EDITORIAL: Paying the price for politics

['Work in building up the Muskrat Falls hydroelectric plant spillway is ongoing by Astaldi Canada, with clear progress. On Thursday, Nalcor Energy provided its latest benefits report on the project, highlighting the spillway work. —Submitted photo courtesy of Nalcor Energy']
Astaldi Canada’s work at the Muskrat Falls hydroelectric plant spillway is shown this file photo. — Nalcor Energy photo

The devil is in the details.

And sometimes, in the mirror.

There is a river of evidence at the Muskrat Falls inquiry — so much so that, day in and day out, reporters covering the inquiry can only keep up with the biggest stories of the day.

Sometimes, there are pieces that just don’t fit in.

Here’s a senior on-site official with Astaldi, talking about some of the productivity challenges facing the project.

The manager said when he came on site, it was taking 18 to 20 man hours to pour a cubic metre of concrete, instead of a more reasonable 10 to 12 hours. Astaldi had apparently bid on the project expecting it to take six to 6.5 man hours, something the official said could not be achieved anywhere in Canada, let alone in Labrador in winter.

What’s most interesting is why; the notes, which are not a direct transcript but are taken from a recorded interview,…

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