Alberta Politics

ron liepert’s secret oilsands advisors.

Energy Minister Ron Liepert has created a secret panel of oilsands advisors.

From the Calgary Herald:

Energy Minister Ron Liepert has assembled an energy kitchen cabinet of sorts, an exclusive group of roughly 25 top executives from oilpatch and investment firms to keep him abreast of challenges facing Alberta’s largest industry.

They met behind closed doors for the first time on Oct. 29 in Calgary, as Conservative members converged on the city for the party’s annual convention. Liepert said he hopes to meet with the group about five times a year. He wouldn’t reveal who’s part of his advisory panel, saying only that they’re industry leaders.

As far as the article suggests, there is no oversight or disclosure on this advisory council, which could include registered lobbyists and donors to the Progressive Conservative Party. For a government that is spending millions of public funds on advertising promoting the benefits of the oilsands abroad, creating secret committees whose identities are even hidden to Albertans is probably counter-productive, and against the spirit of open and transparent government.

12 replies on “ron liepert’s secret oilsands advisors.”

How do you expect the Minister to get any advice or knowledge in an industry he has never worked in? Dave this is political correctness gone too far. I want the industry to advise him on all areas of the industry, enviromental and developmental. Rob Renner should have a group on the environmental side advising him as well.

Alan: Thanks for the comment. It’s not about political correctness, it’s about open and transparent government. As owners of the natural resource and electors of the government, Albertans deserve to know who their elected officials are seeking advice from, especially if formalized through advisory groups. Oversight and disclosure are an important part of transparent government.

I have to say that withholding the membership of this body from the public is both unnecessary and bad optics. The Minister can, entirely correctly, draw advice and expertise from wherever he sees fit. That said he is a public servant, and the public has the right to know where, and from whom, he is drawing his information. There is no reason to withhold the membership, and doing so creates the impression that Minister is hiding something. Please take the simplest and most transparent course, Mr. Liepert.

“creating secret committees whose identities are even hidden to Albertans is… against the spirit of open and transparent government.”

Dave, what party do you think is running this Province?? When Mr. Liepert was Minsiter of Health he once stated that he had a plan, but would not reveal it, as doing so allow those opposed to it time to raise awareness.

Of course the Minsiter should have people advising him. All that is being asked is that he tell us who!

In any other jurisdiction, Liepert’s conduct would have him thrown out of office. Only in Alberta it is accepted. And people wonder why the rest of the country often laughs at us.

This brought a certain quote to mind. Somewhat crusty, but worth a read.

“The executive of the modern state is nothing but a committee for managing the common affairs of the whole bourgeoisie.” -Marx

Here’s another quote:
Stelmach also declared the following;
“…. I am proud to announce our Party is embarking upon the most democratic engagement process for policy development in the history of any political party in our province. The process will encourage input of grassroots Party members and individuals who share our values through constituency and regional forums.”
PC AGM, October 29, 2010

Ok I get it, more a transparency issue vs. advising the Minister on energy issues. No reason why he shouldn’t release the names. Similar to Barb’s campaign here in Calgary, I wouldn’t take on the manager role until she disclosed the contributors.

When I read this story in the Edm Journal online, I posted the following in the ‘Comments” section:

Well, if there was still any doubt remaining that this government is truly in the pockets of big business, this story should eliminate that doubt. If the government wants to hear from a panel of stakeholders on a major sector of the province’s economy, fine… but let it be out in the open and above-board, with a variety of points of view represented. This sort of secret backroom lobbying is disrespectful of the citizens of the province, to whom the resource really belongs after all.

Ron Liepert is a traitor to the province of Alberta.

Now tell me again which party is supported by “Big Oil”

I could not agree with you more jerrymacgp.

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