It's popular to say Albertans need a bigger share from oil and gas companies, but Tory MLAs insist public opinion polls alone won't determine whether they hike energy royalties.
They were largely unsurprised by an Edmonton Journal-Calgary Herald poll that suggested 88 per cent of Albertans don't believe the government collects its "fair share" from oil and gas royalties, and that two-thirds want Premier Ed Stelmach to fully adopt recommendations from his royalty review panel, including its demand for a 20-per-cent overall increase on royalties.
Treasury Board President Lloyd Snelgrove, one of Stelmach's top lieutenants, said he understands that people want a fair share, but also expressed concern that opinion is being heavily influenced by the media, the panel's report and a scathing auditor-general's report this week. It said the government ignored internal advice to collect an extra $1 billion annually from energy firms.
"It is very simplistic to look back and say, 'Oh, we could have had so much more,' when in fact who knows what taking that billion dollars out of the economy three years ago would have meant in the loss of jobs, the loss of corporate and personal income tax," Snelgrove said Wednesday.
Well you were elected to know just that and clearly you didn't so it's time to go.
EDMONTON - Premier Ed Stelmach's decision on royalty rates may be a do-or-die issue for his Conservative government, suggests a poll commissioned by the Edmonton Journal and Calgary Herald.
It also suggested 67 per cent believe Stelmach should adopt in its entirety the panel report, which recommends a 20-per-cent royalty hike and a new oilsands tax.
Don't Let Big Oil Set Our Royalty Rates make sure Ed hears from you.
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