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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

who's more oilsands friendly?

Lisa Raitt says Jim Prentice.

Alberta PC MLAs [have been told to] say Michael Ignatieff.

(It's probably a good thing these came out after this meeting)


Anonymous said...

Lougheed may have been right in a legal (that is, constitutional) sense, but I doubt that he was right in a moral sense when we are talking about strategic national resources.

"We have to understand when there are resources like oil, gas and timber, they don't belong only to the people who had the fortune to be born there." --- Peruvian President Alan Garcia.

Just a thought.

Anonymous said...

Hmmmm...will you be quoting Karl Marx next?..."from those according to their ability, to those according to their need"? On my one unfortunate visit to the BC ledge in 1999, I actually heard an NDP MLA say that quote in question period. My guliver imploded.

Back to the question at hand, all that really matters is the 'constitutional sense'. I'm not a big fan of shaving my head, putting on a toga, giving away my worldly possessions, and dancing around a fire chanting Kumbaya. The law is the law, and it serves us well. By us, I mean Albertans and Canadians.

Lougheed rightly points out that oilsands corporate influence over our government is endemic. As with all things in law, the spirit of the law matters more than any technicalities. WE are the owners, not Suncor or Syncrude. They may develop the resource on OUR terms.

Danny Williams, of all people (being a Conservative), played serious hardball with Newfoundland's oil developers. Why can't we do the same?

Anonymous said...

Lougheed was right about so many things. We need him back, or at least, people like him.

Let's look at his governments accomplishments:
1. Established Heritage Savings fund
2. Started the 'government owned' Alberta Energy Corporation...later to become Encana
3. Started the 'government owned' Pacific Western Airlines....later to become Canadian Airlines.
4. Stood up to PET's NEP and got us the 'least of all evil' deals.
5. Repealed 'eugenics sterilization' laws of previous government.
6. Repealed the 'Lord's Day act' which forced closure of major stores on Sunday's
7. Made 'Alberta Government Telephones' a national force to be reckoned with....later to become Telus
8. Worked 'co-operatively' with federal Liberals to start oilsands.
9. Built major arts facilities for universities and the public.
10. Made the biggest capital investments in post-secondary education EVER.
11. Supported bids for '78 Commonwealth Games, '88 Olympics, '83 Universiade.

If you ask me, he was a little bit of NDP, Liberal, and Conservative rolled into one.

Anonymous said...

Sorry! I was misinformed on the Lord's Day act:

"Hello and thank you for you question regarding the Lord's Day Act of Alberta.

Upon researching the Lord's Day Act, I found that in 1985 the act was found to be unconstitutional based on the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedom, stemming from the Big M Drug Mart's challenge. Therefore the Lord's Day Act is no longer a current statue and is not available online."

Anonymous said...

Joe Lougheed, is that you?

kenchapman said...

Nice to see Peter Lougheed speaking out and making Albertans think about the hfct we are the owners of the oilsands. As a result we have duties - not the least of which is to ensure our government developes them in a responsible and sustainable manner. Here is a link to my post on Lougheeds leadership.

Anonymous said...


Suggestion that strategic resources rejoined by equating the idea that strategic resources are somehow national is somehow Marxist.

Anonymous is as anonymous does, I guess.

If all you think matters is the Constitutional sense, how do you think they Constitution should read?

The law and politics answers to morality, whether you like it or not.

Anonymous said... and politics answers to voters, and voters are fickle.

'Morality' is a personally subjective beast. I certainly don't want judges interpreting law via their own morality. George W Bush DOES believe in this. We cannot.

Constitutions and bills of rights should be technical documents conveying a spirit of intent. Interpretation should be based on precedent and logical insight.

Anonymous said...

Sigh. You entirely missed the point. I suggest beginning with Aristotle. Hobbes and Locke next. Then Kelsen, Hart, and Dworkin.

Morality is no more subjective than is mathematics; it's simply far far harder to get the correct answers since there's almost always more than one right answer.

If you think mob-rule is what constitutes good government and good law, I refer you to John Stuart Mill.

I was making a foundational point, not a superficial 'media-style', one-off point.

I guess I'll leave you to it then.

Anonymous said...

The rest of the country already plunders a sizable portion of our resource revenues, ownership or not.

A larger concern should be intergenerational equity. By using resource revenues to fund program spending we are selfishly using up all of the benefits today and leaving future generations with nothing but bloated government and public debt. The large majority (or better yet, ALL) resource revenue should go directly to an investment fund which then pays out dividends to the people of the province (the owners).

Anonymous said...

Actually the Feds got a copy of the memo two weeks before the press did, so Prentice knew what was on the mind of the Province before the conference.

Brian Dell said...

"the people are the owners" is the sort of sloganeering that does not make for good policy development.

Fact is, the biggest problems with the New Royalty Framework were not related to the oil sands but to conventional gas.

If this sloganeering actually meant something, then why hasn't the Stelmach govt being taken to task for reversing itself 110% on what it campaigned for? The royalty framework has changed again and again (as business left the province and Stelmach made it more business friendly) and where was the pushback from the "people" with each of these changes?

Once it is out of the ground, is it still the "people's"? Yes? Well then normal business considerations don't apply to upgrading either, I suppose. Do normal business considerations EVER apply? Every stage of production of everything is ultimately a value added from when the product was a rock or a tree.

Functionally, royalties are seen as the same as corporate and investment taxes from the perspective of the energy companies. If there is an intelligent policy argument for higher corporate taxes, fine, but if there isn't, sloganeering does not create one.

If the resource is truly owned by the people, then I would be getting a direct dividend on a regular basis instead of seeing the royalties go into government revenues to be spent on projects that benefit only some Albertans.

Brian Dell said...

I might add that there is a gigantic "is therefore ought" fallacy behind the argument. Energy IS legally Albertans, therefore it OUGHT to be? Had the federal govt not transferred its interest in 1930, it would be Canadian not Albertan. If there is a moral argument for why it should be Albertan instead of Canadian, simply pointing to the current state of the law does not make that argument.

Anonymous said...

I called my MLA and he said he'd never seen this memo. Has anyone seen it?