Monday, October 8, 2012


Two topics dominated the talk around the table this thanksgiving; Muskrat Falls and the recent incidents of teen bullying.

Unlike Kristine's tasty Thanksgiving dinner, the jury seems out on whether the proposed Muskrat Falls deal is fit to eat. In fact, I found myself fighting a loosing battle about it's merits.

I am feeling a little lost and perplexed.

The Premier's speech to the Board of Trade earlier this week left me wanting more substance, more inspiration and more confidence.  I just want a leader who truly inspires me. I can not say that I do not trust Kathy Dunderdale. She is as honest and sincere a leader as this province has ever had. She has broken the glass ceiling for women in politics. However, I want a leader who inspires me, whose vision makes the hair on the back of my neck stand-up, that gives me goose pimples.

Right now, there is not very many politicians in the House of Assembly that make me feel confident about our state of democracy, our economic or social future. The government is full of folks who feel entitled to their entitlements, that think they are always right and any opposing view is to be quashed, not reasonably considered.

The alternatives at the moment are not a lot better. Fortunately, there is a group of business people in this province that have decided to pick-up the gauntlet and fill the void - at least on the Lower Churchill File.

These entrepreneurs like Cathy Bennett, the Penney's and the Woodwards understand the importance of creating business opportunities. They are entrepreneur people by nature. They know that to secure a solid future, one has to take risks. They see the huge potential that Muskrat Falls presents. They know we have never been a better position to make this happen. As the Premier, said you have to strike while the iron is hot.

If our business community is backing this project, how can we continue to give credence to policy wonks, former politicians and arm chair critics who have never shown an iota of entrepreneurial spirit. These people know how to make things happen.

I look forward to the debate.

 I look forward to the release of more financial information. Most of all I would like to congratulate the business community for filling the competency void that has existed on this file for the past two years.


Cyril Rogers said...

Peter, I guess as one with no business experience, my opposition is simply that of "arm chair critic". I can't argue with that but I do feel you have given short shrift to many knowledgeable people who have no axe to grind and are genuinely fearful of the implications of this project.

What is in it for the critics other than being dismissed as wackos and disgruntled former "whatevers"? I stand by my reasons for opposing this project and give far more credence to people who are primarily motivated by their concern for our future financial well being.

I am disappointed that you would so easily dismiss so many of them that easily.

Wm. Murphy said...

"I look forward to the debate"

To what end??...this will be a slam dunk and the motion to proceed with Muskrat Falls development will happen next month.

There is not a thing an Uncle Gnarly, Ed Hollett, Richard Cashin or Cabot Martin can do about it....nada thing, except jump up and down and get mad. Sad but true.

I am not a fan of the propsal either but that's the way it is. I for one will not expend any energy about something that is a forgone conclusion. My opposition was placed in the ballott box last year during the General Election and that's where it will stay....certainly not on the editors page or waving a placard on Conferation Hill. For those that want to continue the fight....go mad!!!

Brad Cabana said...


Peter L. Whittle said...


I am not dismissing anyone, simply posing a though for discussion and debate.

The conspiracy theorists amongst us believe that the plan is a well executed one. All I am saying that I welcome the balance of opinions. This group does not speak for every business person in the province, but I am happy to see that business leaders are taking up the challenge of backing up what they believe in and explaining why.

Anonymous said...

Don't go talking sense Peter. The crowd of rebels only wants to fight and retard development.

Anonymous said...

Nfld and Lab would be a lot better off if a lot fewer people wanted leaders to give them goose-pimples.

Anonymous said...

Peter, it seems you have completely flipped positions. I am not aware that any of the business people you name have given any analysis as to why this is not a very risky venture for the province yet can be profitable for the short term for certain businesses and those individuals.To pass the smell test this needs much more certainity as to the long range outcome. Consider this: this project makes or breaks on plus or minus 1 percent demand growth! Where is the certainity for that? Where is the analysis of any of these business leaders on that essential element? Where is your analysis? Consider this: many other jurisdictions are successful in reducing demand by 2 percent a year while growing their economy.How about some discussion and debate on that essential element? Too late once it reaches a House debate. Winston Adams

Peter L. Whittle said...

My position is and remains the same:

"I think the time is right to take advantage of the potential of taking Holyrood off the grid.

I also think that we need to look at all options that moves the obstructionist Quebec away from controlling our energy future.

I also think that taking on debt to build this project is not a huge concern as transferring funds gained from non-renewable resources to a renewable industry makes sense.

That said the project has to make financial sense in the long term."

March 10, 2011

see my comment to Cyril, All I am saying that I welcome the balance of opinions and being a little sarcastic with regards to whose opinions count. I am an archair critic as well.

Peter L. Whittle said...

and i want a referendum

Anonymous said...

Peter, MF increases our rates 40 to 50 percent before stabalizing them. We are now 50 percent higher than Man, Que, and BC and will be double them by 2018. Reducing our demand by 2 percent a year through efficiency also allows us to decrease oil use at Holyrood. The cost is only 4 percent add to the rates, not 40 percent,so essentially stabalizes rates now, and reduces customers energy bill by 24 percent or more. This approach is what other jurisdictions are doing. Does this more than offset your first reason? Winston Adams

Peter L. Whittle said...


You make sense. Like I have been saying the government has changed focus on the merits of selling this deal many times. The domestic energy demand, on the island of Newfoundland , argument is in my opinion wrong. I am not at all convinced that the forecast demand is anywhere near correct. I also do not think that MRF power is the cheapest alternative.

It, certainly could be part of a much bigger package but consumers should not be forced to bear the brunt of the cost for additional power they do not need.

I have not seen a model that replaces Holyrood though conservation alone, at least not in the short run. That said I was very swayed by Dr. Feehan research on alternative energy sources.

Removing Quebec's stranglehold over the transmission of power and transferring non-renewable resources to a renewable source if income generation appeals to me. I await the release of the D-3 numbers this week.

Anonymous said...

Peter, glad you see value in the efficieny concept. While nalcor's forecast for island demand may be high, efficiency has huge potential. The telegram was to have my piece, Part 1 in Tuesday's edition, have you read it. Part 2 will look at the Nfld application more specifically. Yes Feehan sees value in EE but seems to put it behind small hydro, and has not quantitiified the potential EE for for the island. I hope he will look at this more carefully. Holyrood will always be needed as a backup, but EE plus small hydro plus wind can displace normal use of Holyrood. Up to now the EE component has received almost no attention, and it's huge and very cost effective. Winston Adams