Earlier this week, Danielle Smith announced that a task force co-chaired by David Yager and David Gray would develop an energy platform for the Wildrose Alliance. In April 2009, Yager and a group of oil and gas sector executives penned a fundraising letter for the Wildrose Alliance which lamented the plight of Alberta's oil and gas sector under the oppression of the new resource royalty framework. In the letter, the executives pledged their allegiance to the Wildrose Alliance. (PDF of the Fundraising Letter)
Watching the direction Alberta has taken since Stelmach became leader of the Tory party leaves us to conclude that the ultimate success of our industry is now political. Only when the government of Alberta supports and trusts its most important industry - oil and gas - will Alberta's future be truly secure.The Progressive Conservative Party saw a decrease in the amount of donations they were receiving from the oil and gas sector after the introduction of the new resource royalty framework, and it is well known that many of these companies began throwing their financial support to other parties.
Therefor, we have joined a group of like-minded oilfield service and junior oil and gas executives in supporting the Wildrose Alliance Party of Alberta to help it become the future government of this province.
In her acceptance speech, the newly selected Wildrose Alliance leader declared that:
"People are looking for a party to step up and represent their interests, not the backroom lobbyists and political cronies"It would not make sense to criticize a party leader for appointing supporters to internal policy advisor positions, but Yager's appointment brings Smith's statement into question. While this would not be a big issue if the party had not experienced significant gains in support, I am curious about how much money Yager and the group of executives listed on the April 2009 fundraising letter invested in Smith's leadership campaign? With Smith refusing to publicly release the list of donors who financed her campaign it is unlikely that Albertans will find out.
It is probable that many of these donors will contribute to the Wildrose Alliance now that Smith is the leader, but it will be another four or five months before the Albertans will be privy to the names of those of donors. According to the Election Finances and Contributions Disclosure Act, annual financial statements from political parties must be filed with Elections Alberta on or before March 31.