30 August 2009

Freedom from information: Talk about low-balling

Oil production in the first four months of fiscal 2009 is down about 23.5%  - on average - compared to the same period in 2008.

But Hibernia payout and current oil prices mean that the offshore oil patch is on track to deliver about the same revenue to the provincial coffers in 2009 as it did last year.

That’s $2.5 billion for those who are keeping score.

Compare that to the $1.2 billion in oil revenues forecast in Budget 2009.

That also means the provincial budget will be on balance overall.

Of course,  that also means the provincial government still has a couple of billion sitting in the bank doing nothing but collecting modest interest.

So why exactly is the provincial government still opposed to a setting up a sovereign wealth fund  - like Norway or Alberta - to ensure the people of the province get the maximum benefit from their resources?

When you think about it, that makes it hysterically funny  to see the federal Dippers trying to buy votes in the province by talking about “fairer” Equalization.  Are they promising Alberta Equalization hand-outs too?