Saturday, November 10, 2007

Ah, Ted, How We Missed You...

During our recent sabbatical from blogging ( "yeah, 'sabbatical', that's it..." * looks shifty * ), we were vaguely aware of some foofera going on about the amount of money owed to, and collected by, the Alberta government from the oil companies for the rights to drill in the province. To make a long story quite short, Ed Stelmach decided to raise the royalty rates, eventually, but not by as much as he'd been told to. Even this modest increase (and the promise to actually collect the money this time), displeased some people. As exhibit A, we present Ted Byfield crying out that the bolsheviks are at the door:

Shades of Tommy Douglas!
Alberta has basked in prosperity until Honest Ed came along and changed the rules

How many Albertans, you wonder, are conscious of the sharp change in direction Ed Stelmach has made in our government.

No, I don't, particularly.

He has done something not one of his five predecessor premiers ever attempted.

He has turned Albertans against the industry that has made them prosper and has made their province great.

No, this is not what Stelmach did. All he did was ask the oil companies to pay a little bit more than they already do for the right to get stinkin' rich off Alberta's resources.

How else can you interpret his new royalty regime, imposed without negotiation on the province's central economic engine?

Um, about that "without negotiation" thing? You may have missed the bit about the group together by Stelmach go over the royalty issue and negotiate some solutions to it, a group that, in Sam Spanglet, included at least one guy directly employed by the oil industry. Anyway, it was in all the papers.

If you believe the polls, he has persuaded Albertans the oil and gas producers are robbing them blind and that he, Ed Stelmach, will defend them.

Actually, not so much. While he did persuade a lot of us that the oil and gas companies were making out like bandits, the jury's still out on whether his measures will in fact defend us from this.

Shades of Tommy Douglas!

And Ted kicks it old school, going with a vintage bit of red-scaring!

Ironically, it was exactly 60 years ago that Imperial Oil, after drilling more than 100 dry wells, finally found a major oil pool near Leduc.

It is said the discovery rig had been moved into Alberta from Saskatchewan.

By whom is this said? Cite sources, please, sir!

There, the renowned Premier T.C. "Tommy" Douglas, Canada's first socialist head of state, had declared he would defend his people against exploitation by "Big Oil."

He would never allow the vicious multi-nationals to reap their customary "huge profits" out of Saskatchewan.

Well, he was certainly as good as his word.

Yeah, that evil communist bastard, rigging the geology so that Saskatchewan possesses "approximately a quarter of the ultimately recoverable conventional oil resources, and less than 5% of ultimately recoverable natural gas resources" in the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin (go read the linked article on the oil and gas industry in Saskatchewan. It's very interesting). The history of the oil industry in Saskatchewan is roughly akin to said history in Alberta, except with less oil. This is because there is actually less fucking oil in Saskatchewan, not because of Lenin.

Anyway, Ted blathers on, like the craven twit that he is, about the dangers of Saskatchewan-style socialism and angering the oil companies for awhile. I'll spare you all that, and jump to his final pronouncement:

There goes our carefully nurtured reputation for stability and dependability.

Actually, and only if Stelmach actually has the guts to follow through on the royalty increases (and collect them), there goes our reputation for being patsies.

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