Tuesday, February 27, 2007

McMurray expenditures out of line

The recent spending plumb for Fort McMurray highlights more than most tings exactly what is wrong with this Government. They are laying the path of paying more on our end of things to allow a token increase in royalties later on.

There was a time when a business starting up in a remote area would build a company town complete with commissary and nursing station. One example of this would be the Town of Devon, home of Leduc #1. Although, Devon’s growth, such as it was, was enhanced because the City of Leduc did not want all those foreign people living in their town. Foreign being people from other places in Canada.

The money being put into McMurray because of a totally mismanaged resource and a totally mismanaged expansion plan as in no plan at all is nothing short of a direct subsidy to the oil companies.

Next, you will find this Government adding public transportation, free to and from McMurray, a further relief of operational costs for the oil companies.

We are collecting 1% in royalties on all this new growth and putting 10% back into the project because “We are the United States only secure supply of oil” according to Mr. Stelmach.

New construction:
1 % in royalties
Components being built and transported from the Pacific Rim
Huge costs in Dredging Rivers and blowing up and removing rapids to allow transport by marine.
Mined Oil being shipping to the US for processing
A billion dollars infrastructure improvements ongoing to support the Oil companies.

It is my thought, if we pay for enough of the oil companies investment costs we will be able to get another one-half percent royalty. Rob Peter to pay Paul.

Stelmach and company do not plan on doing a dam thing with the oil royalty picture in this province.

John Clark

Friday, February 23, 2007

Some web changes

Due to some serious limitations on the "new blogger" I will be setting up a seperate web site which will be able to handle the posting of spread sheets and .pdf forms.

The new blog only allows the up load of .gif or .jpg files which is simply not adequate.

Links from this site will be provided when I'm set up.


Monday, February 19, 2007

Offer to buy!

This Blog is more popular than I thought. Had an attractive offer to sell the site but, taxes considered it just didn't make a proper offer.

Thanks for you help folks, will keep plugging.

John Clark

Price of Oil 2004 to Present: Pelude

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Privitizing the tax system-time to lawyer up!

The Federal Conservatives have forever had a mistrust even a disdain for the Bureaucrats that work in our Federal institutions.

Mulroney went into office on a claim he would clean up the Bureaucracy. His cure was to put people, his brand, into a position in the Department Agency and no decisions could be taken without having the head of the Department check with the ADM designated to check every thing they did.

It seems that Harper has done one better, putting a company in charge of a Ministry.

This really sucks! What is going to happen if he gets a Majority?

John Clark

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Here is a breath of fresh air!

February 7, 2007

Alberta Liberal Leader Kevin Taft Unveils Democracy Action Plan

For Albertans to capitalize on their province’s astonishing opportunities they need to regain a voice, says Kevin Taft, Leader of Alberta’s Official Opposition in his new book, Democracy Derailed - The Breakdown of Government Accountability in Alberta – and How to Get it Back on Track.

Taft lays out over 35 ways an Alberta Liberal government would achieve this. Below are five highlights of this action plan:

1. The legislation creating the position of the auditor general, the Auditor General Act, should be reviewed to ensure that the powers of Alberta’s auditor general are at least equivalent to those of the federal auditor general.

· “It’s hard to imagine the work of an Alberta auditor general helping to bring down a government, even though the office is empowered by powerful legislation. Fred Dunn is our strongest auditor general in years, but he’s no Sheila Fraser. Instead of forcing complete accountability, he offers gentle, carefully worded criticisms of government failings. In Alberta, the auditor general sometimes walks loudly, but he always carries a small stick. (p. 55/56).

2. The legislation that governs FOIP, the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, must be thoroughly reviewed and revamped. The public interest in obtaining information must prevail over the government’s interest in concealing it.

· “In Alberta, freedom of information is a contradiction in terms. For one thing once you start scouting around for government information, you quickly discover that it’s anything but free.” (p .71)

· “Freedom of information in Alberta is heavily weighted in favor of the government, effectively providing it with the means, within the law, to keep from the public any information it deems sensitive.” (p. 72)

. The $14.4 million Public Affairs Bureau should be disbanded.

· "It's the largest public relations operation in western Canada…. that in 2006-07 employed the equivalent of 117 full time staff." (p.106)

· "They manipulate our perception of Alberta's government and then charge taxpayers millions for the service. The Public Affairs Bureau is in effect a public relations agency for the Progressive Conservative Party of Alberta." (p. 104)

· "More and more I hear from people who are cynical, frustrated and skeptical in dealing with their own provincial government. They know they are being manipulated and they resent having to pay for it." (p. 108)

4. Strike a citizen’s assembly on electoral reform similar to the one in British Columbia with a commitment to put its recommendations to a province-wide vote during the next general election.

· “… massive landslides often effectively stifle the political voice of at least half of the electorate. No wonder voter turnout has dwindled over the years.” (p. 42)

· “There is almost no chance the Tories will bring a new electoral system to Alberta because they’ve got nothing to gain from it.” (p. 41)

5. Enact whistle-blower legislation based on best practices elsewhere.

· “When people witness wrongs, they must feel safe to express their concerns, no matter whom they might offend in the process.” (p. 34)


For more information, contact:

Yolande Cole, Media Liaison
(780) 446-6868

More pension raids-it's going to be ugly!

The Federal Conservatives are still hitting our pensions and all to our detriment.

The income tax department tells me the Honourable James M. Flaherty hired an accounting firm from the private sector (a friend of a friend probably) to look into the pension deductions taken on past income taxes.

The figures they are coming up with are totally ridiculous and the income tax people are bound to collect taxes on these artificial numbers.

When the income tax people were asked for a list of their findings on the account they told they did not have them; the figures are held by the out side, private company. It is up to the account owner to go over the last 15 years of income tax filings and prove to the income tax department the figures put forward are wrong. This will prove to be expensive for the account owner.

Why can they not give you a statement of their findings and allow you to dispute it?

Guilty, until proven innocent. Don’t you love Conservatives?

John Clark

Monday, February 12, 2007

What is wrong with the power picture?

An energy company posts profits of multi billions of dollars. This same energy company goes to the E.U.B asks for an increase in consumer rates and gets it. This increase covers a cost of generation not recovered at some point.

In another scenario the same Energy company under a similar circumstance asks the EUB for an increase and, the EUB says no; a cut in rates is in order.

The EUB explain to me the rate increase didn’t effect consumers as the money came from the tax general revenues by way of a rebate on consumer power bills.

As I see it there is an agreement in place with the power companies which guarantees them a profit margin.

I would love to own a business where the Government guarantees me a profit margin.

John Clark

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

14 years of mis management

14 years of mismanagement, misappropriations and a genuine lack of interest for the well being of this province by this government has prompted Mr. Stelmach to face the news.

Over these years we seen this Government walk away from and ignore any chances of investment in new business not oil oriented. Their simplistic, some say stupid views have all but killed any chance of other than oil and power industries establishing in this province.

This government has cemented this economy into energy industries and us into the re-supply business for that industry. Their short sited views of exploiting natural resources as the only thing they are comfortable with.

Any struggling new industries and, there were a few, were closed down with this Government privatized the electrical power moving us from the lowest power rates in north America, putting us into the highest power rates in north America.

The Conservatives are more intent on protecting the obscene profit levels of the oil companies and the power generation and distribution people than they are of returning a fair and equitable value to the provincial coffers.

Had they operated like a government over these past 14 years rather than a private club, Mr. Stelmach could have had some choices in intelligent conversation rather than stand there riling against the rest of Canada; trying to make it their fault.

John Clark

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

A lot to do about nothing!

On one end of the spectrum you see the Conservatives saying they will look to Ottawa for money to combat the spread of the pine beetle. This same Government had a chance to seriously curtail the spread of the pine beetle 3 or 4 years ago when it was manageable. They did nothing.

Now, the infestation is so extensive there is no chemical or biological fix for the problem and they are trying to deflect the blame into a financial argument.

On the other hand, you see the NDP with their popular forum of “sterilize the land” with their ubiquitous simplicity of cures. Shut it all down. It was this same short sited and uninformed view that allowed the pine beetle infestations to spread from a foot ball sized field in the middle of nowhere in BC to the point it is now.

When the infestation was first sited in BC the NDP Government would not allow roads to be built into the site. The proposal was to completely sterilize the ground by chemical means. It would have worked had it been allowed to proceed.

Where to go for the middle road? For responsible, managed growth? For proper returns to the tax base for non renewable resources that are being sold off and exploited by industry with absolutely no return to the province at all.

Keep your eye on the ball don’t be distracted by beetle problems we can do nothing about. We have more oil than we have water! Mr. Morton is quick to seize on this moving to shift the flow of the Red River to suit his personal goals.

John Clark

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Election budget in the making- Spring Election

Recently the Mayors of the major cities and members of the Municipal Districts met with the Provincial Government to seek funding for infrastructure which has been badly shorted to this point.

They were told there was cash coming down the chute; it will be in the spring budget.

This sets the stage is now set for a spring election.

A big spending budget will be presented in the legislature immediately followed by an election call.

The reason for the election call is Mr. Stelmach and Mr. Oberg have decided they will not hold public hearings and give a decision on royalty increases for this province in the face of royalty disclosures and provincial coffer/oil company profits being published.

If they were to go ahead with these hearings and a decision they would without doubt be defeated soundly at an election. Now, they have determined it would be better to pump up a big spending budget call an election and then if elected, go ahead with the royalty hearings and offer Albertan’s a token and marginal increase in royalty rates.

This worked well for them in their treatment of private health care. All the pieces remain in place to go that way. They must surly think it will work on the royalty debate.

This Government has been a one trick dog up to this point and it seems a certainty that will not change.

John Clark
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