July 23, 2012
Resource revenues tied to Northern Gateway must stay in Alberta
EDMONTON, AB (July 23, 2012): The B.C. government’s request for extra fiscal benefits in order to endorse the building of the Northern Gateway Pipeline project can not include sharing Alberta’s resource royalty revenue, the Wildrose Official Opposition said today.
Today the government of BC issued five requirements for the Northern Gateway Pipeline, one of which is the request for extra fiscal benefits. The other requests include assistance for oil spill prevention and clean up mechanisms, as well as respecting Aboriginal and First Nation treaty agreements in place. Wildrose Official Opposition Leader Danielle Smith argued that is reasonable for BC to ask for increased fiscal benefits as long it does not include opening the door to sharing Alberta’s royalty revenue. “We are beginning to see that one of the risks of Ms. Redford failing to articulate her National Energy Strategy is that it leaves the door open for others to define it for her,” Smith said. “The way our system of government works, Ottawa is responsible for transferring revenues between provincial jurisdictions. If B.C. wants a greater share of the benefits they should be asking the federal government, not Alberta.” As the Wildrose Aboriginal Relations Critic, Smith also added that she supports greater consultation with First Nation and Aboriginal groups as well as opportunities for them to participate in the project. “A pipeline project like the Northern Gateway Pipeline will be have a great economic benefit for Alberta and it is essential that we include our First Nations and Aboriginal peoples in the process,” Smith said. “However, we want to see in greater detail about how the BC government intends on sharing revenues with First Nations groups and how that impacts Alberta.” Wildrose Energy Critic Jason Hale said that he hopes that the Alberta government will take steps to ensure that Alberta’s resource revenues are protected. “Obviously we want to work with our friends in BC to put forward solutions that will help diversify our markets and get our product to the west coast,” Hale said. “Working on a safe secure route, as well as putting forward solutions that work for Alberta should continue to be the top priority.”