Wednesday, March 07, 2012

As oilsands activity heats up, Alberta employers brace for soaring costs, worker shortages


The Election write is imminent!  Beings as how this is the only place this story is showing I would say the Conservatives are trying hard to find an agenda to run with!   Here they are trying a shiny and very false labor pictures will take the forefront. 25 years of expansion pumped into a 10 year window! 

Special Report: Labour Pains is the first real test of the waters for them.  I will follow it, point on point.
Alberta braces for Another boom.  NOT  SO!

Election time again! Alberta is on the cusp of another boom.  NOT SO.  Not one of the upgrader owners has projected an immediate start and none have projected a completion of 2015 as the article outlines.  It is nothing more than chewing gum for the mind!

With crude oil well above 100 dollars per barrel, and our royalty at zero% Canadian, we, the taxpayers of Alberta are losing our shirts and probably our homes!  The tar sands production is 1.6 million barrels a day, Now reduced because of Coker repairs.

If we were getting the same royalty that BC and Saskatchewan are getting we would have a provincial income of 133 million dollars per day USD instead of nothing!  (Plus gas and water).  Things moving like they are going in the Middle East now we will look at more than 2.00 per bbl US and, the Alberta Taxpayers will still get nothing!   Liepert has told us this program is in 6 years before it is reviewed.  That being the case we will be short 266 million USD  per day if  you let these guys back into office again!

And, don’t think the Wild Rose Party is going to do any different!  Rick Orman, Smith’s right hand man is still a lobbyist for the oil companies!  He authored the Pension thefts and the WRP are all on side with this!

Oil Sands players are busy rolling out new projects, ramping up production and hiring workers. Again; NOT SO!   In fact the rash of job offers are empty.  I checked 14 of them and in each case they thanked me for my resume (not using my name etc) and said there would be no decision for 3 or 4 months (long after the election is over). My guess would be they cancel the positions offered; not needed or reconsidered.  This is what they usually do.

Oil sands production is curtailed by several hundred million barrels per day because a Coker malfunction caused a  shut down.  None of the players who stuck their necks out for upgraders (India, China) have started new projects yet.  Nor have the projects been lined up for the next year!   Three  to 15 years down the road they may open the need for engineers and a few surveyors. But this won’t happen, not now and not immediate as the article would have you believe.   Pipelines have to be built to the West Coast before it is of great interest to China or India!

Meanwhile we were getting payments in kind for tar sands crude which gave us about 48 cents per barrel for our crude.  As Mr. Taft of the Liberals pointed out, we get more for returning a bottle!

With our royalty down to zero I have to guess we are no longer getting payments in kind and if we are, Alberta Taxpayers are paying out of pocket to make it happen.  Employment figures are based on “one particular study” not otherwise named which says we will have 20% more employment in 15 or 20 years.

The point of the above is, there is no economic growth!  Alberta has had a make work program in effect for the oil patch for more than a year.  This program allows companies to take home a million dollars for a dry hole (Calgary Herald) and workers get 1 weeks work in 3 or 4. 

According to this article 22,000 jobs are in this program. Alberta taxpayers are generous!   Most of these workers are Americans who are working in the province illegally but still show as unemployed in the US.  They cannot collect EI in Canada!  I suspect they have another game going south of the border.

This program of subsistence wages is in effect for all workers.  Your tax dollars at work!  It also serves to drive down the number of unemployed in Alberta (getting ready for election) and Canada making this article possible.   Life is wonderful under Conservative Governments is the message.

Not enough professionals they say!  Alberta stopped all support in high school for university education.  They took advice they could not build “big business” because we could not graduate enough degrees.

We could have had both Universities and Trade Schools covered but; no!  While cutting support for University Education in high schools they tightened up the funding for Universities to a 1986 level forcing them to increase tuition.  

Alberta young adults were obliged to go into trade schools; obliged by virtues of increased costs and a lack of high school preparation.  Now, years have passed and we have foreigners in the majority of executive positions and Albertans still being offered unlimited jobs as laborers.

Teachers went along with this, no problem! It was a well kept secret at the time and produced 10 years of large automatic raises for them.  Now, they are the highest paid in the world!  My kid, with a 98% average asked the councilor for guidelines in preparation to become a Doctor.   He told her “Give it up; why don’t you want to be a nurse?”   Many kids were treated the same. Perhaps you?

There are presently more Americans in Alberta's oil patch than Albertans!  Add to this the number of out of province people you can see Albertans are a minority. They don’t make enough money to add to the economy!

This brings us to the Conservatives change in the immigration laws.  This bit of phony news was heralded by Redford saying we would have a shortage of 114,000 people in 10 years?  I take it no one is graduating from school in Alberta?  She said their eyes opened wide when she said it.  No wonder; unlike most Albertans they were awake!

My bet is a number of these upgraders will still be on the drawing board in 10 years and we will be fighting a pipeline to the west coast at that time.  In short their spin release should have been spread over 25 years which is typical for them.

Canada's Immigration chief is opening the door for their own kind of  Conservative uglies! Kenny said he would work a way so that employers would have a direct influence by setting up a quick entry for immigrants with "a direct offer". 

How to produce a direct offer?  It opens the door for immigration companies to set up (sic example) in Mexico or the Philippians . There, they can charge some poor SOB his/her's first year’s wages to secure a guaranteed citizenship for Canada.

Now “hooked up” and the name forward to Canadian business to make a job description that
fits the person where they will serve more or less as indentured.

Now Mexican companies or Canadian Companies in Mexico are in touch with employers offering them vetted immigrants to fill their position, charging a fee for services on the way past..

They could streamline it even more by licensing coyotes and cut down on training time.

Canadian Citizenship; bought and sold!  That is the Conservative fix! 

And, to the last line of their article “We will hear more of these stories.” 

Busted for stealing Alberta pensions; their make work program and corruption in general they are going into the election on BS numbers and a 25  year projection stuff into a 10 year window.

We cannot vote the same way over and over again and expect a change in results!

I will be supporting the Liberal Party of Alberta as being the only way out of this mess!
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