Wednesday, October 24, 2007


Tonight, Ed Stelmach makes his much anticipated TV address to Albertans. Oil companies have been anticipating this for weeks, fearing a raise in royalties. The media have been anticipating this for months, since it finally allows them to break out the "Ed TV" pun they've been itching to use since Stelmach was elected Premier last December. Insomniacs have been anticipating it for reasons anyone who has heard Mr. Ed speak will understand.

On Tuesday, Kevin Taft announced that the Alberta Liberals are standing behind the royalty review recommendations and the Auditor General's report. While this might seem like an obvious course of action, this was actually a very courageous stand. The ALP is still in debt and has been doing quite well with corporate donations recently - this effectively means that they've kissed away any oil company donations from now until election day. You can watch Taft's explanation here:

Now we just wait and see if Stelmach is willing to do likewise or if he'll cave and resort to half measures and grandfathering changes. Unfortunately, I won't have a chance to watch Ed TV tonight, but I have obtained a leaked copy of Stelmach's team prepping him for how to answer the big question:

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  • It might be a gutsy move by Kevin Taft, but Mason beat him to the punch by a couple of days.

    By Blogger Sean Cummings, at 8:44 a.m.  

  • It's courageous for Taft to choose a policy backed by the vast majority of Albertans, and practically everyone who identifies themselves as Liberal?????

    Stelmach's solution is an obvious one. Let's call it the Chretien approach:

    1. Announce that you'll adopt every single royalty recommendation, as written, no amendments.

    2. Get re-elected.

    3. Adopt very few of the recommendations.

    4. (Optional) Blame the opposition for your failure to implement the recommendations as written.

    P.S. I'm actually serious. That is what he should do. It works, and it's probably what's best for Alberta.

    By Blogger Robert Vollman, at 10:06 a.m.  

  • Okay, that is the first Kevin Taft speech I have ever heard. I am incredibly thankful that I will never be obliged to watch a debate between those two men (which, I theorize, would cause a critical mass of boringness that would suck the prairies into them, leaving them flat and barren... moreso).

    By Blogger french wedding cat, at 12:11 p.m.  

  • Four years ago, a report by Deloitte & Touche put the lie to insurance lobby allegations that a compensation cap on injury claims was necessary to rein in spiralling auto insurance rates. Under intense insurance industry pressure, Deloitte’s quickly withdrew the report, and the Alberta government accepted the insurance lobby’s recommendation to slash compensation payable to innocent injured car crash victims. While Alberta traffic fatalities spiked by over 20% in the year following implementation of the Klein government’s insurance “reforms”, the "good news" is that insurance industry profits have increased by over 2000% in the last four years.

    Now another powerful, multi-billion dollar industry is turning the screws on a report deemed injurious to its fiscal interests. It remains to be seen if the oil industry’s relentless attack on the royalty review panel report will prove as financially rewarding as another industry’s attack on another report four years ago.

    By Blogger Herbert B. Patrotage, at 7:00 p.m.  

  • Won't be able to catch this, looking forward to a recap, if you do one.

    By Blogger Jacques Beau Vert, at 9:15 p.m.  

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