What more input does Stelmach need?

What more input does Stelmach need? by John O’Connor, September 29, 2007, The Edmonton Journal
Since the royalty review process was initiated many months ago, Albertans have been telling the government loud and clear that we are not getting our fair share from the oil companies and that royalties should be increased. This has been the consistent message at public hearings held throughout the province, in the letters pages of the newspapers, and in the many e-mails and phone calls the government has received. Now, the long-awaited report by the royalty review panel has come to the same conclusion.

So what has Ed Stelmach done in response to this overwhelming consensus? Why, absolutely nothing, of course. In true Steady Eddie fashion, the premier has chosen to dither by asking for yet more feedback before making a decision. What can the government possibly learn from this process that it does not already know?

This is clearly a stalling tactic from a premier who does not have the guts to stand up to the oil companies on behalf of the citizens he is meant to represent.

As NDP Leader Brian Mason notes, the idea of the energy department doing a “technical analysis” of the report is laughable, given that the report documented the inability of that same department to gather proper information about the current royalty regime.

Stelmach should immediately implement the full recommendations of the report, a document that was prepared by a group he personally hand-picked. The comments of panel member Sam Spanglet, a former oil executive are telling. Speaking of the all-too-predictable negative reaction to the report from his old colleagues, he said that they should stop whining and that they had made a great deal of money in recent years. “Why can’t the rest of Albertans get a bit more out of it?” he asked.

Why not, indeed? [Emphasis added]

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