect that to happen, is there any realized plan for that to happen, or just wishfull thinking. If we, are just lambs, it will never happen. An action plan is needed, leadership, inside government or outside of government, it maybe both. Who is brave enough to raise their head, certainly not the brave media, will it be a single brave soul to lead or a group like lawyers 2041. Without a plan and leadership it is just more bs " blown in the wind".

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    1. I'd say Uncle Gnarley should run for public office, then we might get some transparency and accountability. And while we're at at it throw in Andy Wells, Cabot Martin, Ed Hollet, and Bill Barry.

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    2. This can't wait for an election. The present government are the only ones who can and must get this inquiry done asap. The reality is that they may not be reelected, given their performance to date.

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    3. Re-electing NL politicians is, in general, nothing more than an exercise in rewarding incompetence and culpability.

      The

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  7. The People, the Protesters, the Citizens of NL need to make an ULTIMATUM to GOV of NL and Canada. Start the Independent AUDIT, by July 15 (Choose a date), by an Independent International NFP Body. Of WE the PEOPLE WILL TAKE THE HOUSE AND DO IT OURSELVES. IT OUR HOUSE, OUR DAM, OUR MONEY. WE'VE been ROBBED. and I want the CROOK IN JAIL!

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  8. Well I am happy that finally, five years after it was plain Muskrat was a boondoggle, the reality dons on NL. Based on the short circuiting of any checks and balances(like financial information to JRP and PUB) it was clear that this project could not be justified on the finances alone. That passive submission to the clan chief will go down in history.

    SNC Lavalin that designed the financing and plan to exclude public scrutiny is engaging in a butt covering excercise. The implications to a complicit Nalcor and successive Governments needs exposing. Some of us have been harping on this for years and have been ignored.

    The question another commenter has already pointed out bears repeating. Who will lead the charge? The media is dead, the Government and Opposition compromised with lots to hide, a silenced civil service of no help, how will an audit and inquiry happen?

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  9. On November 21, 2012 I wrote on my www.vision2041.com website "Our children and grandchildren will not look kindly on us if we lock them into a legalized, 50-year theft of resources and oil revenues that are as much theirs as they are ours. We may have the legal, but not the moral right to take away their future."

    I included that quote in my recent letter to The Telegram ("Stop digging already")-- [ http://www.thetelegram.com/opinion/letter-to-the-editor/2017/6/30/letter--stop-digging-already.html ].

    Needless to say, The Telegram deleted that quote from my letter.

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  10. As a pharmacist, Ball knows that the right drug administered at the right time can save your life. The wrong drug administered at the wrong time can also kill you. No, this is not an ad for the present federal government on the merits of the legalization of weed. Lest we forget Alberta.
    This is the opportunity for the Ball government to do the right thing and even possibly make the grade for re-election. This is decision time, its do or die, call the inquiry asap or suffer the consequences of failure and defeat. For certainty, the ball is in your court.

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  11. No tipping point yet. An anti-poverty group marched today calling for an audit and stopping Muskrat.....about 60 people marched on Water St ,St John`s......Nalcor, Fortis and government and opposition parties must be all pleased.
    In Nova Scotia, 10 years ago , people got all upset when power rates increased 70 percent over a decade while inflation increased just 22 percent.
    We just had a 8.1 percent residential rate increase....insufficient to upset the public. So far our rates have held fairly steady. Indeed, no one was upset at Muskrat sanction, promising rate increases of 45 percent........now it is 100 percent increase, and still a happy province.
    It will take actual serious increases to cause alarm. And as of yet we swallow the BS of Ball and Marshall of rate mitigation. Rate mitigation will come at the expense of other public services.
    If I recall, about 80 people protested the secrecy act passed to limit disclosure, about the time of Muskrat sanction.
    Maybe everyone awaits a miracle....that there will be no serious impact from this 15 billion fiasco.
    The protesters have a sign which reads chose between HEAT and EAT, with Muskrat.
    Did SNC Lavalin or Nalcor identify declining power sales from efficient heat as a risk factor, among the 52 risks............
    James Feehan seems to see this.........he seeks to discourage efficient heat for residents to help revenue stay up for Nalcor.
    Heat poverty is a real problem in many places.......we are headed for more people suffering from heat poverty.......pity the anti-poverty group got so little support, as poverty will be the result of Danny`s Heritage Project......or so it seems. But it will take real serious rate hikes to affect the masses, it seems. All the logic and reason of this blog has not incited or angered the masses......yet.
    By the way, William`s claim that Hebron was to cost 8 billion and came in at 14, seems to have not raised an eyebrow. The Hebron was sanctioned at 14 billion just after Muskrat, and came in at 14 billion. And scheduled for oil production in 2017..........and presently in place and drilling, so on schedule. Why has the media not corrected Willaim`s FAKE NEWS.
    Winston Adams


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    1. For confirmation, Google `Hebron C0-Venturers Reach Sanction`
      It states capital cost is estimated at 14 billion, this was dated Jan 4 , 2013, and mentions sanction Dec, 2012.
      WA

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  12. Same as trumpie, if Danny says 8 billion that's all the people hear. But at least there the media will correct trumpie, here the media, is too scared..

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  13. Williams is the blame for this. All of his reckless spending was cover for all his gains when in office. It's always easier to spend the publics money to keep them happy as you are doing deals behind closed doors.

    For example the last part of his land bank he bought for Danny land was acquired by his blind trust within 30 days of his cabinet I'm freezing/ releasing the frozen land. That's right he missed that cabinet meeting but everyone was told what to do.

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  14. Do we have a lawyer on this blog willing to lead a class action suit against all the politicians, all the oversight committee, all the Nalcor senior staff, and any others who have caused this problem?

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    1. A lawyer of good will..........a miracle ........
      I used to think we had two good judges, Barry and Green, but Barry seems to have given the RNC a pass, never heard they need to have body cameras.........cameras which are so useful to help catch criminals.....unless you are police, and we need to always give them the benefit of doubt.
      So, the only good judge is Green, and he is retiring........perhaps ideal to head up an inquiry .

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  15. Williams is the blame for this. All of his reckless spending was cover for all his gains when in office. It's always easier to spend the publics money to keep them happy as you are doing deals behind closed doors.

    For example the last part of his land bank he bought for Danny land was acquired by his blind trust within 30 days of his cabinet I'm freezing/ releasing the frozen land. That's right he missed that cabinet meeting but everyone was told what to do.

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  16. Let me preface this by stating that ‘commerce drives everything’.
    So what is the commercial driver associated with Muskrat Falls?
    Who is setup to benefit?

    Is it the conflict of interest within the Project?
    Are politicians, Nalco representatives et al benefitting from owing a stake in companies being issued contracts by Nalco?
    Maybe, but this isn't the real commercial impetus.

    We all know that Muskrat Falls was PUSHED through, two events exemplify this, Bill C29 and sweet heart deal with Nova Scotia. Why was it so imperative to push Muskrat Falls through?

    Then the SNC Lavalin Risk Integrity Report is issued. There is no public report out on this, there is no step back and review. Instead Nalco claims SNC Lavalin is trying to "sabotage the Project" justifying a re-organization whereby Nalcor takes command of the Project and a new Nalco Project Team is established.

    What is going on? It seems nothing is going to stop this Project.
    And let's not wallow about who saw what report and who didn't, believe me everyone with a stake in Muskrat (Alderon Iron Ore) saw that SNC report and, better yet, before it was finalized and issued.

    Well consider the following timeline activities;

    • April 2012 - Hebei Iron & Steel Group Co. purchase 20% of Alderon Iron Ore stock and 25% stake of Kami Project
    • June 2012 - Danny Williams is appointed Board of Directors of Alderon Iron Ore
    • June 2012 - Bill C 29 is implemented-limiting access to information
    • July 2012 - Legal signing of Muskrat Falls
    • 2012/2013 - Project Organization restructuring - Nalco assumes control
    • April 2013 - SNC Risk Integrity Report is issued- Nalco is managing and running the Project.
    • 2013 - New Nalco Risk Assessment Report - I wonder how the Risks were mitigated by the new Nalcor Project Team?
    • June 2013 - MOU finalized between NL Gov't and Hebei Steel

    For years I can recall IOCC being limited in their expansions, why, the lack of power. Muskrat Falls will provide this to Labrador. Power will be available for iron ore developments, namely the Alderon Iron Ore Kami Project.

    Do you think cost and schedule delays of Muskrat Falls meant anything to those with interest in Alderon Iron Ore Kami Project and other iron ore developments?

    The monies from these shareholder earnings (recall Diamond Field Resources when they found the nickel deposit, $0.13 / share. It went to $80, split and went to $80 a share again. Alderman Iron Ore could very easily be the same with the Kami Project, huge money) could nicely finance a residential development; don’t think this is not related to Muskrat. Who else within Nalcor and Government have shares in Alderon Iron Ore? Is this why Ball doesn't want to push a forensic audit? Are Liberals and Conservatives both in on this? They’re all joined at the hip. Premiere Tobin saw to it that Danny got the Galway land, bypassing NL Lab Housing land sale protocols. NL Lab Housing Corp went through several Directors in about one year before one agreed to the back room deal between Danny and Tobin.

    The recent behaviour by Ed Martin and Danny Williams is very interesting. Ed Martin is claiming not to have seen the SNC Risk Integrity Report, for sure he was fully aware of its findings. And guess what, so was Danny. Why is Danny weighing in on this with such emotion "...bullshit..."? What does this report have to do with him? Everything. He's the one with the most to lose, Galway.

    So you can only imagine the panic with a report completely invalidating the Muskrat Falls project. The report is not made public (Bill C29 makes sure of that, but it should have been as the tax payers are the shareholders of Muskrat), and a new Nalco Project Team is at the helm...keep 'er going by's at all costs, nothing stops this project…oh and be sure to create a new Risk Integrity report.

    There needs to be a class action lawsuit issued by the people of NL against Nalcor and the NL Government to review collusion and insider trading.

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    1. I wonder if Alderon Iron Ore is the deal of all deals for Williams and Tobin?
      As stated above this would be the biggest windfall of all time. It would also explain the sudden interest in the fundraiser dinner in Toronto and who knows what else.

      Yes there most certainty needs to be a class action lawsuit issued by the people of NL against Nalcor and the NL Government to review collusion and insider trading. We need a big firm from outside the province to do this.

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    2. "NL and Lab housing"

      Um what do you think the L in NL stands for?

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    3. "They're all joined at the hip"... no doubt about that... there's more than a few NL politicians of both party stripes who've carried on a sleazy tradition of bilateral corruption... they're as thick as thieves.

      The mentality amongst that morally-vacuous lot is that's it's not the thieving that constitutes the crime; it's GETTING CAUGHT at the thieving that constitutes the crime.

      Like another poster said a while back, NL voters are being played like a fiddle by these dodgy culprits.

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    4. Impressive timeline but go back a bit further to newtel having the provincial government phone contract cancelled. This had penalties associated with it at the tax payers expense and then given to a company that had no customers at all which in turn then flipped that division of the company.

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  17. The only logical reason this project went ahead is there were people benefiting financially from signing the deal. The press, and the present Newfoundland government need to step up and get to the bottom of this. If it involves a class action lawsuit on behalf of taxpayers some of the wasted money may be recouped. There is NO way taxpayers can spend any more on electricity. With an increasing number of Newfoundlanders are in position to move to Nova Scotia as they are retired. this project will give them no other choice but to leave. Someone needs to step up a advocate for the consumers and have public protests. We do have a consumer advocate office afterall. This is their time

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    1. Perhaps you missed it, the Consumer Advocate is part of the dysfunction. He recently excluded evidence from 2 intervenors on the reliability of MF. He is part of the coverup, not the solution. Ditto for the disgraced PUB.

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    2. Here's one already in the process of sourcing out retirement property in Guysborough County. I will not abide struggling financially in my retirement having to deal with provincial tax gouges, the vile "deficit levy", and horrendously expensive electrical bills and gasoline surtaxes just to finance the pillaging of NL by these bloody culprits. I'm outta here...

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  18. First of all, SNC was hired by Nalcor and they report to Nalcor. If you all remember the election in 2012 when Kathy Dunderdale's platform was sanctioning the MF project, she got in with a landslide victory. She did not want the PUB to review the project because we would save $300 million. Danny Williams announced the project and a week later resigned as premier. A few months later we here he is on the board of directors of Alderon, an iron ore mining company searching for cheap power to run their up and coming mine in NW Labrador. Coincidence, I dare say NOT! Basically ladies and gentlemen, we have been screwed. We laughed at Brad Cabana for trying to stop the project. We laughed at that Vision 2041 group for trying to stop the project. Hell we even laughed at a former PUB head, David Vardy, who pointed out how risky this project was with ground instability, methyl mercury and the fact that hydro power is NOT considered green energy in the US so we won't be able to sell it. Guys and gals, the only way out of this mess is to sell all our hydro assets and properties as a package - for a reasonable electricity rate. I am saying Churchill Falls, Muskrat Falls and Gull Island. If we don't, we will experience Power rates at around $0.25 Kw/H and everything sold on the province will also escalate in price. Our home's value will plummet because people will be paying hydro bills equal to their mortgages then prices will begin to fall. Criminal? Absolutely. Will anything be done, yes. Danny's guppies will buy his overpriced houses and declare bankruptcy around same time the province does. The END.

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  19. Remember, SNC had their project management, procurement and construction management scope of work removed by Nalcor at around the time of the Risk Report. That means, of their original "EPCM" contract ("E"ngineering, "P"rocurement, "C"onstruction "M"anagement, plus Project Management), Nalcor removed everything except the "E"ngineering and became, themselves, responsible for all the Project Management, Procurement and Construction Management execution. And, as well, the STAFFING for all of those functions. A journalist should try to connect the dots between the companies that Nalcor insisted on doing the hiring (at large commission fees, and with no obligation to disclose the numbers) and the ownership of those hiring companies. Might there be a conflict of interest there? ��

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  20. Oh what a tangled web we weave when we conspire to deceive. An inquiry into all these matters is essential and the sooner the better. If the present government won't initiate the inquiry then who can and who will?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Citizen's Action. Stand on your collective rights.

      Delete
    2. Jon Parsons

      http://theindependent.ca/2017/06/28/muskrat-falls-and-the-ethical-imperative-of-revolt/

      Delete
  21. For all of those willing to elevate SNC-Lavalin to some type of all seeing fore teller of future woe please bear in mind that SNC-Lavalin is hardly an untainted source. To quote a Business Vancouver article from October, 2016 "SNC-Lavalin is facing several criminal and civil court actions inside and outside Canada."

    Nonetheless that doesn't mean their report is without value and clearly some of identified risks have materialized in a big way. Many posters seem to think there was some grand conspiracy to make money from this. If only that were true at least there would be something for a forensic audit to find. I suspect however it is more a matter of collective ignorance or blindness and an expectation that things couldn't go as wrong as they have. As the saying goes the difference between intelligence and stupidity is that intelligence has its limits.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LIBERAL and ex-Nalcor Board Member Cathy Bennett was a partner with SunnyCorner Enterprises who were awarded 7 contracts including the hydraulic gates.

      Without MF, Galway simply can't don't happen. Considering we've been metering close to peak limits, another development the size of Gander would not be approved. DW bought a large parcel of land in the 90s and had his son-in-law purchase more when he was Premier. Quite the gamble. Small community or large potato patch?

      People will make money... and make money off our tax dollars. Blindness can only be attributed to those who can't see that.

      dm

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  22. If the project goes to 15 billion, that means Dwight Ball could have canceled the project and saved us 6 billion, but he did nothing. What Newfoundlanders heard really with all the talk about Muskrat Falls was lots of construction jobs and a big profit from the sale of power. That is what the PC government preached. Newfoundlanders believed this project would brings huge profits to Newfoundland unlike the sellout to Quebec on the Churchill Falls project. The Politicians either lied to the public or were completely enthralled by the big sell to the public by people with big interests in making money on the contracts or they were all bird brain conservatives who were scared of the master. Where were politicians like Shawn Skinner and Marshall? One would think at least a couple of those politicians would have some love and respect for the province. It is hard to believe that the minister of finance or the energy minister, or the public works minister or Paul Davis or Dwight Ball or the fired CEO ED Martin weren't aware of the SN-Lavalin report. How could the board of directors and the provincial okay the billions of dollars without this knowledge. Some people are lying and delaying an inquiry will make it more difficult to catch the crooks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. $15 billion. Some might be able to wrap their heads around the size of that number... it's 15 thousand millions$.

      However, many people cannot comprehend the magnitude in dollars that number actually represents,... understandably, their eyes glaze over when the numbers begin to hit 6 figures. So let's look at it in a way that might allow many to appreciate the dollar-value size of that number.

      If the cost of the $15 billion Muskrat debacle was to be paid by equal contribution from each and every NLers, every man, woman, and child in the province would have to fork over twenty-eight thousand dollars.

      Twenty-eight thousand dollars from every man, woman, and child in this province.

      Who in their right mind has seen fit to saddle the people of this small province... with a population no bigger than that of Hamilton ON... who in their right mind has seen fit to saddle every man, woman, and child of this small province with such an horrendously monstrous financial burden??

      These buggers should be locked up.

      Delete
    2. Some years ago, while I was living in Toronto, the mayor of North York, (Before amalgamation), got the government to waste public funds to the tune of $1 Billion, to build subway spur along Sheppard Ave. It was known at the time, and subsequently that the "Build it and they will come" mentality should result in put ting somebody responsible in jail for squandering the future of the TTC, (Transit Commission).


      Nobody went to jail.

      Since that time, I have personally used this project to equate the value of a $Billion. Depending upon your concept of inflation, (I will use 2017-1990 @ say a factor 2.0), Muskrat at $15B, 2020 is like 7 or 8 Sheppard subway spurs!

      Delete
  23. Exactly, with MF heading to 15 bullion, why not even now cancel the project and save 6 billion. If Ball had done this a year ago , we might have saved 8 billion. Stan Marshall said it was too late to stop,not worth while to do a proper pause and review, but keeps adding to the boondoggle, with no final price too high. Finish strong he says......will that be $14,999,999,999.00 and 70 cent power delivered to Soldier Pond. And can anyone clarify if Stan sat on the SCN risk report for a full year before informing the Premier last
    week.......
    Ball is demanding that Nalcor put aside hundreds of millions to mitigate the rates........sounds like telling Mexico that they should pay for the wall. Maybe Nalcor can,for a couple of years, by selling assets at a fire sale price. Just more Ball BS, to con the people to delay a forensic audit or inquiry.
    I am thinking corruption runs through every facet of our government institutions , agencies and crown corporations........a way of life here in Nfld., and helps explain why they can not fill a pothole on time, or why the health care can`t verify with patients that they will show up for their MRI or CT scan, and scan machines often sitting idle. Incompetence by example.
    And for God sake, don`t release wages of the RNC, as they have the title Royal, yet we learn that Prince Charles gets some 27 million a year, and we must foot the bill every time for his 17 trips to Canada, so he can mumble a few works about Vimy.
    If Stan Marshalls, 600,000.00 plus salary is public, and oncologists nearly a million a year is public,and nearly a thousand Nalcor is on the sunshine list, as a Povery Reduction Plan, as Dave Vardy says........what is so secretative about the RNC wages......I guess, as usual,as seen by the Barry Inquiry, they are above the law.
    Winston Adams

    ReplyDelete
  24. I am impressed by the Telegram`s Russell Wangersky`s piece to day REAP WHAT YOU SOW.
    He cites the wisdom of his deceased father, an oceanographer on the value of research, not just research selected to benefit corporations.
    I sense a change of more independent commentary from the Telegram......time will tell.
    Neither Russell nor Ashley expressed interest in my research on heating energy efficiency......my invitations to assess my research were ignored.My results are at odds with what the power companies and government promote.
    I also researched the connection between capelin spawning time in the Avalon area to sea water temperature, for 10 years. I think Russell`s father would have found it significant as to it`s connection to climate change, the late arrival of the capelin, and the impact on capelin and cod stocks.
    Russell had last week written about his prior employer seeking financial assistance from government, implying it limited the papers independence.
    Can we expect more independence under the new owners...........the proof is in the pudding. The pudding depends on the ingredients, and other factors..........good, independent journalism .......we need it badly.
    Winston Adams

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not necessarily, social media can act as a sounding board just as effectively as the MSM. This blog now has 1.2 million views.

      If the vested interests of the owners and financial benefactors of the local media will not allow their journalists to do their jobs, then social media must fill the gap.

      Delete
  25. PROTEST RALLY on July 8, 1:30pm
    at Nalcor head office on Columbus Drive

    "Audit Nalcor Open Mic
    Speak up
    Be heard
    Come share your 1 minute demand to audit Nalcor and have a public inquiry into the Muskrat Falls project"

    I'm going for sure! Who's with me?

    Facebook link to event:
    https://www.facebook.com/SolidarityWithLabrador/photos/a.582873835256945.1073741828.575116782699317/707161706161490/?type=3&theater

    ReplyDelete
  26. Why is the capelin late.......again......
    I just decided to check the sea temperature, here at Quilty`s Cove, at Bishop`s Cove, Conception Bay.
    I have not checked sea temperatures since 2010, after monitoring for 10 years, from 1999 to 2010, both here and at Middle Cove.
    At present it shows 40F sea temperature, this being out at the mouth of the Cove, about 75 ft from the beach, where the water is about 10 feet deep, at the Stage Rock.
    What does 40F suggest.......
    After 10 years of monitoring, it was obvious after the first 3 or 4 years that: the preferred temperature for capelin coming to spawn ashore on the beaches in this area was 50 F.
    This suggested to me that, since the historical spawning time was mid June, that the temperatures at mid June should be 50F.
    The maximum sea temperature in summer that I have recorded was about 64F. Once the sea temperature starts to increase in the spring, it usually increases on average about 0.25 F per day.
    About 1999, I recorded capelin rolling in late August, more than 2 months later than expected, with the sea temperatures cold, about only 41F, and they were very small capelin. This gave an initial (false ) indication that this might be a preferred temperature.
    I have not heard of reports of capelin around here yet. Sometimes with a cold Labrador current inflow, the temperature drops 10 or 15 degrees in 24 hours, and then takes a week to recover. I do not know if we have had such a cold inflow of Labrador current in recent days.
    But at the present temperature, it suggests the capelin is not anxious to RISK their eggs dying, at these temperatures.
    Perhaps Nalcor could assess and list the risk factors for capelin and cod......do a report and bury it for 10 years...........
    I wonder if DFO and MUN has buried such data, or just have avoided the research.
    Winston Adams

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Winston, are you on the same blog as everyone else??

      Delete
    2. Sometimes I wonder , Wayne....recent concern about the fishery, and intentions of serious research has rekindled my interest in the capelin, cod , climate change, fossil fuel burning, Muskrat power vs thermal generation...........all connected in some ways.
      This blog says Politics that Bite..........capelin and cod is a big deal, especially for rural Nfld. ............and this may seem off topic to you.....but may be as important as Muskrat falls to our future. Hope it does not distract.
      WA

      Delete
    3. Having returned to the town of Logy Bay, I just visited Outer Cove, and measured the sea temperature. No sign of spawn, and no one at the beach. The temperature is 46.8 F. This suggests about 13 more days for the capelin to arrive........so July 17, if the temperature rises steady.
      At Bishop''s Cove , at about 4PM, I saw the best display of large whales ever, in my 30 years at the cottage there. Normally once every day or so I see one enroute to or from Spaniard's Bay, and have seen this for the past 3 weeks.... so just a minute and it's gone.
      Today, about 6 or 7 very large ones lingered a few hundred feet off shore for about an hour, and gulls going mad..... usually 3 whales blowing at the surface at one time.
      Thinking there may be capelin in the deeper water, I again measured the sea temperature , and to my surprise it was 1.5 F lower than 5 hours previous....so getting colder..........a likely Labrador current inflow.
      Outer Cove is usually only about 1 F different than Conception Bay, but right now the difference is HUGEEEE , as Berie Sanders would say. And I don't know if that cold current will also drive Outer Cove sea water colder and further delay the capelin.
      Ten years ago, by water temperatures, my data showed one could reasonably well predict the arrival of the capelin, using 50F as the temperature guide. See what happens this year.
      Anyone not interested in capelin spawning on the beaches, can't claim to be a Nflder..........right?
      Winston Adams

      Delete
  27. Someone within the Liberal party past or present must come forward and demand that Dwight Ball call for an inquiry. The jig is up and the people of this province have every right to see this matter investigated immediately. This is far bigger than Dwight Ball. It's the entire Liberal party that will pay the price for his folly. Even if the project can't be stopped, we need to know the truth. If as it appears, Nalcor under the direction of Ed Martin intentionally ignored the SNC Lavalin report, he and those associated with him in making the decision must be held accountable. I for one see no rational in thinking that Ed Martin did this without being given his directions by someone else.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There is no real difference between the party brands so "pay the price" is meaningless. We vote for one side of a two sided puppet and the puppet master remains unchanged. Short of electing independent candidates and changing the voting system so something like approval voting (check all acceptable candidates perhaps modified with a box for non-of-the-above)we will just continue going back and forth between Liberal and PC. I also suspect that if the NDP was viable in the province they would win the next election and we'd discover the puppet had three heads.

      Delete
  28. Can you ask wade locke of memorial university to update his presentation he gave in 2012? He was quite a force at the time convincing the public that it is the best thing for us. I would be interested in knowing how much he was paid to act as a Nalcor shill, and what his thoughts are now.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You could probably put in an ATIPP request for that.

      Delete
  29. As a Newfoundlander/Labradorian and a shareholder in NALCOR as every other resident, I wonder why the news outlets ie CBC, NTV, VOCM, THE TELEGRAM, ETC, dosen't keep hammering the government daily on Muskrat Falls. I always thought, that was the purpose of the media, to keep the government accountable.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Most media is owned by corporations or wealth individuals. VOCM, CBC, NTV, Telegram are not into journalism. They depend on advertising revenue and can be threatened with say -- no more government tender ads or announcements. Furthermore, they all seem to be part of the same club - a club of rich people.

      The media you are referring to (journalism) only exists now in the form of brazen bloggers, social media and a few struggling independent news outlets.

      “Journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed: everything else is public relations.”

      Delete