Monday, December 29, 2008

meanwhile, in Alberta

According to the Canadian Press, British Columbia is "seen to have a more attractive fiscal regime than Alberta" and notes that energy execs "have said they're spending more in B.C. and less in Alberta on account of the latter's "punitive" royalty regime. Other names like EnCana, Talisman, Petro-Canada, Nexen and Imperial have also been grabbing land in Northeast B.C."

A securities analyst observed that "As much of Alberta likes to think we're the king of the hill as far as resources go, we're losing ground to Saskatchewan as well."

According to the executive director of the Small Explorers and Producers Association of Canada, the Stelmach government showed an extreme over-confidence when it opted for the royalty hike saying, "It's not just enough to say 'well, where else would they go? Surely Alberta's the place to be. It's not."

"We've done a lot of things as a province in the last year or two to chase away investment," Mazar added.

On the one hand, these reports from my home province reduce my incentive to return. I plan on starting a business and want to do that in a business friendly environment. But on the other hand perhaps Alberta politics will change if these reports continue. If energy prices remain where they are, spending-spree Stelmach may be in deficit in 2009, and voters may not be forgiving.

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