Saturday, February 26, 2011

Alberta Budget plunges us deep into the red.

The Alberta Budget has brought more to light than just fun the Conservatives are having with your dollar!

Earlier this year, the oil royalty was dropped to 5% Canadian dollar which leaves this Government in a deficit position, not enough money to operate on.

This is simply an in house crisis they manufactured by which they can win on two levels.
Firstly, force the envelope of the Conservative agenda forward and secondly and most important put them in a position to promise us yet again they will increase the oil royalty which, just isn't going to happen.

This little trick to get them elected again is costing the Alberta Treasury several billions of dollars to date and probably another 10 billion dollars by the time they call an election and run out their new promises.

The last election they rolled out a “new royalty regime” complete with pie in the sky, meaningless numbers that Albertans seemed to have ate up still in the mindset this Government would not do them any harm.

 In truth, the new regime did nothing more than further reduce our take on royalty (by 18% at the time) when they switched the funds taken to Canadian Dollars away from the American world standard.

Albertans have to get their head around the lies and misdirection put out by this Government in the past and realize that literally any of the opposition parties running would look after the industry in this province just fine. 

My own choice would be the Liberals as they have been mapping the finances for years and know how to put in the fixes and will protect our programs.

The Wild Rose Party still see their role as being the same flavor of Conservatives you have in there now but even harder, more brutal they have no plans other than forcing the Conservative envelope forward, doing away with all the “Evil Social programs”. 
They too have targeted the Health Care as being subject to a ways and means test before the Alberta Government pays anything.  Alberta has a security net they will use that says if you make more than 24,000 a year you will get no health care assistance from the province. This will be the equivalent of the American Medicaid.

In the Conservative philosophy, Government has no business in Health Care at any level; funding foremost.

Wildrose Alliance Leader Danielle Smith, who doesn’t have a seat in the legislature, said the government is full of spending addicts.
“They’re practically vaporizing our savings accounts,” she said. “You can’t just keep on hoping that revenue increases are going to bail you out of this problem.”
She said that once the dwindling Sustainability Fund is gone, the government will be forced to implement deep spending cuts or tax increases.

Raising the royalty to that of BC or Saskatchewan which is 17% US$ is just like the present Government; it’s not going to happen!

NDP Leader Brian Mason said the government doesn’t have a spending problem, it has a revenue problem.
“I think they’ve given tremendous gifts to their friends in the oil and gas industry, letting them take most of the value of the resources that belong to the people of this province,” he said. “They have continued to charge the lowest royalties in the world.
“Here again we have this government giving massive billion-dollar gifts to its corporate friends and nickel and diming ordinary people. The priorities are wrong.
He is right on the money; a very accurate statement.

Liberal Leader Dr. David Swann said the government has failed to make the difficult decisions that were necessary.
“This looks like a pre-election budget to me,” he said. “They’ve made no tough decisions.
“This Conservative government continues to act as if its playing with an endless supply of Monopoly money. This is not a game.”
Perhaps he is out of the game but; his comments are totally off the mark probably did not want to offend the oil companies.

Alberta Party MLA Dave Taylor said the province should be focused on creating an aggressive, long-term saving strategy.
“We need to get in the saving habit ... and we are most assuredly not there right now,” he said.
This statement is the biggest nothing say of the day!  Mindless under the circumstance but careful not to shake the Conservative vote.

The $15.8 billion Heritage Savings Trust Fund — which is separate from the Sustainability Fund — is expected to earn $970 million in interest this fiscal year. The province plans to transfer $631 million of that interest to the general revenue fund, where it will be used to pay for programs and services. The remaining $339 million will be left in the fund for “inflation-proofing.”

This trust fund was not to have been touched but left to grow and compound its interests to the benefit of Albertans.  This Government has pulled more than 70 billions of dollars from the Trust Fund, used it in General operating.   Any surplus that showed up at the end of the year because of this influx of taxpayer cash was called “Windfall” and attributed to the Resource companies.

If Albertans would get out and vote rather than sit on their arse thinking they are outnumbered, it would remove Conservatives from the political map!   22% of  registered voters put them into office with a huge majority.  

Your vote would have done so much to eliminate the cuts.

And finally; get over Trudeau and the NEP.  It was agreed on by Alberta as a means to increase Canadian Ownership and, it worked!  The Conservatives managed to turn the whole economic downturn of the day into the fault of the NEP which was an outright lie!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Alberta's shoddy echonomics.

The one great thing that Conservative Governments fail at consistently and constantly is stability.  Their Government is always surrounded by chaos!

In the 90s the Alberta Conservatives accounting practices moved business out of the province rather than into it.  The "New Up-grader" seems to be one of these scams on a newer, grander scale.

Point in detail.  A company in Calgary built it's business on heat exchangers.  He was a customer of mine for several years.  I called him up one day and got a recorded announcement the shop was closed and if one had a project to call the number given.

I was able to contact the owner finally; in Minneapolis!  He explained in detail why he closed his shop of 150 employees and opened up again in the US.

The tale:
Over the years he had built a business in the oil patch and the tar sands.  His complaint however was the business structure.  When the economy was down like it is now, or there was a looming election like there is now, the Tar Sands companies would put out bids on expansion projects.

The announcement would create a ripple effect in the economy as bids were sent out for various components of the phantom expansion.  Companies, like my customer spent a lot of coin working the speculation trail pumping out research and quotes on phantom projects.

Meanwhile, his shop sat idle.  To keep his shop busy he took on projects in Minneapolis building heat exchangers for air conditioning units.  It too built into a nice business for him but the costs of shipping the air conditioners to the States was overhead he could not afford.  The Air Conditioner business far outreached the output of the northern heat exchanger business.

He told me "If Alberta wants me to quote on something they can write to my Air Conditioning shop in Minneapolis.  I refuse to keep a shop staff of more than 100 people on payroll while the Government fleeces my pocket with phony quotations.  The same "new projects" are quoted every time the economy takes a dip.

His shop now closed and his business fully established in Minneapolis he remains a common tale of Conservative mis-management.

This brings me to the next post, on the "New Up-grader"

Monday, February 14, 2011

Alberta must endure still another Insurance Rip Off!

I have been advised my home insurance package is up 150.00 above last years prices and this is low by Alberta Standards. Alberta has 1.3 million households.

This "minimum" increase gives Insurance Companies an additional $195,000,000 per year and with their track record, it will continue indefinitely.  At 10 years it is a windfall profit of 2 billion dollars!

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Alberta--The Details; a new development.

A new development in the world of Alberta--The Details and Cyberclark!

I have received 2 anonymous emails from separate Hotmail accounts that have said pretty much the same thing.  I will continue the battle knowing the hits on this blog are followed closely,  not just from Canada and the individual parties but, from all around the world.  Without the check marks on the individual blogs, I know the word is getting out there.

"Your on line support has dropped to nothing" alluding to recent posts asking NDP's Jack Layton and the Liberal's Michael Ignatieff to provide us with details on exactly what they agreed with the Conservatives on and why.

We know Ignatieff threw away the Liberal Red book and has since tried to replace it with his personality which, isn't flying.

We know Jack Layton is riding the fence on issues such as Health Care and Bulk Water exports.

It is up to the party members to hold their feet to the fire!

We know Harper has said he will change Canada so even the Liberals (and by default, the rest of us) will not recognize it.  Using the party of 5 Western Conservative Governments to hijack parliament, they will do just that!

A vote for Conservatives anywhere in Canada at this point in time is simply irresponsible!

The Conservatives put through legislation unchallenged by the NDP or the Libs that put the issue of Bulk Water export into the hands of the Provinces.  This is really sad because it makes no distinction between the surface water and our water aquifers which, Alberta is set to export.

Peoples all over the planet are fighting to protect their ground water from export; not so this crew!

It is plain that neither the NDP or the Liberals can live with any level of accountability.

We are so in for a rough ride!
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