Wednesday, August 13, 2008

NOTE: Phone Number Change

We have switched phone numbers.

Those trying to reach us will find our new number at

(403) 528-3768.

Thanks to all who are supporting this project.

Thursday, July 17, 2008


We have a few more interviews to do with Albertan's around the Edmonton area. We then have some background shoots to re-do.

Editing is also underway. A sample of the introduction will soon be available on this site.

These are the main points that the documentary is examining:

1) In the mid 1990s, Alberta set up specific policies on tax levels and government fiscal responsibility to try and improve the economy. These policies developed an atmosphere that welcomed investment.

2) Investors took interest in Alberta and the inflow of capital revived the economy making Alberta into one of the leading economic performers in North America. This performance peaked in 2006 at levels that were comparable to the Chinese economy (According to Stats Canada).

3) Starting in 2007, Alberta's economy has seen a fairly sharp cooling off marked by a drop in license acquisitions for energy resource development, falling house prices and other indicators. What makes this slowdown of note is that energy prices have risen to exceptionally high levels during the time that Alberta's economy has softened.

4) What is the cause of this counter-intuitive economic pull back? Could it be high resource development costs in Alberta? Could it be the shortage of labor?

The documentary examines these and other possible causes for Alberta's slow down.

The conclusion reached is that the only reasonable cause is the province's adoption of the Alberta Royalty Review Proposals that will significantly add to the cost load on resource development. This has stripped the province of the advantage it enjoyed in attracting new investment.

The documentary also examines the possible future for Alberta after the new royalty rates take effect on Jan 1st 2009.

Call 403-528-3738 to support this project.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Our province is a great place to live and work. We are proud of Alberta and our heritage of hard work and sensible leadership that made our province the North American leader in economic prosperity and opportunity.

Recently we have seen politicians chose a new path for our province that seems to be dissolving the advantage that we Albertans worked so hard to gain.

With the royalty review proposals that were adopted by our provincial Government, we are already seeing many Albertans lose their dreams for themselves and their families. Unemployment, once unheard of in our province, is now on the rise while jobs that were once well-paying are now retreating to minimum wage.

The Alberta Royalty Documentary Project is an effort to capture the true scope of the effects of the Royalty Review decision.

The main question being asked is whether our Premier's plan to 'secure Alberta's future' is a plan that is good for Alberta or whether it will ultimately cripple our province's prosperity and the opportunities that exist here.

Please contact us at (403) 528-3768 to get involved in this documentary project.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


2008 is starting off poorly for Alberta oilsands with leases yielding a fraction of the amount of revenue that was typical of recent lease purchases.

So far this year, a total of $25,000,000 in leases have been auctioned with the last auction showing only $150,000 having been acquired by investors.

This is in contrast with the $138,000,000 last year and $846,000,000 the year before.

Here is the Calgary Herald article.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008


The Premier of Alberta has called an election for March 3rd 2008.

Monday, February 04, 2008


Premier Ed Stelmach seems likely to call an election for March 3rd 2008.

As this Edmonton Journal article points out, the Premier is facing a softening Alberta economy as investment slows and people start returning to home provinces that are now booming.

With much of his spending plans aimed at preparing Alberta for future growth, it may appear moot as Alberta's economy slows down and population growth rates taper off.

The fact that neighbouring provinces are booming while Alberta languishes may point negatively to the leadership of the Premier who made changes to the tax structure of Alberta's main economic engine.

Friday, January 25, 2008


Political expert from University of Calgary, Don Braid, is advising Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach not to go ahead with the February election call.

The numbers for the Tories are very unfavorable in all areas of public policy ranging from the Royalty Review scheme to low cost housing.

Here is the link to the Calgary Herald article.

Having turned his natural constituency against him and not doing enough to please the non-conservatives, the Premier finds himself with few friends.

Friday, January 04, 2008


2007 2008

820 900 British Columbia (up 9%)

12,800 9,575 Alberta (down 26%)

3,505 3,600 Saskatchewan (up 3%)

340 350 Manitoba (up 3%)

Source: Petroleum Services Association of Canada

One of these things is not like the others. Can you find it?

Alberta is the only province in Western Canada that is predicted to see a fall in drilling levels for 2008.

This disparity may indicate that the Royalty Review Proposals that Alberta politicians adopted are the leading cause of the marked slow down of Alberta's drilling activity.

Factors such as gas prices and the weak US dollar are common to all jurisdictions and so it is fairly reasonable to connect the Royalty Review to the fall in Alberta's drilling because it is the only significant variable that changed.

As I work on the documentary "How to Kill a Wild Rose", I am perplexed by the loud claims that the Royalty Review panel and the political leadership made defending the Royalty Review on the grounds that it would cause no harm to the economy of Alberta. The reason given for their confidence was that the proposals were very carefully constructed.

I cannot in my wildest imagining understand how such a careful study of the oil and gas industry would have failed to foresee the weakness that was emerging in the gas fields and in the overall Alberta economy.

Either the Alberta Royalty Review Panel and the politicians are incompetent or they were being deceptive in their claim that the Royalty Review would not harm the Alberta economy.

I intend to find out by the time I wrap the production.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008


Thursday, December 20, 2007


One idea that came up was the notion that Albertans own all the resources in Alberta and therefore Albertans can ask whatever royalties they wish.

The answer to the question is that resources that lie underground in the form of oily sand are useless to everyone. The resource only becomes useful when someone invests money to take it out of the ground and process it.

Albertans benefit very strongly when investors bring money to develop resources. Unemployment goes down, wages go up, tax dollars go up, and the province becomes prosperous. If investors don't come to Alberta, the oil sits in the ground and benefits nobody.

The question is this; When do investors come to invest in a province?

They come when it is economically feasible to come and this is usually when resource prices are high and government taxes and royalties are low.

Alberta royalties were low and therefore many investors came to Alberta. Alberta benefited from this investment so strongly that Alberta's provincial debt of $22.7 billion was paid off, Alberta's unemployment rate sank the lowest in North America and the employment rate rose to the highest in North America.

With the current crop of politicians saying that they want to make taxes high, investors will go elsewhere and all the benefits will slowly wind down and leave Alberta back where it started...with debt, rising unemployment and lack of opportunity.