Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Alberta : Treading water at a fire sale

50,000 dollars a year on gifts of golfballs and fridge magnets?
A part-time constituency aide who earned $18,000 a year but received a bonus of $21,500?

Gosh, that sounds familiar, but this time it's the Alberta Con Adscam.

Rusty Idols and Calgary Grit have posts up about the veritable cavalcade of government scandals in Alberta, topped off by yesterday's release of Alberta Auditor General Fred Dunn's annual report :
"The report, released Monday, paints a damning picture of lax accounting and accountability in the province's energy ministry, years before the release of a royalty review panel report last month that concluded Albertans are not getting their "fair share" from oil and gas development, and should be
collecting another $2 billion annually in royalties.
"The principles of transparency and accountability, I believe, were not followed," Dunn said. "I'm
not impressed."
Dunn said the province has had all the information it needed to harvest another $1 billion in royalties for years without harming the oil industry, but kept that information to itself.
Meanwhile, the report also said the provincial government's poor planning has left it with a maintenance backlog of roughly $6.1 billion, raising the prospect of unsafe roads and public buildings if the problem isn't addressed."

Not to mention the little matter of the gifts and bonuses.
Go read Rusty Idols and Calgary Grit - they actually live there.

Then contrast their posts with the Parkland Institute/AFL Conference from this past weekend : Treading Water: Workers, Wages and the Boom :
From Canadian Business Online:
"Corporations are benefiting from the boom : In current dollars, Alberta corporate profits rose from $12 billion in 1998 to $54 billion in 2006.
Average Albertans are not benefiting from the boom : The average hourly wage in Alberta in 2006 was $19.30. In 2001 it was $19.37. Wages in construction dropped two dollars per hour.
Alberta has become the province with the highest percentage of employed clients visiting food banks."

All so a few Cons and carpetbaggers can make money selling off Alberta crude at firesale prices .
Meanwhile : Why Canada has no mandaTory GHG caps.

3 comments:

Holly Stick said...

Alison, check out daveberta, which Ken Chapman points to. The lobbyist Ken Boessenkool has popped up again.

http://daveberta.blogspot.com/2007/10/whos-behind-getitrightalbertaca.html

http://ken-chapman.blogspot.com/2007/10/who-and-what-is-wwwgetitrightalbertaca.html

And the website:

http://www.getitrightalberta.ca/home.asp

Alison said...

Thanks, Holly
Got your note this morning and am sorting through some links..
I know I've said this before, but it really is invaluable how you link us up to each other.

Holly Stick said...

Glad to do it, Alison. I can't concentrate on doing deep research on a topic at present, but can flit around seeing who's talking about what. Did you see that DeSmogBlog now has a couple of posts about it? This one has some really interesting information in the comments:

http://www.desmogblog.com/pr-giant-launches-alberta-astroturf-group

The other post is about the Lobby Register, which you already know all about :)

http://www.desmogblog.com/whos-lobbying-who-about-what-in-canada

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