And just as he was going up a wee bit in the polls the National Post ran this screaming full banner headline on their front page today;
STELMACH BLINKS FIRST
Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach has indicated he may be willing to give in to intense oil-industry pressure
Which then resulted in this:
Premier Stelmach quoted as saying he won't trounce royalty dealsAnd while Eddies PR flack; former Calgary Herald Columnist (and scab), Tom Olson admits he wasn't at the 'private' business affair he attempts to do some damage control;
Stelmach reconsidering royalty issue: report
Alberta leader wants calm Stelmach: formal royalty, tax talks ‘over,’ but ministers meet privately with investors
Alberta premier has not decided on royalties: aide
Alberta's premier has not ruled out any recommendations from his royalty review panel, which has urged the province to boost its take from the oil industry by C$2 billion ($2.1 billion), or 20 percent, a year, his spokesman said on Friday.
"No final decisions have been made," Tom Olsen, a spokesman for Premier Ed Stelmach, told Reuters. "The premier is committed to meeting the objective of the report. The suggestion of (panel chairman Bill) Hunter is that there was room to move on royalties. The status quo is not an option."
Premier Ed Stelmach's office insists he has not made any final decisions on royalties, after a newspaper report today suggested he's backing away from at least one of the royalty review panel's contentious proposals.
You see he can't really think on his feet, he rambles, he is indecisive, he goes with the wind.
Stelmach said a private speech Thursday to about 100 executives organized by the Harvard Business School Club in Calgary that he will "not trounce existing agreements," the National Post reported, citing sources in attendance at the event.
The government-commissioned review on energy royalties urged Stelmach against "grandfathering" - imposing new rules on higher royalties on projects that have already begun under the current royalty system.
"I can't dispute the quote," said Tom Olsen, the premier's press secretary.Olsen said he wasn't at the speech.
David Heyman, another premier's aide who was there, said he couldn't recall any exact quotes, and no government staff recorded or took notes as Stelmach spoke.
Stelmach's remarks came to an audience member's question. "Here's what I do remember: It was a long answer. It took several minutes," Heyman said.
The aide noted that Stelmach's speaking style doesn't include "short, sharp sentences," so it might be difficult to draw conclusions based on one part of a lengthy comment.
While the government continues to back pedal and lower expectations on the royalty issue despite it giving Ed a boost in the polls. Its the politics of lowered expectations.
No decision expected for another two weeksThe two weeks is when Ed will do his Ralph Klein imitation and do a fireside chat on TV.
With energy companies warning high royalties will trigger cutbacks and job losses, and public opinion overwhelmingly in favour of higher royalties, this is almost universally deemed the pivotal decision of Stelmach's leadership.
Energy Minister Mel Knight refused to comment on the progress of his department's study of the royalty review.
"We're working very hard to reach a balance," Knight said outside cabinet Tuesday.
Stelmach and many ministers have largely abandoned talk of Albertans' "fair share" of resource revenues -- they've instead adopted the buzzword "balance," referring to a decision that considers both the public's ownership of resources and industry's multibillion-dollar investments.
And of course the first family of the right in Alberta, the Byfield's once again have one of their scions defend Big Oil and tell us how good we have it here, hinting at the doom and gloom of the recession of the eighties if we dare ask for our 'fair share';
Fairness And Envy: Human Factors That Fuel The Royalty DebateAs I have said before Ed is preparing to sell us out to the oil interests.
Nickle's Energy Group, Canada -
9 Oct 2007
By Mike Byfield
Don't Let Big Oil Set Our Royalty Rates make sure Ed hears from you
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