Opposition calls for resignations and hints of criminal wrongdoing opened the fall session of the Alberta legislature yesterday, as Premier Ed Stelmach’s Tory government was lambasted over oil royalties.
Liberals and New Democrats condemned the government’s recent modifications to the province’s oil and gas royalty regime, suggesting Albertans continue to be cheated of “billions” in revenue.
“We believe the loss to the people of Alberta will be in the millions, perhaps in the billions, because of the government’s stalling on this issue,” said NDP Leader Brian Mason, who demanded Stelmach fire Energy Minister Mel Knight
The Liberals attacked on a different front, alleging Knight willfully misled the assembly regarding royalties last April, and hinting criminal proceedings might be in order.
“We’ve considered asking the police to get involved,” Liberal Leader Kevin Taft said outside chambers.
Knight, however, denied there’s any money missing from Alberta government coffers when it comes to royalties.
“There is no billions of dollars missing from any place,” he said.
“The policy is not set by reports that are developed internally or externally and given to any minister at any point in time.”
But Stelmach took a different tack, praising oil and gas companies for driving Alberta’s booming economy.
“When I look at this province, I can’t see where this province of Alberta was short-changed,” he said.