Government in action

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At the end of the nicest summer that people in Newfoundland can remember, provincial government minister Terry French has announced measures to stop global warming.

What I have read and seen on TV makes me believe that there is agreement among scientists now that the Earth has been, throughout its existence, in a constant process of climate change, that there is evidence of dinosaurs grazing near the North Pole and, at other times, of ice reaching down as far as what is now New York.

This information makes the decision of the provincial government to stop global warming all the more admirable.

Having done so, the Dunderdale government will go on to stop all wars on Earth and will then eradicate the flu and Internet scams. The multi-

billion-dollar Muskrat Falls project is simply not big enough for the ambitions of the provincial government.

To see to it that housing is constructed more solidly and ecologically sound than just of green lumber, wood chip boards and plastic, is below their notice. Joey Smallwood would be proud of them.

Randy Lieb-Warmsworth

Ramea

Geographic location: Newfoundland, North Pole, New York

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Recent comments

  • Joe
    September 20, 2012 - 13:28

    lol John and Maurice at it again. John, you're a gov't puppet with no references to back up your drivel and Maurice your comment today was almost legible unlike most we see around here. For what its worth I'm against the project, mostly b/c enough info is not forthcoming and the way gov't is forcing it through without explanation makes me wonder who's getting the kickbacks and what the real deal is. This greenhouse gas reduction spin is just that - spin. Tell us the real data showing this is the best project ever and we'll fall in line behind you. The fact that you can't is not very encouraging.

  • Winston Adams
    September 20, 2012 - 11:23

    I came across some info about power companies in the USA, where new generation was uneconomic, and losing money, and so declared backrupsy. But the units were taken over by others and kept operating. What was interesting was that they thought if wouldn't affect a profitable subsidary power plant. But in the legalities they lost that asset too. I assume it depends on how these things are structured. But my concern is this. If MF becomes a dud and is taken over by others, is our Nfld Hydro at risk, with our hydro assts build in the 60s and more recent additions? Just tell me it isn't possible. I guess John can answer this one off the top of his head.

  • Maggy Carter
    September 20, 2012 - 10:38

    What Newfoundlanders need to understand about the new DG3 estimates being put together by government is that they will not be real numbers. Smith uses $7.2 billion and that indeed might be in the range that government is now considering sharing with the public and the House of Assembly. When Smith's mouth opens it is only because NALCOR's hand is up his posterior. He is telling you only what NALCOR and Dunderdale want you to hear. The truth, of course, is much different. The number published by government will be whatever is deemed necessary to get this boondoggle past the smell test of the House and the general public. If they have decided that number is $7.2 billion, then $7.2 billion is the most they feel they can get away with - without causing a major public uproar of the kind that killed the privatization of Newfoundland Hydro by Clyde Wells. But when all is said and done, the real number will be a minimum of $10 billion and as much as $12 billion. Anyone, like Smith, who disputes that is ignorant of the history of mega projects undertaken and financed by government. When NALCOR and government are forced to disclosed the real number a few years down the road, they will simply chalk it up to over-runs. By then, of course, homeowners in this province will be paying such back-breaking power rates that residential demand will actually shrink and taxpayers will be forced to provide cash subsidies directly to NALCOR to offset the loss of revenue. Don't take my word for it - ask some respected economists and financial experts like Dr. Jim Feehan at MUN whether this nightmare scenario is plausible. As for Smitty's continued insistence that "not one penny" of the expenditure will go on our debt - he is lying. When Moody's examine the fiscal integrity of provinces in the course of determine their credit rating, they look at the entire amount of money owed not only by government itself but any corporation or agency whose debt for which they are ultimately responsible. That most definitely includes NALCOR.

  • Cold Future
    September 20, 2012 - 10:28

    The latest cost for Muskrat quoted by government was $8.5 billion. The project would be viable at $ 3 billion and not impact NL rates. The NL ratepayer would have to subsidize heavilly the power sold to mainland consumers to make the project work under the take or pay contract. Holyrood station which can be cleaned up to deliver cheap clean power would be closed just to make a justification to proceed. Excess money spent on Muskrat is money which could be spent on crumbling infrastructure and health care. Muskrat is too risky and too much a debt builder and should therefore be scrapped. A silk purse cannot be made of a sow's ear. NL should persue with economically viable power projects to meet our domestic needs until Upper churchill power becomes available.

  • aka Thomas Didymus
    September 20, 2012 - 09:15

    John Smith said "That is a fact...we will borrow about 4 billion...and not one penney of that will go on our debt...fact'. What is horrendous about this deal is where the debt will fall, that being on the shoulders of hydro ratepayers and the taxpayers of our province, most of whom are seniors on fixed incomes. Besides monies will have to come from taxpayers contributions and revenue from our natural resources, revenue that is badly needed for new infrastructure and infrastructure replacement; thus the day to day operation of our province will have to be sacrificed to pay the monthly mortgage on Muskrat Falls. Besides John Smith why do you say Mr. Adams is wrong when the figures he quotes are taken from Nalcor's own accounting, in the past Mr. Adams gave the details of the accounting records from where he garnered his information? Where do your figures come from John Smith, I have never seen you quote the source for any of the figures you quote? John Smith, you would be more credible if you do as Mr. Adams does, that is back up where your information source comes from. Awaiting your reply!

  • John Smith
    September 20, 2012 - 08:32

    Right off the top Maurice is wrong. If we go with the information we have, that the cost of the project is 6.2 billion, then the cost to consumers will be around 4 billion dollars...a far cry from 8.5 ...eh Maurice? If we go with the new numbers, which I feel will be about 7.2 billion, then our costs will be around 4.8 billion, a far cry from 8.5 billion. But hey...the naysayers need to exaggerate at every possibel chance, because the truth does not support their arguments. We spend about 3.5 billion a year, every year on health care in this province, we will borrow about 4 billion at the best rates, with the best credit rating, with the loan guarantee to build muskrat. That is a fact...we will borrow about 4 billion...and not one penney of that will go on our debt...fact. So you are wrong Maurice...but hey... you are always wrong... so no news there.

    • Scott Free
      September 20, 2012 - 11:01

      Careful not to get too excited John Smith and have the spring pop on your bobblehead for you'll be rendered disengaged.

  • Maurice E. Adams
    September 20, 2012 - 08:05

    We have a government pushing to spend $8.5 billion of the people's money on Muskrat Falls to reduce 8% of our public owned greenhouse gas emitter (Holyrood), while not requiring our Transportation and private sector Large Industry sectors to reduce their share, which accounts for 73% of the province's emissions. See vision2041.com