Friday, November 26, 2010

Alberta Social Credit Party Leader's Report for 2010

Delivered at the Annual General Meeting of the party in Innisfail, Alberta on November 20, 2010 by LensSkowronski.

Mr. Chairman, fellow Socreds and most welcome guests,

I am pleased to inform you that “YOU ARE ALL MILLIONAIRES!”

How do we assess our material worth? First, we add-up all our assets that have a definite monetary value such as bank accounts, GICs, RRSPs, stocks and bonds. To this we add the current or estimated value of physical assets that we wholly or partially own, such as our house and its contents, car, land and minerals. Then from this total, we subtract our debts such as bank loans, mortgages and credit card balances to get our net worth.

Except for the minerals under the free-hold lands granted to the Hudson’s Bay Company and the Canadian Pacific Railway, the minerals in Alberta are owned by all the citizens of Alberta. All of the oilsands are owned by all Albertans.

There are an estimated 1.5 trillion barrels of oil in our oil sands. At the current base price of $ 80/barrel, the oil sands are worth $120 trillion. The population of Alberta is 3.7 million. Therefore, each Albertan owns a 32 million dollar share of the oilsands!

Now aren’t you glad you came to this meeting. You will leave knowing that you are $32 million richer than you thought you were.

But you should also come away with a strong sense of responsibility to assure that most of this wealth is kept in Alberta and shared equitably amongst all Albertans.

Unfortunately, we are not keeping much of this wealth. If we continue exporting bitumen instead of higher-priced crude oil we could lose $20 trillion of our oilsands wealth.

Currently, 55% of our oil and gas industry is owned by foreigners and is increasing without control. If the current ownership percentage and profit margin of the oil sands companies were projected though the life of the resource, we would ship $10 trillion to foreigners.

In total, we could lose $30 trillion that could have benefited us, our children, grandchildren and their children and grandchildren. Now this is the case at $80/barrel. Analysts predict that oil will double and may even triple the current price. So our loss could be doubled or tripled!

Is this loss of our wealth inevitable? No!

At one time banks and nations used to be on the gold standard. If a bank had X amount of gold in its vault then it could lend out X amount of money. If a nation had Y amount of gold in its vaults it could circulate Y amount of currency. Of course, banks and nations no longer keep to this standard and virtually create money out of the air with little backing for their loans or currency. But they would agree that the gold standard is a much more fiscally responsible monetary policy.

We Albertans are fiscally responsible people so let’s keep to a gold standard. If Albertans had $120 trillion dollars worth of gold stored in vaults, no one would question its right to issue $120 trillion dollars through our financial arm, the Alberta Treasury Branch, as loans to Albertans and Alberta-owned corporations. We have $120 trillion dollars in black gold stored in sandy vaults in northern Alberta.

Therefore, we have the capital to mine our oilsands and to build plants that will upgrade all the bitumen produced. We do not need anymore foreign investment! We do not need to send any more of our wealth outside of Alberta!

Also, we do not need to send anymore of our wealth to the banks and mortgage companies. We can provide no-interest mortgages to Albertans. This would leave the average home-owner with hundreds of thousands of dollars now spent on interest to be spent on other needs.

For example, a couple buying their first home will have to take a mortgage of $300,000 or more. At an interest rate of 5% over a 30 year term, they will pay $280,000 in interest to a bank or mortgage company. If we directed the ATB to provide Albertans with no-interest mortgages with an annual administration fee of $1000 then the total cost of the loan would be $30,000, resulting in a saving of $250,000.

Imagine the boon to our economy, if hundreds of thousands of home-owners had this extra money to spend instead of giving it to the rich bankers.

If we Albertans take control of our credits such as the oil sands, we will no longer be in debt to the bankers. The resulting wealth will provide for our social needs: health care, education, seniors’ support, communication, transportation, energy, shelter, food, etc. That’s Social Credit!

By now, you are probably aware that I am deeply concerned about the ravaging of our wealth by the multi-national oil and gas companies and banks. Of the 20 letters and news releases I sent to the media and published on our website since the last AGM, 10 were concerning this issue.

These letters have proven to be a successful no-cost method of publicizing our party. They have been published in many newspapers throughout Alberta. It was because of these letters appearing in the Edmonton newspapers, that disgruntled members of the Alberta Party contacted me when seeking a new political home. As a result, we now have an Edmonton Area Council and three new constituency associations in Edmonton-Calder, Edmonton-Centre and Edmonton-Goldbar. We are fortunate that several of these new members are present.

I am pleased to introduce Charles Relland, former President of the Alberta Party and Bob Whyte, President of the Edmonton Area Council and Secretary of Edmonton-Centre.

I have also been sending out email messages on a regular basis to all members and past members who have email addresses. I have had favourable responses from several recipients.

Through the year, I have done some travelling in Alberta on behalf of the Party. I attended a Chamber of Commerce breakfast in Brooks with the generous support of Gordon and Charlene Musgrove. I received good coverage from the local newspapers and radio station. I attended a dinner at Pollockville where the Premier was a guest and alerted him about the dissatisfaction regarding the proposed new riding boundaries. Again, the Musgroves paid for the dinner tickets for Nadie and me. I travelled to Barrhead to attend a constituency association meeting. I attended the presentation of the government’s budget in the Legislature. The board of directors and I served beef on a bun at the Innisfail Horseshoe Tournament.

I have absorbed the transportation costs to these events as well as to the monthly board of directors meetings held in Innisfail. As a result, I was able to attend these events at no cost to the Party.

I would have liked to visit many more constituencies throughout the province but this would have required funds from the party which it doesn’t have. We need to get out and meet the people if we want to build constituency associations. It would be fruitful to have a town-hall meeting in each of the 87 ridings. But we need funds to pay for advertising, hall rental, transportation and accommodation.

Danielle Smith had $250,000 to meet with people throughout the province during the Wildrose Alliance leadership campaign. As a result thousands of memberships were sold which gave the party the boost to become considered a major player in Alberta.

If we are to compete with the other political parties in Alberta, we need funds to do so. Where do we get these funds? Brian Mason, proposed that each member of the NDP donate at least $500 towards the upcoming election campaign. Could we do the same? This shouldn’t be a burden for anybody who is gainfully employed. After the tax credit, the donator is only $200 out of pocket.

There are many more ways to raise funds and I leave this as a challenge to you the members of the Alberta Social Credit Party.

There is a saying “It takes money to make money”. If we are to save trillions of dollars of our wealth, we need to get Socreds into the Legislative Assembly. To elect MLAs, we need money to attract, recruit and support good candidates in the coming election.

In the end, “It’s all about our money!”

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