Monday, 23 April 2018

HOW NALCOR UNDERMINES PUBLIC POLICY; BUYS FRIENDS AND SILENCE

Crown corporations are established for a multitude of political and public policy reasons. Most, ostensibly, fill market gaps in services and activities “ignored by for-profit private organizations” and therefore deemed the responsibility of government.  

A Paper by Philippe Bergevin on the website of the C.D. Howe Institute (from which the quote above was drawn) examines risks posed by the Crown Corporation model. It suggests that whether Crown corporations are “relevant” or if they serve only to “complement or displace private activity”, their policies should be limited in ways “to more clearly align them with the institutions’ core mandates and the defensible features of their economic rationales”.
This means, essentially, that a Crown corporation’s mandate should serve clear public interest objectives and not engage in overlap either within or outside the institutions of Government. 

This Post is not intended to argue the larger issue of Crown corporations' suitability or their risks. Rather the intention is to illustrate, based upon recent information obtained under ATIPPA, how our failed Crown corporation, Nalcor, continues to defy its limited mandate by assuming a larger role; one  incompatible with notions of “core mandate” and the process of keeping government programs efficient and aligned. Ultimately this is the responsibility of the Ball Government, except that it refuses to rein in the Crown corporation, even though the Liberals are well into the third year of their mandate.

Since 2010, Nalcor has been duplicating well-known grant programs, some of which were government-funded prior to Nalcor’s existence.  Nalcor allocates roughly $1,000,000 anually for sums in varying amounts to a plethora of organizations. Most agencies to which it makes donations have nothing to do with its core mandate. Besides, unlike a private entity whose mandate includes community engagement (which we all applaud), Nalcor is using the very same money needed by government departments, often in competition with them. 


Nalcor sprinkles public money to groups as diverse as the Atlantic Ballet Theatre, Atlantic Journalism Awards (transparency in its own shop is a greater priority); other include the National Arts Centre, the Red Cross, SPCA, a long list of Fire Departments. From Memorial University to the Petty Harbour Mini Aquarium Nalcor finds a reason to share wealth that is not its own and has no mandate to share. Even the Bay d'Espoir Happy Tree received a donation in 2015; the list goes on.  

Let's be clear. All the groups on Nalcor's donor Lists are important organizations contributing to Canda's and NL's economic and social fabric. We want all of those groups to succeed. But there is a place for everything and Nalcor is not exempt from the rules that apply to other areas of government.

Nalcor states that "Giving back to communities in Newfoundland and Labrador is a priority for Nalcor Energy and Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro." But Nalcor forgets who it is. It, too, is a government funded program, nothing more nothing less.

Anyone who performs a broad review of Nalcor's gifting program will easily see that it encroaches on the social agenda of departments like Health, Education, Municipal Affairs and Culture which have — or used to have — structures for assessing worthiness. Many of the recipients are (and should remain) the preserve of the private sector. 

I don't think the public needs reminding, but Nalcor might, that it is not one of those. 
   
If Nalcor made limited and justifiable monetary awards to groups engaged in renewable energy research or involved in energy conservation, as two examples, no one would take issue. But, evidently, that approach would not sate that Crown corporation’s agenda.  

The chief recipients of this funding should be aware — like all members of the public — that Nalcor has taken the province into a financial abyss. To that point, those are funds that Nalcor must borrow, money that it has no capacity to repay; money that is added to the public debt year after year. 

Why would Nalcor persist in this practice? To create a stronger social fabric? Because it believes that the elected politicians in the Legislature are doing a poor job of responding to the needs of diverse community groups and that they can do better?

Nalcor has always wanted to be the “big guy” in town, to be pervasively influential. It was Danny's brainchild; Dunderdale asserted the Crown as a place to find "international experts".  Not just from the government, it wanted a mandate from the public for its “energy warehouse”, too. Of course, Nalcor had no more skills than any other government department; probably less. Given far too large a mandate, too much latitude for screw up, it was pampered with too much money, too. Without either oversight or direction, it should a surprise to no one that it can't get basic public policy right either.

Imagine that the Liquor Corporation interpreted its mandate in the same way Nalcor does? The Newfoundland and Labrador Housing Corporation, too? Or that some other Crown corporation arbitrarily chooses to take from its budget and fund an array of charities, fire departments and arts groups that are the strict purview of line departments or the private sector?

Is this chaotic and highly selective method of dispersing grants the way the public wants the business of government to be run?

To whom would such an approach to public administration be acceptable?

Why not just hand over the budget to the Ministers? At least they are elected. And it is their job to buy friends, isn't it? Certainly they are more qualified to assess community needs than the Nalcor bureaucrats, peripatetic Board Members, or even the CEO.  

Many in receipt of Nalcor's largesse will disagree that they should refuse it.

Some of them have short memories. There was an earlier time when such decisions were arbitrary, when some groups were left to die on the vine because they didn’t have the right political friends or the “right” political attitude.

ArtsNL participated in a Case Study for a book called “Understanding the Social Economy: A Canadian Perspective”, second edition, by Jack Quarter et al. It should remind some people of the bad old days. This is an excerpt:

“Even though ArtsNL is heavily dependent on the provincial government for its funding, it is argued (Bill 2009:3) that its creation involved a shift of control from the province to the arts community: It is fair to say that the creation of the Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council (NLAC) was a very important cultural initiative of the new Peckford government… Peckford's move represented a partial transfer of power from the Director of Cultural Affairs…" (pp.124–125). The authors could have added “… in whose authority rested the survival of a good many arts groups.”

Of course, Nalcor has far less attachment to many of the groups on its list of recipients than those arts groups had in relation to the then Director of Cultural Affairs (or those who directed his decisions).

Nalcor’s donations are really about keeping a large group of people on its side, or just keeping them from exercising their civic duty when they should be telling Nalcor where to get off. They should be speaking truth to power.

Groups that don't ordinarily engage in political issues and who likely — falsely — believe they are not being made complicit with this Crown corporation are being very naive. Of course, they will say they can't be bought. The refrain is familiar. But the history of Government's ability to keep them mute tells a different tale.

Groups should know that, implicitly or otherwise, fealty is expected and the payments come with a yoke of presumed silence.

If community councils and charitable organizations think Nalcor is doing the right thing they should really go the rest of the way. They should look for complete chaos. Why not demand of Newfoundland and Labrador Housing, the Liquor Corporation, the Multi-Materials Stewardship Board, and every other Crown, a share of their budgets, too?

************************************************************
(Listed below are  Nalcor's grants and donations programs for the year 2017; links to the lists for the period 2010-2017 are shown above.)






                     

Editor's Note:
1. The ATIPPA recipient received a cover letter from Nalcor which references entries on some of the donation lists, which for reasons of clarity and transparency, the readers should be aware:
 Nalcor: "You will also note some donations to "Purchase Card Journal". To expedite payment for
donations, donations may be paid using a corporate credit card. In these instances, donation
requests are received, requisitions are put in place and payment is processed on a credit card
rather than cheque or EMT. In some cases the recording of the organization and purpose of the
donation are not entered into the electronic payment reporting system, which was used to
create this record in response to your request."

2. The Editor would like to thank others for teh ATIPPA filing and sharing it with the Uncle Gnarley Blog.


26 comments:

  1. UG keeps on digging...great job. Yup nalcor us an entinity unto itself, bigger than it's creator and no responsible to anyone, it's creator, the people, the bankers, the boondoggle, and is dressed in Teflon, hopefully in time, maybe with the inquiry, and after being separated from it's primary funding sourse - oil money, it will be reduced down to normal size and hopefully do the job it was intended to do, provide cheap power to the people, or be disbanded although. Yes, govt. Created a monster, call him Frankenstein, and Dracula and can now add Robin Hood all rolled into one. This Hood takes from the poor, the rich, the unknowing, and the people in general and plays Santa clause all year round, as UG says to get in good with the people, as bigger and better than government, with mine and your money. So let's see the monster includes, Frankenstein, dracula, Robin Hood, Santa Clause, and boondoggle. Not all bad, I must admit, so maybe we can call the monster an occupatus. Cheers, AJ.

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    1. Of course, Joe, the Robin Hood and Santa part is also bad, as we are being bought off with our own money, as you point out.
      I have a copy of my father`s records (Capt Esau Adams) from the 1930`s where a politician opened an account(at his Upper Island Cove store) during an election compaign in the Hr Grace riding.It notes the amount of about 130.00 spent and the purpose.
      It includes such things as a sack of potatoes, a burial cloth for a child, meals at a resturant at Hr Grace, Archibalds I think (25 cent)......remember this is Depression era,and a dollar went along way, with wages about 10 cents per hour, and just before our bankruptcy), and if memory serves 12 bottles of rum, bought from St Johns liquor commission for 3.00 per bottle.
      Now about half was for charitable causes, and half vote buying by this politician.
      For some reason, My father did not destroy this record.
      The book also contains records of some 80 fishermen credit accounts, and nearly half was never paid, and reflects the dire economic situation at the time. Dole is shown also, a amazing small amount of maybe 30.00 of nearly 10,000.00 of credit.
      The amount by the politician was paid in full, only a couple of fishermen managed to pay in full.
      This politician, a lawyer, went on to become a judge.
      So, Nalcor, not unlike the methods of nearly a century ago, to buy favour. I notice in particular the Journalism Awards donation by Nalcor. Think UG might qualify for an award by Nalcor!!!
      Winston Adams

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    2. I should point out that this `Judge` had some scruples, as he did not procure smuggled rum, which he might have been able to obtain from other sources.
      I interviewed an old lady at St Lukes home in the 1980s who told me she bought her first car in 1924, making her money from smuggled rum. Her best customers were Sir Richard Squires and the chief justice, Albert Hickman, if memory serves.....but I have the record of her story. The rum came from St Pierre via Tor`s Cove she said. She was in her 90s then, as sharp as a tack , memory wise, with great detail , even to the late 1890s of her childhood. And a very small woman.She still , then read the Telegram daily, but kept a towel under the paper, least the black ink rub off on her dress.
      On one occasion I picked her up in my 1979 Corvette, and onleaving St Luke`s , she with her walking stick, said to the nurse `I`m going out now with my boyfriend` And she liked a drink of scotch. My wife and I had her for dinner(supper) a couple of times. She could go on and on with both amusing and sad stories.
      Up til then I thought only of men as smugglers.
      Winston

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    3. Lol...the occupatus has many females, I would think. But guess they still take their orders from the male dominated bosses. Yes, a lovely, cute Lady for sure. Tks. AJ

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  2. Incestuous: characterized by mutual relationships that are intimate and exclusive to the detriment of outsiders.
    Pray tell, Can UG or someone examine the close relationships between key players in this boondoggle and lawyers and law firms, much in evidence from the submissions, and expose the rot to the public!

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  3. This bloody NALCOR.... a Williams-era monstrosity that has morphed into a hideous Frankenstein of epic proportion...

    ... this bloody NALCOR must be DISMANTLED... LOCK STOCK AND BARREL...

    this bloody MONSTROSITY NALCOR... needs to be rendered harmless... dismantled lock stock and barrel and sold off to the private sector in little bits and pieces.

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  4. Omg....what tangled web we weave...when we weave to deceive. Nalcor and govt. is joined at the hip and the shoulder, nalcor being head and shoulder above govt. Even paddy use to say, govt. and nalcor are one and the same. So nalcor contributed to every organization conceived, and some said they had 70 percent support from the people, as they gave to all and sundry they should have had 170 percent support. They even gave to the journalist awards, and I only viewed a few to get the picture, but whoever won that, pass it over to UG pronto, as someone said he is the only one deserving it. Even in the boondoggle there is a silver lineing, the contributions to the various organizations used their funding wisely, which is more than we can say for nalcor, as they sunk their other billions, and we will be paying for the next 57 years or so. And thanks to UG, says this Joe blow, for letting us know, how the web worked.

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  5. Great job UG.

    Like True Grit, at the beginning of the showdown, Rooster clamped his reins in his teeth after getting out his guns and shouting, "Fill your hands you sons a bitches," he gallop[ed full tuilt at the bad guys; they were frightened.

    How can the end of NALCOR not be imminent?
    Is Dwight Ball asleep at the wheel, still?
    Is Ms. Coady capable of critical thinking?
    Is the Cabinet moribund?
    Are our NHAs and MPs unable to stand up make righteous noises?

    Sheep can look up.

    So, LOOK UP everybody, the future is there to grab.

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  6. I commented on Aug 21 that Leblanc should keep Nalcor on high alert as to the risk of Mud Lake flooding again. Of course,if he did as I suggested,(to do a helicopter flight over the area when the elevation at Mud Lake approaches the high mark, but they now do helicopter flights with radar to determine the ice thickness)) it may or may not be productive, as it may sow more fear to residents who are already sleeping with life jackets under their bed.
    But it seems that yesterday the Churchill Fall plant reduced production, and decreased water flow going down stream, which seems prudent, as the melt is about to commence. Common Joe, who seems a cut above the average Joe, is likely interested. One would think that to be transparent that Nalcor would have announced this reduced flow at Churchill Falls.
    Winston Adams

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    1. Yes Winston, guess spring has sprung, maybe a little earlier this year, as temps rise 10 degrees or so across the entire continent in the last couple of days. Just wondering if is a decrease in hydro power demand right now or as you say prudent to do so with the spring thaw coming. Would be nice to know, but for now, I am going with the decrease demand. But have nothing to back up that view, just a gut feeling. Maybe you have more info than I have, as you have been following this much longer than I have, plus your hydro knowledge. Just saying. Cheers. AJ.

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    2. Hi Winston, just wondering if you had access to the chopper ice thickness reports across the lake from Mud Lake and near the mouth of the river. Might be interesting if they were available. Guess they also show the added thickness should the ice rafter, and what the water depths are and at the mouth of the river, and any shifting sandbars, as all can no doubt lead to flooding as the water flow increases. Would also be interesting of how the gates are used to maintain the 21.5 meters if that is still the intention at the time of spring thaw, but guess that is all top secret. You are in the know much more than I am for sure. Thanks. AJ.

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    3. AJ
      2 weeks ago ice thickness at English Point, near Mud Lake was 0.88 m, and at o.81 m on Apr 17
      Near goose bay, actually thickened from o.90 to o.95
      Below MF constant at o.84
      At entry to Lake Melville also thickened from 0.71 to 0.80 m
      Last year they were unable to get the ice cable across just up from MF, so I assume upstream ice all went through the spillway, whereas this year ice upstream will be held back by the cable. I assume this is the intend, perhaps Peng2 could comment?
      From CBC videos last year it seemed some ice floating down was 15-20 ft thick, and volume perhaps much more than normal.
      If cable works as I expect , and gates modulated correctly , all may work out fine.
      Seems just above MF at 23 m this year rather than 21.5, if I read correctly, and interesting to see if they lower this some in coming days.
      Flow from CF shows water elevation down about 1 m , so volume decreasing. Pinus River which feeds in 42 Km upstream form MF showing some increase from thaw, and Grizzle Rapids 57 km upstream form MF showing a slight increase in elevation this past 5 days. So both of these add to flow reaching MFs, so it seems the thaw is started 5 days ago, much not much effect yet.
      Winston

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  7. Imagine that the Liquor Corporation interpreted its mandate in the same way Nalcor does?

    Uncle if I may. The NLC is the manufacturer, wholesaler, retailer, regulator and enforcer of the Liquor Control Act. They also are the direct competitor to the bar and restaurant private sector. They act as judge, jury and executioner for any violations. There is little room for ordinary jurisprudence should a licensee run afoul of some "regulation" to which I might add the NLC Corporate stores are not subject to the same set of regulations. Lip service is paid toward "Social Responsibility" yet look at their website. The first thing yo will see is "Save on..." or buy tickets on this NLC sponsored event. "Social Responsibility" is down on the lower right hand corner. Why does a crown corp. with a monopoly mandate need to advertise? The public does not have alternatives. Ask the suppliers to the NLC how they are treated. It's easy being the only game in town with Taj Mahal stores competing for discretionary income.

    There is so much more to say on this Uncle. On this one you chose a poor analogy.

    Keith

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    1. Hi Keith,

      As you said, NLC is a monopoly, so they do not advertise to get people buying at NLC instead of another place. The reason they advertise is to encourage people to buy more. Not necessarily a good thing to push people to buy and drink more alcohol, but that's the reason why they advertise.

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  8. The taxpayers who cover the salary of the dimwitted partisan fools who represent them.... here's a sampling of that goddamed blathering idiot Eddie Joyce, in the HOS, as reported by Russel Wangersky...

    People, this is the childish idiocy you're paying to perpetuate...

    Here are Joyce’s (thankfully abbreviated) answers.

    No. 1: “Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Thank you for the question. I just find it strange; we went through Estimates this morning, I think he asked two questions. Two questions, on the whole environment. And here he is today, up grandstanding, Mr. Speaker… as I said before, Mr. Speaker, I was here this morning. I offered the member from Mount Pearl-Southlands the opportunity to speak, any time, any question. He asked two questions I think it was, could be three, I’m not sure. … The critic who just asked the questions, Mr. Speaker, never asked one question today on carbon tax. Not one…”

    Though it pains me to document that behaviour, it’s worth illustrating what a waste our political process can be.

    No. 2: “Mr. Speaker, as we said before, this is something that was put in by the federal government, Mr. Speaker, and part of that is that we can make a made-in-Newfoundland-and-Labrador problem here Mr. Speaker, and the solution in Newfoundland. If not, as I said before, the federal government will come in with a backstop. So, we’re working with the industry in Newfoundland and Labrador, we’re working with all the stakeholders… to benefit Newfoundlanders and Labradorians — unlike Muskrat Falls will be the biggest (inaudible).”

    Answer No. 3: “Once again, Mr. Speaker, I can say as many times as the member wants me to say: we’re developing a plan for Newfoundlanders and Labradorians. This carbon tax was put in by the federal government who told all the provinces that by Jan. 1, 2019, if you don’t have a plan, we will put a backstop in. … Mr. Speaker, we will be presenting a plan. I said it before, this kicks in Jan. 1, 2019. There will be a plan presented to all Newfoundlanders and Labradorians. The member opposite is quite welcome, Mr. Speaker, once the plan is out there, to ask any questions he’d like.”

    No. 4: “Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I’ll tell you one thing that was straightforward, Mr. Speaker: $18 million for Humber Valley Paving when he was executive assistant to the minister of Transportation and Works. Mr. Speaker, I’ll tell you one thing, and I said it before to the member opposite, he can stand here — and I said the plan will be put in for Newfoundlanders and Labradorians. We will have discretion on the plan. … I say to the member opposite: did you agree with Humber Valley Paving when you were executive assistant to the minister waiting for the new premier to come in, when $18 million was released by three sentences, Mr. Speaker? That’s the difference of this side. We’ll do a plan; we’ll do a comprehensive plan. …”

    No. 5: “Mr. Speaker, I can say one thing, at least we have friends in Ottawa. Those friends in Ottawa are putting $540 million in capital works in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador for water and sewer, Mr. Speaker. We have a fishery fund, Mr. Speaker, I can tell you $100 million. Mr. Speaker, I’m glad we got friends in Ottawa. As we said, when the carbon tax rolls in the four cents left will be eliminated from the gas tax… and I’ll say to the member opposite, I take offence when you say — when you say we have, I have, no details, all the work that’s done by the officials. … Never asked a question about how many staff are there, how many people, what type of work they’re doing, is there any increase in funding? It’s shameful for you to …”

    This individual, Eddie Joyce, ishould check himself into an idiot centre to have himself re-calibrated.

    That taxpayers are funding this idiot foolishness is a travesty of epic proportion. Christ almighty, how will we mange at all with the likes of that in a position of responsibility?

    http://unclegnarley.blogspot.ca/2018/04/how-nalcor-undermines-public-policy.html

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    1. http://www.thetelegram.com/opinion/columnists/russell-wangersky-house-of-ass-embly-203715/

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    2. Right on Anon: 22:24 this is typical of the blabbering that goes on in the HOA, and has been for years. And Eddie is a good example. Remember when Jerome berated him for only having grade four education, and of course Eddie stood up for himself that time. But guess eddies comments that you posted didn't cost us an $'s beyond the normal HOS daily cost. Did you also post the comments when muskrat was scancioned, that cost us 12$ billion and counting. Just wonder if you are partisan or an independant observer. Squeak up!! Joe blow.

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    3. It now appears that this less-than-competent individual has been outed on CBC's Here & Now as a "bully".

      Suffice to say that this type of despicable behaviour is unacceptable and not tolerated even in the schoolyards of the province.

      So... when is Dwight Ball going to set a zero-tolerance example towards such disturbingly sociopathic behaviour within his own caucus?

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    4. And then here we have this Kirby individual and his clumsy, amateurish attempts at crisis management...

      http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/newfoundland-labrador/dale-kirby-paul-davis-liberal-harassment-bullying-1.4634290

      This crowd truly are their own worst enemies... just like a bunch of naive little children in need of adult supervision.

      And note DWIGHT BALL'S incredible denials are entirely consistent with the pattern he established during the ED MARTIN SEVERANCE PAY SCANDAL... and that is to DENY, DENY, and DENY.

      C'mon Dwight, time to man up and dispense with that bullying partisan fool Eddie Joyce... assuming you've got the BALLS for it.

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  9. For those wishing to follow the flow: that is, the spring thaw of the Churchill River, and possible risk of flooding, you can google : Churchill River Stations, and it displays data from monitoring stations which show the elevation of the river water (above sea level) , and a rise indicates the melting snow. Some charts show the volume of water passing the station, and some show air temperatures and snow on the ground. Data is updated every 2 hours.
    Four key stations are
    1. 6.15 km below MF, which is 34 km upstream of Mud lake. This one indicates when more water is being released form the MF spillway gates ( therefore gates are opened, actually lifted higher, allowing more water to flow through). The elevation at this station now is presently at 4.0 meters, and at its low point for the past week.
    2 Muskrat falls Reservoir station, near the hydro station, and currently shows elevation of 23.0 meters. That one show the elevation steady this past month.
    3. English point station is where the river discharges into Lake Melville, and shows elevation of about 2.5 meters. Also steady this past month.
    Last May 17 this spiked to about 4.9 m elevation. So a 2.5 m rapid increase with ice jamming. As Mud lake is at water elevation of 0.4 m, a back up could rise the water at Mud Lake maybe 4.5 m , so 15 feet rise (perhaps others can comment on that figure as to what rise there was last year)?
    4 Mud lake station is located in the community of Mud Lake near the school. It show 0.4 meter elevation. A month ago it was 0.6 m, indicating a lower water level now than a month ago.

    It appears that an intentional moderate release from MF now, to drop the elevation of the reservoir lower than 23 m, could be beneficial for lower impacts in 2 weeks, as the flows now are so low.
    But if others at Nalcor, with expertise on the prudent control of flow, consider otherwise, please educate me and others on the plan?
    Winston Adams

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    1. I would suggest that without the natural restriction of the water at Muskrat falls, the town of Mud lake would flood severely most every year.
      There is a natural reduction of about 50 % river width where it empties into Lake Melville. So this would cause some river rise at high spring flow, and with ice, some back up to Mud lake.
      However, at Muskrat Falls, the river restriction is much more substantial ,say a reduction of 75 %. This natural restriction backs up water in the spring and the elevation upstream must rise. This permits time and reduces the maximum flow that would otherwise happen, downstream. So, if not for the large natural restriction at MF, Mud lake would be much more prone to spring floods .
      The structures at MFs, especially the spillway gates, could , "if properly controlled", improve on the natural flow to reduce flooding downstream, as I understand it. There are many variables that impact the flows and flood risk.
      Again, the Nalcor Flood Mitigation Plan would assist those concerned, and I welcome any correction as to my opinion.
      Winston

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    2. Thanks Winston for the info, and the web site, etc. Guess one would have to record the every two daily changes in the numbers, unless you have a great memory, to see the changes. Interesting to follow no doubt if one takes the interest. The numbers that you gave earlier showing ice thickness, was interesting in that at some locations the thickness is still increasing and others constant, and another showing a decrease in thickness. And of course no movement in the ice, or stationary during the recorded times. Wonder if out in the middle of the lake, and deeper water, that the water is colder , so ice is still forming at the bottom, and in more shallow water, like off Mud Lake and nearing the mouth of the river the water temp may be a little warmer so the melt decreasing the ice thickness. Of course that will all change once the break up begins and the ice begins to move. Will also be interesting to see what levels or changes will be made with the gates to see the elevations behind the dam. And guess the people of Mud Lake, are beginning to become ancious over the next couple of weeks. Thanks. AJ.

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    3. Yes, every 2 hrs does not change much , unless like last May 17 at Mud Lake water might rise a foot or two in that time span.
      At present once a week, or once every 3 or 4 days review should show trend.
      I printed off the data Apr 23, and as most show back a week or more, if I print it once a week I will have a continuous flow info.
      Not much interest from local engineers it seems, as to comments on UG, as to who might be following this.
      Having this data is part of the digital future, already here? Why did Ball not make note of this yesterday so more people could follow the mighty Grand River at spring thaw?
      Not many aware where to find this online,and I thought the new digital future might STREAM line more than vehicle registration. What of people getting access to their own personal medical records in a timely fashion, now taking weeks, months and years of delays.....from personal experience, a real nightmare. Guess for the digital future, there is an exemption for Eastern Health and all health boards? So they will remain 20 years behind the times.
      Winston

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  10. On a side note I hear there is a plan afloat to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on some new gas turbines for backup when Holyrood is shut down. Cheaper to keep Holyrood on Standby.

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  11. As to Eddie Joyce:
    If you google : Churchill Falls stations, which brings you to the river monitor info, but instead go up to the top of the page to HOME and click that, it takes you to the Dept of Environment, and over to the right you will see smiling Eddie, referred to as Honourable. By that you will see Mandate Letter, form Nov 2017, a 2 page letter from Ball, read and see if he meets the trust Ball puts in him?
    Nevertheless, monitor data is available, but much left in tatters, now this harassment issue. Poor Eddie, maybe not so honourable. But is Eddie or Ball to blame?
    When I try to print this page, Eddie disappears. How can we do this in real life? OMG, that did not sound good, like a threat. No harm meant. Scout's honour. But then can we even trust scouts?
    I leave it to the editor, just black humour, nothing more intended, least the Constable ex premier get wind of my remark. Anyway, when in opposition, I enjoyed watching Eddie hammer the party in power, when he was able to stand up.
    Winston Adams

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  12. This type of Gov. sponsored "Tarp" is one possibility, when making bad decision making, ( Muskrat type "debt", go away.

    https://www.robsnow.ca/single-post/2018/04/25/Hydro-Ontarios-Troubled-Asset

    Is NL Auditor General up to the job that Bonnie is doing for Ontario?

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