OTTAWA, Sept. 19 /CNW Telbec/ - The Council of Canadians is encouraged by
the Report of the Alberta Royalty Review Panel which reminds the government
that Alberta's oil "resources do not belong to developers, they belong to the
people." The citizen's organization is calling on the Alberta Government to
implement the report's recommendation immediately.
The Council of Canadians presented before the panel in May this year to
demand changes to the outdated royalty regime.
"Oil companies have shortchanged the Alberta public for too long," says
Jean-Yves Lefort, energy campaigner for the Council of Canadians. "Not only do
royalties need to be raised, we expect that the increased revenues will be
invested in social programs and environmental protection."
The report also calls for more effective oversight of revenue reporting
on the part of oil corporations - something the Council of Canadians has been
"We are pleased to see some of our demands reflected in the final
report," says Lefort. "But we do have reservations about maintaining the base
royalty rate at one percent in the tar sands royalty system. This creates a
loophole for corporations who could delay paying the full 25 to 30 percent
that the report calls for as long as they keep reinvesting their capital."
The organization also raises concerns about the recommendation to
encourage the construction of additional upgraders in Alberta. "This would
have disastrous effects on the health of individuals and on the environment in
an area that is already over stressed by industrial development," says
Lyn Gorman Prairies regional organizer for the Council of Canadians.
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