“It’s been more than six weeks since it was announced, and we still have no indication of what the panel will review or even who the members are,” said Interim PC Caucus Leader Ric McIver and the MLA for Calgary-Hays. “Now the royalty review panel chair is telling the media Albertans may not have a full opportunity to take part in public hearings. The Energy Minister says the review process will be open to public scrutiny, but that’s not the same thing as being full participants. Albertans are the owners of our oil and gas resources, and they deserve to be able to make their views known.”
The 2007 royalty review consisted of an expert panel that hosted a series of five public meetings across the province and accepted over 300 submissions from Alberta residents, municipal leaders and stakeholders in the oil and gas industry.
“Right now, the unemployment rate in Calgary is 6.6 per cent, and we continue to see job losses in the oil and gas sector,” said PC Caucus Energy Critic Rick Fraser, the MLA for Calgary-South East. “Now is not the time for this NDP government to be sending mixed messages on what this royalty review is supposed to accomplish or what the oil and gas industry can expect to help them plan for the future. On the one hand the Energy Minister tells the media no decision has been made yet to increase royalties, and on the other hand the Finance Minister tells media increased royalties may be a way to help the government pay for the much-higher costs of government programs and services.”
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Communications, PC Caucus