Skip to main content

EXCLUSIVE: HYDRO WHISTLEBLOWER SAYS BRENNAN LIED TO FREE PRESS

"It was Brennan who specifically asked me not to substantiate the findings."

With those 12 words, the woman who has become known as the Manitoba Hydro whistleblower has assured the need for a full-blown investigation of Hydro---and specifically its President and CEO, Bob Brennan.

"Brennan's comments need to be refuted as completely false and incorrect," she told The Black Rod in an exclusive correct-the-record expose on Monday.

Miss Whistle, as we'll call her, has gone to war over Brennan's sly campaign of attacking her credibility in light of the decision by the Public Utilities Board to look into her whistleblower complaint of gross mismanagement at Hydro. She had been a risk consultant for Hydro up to the day she gave Brennan an advance copy of a report she had prepared warning of huge and avoidable financial losses and the possibility of power blackouts.

His latest salvo against her came in the Winnipeg Free Press http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/local/hydro-warned-of-bankruptcy-64901057.html


Brennan insisted he had been unable to substantiate the allegations in Miss Whistle's report; he blamed her for refusing to waive the confidentiality clause in her contract so that Hydro could have another consultant examine her findings; and he sniffed that she was paid $500,000 ("a fortune") for next to nothing in results.

She wasn't about to let those attacks go unchallenged. She told us:

"There is no request of any information from the CEO to ask for any substantiation (which was very surprising to me) and in fact the opposite occurred, he deliberately asked me to put nothing more in evidence that could prove the serious and alarming facts that were brought to his attention."

" (I) was never asked to send information to another consultant until media reports started running, and over one year later, after the fact."

" Brennan's claim that none of the findings were substantiated are factually dishonest. Multiple explanations were provided to the CFO (Chief Financial Officer...ed) over numerous lengthy phone calls and hundreds of pages of reports and the CFO agreed with me. Any facts that were asked of me, by any executive were provided promptly."

"Therefore Brennan's statements are not true. It was, in fact, me, that pleaded with Brennan (as can be proven in emails) to substantiate the facts, and it was the CEO himself, who wanted no explanations documented in writing, leaving the "advance copy" of the report incomplete."

She even addressed Brennan directly.

"Your comment that work of no value was provided is incorrect. My reporting line was directly to the CFO, and emails show both the CEO and CFO, saying that I was adding immense value to the company even up until August."

To back up her point, she provided us with emails sent by, guess who--- Bob Brennan, himself---commending her for the work she had done for Hydro.

August 2008
" I appreciate the considerable time and effort you put into completing this report by the deadline date of July 31. Thank you again for the assistance you have provided to Manitoba Hydro."

July 2008 from the CEO
"I certainly appreciate your efforts in assisting Manitoba Hydro with identifying risks and opportunities in this important area of our business.
Thank you again for your consulting assistance and advice provided to Manitoba Hydro."


She notes that nowhere does Brennan ask for any further information to substantiate the elements of her report.

"He asked me for not one question!"

Miss Whistle also wanted to correct errors in the latest Winnipeg Free Press story.

The $500,000 paid to her firm was for 4-5 years of work (!). By contrast, she said, another consultant was paid $400,000 by Hydro for 3 months work.

Furthermore,

"I never said that about the Drought in FY0304. (That's insider-speak for Fiscal Year 2003-2004...ed.) What CBC said was correct and should be taken from their website."

Winnipeg Free Press error
"Mismanagement may also have cost Hydro more than $1-billion in the last several years, including the $436-million lost in 2003-2004 during a drought, the reports claimed."

CBC Winnipeg
"Bellringer was on Hydro's board of directors and chaired its audit committee in 2004 and 2005, examining data immediately after the period when the whistleblower report alleges that mismanagement, combined with a drought, led to the loss of more than $400 million."


*************

The battle lines have been drawn. If Bob Brennan thought he could intimidate Hydro's whistleblower it's obvious he's sorely mistaken.

It's also obvious that a full and immediate investigation of her complaint is necessary, both to address the concerns in her reporting to Hydro and to serve as an example to Hydro and to every other public utility and government service that whistleblowers will be taken seriously and no intimidation will be tolerated -- no matter how disingenuously its couched.

Do you hear that, Bob Brennan?

It's additionally obvious that the NDP government and their lap dog Auditor General must have nothing to do with any investigation of Hydro or the whistleblower's complaint.

Newly imposed Premier Greg Selinger used to be the Minister in charge of Hydro. Auditor Carol Bellringer sat on the board of Manitoba Hydro at the very time of the alleged mismanagement, yet claims to be blind to any perception of a conflict of interest.

It's no wonder that Bob Brennan, upon learning the complaint had wound up in Bellringer's lap, said he welcomed her investigation.

By contrast, he's dead set against having the Public Utilities Board look at the whistleblower's evidence.

He's managed to deflect for more than a year demands from the PUB for Hydro's risk assessments on its grandiose plan for $18 billion in new dam construction over the next 15 years. The government has supported his stall, proceeding with construction of the dams and refusing to order Hydro to turn over the information demanded by the alleged watchdog of the public interest.

*****
Miss Whistle cannot discuss the details of her whistleblower complaint without breaching a confidentiality agreement she signed as a consultant. The best summary of her concerns that we could find was in Saturday's Globe and Mail.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/secret-complaint-could-bankrupt-manitoba-hydro/article1327802/


Secret complaint could bankrupt Manitoba Hydro
Whistleblower's report subject of intense speculation

Patrick White
Winnipeg - From Saturday's Globe and Mail Published on Saturday, Oct. 17, 2009

"Feeling that Hydro had given the consultant's report short shrift, the whistleblower filed a 70-page complaint with the Manitoba Ombudsman last December outlining the consultant's concerns:

* The company's $436-million loss in 2004 due to drought was largely avoidable.

* Manitoba Hydro had so badly miscalculated its energy supply that the province's lights could go off.

* Annual report filings regarding drought were incorrect.

* Power export forecasts were overly optimistic.

* The utility had lost more than a billion dollars because of mismanagement."

Editors note: Since many of the issues we raised over a year ago in the Black Rod overlap with the concerns of Miss Whistle, here are links to our previous research and commentaries.

http://blackrod.blogspot.com/2008/09/who-will-go-broke-first-manitoba-hydro_08.html

http://blackrod.blogspot.com/2008/09/manitoba-hydro-series-part-two.html

http://blackrod.blogspot.com/2008/09/manitoba-hydro-series-part-3.html

Popular posts from this blog

The unreported bombshell conspiracy evidence in the Trudeau/SNC-Lavelin scandal

Wow. No, double-wow. A game-changing bombshell lies buried in the supplementary evidence provided to the House of Commons Judiciary Committee by former Attorney General Jody Wilson-Raybould. It has gone virtually unreported since she submitted the material almost a week ago. As far as we can find, only one journalist-- Andrew Coyne, columnist for the National Post--- has even mentioned it and even then he badly missed what it meant, burying it in paragraph 10 of a 14 paragraph story. The gist of the greatest political scandal in modern Canadian history is well-known by now. It's bigger than Adscam, the revelation 15 years ago that prominent members of the Liberal Party of Canada and the party itself funneled tens of millions of dollars in kickbacks into their own pockets from federal spending in Quebec sponsoring ads promoting Canadian unity. That was just venal politicians and a crooked political party helping themselves to public money. The Trudeau-Snc-Lavalin scandal is

Manitoba Hydro is on its deathbed. There, we said it.

Manitoba Hydro is on its deathbed. Oh, you won't find anyone official to say it. Yet . Like relatives trying to appear cheery and optimistic around a loved one that's been diagnosed with terminal cancer, the people in power are in the first stage of grief -- denial. The prognosis for Hydro was delivered three weeks ago at hearings before the Public Utilities Board where the utility was seeking punishingly higher rates for customers in Manitoba. It took us this long to read through the hundred-plus pages of transcript, to decipher the coded language of the witnesses, to interpret what they were getting at, and, finally, to understand the terrible conclusion.  We couldn't believe it, just as, we're sure, you can't--- so we did it all again, to get a second opinion, so to speak.  Hydro conceded to the PUB that it undertook a massive expansion program--- involving three (it was once four) new dams and two new major powerlines (one in the United States)---whi

Crips and Bloodz true cultural anchors of Winnipeg's aboriginal gangs

(Bebo tribute page to Aaron Nabess on the right, his handgun-toting friend on the left) At least six murder victims in Winnipeg in the past year are linked to a network of thuglife, gangster rap-styled, mainly aboriginal street gangs calling themselves Crips and Bloods after the major black gangs of L.A. The Black Rod has been monitoring these gangs for several months ever since discovering memorial tributes to victim Josh Prince on numerous pages on Bebo.com, a social networking website like Myspace and Facebook. Josh Prince , a student of Kildonan East Collegiate, was stabbed to death the night of May 26 allegedly while breaking up a fight. His family said at the time he had once been associated with an unidentified gang, but had since broken away. But the devotion to Prince on sites like Watt Street Bloodz and Kingk Notorious Bloodz (King-K-BLOODZ4Life) shows that at the time of his death he was still accepted as one of their own. Our searches of Bebo have turned up another f

Nahanni Fontaine, the NDP's Christian-bashing, cop-smearing, other star candidate

As the vultures of the press circle over the wounded Liberal Party of Manitoba, one NDP star candidate must be laughing up her sleeve at how her extremist past has escaped the scrutiny of reporters and pundits. Parachuted into a safe NDP seat in Winnipeg's North End, she nonetheless feared a bruising campaign against a well-heeled Liberal opponent.  Ha ha.  Instead, the sleepy newspeeps have turned a blind eye to her years of vitriolic attacks on Christianity, white people, and police. * She's spent years  bashing Christianity  as the root cause of all the problems of native people in Canada. * She's called for  a boycott of white businesses . * And with her  Marxist research partner, she's  smeared city police as intransigent racists . Step up Nahanni Fontaine, running for election in St. John's riding as successor to the retiring Gord Macintosh. While her male counterpart in the NDP's galaxy of stars, Wab Kinew, has responded to the controversy over

Exposing the CBC/WFP double-team smear of a hero cop

Published since 2006 on territory ceded, released, surrendered and yielded up in 1871 to Her Majesty the Queen and successors forever. Exposing the CBC/FP double-team smear of a hero cop Some of the shoddiest journalism in recent times appeared this long August weekend when the CBC and Winnipeg Free Press doubled teamed on a blatant smear of a veteran city police officer. In the latest example of narrative journalism these media outlets spun stories with total disregard for facts that contradicted the central message of the reports which, simplified, is: police are bad and the system is covering up. Let's start with the story on the taxpayer funded CBC by Sarah Petz that can be summed up in the lead. "A February incident where an off-duty Winnipeg officer allegedly knocked a suspect unconscious wasn't reported to the province's police watchdog, and one criminologist says it shows how flawed oversight of law enforcement can be." There you have it. A policeman, not

Winnipeg needs a new police chief - ASAP

When did the magic die? A week ago the Winnipeg police department delivered the bad news---crime in the city is out of control. The picture painted by the numbers (for 2018) was appalling. Robberies up ten percent in  a single year.  (And that was the good news.) Property crimes were up almost 20 percent.  Total crime was 33 percent higher than the five year average. The measure of violent crime in Winnipeg had soared to a rating of 161.  Only four years earlier it stood at 116. That's a 38 percent deterioration in safety. How did it happen? How, when in 2015 the police and Winnipeg's police board announced they had discovered the magic solution to crime? "Smart Policing" they called it.    A team of crime analysts would pore through data to spot crime hot-spots and as soon as they identified a trend (car thefts, muggings, liquor store robberies) they could call in police resources to descend on the problem and nip it. The police