Thursday, March 6, 2008

Its Payback Time!

Though I consider the jury out on whether Premier Ed Stelmach offers an improvement to the quality of government we will receive here in Alberta, I heartily support his decision to follow the recommendations of the Alberta Royalty Review panel's "Our Fair Share". Accusations by his critics that the Government was unethical or dishonest by increasing the royalty rates in a time when oil is selling for over $100 a barrel is just so much hot air. Without the transparency implied under Alberta's so-called "Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act" (a classic example of Orwellian doublespeak) to scrutinize the agreements involved, Albertans are truly in the dark as to how much of our resource wealth has been squandered to fire-sale prices, and failures to properly collect. Cloaked by the following section of FOIP, Albertans are forbidden from knowing details:
16(1) The head of a public body must refuse to disclose to an applicant information

(a) that would reveal

... (ii) commercial, financial, labour relations, scientific or technical information of a third party, (b) that is supplied, explicitly or implicitly, in confidence, and
(c) the disclosure of which could reasonably be expected to
(i) harm significantly the competitive position or interfere significantly with the negotiating position of the third party,
(ii) result in similar information no longer being supplied to the public body when it is in the public interest that similar information continue to be supplied,
(iii) result in undue financial loss or gain to any person or organization ...
Now only 3 days after Ed Stelmach's landslide electoral victory, the Shell and Esso Strathcona refineries are reporting "coincidental" production shortages. Media analysts are speculating gasoline may hit $1.50 per liter ($5.68 a gallon) in the Edmonton area by May. Is this how the oil industry intends to recover lost profits from Alberta's increased oil royalty rates? Only a conspiracy theorist would think so. At any rate, it is time for Albertans to insist on repealing FOIP and replacing it with an Act that will cast sunlight on darkness.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Top Ten Reasons Why Fox News Didn't Invite Ron Paul to their New Hampshire TV Debate

10. He uses profanity, calling the U.S. Federal Reserve a “monopoly” and saying money is “created out of thin air.

9. Though supported by more U.S. servicemen, he won’t “play ball” with the military industrial complex.

8. Former Air Force Captain Ron Paul's legions of supporters will influence voters with their air corps or money bomb from their zepplin.

7. The 6 million dollar man might use his powers to break through Fox News' stranglehold of neoconservative opinion.

6. His supporters are the victims of internet mind control.

5. People might find out about his voting record.

4. After finding out about #5, voters might believe he’ll keep his campaign promises, like abolishing the IRS.

3. He makes the other Republican candidates look like the hacks and shills for special interests that they really are.

2. Ron Paul, like the proverbial 12 ton elephant, won’t fit in the TV studio.

1. Ron Paul is not supposed to win.