A royal con­spir­acy?

The Compass - - OPINION -

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? 1. Get rid of Pre­mier Dun­derdale and the PCs at the bal­lot box in 2015.

2. Maybe the new gov­ern­ment will re­place Nal­cor's Mr. Martin and the board of di­rec­tors.

3. Maybe the new gov­ern­ment will re­place PUB's Mr. Wel ls and other ap­pointees.

4. 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 writes from Dildo

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