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Friday, September 11, 2009

the hal walker email.

I'm sure that this now infamous email criticizing Premier Ed Stelmach by former PC bigwig Hal Walker was a long time coming, but the timing of its release probably had a lot to do with Monday's by-election in Calgary-Glenmore.

In a follow up email sent this morning, Walker wrote:

Brett, thanks for the support in the article. To the dozens of the rest of you who’ve sent me responses of support and agreement, Thank you. Interestingly, there was not one dissenting view.

it’s interesting to see that the Premier’s own communications guy delivers the same old party line.

Hal Walker
Read the original email [PDF].

(Thanks to the reader who forwarded me a copy of the email)


kenchapman said...

I responded to this doo Dave - on Don Braid's Calgary Herald column. What an enormous sense of entitlement oozes from these people.

daveberta said...

We're really just talking about degrees of entitlement now?

Anonymous said...

This e-mail will do nothing. The average person doesn't know who Hal Walker is.

Anonymous said...

Are these people nuts? And have they checked the price of natural gas lately?

Party of One said...

I'm assuming that the references to "entitlement" are directed at Hal Walker and the oilpatch.

Although it may be gratifying to see the Conservatives infighting, the fact of the matter is: Hal Walker is wrong. It's not the royalty regime that is the problem, it's that the "easy" oil and gas has all been tapped; arguably we have passed "peak" production in conventional drilling and exploration.

The royalty regime review was long, long overdue when it finally took place. Arguably, it should have been done properly the last time under Klein's "leadership". The province gave away the shop in oil and gas royalties for years, and now the oil industry is complaining that the shelves are bare!

Change(in royalty regimes) is hard, and it's not all that surprising that Conservatives want to "conserve" the status quo. But that status quo involved NO long-term planning, NO managed development, and NO reasonable rate of return to the province for what is obviously a diminishing stock of non-renewable resources.

I think the changes are too little, too late to do Alberta much good. The damage to the potential of Alberta has already been done. Now we find ourselves with a diminishing resource that is increasingly difficult to access, and oilsand production that requires huge inputs of energy and water that may be unsustainable in the long-term, even IF the commodity markets comes to accept the current production methods.

Oh yeah, and the fact that the market for fossil fuels is about to be seriously challenged as other energy sources and technologies become more economically viable.

Conservatives have a habit of looking to the past; the only effective Conservative that looked to the future was Lougheed, and unfortunately those that came after him squandered his legacy of prudent fiscal management. What a shame.

Anonymous said...

Lougheed was "prudent"? Give me a break. With the exception of Klein's early years, the PC's haven't exhibited anything resembling fiscal conservatism. If Danielle Smith wins the leadership I'm taking my vote to the WAP.

Anonymous said...

Smith is a joke and way too ideological. She's bought and paid for from the oil patch. They will never get my vote.

Party of One said...

Lougheed invested in hospitals, roads, and schools, all necessary infrastructure for a developing economy. That's investing in the future.

Failure to do so results in the situation we have now, where we have to pay for the infrastructure anyway, at a much higher cost. Or having to attract skills from out of province and country, at a significant premium to employers.

He also tried, unsuccessfully alas, to diversify the economy, to encourage the development of a secondary and tertiary industrial sector so that we wouldn't end up just being Alberta's version of "hewers of wood, drawers of water".

And, might I remind anyone who has forgotten, he set up the original Heritage Trust Fund, which, if it hadn't been robbed by Getty and Klein, would be worth many times more than it currently is, and probably providing us with serious interest revenue that would better cushion the occaisional economic down turn.

It is NOT fiscally prudent to just put your money under a mattress; money has to circulate to be useful. Sort of like blood.

Anonymous said...

What evidence is there that the royalty changes have been anything other than good for the oilpatch during the downturn? Granted, different sectors are affected differently, but the last headlines I saw (maybe at the end of the last fiscal year) splashed the news that the government took hundreds of millions less than they would have under the old royalty regime. Is that only true in, say, conventional and tarsands and not natural gas? I'm a novice here...can someone help me out? Or is the new royalty regime analogous to Sarah Palin's infamous "death panels"?