Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Carbon Tax- I Agree for the right reasons

Stephen Dion has the correct idea with his Carbon Tax. Presented as a cure all for climate change it is ultimately a program for the redistribution of wealth in this country, something that Conservatives are dead set against.
Alberta can only be a better place to live if Stephen is allowed to bring his program forward! We are getting nothing of the Oil royalty now; it can only get better.

Take a moment to think here! Stelmach’s new royalty rates will not come into effect until after the next election! The Energy Minister Mel Knight pulled the royalty rate down to 19% from the already low of 25% prior to the last election then continued to lie about what the rate was.

As new production comes on the royalty rates will be dropped below 19%. The conservatives will continue to cut programs and public access to run the infrastructure while they further reduce the royalty percentage. That is the new future you are looking at from this Government!

Mr. Knight has said on any number of occasions nothing is in stone and there will be adjustments. And again, no adjustment until you elect him again. Just look to their track record of cut slash and lie.

Financial papers broadly heralded the 19% as a means to prop up profits of the oil companies in advance of a brutal royalty regime.

Royalty regimes around the world have increased with the exception of Alberta and Saskatchewan. Both conservative governments are playing one against the other in a public arena trying to create an atmosphere of fear in both provinces. There is a market for everything both provinces can produce.

The lowest rate in the world outside of Canada is 50% royalty! In Alberta we are collecting 19%! That numbers leaves us not only loosing money; we are paying them to take the oil away!

In Alberta our hospitals and schools are short funded. Revenues collected from income taxes are used to further support the energy industry rather than them supporting the tax base and the future of this province.

Oil companies are not going to abandon this province! If Alberta’s royalty rates go up Saskatchewan will soon follow. That is the fear of the oil companies.

The Carbon Tax will tax away some of the profits of the oil giants most of who are owned by foreign currency and most of their profits presently go to foreign currency.

This Carbon Tax will be in the public purse to support individuals in Canada who are not empowered by oil stocks.

Mr. Mandel has recently questioned the cost to EPCOR and to the consumers in Alberta and, he is correct in doing so. There will be a charge made on coal fired electricity at the source. However EPCOR has been increasing their rates and add in service charges almost whimsically collecting billions in profits. Mr. Mandel and the city of Edmonton council claim they treat this as a private company and don’t interfere but, they are quick to pocket the same billions.

Certainly losses in revenue in EPCOR will result in lower profits and perhaps property tax increases. It does not have to be an increase in power bills that is levied against 2/3rds of the province. Perhaps it is time to give Mr. Mandel his deal on service sharing and leave the power milking alone.

John Clark.
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