Like most things this Government does, it moves coin from the pockets of the citizens into the pocket of corporations and nothing comes back to us.
Recently there were two news items. Drumheller Alberta and Okotoks Alberta purchased water allotments. The first was from an unnamed party (insider so no money figures were given) the other was from an Oil Company. The latter cost Okotoks over a million dollars for rights to some 230,000 cubic meters of water annually.
If we ever get a new, non conservative party into power we can put some of these crooks in Jail!
Water allotments have never been sold until now. The oil companies received them free of charge as did the unnamed insider. Why then the sale?
Bolstered by the Alberta Government the towns had to pay up. This adds many dollars to the resource and forces the price of water utilities way up. When it comes time to export, they will tell Albertans the cost is the same. Edmonton now has the highest water prices in the world (National Geographic April 2010). Soon enough the rest of Alberta will join the ranks of most expensive in the world.
The more they can charge you and get away with it, the more they can get for the export water.
Following the long standing Conservative dream of including water into NAFTA and changing bulk water to a commodity is fore front in their plans.
If we export water under NAFTA rules, we must give the Americans first chance at the water and we cannot charge the Americans more money than we are now paying. When it comes time to export, people in Alberta will be paying the much more money than those people in California who are the targeted export market.
They are effectively fixing prices at your expense. (My US readers will pick up on this one!)
Meanwhile TV is carrying subtle advertisements by the Conservative version Environment Canada in fill in spots saying our water is our finest resource and it must be shared.
All this ties in with the new dam being built on the Peace by BC. There is no chance that last meeting between BC and Saskatchewan, the Yukon and Albert was about oil. The other guys don't have heritage trust funds to prop up a lower royalty rate. It was about water!
I can see BC saying they will build the dam if Alberta builds the pipelines to move it.
I have been fighting this crew for our water for years here is a letter to Taylor on January 9, 2004 which is as valid today as it was then.
The Honorable Dr. Lorne Taylor,
Minister of Environment,
Government of Alberta.
Your recent comments quoted in the ‘Journal indicate you are about to move people to the water, rather than water to the people.
I have cause to wonder if this is just “chewing gum for the mind”!
The Alberta Government is presently involved in moving potable water from the St. Mary’s irrigation system in southern Alberta by pipe line into Montana. This, going against the wishes of local ranchers and stakeholders! The water is being used for water in a recreation area in Montana as well as for drinking.
What is the name of the Minister who put this project into place?
Who paid for the materials in the pipeline?
What is the diameter of the line?
Where are the lift stations and who pays for them?
What is the annual quantity of water exported from this drought area?
Why is this not considered illegal?
Does the Alberta Government bill for the charges directly or has this been turned over to a private company to operate at their convenience? If so, what is the name and address of this company?
In the ‘80s the Alberta Government commissioned a study by Weatherford on moving water from the Peace River into Southern Alberta, using it to irrigate the pipeline corridor and export huge amounts into the American northern states.
This plan calls for an immense pipe line capable of moving two-thirds of the Peace River Flow through the pipe along with the assurances it will not harm the wild life. This same plan calls for 8 lift stations to move the water; each of them using the electrical power of a small city.
Further, this plan was approved, only shelved, until the weather gets dry enough and the public can see the light. It is my understanding this project has been given recent notice and review. How far along is this plan?
Lastly the CBC documentary we corresponded about. Your Senior Hydrologist confirmed there would be no saline discharges at the “pristine” Alberta location shown in that documentary so it would be impossible to get the Montana situation at that site. It ignores the fact that Montana situations exist in other parts of Alberta and BC. The CBC documentary was grossly misleading to say the least and, I know they are capable of better. So, the question comes. Did the Alberta Government subsidize or otherwise pay the CBC to produce that program?
Dig in folks; if they get away with this it will be rough!