Alberta’s tar, oil ‘n gas patch: piss on the law and steal from the taxman

Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo sues oilsands company over unpaid taxes, The municipality is suing Sunshine Oilsands Ltd. over $15.8 million by CBC News, Jul 11, 2020

The Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo is suing Sunshine Oilsands Ltd. over $15.8 million of unpaid taxes and arrears, according to court documents. 

The municipality filed a statement of claim on June 26 in the Court of Queen’s Bench in Fort McMurray. 

The taxes are linked to the West Ells facility, a steam-assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) oilsands operation west of Fort McKay. 

None of the allegations have been proven in court. At the time of publication, Sunshine Oilsands had not filed a statement of defence. 

The taxes are for the years 2016 to 2020. The statement of claim says, “Assessment Notices and Tax Notices have been duly issued by the Municipality to the Defendant in respect to the Property in each of the Tax Years and the Defendant has never commenced any assessment complaint in respect to any of the Tax Years.”

The West Ells oilsands project produces 5,000 barrels a day and started in 2015. 

In an email, a representative for the municipality said it’s owed $19 million in outstanding property taxes from oilsands companies in the region. 

But at this time “no other similar situation to the Sunshine Oilsands case exists as of now.”

The municipality said the decision to take the matter to court was because a “possible limitation deadline came up that requires the RMWB to file a claim to exercise this option.” 

But the municipality is still willing to work with the company directly to find a “fair and equitable” solution.

The statement of claim says that the municipality will continue to accrue penalties.

Sunshine Oilsands Ltd. did not respond to CBC’s request for comment.

A few of the comments:

Scotty Davidson
Both our right wing parties will protect this defenseless oil company from the evil taxpayers…

Denis Roberts
Oil companies stealing from everyday taxpayers again! This also reminds me of the farmers not getting paid for the wells and access roads across their land (With “big” oil selling older wells off to “small” oil that then goes broke.). The oil companies just say “No. Not paying you. Times are tough. Suck it up!”

A government with gonads would demand payment into a fund to cover such costs as unpaid taxes etc. Let Sunshine Oilsands whine on top of their $4,487,235,270 – Gross proceeds (Thanks @Gordon McPherson).

Not to mention all the THOUSANDS of abandoned wells that oil companies have left behind. And Trudeau’s make-work project will barely scratch the surface! (Is that program actually working?)

“Alberta has approximately 95,000 inactive wells and 69,000 abandoned wells, according to the Alberta Energy Regulator. (Kyle Bakx/CBC)”.

A REAL government that cares about Albertans would require a huge performance bond or contribution to a restoration fund for every barrel taken. (Heck… everyday Albertans pay into a recycling fund for every tire we buy!)

Oh… the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) says they have the Orphan Well Association (OWA) that takes car of abandoned wells… funded by $374-million from industry AND $235-Million and recently $100-Million with LOANS from the Alberta Government (us). And Canadian taxpayers are being stolen from to pay the interest on those loans (that I expect industry never intends to pay back). Now Trudeau is pitching in $1.7-Billion of Canadians’ tax money. BUT WHY ARE WE (Albertans and Canadians) PAYING FOR THE OIL INDUSTRY’S CLEAN UP! This is insane that the politicians think this is OK. Isn’t it at least “stupid”. Dumping clean up and unpaid bills on the taxpayer (after companies, most foreign owned, rape out billions in profits) has always been Canada’s Rape & Pillage Way. The rich make much more money that way.

Dan Croteau
Even with all their tax cuts and their governmental subsidies, they are still trying to get more from society. Another proof that these companies couldn’t care less about Canada and Canadians.

MS follow Maryjane Smith
The corporation is simply planning to bankrupt, and take the town with it.

Kelvin Bosch
Subsidies to oil companies was always a bad idea…. allowing deferred taxes while these companies reap millions/billions of dollars from a public resource is irresponsible of the local and Provincial governments.

Martin Yan
they’ll declare bankruptcy, and the owners walk away with all the profits, and none of the costs. bet there’s nothing been paid yet to clean up behind them either.
taxpayer getting hosed twice from the kenney administration that lets these things go on.

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