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Sunday, October 28, 2007

how ed stelmach compromised on royalties and might get away with it.


Dear Premier Ed Stelmach,

Please find below six-easy steps on how to compromise the interests of Albertans on the royalty review.

1) Appoint a friendly-voice such as Bill Hunter to chair a committee to review and make recommendations on Alberta's natural resource revenue framework.

2) When Bill Hunter releases the report, do not give details but react to the report as if it will include radical and dangerous changes to Alberta's economy (focus on dangerous).

Stay quiet on the royalties issue and give the opposition parties and oil companies time to post their opposition or support of the report (this will keep us from compromising the $15,000 annual donations to the Alberta PC Party from the oil industry).

The tone of the report should be critical of Ralph Klein's Tory government, but the recommendations should be fairly moderate and tame (DO NOT bring up the fact that you were a central member of Klein's cabinet for a decade).

3) After weeks of silence, muse about responding to the report during your 'State of the Province' address. If you change your mind and decide to announce the next day, don't worry about it, the prime-time address will only cost $145,000. We have lots of money in the PR budget, so we can do both.

Respond to the report by only adopting some portions of the report (you will know which ones to adopt when we get the speech from the Public Affairs Bureau).

This will allow you to appear as a moderate who is balancing the interests of Albertans and the oil industry. Though you will deny it, you will clearly be compromising the interests of Albertans to the oil companies by not collecting a reasonable share of royalties (remember of those $15,000 annual political donations, Premier!)

Important! stay stern, Premier. DO NOT be as obvious as to tell the media to "please don't call this a compromise".

4) Use the Public Affairs Bureau to buy hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of advertising in all the major Alberta newspapers (including a full-page ad in the front-section of the Globe & Mail). The ads should reinforce the idea that you did not compromise (see 3 for explanation). Ads should include blue and orange colours.

5) The fallout from your announcement should overshadow smaller and more damaging issues such as Auditor General's report slamming Ralph Klein's government and the Department of Energy for failing to collect billions of dollars in royalty revenues since the 1990's (AGAIN, DO NOT bring up the fact that you were a central member of Klein's cabinet for a decade - this is critically important!).

Also, stick to your guns and don't fire the Minister responsible for the Department of Energy, Minister Mel Knight. He supported and delivered votes for you in the PC leadership race. You owe him. Think about sending him out of the province for a couple of weeks after the review to let things cool down.

6) Stand proud, sit back, and enjoy your heroic glory, Premier Stelmach.

Albertans won't have a clue what happened.


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Found this on Cgrit:

An independent energy economist who worked closely with the province and royalty review panel said Saturday the Stelmach government's new royalties policy fails miserably on the oilsands -- the province's top energy play -- and won't deliver nearly enough economic rent to Albertans.

The analysis from world-renowned oil and gas economist Pedro van Meurs came a day after a member of the government-appointed royalty panel argued Premier Ed Stelmach's new strategy is "a blatant deceit" of Albertans and doesn't offer them a fair share of energy development.

"I believe that the proposed terms are highly detrimental to Alberta. They provide for only a minimal increase in revenues, compared to what was already a very modest proposal by the panel. The new terms will not give Albertans a fair share of the oilsands revenues," van Meurs said in an analysis provided to the Herald.


In crafting the new framework, the Tory government rejected nearly half of the 26 recommendations from the royalty panel -- including six of 11 suggestions on oilsands.

One of the panellists, who asked not to be identified, agreed with van Meurs that Albertans aren't receiving a fair share of the publicly owned oil and gas resources under a deal that's not grounded "in too much economic reality."

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

Ed hasn't gone up the middle and forged a compromise that Albertans are happy with.

Half of Albertans think the royalties were not raised enough and the other half think the royalties were too raised too high.

However, they all agree that Ed Stelmach is no Ralph Klein.

Anonymous said...

This has been the longest 10 months of inaction since Don Getty. I can't wait to vote for Ted Morton in the Leadership race in 2008 when we finally rid our party of this Stelmach schmuck.

Anonymous said...

Great, were going to get stuck with another stelmach if Morton and dinning both run again, which I very well think dinning might just do, unless he said you all screwed yourselves and now you get to live with it. Either way their are alot of things I like about Morton and alot about Dinning, which is strange because their almost opposite

Anonymous said...

Dinning won't run again and Morton's support peaked in his last at bat. Ed's replacement is an as yet unknown figure.

Anonymous said...

The royalty topic is being talked about everywhere right now. Some are for, the majority against. has an exclusive one on one video interview with Stelmach if anyone's interested....

Anonymous said...

Ed's replacement will be whoever leads a new party that presents itself as a credible, fiscally-responsible-but-socially-mainstream alternative. Good Lord, please have something emerge!

Anonymous said...

They do... they're called the Alberta Liberal Party...

Anonymous said...

Eddie's latest:

A Secretariat that will eventually be set up sometime in the new year, to eventually create a 10 year plan to "END" homelessness.

End it. Forever.

With no new money.

Next: the 10 year plan to END tooth decay.

What a tool.