I was amazed to hear Premier Kathy Dunderdale and Nalcor’s Ed Martin say that the reason for the recent
outages was the “aged” equipment at Holyrood, Hardwoods and Stephenville.
To me, that’s like slapping yourself in the face (also a slap to the PUB’s Andy Wells).
Aren’t these the same people who are responsible to make sure our electrical system is stable, reliable and dependable? In other words, our government, PUB and the electrical utility are responsible to the people to make sure the equipment is refurbished or replaced when required. They are also responsible to ensure that generation and transmission grows with the growth of load.
What’s going to happen when Vale in Long Harbour comes on line? Isn’t this supposed to happen before Muskrat Falls? Are we the people going to pay for them to shut down like we did this time for the Corner Brook paper mill?
It appears to me that Premier Dunderdale, Mr. Martin and Mr. Wells never did their jobs to the best of their abilities concerning Newfoundland and Labrador’s hydro planning.
Mr. Ball, where are you? You could have gotten a few brownie points by jumping (like a dog on a bone) on this one.
As for an independent inquiry — a waste of time and money. With Premier Dunderdale and Mr. Martin choosing the person(s) and setting the terms of reference, it would be like the fox guarding the henhouse. The only way an inquiry would work is if it were no holds barred — but the costs would out weigh the benefits.
The real reasons for the outages are poor planning, electrical system faults or equipment failure and unavailable generation for whatever reasons (a bunch of unfortunate incidents at the same time). Nalcor should investigate, report the facts (truthfully), learn and move on.
The future solution?
• Get rid of Premier Dunderdale and the PCs at the ballot box in 2015.
• Maybe the new government will replace Nalcor’s Mr. Martin and the board of directors.
• Maybe the new government will replace PUB’s Mr. Wells and other appointees.
• Maybe Nalcor will get out of the oil and construction business. Sell off oil assets and Bull Arm and put money back in the core electrical business and keep rates stable and power system reliable.
But then, “The more things change, the more they remain the same.”
Please allow me to end with a little comedy/sarcasm.
Muskrat Falls conspiracy — “Queen” Dunderdale conspires with “Prince” Martin to orchestrate trips at Holyrood castle. Then they met with “Earl” Ludlow of Power Land to devise some rolling blackouts. They have to convince the multitude that the past decisions of ex-“King” Dan of Glencrest Estates were not a folly and that we really need Muskrat Falls and the mainland link.
John S. Foley