31 October 2012

Calculators #nlpoli

Nalcor’s new marketing website for Muskrat Falls includes a little feature that supposedly shows you what your electricity bill will be with and without Muskrat Falls.

Even though you will pay for Muskrat Falls until at least 2067, they only show the comparisons out to 2030 on the new calculator.

So try a monthly bill currently of $200.

According to Nalcor, your monthly electricity bill with the Marvellous Muskrat will be $268 in 2025.

In 2010, they gave an estimate out to 2040 using a bill that was $200 in 2017.  On that basis, your monthly bill in 2025 would be $208 in 2025.

That’s a huge difference.

But ya gotta wonder why they changed the way they presented the numbers.  It just makes an already confusing situation – for many people – all the more confusing.

Most people aren’t really worried about the costs that far out in the future. They are more concerned with more immediate costs, like say the impact on their taxes or money they’d rather spend on health care but will now have to devote to paying for an enormous dam up in Labrador.

All the same, looking at the comparison charts.  The monthly savings aren’t all that great.  Even in 2030,  you’d be saving less than $50 a month.  Nalcor’s total estimated savings over the 14 years between 2016 and 2030 is only $3811. 

That’s $272 a year, on average.  What’s everything else going to cost in 2025 or 2030 if oil is going to be at the sorts of prices Nalcor assumes?  Besides, on the front end of that period the costs are almost identical.  There’s no comparative advantage to switching until well into the future.

Maybe all that is a bit too esoteric for some people.

Just look at the numbers.  Some people are going to conclude  - likely incorrectly - that in a mere two years, the monthly cost for Muskrat Falls for the ordinary consumer appears to have jumped $60 a month.  Once someone gets that idea in their heads,  even if it is completely wrong those $50 a month in theoretical savings way off in the future are going to seem like what they are today:  nothing.


The DG 3 Dog and Pony Show #nlpoli

Big Show.

Room full of people all there because they have a direct interest in the project.

Live streaming by the news media.

And all to release the latest cost estimates for Muskrat Falls.  The show was so big, however, that it looked like someone had decided to puff the whole thing up to make it appear much more important than it was.

That turned out to be a fairly accurate impression.

30 October 2012

Getting ready for the onslaught #nlpoli

Some things to bear in mind as the provincial government starts its latest information offensive on Muskrat Falls:

  1. These aren’t “final” numbers.  Whether it’s a government phrase or a media invention, the idea that these numbers are “final” is dead wrong.  The DG 3 numbers are nothing more than the latest cost estimate, plus or minus 30%.  We won’t know the final numbers until a decade or more from now.
  2. We already know why Nalcor didn’t look at alternatives.  As it looks from CBC’s report, the provincial government spent a chunk of cash to repeat what we’ve already heard from Nalcor – they didn’t look at alternatives to Muskrat Falls to generate electricity for use within the province.  When Nalcor suddenly changed the Lower Churchill project objective in 2010 (from export to domestic use) they should have gone back to DG1 and started from scratch.  That should have included a series of comparisons of alternatives. They didn’t do that.  Instead, they sailed through DG 2.  Nothing has changed.  They still haven’t looked at alternatives.
  3. Check for how much information they release about the federal loan guarantee.  The provincial government’s story has morphed over the past couple of months:  at one point the guarantee would be done.  Now we are supposedly getting a range of possible options. 

Overall, don’t expect to see any new information from the provincial government.  Their objective is not to inform or persuade. Their goal is to plough through the next couple of weeks in the hope that they can get the Muskrat off their political backs.

This has been a done deal since 2010. 

Claims to the contrary are complete foolishness.


29 October 2012

The Self-Inflicted Wound #nlpoli

When did the companies involved in the Hebron project sanction it?


Don’t google it.

When did ExxonMobil and all those companies give the project team the green-light to start building the gravity base and all the others bits that will lead to oil production on the fourth field offshore Newfoundland and Labrador?


The green light.


Darin King and the Tory Charm Offensive #nlpoli

A couple of the exceedingly small changes in the recent cabinet shuffle came out of the Bill 29 fiasco.  Felix Collins went from the relatively low profile job of justice minister to the complete obscurity of intergovernmental affairs.

Everyone saw that.

And over in another corner, there was a switcheroo people didn’t notice quite as much.  Jerome Kennedy gave up the job of directing Government business in the House so that Darin King could take over.

There was no doubt Jerome had completely frigged up in the House, just like there’s no doubt the Tories are way down in the polls.  The two went hand in hand all last session and indeed, for most of the last year or more.

Darin King offers no chance of changing that.

27 October 2012

Moebius’ Skipjack

Here are some views of Moebius’ 1/72 scale USS Skipjack held together with green painter’s tape. 

Skipjack was the first nuclear-powered hunter killer submarine using the teardrop hull design that optimised underwater performance.  Skipjack and her sisters were the fastest submarines in the US Navy until the arrival of the Los Angeles class boats in the 1970s. They remained in front line service until they were decommissioned in 1990.  

The navy rushed its first two ballistic missile submarines to sea by modifying the Skipjacks and redirecting some of the parts to what became the George Washington class.  A cut in the hull, the addition of about an extra 130 feet, 16 missile tubes and some other structural changes and the Americans had a working launch platform.  Unfortunately, they could be as noisy as hell. 

Ambitious modellers could convert this kit to a George Washington.  The easier conversion would be to build a GW after its conversion from a missile carrying submarine.  The navy chopped out the missile sections  and stuck the bow and stern back together.  The end results as a Skipjack with the old fairing around the sail that led up to top of the missile section left in place.

The picture quality isn’t great but for those interested in these things, it will give a sense of the size of this kit.

skipjack side

The front of the box says the kit builds to 40 inches.  The back of the box says 42 inches.  The back is right.  That’s a 48 inch level in the foreground and while you can’t see it clearly in this picture, the submarine will be 42 inches almost exactly from the tip of the bow to the point at the end of the five-bladed screw.

Here’s another view from the top:

Skipjack vertical

The hull is split into four sections fore, aft, top, and bottom.  The sections are bagged and wrapped in soft plastic to prevent scratches and dings in shipping. The entire kit is packed into a box 22 inches long. This facilitates shipping and helps to keep the costs down.

The surface detail is finely molded with slightly recessed lines.  There is a waterline molded into the upper hull.  This mars the finish toward the bow where it cross the upper sonar array but you can fix that with a skillful application of some putty.  Fore and aft of the sail, you will find all the hatches marked, included the main access hatches as well as the ones covering the mooring cleats and bollards.

On the sail, most of the batches appear to be outlined, including the two main hatches that open onto the dive planes.  These were used when in port as easy access to docks, as well as for observation and mounting armed watches (guards).  None of the hatches are open so if anyone wants to do so, they’ll have to scratch build the interiors behind them.

The kit includes markings for all Skipjack-class submarines, including Scorpion. 

Out of the box, the kit builds as a submarine in its launch configuration and paintjob.  The two buoy hatches on the topsides are to be painted international orange.  That isn’t correct for an operational submarine.  you’ll have to do some research to decide how you want to paint your submarine.  If you hunt around, you can find some very useful advice on weathering, especially for the anti-fouling red on the lower half of the hull. 

The screw is the original five-bladed design.  The Skipjacks received seven bladed screws during refits in the early to mid- 1970s in order to correct a noise problem.  No biggie. If you build Skipjack from the box and change the paint scheme, you will get an historic ship from the time she sailed into Murmansk harbour and reputedly sat submerged a mere 30 or 40 metres off the end of a busy pier and watched goings-on in one of the old Soviet Union’s major naval bases.


26 October 2012

Muskrat Falls Trends #nlpoli

Just for the fun of it, here is a graph of the frequency of searches for the term “Muskrat Falls” in Canada since November 2010.

MF searches canada

According to Google the numbers on the graph represent the number of searches for the term relative to the total number of searches.   The numbers are not absolute values but are scaled and normalized.  To get an explanation of that check out Google Trends’ help section.

Aside from the peak in search activity right at the beginning, the most intense searching has been within the past couple of months.  Interest didn’t seem to ramp up on the project until the fall of 2011 except for a couple of brief periods that seem to coincide with when the House was open.

If you limit the search to just Newfoundland and Labrador, you get a fairly constant level of searching.

MF trends NL

The letters mark relevant news stories.


25 October 2012

From wonderment to bereavement #nlpoli

The decline in the quality of public life in our province over the past decade is matched by a decline in other places across Canada and in Ottawa.

For those who may not have noticed some of the commentary on this here are three pieces worth considering:


The Business Case for Muskrat Falls #nlpoli

All sorts of business people in Newfoundland and Labrador love Muskrat Falls.

Funny thing is that they don;t talk about risk, profits, cash flows, return on their investment, and other stuff you’d expect business people to talk about. 

Nope.  They say stuff like “We believe in good things for our province.”

Who doesn’t?

They say things like “… we believe we have the courage to harness the opportunity before us and make these things happen.”

So that started the old gears turning in your humble e-scribbler’s old noggin.  What would it be like if they listened to a business pitch for Muskrat Falls just the same way that Nalcor and the provincial government is pitching Muskrat Falls?

Let’s not get distracted by alternatives and public utilities board and megawatts and all that.  Let’s just talk about making the old staple product in business school:  widgets.  And just for the sake of convenience, let’s make the pitch to the province’s greatest living businessman, the Old Man Hisself.

24 October 2012

Muskrat Falls – The Importance of Transparency #nlpoli

Nalcor will install new generating capacity at Portland Creek in the mid-2030s despite having about 1200 gigawatt hours of  electricity available from Muskrat Falls.

In his latest assessment - Muskrat Falls – The Importance of Transparency [scribd pdf] -  JM concludes that Nalcor apparently plans to build Portland Creek  at additional cost to consumers in Newfoundland and Labrador in order to keep capacity available at Muskrat Falls to meet the commitment to Emera.

23 October 2012

Peckford Book Signings #nlpoli

Because some people have asked, here is a list of upcoming book signing opportunities by Brian Peckford for his memoir Some day the sun will shine and have not will be no more.

Check the Flanker Press site for more information on the book, including how to order.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

2PM - 5PM
Costco, St. John's

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

6PM - 9PM
Gander Co-op

Thursday, October 25, 2012

1PM - 4PM
The Book Worm, Gander

6PM - 9PM
Gander Co-op

Friday, October 26, 2012

1PM - 4PM
Shoppers Drug Mart, Lewisporte

6:30PM - 9PM
The Bookmark, Grand Falls-Windsor

Saturday, October 27, 2012

1PM - 3PM
Island Treasures, Corner Brook

4PM - 6PM
Coles, Corner Brook


When engineering becomes imagineering #nlpoli

Nalcor issued a news release on Monday to correct inaccurate statements about the water management agreement between Nalcor and Churchill Falls (Labrador) Corporation.

Sounds good, except that Nalcor didn’t identify who made the statements.

Nalcor didn’t indicate hat the statements were.

Nor did the company indicate how the statements were inaccurate.

So basically, the company corrected nothing about nothing.

While that is telling – Nalcor claims aren’t backed by evidence -  that’s not the interesting thing.

22 October 2012

The Separated at Birth Comparison

Mark Quinn, the guy who reports the news on CBC.

Stuart Bloom, the guy who owns the comic book store on everyone’s favourite show.


Hydro’s Problem Questions #nlpoli

As the Telegram reported on Saturday, the Public Utilities Board has suspended consideration of Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro’s 2013 capital works application.

The company is having trouble answering a couple of questions.

Here are the ones that are causing problems.

One fine Friday afternoon, or change versus more of the same #nlpoli

A little over a week ago, Kathy Dunderdale told the provincial Conservative annual meeting that her administration is overspending. Dunderdale acknowledged yet again what she and her predecessor have admitted since 2009. 

The provincial economy is overly dependent on offshore oil, Dunderdale told her fellow Tories.

Dunderdale and the Tories are at historic lows in the polls for a majority Tory government.  Dunderdale announced a cabinet shuffle to her caucus months ago and to the public weeks ago.

After weeks of waiting, Dunderdale finally changed her cabinet on Friday afternoon.

19 October 2012

Stephen Harper and Principle #nlpoli

Premier Kathy Dunderdale, from her unscripted speech at the Tory party annual meeting, via the Telegram’s James McLeod:

We didn’t support the Harper government, people of Newfoundland and Labrador didn’t. You know, somebody who didn’t have principle could’ve walked away from the commitment to the loan guarantee. What would the consequence have been? We wouldn’t elect anyone for a long time to that party? He didn’t, he absolutely maintained his commitment to the people of this province. You’ll see what that means in the next couple of weeks, but it’s hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars. He didn’t have to do it, but he did it. He made a promise to the people of the province, and he kept it. And it’s important as Tories, because we tore strips off him when we believe he needed to have that done, and here was Miss Buffo out leading the crowd. Not everything has to be a brawl on the steps of Confederation Building, remember that too. But there comes a time when you’ve got to stand your ground, and b’ys, get out of the way, and that was one of them. I made no apologies then, and I don’t make them now.


Sally’s Cove, Labrador #nlpoli

During the last federal election two polling stations in the riding of Labrador closed for two hours after an Elections Canada worker drove away with the ballot boxes, according to the Toronto Sun.

According to the Sun:

A spokesman for Elections Canada said an employee in Labrador thought ballot boxes were for "training" and drove away with materials for about 20 minutes. The employee was then called back to the polling stations, located at a legion and a hall, by another officer and the station was reopened.




18 October 2012

The Dangers of Being a Mythbuster – 50 is the new 70 #nlpoli

Look around and anyone can find a huge amount of information about Muskrat Falls and electricity in Newfoundland and Labrador.

For all that, though, there is a great deal of misinformation out there.  That only adds to confusion some people are experiencing.  As disappointing as it is, misinformation remains a fact of life in the Muskrat falls discussion.

As a couple of recent posts have shown, some of the misinformation turned up in a single online commentary recently posted. Something good can come out of everything, as it seems and so this third post corrects the misinformation and replaces it other issues and more substantive information.

The Challenge of Perspective #nlpoli

From Kathy Dunderdale’s unscripted speech to Conservative party delegates at the 2012 annual meeting:

Only the people who love us very much will be around when we finish this job because it takes over your life. I remember being in a Treasury Board meeting and somebody saying, you know, you can’t do that. You can’t expect somebody to drive a hundred miles a day and work for minimum wage, and somebody said, well sure, you ask Ross Wiseman to do it every day.

17 October 2012

Loyola Sullivan and conflict of interest #nlpoli

From the report by federal conflict of interest and ethics commission into certain actions by former fisheries ambassador Loyola Sullivan:

In June 2011, after consulting with my Office about whether he could take the position, Mr. Sullivan took up the position of Vice President of Resource Management and Sustainability at Ocean Choice International (Ocean Choice). In that position he had several interactions with Fisheries and Oceans Canada and Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada related to matters of interest to Ocean Choice during his one-year post-employment cooling-off period. He also attended a consultation organized by Fisheries and Oceans on behalf of the Groundfish Enterprise Allocation Council.

During my examination I found that several of these interactions were made in order to persuade federal government officials to make a decision to the advantage of Ocean Choice and, in one case, to change a policy in accordance with the position of the Groundfish Enterprise Allocation Council. In my view, these interactions involved making representations. I have therefore found that Mr. Sullivan contravened subsection 35(2) of the [Conflict of Interest] Act.


The Dangers of Being a Mythbuster – More Thermal than Thermal #nlpoli

The issue of Holyrood and the future cost of thermal generation is a big part of the argument for Muskrat Falls.

What’s so amazing about it is that people can actually get so confused by something so straightforward.

The Power of Delusion #nlpoli

Kathy Dunderdale gave a speech to the hundreds of Conservatives who gathered in Gander last weekend for their annual convention.

The Telegram’s James McLeod transcribed most of it and posted it to his blog at the Telly website.

Dunderdale’s speech is amazing because, unlike her recent speeches, she didn’t rehearse every single word and gesture.  This one is all Kathy, speaking earnestly about what she believes.

16 October 2012

The Dangers of Being a Mythbuster – Transmission Lines #nlpoli

As a rule, any commentary that purports in its title to bust myths usually winds up perpetuating a myth or two of its own.

Corollary: if it doesn’t propagate a few myths, there’s a danger that the same commentary will contain misinformation that will lead people off into the trees.

John Samms' recent post sets out to debunk a few myths about Muskrat Falls but winds up proving the old mythbuster rule and the corollary in the process.

Here’s how.

Conventional Wisdom #nlpoli

After a wild weekend in Suburbia in the Woods, the province’s ruling Conservatives turned up all over the talk radio shows going on about how there were so many Tiny Tories at the convention and how a chunk of the provincial executive was made up of people under 30 years of age.

Clearly, the Tories are bothered by something to do with age, as in they are loaded down at the top end with people who aren’t young.  Like say the Old Man, who was the oldest person elected Premier when he took office in 2003.

Or Kathy Dunderdale, who beat Danny by a good few years to be the oldest person ever elected Premier.

Or maybe they are just a-feared of the province’s New Democrats.

15 October 2012

Dunderdale hits new record #nlpoli

Premier Kathy Dunderdale made a record-setting change to the senior ranks of the provincial public service on Friday with the appoint of Peter Au as the new assistant deputy minister of fiscal and taxation policy with the province's finance department.

This is the 40th change to the senior public service Dunderdale's made in a single year, bettering her previous record of 39 changes in 2011.  If she holds to her current pace, Kathy Dunderdale will make 49 changes in 2012.


The Language of Newfoundland Politics #nlpoli

Some of you may have noticed a couple of words turning up in any discussion of Muskrat Falls.

One is “confused”.

The other is “tired” as in tired of hearing about it.

These are very interesting code words, once you realise what they mean.

The Simple Litmus Test #nlpoli

by JM

There has been a new group of business people who have been formed in support of the Muskrat Falls Project. I would ask that these individuals review the following key facts and figures before they confirm their support of the project. I would also ask that they push the Government to answer the questions raised at the end of this short post

14 October 2012

Same Old New Energy! #nlpoli

Thanks to the Telegram’s James McLeod and his Twitter feed from Gander, take a look at two of the resolutions from the Progressive Conservative.

13 October 2012

There’s always more to see if you look #nlpoli

Watch the raw video of the Thursday news conference in which Premier Kathy Dunderdale, natural resource minister Jerome Kennedy, and finance minister Tom Marshall announced the end of a dispute with the companies developing the Hebron project.

Pay less attention to the details of the announcement itself than to the details of how they made the announcement.

12 October 2012

Christmas will arrive early this year

Word from the hobby shop Thursday is that the USS Skipjack is on the way.

USS Skip Jack Box Art

In 1/72 scale, this is going to be one big submarine:


Vote SRBP for Best Political Blog in Canada #nlpoli #cdnpoli

Canadian Blog Awards 2012Sir Robert Bond Papers is in the running for Best Political Blog in Canada for 2012.

Round 1 voting is open and I respectfully ask for your support.

Click on the picture to cast your vote.


How much was that principle in the window? #nlpoli

Sending the third topsides module from Hebron outside the province was “absolutely unacceptable” to Premier Kathy Dunderdale back in June.

She was “extremely unhappy” and vowed to “pursue all avenues available” to her in order “to ensure that this very important work stays in Newfoundland and Labrador.”

A few months later, the absolutely unacceptable has become completely acceptable.  The only question – as it turned out – was the price.

11 October 2012

Exploring the AIMS Commentary #nlpoli

Premier Kathy Dunderdale might cavalierly dismiss Gordon Weil’s commentary on Muskrat Falls but others – more thoughtful types – will find much in it to chew on.

Equalization Changes and Hydro-Electricity #nlpoli

The federal government is considering changes to the Equalization program and the way it assess revenue from hydro-electricity, according to documents obtained by PostMedia News under the federal access to information system.

The changes would apparently take into account revenue from hydro-electric corporations in provinces like Manitoba, Quebec and Newfoundland and Labrador where a portion of the revenues from provincially-owned hydro corporations are sometimes passed directly to consumers in the former of lower electricity rates.

“Potentially, it’s a huge issue,” said Al O’Brien, chairman of the federal government’s 2006 expert panel on equalization, which examined hydroelectricity revenues as part of its analysis of the broader national program. “It will be controversial.”

He believes governments in Quebec and Manitoba recognize their fiscal capacity, or revenue-generating ability, is underrepresented in the current system.

However, any changes to how hydroelectricity is calculated in equalization could have a “huge impact” on how much — if any — a province receives from Ottawa in equalization, he explained. For example, some studies have suggested Quebec could lose billions of dollars in equalization payments if the true value of hydroelectricity were calculated in the program.


10 October 2012

Remittance Work and the Newfoundland Economy #nlpoli

For those who have been following the issue, SRBP and others were talking about remittance work back in 2007.

It remains a key part of the current administration’s economic policy.  The proof is in an airport in western Newfoundland that offers parking facilities for patrons who may be gone for upwards of one year.


Another sign of the democratic deficit #nlpoli

If you have a few minutes to spare, flip through the provincial government’s 2012 budget.

Look for the work “donation”.

You won’t find it.  Nor will you find any amount of money set aside in the health department budget that would cover a donation by the provincial government to health care foundations operated in some communities on the west coast earlier this year.

Muskrat needs full review: AIMS #nlpoli

By any reasonable standard, Gordon Weil would count as an expert.

In business.

In the energy business.

An expert.

As much as she said she wants to hear from experts, Weil’s review of the Muskrat Falls project won’t have any impact on Kathy Dunderdale.

That’s because he doesn’t fit her unique definition of what an expert is.

09 October 2012

Free-Fall from space


Muskrat, Martin, and Meaning #nlpoli

Note the number of times Ed Martin says “open”  or “transparent” within the first five minutes of his weekend interview for On Point with David Cochrane.

Odds are very high that these words relate to a very sensitive issue for Nalcor, revealed by their extensive polling.

Put the On Point interview together with Martin’s article in the weekend Telegram  - not online - and you can see why these ideas are causing Nalcor such problems.

06 October 2012

Dunderdale on track for 100% #nlpoli

Premier Kathy Dunderdale tied the record on Friday for senior executive changes in the provincial public service.

She appointed an acting deputy minister of justice to replace a fellow who has gone off to his reward as a justice of the supreme court.

Dunderdale set the record last year with 39 changes in a group of senior managers numbering about 85 in total.

If she keeps up the same pace of changes in 2012, Dunderdale will make a total of 49 before the New Year arrives.  A quick tally would show that  - if she hits that number – Kathy Dunderdale will have made the equivalent of a complete change in the senior ranks of the public service in about two years.

That’s on top of the heavy number of changes to the senior public service over the past decade.  Of the line departments, natural resources as seen the heaviest number of changes.  There’s been no obvious explanation for the high turn-over any more than there was any explanation of the sudden and mysterious changes at the deputy minister level in the department last month.

The former deputy minister, appointed in 2011 disappeared in September 2012 without explanation or – if you check the release – even a mention of her existence.





The Last Refuge #nlpoli

Call them the Dam One Percent.

Call them Dan-Dam Style.

Call them Millionaires for Muskrat.

Call them MFers, with tongue firmly in cheek.

The business people who back Muskrat Falls are now writing letters to the newspapers and forming political action groups to show their support of Muskrat Falls.

Like nobody knew that people like Nalcor directors Cathy Bennett and John Steele, former Nalcor chair Deanny MacDonald, and Labrador businessman Peter Woodward didn’t love the Muskrat Falls project already.

05 October 2012

Masters of our debt-ridden domain #nlpoli

Premier Kathy Dunderdale confirmed on Wednesday that companies looking to develop Labrador mines have been getting good results from their inquiries about buying electricity from Hydro-Quebec.

According to Dunderdale, the companies “understand that if Muskrat Falls does not go ahead, what happens in Labrador from that point on lies squarely in the hands of Hydro-Québec and the province of Quebec.”

She added:
Think about that! Does anybody have any confidence that, when mines in this province go to Hydro-Québec looking for energy for development in Labrador, they are going to get the best industrial rates in Atlantic Canada?
The provincial government wouldn’t be worried about the issue unless Quebec had power to sell. 

04 October 2012

David Vardy on Muskrat Falls #nlpoli


Kathy Dunderdale’s World #nlpoli

Remember the World the Old Man Lived In?

Apparently, Kathy Dunderdale lives in the same place.


The First Casualty in Dunderdale’s War #nlpoli

As she launched the first salvo in the final battle of the War for Muskrat Falls, Premier Kathy Dunderdale decided to prove the old maxim correct:  she put Truth up against the wall and shot the old girl squarely between the eyes.

“We adhere to established contracts and respectful business practices,” she told the crowd at a Board of Trade luncheon.  No word if the crowd at Fortis shifted uncomfortably in their seats.  The people from ENEL  - had they been there - could certainly attest to the manifest falsehood in the Premier’s comment.

Dunderdale had a few more bullets to pump into Veracity’s lifeless form off before she was done.

03 October 2012

Random observations #nlpoli

What Kathy Dunderdale said in 2012 about wanting to be Premier:

“If you live your life more in the moment, the rest of it will work its way out.”

Sounds a lot like what SRBP told you.  Here’s one comment from July 2011:

Kathy Dunderdale took over the job in the first place on the understanding it would be a temporary thing.  The shift in December had more to do with internal party politics than Dunderdale’s sudden discovery she had some goals to accomplish.  [Hint:  she didn’t].

Then out of the blue she gave some of her staff new titles and presumably bigger salaries to go with them.  At least, they will certainly have fatter severance packages now when she leaves the office well before the next election.


02 October 2012

GovSpeak Translator #nlpoli

A “forgivable loan” is another way of saying that a private-sector company is getting a free gift of public-sector money.


The Enduring Principle of Newfoundland Mining Development Policy #nlpoli

If you want to understand the provincial government’s mining policy, look no further than Joe Smallwood and a speech he gave to the local chapter of what was then the Canadian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy in 1979.

01 October 2012

Labrador Mining and Power Rates #nlpoli

In her scrum with reporters last week, Premier Kathy Dunderdale answered questions about possible rates offered to new mining companies in Labrador if the Muskrat Falls project goes ahead.

She mentioned the low electricity rate IOCC and Wabush mines receive from Churchill Falls as an example of how industrial customers get better deals than consumers.

Yeah, well, no.

Muskrat Timelines slide back #nlpoli

Here’s what VOCM reported after Nalcor chief executive Ed Martin delivered a speech to St. John’s Rotary earlier this year:

Ed Martin won’t get into precise dates but says a decision on Muskrat Falls is fast approaching. The Nalcor CEO was the guest speaker at a Rotary luncheon in St. John’s. Martin says a sanction decision one way or the other needs to be made by October at the latest. Anything past that he says will cost the Crown corporation millions per month. Martin says they’re looking at having the decision ready by June/July so they can be presented to MHA’s and debated in the House.

Last weekend, Martin told the Telegram he would hope to get things done by the end of the year: