Thursday, October 05, 2017
Wangersky's Wisdom Waning
Russell Wangersky should know better. He likes to wax poetic. He likes to believe that his columns are of intellectual value. His current column titled: 22 words with a very big bite is not intellectual but is naively romantic.
This is yet another example of Telegram employees giving a pass to politicians regarding Muskrat.
Since Dwight Ball orated - to an elite corporate community - that his government will conduct a public inquiry on the boondoggle - Telegram employees have been joining in an attempt to calm the seas of public dissent. When I say joining - I don't mean collaborating - I mean they are buying the government spin.
His piece begins with the sentence: "The single dirtiest trick played on electrical customers in this province hasn’t hit home yet. But it will."
Wangersky's assumption that the Muskrat disaster is a dirty trick played on consumers is downplaying the obvious gross negligence, the continued and often deliberate obfuscation, the real engineering concerns, the failure of equipment before the project is even finished, the doubling of the budget, the unending changes to project completion dates, and the number of red flags that demand a forensic audit. It also negates the real possibility of criminal negligence, fraud, and bribery.
When the World Bank blacklisted SNC Lavalin and its subsidiaries in 2013 from "bidding on its global projects under its fraud and corruption policy" - while Wangersky proclaims "..dirtiest trick.." - is irresponsible.
Muskrat Falls stinks to the high heavens - it must be stopped. How do we know that documents are not being shredded as we speak?
There remains a number of executives at Nalcor who have been there since sanctioning. How is this even possible? How is it possible that we paid a king's ransom for Ed Martin?
So when Wangersky describes this fiasco as a dirty trick - he brings to mind events like fooling a candidates supporters into showing up at the wrong location. This is not a dirty trick.
The most offensive and irresponsible part of this column is his concluding thought: "It’s water over the dam. The money’s gone anyway. The best thing we can do is to learn from the mistake, allow for independent oversight and not step in a pile of crap like this again."
I can only conclude that this intelligent and thinking human being must be bored with Muskrat, be suffering writers block, or simply and inexplicably buying the Tobinesque spin delivered by Dwight Ball.
Learn from this mistake? How? By suffering bankruptcy? It's water over the dam? How does Russell know what we would be responsible for if illegal activities were found during a forensic audit? How does Russell know that the assets could not be used for another deal? He doesn't know.
The Upper Churchill is a fiasco because of the contractual and economic contracts. The Upper Churchill is significantly successful in it's construction. It was on time and on budget. It stands as one of the best hydro facilities in the world.
So here's what we learned. What we did right in development of the Upper Churchill - on time and on budget - we completely reversed for Muskrat Falls. The stinging and gross minimal return for Newfoundland and Labrador on the Upper Churchill - we repeat for Muskrat.
If you went back 20 years and said we are going to repeat the mistakes of Churchill Falls - politicians would have been politically lynched.
Now that the main stream media in Newfoundland and Labrador have been exposed for their unquestioning support of Danny Williams Muskrat fiasco - the line is "water over the dam"?
Let's watch the same media as they spin the lines of the current failed administration. Watch as they play dirty tricks and marginalize the critics of this continued boondoggle. Watch as they contort to explain that giving away Gull Island to Quebec is going to be a good thing.
This Wangersky wisdom we can do without.