Sunday, November 04, 2007

Presto Shills For Big Oil

Presto Manning was on CTV Question Period this morning shilling for Big Oil and whining about the Alberta Royalty compromise produced by Eddie Stelmach.

CTV's Question Period: Preston Manning, Fmr. Reform Party leader

Presto was following up on criticisms he made earlier this week in a comment piece he wrote in one of them 'damn eastern newspapers'; the Globe and Mail, aka Canada's National newspaper. Preston Manning: The Stelmach royalty uncertainty principle Which of course is owned by the same folks who own CTV.

Presto has upset folks even on the right like Neil Waugh at the Edmonton Sun.
Whose side is Presto on?

Presto engaged in some political prestidigitations on Question Period about how this will hurt Eddie in the polls when the election comes. And as usual with the rose coloured glasses of the Calgary right wing he predicted that it won't benefit the Liberals or NDP or even the would be right wing rump parties, but rather it would be because conservatives will stay home.

Manning added it's becoming increasingly unlikely that Stelmach and the Conservatives will win another election unless the "government demonstrates a capacity it hasn't shown thus far."

"I don't see votes going to the Liberals or the NDP, I think their biggest danger is another 150,000 people staying home who voted Conservative the last time," he said.

Well at least they have homes. It's not just the royalty deal that is driving a stake in the heart of the Tired Old Tories it's stories like this Halloween surprise.

Drastic rent increases at a Fort McMurray complex are renewing calls for rent control.

"The province needs to step in. Every other province has some form of rent control," said Rob Picard, angered by his skyrocketing rent.

On Halloween night, Picard was spooked by an 86% increase to his rent. The three-month notice means the rent on his two-bedroom 700-square-foot apartment in the River Park Glens, also known as the Syncrude Towers, is jumping from $1,425 per month to $2,650.

"I work for Suncor. I make good money, but I can't afford this. The illusion that this is Fort McMurray and everybody can afford this is just wrong," said the heavy equipment operator.

He's not the only one complaining.

Gunner Antos has a two-bedroom apartment in the same building and will see his rent go from $1,500 a month to $2,700. Those prices could even drive highly paid workers away.

"They're crying for workers and they're raping us," said Antos.

"You've got people who have jobs living in tent cities. They have people with jobs living in the bush."

Service Alberta spokesman Eoin Kenny said the government is not looking at rent controls at this time.

The apartment building has about 500 units, although some are individually owned.

"With this type of hit, even though I work for Syncrude, I may be forced to take a room this late in life," said Gerald Morrison, who has lived at the complex for more than 20 years.

"I always thought Fort McMurray was fair and square, but they're gouging now."

The landlords left a note on apartment doors Wednesday afternoon saying the change will be effective Feb. 1.

Mr. Morrison said his three-bedroom apartment is going from $1,800 a month to $2,950 - without utilities - despite a leaky roof, carpenter ants and unpainted walls. Two years ago, his rent went from $1,100 to $1,500, and then to $1,800 last February.

David Campkin said the one-bedroom apartment he and his wife share rose to $2,250 from $1,450. He said the unit's condition is "absolutely appalling" with a carpetless concrete floor and none of the promised security.

The provincial Residential Tenancies Act passed in April requires landlords to give tenants three months' notice before raising rent once a year. River Park Glen appears to have met the conditions.

There is no ceiling on rent increases in Alberta, where a sizzling economy is attracting workers from outside the province and making affordable housing scarce. A government-appointed committee suggested rent controls to Premier Ed Stelmach earlier this year, but he rejected the recommendation.

Lets do some quick math shall we. 500 units X $1500=$750,000. Rolling in the dough while not providing tenants with repairs. Can you say high rise slum lord.

Another whiner from Alberta is Harpers pal the ex-CEO of Encana, Gwyn Morgan
who also published a comment attacking the royalty compromise in that same eastern rag. The irony is that populism was what got Presto elected and made the Reform/Alliance/Conservative party possible. And Gwyn makes the same case that Presto does in attacking Farmer Ed.

Populism tramples principle in Alberta


From Monday's Globe and Mail
October 29, 2007 at 6:30 AM EST

Experience has taught me that populist politics are seldom principled. It's not that populists don't want to do what's right and best; it's just that if a choice has to be made as to which has priority, what is popular wins.

The second matter of principle Mr. Stelmach's government has violated is reneging on oil sands royalty commitments under which capital has already been invested. Except in the case of Syncrude and Suncor, the money was invested without a contract binding the government to honour the terms.

Nonetheless, investors rightly see this unilateral change as a clear case of doing what is popular rather than what is right. And in terms of doing what is best, the damage to Alberta's reputation certainly illustrates the wrong choice.

Industry is still in shock, but the computer models used to compare before and after investment feasibility are grinding away. Companies with investment opportunities outside Alberta will be looking at them a lot closer. The natural gas drilling and development service sector was already suffering, so expect an even worse downturn. New project decisions in the oil sands will have to factor a much higher government take into a business already replete with risk.

Mr. Stelmach states: "I'm confident we've made the right decisions for today and for Alberta's future."

As for me, I continue to believe that populist politics are seldom principled.

Populism is what kept Ralph in power for years. Of course in Ralph's case that was populism that benefited the oil boys in Calgary. So that was principled.


Income Trusts; Predatory Capitalism

Stelmach's Royalty Give Away

Made In Calgary Homeless Plan

The Sky Is Not Falling

Find blog posts, photos, events and more off-site about:
, , , , , , , , , , ,
, , , ,
,, , , ,
, , , , , , , , ,
, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
, , ,
,, , , , , , , , ,,,,

, ,
, , ,
,, , , , , ,,
, , ,, , ,
, , , ,

No comments: