Energy Trusts Say Feds Got It Wrong



    Coalition Expresses Concern regarding Alberta Royalty Review Panel Report

    CALGARY, Oct. 4 /CNW/ - The Harper government's sniper approach to taxing
Energy Trusts has resulted in what was forecasted a year ago by the Coalition
of Canadian Energy Trusts in its substantive report published December 2006.
    "The federal government totally got it wrong on October 31, 2006 when it
announced a decision to change the tax treatment of energy trusts," said Sue
Riddell Rose a co-chair of the Coalition. "Foreign takeovers, such as that
recently announced by PrimeWest Energy Trust, are proof of how the Harper
government created a massive destruction to the value of investment holdings
of individual Canadians as well as seriously eroding future tax revenues."
    The energy trust coalition forecasted a variety of outcomes resulting
from the government's taxation of trusts. These predictions have become a
reality:

    
    -   Canadian energy trusts will be exposed to leveraged buy-out groups
        and other foreign interests. This negatively impacts future tax
        revenues as well as Canada's security of energy supply. Millions of
        Canadians lost and continue to lose hard-earned dollars. Notably,
        many seniors are feeling economic impacts on their day-to-day lives.
        Plus the majority of Canadians not in a defined pension plan continue
        to see their retirement savings shrink.
    -   Service companies to the energy sector are experiencing a work slow
        down and have noted much of this relates to the energy trusts
        reducing their activity.
    -   Junior oil and gas companies are challenged to raise capital for
        capital investment and value creation. As predicted, this sector is
        experiencing severe economic challenges because they are no longer
        able to count on trusts to purchase assets.
    -   New public offerings on Canada's equity markets have stalled in the
        first half of 2007, with the value of new issues off 400 per cent
        from the same period of 2006.
    

    Many notable experts have told government its decision should be altered
to find a win-win solution for Canadians. This has occurred through formal
parliamentary processes and by thousands of comments made in the media.
    "We believe the government needs to sit at the table with energy trusts
and find a solution that achieves the goals of government and that of the
energy sector," noted Riddell Rose. "We have said it all along - it is never
too late to get it right."
    The Coalition has noted that on the other hand, the Stelmach government
appears to be prepared to continue consultation with Albertans and their
energy industry regarding the Report of the Royalty Review Panel. The Premier,
unlike the Prime Minister, is willing to listen and to take the time required
to work towards a solution that factors in the multitude of complex variables
that need to be understood and considered.
    "We do not believe the Alberta report should be accepted as written.
There are many factual errors that are now being identified within this
scoping document and we believe the economic impact to Albertans will be very
negative if this review report is simply adopted without scrutiny, further
assessment and input," commented Riddell Rose. "We need a wiser decision for
Albertans and their energy industry that will maintain the position of Alberta
and Canada as a global energy provider."
    The Coalition continues to press the message to the provincial and
federal governments - it is never too late to get it right!




For further information:

For further information: Daorcey LeBray, NATIONAL Public Relations,
(403) 531-0331, dlebray@national.ca

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COALITION OF CANADIAN ENERGY TRUSTS

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