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Wednesday, October 03, 2007

who's behind 'getitrightalberta.ca?'

Over the past week, a new website has popped up - getitrightalberta.ca - calling for Alberta's Tory Government to keep the resource royalty structure the way it is - even after the damning Alberta Royalty Review Report and Auditor General's Report slammed Ed Stelmach's Tory Government for failing to collect BILLIONS of dollars in resource revenues owed to Albertans over the past 15 years.

The big question is, who is behind this website?

A bit of investigating will reveal that the website has been set up by the consulting firm Hill & Knowlton and a quick check at CIRA will reveal that the website registration is listed as:

Registrant Name Hill & Knowlton
Registrar Webnames.ca (UBC Research Enterprises Inc.)
Renewal Date 2008/09/25
Date approved 2007/09/25
Last changed 2007/09/28
Description
Registrar Number 70
Registrant Number 2010422
Domain Number 2010422
DNS1 ns1.maximumasp.com 216.128.31.5
DNS2 ns2.maximumasp.com 216.128.31.6

Administrative Contact
Name Lisa Litz
Job Title
Postal Address Suite 540, 202 - 6th Avenue SW Calgary AB T2P2R9 Canada
Phone 1-403-5146236
Fax
Email lisa.litz@hillandknowlton.ca

Technical Contact
Name Lisa Litz
Job Title
Postal Address Suite 540, 202 - 6th Avenue SW Calgary AB T2P2R9 Canada
Phone 1-403-5146236
Fax
Email lisa.litz@hillandknowlton.ca
Now, far be it from me to assume that a slick large national consulting firm like Hill & Knowlton wouldn't set up a website like this out of the kindness of their hearts, but I'm going to do just that - assume that Hill & Knowlton isn't doing this out of the kindness of their hearts.

So, the question remains: who is behind 'getitrightalberta.ca?'

Interestingly, Hill & Knowlton's Calgary office is led by none-other than Mr. Ken Boessenkool, a member of the infamous firewall six and former adviser to Stockwell Day and Stephen Harper.

So, the still question remains, who is really behind 'getitrightalberta.ca?'

The debate about Alberta's resource royalties is too important to Alberta's future to include 'hidden stakeholders.'

Who is paying Hill & Knowlton to run this site?

Albertans should email Mr. Ken Boessenkool and ask him straight out.

Albertans are owed an explanation.

12 comments:

Idealistic Pragmatist said...

When you're good, you're good!

Anonymous said...

Props Dave, mad props.

Cliff said...

Nice. I'm pointing my readers here.

CfSR said...

Nice work.

Anonymous said...

The government must be proactive in collecting the royalties it is owed, especially from oil-sands operations where ill defined projects can avoid the tax man. That said the oil in Alberta is not the same as the oil in Norway (where royalties are about 40%).

In Norway the oil is off shore and the wells produce in the hundreds of barrels of oil per day (bbl/day). In Alberta (excluding the oil sands), the average well produces about 10 bbl/day. We rely on having a lot of wells. However, each well must be maintained, pipelined, supported with infrastructure and various workover operations. If royalties are hiked, thousands of marginal wells become economically unviable. This will cause the loss of hundreds of jobs for operators and small service companies like the 30 man swabbing outfit I worked for in Brooks two summers ago.

The oil sands are a different story and a hike in royalties would be acceptable provided it is not too steep. The primary consideration for oil sands planning is stability in an unstable world. Project horizons are 25 year minimums and companies rely on a consistent royalty regime. This is a large part of our Alberta Advantage. So no matter what the outcome of the royalty review, the most important thing is that it is enshrined in legislation for at least 10 years. This allows for a stable investment climate which benefits all Albertans.

Even providing jobs for ill-informed former SU presidents like Mike Hudema.

Anonymous said...

John Sparks, former Burlington GR, who is close with Stelmach. H&K, where Sparks's wife works, supplied the web platform.

Holly Stick said...

Nice work. Isn't Boessenkool an unusual name? I've seen it before a few places; apparently Ken is a registered lobbyist for ethanol fuels and the HPV vaccine; hey, didn't they both get money from Ken's good buddy Harper?

Read more here:

http://creekside1.blogspot.com/2007/04/what-on-earth-are-we-thinking.html#links

http://creekside1.blogspot.com/2007/03/steve-and-sandras-gnu-accountability.html

You might want ask Alison at Creekside if she's found any more about him.

Ethanol discussion at POGGE:

http://www.pogge.ca/archives/001507.shtml

The CRFA webpage
http://www.greenfuels.org/

And Canadian Incognito talks about HPV vaccine

http://canadianincognito.wordpress.com/2007/08/02/be-vigilant-about-your-vaccinations-girls/

Happy Hunting!

Anonymous said...

"John Sparks, former Burlington GR, who is close with Stelmach. H&K, where Sparks's wife works, supplied the web platform."

Yeah, a lot of people try and claim they are "close to" Stelmach. Just like Hal Walker (Chair of Calgary Chamber of Commerce) recently claimed to be a Tory insider. When you ask people who Hal Walker is, you get shrugs. If anyone that owns a membership qualifies as an insider, then I guess he is right.

I suspect something similar here.

Reality is, if royalties go up, some Tories will be upset. So will some well-known Liberals (Murray Edwards, for example, at least federally). Doesn't mean it is not going to happen. It may surprise some of you, but a lot of Tories DON'T work in the oil & gas industry, and they are in favour of raising.

Matthew The Astrologer said...

Outstanding! I've linked to this post...

Holly Stick said...

If you want to learn more about how lobbying works, check out this post at DeSmogBlog. They keep an eye on astroturf organizations that are into denying global warming, etc.

http://www.desmogblog.com/nrsp-controlled-by-energy-lobbyists

They have some nice quotes from the federal government's Lobbyist Code of Conduct, such as:

"1. Identity and purpose

“Lobbyists shall, when making a representation to a public office holder, disclose the identity of the person or organization on whose behalf the representation is made, as well as the reasons for the approach.”"

Anonymous said...

Edwards is upset; Sparks hosted a bbq for stelmach at sparks' home this summer, 2nd annual.

Anonymous said...

Good work, Dave. Let's expose this astroturf for what it really is.