Monday, 2 April 2018

PAYING TWICE: CAN MUSKRAT GET ANY WORSE FOR RATEPAYERS?

Guest Post by David Vardy

Paying Twice for Muskrat Falls
Can Muskrat Falls get any worse for taxpayers and ratepayers? Yes it can get worse if we are forced to pay for it twice. That is the path on which we have embarked. 
The fundamental problem is that, once Muskrat Falls is accepted as part of the energy landscape, people will attempt to avoid paying for it by purchasing heat pumps and making other investments to reduce consumption of electricity. This avoidance and substitution is why demand for Muskrat Falls power will decline over time, perhaps quickly. Without a domestic market, export markets become the only avenue to generate revenues. 
In a normal world it is good for people to reduce demand for high cost power by seeking alternatives. It is good to conserve through more efficient heating technology. But in our upside down world it may be increasing the overall investment surrounding Muskrat Falls from $12.7 billion by perhaps another billion dollars.
Dr. Feehan proposes that the rate-making design should be based on opportunity cost, which is the price we can obtain when we export the energy. With the Maritime Link our system will no longer be an isolated system. We can import and export electricity and have contracted with Emera under the Energy Access Agreement to sell power to Nova Scotia at spot market rates. These rates were forecast in the July 22, 2013 Board Order of the Utilities and Review Board of Nova Scotia (UARB) at five cents per kWh. These represent our opportunity cost at the wholesale level.  Once Newfoundland Power’s distribution cost is added we have an opportunity cost rate at the retail level of around nine cents per kWh, instead of Nalcor’s rate projection of 22.9 cents.


The lower rates would accomplish three goals. They would 1) encourage use of Muskrat Falls power; 2) generate more revenue, if demand is elastic and 3) they would be more affordable for low income customers.
If such a radical departure in rate design is taken rates should fall after interconnection and not double. These numbers need refinement but the intent of this post is to identify rate design options which will make sense and to avoid adding additional and unnecessary costs. My intent is to make the best of a bad investment decision, not to “make Muskrat Falls right”, which is not possible. It is not intended to rationalize or legitimize flawed public policy and irresponsible project management. 
Without policy direction on rate-setting in a post-Muskrat world we will lurch from one crisis to another, as we attempt to impose a regime which was unworkable from the start. The Power Purchase Agreement was a flawed model. Its central premise was that people could be forced, through a 50 year take-or-pay contract, to utilize Muskrat Falls power. It simply ignores consumer choice. To continue on this course is to create needless instability.

The provincial budget released March 27, 2018 reports health care spending at $3 billion, with debt servicing rising quickly this year to rival education spending, each exceeding $1.4 billion. When Muskrat Falls comes on stream the annual cost of electricity, on the Island alone, will be $1.5 billion and rising. Why are we committing more money to electricity than we are to education? Is this not an egregious overinvestment?  
Can we place a limit on the damage inflicted by Muskrat Falls or are we condemned to pay for it twice, by creating an incentive for people to invest in reducing demand for electricity, thereby compounding the overinvestment? 
The current failed plan will result in insufficient revenues to recover costs and perhaps lead also to an actual drop in revenues, from the current level of $700 million, to serve customers on the Island. With costs of $1.5 billion to be recovered will this lead to large losses by Nalcor, losses which will have to be supported by government. In the process there will be a massive shift away from the use of electric power due to higher rates. 
Rate design cannot be separated from decisions as to who will bear the cost of Muskrat Falls. If we leave the current flawed plan in place, without re-engineering, then it will collapse and create financial instability for our province. We cannot kick the can down the road, as our government likes to do. Government will inflict more pain and more cost if they do not take action. To be clear, rate redesign will not bridge the gap between annual system cost and revenue from rates. We simply lack the fiscal capacity to absorb these increased operating costs.   
Where does all this lead? There must be cooperation with the federal government to achieve a realistic sharing of the costs of Muskrat Falls in an orderly pro-active basis. There must be a consultative process which allows citizens to participate in decision-making on who will bear the cost of Muskrat Falls power and what rate design will serve us best. 
This can be added to the mandate of the Muskrat Falls Inquiry. If government gives it the priority it deserves they will amend the terms of reference for the Inquiry and request an early interim report dealing with two issues: the realistic allocation of costs among the parties and the design of an efficient system of electric power rates.  
We face at least two perils. One is of overinvestment in energy by citizens and their governments. The second is the peril of bankruptcy which will likely devalue all assets, starting with Nalcor and its investment in Muskrat Falls, but extending to other assets in the province, both privately and publicly owned. For most households the family dwelling is the principal asset. Residential property will not be immune from the devastating impact of a bankruptcy situation.  
Our province’s credit rating is a common property resource which affects us all intimately and personally, as well as governmentally. The response from Moody’s to our recent provincial budget makes it clear that credit rating agencies are fully cognizant of the risks that lie ahead and will respond negatively to a government that does not take pro-active measures in advance, before a full blown financial crisis is upon us. 
Failure to act will ultimately lead both to further overinvestment in electricity and to a massive write-off of in the value of assets, both public and private assets. It will devalue the equity which our citizens have accumulated both in private family assets and in public infrastructure.
Do we have the courage to overcome fear, acceptance and silence, to deal with the pressing public policy crises which beset us on many sides and of which Muskrat Falls is surely the most pressing? 
David Vardy

91 comments:

  1. Ah yes, David, finally a call to future action and possibly a way out, may not be the only way out, and it may be messy, but at least it is the beginning of a planned approach to get out from under the shadow of bankruptcy and fiscal Armageddon.

    How do we go about making this case to LeBlanc? So far everything has been about what happened, who was responsible; and what circumstances (manufactured or natural)that allowed it to happen.

    All poppycock.

    We need some hope that the way forward can be at least productive and constructive rather than the opposites as it now seems to be.

    This is the first call for a wriggle that can help us get through, let's take up our metaphoric cudgels and hay forks and march together.
    What is the next step?
    Where do we sign on?


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    1. Start with your own house and family Tor. Note that pump gas price gouging, and less efficient EPA truck engines, (Trump mandate), bigger vehicles driving faster, further, more dangerously, living outside the property tax boundaries, in larger estates like Galway, baseboard heating, nursing homes, inefficiently built to gouge pensioner, Campuses like MUN built to 1950's cheap energy standards, etc. etc.
      Life is all about choices, as David suggests; live a little more frugally, within the income constraints, vote for a more progressive group, continue to post your dissent, etc. Remember, you are still permitted to help your neighbour, and enjoy a less wasteful existance, in a live/work and walkable, bikeable neighbourhood.

      Happy Easter all

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  2. It is not us, it is our government, all three parties I would say, that cannot overcome fear, acceptance and silence. It as if there was no problem with muskrat power, our leaders, ignor the looming cliff, they whistle pass the grave yard. The budget came down, and so what about muskrat, like an after taught, we need to borrow another billion to put into muskrat, business as usual. No planned talks with the Feds in their, push the fools further, with the loan guarantee. And our former prime minister hasn't stopped laughing, now can you imagine Harper can't stop laughing. He was out to get us, and he did, no doubt about it. So give him, the Feds back their loan and the boondoggle too, let them and NS take over the asset, and get what they can from it. We don't need any part of it. And, oh yes, we will just charge them the going rate for a 1100 km through our lands. I have been saying that for a long time. And will continue to say it. We should have our legal begals work on this for months, and dealing with the Feds in the take over. Give it all to emera to operate, and we will use our cheap paid for power for ourselves. The co signers of this loan, and that helped us get this lemon, need to take their responsibility seriously. The join federal provincial environmental assessment, recommended agains the project, yet Harper approved the loan, for NS not for us. Harper saw his chance to get back at us, ABC campaign and all. That's my take. Joe blow. Might add mr. Vardy made his usual important points.

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    1. Why say all three parties? This province is a fraid of the NDP. Please.

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  3. As usual, Mr. Vardy, in looking forward, makes some excellent points.

    He shows that the Inquiry's terms of reference (and purpose) is inadequate and agrees that:

    "...it is in the public interest that an amended terms of reference, with an opportunity for public input, be written" (my terms of reference written submission to the inquiry commissioner, February 12, 2018).

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  4. This is a very intelligent article.

    I spend some time in the woods around the City and see more and more cutting of trees and I assume often illegal. For example both ends of the watershed at Thorburn Rd and Portugal Cove Rd. Increase the power rates to even 17 cents (70% more than a year ago) and we will see devastation of our woods around the City.

    There are also mini splits everywhere and becoming much more affordable as the lower priced Chinese brands are moving up in performance and reliability and most handymen know how to install them and will do so for a few hundred bucks. In general as the can is being kicked down the road more and more homeowners are preparing for the rate smack. All that unused power will be sold off for 5 cents. Better to sell it in the province for say 12 cents.

    The final policy piece relates to taxes. Increase my power bill by $3,000 and I have to earn $5,000 gross income to cover it. The $2,000 in taxes is split with Ottawa so we will be sending an additional $250 million to Ottawa. Pay for the boondoggle through some form of taxation and it comes out before reaching the individual. It still comes out but would be equivalent to after tax money.

    Ultimately, Ottawa is responsible for half of the project because it never would have gotten beyond planning without the initial loan guarantee. No Investment Bank in the World would have touched it without punishing interest rates as the SNC report as well as market conditions would have surfaced in the due diligence. That would have been enough to shake awake the Dunderdale Government of the day and the general public.

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  5. Just when I have almost run my course of the mini-split heat pump impact to reducing our loads and revenue for the power companies, others worry about it more. But of course Vardy was aware of the potential impact since 2012, preMF sanction. Also, off the Avalon, reduction of electricity and uptake of more wood burning started about 2010........and appears to be gaining use on the Avalon.
    Yes, residents investing 1 billion in minisplits likely to happen, further reducing loads. That such investment was not encouraged, as it was in Nova Scotia, to avoid MF should be fully explored by the Inquiry.But the horse is out of the barn on that, and with lower power rates it may slow down the conversions.
    Surely, Nalcor, Nfld Hydro, Nfld Power, Fortis and all the political parties,represent a case of dumb and dumber on this. Why did we not have an energy policy of robust efficiency and conservation a decade ago? Efficiency NL anyone? 6-20,000 incentives for heatpumps as now in Ontario , anyone? What a mess made here and how hard to correct it. But the problem is real, as Vardy says.
    Going forward, I expect to comment on our incompetent 3rd class health care system, needing some world class attention. Is Liberty into exposing such issues....doubtful. How to reduce costs by 450 million a year with better outcomes!By Golly, John Smith always said MF paled as to the health care issue.......3 billion every year, and worse outcomes than any other province.
    Winston Adams

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    1. Winston, Debbie Forward has the answer to fix the Healthcare problem.. Hire more nurses!!

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    2. The TV ad showing nurses exhausted and bending down to catch their breath is overkill. Yet on this ward, nurses are damn busy.They are not running, but walking the corridors at a fast pace. Not all areas of the hospital is it so demanding. Most allon this ward are considerate and attentive to the patients. And for this ward , I would agree that Forward is right, the ratio of nurse to patient is too low. Other areas it may be the reverse. Even here quality care suffers. When a patient vomits the green contents pumped from their stomach, into a plastic facepan, it is quickly emptied and the pan returned. Often a small volune of the green remains, as the pan was not rinced out. Yet there is a water faucet and sink in the area. A few times I noticed this and went myself and washed the pan, least it later stain the bed sheets, or have odour. The nurses here must be stressed, and other patients in need are waiting.
      Winston Adams

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    3. I'd be close to being correct if I said it is not the nurses who are overworked--it is the Nursing Assistants. They are all viewed as Nurses but it is the Assistants who do the bulk of the work--not the nurses.

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  6. In many ways our main hospital, the Health Science building, is already obsolete. Built about 1975, I missed out on that infrastructure opportunity, as I was still then designing 230 kv stations for Nfld Hydro.
    Ward 4 North B has patients waiting for or recovering from surgery. Most rooms house 4 patient. There is room for a single bedside chair between the bed and window. The bed is about 4 ft wide, and about 18 inch on the other side where a curtain separates to the next patient. The 18 inch space barely allows the stand containing the drips hooked to the patient. The meal tray is squeezed in there too. So in all, about 7.5 ft wide. In the other direction, the auto lift bed is about 8 ft long, and about 1 ft behind this where various hardware and plug ins are located. If the meal table is relocated, to the foot of the bed, as it must at times, it interferes with access to the patient opposite. So in this direction, the patient occupies about 9 ft. This allows about 68 sq ft per patient. When curtains are drawn around each, the access through this is about 18 inches, less than 2 ft, where doctors, nurses, and visitors must navigate through. Usually you must push aside various medical contraptions to get through.For a relative visiting in a wheel chair, it is challenging.
    4 patients occupy such a room overall about 20 ft by 15 or 16 ft.
    I guess the rooms at the 1855 vintage Waterford are smaller.
    The new Corner Brook hospital, which was to have cost 700 million, is now being downsized and budgeted at about 350 million, the same as the MUN Core building. MUN gets priority over hospitals. Likewise the Waterford is downsized in cost , now to 200 million. New hospitals, delayed this past 10 years, now to proceed about time for the next election. Joey used paved roads for election gimics, Ball uses hospitals.
    Now if a patient at the Health science takes up 68 sq ft, how come the new Waterford will cost 2.1 million per bed?
    For a house, at 100 dollars per sq ft, 68 sq ft would cost 6700 dollars. Yet per bed for the new hospital it will be 2.1 million. Is there something slightly off kilter here, even allowing for institution buildings higher cost? Are we getting value for our tax money?
    Or is a bit of the mentality of the DOME at MF at play? Who will notice the waste of 100 million here or there?
    Winston Adams

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    1. WA:

      Normally, you can assume about $400-500/sqft for hospital type facilities-but you would also need to add-in area for common areas at same rate, assume a patient vs common area ratio of about 15%.

      I haven't looked at it to see if reasonable or over-budgeted, but I would say a comparable build complexity wise would be the 'new Hoyles-Escasoni' facility-that area also had remediation-should be able to extract a reasonable $/sqft cost (or $/room rate) for a 'new Waterford' from there since I would think both are similar in services.

      PENG2

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    2. PENG2,
      Could you, with your obvious cost engineering expertise, please give us your best shot at energy/sf annual costs for some of these seniors and extended care facilities around St. John's?

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    3. Robert:

      Not really my area, but I have used somewhere in neighbor hood of 150k Btu/sqft (40kWhr) when setting up estimates.

      A lot of variables there-age of building, usage, etc. Though not much seasonal swing is usually encountered for larger commercial units.

      PENG2

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    4. Seems rather high, and not at all consistent with current technologies. Doesn't anybody know how to do Energy audits any more? During the NEP days, in the 70's and 80's, such audits were a pre-requirement to funding building upgrades/ expansions. Today's Low Carbon design has the goal of diverting energy source to upwards of 75% to renewables. I also have seen energy usage for multiunit residences brought down to about 10W/sf. What is the Engineering profession doing to achieve such objectives?

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    5. Robert:

      That's a standardized consumption rate used from completing an audit-health care facilities are the 2nd largest draw on energy after food services.

      Reasonable residential consumption rates are typically quoted as on the order of 10-15kWhr/sqft. Your 10kWhr/sqft is the low end of industry the standard.


      WA:
      I checked the recent long term care facility completion rates rates-ranging from $33k/bed(Pleasantview Tower) to $84k/bed(Corner Brook) and then $230k/bed('new Waterford').

      I don't know what remediation, alternate construction (ie 'new Waterford' parking garage etc) was included in the number--so at best a shot in the dark, but a reference point for discussion to start at.

      PENG2

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    6. Seems that local property managers, Engineers never heard of LEED standards, let alone Low Carbon. Pity.

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  7. Hi there,

    The idea expressed in the article could make sense if there was no take-or-pay condition on the loan warranty... The warranty requires Newfoundland to adjust the rate for its power high enough to cover the cost. Such a rate based on opportunity would be possible only after a bailout and not before. Because the bailout by itself will surely have its own requirements, this concept will probably not be of any use.

    Newfoundland will not pay twice for Muskrat Falls. If it is still time to save Newfoundland from a major exile of its workforce, it will be possible to wipeout MF with the value of UC and benefit from the investment in power efficiency.

    UC was a win - win between Qc and Newfoundland where Qc received a significant value in cash and Newfoundland received a comparable value as an asset.

    To transfert both UC and MF to HQ would be of value to HQ because UC does have a real and known value that can compensate for the fiasco of MF. As for Newfoundland, to fix the mega-fiasco that MF is is of value too. So again, another Win - Win.

    Overall, one can argue that HQ would ended up with CF and no drawback while Newfoundland would just end up breaking even. True, but the only reason for that is because Newfoundland tried to screw Quebec with MF and instead screwed itself. In no case did Quebec / HQ wished that or did anything for such a reality to happen. Actually, we did as much as we could to avoid that, but Newfoundland refused anything else.

    But all of that is conditional to one very important requirement : that it is not too late for Newfoundland to avoid the exile of its most economically active class of people. Without a heart, the economy can not work. When I look at the demography and see how active people leave while older people come in, I am not sure the tipping point is not already behind you...

    No matter how it will end up, Newfoundland will suffer the bigger part of the problem because it is at the core of it. Newfoundland will suffer both financially and emotionally. I just hope that it will be enough for the anti-Quebec speech to stop and for Newfoundland to chose another path than the one of the permanent victim of everyone else.

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    1. Regarding the coming layoff of imbedded contractors at MF, I would assume they mostly developed their collective EPC type qualifications, off island, probably in Alberta. Those that still need funds to pay down debt; mortgages, car loans, higher living style, will head West, or wherever. The remainder, are at an age or well enough off to pick some cove, near the TCH and an airport, to live out the string. Maybe the age of mega projects is passing, and Federally sponsored make work has fallen out of favour. Believe it, a deal is in the works. Why is the Supreme Court Ruling not yet public? Who knows the witness list and schedule at the Inquiry? What are the local media types doing these days?

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    2. Lol....the vultures are still circling....you gave yourself the name, by your comments ...not me...the participants in this boondoggle, are Nova Scotia, Emera, Newfoundland-Labrador, Nalcor, and the federal government, plus the lending agencies. Quebec or HQ is not a party to this agreement. Do you understand that.???

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    3. Hi Anon 17:17,

      Qc / HQ is surely not part of the problem, but is will be part of the solution.

      First reason is because HQ is the only one who can extract any value out of MF. For MF to produce above 17% of its capacity, it must be synced with UC and only HQ can do that.

      Also, HQ is the only one with the power Emera / NS needs. As such, we are the only one who can provide that.

      The fact that Qc - HQ is the only entity strong enough to absorb such a fiasco is just another reason why we must be part of the solution.

      So I return you your question : do you understand why Qc, while not part of the original problem, is the only solution out of this fiasco ?

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    4. No, we have no beef with you. We are not asking you to save us from ourselves. If you have a beef, it must be with the Feds, not us. Bring your beefs/solutions to the Feds. I hate to say it, but you are just a nosy neighbour, when we need your help, we will call you. Thank you.

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    5. Heracles, having worked at CF during the construction, and accepting the contract would run to 2041, it would require me to live to about 90 or so to see substantial benefit to our province.....and that I may not live to see it, but that it would come.
      Now to exchange the debt of MF for HQ ownership of the CF is distasteful , but not Quebec's fault, but squarely on our leaders and residents.
      Now we have an aging population , and those that are fit can easily leave.
      We cannot even deal reasonably with health care in an efficient and competent manner.
      My family went 18 years since the last death of a close relative. Now we are a drain on the health care system here.
      Cancer:
      Oct : my wife , stage 4 , now 60 percent through treatments, twice hospitalized for mishaps that should have been avoided, if proper care taken, .....cost so far I estimate 100,000 dollars and about 60 percent through, still hoping for a cure.
      Jan : a 12 year old grandson, a rare cancer undergoing treatment.
      Jan : a brother , a bit older than I, colon cancer , just starting chemo, then radiation.
      Feb: A older sister now with breast cancer
      March: A nephew, in his 40s, just terminated his employment, a marine engineer, due to apparent kidney cancer
      Our family had no prior history of cancer, now 5 in 6 months.
      And hospitals and health care, always a ploy by politicians here, and we spend more and worse results than any other province.
      With our Irish ancestory , this streak of bad luck is probably due to the fairies, when doing their mischief, and the result of being "flicked". Likely MUN folklore has more on that topic. Or maybe lack of nutrition and good health practice.
      Yet, I keep my stick on the ice. I thank those who offered empathy when the number was 3 instead of 5. And I now comment more on health care or lack thereof.
      But, I sure hope there is a way that CF can be saved for future generations here, and that we stop blaming Quebec for our misfortune.
      Whether Vardy, Stan Marshall, the politicians etc, or Leblanc can find a away forward that we do not lose that asset, is my wish. But we deserve to lose it, as you point out.
      Winston Adams

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    6. Hi Winston,

      Sorry to hear about even more health issues on your side. I wish I had solutions for something like cancer but unfrotunately, I do not...

      May the best be for you and your relatvies, not only about the economic - social fiasco of MF but also, and even more, about these heath issues you are facing,

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  8. Hi Robert,

    Honestly, I do not know why the judgement takes to so long to be published... Case 37506 was heard on 2017 - 11 - 03. On 2018 Feb 21, the court asked the parties about the possibility to do a lock-up release of the judgement. They received all the signature for that on 2018 - 03 08. Judgement was released on 2018 - 03 - 23.

    CFLCo (case 37238) was heard 2017 - 12 - 05. Also on Feb 21, the court asked for a lock-up release of the judgement. By 2018 - 03 - 14, they had all the signature required for the release. As such, I do not understand why it takes so much longer for this case when it was faster for case 37506...

    I keep monitoring every day for that judgement....

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  9. NB farmer getting ahead of the curve. Of course NB Power is still owned by the people of NB, and provide incentives for this private owned solar farm. If NB can do it why not NL?

    I didn't see any incentives for NL's, who might be inclined to reduce dependence on fossil fuel, and non green hydro. Is it ratepayer and voter complacency?

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    1. Forgot the URL:

      http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/solar-farm-new-brunswick-1.4601237

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    2. Winston: Allow me to echo Heracles31 and say that I am sorry to hear about you and your loved ones' health problems and wish you all the best of luck in dealing with them.

      I entirely agree with Heracles31's comment to the effect that the core problem Newfoundland is facing is demographic: and David Vardy's sentence-

      "For most households the family dwelling is the principal asset. Residential property will not be immune from the devastating impact of a bankruptcy situation."

      -sums up part of the problem I hadn't thought of: Muskrat Falls, combined with the generally poor fiscal situation of the provincial government, is liable to trigger a demographic negative feedback loop. That is to say:

      1-As a result of the increase in electricity prices and/or of taxes to mitigate said increase, emigration from Newfoundland increases. Who will emigrate? Well, mostly younger and educated workers.

      2-As a result of 1, the number of ratepayers and taxpayers decreases more rapidly than expected, with the percentage of the population made up of retirees increasing even more quickly than what is now expected... meaning that the fiscal situation (that of MF specifically and of the province in general) keeps degrading, as a result of the shrinking number of tax + ratepayers, with yet more rate or tax increases or major cuts in services (or some combination thereof) on the horizon.

      3-As a result of this increased emigration house prices keep dropping, which creates even more of an incentive for Newfoundlanders to leave as quickly as possible: if their house is their chief financial asset, and if the average house price in Newfoundland keeps dropping while it remains stable or increases in any job-creating city in Canada, it is in the economic interest of any Newfoundlander contemplating emigration to do so sooner rather than later. As a consequence, see 2.

      4-As its electorate keeps growing older because of the exodus of younger Newfoundlanders, provincial politicians will prioritize what benefits this electorate: pensions and health care for the elderly. Childcare and education will be the areas of government spending to be axed once Newfoundland can no longer kick the can down the road, fiscally. As a consequence of this, younger Newfoundlanders will have yet more reasons to leave: see 2.

      6-Of course, going back to 1, businesses facing increasing electricity costs and/or taxes are liable to hire fewer people, shut down, or leave the province entirely, thereby causing unemployment to rise, worsening the overall economic situation and giving those younger Newfoundlanders who can do so yet more of an incentive to leave: as a consequence, see again 2.

      Breaking out of this cycle is THE issue Newfoundland must face in the immediate future.

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    3. Sorry, we do not need a lesson is social-economics and demographics of this province., we are quite capable of figuring that out for ourselves, and you predictions, are just that, predictions, with little else to support your views, besides your desire, and wishful thinking, that we will surrender the up UC to HQ, and we are a long way from that yet. But thanks for your comments, as they are biased with self interest attached. When you are willing to give an unbiased, independant overview, it will be much more acceptable to the people of this province.

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    4. Ah... the dog-whistle of the townie xenophobe sounds again. Danny's men must be overcome with all the traitors out and about. What you're really saying Anon 19:18, us that the word of Dan is all that matters, and that anything and anyone from outside St. John's East must not only be ignored but ridiculed. Dan knows best

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    5. Nope annon: 21:32, I am no fan of Dan, and if you have read any of my previous comments you would know. Maybe you are saying this to draw me out. You will draw me out only in the scense of the name I always use. And I like reading comments from all crannies of this province, and elsewhere in Canada for that matter, including Quebec. But when their comment is so biased and trying to sow discourse among the people of this province, then I will stand up every time and defend this province, and people, even when I disagree with them, and call a spade a spade every time, including this boondoggle, ant the main people responsible, that include, Dannie, Cathie, and the six million dollar man, and beginning to include ball et el, and Stan the man lately, and of course our nemis, Harper. And also wrote the comments, an: 17:17, 17:42, as well as 19:18. I am no ones dog-whistle except my own. Joe blow sometimes, average Joe other times and AJ.

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    6. ...meant to say..."sow discourse especially among the innocent and poor people of this province...."

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    7. Hoops... Meant to spell the word , "sow discord"...

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    8. Thanks Heracles and Etienne for your kind thought. My wife is a fighter, and optimistic. Just returned from a hospital visit, completed a procedure today to make the liver grow.
      Such techniques is new to me. The liver weights about 3 lbs and the largest organ in the body. One third has a cancer tumor, that has been reduced to half by chemo. The center part is benign cysts, leaving one third good, but rather small for satisfactory function. Yet as of recently her liver performance is perfect. The procedure today is to grow the right lobe and make it bigger. They reduce the blood flow via the artery to the side with the tumor. This tricks the liver to think that side is dying, and diverts more blood to the good right lobe, and it grows larger on that side. The procedure is usually 90 percent effective. No cut to do this , but penetrates the chest at two points with some needle device, and with ultrasound.
      Weak tonight, but managed a little walk in the corridor. If all goes well , she will be discharged soon, and major surgery to remove the bad 1/3 of liver in 5 weeks time.
      Had emergency bowel surgery last week, and recovering good from that, but bowel now through the side, to be reversed in 6 months. A very pleasant nurse tonight, Elizabeth.
      My main concern...platelet counts at 374,(the normal range is 150 to 400, so a little high) as this is critical whether one bleeds or has a blood clot. Unfortunately, here they do not so monitor platelets closely as in the best USA cancer hospitals.
      The human body a bit(a lot) more complex than minisplit heatpumps.
      I pity those released early without adequate home care, and always a wait list for beds, and likely part of the reason for worse outcomes in Nfld. I am fortunate to be able to hire help for home care. Interesting, HST is applicable, and must be paid for home nursing care, yet they are looking to take it off insurance. Go figure.
      Hope I don't bore readers with this.....it is a challenge to understand the complexities and many risks of procedures and medications....and then plans here to reduce expenditures 450 million per year......
      Yes, we will have too few young to support the old. When I was a kid, the average family had 8 kids, how things have changed.
      Winston Adams

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    9. Hi WInston,

      The good news I can tell you is that the liver is the only organ that keeps growing even after the body is itself fully grown, ie, once an adult. As such, this procedure seems to rely on one of the not-yet-understood-but-well-known aspect of the body.

      As for the spirit of a fighther, that is a second key part. My godmother is a fighter too. She was discharged from hospital for pre-terminal stade kidney problems. The doc gave up on her and did not expect her to last few weeks. They could not believe their own eyes when they saw her two months later. It is now 3 years and she is still with us. She has been back in hospital for the last 2 weeks, but she will be discharged any day now and will be ready for another stretch.

      So definitely, the fighter spirit is capable of miracle.

      My best wishes to you and your relatives,

      Delete
  10. Maybe we could start with an across the board twenty percent reduction in the exorbitant salaries and wages paid to Nalcor employees? If the don't like it they are welcome to seek employment elsewhere or move away to the mainland along with the tens of thousands of people who will exit this province over the next ten years because of this project. We should be starting with the very people who created this mess and any Nalcor employee who claims that this project was a good project or thinks it could have been done cheaper is just not being truthful to the very people who employ them-the liviers of NL.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. For the record.......... there were very FEW Nalcor EMPLOYEES working on the MF Project - perhaps 4-8 in mid to Sr jobs.

      The MF project was brought to us all by Big Ed's "world class" staff from his Petro Canada days......... all grossly overpaid contract project managers.........

      Delete
    2. For the record, an organization like Nalcor would have had internal discussions before a public announcement. These employees were as complissant as the politicians if they had prior knowledge and didn't object.

      Delete
    3. Who owned and drove all those white, with nalcor on the side, with antennas tied down, so these were not actually nalcor trucks, were they? There were hundreds of them, right from Goose Bay to St. John's and all points in between. Just wondering if there were FEW nalcor employees working on the project, power lines etc.

      Delete
    4. The rough breakdown for those driving the Nalcor trucks is:
      5% - Nalcor employees
      15% - SNC
      80% - various contracted persons (AMEC, independent, Stantec, Tiller etc)

      Very few to no Nalcor employees.

      Delete
    5. I should also add that information to determine this is already posted under ATIPPA on Nalcor website.

      Delete
    6. For the record (once again)...... the management team lead by Big Ed from Petro Canada were mainly guys with offshore oil experience (NOT Hydro) and (Not big civil) and (Not Nalcor staff with decades of hydro experience) - the experienced NL Hydro senior guys were let go or moved aside before the Project ......... many of Ed's "world class" experts were leading areas they HAD NEVER WORKED IN BEFORE !!!!

      Delete
  11. Winston:

    I have been following your mini split conversation on this blog
    for a year. I feel that your posts have helped us all to get to
    know you. It is in that context, that I want to say that I feel
    for you and your family; and do wish that all works out for your
    wife's better health.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Just reading on vocm news, that nalcor is energizing the 500km hydro line from Churchill falls to muskrat falls, of the 1600km of new power line from CF to soldiers pond. That cost a pretty penny I would think. Says power will flow next year. How much power from UC to the Avalon and at what cost. How much from muskrat to soldiers pond, and at what cost. Guess that's what they call the blended price, 22 cents or something like that. Can they not just bring the cheap UC power only, and leave muskrat where it is. How much do we need, no one else is going to pay the 22 cents, besides us. How much available from UC. Guess someone knows. AJ.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. AC lines from UC to MF and DC lines from MF to island. Also power cant go from UC to island until all convertor yards are complete and commissioned. So, nothing from UC available on island yet.

      We had power outage in October to energize 1 of the lines from UC to MF, this must be 2nd line.

      Delete
  13. I commented recently that maybe NL could move the 2041 date forward & do a 50/50 deal with Hydro Que. The only other solution I can think of is convincing the feds to fund the entire project until 2041. NL would then commence paying back the Feds with all the revenue generated by Churchill Falls. NL would not receive a penny until the debt is completely paid off. This way NL can keep reasonable stable rates, & the Feds come out the hero who saved the day. Que need not be involved in saving our collective ass.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Anon 10:54

      I get your idea, but you have to be aware of a risk associated with that : Will Newfoundland be able to sell all of that power by itself ? Hydro-Quebec as big surplus and most utilities around also have surplus. At the end of the contract, if the price is no longer inline with its internal costs, HQ will surely rely on its own surplus instead of buying CF power. The result is that our actual unsold surplus may well turn in Newfoundland unsold surplus at that time...

      As long as UC power is in the range of HQ internal production cost, I am sure HQ will be interested. The moment they are above, HQ will use its own resources first.

      The second thing is compounded interest... How much interest will your plan total by 2041 ? I do not know but it may be scary...

      Nice to talk with you,

      Delete
    2. Yes, sounds reasonable, but no doubt more complicated than that. And that's why a lot of us has been saying the Feds are a big player in this entire project with their 8$ billion loan guarantee, and why we have been saying ball et el need to be focused on negotiating this with the Feds. As we have been saying, NL is currently cash strapped but certainly not insolvent. And where are our tiny 7 mps in Ottawa, they should be able to at least be talking about this, but are as quiet as mice. Hopefully, it would stabilize the reasonable rates as well. AJ.

      Delete
  14. PlanetNL here:

    Will try to have a post on that next week. Hydro is promoting early operation of the transmission assets as a big money saver vs Holyrood. Upon studying the number and some key risks, there are major concerns. The data centers in Labrador are one key problem as they threaten to use all the available surplus power. The Nalcor/Hydro/GNL farce continues.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. PlanetNL:

      Keep in mind that until convertor yards are complete, only CF to MF can be used, and that alone required some investing of $. Since no line capacity to Lab West, and no convertor yards ready I am not sure why this even make the news, as noted above in that no power from UC is reaching the Island yet.

      Also, ensure the distinction is made between the 300MW recall and the Twin Falls bloc that IOCC owns-all else must be bought is my understanding, imagine that we will be buying UC power for island use!

      Also above, someone said 500km of line from CF-MF was active-that included 2 lines in parallel since driving distance is less than 220kms, its not 500kms of linear line run.

      VOCM should clarify what this release actually means vs media spin.

      PENG2

      Delete
    2. Hello PlanetNL, THANK YOU for your investigation into the Muskrat fiasco, and exposing it for what it is... a carefully staged boondoggle to enrich a select cabal of rotten skeets at the expense of an entire province.

      The public has gleaned more truth and knowledge from your UG submissions than they could've ever gotten from their elected representatives.

      We will NOT forget that.

      Please keep up the good work, and hopefully consider running for public office someday.

      Delete
  15. What's the official planned date on the decommissioning of Holyrood? Sometime in 2020?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. One significant benefit the aged thermal generation plant has going for it, is its proximity to the load centre; shorter transmission lines, reduced line losses, better reliability of service. Does anyone know of comprehensive engineering done to run the plant based on a mix of heat sources; geothermal, Solar in ground storage, wind, etc.?

      Delete
    2. Incinerating the waste that goes into Robin Hood bay would have made sense. We would only have to bury the ash, the steam could run generators and hot water could be used for distric heating.There are successful and not so successful incinerators/generator projects in the USA -- we could just pick one that worked well and have it cloned.

      Delete
    3. Yes. But not much of a fan of Energy from Waste plants. Too much compostable, recyclable waste, toxics in the waste stream. but my question; what Energy Studies on Holyrood have been done? Conclusions? etc. See the Ontario AG findings on Hydro/Gov. complicity below.

      Delete
  16. Learn from the Ontario Hydro experience;

    http://www.tomadamsenergy.com/2018/04/03/ontario-ag-vs-govt-electricity-conflict/

    The Attorney General finds that "our Electricity Problem is worse than we thought.."

    Do we even have an AG doing the what is necessary with respect to the tight relationship between NALCOR and the Gov.? Maybe an objective Review by somebody like Ms. Lysack is in order.

    ReplyDelete
  17. A few of these along the TCH would replace Holyrood?

    http://www.bbc.com/news/business-43576226

    ReplyDelete
  18. Vardy says, correctly that higher power cost will encourage residents to invest in heat pumps that would add another 1 billion dollars to the 12.7 billion.
    A house with a 3 heat system costing about 7500.00 installed saw the bill reduced from about averaged bill drop from 310 to 190 per month, so a saving of 1440.00 a year.This gives a 5.2 year payback. If the system lasts 18 years, it saves 18,432.00 if rates stay the same. If rates double , it would pay for itself in 2.6 years, and have savings of 2880 per years for 15.6 years , so saving 44,929.00 over its life span.
    So as an investment, it has a high rate of return, unlike the boondoggle.
    So, regardless of rates , the economics suggests this is a good investment,with a good rate of return, that rate mitigation will do little to slow down, and 1 billion by residents makes sense, and such returns is why they offer incentives elsewhere. Of course, it does nothing to aid the MF problem of power they cannot sell at a profit, but a continuous loss.

    Advise if I made an error in the math?
    Winston Adams

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Should read 3 head system. And this suggests a reduction of 39 percent on the yearly bill, and I expect 33-35 would be more typical, but some may exceed 50 percent reduction.
      Partial systems may see see 20-25 percent reduction.
      But the economics suggest there will be little reason to holding back conversions, and invites the question why such a 1 billion
      investment wasn't the way to go in 2012 or sooner.
      WA

      Delete
    2. Hi Winston,

      From my point of view, your math is right but your logic is wrong.

      The math you did is right and should a single house do as you said, the owner will receive the kind of benefit you estimated in your text.

      The problem is with the logic : Should everyone do that, the power consumption will drop way too much and Newfoundland will be forced to compensate with an increase in the rate.

      There is also an ethic problem here. Your suggestion require an investment from the owner of the house. That is, the owner must front some cash for him to recover after a short moment and start making benefit after that. Unfortunately, the poorest will not be able to do such an investment because they can not front that kind of cash.

      In the same way, the one Capable of fronting some cash may also improve their insulation to reduce their power bill. Again, the ones living in the houses with lowest level of comfort and insulation are the poorest and their housing is consuming much more energy per square feet than the average.

      You are taking about a solution at individual level. Unfortunately, the solution needed is at global level. The individual solution you are talking can not be used by everyone and the one in the most important need will be the one unable to use that solution.

      Last point is the investment you talk about will require a few years to pay back. Should the economy of Newfoundland colapse because of power rates, those with enough money for such an investment are also the one with enough money to leave. So is a heat pump the proper solution for them ? Up to them to make such a choice...

      So as I said, I consider your math is right but your logic is wrong...

      Nice to talk with you,

      Delete
    3. Heracles, as to the logic:
      I am fully aware that if everyone does that it reduces power consumption but not necessarily increasing the rate to compensate, as because of the economic law of elasticity, you cannot just keep increasing rates to compensate for reduced demand. Same as if all eat less beef, that you suggest beef price must go higher.
      So what would happen is that there will be rate mitigation, by some means, which is political decisions.
      True, the poorest cannot afford such investments, but the rich and middle class can and will. So for the poor, in other jurisdictions Efficiency Corporations are set up , which give incentives to all. Higher incentives could be given to the poor. Such programs are operating in other jurisdiction for decades, and if not a global level, it would be on a provincial level, as in NS, and now Ont and other areas.
      And my point was this should have started prior to MF sanction, to avoid MF sanction, and that the economics is so compelling that even without incentives, many will install these highly efficient units. You might say , our Nfld climate is heaven sent for such technology.
      The loss of revenue by the power companies must be addressed by other means, as human nature suggests that most will convert.For many, heating cost will NOT be a reason to leave the Rock. Taxes or MF levies, poor health care, fewer jobs etc are obstacles........but not "efficient" electric heat costs, which means baseboard resistance heaters should, largely become obsolete.
      Do you agree?
      Winston Adams

      Delete
    4. That's exactly right... anyone who invests in cost saving heating technologies like a MSHP may eventually save a few shekels on their electricity costs, but the government will need to make up the shortfall to feed the 'Rat one way or another. So if government can't do it by jacking up power rates, it will impose a 'Rat-tax on whatever it can to do so... gasoline, heating fuel, firewood, insulation, clothelines... whatever it takes.

      So any savings those with MSHPs realize on their electricity bills will most assuredly get clawed back by government in the form of a variety of 'Rat-taxes.

      Better off putting the thousand$ in capital expenditure for a MSHP system towards the cost of relocating to an economically viable province.

      Delete
    5. Hi again WInston,

      The point I agree the most with you is surely the one about anything and everything that should have been done before MF to put in evidence that this stupid project should never have been started.

      About the increase in rate if power consumption is too low, it is a requirement from the federal loan guarantee. As such, despite it does not make much sense to penalize power efficiency, it is the consequence not of elasticity, but of a contractual engagement by Newfoundland to collect enough money from the power plant to pay for it.

      About incentives for the poor, there is another problem... And a VERY sad one.... Many of the poor people are poor because of their poor decisions... Take all the money in a place (Newfoundland or anywhere else, human nature is the same everywhere) and re-distribute it evenly between everyone. Within a day, you will have rich people and poor people. Many of these poor people does not understand many basics. Many can not even read or count. To offer them the option allow you to be in peace with your own action, but at the end, these people will stay in their condition.

      I agree that heating cost is not what will drive one away from home, that home being on the Rock or anywhere else. Unfortunately, power rate are reflected in anything and everything around you : trafic lights, freezer at the grocery, lights in the barber shop, camera and antenna from radio and TV stations, ... Electricity is everywhere. True heating is the biggest share for houses and many buildings, but not for everything and not for everyone.

      This global increase in anything and everything may be the source of too much problems that will piral out of control : reduction in money spent by people will slow down the economy ; the power bill will be too high for many company not being able to pay them; companies and people with enough money and needing more energy will move away with their money, ...

      The problem is million time bigger than heating....
      --MF not producing above 17% of its capacity
      --Surplus power everywhere around North-East USA, Atlantic, Quebec and Ontario
      --Newfoundland already wasting hydro power in summer time because its consumption is below its minimum production
      --the amount of the debt
      --the engineering and technical challenges of the power plant and infrastructure
      --and more

      My opinion is that this problem is too big to be addressed by anything other than a complete and global solution that will cover for it entirely. To compensate for 10, 20, 33% of the problem will not be sufficient. The entire problem is to be addressed as a whole. For me, it is the only way to manage it and to manage it in a way that will be fait for all Newfoundlanders.

      I understand your need for hope. I understand you would like to see UC making money for Newfoundland. Many people will endure war for them to stay in their place, where they were born, where they lived, etc. You are no different. Your reaction is normal. Your pain is real. I too hope there will be solutions for you and Newfoundland. The only situation I know of that can be compared with what happen in Newfoundland is Detroit. If others have realistic solutions that would be better for you, I will be as happy as yourself to learn about these.

      May the best be you and Newfoundland,

      Delete
    6. We have a long history of survival here. A century ago, many travelled to Boston to work and return to families here, Some stayed in Boston. In the 60s many worked in Toronto and other locations in Ont, some stayed some did not. After the fishery collapse in the early 1990s, many worked in Alberta.
      We struggled through the Commission of govn for about 15 years, 6 cent a day dole per person, before Canada joined us, for our resources. !
      Will the boondoggle cause most to leave? I don't think so, but the challenge will be great. Seems the Beothic chose to die of starvation and attacks, rather than leave this ROCK.
      This guy ain't leaving. There are many like me, but solutions are needed, and too few yet engaged.
      A little help from neighbours is needed, but agree we need to stop blaming others and take responsiblity for our actions. The price may be very high.
      Best to you
      Winston

      Delete
    7. Good for you to have experience in survival because... well... you may need it.

      The solution I see is above what a single guy like me can do. But I am sure HQ is looking at the situation closely and can find a way to fix that. You are heading for power rates way too high while we have surplus. For sure we can re-balance that.

      As for the amount of the debt, HQ and Quebec are big and strong enough to survive with it, but in no case we can pay for it. For us to handle the debt without paying for it requires to receive an equivalent value. That value can not be in cash because you do not have this cash for the debt itself, so you don't have it to transfer it. As such, that value must be under the form of an asset. An asset Quebec will be able to make cash from.

      It also happens that this asset is exactly the one required to maximize the value of MF : The Churchill Falls power plant and its reservoir.

      These 3 elements are the only key I see as a solution :
      Quebec - HQ with the cash flow required
      HQ with the power and expertise to fix the fiasco
      UC with the corresponding value for Newfoundland to pay back and assume its responsability

      Should UC be transfered to HQ permanently ? Possible
      Should the power contract extended instead ? Also possible. If we consider HQ owns 35% of CFLCo, we already have 35% of the benefits. Considering CFLCo receives about 5% as of now, the power contract represents about 60% of the benefits that go to HQ instead of Newfoundland. For 60% of the annual profits from UC to cover about 13 Billions, it would take an extension of probably at least 20 years or more... On top of that we must add all the costs to fix the engineering and technical defects.

      We also must ensure the existence of a market for that power. To power the Atlantic provinces would be another win - win option for that.

      That is only for the electrical part of the problem. The structural deficit in Newfoundland budgets, the demography and the need for a primary economic activity are also to be addressed and for them, I am not the right guy.

      So I think we can provide some help and I trust HQ is working on it. Actually, history showed that many times, HQ offered options to Newfoundland and it was Newfoundland who refused them. I see no reason why HQ would stop trying do win - win business with Newfoundland. But for the rest, Newfoundland will still have major work to do and one will be to accept and recognize such an offer as actual help and good will.

      We know you are ready for that. Lets now convince Uncle Gnarley, Average Joe and the others...

      Delete
    8. Lol, Hercules, you are a very smooth talker, writer, and has it all figured out, your vocabulary is just fine, as I told you before. You are nice to us in you last few comments , so I have to be nice to you, but I do not have to agree with you. But will agree you do make a fairly logical argument, from you point of view, and commend you for that. However, that may not be such a quite logical argument for us. You paint NL situation in the darkest light and HQ in the very brightest, which may not be total reality. Why should we just throw in the towel and grab the first option that comes along? You know my position, and a lot of other NLers, yes we do indeed have a contact, and your know the signees, and and HQ is not one of the signees to the muskrat agreement. So we have to work within the current frame work first to see the best deal we can get here. When I used the option, or the car lemon analogy, and a co signer that is an extremely position, but maybe not an impossible one. Hand it all over to the Feds and NS- emera, including the 8$ billion loan. Yes, that would be drastic, but not impossible, but maybe a good starting point for further negotiations. The Feds are into this, right up to their necks, they willingly participated, or maybe even pushed us, especially with Harper. So they bear a great responsibility, especially morally and legally when they went against the federal-provincial environment assessment, that recommended against muskrat. We will no doubt, and should, play that one to the max. The Feds can't afford to see one of its participants in this confederation go under, we may be small in numbers, but not in territorial size, and resources. So they will be forced to come up with a solution, they may try and bring HQ in as part of the solution, but that will be at their expense, not ours. So first we have to make the best of the hand we dealt ourselves, along with the Feds help, and see where we are. If the cards are reshuffled, maybe HQ may be in for that hand, but only time will tell. We are no shrinking violets, and you are not either, when push comes to shove. Cheers, AJ.

      Delete
  19. AJ,

    Denial is the action to reject or alter facts.
    To be rational is to consider all the facts as they are.

    As such, it is impossible to bring someone out of denial by using rational thinking because, by definition, that one will reject or alter the facts.

    The only way out of denial for that one is when facts are too strong for him to keep rejecting them. For many and the strongest level of denial, that can not be before death.

    Up to where will you keep your denial ? No clue. I just hope it will not be up to your province's or your own death...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lol, Hercules, you are so funny. You are talking denial, and lots of people do that. But I am talking survival, and we have done that, fairly well, for over 500 years, so in our long history, and I realize you have a long one too, this is a mere fly in the ointment. We have had greater challenges that this one, and we survived, and will survive this one, and may come out smelling roses. No denial is a mere, state of the mind at a short point in time, survival is long term, and we have proven time, and time again, we are blessed with those survival instincts. But please don't try sowing discord in our population, with negative terms like death of a province, as that will only make us more resilient. Thanks, have a nice day. AJ.

      Delete
    2. Our downward spiral will only end when we realize that, to paraphrase L'il Abner, we have met the cause of our downfall and he is us. WE elected the merry band of Danites four times, WE let them "negotiate" the MF deal, WE stood by and even clapped while they stripped any semblance of overview from the project branding any opposed as "traitors", WE asked for the FLG, WE cursed HQ and took them to court countless times on Hail-Mary wavers, before that WE signed the CF agreement without any financial involvement on our part except that WE owned the land. Now because of the MF mess, WE expect the Federal Govt., NS Government, Emera, to come in and clean up OUR mess, and hop to it quickly or WE'll brand all those others as a group of unscrupulous crooks who only want to steal OUR patrimony. Give me a break. Dan knows best

      Delete
    3. Annon: 10:38. I have just one question for you. Are you One of us?? Me thinks you might be a wolf in wolfs clothing. And until you prove otherwise, I will just ignore you, others may not. Cheers, AJ

      Delete
    4. Yes AJ I am one of the local "traitors". Born, raised and still living here. I even know the secret hand-signal, a slight doff of the hat coupled with a wink and a bow to the patrons of Circular Road and lawyers on Harvey Road
      Dan knows best

      Delete
    5. AJ, true we are survivors, but survival should not be our goal, but to prosper with standards equal to or better than the rest of Canada, rather than substandard,which for 95 percent of our history is what we have endured.
      You don't trust Hercules, fine, but the old Russian proverb Trust but verify is a good one.
      Does Hercules live in a city, a concrete jungle, where I or many dislike? Has he experienced or seen the rugged beauty of Nfld and its people to understand our attachment here, and survival is better than exile.
      Would Hercules visit Nfld and have coffee, or Screech, with you and I, that we assess his integrity? Maybe Sullivan and Vardy would join?
      If Trump can talk face to face with Rockman, can we not do this with neighbour provinces?
      This in not Lots of Laughs, in my opinion. We are at a crossroads as to our future. You, I think do speak for the average Joe, which is too distrustful of Quebec and HQ. They have self interest, as do we, but we should both have common goals that benefit both. Or, so I think.
      Winston Adams

      Delete
    6. How is she cuttin...an: 11:23. You gave me all the proof I need. To my knowledge no or very few lawyers live or hang out on Harvey Road, so a clear give away. Need I say more. AJ.

      Delete
    7. methinks you know nothing of Sin Jawns.. some very prominent solicitors on that road.. but more to the point, according to you, anybody who doesn't subscribe to the Perpetual Victimhood (sounds like a religious order) of Newfoundland must be from away or a pawn of Quebec, Ottawa, or wherever else the wolves exist.. you illustrate the problem exactly, it's never about US it's always THEM

      Delete
    8. The point is an:12:23, you are masquerading, not being honest, sowing discord, and it it so obvious to any one from here. Anyone can go in line, even fron Hing Kong, and find lawyers address for Sin Jawns, you couldn't even do that correctly. But you can ask any person from this island, no matter what part, and without a second taught they will reply the lawyers of Duckworth st. Yes the old parament bldg on Harvey has one significant law firm, but irregardless they will still say Duckworth st... Their known offices for hundreds of years.

      Delete
    9. I guess they're working pro bono if their historical office is Duckworth and their real office is Harvey; hard to be paid.. not sure where Hing Kong is though.. are there wolves there too?

      Delete
    10. Yes, have to agree Winston, and Robert this is getting a bit silly. But sometimes I don't take time to write clear and concise, but never suggested the significant law firm on Harvey was ever on Duckworth, and certainly not now, as they give their correct address as 34 Harvey. And, THEY, in the second last line refers to the people of NL, and in the last line, THEIR, refer to lawyers offices in general. Hing Kong . Agree should be Hong Kong, but don't think there are wolves there, just King Kong.

      Delete
  20. "wavers" should read "vapors"

    ReplyDelete
  21. Byes please.

    get off the personal tones. This is important stuff. Stick with the program. Give us your best analysis and problem solving skills. Sure, I speculate that a backroom corporate/political deal is in the works. Somebody in your midst is already at the table. Can we not find out who the players are? What is the agenda? There will be consequences. Pay attention. You and your own children may be even worse off if you do not take heed.

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    Replies
    1. Good, you chastise the childish attitudes, Robert, being a senior elder among commentators here. I recall that some months ago you were go give up on expressing your view, but Burno, I and others encouraged you to stay engaged, and I find many of your articles you reference , whether Cite C, or Conservation etc, enlightens me further on the global perspective.
      There is wisdom in your views, from your career, experience and age. Though living in BC, your Nfld roots run deep.
      Winston

      Delete
    2. Winston, no need to make me blush. What bothers me most, is the over preoccupation with the past. Thinking as the pilot to the captain on the bridge, it matters little about watching the ship's wake and past soundings; There is a Goddamed reef on the Starboard Bow! Remember the ill fated Florizel! That's what the elders warned. Beware the stupidity of the Titannic and the Ocean Ranger! I smell danger for NL'rs in as one blogger said the "circling of the sharks!!" Those on the bridge have given no reason nor evidence to deserve the crew's trust.

      Delete
    3. One other thing, stop blaming the media. They at least show up at any inkling of a "Show press conference" and like our opposition in Question Period. The obfuscation, deceit, over the top rhetoric just hides the truth. A PPP deal is in the works, and the Public, who have the most at stake, are blocked out. Keep the Shadow Inquiry ever vigilant!

      Delete
    4. With all due respect Robert, are you talking about the stupidity of those on the bridge of the Titannic, or the builders, or both. And could say similar for the Ocean Ranger...

      Delete
    5. For the Titatic, the steel plate and rivet system was poor quality, brittle , and one compartment could flood into the next.
      They were going too fast to try to impress the world with her speed, and no respect for the hardness and danger of Artic ice or icebergs off Nfld, this in 1912? And did they party in these dangerous conditions? And so cocky, to have not enough life boats.
      Precautions for Mud lake flooding this year? What is the plan?
      WA

      Delete
    6. Have you fellows not heard that Titanic was just the nameplate on RMS Olympic and that the Captain, Smith was directed to sabotage the ship to collect the insurance on the inferior vessel? Lots of conspiracies uncovered in my lifetime. Possibly when all the suspects have passed on the great Muskrat ramble conspiracy will be revealed. Don't take the Inquiry seriously, other than the wasted $35m:)

      Delete
    7. Right on Winston, agree with you, especially, one compartment could flood into the next, a design flaw, will leave it at that. AJ.

      Delete
  22. Shut down the inquiry now. Total waste of NL taxpayer money.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Anon:16:14,

      For sure, it is way too late for the inquiry to prevent anything.

      When one looks at Newfoundland's history, we can see that this kind of mistakes has been done in the past and Newfoundland did not learned from his own experience. So you can argue that because Newfoundland did not learn from last experience, why would Newfoundland learn this time ?

      But to stop the inquiry on this basis would mean that Newfoundland will never be able to learn how to govern itself... Is that such a great idea ?

      I would rater hope that Newfoundland will be able to learn this time. For that reason, the inquiry must go on.

      Also, the result of the inquiry will surely help the Newfoundlanders to understand and accept not only the root cause of the problem, but much more. The size of the problem, its gigantic impact, its 100% local roots, how it is linked with UC and more. By learning and understanding about these will help Newfoundlanders understand and accept the solution.

      That is why I think the inquiry should be done with all the required resources and power for it to make that clear portait so many people need.

      Regards,

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  23. Here's a real opportunity for the new Crown Corp; For less than $100m "chicken scratch" for NL Offshore, Invest in this defunct NS windmill plant, (Jobsx3), set them up on Burin/Avalon/Bonavista, (Jobsx3), take the Holyrood off line, (jobsx3). Payback? Do the Math.

    What is our Industrial Strategy, our Energy Strategy? NL being left in the 19th century Colonial thinkers, eh wot?

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    Replies
    1. URL

      http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/daewoo-dsme-trenton-nova-scotia-lands-wind-turbine-dstn-1.4604846

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    2. Hi Robert,

      Actually, I think that would have been an opportunity before MF. Unfortunately, as of now, it is way too late for that.

      For sure that prospect is about energy at a much lower price and much lower risk, but is it still time for that ? Should really Newfoundland put even more money to go after even more energy when too much money have been spent already and MF's power is already too much for the saturated market ?

      Even if that opportunity would be for a much better price per Kw/H, it is way too late...

      So as for me, No, I do not consider that would be an opportunity...

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