First let me start with a notice to all you faithful readers out there:
I'm heading off to New York City this evening for an extended long weekend holiday. I'll be posting comments on Alberta news items of the day if I find them very important. What you're more likely to see here, however, is another of my travel photo-blogs. Newsworthy stuff? Not really... but its my blog ;)
The CanWest papers in Alberta (Edmonton Journal/Calgary Herald) comissioned a poll to find out what Albertans think about the new royalty regime. Not surprisingly, the headlines reporting the results were torqued.
The story suggests that the Premier may be facing a "lose-lose" situation with respect to the reaction to the new royalties. To demostrate this, they trot out the fact that 61% of poll respondents believe that "oil companies overinflated the negative consequences that higher royalties would have on the sector."
Yeah. I do too. That doesn't suggest that people are mad at the government over the actions they've taken. Dig further and you'll find that the poll indicates that 47% of respondents support the government's new royalty regime, while 33% oppose it and 20% either don't know or didn't answer the question.
Decisions are made by people who show up... especially at the ballot box. I see these numbers and I don't worry one bit. 47% believe that the Premier did the right thing, while another 20% are still making up their mind or just plain don't care (and, in which case, likely don't bother to vote).
I think these numbers are a good start and, as more and more Albertans come to understand the report (along with some of the other good things the Stelmach government is doing), they'll be moving firmly into our camp.
Back over in "fairytale land", certain Alberta Liberals (who also happen to be Federal Liberals... coincidence i'm sure) continue to farcically call for the resignation of Energy Minister Mel Knight. This is quite laughable for two reasons.
One, everything that they are trying to pin on Knight happened almost exclusively prior to his arrival as Minister. Since he has taken over we have seen great progress on the energy file, no doubt due to his exceptional competence and energy sector experience unmatched by anyone in the Legislature.
Second, take a look at who a Liberal government would have as Minister of Energy. Aside from the fact that putting Beaker here in charge would send shivers down the spine of any sane Albertan, this guy isn't fit for public office. Its a shame I can't link directly to it, but you can take a gander through the afternoon hansards of April 28th-30th, 2003 and read the debate on a question of priviledge that the supposedly honourable Member for Edmonton-Gold Bar raised. The whole episode was shameful and shows that little (if any) trust should be placed in this man.
Finally, another gift from the guy that those Alberta Liberals just can't seem to shake. Stephane Dion shows a Taft-esque streak of missing the boat completely with THIS.
Happy Hallowe'en everybody!