Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Hitting the road.

I am off to Edmonton for tonight's town hall and will be in Red Deer tomorrow. My assistant will be fielding calls at the office and if you absolutely must reach me my cell is 403-680-8683.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Clarification of my remarks

Some media outlets today are reporting on the resignation of Paul Hinman. They are taking remarks that I made in respect to feedback from a segment of our members and making it appear as though I shared those thoughts.

They are using phrases like; “despite criticism from the Alliance's executive director” or “... the party's executive director publicly questioned whether Hinman had the "charisma" to attract ....”

I would like to make it clear, I (personally) have never questioned Paul’s ability as a leader nor criticized him. My comments were strictly giving an answer to “What are you hearing from members" and were taken out of context.

I support Paul as our leader and have a great deal of respect for him personally. I look forward to joining Paul on the road this week in Edmonton and Red Deer at our scheduled Town Halls.

Paul Hinman's Leadership Sets Stage for Wildrose Alliance's Growth

Paul Hinman's Leadership
Sets Stage for Wildrose Alliance's Growth

For Immediate Release

Wildrose Alliance Party leader Paul Hinman has advised the party executive of his intention to step down as leader at the upcoming Annual General Meeting scheduled for June 5 and 6, 2009, in Calgary.

"Mr. Hinman has been a driving force in creating a new political alternative for Albertans," says Wildrose Party President Jeff Callaway. "His tireless determination to create a voice for Albertans who question the policies of the Stelmach PC party has sparked growing interest in the Wildrose Alliance."

Paul Hinman’s commitment to providing Alberta with a new political option that is attractive to the majority of Albertans involves more than policy and merely criticizing the government. It includes leadership with vision and communication, and to help ensure the continued growth of the Party, Mr Hinman wants to ensure that the Wildrose Alliance is led by the most capable, energetic, and qualified person possible. "To demonstrate his commitment," says Callaway, "Paul will step down at the AGM and open up the leadership of the Party to what we hope will be a robust race."

Paul Hinman says of his decision " Our Party's strong growth in the past year tells me now is the time to further that growth with a leadership race. This will help the Wildrose Alliance harness this remarkable groundswell and give the most people possible the opportunity to participate." Hinman encourages other interested parties to enter the Leadership race and "Together we will build the Party. The interest in the Wildrose Alliance as a viable political alternative to the existing government has been growing fast and has come from a diverse group of people from different regions and economic segments of Alberta who want to get involved."
"I am accountable to Albertans and our party members and I believe this is the best decision for our party and ultimately for our province," Hinman says. "I extend the greatest appreciation to those who have supported our party and myself in the past. Be assured I will continue to work with the Wildrose Alliance and Albertans in whatever capacity I can to make the greatest possible contribution to restore the Alberta Advantage and prosperity to the people of Alberta."

Commenting on the future of Alberta, Paul Hinman continued "The government must rein in its spending and bureaucratic growth while stimulating the economy through the reduction of taxes and red tape. It needs to be accountable and display the type of integrity that will restore the confidence of investors and businesses. Protecting the freedom of choice and competition balanced with a regulated free market economy encourages the creative and entrepreneurial people and businesses of Alberta." Regarding our health care and educational systems and Senior Citizens, Hinman says "The focus should be on service, not on management as it currently is. While concentrating on all of the above near-term, the long-term future must be protected through proper stewardship of the environment and our natural resources."

"Paul Hinman has demonstrated his commitment and service to the people of Alberta and the Wildrose Alliance," President Jeff Callaway stated, "And I know he remains committed to each going forward. I view his decision as the act of a selfless Leader and he deserves the thanks and respect of the Party. In whatever leadership role Paul assumes with the Party, the Wildrose Alliance will benefit from his experience and guidance. The Board, Executive Director and myself look forward to working with Paul as together we build the Party."

Monday, April 20, 2009

AGM Registration

Online registration for the June AGM is now available. Just go to the home screen and it is in the lower left panel. It is just $60.00 to attend if you register before May 22 nd.

After that date a $ 40.00 late surcharge will apply bringing the cost to $100.00.

If you would like to vote on any of the proposed policies you will need to be a member by May 22nd. (14 days prior to AGM)

If you prefer to register over the phone or have any questions you can reach me at 1-888-262-1888; or 403-769-0992 in Calgary.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Reminder of this week's Town Halls

Monday, April 20 7:00 PM
Memorial Hall
4432 – 52 Ave.

Tuesday, April 21 7:00 PM
Grande Prairie,
Quality Inn
11201 - 100 Avenue

Wednesday, April 22 7:00 PM
Four Points Sheraton
7230 Argyll Road.

Thursday, April 23 7:00 PM
Red Deer,
Capri Hotel
3310 – 50 Ave.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Due to a scheduling conflict; the next Calgary meeting has been switched from the 7 to the 6th of May.

May 6
Inn on Crowchild
5353 Crowchild Trail, NW

Where does the time go?

Seems like it was just yesterday that I last posted; but alas so much has happened since then.

Our town hall in Calgary (April 9) at the Blackfoot Inn drew approximately 75 people. The speeches were followed by a great question and answer session. We registered a good batch of new members, got a couple more constituencies on the go and some nice contributions. CBC also covered it on their late news broadcast.

All round another success, especially considering it was a Thursday evening before a long weekend.

On Tuesday (Apr. 14) we held an invite only event at the Calgary Petroleum Club. The well over 200 people who attended heard great speeches by Paul Hinman, David Yager and closing remarks from Jeff Callaway. Everyone enjoyed some free drink and food; then most stayed on to meet and mingle with speakers and other board members.

Again we were honored with many new members, generous contributions and new friends who share a common goal; the betterment of our province for ALL Albertans.

I would like to thank my official volunteers for the evening; Travis Chase, Chris Maitland and Cory Morgan; and my unofficial one recruited that night as the need arose, Derrick Jacobson. Your help is greatly appreciated and certainly made my tasks for the evening go much smoother. THANK YOU!!

This event was recorded by the Daily Oil Bulletin and covered by the Calgary Herald, their article is here.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Wildrose Alliance Meetings

All meetings have a 7:00 PM start time.


Thursday, April 9 (tomorrow)
Blackfoot Inn – Heritage Room
5940 Blackfoot Trail

April 14
Calgary Petroleum Club; nearly filled to capacity.
Email for details.

April 20
Memorial Hall
4432 – 52 Ave.

April 21
Grande Prairie,
Quality Inn
11201 - 100 Avenue

April 22
Four Points Sheraton
7230 Argyll Road.

April 23
Red Deer,
Capri Hotel
3310 – 50 Ave.


May 6
Inn on Crowchild
5353 Crowchild Trail, NW

May 14
location TBA.

May 21
Medicine Hat,
location TBA.

I will be post venues as the details are confirmed.

What a difference a year makes.

Ed Stelmach, February 23rd, 2008 (During the election campaign)

“A Progressive Conservative government will never put Alberta back into a deficit position,” said Stelmach. “We have a plan that provides the services and infrastructure to Albertans, while keeping more money in the pockets of Albertans. Our plan is realistic and achievable. It works for Albertans.”

Then the 2008 budget:


OOPS, we thought it was the right plan for tomorrow.

Do I dare ask, what strength would that be?

Monday, April 6, 2009

Meetings, meetings and more meetings....

We have many exciting things on the go and I want to share with you some of the upcoming events.

April 9, 2009 we have a public Town Hall meeting planned in Calgary. It will be at 7:00 PM at the Blackfoot Inn (5940 Blackfoot Trail). Come out to meet our leader Paul Hinman and other members of the executive. Feel free to bring a friend or even pass this along to others. Listen for our advertising on both 660 News and QR77 this week.

On April 14th we are hosting an event at the Calgary Petroleum Club which is nearly filled. If you would like more information on attending this, send me an email.

Since our last meeting in Edmonton was successful we will be there again on April 22nd at the Four Points Sheraton (7230 Argyll Rd.)

May 14th we will be in Lethbridge and May 21st in Medicine Hat. Both of these are at the planning stage and we will let you know once we have the venues confirmed.

We are also planning Town Halls in Red Deer and Grande Prairie, details will be available soon. If you are interested in assisting with planning or would like one in your area, please get in touch with us.

All town halls have a 7:00 PM start time.

The weekend of June 5th and 6th will be our AGM and Policy Assembly in Calgary at the Bearspaw Lifestyle Centre (253220 Bearspaw Road NW). The package for the AGM was mailed this past Saturday to all current members.

Remember in order to vote at the AGM you must be a member by May 22, 2009. If you are not sure when yours expires, give us a call and we will check for you.

AGM registration opens on Monday April 6th. Both the agenda and registration will be available online. If you have any questions or prefer to register over the phone, by all means call us at the office.

Registration prior up to May 21st is only $60.00; from May 22nd on the late registration fee of $100.00 will apply.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

What a Mess

Today's letter is from Derrick Jacobson. He was one of the key people behind the Oilworks rally on the steps of the Alberta Legislature in October 2007.

Yet another fine example of someone caring, acting and motivating others.

March 27, 2009

Fellow Albertans,

With the state of the economy and the massive job losses, I think it is prudent to speak up and voice my concern.

In 2007 Stelmach’s Conservative Government came up with a brainstorm and came to the conclusion that they could get their “Fair Share” for Albertan’s from the Energy Sector. An ‘expert’ panel was formed with the mandate to review the economics of the royalty structure. The ‘expert’ panel conducting the review did not consult nor have any experience in the industry which did not help the outcome. The panel published their findings and the Stelmach Regime acted quickly to make small changes creating the New Royalty Framework (NRF). More recently we have been told that a review will be done to review the competitiveness of our royalties. Why would the government of Alberta have not done this before implementing the NRF and convincing Albertans that ‘he got it right’?

Industry was outraged at the idea of raising taxes on a depleting reserve making it uneconomical, vowing to take their money elsewhere. The asinine comments our Government made were that “Big Oil” was greedy and “where else could they go”, this pitted industry and Albertans against each other. Almost immediately after the decision was made to implement the new royalty framework the investment money moved east and west. For the first time ever land sales plummeted in Alberta, while flourishing in B.C. and Saskatchewan. To date this trend has continued, with B.C. posting a new record in land sales as of late. Stelmach’s’ Government was warned of the repercussions of his decision that would take the form of thousands of job losses, these concerns fell on deaf ears. This leaves me wondering if the government of Alberta run by Premier Stelmach is that inept, these job losses are the unintended consequences of their decision? Is this an intentional repercussion?

Since the NRF was unveiled the PC Govt. has made changes to it multiple times, while the most recent incentives may seem well enough, the confidence in our province is gone. When the government of Alberta made the announcement on March 4th, 2009 that they would offer a new one year three pronged approach to royalty incentives they again demonstrated how inept they truly are. By making the date effectiveness April 1st, 2009 they shut down any activity for the month of March which is the end of the drilling season, causing unnecessary early layoffs. It is hypocritical and irresponsible to enjoy the lifestyle that the free enterprise of the Oil and Gas industry has provided for every Albertan only to take it away with greed. I call on the Stelmach regime to carry on with the announced incentives, but also to cut the red tape, and come up with a trustworthy, flat rate royalty plan which our economy can build on and give confidence back to the investors. If this cannot be done I call on fellow Albertan’s to vote wisely at the next election time.

At a time when we as Albertans are losing our jobs, our homes, and our investments the Government has rewarded themselves with ridiculous wage increases last May of 34%. If it is any consolation to the unemployed, they mentioned they will not take one this year due to the economy. Unfortunately we will pay out 40 Million this year in performance bonus to senior government bureaucrats. We will also be losing our natural gas rebate. It sure doesn’t feel that we have received our ‘Fair Share’, but maybe it was to be interpreted as the Government official’s fair share.

I have personally had many meetings with this government's Ministers as well as MLA’s in which I believe they cannot speak their mind without fear of repercussions. The only way to get change is to get political and hold them accountable at the next election, which I for one will do, and would urge you to do the same!!

Derrick Jacobson