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Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Ed Stelmach, Montana Chamber of Commerce hero

The governor of Montana is suggesting Alberta energy companies unhappy with increased royalties may want to take a closer look south of the border.

Brian Schweitzer says his state already offers a better tax structure - even before the extra $1.4 billion annually the Alberta government plans to take in royalties by 2010.

Posted by Ezra Levant on October 31, 2007 | Permalink


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Farmer Ed doesn't understand the oil industry or free enterprise for that matter. How the hell did he get to be the premier of Alberta. Oh wait ... I know ... the same way Dion got to be leader of the Liberal party of Canada ... by accident.

Dion is off the road so there's not much damage to anyone but his party and a lot of just desserts for the Libs in general.

However, Stelmach is driving his 18 wheeler down a dangerous road, his steering wheel is pulling hard to the left and his cargo is a lot of gas.

He's really going stink the place up pretty soon.

Posted by: John | 2007-10-31 10:17:13 AM

So since the oil companies clearly have options -- not just take-it-or-leave-it -- then if they stay in Alberta and accept the new royalty scheme they will be saying that it is a better deal for them than the alternatives. WIN-WIN!!!

Posted by: Fact Check | 2007-10-31 10:22:43 AM

Fact Check,

It means that a pipsqueak farmer can run the oil company bottom line. That is win-lose especially since this was not a negotiation, but a dictate from farmer Ed.

The Oil won't let that stand.

Posted by: John | 2007-10-31 10:42:40 AM

Farmer Ed. Pipsqueak farmer.

My, my. Such intelligent arguments.

Posted by: set you free | 2007-10-31 11:04:14 AM


I kinda like the separation of oil and state.

I guess you liked it when oil companies ran Alberta as an Oilgarchy through their proxy Ralphie.

Peter Lougheed has said this is a good move for Alberta.

Jim Prentice said today it's a good move for Alberta.

Fred Dunn, Alberta's auditor general, has wondered since 2004 why royalties were not increased considering Alberta's infrastructure needs.

See, John, this is the way it works.

Oil companies should stick to doing what they do best, discover and develop the resource. It is responsible only to its shareholders.

The provincial government looks after infrastructure. See, John, somebody has to build roads, schools and hospitals.

I see no oil companies lining up to volunteer to do these things for their employees, about 25% of Albertans.

So, civilized people, primarity in what we call the western world, have build a system where we elect representatives to look after these things.

Gone are the days when people beat each other over the head with clubs and the biggest bullyl wins power. Well, I guess that's still the practise in much of the Muslim world.

But in the civilized world, were we live in relative peace, the private enterprise system reigns.

In addition to infrastructure, a state such as Alberta has to set some rules. Stop signs at intersections, for example.

Even a farmer know this.

You're smarter than a farmer, aren't you?

Posted by: set you free | 2007-10-31 11:28:19 AM

Farmer Ed. Pipsqueak farmer.

My, my. Such intelligent arguments.

Posted by: set you free | 31-Oct-07 11:04:14 AM

Funny coming from you, seeing that in the past you have been rather creative in name calling as well.

But to the topic at hand: Oil companies don't work in a different dimension, things like royalty payments are part of the cost of doing business, it still surprises me how many people on here rather patten the bottom line of the industry than making sure Albertans get THEIR share of richess that their land provides.

Do you all own major stock in these companies or where is this corporate charity thing coming from?

Posted by: Snowrunner | 2007-10-31 11:49:59 AM

Snowflake ~

Check your pension plan. Chances are you too own oil company stocks - unless you have NO such plan because you are a typical Dipper who saves little and invests less.

Posted by: obc | 2007-10-31 11:53:23 AM


What you say about all the things governments do such as building infrastructure and hospitals etc is understood. However, are they also mandated to ambush their golden goose? That is what Stelmach is doing. His cronies support him because they see the vast amount of more money than can add to their already embarrassing pile.

Governments are in the business of government, not governing for the so-called people.

Alberta has already go more money than they need to do all the things you say they should be doing. So why aren't they doing it?

If the Alberta government was worried about the day when the oil is gone they should consider something like this ...

Invest is science and technology. Perhaps use the the uranium resourced from their next door neighbor to develop a nuclear energy industry. Maybe the should built a bunch of nuclear reactors and start exporting electricity to the USA instead of oil and gas. Quebec has had great success exporting James Bay power to all of the Eastern seaboard of the USA. The pinko dolts in the Northwest USA will never allow nuclear energy to be developed on their turf, but surely will be happy to buy it from Alberta.

Perhaps they should develop the medical research industry with all their wealth and get doctors and researchers to export their findings.

Perhaps the can further develop the food export industries that they already are into. This is a hungry planet you know.

To sit back and bushwhack the oil industry without negotiation is idiotic. It is small weasel thinking. The oil industry is corporate world that is wealthy and smart. They will take their wealth and smarts and roll them into them into other industries and they will.

As the tobacco industry became over taxed and less popular they go into the food and beverage business.

Big money doesn't care what business it's in, it just keeps chugging along with or without fools like Stelmach.

Just a few thoughts for you.

Posted by: John | 2007-10-31 12:41:21 PM

"As the tobacco industry became over taxed and less popular they go into the food and beverage business."

But they still are in Tobaco because even after all this, it's a great source of incommings.

Oil, in 2007, is not a luxe like tobaco but a need like water and food.
Alberta have all the lattitude in the world to negociate fairly.

Anyway, it's already past history.

Posted by: Marc | 2007-10-31 12:50:39 PM


Where do you suppose the money to invest in science and technology would come from?

Who's the fool?

Somebody acting on behalf of ALL Albertans?

Or somebody who advocated on behalf of oil companies to keep royalty regimes among the lowest in the world?

I believe the fool is the person who gave away our resources while ignoring the infrastructure.

I won't name that fool, but the auditor general is not fool and this particular negligence of looking after the interests of ALL Albertans has been going on most of this decade.

Is Peter Lougheed a fool? He said what Stelmach is doing is the correct thing.

Posted by: set you free | 2007-10-31 12:53:54 PM

Lougheed is a big Lefty and everyone knows it.

Let me say it again ... Alberta already has tons of money and tons more coming everyday. That is where the money is coming from. The Government is not spending it. Alberta has no debt it has billions in oil royalties now ... the government is getting greedy and beating the golden goose to death.

It's a mistake. You apparently have a hate on for the private sector being prosperous. They take the risks, make the investments, do all the heavy lifting and socialists like you wait on the side lines to bleed them dry.

You are a vampire.

Posted by: John | 2007-10-31 1:28:53 PM

Alberta has more money than they know what to do with? Hmm, let's examine that point a little more closely, shall we?

We have $56 billion (yes, with a "b") in capital projects proscribed for, from various levels of citizenry and governments (e.g. municipalities). We have the highest rate of inflation in Canada, because of the pull on skilled labour and materials from Ft. McMurray. The reason a car dealer in Wetaskiwin can't keep a mechanic is because Suncor can pay more than double.

A one year surplus of single-digit billions will not get us there. Oh, and what was the reason we had prior year surpluses - oh, yes, we were in such a race to pay off the debt that we shortchanged infrastructure. Just so Ralph could brag about being debt-free. Well, I would hesitate to call myself debt-free if the roof of my house was threatening to cave in.

And what have some of you guys got against farmers? They are the original small businessman, just with the added constraints of manipulated markets for their commodities (e.g. western grain). If you can survive in that business, I would daresay you are smarter than the average bear.

If this on-line version is indicative of the quality of journalism at the Western Standard, then it is perhaps no wonder it was never a financially viable product in print.

Posted by: Paul | 2007-10-31 1:57:13 PM

What makes Albertan's believe that the oil in (under) Alberta (let's say in Fort McMurrey)belongs to them?

- Doesn't it belong only to the landowner?
- Doesn't it belong only to the Fort McMurrey population?
- Doesn't it belong to all Canadians?
- Doesn't it belong to everybody in the world?

Why is it that some arbitrary border should determine ownership?

Posted by: Johan i Kanada | 2007-10-31 2:07:25 PM

If you wish to make some comparaisons...
(Dont know what it's worth)

Posted by: Marc | 2007-10-31 2:23:38 PM

"The reason a car dealer in Wetaskiwin can't keep a mechanic is because Suncor can pay more than double."


Don't worry, Stelmach has come up with the solution to that problem. However, there will be fewer cars to fix eventually. They the mechanic will .... let's see ... be laid off?

Posted by: John | 2007-10-31 2:25:18 PM


The ownership of natural resources within Canada was confirmed to be under the purview of provincial jurisdiction back in the 1930's.

During the National Energy Program, when Chairman Trudeau attempted to circumvent the BNA Act and centralize all power in Ottawa, it was again confirmed natural resources are to be administered by provinces.

In other words, under our current understanding of Parliamentary System, natural resources belong to the people of Alberta.

Alberta's property laws spell out that a landowner has use of the land, but that mineral resources are a trust of the province.

The concept that the people of Alberta own the resource are every bit as valid today as theey were in the dark days a quarter-century ago when Peter Lougheed established the fact once and for all.

The elected representatives of the people are charged with the duty to administer the exploitation of the resources.

They hire oil companies, much like Paul would hire a contractor to fix his leaky roof, to extract the resource.

This clearly deliniates each field of expertise.

Oil companies get the resource to market.

The Alberta government makes decisions based on what is good for ALL Albertans.

As long as each party understands its field of expertise, there's no problem.

But a problem developed when the previous premier ignored recommendations by the auditor general to increase the royalty rate to take care of Albertans basic needs for infrastructure.

That's a matter of record which oil company apologists seem unable to take into account.

The good news is that Alberta now has a premier whose prime interest is the Alberta citizen, rather than one who in retrospect looked after the interests of oil companies.

Posted by: set you free | 2007-10-31 2:28:50 PM


Thanks, mon ami.

Even with the royalty increase, Alberta remains competitive with most places around the world.

There's no need for Alberta to give away its resources. So far, it appears the previous regime under Klein was suckered into believing oil companies would move.

That untruth is being perpetrated here.

Posted by: set you free | 2007-10-31 2:43:37 PM

In a capitalist society, the needs of the capitalists must be considered. It is from the Capitalists that all good things come. NOT FROM POLITICIANS!

It is politician who take things away like half your money, most of your freedoms and eventually your human spirit.

Posted by: John | 2007-10-31 2:57:42 PM

John it's because politicians that Alberta's oil got developed in the first place - that nice tax structure and generous write-off schemes that made the business model work. Without politicians, the oil would have never gotten developed.

Now that we're at $90 a barrel oil things have changed - the economics work and there's a need to address the infrastructure deficient.

It's not like there's an unlimited supply of oil in the world - Alberta will develop its oil eventually and the longer they wait the more they may end up making!

Posted by: I Eat Oil | 2007-10-31 3:07:44 PM

Keeping this bone headed move by the Premier of Alta on the front burner is a honorable move by Shotgun. John has said above much better than I can, what I can see coming down the tube - it is not rocket science; it is a home grown NEP II.

My post is about Montana. I have always loved Montana but I really had an opportunity to see it this past summer. It has the lovely feel of the Alberta of the 1980's. People are friendly and unpretentious, there are real ranchers in restaurants and real miners 'sans' unions and agendas still prospecting in the hills! If Montana is inviting 'your' oil company south - I'd say ASK to move with the company! Any true blue Conservative will not be sorry. You will find yourself feeling much more at home than you do in the PC cities of Alberta!

My better half and myself ate grass fed steak in a restaurant near the border that tasted like our own beef from my long ago days as a rancher's kid, we went to a small bar where people were friendly and interesting.

Smoking tobacco was not sneered at and people did not flounce away from smokers... rolling eyes and pretending to gasp for breath, they would have had to flounce outside because the little bar we went to was a Charlie Russel museum type place. It was layered in the ambiance of a million stories of the old west - preserved with smoke and strong whiskey! If worst comes to worst things could actually improve for people who have a sense of adventure and follow the Oil to beautiful Montana.

For the PC crowd - I strongly recommend you stay away from Montana - they have a love for the 3rd amendment and we met a number of retired and active Military men there. PC ideas would be as welcome as flies on a hot summer day, it could be even - gasp! - dangerous; for those stupid enough to voice their petty predudices. Big Sky country is a breath of fresh air for thse of us who feel hemed in - now even in Alberta.

Posted by: jema54j | 2007-10-31 3:14:46 PM


Like in pre-historic, pre-civiization times?

That's it. Stelamch would like nothing better than to let us live in caves until we discover fire.

I actually prefer civilization, where we have a premier looking out after the interests of ALL Albertans, not just delivering orders from corporate headquarters in Calgary.

If you put it to a vote, like in any good democracy, I'm sure the good people of Alberta would vote for a representative whose prime concern is the province's citizens.

BTW, it was so good to see protesters protesting the royalty regime change on their own time. Hang on. They did it on company time? What a shocker!

I'm all for separation of oil and state.

Posted by: set you free | 2007-10-31 3:35:32 PM

syf - sounds more like you are for all oil owned by the state; not a marriage, not a divorce, not a shack-up....ssm comes to mind.

Posted by: jema54j | 2007-10-31 4:55:16 PM


Not sure what your point is, but I am totally against state ownership of any economic activity.

All I'm saying is oil should stick to what it does best and our elected representatives should do what's best for all Albertans, not just the oil companies.

Posted by: set you free | 2007-10-31 5:01:58 PM

I invite my fellow citizens of Alberta to ask for an election before this tax takes effect.

Democracy will have the final say.

Posted by: Rémi Houle | 2007-10-31 5:08:01 PM


Which tax?

Trust me, there will be an Alberta election before January, 2009.

I can guarantee you one thing ... I will not be voting for the ‘Stelmach should have fully adopted the recommedations' Liberals or the ‘Both the Liberals and Conservatives take donations from oil companies' NDP.

Also, I can assure you I wll not be voting for any fledgling party which does not embrace the interests of all Albertans.

We cannot afford another premiership that gives a carte-blanche to just one industry ... and I'm not talking about agriculture and forestry.

Posted by: set you free | 2007-10-31 5:17:13 PM

"Not sure what your point is, but I am totally against state ownership of any economic activity.

All I'm saying is oil should stick to what it does best and our elected representatives should do what's best for all Albertans, not just the oil companies."


You contradict yourself in the above statement. You say you don't want the government to be in any business but clearly imply that you think government should rob business in the name of "the people". That is precisely what Hugo Chavez is doing in Venezuela.

You have no idea what you are talking about. You need to rethink your logic and draw a more connect the dots conclusion. As it is, you are all over that map with what you 'FEEEEEELLLL' is best for the proletariat. You are a good little commie creep.

What is best for the oil companies is to let me continue to provide tons of high paying jobs and enrich the province. It is up 'the people' and the government to invest their earnings and prepare for the future when the oil is gone.

Nothings lasts forever other than a government socialist welfare program and that is where your head is.

Posted by: John | 2007-10-31 6:08:35 PM

John - That is precisely what Hugo Chavez is doing in Venezuela.

Chavez has nationalized the entire oil industry, from exploration to refining to distribution. The state of Venezuela owns everything. Has Alberta done any of this?

Posted by: O'REILLY | 2007-10-31 6:35:38 PM

jema54j -

I was hoping somebody would speak about Montana and I'm glad that it was you. You are very kind to point out facts that make the north central States a terrific "undiscovered" secret of America, but the word is getting out a bit now.

I believe you are exactly right in recommending Montana as a nice place to live for the very reasons as you described. My son is the one who got me interested in the place.

Posted by: Conrad-USA | 2007-10-31 7:17:18 PM

Agreed about Montana. Friendly & hospitable - the way Ontario used to be decades ago.

Posted by: obc | 2007-10-31 7:28:47 PM

Conrad-USA I am glad that I was able to be the one to mention the wonders of Montana too. I wanted to stay in Montana and so did Brian. It seemed to us that we were home after having been away for a long time. We are both over half a century old and the country of Canada that we grew up in is gone. It still exists in Montana.

I hope that Montana will be very careful to NOT displace it's own citizens with people who do not honor values that keep people strong and free, kind and good and honest.

I think you would like it there as much as my Brian and I did. Are you considering moving there?

Posted by: jema54j | 2007-10-31 9:19:43 PM

In an earlier post on Ached Stomach I said that I disputed Ached's self congrataulatory plaudits claiming that since everyone was unhappy about his new royalty rates that he must have struck the right balance.

I disputed this inane logic by saying that if everyone is unhappy that means that you lose votes from everybody. Kindergarten logic.

Well, now there is proof. Lead headline in today's Edmonton Urinal is that Stomach has dropped from an all time low of 33% popularity. This is down from a momentary rise to 45% in September.

Clearly his royalty rate review reversed his rocky recovery and his smoking plane continues to sputtter and spiral down to doom.


Posted by: Epsilon | 2007-11-01 8:18:34 AM

Epsilon - Well, now there is proof. Lead headline in today's Edmonton Urinal is that Stomach has dropped from an all time low of 33% popularity. This is down from a momentary rise to 45% in September.

That drop hasn't translated into increased support for the Liberals (14.5%) or the NDP (8%)though. What are the chances the Conservatives will lose the next election? Not very likely.

Posted by: O’REILLY | 2007-11-01 8:54:02 AM

What were the chances of the Liberals losing Outrement?

Lots of conservatives will be sitting on their hands.

Seeing as there is no difference between Ached Stomach and his liberal kin, I will be holding my nose and stifling dry heaves as I vote liberal in the next election. I will then take a long hot bath along with a bottle of gin to purge my body and soul of all the filth and sin I have committed.

Maybe we can get a &$%ing Liberal minority government and create momentum to punt that little puke and replace him with a real leader.

Preston for Premier.


Posted by: Epsilon | 2007-11-01 9:50:25 AM

I don't think Alberta has seen a conservative government since the Socreds were in power. This debate seems to be about the "fair" return to the "owner" of the resource.

At the constitutional level, it falls on the provinces to make that decision. Up until Alberta was deceived into thinking the professional political class could actually form a conservative government starting with Peter Litmus it was generally believed that when the province auctioned off the freehold rights for minerals that the property and potential benefits then became that of the purchasers / risk takers. Lougheed's royalties changed all that and I expect that the politics of envy within a culture of ignorance of capitalism would ensure the same from most subsequent envy-pimps (politicians).

As for the infrastructure argument, of course there will be an infinite demand for more when the beneficiaries pay nothing. If the mixed economy apologists defending the royalty increase think it is warranted then why not support a direct dividend to all Alberta residents for all royalties followed by a taxation mechanism on them to fund government services (ignoring the fact that they had done nothing to earn it). How much more would the new-found taxpayers want the biggest spenders in Canada to spend?

Posted by: John Chittick | 2007-11-01 11:06:52 AM

jema54j -

I really hate to disclose exactly who "I am" with my shocking (non Politically Correct) comments, but Montana and environs suffer from a heavy proportion of traditional Roman Catholics and a severe shortage of tattooed whores.

It is incomprehensible what the homosexual feminist infection has done to the natural human family. I believe this was spawned when the Roman Catholic Church secretively insinuated homosexuals into the Catholic clergy, and sowed false seeds of dissent and family destruction into the ears of the blithering idiots who became the feminists.

This horrific phenomenon can only be reserved by the Catholic Church pope (who I expect is homosexual as I am fully confident was John Paul II) taking deliberate public action to DISMISS ALL homosexuals from the Catholic clergy and thereby announcing acknowledging that homosexuality is not normal or acceptable or compatible with humanity, but instead is an unfortunate mental illness, utterly incompatible with the human family and the nurturing of children.

How on earth western civilization women bought into the idea of their being "oppressed" and descriminated against (by the homosexuals who spawned that false idea), when for how many centuries the great nations of Europe were RULED by women (there still is hardly a King anywhere, but Queens "rule" even in these now secular nations).

Every man on earth works three jobs to make sure that his daughter is educated and has a reliable automobile and the fashionable clothes, but yet the women of North America were "oppressed!"

Insanity and destruction of the natural trust and responsibility that formed the human family.

All of the lies which we read in the newspapers amazingly come from the papers which become "advocates" of homosexual "marriage." The Wall Street Journal has absolutely turned on this issue and become junk, in the past couple or three years, childish junk, reported by naive children rather than shrewd insightful business analysts.

Montana et al is a haven for the normal and the traditional where people look after their familes and neighbors and don't honor or pretend that evil is good.

Posted by: Conrad-USA | 2007-11-01 11:58:02 AM

For year, homosexuality was the love that could not speak its name.

Today, it is the love that will not shut up!

Posted by: obc | 2007-11-01 12:01:33 PM

Maybe it has something to do with living in the country, with animals and birds as constant reminders of how The Lord sets things up, that makes country people sensible and sure.

I did not know what a homosexual was until I was 23 years old and when an old boyfriend informed me, I thought he was joking. I still cannot really believe that that lifestyle is real - I have no pictures in my mind that enable me to see it as real - I still think that it is just a attention getter even though there are those who claim it is genuine.

People would be a lot happier if they put more thought into what they could do to make God happy rather than thinking of how they can defy the God that loves them and has given them a few rules to follow for their own good. If women or men or both do not love an individual it is bad but people should know, as all creatures know, that God loves them! God gave us the rules, these rules are the good for all living things - Man included.

I am not a member of any church and I never go to church unless I personally know and like the preacher or priest that preaches in a particuler church. I do read the Bible, however.... I love being a woman way too much to be a raging fool ranting to do things that I never wanted to do. The men I know like bragging about doing 'tough jobs.' I like doing housework way more than I like feeding cows when it is 40 below or changing tires. I know how to drive but I would rather be the passanger if I am with a man because the men I know and love are not comfortable in the passenger seat unless they are too drunk to drive - they are obnoxious 'back seat drivers'

This goes for all the trivial things in life. A little common sense goes a long way...do the things you do best and be FAIR. Women who have full time jobs and attempt to care for four children and a husband and keep the clothes and house clean, make all the meals as well as mowing the grass repairing the roof and maintainig the car are as crazy as a man who works at a full time job and takes care of wife , children and house, yard and car.

Life is not perfect, we are all different but people can work things out to make things good for everyone if they are not fanatical about getting their own way, all of the time.

Posted by: jema54j | 2007-11-01 2:42:11 PM

Conrad, what a nice, open minded individual you are..... So welcoming to those who you don't understand..... Ipressive.

Maybe it has something to do with living in the country, with animals and birds as constant reminders of how The Lord sets things up, that makes country people sensible and sure.

Posted by: jema54j | 1-Nov-07 2:42:11 PM

Ummm, you are aware that there are gay animals in the wild? Both male/male and female/female? It's nothing "unique" to humans.

Posted by: Snowrunner | 2007-11-01 8:21:58 PM

Snow Blunder knows a little toooooo much about the perverted life style of animals for my liking.

Keep your pets away from him!

Posted by: obc | 2007-11-02 6:23:33 AM

jema54j -

You know much more about these things that relate to Montana as they shape lives than I do. I have only bits of knowledge and I have some bits more from dreams my son shared with me.

You have occasionally mentioned experiences which vividly explain how a person grows sure and strong in farm and ranch country. And you obviously were blessed with fine memorable men in your family.

Through your eyes I can understand the things my son speaks about. You really seem to have a good clear positive view of life.

snowrunner -

I have every hope that all good things will come true for you. My empathy for individuals burdened with homosexuality is no doubt hard to detect but I attempt to deal compassionately but honestly and effectively with this real and difficult mental problem.

I don't believe in a "genetic" or "natural" basis for homosexuality because every homosexual male I know ALSO had a crazily domineering mother, an absent or horrifically weak father and was molested as a child by a homosexual male (i.e. sexualizing tiny children in government schools and ubiquitous pronography is the current preference).

The destruction of the Faithful natural family as the basis of human society is the goal of Leftists who abet homosexual political activism everywhere.

Posted by: Conrad-USA | 2007-11-02 11:00:48 AM

Enough with the love-in.

For starters, Montana has no infrastructure to handle the kind of development you're talking about.

If Montana had any significant oil and gas reserves they'd already be pumping them to capacity. It's an attempt at a small play by an insignificant group of players.

Don't get me wrong, I like Montana. It just isn't going to pull any major investments away from Alberta.

Posted by: dph | 2007-11-02 2:45:02 PM

"It just isn't going to pull any major investments away from Alberta."

Aah! But it will attract Albertans to spend their Christmas money there to take advantage of the strong loonie!

Posted by: obc | 2007-11-02 2:48:49 PM

Funny story about Montana:

We took a ride through there in 1980 shortly after the hostage escape Canada assisted on. I've never been treated so well. Billboards said "thank you Canada", people saw our license plates and honked at us. Everyone wanted to shake our hands.

Imagine my surprise when we took a drive in 2004. People saw our license plates and waved one finger. We were almost forced off the road at one point. No hand shaking, no polite conversation. Everyone wanted to kick our asses. I tried to explain that I dissagreed with my Gov's policies, but it didn't help much.

Let's just say I'd feel a bit safer investing in my own country.

Posted by: dph | 2007-11-02 3:01:01 PM

"Manning hammers Alberta's energy royalty plan"

Reform Party founder Preston Manning has slammed the Alberta government's new energy royalty plan and questioned Premier Ed Stelmach's competence.

During an appearance on CTV's Question Period, Manning urged Alberta's government to address "big-picture issues." The new plan creates uncertainty for energy consumers, producers and environmentalists, he said.

"I don't think you can talk about royalty policy without talking about tax policy, continental energy security and environment or vice versa," Manning said Sunday.

As Alberta emerges as one of the world's significant energy producers, Manning said Stelmach has yet to demonstrate his capacity to lead on major energy issues.

"I think the big question with Premier Stelmach and the administration is one of its competence. Does it have competence to deal with these big-picture issues?" Manning asked.

COULD THIS BE A TRIAL BALLOON before Manning takes over the leadership of the provincial Alliance Party?

Posted by: obc | 2007-11-04 3:44:39 PM

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