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    MLA Report February 3

    Hello Chestermere
    On Wednesday of the week that I write this (Jan 27th) we were treated to the realization that both our federal and provincial leaders feel that the pipelines both into BC and out East need to have more in depth review. This is with regards to greenhouse gas emissions on the upstream aspects of moving our resources to tidewater. We are puzzled because as we understand it, those emissions are accounted for during production. We are interested to understand what they mean by this and what emissions they are referring to. How do political appointees added into the mix give us the objective, impartial review that we deserve? Consider that most of these pipelines have been studied extensively and pipelines like Trans-Mountain have been carrying our oil for over 50 years with an exemplary safety record. The requirements for the new lines have already been met. What does this mean for Alberta? We will have to continue to pay exorbitant prices to move our product by train and by truck, and sell at a discount to our competition, the United States, who are free to resell our resources at world price and receive the billions in price increment that by rights should belong to Albertans.
    We are thrilled that the government has adopted the Wildrose position on royalties. They were fine the way they were! Surprise, surprise. However it is too little too late once again. There is justifiable concern over the lack of detailed regulations in the report, and that alone will keep investors away. They want industry to “reduce costs”. What costs: wages?, taxes?, safety, regulations?, surface rights payments to landowners? They don’t say. It is a bit rich that they lecture the private sector on cost control when we see no evidence that they have even considered trying to reduce the cost of government. We will be keeping a close eye on the details as they come to light, and will continue to meet stakeholders and advocate for Albertans and our resources. One thing that you as our readers may want to keep an eye on – the premier refused to commit to keeping the system in place if oil prices rise. As Brian Jean said, companies investing billions of dollars in 50 year projects need confidence that the rules will stay fair. The government paid hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of dollars to learn Albertans are indeed receiving their fair share. Wildrose knew that and told them so.
    And now something that is truly heartwarming. On July 31 Mary Brown’s Famous Chicken and Taters was destroyed by fire. Fully rebuilt, it opened again to the public on January 8. I was honoured to be invited to the special Grand Re-Opening celebration on January 30 and overwhelmed to hear that as a special thanks to Chestermere’s Protective Services owner Shan Ali will donate $5,000 to the Chestermere Food Bank. His loyal customers were not forgotten as they enjoyed special pricing all day. This generosity exemplifies the community spirit that makes Chestermere such a special place to call home. Thank you Shan, and as a new resident- Welcome!
    Finally, we would like to honour the life of a great Albertan: Ronald D. Southern, the visionary behind Atco and Spruce Meadows. He was the perfect combination of business acumen, family values, and generosity of spirit. We will miss him immensely.
    As always we are grateful for your feedback and we are here to help