Energy Trusts hope Auditor General will set the record straight on tax leakage

    CALGARY, March 10 /CNW/ - Following a move by the Federal Liberals,
members of the Coalition of Canadian Energy Trusts (CCET) are also asking
Auditor General Sheila Fraser for a formal investigation into the tax leakage
claims made by the government as a basis for its October 31, 2006 decision to
tax income trusts.
    "After 17 months and many requests for the details of the Finance
Department's calculations, we remain stonewalled by the federal government on
this issue," says Sue Riddell Rose, president and CEO of Paramount Energy
Trust and co-chair of the CCET. "Neither we nor other experts could find
evidence of tax leakage to back up the government's claim, so we are
encouraged that the Auditor General may be able to set the record straight
with an investigation."
    In December 2006, the Coalition presented a 251-page report detailing the
role played by energy trusts in the Canadian economy and outlining the
expected negative results of the government's broken promise not to tax income
trusts (Canadian Energy Trusts: An Integral Component of the Canadian Oil and
Gas Industry). In the report, the CCET disputed the claim of tax leakage and
publicly invited the government to disclose its calculations. The government
has yet to respond.
    A formal request through the Freedom of Information Act, seeking data on
which the government based its decision to tax trusts, yielded no information
other than blacked-out documents.
    "Canadians deserve to know what facts the government used for such an
important change in policy," says Riddell Rose. "This broken promise by the
Conservative government continues to have lasting and disastrous affects on
the average Canadian investor, and it has shaken the industry to the core. As
advocates for our unitholders, many of them seniors, who were severely
mistreated by the government with the sudden change in the rules, we will
continue to press the government for the answers we've sought since the
beginning." The CCET continues to believe that any concerns the government may
have had about energy trusts can be rectified through communication and
understanding leading to a solution that would not be so harmful to innocent

    The Coalition of Canadian Energy Trusts represents over 30 energy trusts
headquartered in Canada and employing thousands of Canadians. It also
represents the millions of Canadian unitholders who saw the value of their
investments drop by $35 billion following the announcement of the so-called
Tax Fairness Plan on October 31, 2006. More information about the Coalition
and its partners can be found at

For further information:

For further information: or to schedule interviews, contact: Daorcey Le
Bray, NATIONAL Public Relations, (403) 444-1482,

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