Ralph Klein has gone and it is time to retire Ralph's World. Thanks to all of you who have supported this venture by contributing material and through your comments. It has been fun.

Should we get another blog underway? Let me know your thoughts by e-mailing me at johnnyslow@gmail.com.

John Slow
January 1, 2007

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Cutbacks and cost increases ahead! VOTE! 

The following document, long and detailed, is supported by postings and responses from Government as seen “Welcome to Ralph’s world” full index located at:

Take the time to read, ask your candidates before you vote. Our debt will reach 50% of Canada’s total debt and there has been no idea put forward as to how it is going to be paid! Cost to average home will run hundreds of dollars per month!

Outstanding items for the Government to respond to:

John Clark
14815 – 123 Ave
Edmonton, AB T5L 2Y7
October 26, 2004.
cyberclark@shaw.ca (contact for copies of original documents)

Honorable Ralph Klein,
Room 307
Legislative Building,
Edmonton, AB T4K 2C6

Re: - Absolute power corrupts absolutely.

Dear Premier:

Trash the Feds, alienate Albertans towards Quebec; build your own private brand of paranoia by flirting with the Alberta Firewall while broadcasting ridiculous accusations and insinuations against phantom enemies about to plunder Alberta’s resource. We have heard the same spin so many elections now, we had hoped for something new, possibly the truth!

All of this so you can continue your private plunder for your own personal glory, propelling yourself and your party on lies of omission, barricade mentality and the inherent will to answer not even the very simplest questions regarding the cost of transmission lines and how we are to pay for them; the massive sale of water allotments (100 or greater) to three identities (source Alberta Gazette);the move to turn our water sources over to the Agricultural Food Industry with as little publicity as possible.

You have turned the privatization of water into an art form, the target being to turn it into a commodity so it can be treated as such under NAFTA. Yes, to the farmers and ranchers! You will have to pay for the water out of your dug out’s and your wells. Even rain water and snow melt in covered in NAFTA! All NAFTA needs is for you to push Ralph’s buttons!

You continue to work the royalty systems to the detriment of Albertans. Oil companies in this quarter posted share dividends 300% higher than they did in 2003 the latter totaling 6.7 billions of dollars of Alberta unsustainable resources given away at the lowest prices in the world! That would extrapolate into some 20 billions of dollars, probably more, being taken out of Alberta by the oil companies in the tar sands this year. Esso have just posted the highest dividends ever!

In order to keep our minds off your current miss-direction and debacle’s and to prevent us from discussing the infrastructure disaster presently facing Albertans, you create red herrings of your choosing to allow you to skate past any issues. Alberta’s Paranoia is your friend if not your constant companion. You feed it!

· You call Albertan’s stupid, unable to comprehend the complexities of health care. In truth, the Alberta Medical Association rejected your last submission as being the same as the original of years ago; out of touch; impossible and unsustainable! This leaves you with no plan what so ever; only the insane thrust to privatize health care at any expense!

· Alberta receives the absolute lowest royalties in the world on their oil at 1% of gross on new projects and 25% of net on completed projects. I have to believe they are close to the same final number! Threats to by the oil companies is just so much gas!

· You encourage Syncrude and Suncore into saber rattling of law suits in order for you to further subsidize these companies, extending their “1% very low royalty on gross” onward to include mature “25% of net on projects; producing” to further reduce the royalty they pay back to1%.. Albertans loose!

I asked you at one time “How do you subsidize a company that pays the lowest royalties in the world and pays no income tax partly because of tax loop holes that allow them to deduct costs from unknown losses in the future?“ I think we now have our answer in Firebag; the direction is clearly a further holiday from the 25% (lowest in the world) royalty.

Yet to be explained is, do these companies pay us royalties on the natural gas they have taken out of the market to use in the oil sands productions? I think not. From the diminishing gas reserve (conventional expected to last 6 or 10 years) to the oil sands, to the stock market. Such a deal!

· It is entirely probable the citizens of Alberta will be competing with the oil sands companies for our electrical power. Who paid for the power lines recently built from McMurray south by ATCO? Are these public lines? Private Lines? Do Albertans have to pick up the tab and, how? These are questions that should be answered on all power lines. You created legislation which makes all Albertan’s pay equally for all transmission lines regardless if used by power exporters or local industry.

· I have a letter from Murray Smith who tells me household consumers will see a $2.00 increase in their utility bills for transmission starting in 2006. (Posted on Ralph’s World) I gave this figure to the AESO and, they laughed! The electorate should be given numbers. Prior to the vote! How can pensioners possibly survive your insanity?

· The Minister of Finance said she had a budget of 358 millions of dollars to protect Albertans from high power costs. You separated power generation from power transmission in legislation. When more power is brought on, power price should drop while the transmission charges will increase dramatically! A simple question remains “Will this 358 million also be applied to excesses in power transmission charges?”
The question remains unanswered which means you don’t intend to allow any relief.

· These same questions will apply to the so called “Bow City” coal power generation in Southern Alberta. Planned to be a 1000 MW plant; A 2 million dollar budge for application plus a multi billion dollar generation station has to be paid by someone! Mr. Smith’s letter doesn’t give details on who is to pay, how much is to be paid and for how long.

· Your aggressive thrust to totally privatize water in this province is mentioned above. With farmers and ranchers beat down by mad cow disease and drought you found them easy pickings for buying up cheap water allotments. The Alberta Gazette shows some 100 Water Allotments (water rights) written off, as in cancelled. There are no more than 5 new allotments added.

· This means no more than 5 corporations bought up the water rights of 100 farmers and ranchers who were on hard times. Also, new land locations showed up in these titles which were also bought up by the few. I don’t know if these new locations are rock piles or not. I would however think it has much to do with the voting rights on the water board you created; and you’re up coming fight with Montana, no outsiders welcome.

· Calgary’s future is dark as the glacial run off into the Bow River is expected to last no more than 30 years, water level dropping rapidly. As the Glaciers recede they do not give up their snow fall (all most a contradiction) so readily. In a very short span of time, Calgary and points on the Bow will be totally dependent on ground aquifer for their water!

· Communities find it tempting to get cash for a water allotment by sale or by diversion. Calgary has given up its old Brewery site and old Aquarium site to Coke. The size of these allotments is immense; greater in size than most communities have been able to acquire! As I see it, Calgary will be buying its city water service from Coke or a subsidiary of Coke in the not too distant future. Your Government encourages this!

· This same aquifer that supplies Calgary and southern Alberta originates on the East slope of the Rockies. Minister Cardinal knowing that ranchers were on hard times decided to sell the public grazing lands on the East Slope of the Rockies to the highest bidder. I have asked repeatedly did the sale of these public lands, so very important to our water sources, include water rights in the sale of the land.

The first in time, first in line rule for water ownership is much maligned in its application. Could it be some American Agricultural Food Industry now has first call ahead of Calgary and points south on the water in the Aquifer because of their location as first in line on the slope?

· Despite claims to the contrary, interbasin transfer of water is alive and well in Alberta. The Peace River is the only river in Alberta that we do not have to account to another jurisdiction for its use or misuse. The fully engineered Weatherford project (millions spent on it) is sitting on your shelf still as good as the day it was paid for. It covers the move of more than 1/2 of the flow of the mighty Peace River, south. It delegates giant electrical lifting stations to move the water. Each station uses more power than a city. When asked if they are going to use it, your environment department answered “people are against interbasin transfer – it is proven to be bad.” I take this as a yes we are going to use it but don’t want to disclose it until after we are elected!

· You destabilized power generation in Alberta by denying Edmonton the permits necessary to build an “add on” generating capacity at Genesee. This persisted for years! Once the generating was adequately destabilized because of shortage of power, you invented “Power Purchase Options” and sold off the Alberta Electricity at a return to Alberta of less than 1cent on each dollar of value!

· Even at this incredible price you persist in spinning the “risk” these people took. It is a coincidence that the 6 – 7 billion dollars in losses to Albertan’s by selling the power system is in the same range as the 6 – 7 billion dollars taken out of Alberta Oil Sands as profits by 10 of the 34 operators? How many hundreds of years do you think it will take for us to recover from your plunder? Alberta’s heritage? When you get finished there will not be one!

· You created AESO. (Alberta Electric Service Operator) On the surface a private and independent company. The Minister of Energy appoints all the board members and the chair thereby totally controlling the company. This allows your Government to conveniently say these problems have nothing to do with us, the government; it is an AESO problem. AESO is private! AESO should have been a department so the responsibility or lack of it would be apparent and you can stand accountable. This is blatant! A company directly running the government!

· This brings us to power transmission lines. Twelve years ago you brought into law power equalization laws. No one part of Alberta was going to pay more for electricity than any other part of Alberta. Who would have guessed it would lead to all of Alberta paying the absolute highest utility prices in the country?

· You embarked on a power generation scheme with no budget figures at all! When asked to produce accurate costs you jumped on any number available; still no actual figures. Now, before the EUB is a projection for the power lines coming in at 422 millions of dollars, including a wind generation line that is not in use 40% of the time. Albertans will have to pay for this line in total even though it is for export and remains unused a large portion of the time. It is important to note under EUB rules a company can be out by 30% in estimates with no penalty. Mr. Lougheed is quoted as saying he can get better than 11% profit for building lines. At cost plus, who is coming up short?

· In order to avoid talking to Albertan’s about their really huge increased costs you have elected to make an inspired last moment submission to the EUB, promising to enlighten all and in the course of doing this you have delayed the EUB decision until after an election. A slick a way of hiding issues!.

· At no point in the submissions or in your conversation do you tell Albertan’s that the power exporters to other jurisdictions including California via BC have to pay for the use of the power lines. It is left for us to assume it will be treated the same as the oil royalties and Albertan’s can face a future of no health care because we now have to pay for the power lines. No other monies available because you have capitulated to the Suncore demands on extended lower royalties.

· You have “privatized” our camp grounds. These, turned over to the political “in line” people were sold for pennies against the amount of improvement put into them. In some cases the Federal Government had put in water, showers, public toilets and a managers residence at costs of many hundreds of thousands of dollars for public use. You gave these away with no proper compensation what so ever! Costs again to the Alberta individuals. Gone from mind? I don’t think so!

· User fees, your personal tax on life in general. Drink containers, tires, if you can name it you have taxed it hitting every lunch box and snack in the province. All the monies dumped into general revenue along with health care premiums to create your surplus. In truth a little coin in the bank to protect the low royalty rates you have elected to pay the oil companies in order to sponsor a high rate of return for the stock market.

It is time for a change where Albertan’s can claim for equity in their province and, you are not up to it!
John Clark

Any documents available upon request john Clark@cyberclark.ca

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