There an economic, environmental and social disaster that has been around for a long time in rural Alberta. Part of it due to successive provincial government that have been beholden to the oil and gas industry for decades.
So we get totally inadequate attention paid to wellsite clean up and reclamation. That is a multi-billion (yes with a "B" dollar complex problem that gets ignored. The obligations get kicked down the road as the cost climb and the debacle turns into a disaster.
The other problem is simpler, more current and easier to resolve in the short term, if there is political will. That is the outstanding taxes and levies owed to rural municipal government by the energy sector. It is now in the hundreds of millions of dollars.
With record production levels, and record corporate profits, there is no excuse that any company has not paid up their arrears in full. If they can't make these payments, why are we even allowing them to continue operating and exploiting our natural resources?
The link is to a commentary of mine on this issues and incidents around local government taxes. It is election time so the UCP is finally paying some attention to this issue. That's because it is causing serious tension in their rural voter base.
This link is also to my new citizenship engagement initiative called Citizenship Matters. This is where we work towards creating a community to become more effectively engaged and assertive citizens.
If you a moderate of progressive Albertans that wants to change politics, policy, programs, and processes about how we are governed, Citizenship Matters is for you.
If you are already involved in your community as a volunteer, a leader, or an advocate, Citizenship Matters is for you.
You can start getting involved by subscribing to Citizenship Matters in this link.