Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Alberta's New Deal-Good for Everyone is a Farce!

The Conservatives rip off of Alberta resource continues.

Today’s figures of 66.10 per bbl US and exchange at 81.46% the following tar sands
Numbers would be:

1.5 million Bbls per day production times 66.10 US is 99.15 million dollars US total

Royalty taken under our old agreement would be 25%, US dollars or $24,787,500 US

Royalty today under the Conservatives new deal returns 19% Canadian or $ $20,191,897.50 C

That is a loss per day to Albertans and Canadians of $4,846,055.
That is a loss per year to Albertans and Canadians of $1,768,810,221 Canadian. (1.76 Billion)

The new deal is a farce and the complaints against it are a floor show.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

There are some news stories running in Alberta today. Stelmach's royalty gambit is one and the other is Carbon Capture leadership urged. One is in the Calgary Herald the other in the Edmonton Journal. links and so on at

Mr. Boutilier Alberta's former bad guy minister of Environment gave up another nugget of information that demonstrates just how low our oil regime is:
"But we're still waiting for the federal government. Stephen Harper has to come into the sandbox," said Boutilier, noting that the federal government gets more out of the oil sands in taxes than the provincial government.

Alberta's Energy gambit is an outright lie; a grandee waltz between the oil companies and Stelmach's crew. Mel Knight, prior to the last election, changed our currency take on royalty from US$ to Canadian$ knowing full well the balance between the two countries was at an 85 cent dollar. Today at an 80 cent dollar Albertans are losing 20% of their royalty program through exchange! Add to this the current rate of 19% taken as a royalty rather than 25% as originally contracted and you have a total of 26% loss in royalty to the province of Alberta. Mr. Boutilier Alberta's former bad guy minister of Environment gave up another nugget of information that demonstrates just how low our oil regime is:

Transcrips from the CBC Blog
Josephjb wrote:
With all those billions of dollars being made by the oil companies as you say?, Why are some many companies leaving Alberta to other Provinces and to other Countries and why is drilling level down to a 10 year low?
Posted 2008/10/25
at 7:43 PM ET

Alberta Tar Sands is producing 1.5 million barrels per day.
Using 100.00 for an easy figure:
At 25% US the return to Alberta would be 25.00 US or 30.00 Canadian
30.00 X 1,500,000 barrels is 45,000,000 (million dollars) per day; Gone.

At the present rate of 19% Canadian $
1 barrel returns 19.00 Canadian X 1,500,000 is 28,500,000 dollars

The difference in the two scales represents a 16, 500.000 per day dollar loss to Albertans off their original deal of 25%!

Times 365 days a year is a 6.0022 billion dollar loss to the taxpayers of this province and is the explanation for the elaborate lies!

A 62.50 barrel of oil would return 62.5% of the figures I have put up.

The rates for the drilling vary on different depths and locations. They are deep and more expensive to drill and recover oil from than were the fields before they matured and probably more expensive than the greener patches next door.

The properties they have up perhaps don't look as good as the ones already offered; I don't know. It could be the oil companies are betting on the Conservatives not getting in again; I don't know.

Stelmach on TV said "I hear the complaints of the drilling companies and I can tell them I will look after them” Now, just what he did and how, I don't know. The Government documents indicate that oil is still priced US$

One thing you can take home to the bank and I'm sure the Oil companies are considering it. If Alberta raises the royalty rates beyond the 25% deal, other jurisdictions will have to follow suit.

As it stands now, the new deal brings home less to this province than the old deal.

Josephjb wrote: I THINK SOMETHING WRONG? Posted 2008/10/25 at 3:56 PM ET

Your are so very correct Joseph!
The oil companies are picking up 2.5 billion dollars a year more now, than they would have under the original agreement of 25% at US$
There is a lot riding on this new fair deal for all sham that causes each of the oil concerns to whine or posture in their turn.
Foremost are the oil companies performing in order to support the Stelmach government so they can hang onto this windfall profit!
Next the Success of selling this program to the public is where the Conservatives next win in the election is at. What is wrong is the whole dam thing is a house of cards built on lies and it is going to bite them in the arse!

Josephjb wrote:secretive deals being made of which Albertans are not being told about? Posted 2008/10/25 at 3:56 PM ET

Not secretive; marginal outright lies.
The 19% royalty showed up in a one day paper run in the Edmonton Journal at the time. It was pulled almost immediately.
When the publication came out on the "Fair Share royalty deal" "Good for everyone" It showed projected royalty dollars rising.
Two things were at play in the publication:
1. The increased royalty revenues were those of the anticipated increase in production and new production coming on line.
Although published as being part of the new energy deal, they had nothing at all to do with it. The graph captured public attention. At no point has the Government told the General public what the actual royalty prercentages are! Only Greater returns.

2. At the bottom of the graph dealing tar sands (I'm sure it is still up on the Government site) the tiny print at the bottom says "in Canadian Funds" This was at a time when Alberta's royalty was 25% New York sweet crude prices in US$ I challenged it at the time and published the letters on you will have to dig a bit.

In the mean time the oil companies are playing their part screaming and kicking down the public relations path. Exploration companies moved to other geographical areas, not jurisdictions. Saskatchewan was and still is opening their tar sands in the north and their oil shale in the south.

Both are shallow well experience. Colorado and Utah just opened their shale drilling. Utah then backed out; too expensive. Prices made it a profitable venture. Likewise BC opened their oil shale in northern BC again, prices made it a good venture. Whether these ventures will be seen as profitable in today’s climate is something to be seen!

Alberta deep oil drilling into already mature fields is a lot of deep multi hole explorations. The number of companies may be down but the number of holes is probably up.

The point is, with Alberta royalty being lower now than they have ever been since start up and the New Oil Program at the top when hitting 100 dollars a barrel again will only return 12% it is definatey not the Alberta Royalty program that is causing the moves. The only people who are making hay on this is the Government spin doctors. You may recall he recently paid over a million dollars of taxpayer money to some old buddies to open a new campaign on how good we are to oil. Will those moves stay away? I think probably not although that does not mean they will come back either.

Stelmach's energy bambit is an outright lie!

Alberta's Energy gambit is an outright lie; a grandee waltz between the oil companies and Stelmach's crew.
Mel Knight, prior to the last election, changed our currency take on royalty from US$ to Canadian$ knowing full well the balance between the two countries was at an 85 cent dollar.

Today at an 80 cent dollar Albertans are loosing 20% of their royalty program through exchange!

Add to this the current rate of 19% taken as a royalty rather than 25% as originally contracted and you have a total of 26% loss in royalty to the province of Alberta.

Mr. Boutilier Alberta's former bad guy minister of Environment gave up another nugget of information that demonstrates just how low our oil regime is:
There is absolutely nothing in Stelmach's deal that could give this amount of money back to Albertans. In effect his election gambit was a charade giving the oil companies a further reduction in royalty payments while telling Albertans they would be getting more!
"But we're still waiting for the federal government. Stephen Harper has to come into the sandbox," said Boutilier, noting that the federal government gets more out of the oilsands in taxes than the provincial government.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Alberta pours money into oil coffers II

That is 3 billion dollars a year into oil companies that should be in the Alberta Treasury!
That in turn is 50% of the Alberta Budget!

Alberta bleeding money into the Oil coffers!

Alberta's "new deal" rip off as follows:
Tar sands production 1.6 million bbl/dayCanadian/US Exchange at 19.9%
Price of bbl oil NY US$ is 67.16
At current US dollars and our original 25% royalty these numbers would return 16.79 per barrelor 26.864 million dollars per day in US Funds.

At the current rates of 19% the same numbers will only return 12.76 per barrel. At US dollars this would be 20.4016 million dollars per day US less exchange 20% leaves 16.321 millions per day Candian dollars.

Alberta taxpayers are short on today's figure only 6.4624 million dollars US or 8.116 milion dollars
Wait until Iris Evans tells you she has to tap the Heritage Trust still again because it is her rainy day month.

This is Alberta's new royalty deal in action!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The New Royalty Regime is a lie!

Today, the exchange rate is 82 cents.

That means Alberta is short 18% on royalty on exchange alone. There is nothing in Mel Knights programe that will make this amount back!

This is the fault of those people who did not vote in the last election!

Mel Knight a Reagan without charm AKA Dolt!

Follow the header! Get rich or die trying!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Alberta Heritage and Trust Fund Robbed!

Iris Evans tells us the Heritage Trust has grown at a regular 4% rate which is good.

The Heritage Savings and Trust fund was initiated with a 3 billion dollar deposit.
Over the past 35 years, a 1 billion dollar additional deposit would be a close estimate.
If that account appreciated at 4% compounded quarterly as Iris Evans says, the account would now be at $87,758,778,068.54

87 billion dollars should be in there, Iris tells us there is only 16 billion. Where did the other 70 billion dollars go to??

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Alberta Health Care Direction is Questionable!

Here's an update on the U.S. health care appendix in "The Truth About Canada."

New figures from Washington show that the U.S. is now 29th in a list of countries re infant deaths. In other words, 28 countries have lower rates.

. In 1960 the U.S. was 12th.
. In 1990 it was 23rd.
.In 2008 it was 29th
. In 2006, American per-capita health care spending was over $6,700 U.S., more than twice the OECD average.

. The U.S. shares 29th place with Poland and Slovakia.
Mel Hurtig

Friday, October 17, 2008

Albertan's shorted 50 Billions of dollars!

To answer the questions on the Heritage Trust Fund:

The present amount in the fund is 16 billion dollars after all the profits have been taken from the fund over the past 30 years leaving only the principal in place.

Had that fund remained invested over this period of time it would now be very close to 56 billion dollars!

That is what the Alberta Conservatives have stolen from the people of Alberta!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Heritage Savings and Trust robbed by Conservatives.

The Alberta Conservatives today announced we would loose a billion dollars from the Heritage and Trust fund because of the economic climate.

Such Crap! An example of misplaced trust!
16,000,000,000 dollars divided by 3,512,368 Albertans is 4555.00 each!

This is after 30 years of pouring millions and billions into it!

This Government has over the years robbed the Heritage Trust fund of 90% of its profit using those profits from the investments in their General Revenue disbursements. This leaves in the trust most of the actual deposits.

In effect our Heritage and Savings Trust Fund has not only been robbed blind but the misappropriated funds have been used to reduce royalty rates on the tar sands! A double hit for Albertan losses!

Why Albertans persist in backing this crew is beyond me! Is it a religious; cult relationship? Or, more than likely Albertans are just poorly informed and stupid.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Tax vx. Cap-and Trade- Dion wins!

Tax vs. Cap-and-Trade
Note: The New York Times’ Nov. 2, 2007 on-line piece, The Real Climate Debate: To Cap or to Tax?, is a superb primer on the carbon-pricing debate. CTC’s Charles Komanoff is quoted for the carbon tax side. In addition, the Newshour with Jim Lehrer presented an excellent series of conversations about possible approaches to deal with global climate change. CTC’s Dan Rosenblum presented the carbon tax side in an April 11, 2007 interview.
CTC regards carbon taxes as superior to carbon cap-and-trade systems for six fundamental reasons:
1. Carbon taxes will lend predictability to energy prices, whereas cap-and-trade systems will aggravate the price volatility that historically has discouraged investments in less carbon-intensive electricity generation, carbon-reducing energy efficiency and carbon-replacing renewable energy.

2. Carbon taxes can be implemented much sooner than complex cap-and-trade systems. Because of the urgency of the climate crisis, we do not have the luxury of waiting while the myriad details of a cap-and-trade system are resolved through lengthy negotiations.

3. Carbon taxes are transparent and easily understandable, making them more likely to elicit the necessary public support than an opaque and difficult to understand cap-and-trade system.

4. Carbon taxes can be implemented with far less opportunity for manipulation by special interests, while a cap-and-trade system’s complexity opens it to exploitation by special interests and perverse incentives that can undermine public confidence and undercut its effectiveness.

5. Carbon taxes address emissions of carbon from every sector, whereas cap-and-trade systems discussed to date have only targeted the electricity industry, which accounts for less than 40% of emissions.

6. Carbon tax revenues can be returned to the public through dividends or progressive tax-shifting, while the costs of cap-and-trade systems are likely to become a hidden tax as dollars flow to market participants, lawyers and consultants.

Carbon Taxes Will Lend Predictability to Energy Prices. With carbon taxes ramped up through a multi-year phase-in, future energy and power prices can be predicted with a reasonable degree of confidence well ahead of time. This will make it possible for literally millions of energy-critical decisions — from the design of new electricity generating plants to the purchase of the family car to the materials used in commercial airframes — to be made with full cognizance of carbon-appropriate price signals. In contrast, a cap-and-trade program will exacerbate the volatility of energy prices since the price of carbon allowances will fluctuate as weather and economic factors affect the demand for energy. The vaunted advantage of cap-and-trade — that future levels of carbon emissions can be known ahead of time — is mostly notional, moreover, since most cap-and-trade systems under discussion include a "safety-valve" for auctioning off additional carbon allowances if the price of allowances exceeds a predetermined level. And even certainty in future emission levels is of questionable value, since there is no agreed-upon trajectory of emissions for achieving climate stability and preventing disaster. The real target for which the U.S. must aim is to reduce carbon emissions as much as possible, and then more.

Carbon Taxes Will Provide Quicker Results. The taxes themselves can be designed and adopted quickly and fairly. Cap-and-trade systems, by contrast, are devilishly complex and will take years to develop and implement. Thorny issues must be addressed intellectually and resolved politically; the proper level of the cap, timing, allowance allocations, certification procedures, standards for use of offsets, penalties, regional conflicts, the inevitable requests for exceptions by affected parties and a myriad of other complex issues must all be resolved before cap-and-trade systems can be implemented. During this time, polluters will continue to emit carbon with no cost consequences.

Carbon Taxes Are Transparent and Are Easier to Understand than Cap-and-Trade. A carbon tax is transparent and easy to understand; the government simply imposes a tax per ton of carbon emitted, which is easily translated into a tax per kWh of electricity, gallon of gasoline or therm of natural gas. By contrast, the prices for carbon set under a cap-and-trade system will vary with market fluctuations and be impossible even for big business (let alone small businesses or consumers) to predict. A cap-and-trade system will require a complex and difficult to understand market structure in order to balance the many competing interests and ensure that the trading system minimizes abuse and maximizes real carbon reductions.
A Carbon Tax’s Simplicity Inoculates it Against the Perverse Incentives and Potential for Profiteering that Will Accompany Cap-and-Trade. In contrast to the simple and straightforward process of implementing a carbon tax, the protracted negotiations necessary to implement a cap-and-trade system will provide constant opportunities for the fossil fuel industry and other invested parties to shape a system that maximizes their financial self-interests as opposed to an economically efficient system that maximizes societal well-being. If allowances are allocated based on some type of baseline reflecting past pollution (which has been the practice with NOx and SO2trading programs), rather than being auctioned, polluters will have perverse incentives to maximize emissions before the cap-and-trade system goes into effect in order to "earn" those pollution rights. (The voluntary carbon cap-and-trade system currently operating has already been criticized for questionable offsets that have produced huge profits but little environmental benefit. See Outsize Profits, and Questions, in Effort to Cut Warming Gases, New York Times, Dec. 21, 2006.)
Carbon Taxes Address All Sectors and Activities Producing Carbon Emissions. Carbon taxes target carbon emissions in all sectors — energy, industry and transportation — whereas at least some cap-and-trade proposals are limited to the electric industry. It would be unwise to ignore the non-electricity sectors that account for 60% of U.S. CO2 emissions.
Carbon Taxes Can Produce a Far More Equitable Result than Cap-and-Trade. As discussed in our Issue Paper, Managing the Impacts, carbon tax revenues can be returned through dividends or can be used to fund progressive tax-shifting to reduce regressive payroll or sales taxes. The costs of cap-and-trade systems, both implementation and the costs incurred as more expensive technologies replace older and less expensive coal-fired combustion, are far more likely to be imposed upon consumers with less possibility of rebating or tax-shifting. Moreover, because cap-and-trade relies on market participants to determine a fair price for carbon allowances on an ongoing basis, it could easily devolve into a self-perpetuating province of lawyers, economists, lobbyists and other market participants bent on maximizing their profits on each cap-and-trade transaction. As Holman W. Jenkins, Jr. stated in his Jan. 24, 2007 Wall Street Journal "Business World" column (subscription only):

General Electric, DuPont, Alcoa, Caterpillar and other industrial pigpens this week endorsed cap-and-trade limits on carbon dioxide, which would turn their established habit of using the atmosphere as a free waste disposal into a property right, worth billions. Talk about a low-hanging fruit. They are accustomed to treating carbon dumping as a gimme. Now they’d at least be in a position to get paid for dumping less.

The dollars that will be funneled into making the market work could be better spent reducing regressive taxes, protecting poorer households and/or helping consumers use less energy.
* * *
The "emissions certainty" touted by cap-and-trade supporters was recently put in perspective by the Financial Times: "[Carbon cap-and-trade systems] fix the amount of carbon abated, not its price. Getting the amount of emissions a little bit wrong in any year would hardly upset the global climate. But excessive volatility or unduly high prices of quotas on carbon emissions might disrupt the economy severely. [Carbon] taxes create needed certainty about prices, while markets in emission quotas [i.e., cap-and-trade systems] create unnecessary certainty about the short-term quantity of emissions." Financial Times, Carbon Markets Create a Muddle, April 26, 2007.

Note these two developments in the cap vs. tax debate last May:
First, CTC co-director Charles Komanoff examined the unsettling environmental politics behind cap-and-trade systems in a May 22, 2007 piece in Gristmill, while also debunking climate crisis denial from Nation columnist Alexander Cockburn. Environmental Defense posted a response, also in Gristmill. Our rejoinder to Environmental Defense can also be found in Gristmill. The full discussion is here on our blog. (In Feb. 2007, Gristmill also carried Environmental Defense’s argument against carbon taxing, and CTC’s rebuttal.)

Second, the Los Angeles Times ran a superb and comprehensive (1,600 words) editorial during the 2007 Memorial Day weekend, Time for a Carbon Tax. Under the banner, "A carbon tax is the best, cheapest and most efficient way to combat cataclysmic climate change," the editorial delivers a point-by-point refutation of arguments for settling for a carbon cap-and trade system. Here are key excerpts:

[F]or all its benefits, cap-and-trade still isn’t the most effective or efficient approach [for reducing carbon emissions]. That distinction goes to … a carbon tax. While cap-and-trade creates opportunities for cheating, leads to unpredictable fluctuations in energy prices and does nothing to offset high power costs for consumers, carbon taxes can be structured to sidestep all those problems while providing a more reliable market incentive to produce clean-energy technology.

To understand the drawbacks of cap-and-trade, one has to look not only at the successful U.S. acid rain program but the failed European Emissions Trading Scheme, the first phase of which started in January 2005. European Union members each developed emissions goals, then passed out credits to polluters. Yet for a variety of reasons, the initial cap was set so high that the polluters fell under it without making any reductions at all. The Europeans are working to improve the scheme in the next phase, but their chances of success aren’t good.

One reason is the power of lobbyists. In Europe. as in the U.S., special interests have a way of warping the political process so that, for example, a corporation generous with its campaign contributions might win an excessive number of credits. It’s also very easy in many European countries to cheat; because there aren’t strong agencies to monitor and verify emissions, companies or utilities can pretend they’re cleaner than they are.

The latter problem might be avoided in the U.S. by beefing up the Environmental Protection Agency. But there’s reason to suspect that many of the corporate interests pushing for a federal cap-and-trade program are hoping for a seat at the table when credits are passed out, and they will doubtless fudge numbers to maximize their credits; some companies stand to make a great deal of money under a trading system. Also hoping to profit, honestly or not, would be carbon traders. Large financial institutions would jump into the exchange to collect commissions on carbon trades, just as they do with crude oil and wheat. This presents opportunities for Enron-style market manipulation.

Cap-and-trade would also have a nasty effect on consumers’ power bills. Say there’s a very hot summer week in California. Utilities would have to shovel more coal to produce more juice, causing their emissions to rise sharply. To offset the carbon, they would have to buy more credits, and the heavy demand would cause credit prices to skyrocket. The utilities would then pass those costs on to their customers, meaning that power bills might vary sharply from one month to the next.

That kind of price volatility, which has been endemic to both the American and European cap-and-trade systems, doesn’t just hurt consumers. It actually discourages innovation, because in times when power demand is low, power costs are low, and there is little incentive to come up with cleaner technologies. Entrepreneurs and venture capitalists prefer stable prices so they can calculate whether they can make enough money by building a solar-powered mousetrap to make up for the cost of producing it.

Carbon taxes avoid all that. A carbon tax simply imposes a tax for polluting based on the amount emitted, thus encouraging polluters to clean up and entrepreneurs to come up with alternatives. The tax is constant and predictable. It doesn’t require the creation of a new energy trading market, and it can be collected by existing state and federal agencies. It’s straightforward and much harder to manipulate by special interests than the politicized process of allocating carbon credits.

And it could be structured to be far less harmful to power consumers. While all the added costs under cap-and-trade go to companies, utilities and traders, the added costs under a carbon tax would go to the government, which could use the revenues to offset other taxes. So while consumers would pay more for energy, they might pay less income tax, or some other tax. That could greatly cushion the overall economic effect.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Alberta lies lead the Water debates.

The export of bulk water has been a Conservative dream for a long time. It is not new stuff. Tankers off BC comes to mind out of hand.

In 1982 the Alberta Government received a fully engineered project from Weatherford Engineering of Alberta having to do with the details of transferring a large part of the flow of the Peace River south using it for limited irrigation though the core and exporting the balance to the US northern states. This engineering is as valid and up to date as the day it was put up.

Now, years later the Alberta Government is talking additional dams on the Peace River?Meanwhile the Alberta Government announced a mid province pipeline and in their spin said it would replace doubtful well water. Farmers in the peace River block were notified a few years ago they did not own the water in their dug outs and did not own their trapped rain water..

What is going to happen is the pipeline will go into Central Alberta and people will no longer be allowed to use their wells for anything unless it is on the meter. That is the way of commodity water.

The Fraser institute put up some papers on how much money we (corporations) were loosing by not being able to export water. It was a lot. The Conservative Party of Canada went to the Liberal dominated Privy Council asking for confirmation that Bulk Water was included already in NAFTA. The resounding answer was NO, it is not! The Conservatives said they would pursue it through the courts. Nothing back on that.

NAFTA is going to be renegotiated no matter who gets in. If the Liberals negotiate with Mexico and the US there will be no inclusion of bulk water exports. All three Governments are waiting for the elections to be over before entering into the Frey.

If however you turn Harper loose, i t is a given and your drinking water will become a commodity under NAFTA and you will be paying US prices for your water.

Canadians presently pay from zero to 50 dollars a month for their water service. This is doubled by most municipalities as a sewage charge regardless how much went on your lawn. I can see the probability of 100 dollar or more monthly water bills if water is made into a commodity.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Alberta Health Care in Jeopardy

We all know Alberta is on the fast track to privatizing heath care.

We are all aware the Capital Health Region did extensive consultations on what to de-list from services covered under the Alberta Health Care program.

We all know the list was completed and is sitting; waiting to implement.

Alberta cannot de-list services in the Health System unless there is changes made to the Canada Health Act. Harper will make those changes! The other parties wont.

Alberta's New Water pipelines

Alberta Conservatives continue to press ahead with the privatization of Alberta Water. Reading the PR articles listed would have you believe there is a huge benevolent water program coming on board. This is simply not the case!

In reality the people along this line will not be allowed to use well water. There is a good probability they will not be able to use for free the water out of their dug outs. On the pipeline they are on the meter. It is only a case of when the other shoe will fall!

This Government paying 90% of anything means only the taxpaer picks up 90% now and the project is turned over to an insider at 1 cent on a dollar value!

The 142-km project involves building a pipeline from Stettler water treatment plant through Halkirk, Coronation, Castor, Veteran and Consort. The upgrading will allow communities to discard using well water of questionable quality for a better and more reliable source of water. Besides the obvious benefits to residents, the upgrading is expected to provide an economic development boost.

The provincial government is picking up 90 per cent of the cost of the waterline, which is the first phase of a long-term plan to improve water supplies in eastern Central Alberta. A second phase would extend the pipeline to the Hamlet of Compeer, near the Saskatchewan border. Future lines could feed the Buffalo Lake area, Ferintosh and other communities

Saturday, October 04, 2008

A defeat for Harper is a win for Alberta!

The Fraser institute took positions on the amount of money we corporations) were loosing by not exporting bulk water. The Conservative Party of Canada went before the Privy Council of Canada to make a case on the export of bulk water under NAFTA. The resounding reply to them was NO! Not allowed.

The Conservative party of Canada accepted this saying they would take it up with the courts. Nothing more on that since.

The Democrats in the US say they want to open NAFTA again. No matter which party gets in, NAFTA will be renegociated.

If bulk water is allowed for export it becomes a commodity under NAFTA. As such we cannot charge the US more than we pay. To get the most money for export (like electricity) they have to boost the amount we pay. Bottom line is: If the Conservatives get in at all you will be paying California prices for your water!

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Alberta Conservative Friends get rich fast!

RBK in Alberta wrote:
Posted 2008/10/02at 2:19 PM ET
cyberclark wrote:
Posted 2008/10/02 at 1:50 PM ET

The Alberta Government owned crown land in and around McMurray that was worth a fortune. Rather than put it up on public open auction they turned it over to an insider construction contractor to build apartments and houses on.
A year or so has passed. Has there been apartment and houses built? Do the prices of those units reflect the fact the property was free? How would you compare this new property to property in Edmonton and Calgary price wise?
No, things have not changed for the better up here. Housing costs are out to lunch and I blame that on the Government. The land, as you stated, is mostly crown land.
The Alberta Government put a stop to speculators buying up land years ago. However when they parcel that land out to developers they are squeezing as many houses into each block that they can, creating zero lot line, 2 and 3 storey houses, so they can build up and get more in.

Land costs for a developed lot are absolutely ridiculous when you take into account that the developers were given the land for next to nothing. A lot for a MOBILE home currently costs 100K and upwards so a mobile home on a lot currently lists at 250K to 400K. So someone is making a ridiculous amount of money out of land up here and I highly doubt if it will ever change.

With the recent two large areas released by the crown for development what I have seen to date does not give me any hope whatsoever those things will change. However, newcomers are helped out in buying a home by the company they work for but it still takes 2 incomes to afford those mortgages.

Those working service industry jobs in town are hard pressed to keep up and many businesses just close their doors due to lack of people to work. My home is long paid off but I really feel for those just moving into town and signing 750K mortgages for a house.

If things do go bad they will go really bad and then it will get ugly up here. That is why Layton scares most people up here with his plans to slow or curtail development.
Developement of the oil sands has to moderate to allow other sectors to catch up but if not handled properly it will be ugly.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Alberta Provincial Police are in!

For a while, Alberta was running the Sheriffs' having no legislation to support them. That went by the board unheralded. Since that time Sheriffs have been installed in municipalities opposite the RCMP. Another escalation if you like.

This announcement putting sheriffs into the vice end of things would be the capper.
Let's all welcome the Alberta Provincial Police!

Albertans' will pay 30 million more for water in 5 years.

Market Wire - September 30ATCO Group has launched ATCO Water, a company focused on designing, building and operating leading edge water and wastewater infrastructure and facilities for both industry and municipalities. ATCO Water has reached an agreement with GE Water & Process Technologies to draw on its leading technologies, especially in the fields of purification and advanced recycling.

ATCO Water, a division of ATCO Energy Solutions, will pursue water opportunities both within Alberta and internationally. ATCO Water will be headed by Bob Myles, who has held senior roles in ATCO’s gas, pipelines, midstream and strategic planning groups. It is hoped that ATCO Water will produce as much as $20 million in after tax earnings in as short a time frame as five years
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