Thursday, May 28, 2009

Chair of the Future of Uranium in Sask. Public Consultation Process rejects request for disclosure of UDP records, ‘not within my mandate’: Perrins

Just days into the Future of Uranium in Saskatchewan Public Consultation Process and already fairness and transparency seem to be out the window.

On April 8, the Saskatchewan Party government appointed Dan Perrins as chair of the public consultations on the findings and recommendations of the Uranium Development Partnership (UDP) report, Capturing the full potential of the uranium value chain in Saskatchewan, submitted March 31, 2009.

Perrins is tasked with writing and submitting to Enterprise and Innovation Minister Lyle Stewart a report no later than August 31, 2009.

According to the mandate letter signed by Stewart, Perrins is “responsible for leading all aspects” of the process and has the authority to recommend further public consultations. He also has the power “to recommend… the provision of further information to the public.” What is meant by this is not explained but presumably it has something to do with the UDP and/or its report.

It was in this context that Perrins was asked on May 17 to request that the provincial government release a number of UDP records to which the public was being denied access.

Since January, Crown Investments Corporation of Saskatchewan (CIC) has denied at least three requests made under The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act for copies of the full agenda packages and minutes for any UDP meetings that occurred after October 20, 2008. Furthermore, CIC is also denying access to the request for proposals that was submitted by pro-nuclear consultant McKinsey and Company for support services to the UDP.

It remains unclear how many meetings or conference calls, which were closed to the public, the UDP conducted from the time it was established on October 20, 2008, to when it disbanded on April 3, 2009.

In an email response on May 27, Perrins rejected the request saying, “The mandate I received from the Government of Saskatchewan relates to the public consultation process on the findings and recommendations of the Uranium Development Partnership report. Your request, to seek provincial government disclosure of records to you, is not within my mandate.”

Unfortunately, Mr. Perrins did not elaborate on why he felt making such a request was not within the scope of his work since Stewart’s mandate letter seems to suggest otherwise. He also didn’t comment on the question of fairness and that all parties should have access to the same information.

The findings and recommendations of the UDP are a byproduct of the meetings it held. The agendas and minutes to those meetings are the official record of the group’s deliberations and are inseparable from the final report. Without one you wouldn’t have the other. Why these weren’t appended to the final report is a mystery that deserves attention.

This issue is important because 10 organizations that were represented on the UDP have been invited to participate in the public consultation. These include: AREVA Resources Canada, Bruce Power, Cameco Corporation, IBEW Local 2067, Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities, Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce, Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technology, Saskatchewan Urban Municipalities Association, University of Regina, and University of Saskatchewan.

These organizations have also been afforded the opportunity to meet one-on-one with the chair, Dan Perrins, to present and discuss their views on the UDP’s findings and recommendations, which they helped to develop.

This select group would surely have access to UDP records that the public doesn’t. This gives the organizations involved a clear advantage and indeed makes their voice privileged since it’s their report, and only their report, that Perrins is mandated to review.

Two additional organizations that were invited – Golder Associates and Saskatchewan Trade and Export Partnership (STEP) – have connections to the UDP as well.

Golder Associates is a consulting firm specializing in ground engineering and environmental services. They have Bruce Power as a client. In March, Golder conducted information sessions for the nuclear power company in North Battleford, Prince Albert and Lloydminster. Allowing Golder to take part in the public consultation essentially gives Bruce Power another voice at the table.

Golder Associates are acknowledged in the UDP report for the “information and support” it provided during the course of the panel’s work. The connections to Bruce Power and the UDP seem to be paying off.

On May 27, a day after the first stakeholder meeting, Ron Barsi, a mining and environmental management specialist with Golder Associates in Saskatoon, was quoted in The StarPhoenix as saying Saskatchewan will need more energy if it plans to rely on mines -- projects that use massive amounts of electricity -- for its future, and that might have to come from a nuclear reactor.

“If there ever was a budget that relied on mining, it’s the latest one,” he said.

“The mines are paying for our education and our hospitals.” [Stakeholders eye uranium report (StarPhoenix, May 27, 2009)]

As for STEP it has two board members that were directly involved with the UDP: Keith Brown and Dale Botting.

Brown was the Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce representative on the panel and Botting, who is the CEO of Enterprise Saskatchewan, was co-lead of the secretariat that was established by the government to assist the group.

According to its 2009-10 strategic plan one of the key actions for Botting’s agency this year is to, “Advance recommendations of the Uranium Development Partnership report after public consultation to increase value-added processing of Saskatchewan’s uranium resources.”

For a process that some have called a sham this latest development certainly won’t help to dispel that notion.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Regulatory Modernization Council: Wall gov’t stonewalls FOI requests; doing the CFIB’s bidding for Regulatory Transparency and Accountability Act

Established by the Saskatchewan Party government on September 17, 2008, the Regulatory Modernization Council (RMC) is tasked with recommending regulatory reform and business services priorities and forwarding them to the Enterprise Saskatchewan (ES) Board. It also assists ES in monitoring the progress toward meeting regulatory and service enhancement goals.

“Recommendations, prescribed actions, and progress reports will be provided through the chairperson to the Enterprise Saskatchewan Board and its CEO [Dale Botting] for consideration, review, and public reporting. Policy recommendations endorsed by the Board will be submitted to Cabinet and the legislature for consideration and endorsement,” states a government backgrounder.

The council “is mandated by the Board of Enterprise Saskatchewan and will report back to that Board, at a minimum, every six months, on its activities and recommendations respecting regulatory reform and business service improvement.”

Council members determine meeting times, locations, and agendas, and are expected to meet at least four times annually.

The members of the RMC are:

- Ms. Marilyn Braun-Pollon, Vice President, Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB), Regina;

- Mr. Kerny Korchinski, President and CEO, Frontier Peterbilt Sales Ltd., Saskatoon;

- Ms. Bev Monea, Partner, G. Monea and Associates, Assiniboia;

- Mr. Richard Rumberger, CEO, Candle Lake Golf Resort, Candle Lake;

- Ms. Shirley Ryan, Executive Director, North Saskatoon Business Association, Saskatoon;

- Mr. Bob Schutzman, Director of Environmental Affairs Canada, Evraz Inc., Regina; and

- Mr. Ben W. Wiebe, Chairman and Partner, Stark & Marsh Chartered Accountants, Swift Current.

The council has been up and running for eight months but the public has heard next to nothing about its deliberations.

On April 7, 2009, during consideration of the budget estimates for Enterprise and Innovation Programs (Vote 43), Enterprise and Innovation (EI) Minister Lyle Stewart told the legislature’s standing committee on the economy that the RMC “had three conference calls and two in-person meetings” up to that point and have “established an inter-ministry committee to coordinate recommendations throughout government.”

Stewart said the council “is providing many recommendations to remove barriers in the province, and we are developing new service-level commitments and standards that ministries and agencies will need to adopt to ensure efficient and effective dealings with business. The new regulatory registry, which we will be rolling out in this fiscal year, will also make the regulatory process of government much more transparent to all stakeholders in the province.”

The provincial government has not disclosed what those “many recommendations” are. On the contrary, ES has been busy stonewalling requests for information on the RMC and its activities.

Three requests have been made thus far under the province’s freedom of information law for various council records. The first was on September 30, 2008, for copies of any records between May 1, 2008 and September 17, 2008 regarding the selection process for the members of the council; and also for copies of the agenda and minutes for any meetings that had taken place thus far. ES received the request on October 2, 2008, and completed it on April 30, 2009, 211 days later.

The second request, dated December 30, 2008, was for copies of the agenda and minutes for any meetings of the council that occurred from October 1, 2008, to December 30, 2008. ES received the request on January 2, 2009. As of May 25, 2009, the application is 144 days old and still pending.

The most recent request was made on March 20, 2009, for copies of the agenda and minutes for any council meetings that took place from January 1, 2009, to March 20, 2009. ES staff received the request on March 24, 2009. As of May 25, 2009, the file is 63 days old and counting.

In each case ES exceeded the statutory limitations as established under section 7 of The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. Government institutions have a maximum of 60 days to finalize an application. In other words, ES is in gross violation of the law. EI Minister Lyle Stewart was advised of the situation by email on April 28, 2009, but has not replied.

The one request that was completed resulted in the disclosure of 46 pages of information, most of which pertain to the RMC’s September 17, 2008, meeting. The material consists of PowerPoint presentations by ES officials reviewing the agency’s operations and the council’s mandate. A lunchtime presentation by Saskatchewan Environment staff on environmental performance-based regulations is also included.

Council members received a presentation by ES vice president of competitiveness and strategy, Angela Schmidt, called “Regulatory Modernization Key Issues and Operations.” Unfortunately, six of the seven pages released were completely censored and isn’t the only information being withheld.

In the agency’s April 30 cover letter ES information and privacy officer, Verna Mogk, advised that “nine records totalling 75 pages are being denied in their entirety” because they contain advice from officials or disclose a confidence of the Executive Council.

In short, this means there is a lot of information about the RMC that the Saskatchewan Party government does not want the public to see, including any records about the process that was used in selecting council members.

The only useful piece of information that was disclosed is a one-page agenda for a council meeting that never took place. It seems the government originally planned for the RMC to be in operation by June 2008 but for some reason this was delayed by several months.

Tucked away at the bottom of the page under the heading “Near Future Meeting Agenda Items” is the following:

– Regulatory Transparency and Accountability Act
– Regulatory Registry
– Regulatory and Legislative Processes (Ian Brown)
– Regulatory Reviews/Impact Assessments
– Federal Provincial Regulatory Coordination

The reference to a Regulatory Transparency and Accountability Act is important because it’s a solid link back to an April 7, 2008, letter from CFIB vice president, and future RMC member, Marilyn Braun-Pollon to Premier Brad Wall requesting that such an Act be established.

Saskatchewan could be the first province to pass legislation that would make it a world leader in regulatory accountability and ensure the initiatives by Enterprise Saskatchewan last well into the future,” Braun-Pollon said.

“While reducing red tape has always been important for small business, existing and looming labour shortages guarantee the ongoing importance of saving time for both those in the public and private sectors. Passing a Regulatory Transparency and Accountability Act along the lines we are suggesting would prove to be a very effective tool to help address this challenge.

“We hope Saskatchewan will adopt CFIB’s plan to institute regulatory transparency and accountability and make some much needed reductions in red tape in order for its citizens to unleash their entrepreneurship and look forward to limitless opportunities for years to come.”

Wall responded on May 8, 2008, stating: “Your correspondence is timely as our Government has recently committed to minimizing excessive business red tape by modernizing and stream-lining our province’s regulatory system. Enterprise Saskatchewan will be the lead agency for this initiative, and they will certainly be seeking your organization’s input in both the initiative’s detailed planning and delivery activities.”

According to records obtained from EI last year, Braun-Pollon met with Wall, EI Minister Lyle Stewart and ES CEO Dale Botting on February 11, 2008, at the Legislature Building. The meeting is referenced in her subsequent letter to the premier.

A few months later Braun-Pollon was been named to the RMC.

This isn’t the only evidence of the Wall government doing the CFIB’s bidding. On February 12, 2009, the government announced that it had developed and adopted a code of standards to strengthen its working relationship and communication practices with the taxpayers and businesses of Saskatchewan.

The Taxpayer Service Commitments and Standards Code provides a window on the service levels Finance pledges to the public, including tax information, collection and enforcement, and audit services, a government news release said.

The new Code was drafted following encouragement from the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB), whose members have been calling for more formal standards of performance. Marilyn Braun-Pollon, vice-president of Saskatchewan and Agri-business of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, calls the move a good first step toward improving the regulatory climate for business owners in Saskatchewan.

“It is encouraging to see one of the first recommendations of the Regulatory Modernization Council is being adopted by the Ministry of Finance,” Braun-Pollon said. “We look forward to seeing the results and working with the ministry to further improve its relationship with small business.”

The CFIB and Saskatchewan Party have had a close working relationship for many years. In March 2004, shortly after becoming party leader, Brad Wall wrote to Braun-Pollon assuring her that it was business as usual.

“My party has had a very good relationship with your organization through the years and that will absolutely not change under my leadership. The position the CFIB puts forward, for the most, reflect our own.”

The RMC is starting to prove that in spades.

RMC Key Issues and Options presentation (p. 1)

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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

UDP not enough as Bruce Power, Cameco & AREVA invited to public consultations; CIC refusing to release minutes, McKinsey & Company RFP

It’s bad enough the Saskatchewan Party government stacked the Uranium Development Partnership (UDP) with pro-nuclear members and tried selling it to the public as an unbiased cross-section of stakeholders, but now it’s been learned that ten of the organizations represented on the panel have been invited to participate in the Future of Uranium in Saskatchewan Public Consultation Process.

AREVA Resources Canada, Bruce Power, Cameco Corporation, IBEW Local 2067, Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities, Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce, Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technology, Saskatchewan Urban Municipalities Association, University of Regina, and University of Saskatchewan are among 60 organizations invited to attend a stakeholder conference on May 26 in Saskatoon. The organizations will also have the opportunity to meet one-on-one with the chair, Dan Perrins, to present and discuss their views on the UDP’s findings and recommendations.

It seems the $3 million, 136-page report the panel prepared behind closed doors with the help of pro-nuclear consultant McKinsey and Company isn’t enough and that UDP members should be given the chance to provide more input.

Just as outrageous is the fact that Golder Associates and the Saskatchewan Trade and Export Partnership (STEP) have been invited to participate as well.

Golder Associates is a consulting firm specializing in ground engineering and environmental services. They have Bruce Power as a client. In March, Golder conducted information sessions for the nuclear power company in North Battleford, Prince Albert and Lloydminster. Allowing Golder to take part in the public consultation essentially gives Bruce Power another voice at the table.

As for STEP it has two board members that were directly involved with the UDP: Keith Brown and Dale Botting.

Brown was the Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce representative on the panel and Botting, who is the CEO of Enterprise Saskatchewan, was co-lead of the secretariat that was established by the government to assist the group.

AREVA Canada, Bruce Power, Cameco, Golder Associates and the University of Saskatchewan were singled out for special thanks in the UDP report for providing “information and support” during the course of the panel’s work. It seems their work is not finished.

As public consultation’s go, you might be hard pressed to find another one with less credibility than this one.

According to the website set up especially for the public consultation process ( members of the public will not be allowed to make a presentation at the community consultation meetings. Discussion instead “will be lead by a facilitator in the five areas covered in the UDP report.”

Community consultations will take place in ten communities across the province, which include Yorkton, Estevan, Swift Current, Regina, Prince Albert, Buffalo Narrows, Lloydminster, North Battleford, Saskatoon, La Ronge.

“A workbook will be made available at each meeting for participants to fill out and provide their comments,” the website states.

Individuals wishing to make a presentation to the chair could be out of luck: “Our priority at this time is for organizations to make a one-on-one presentation to the Chair as we can’t accommodate individual presentations. However, we are not ruling out the possibility of individuals making a presentation depending upon number of requests and the availability of the Chair.”

One of the most disturbing aspects of the consultation process is that prior to each session participants will be subjected to a video presentation by Dr. Richard Florizone, chair of the UDP, giving an overview of the panel’s findings and recommendations.

If Florizone’s video is anything like the 30-40 minute presentation he gave at the press conference in Saskatoon on April 3 when the UDP’s final report was released, it will be nuclear friendly with nary a negative word spoken. That Florizone’s words will be the last thing people hear before discussions begin will surely be to the government’s advantage. It’s naïve to think that this won’t in some way affect the final outcome of the consultation process.

On April 9 the Brad Wall government announced the appointment of Dan Perrins as the chair of the public consultation process, handcuffing him with a mandate focused solely on the findings and recommendations of the UDP report, Capturing the Full Potential of the Uranium Value Chain in Saskatchewan. No other reports, options or alternative viewpoints will be considered. Perrins will draft a report on what he heard from Saskatchewan people, stakeholders and communities by August 31, 2009.

To Perrins’ credit he appears to be more the willing to field questions or concerns.

Responding to a request for information, Perrins said in an email on May 15 that he “put together the invitation list” and “any organization that requests a one-on-one presentation will be accommodated.”

Perrins said facilitators for the sessions “are being arranged through the Dispute Resolution Office, Ministry of Justice” and that he hasn’t “ruled out hearing presentations from individuals if time permits.”

On the subject of Golder Associates and whether they should be allowed to participate, Perrins said: “I want a broad representation of organizations to participate throughout the process. Providing this variety of options for participation does not mean that any one organization’s voice will be privileged over another’s – or over the voices of citizens. I will be reporting on everything that I hear during the consultation process.”

The alarming thing is 10 organizations directly involved with the UDP are being permitted to comment on a report whose findings and recommendations they helped create. These groups have the advantage of having been on the inside. It’s their report that’s being considered, no one else’s. In that regard their voices are already privileged. Furthermore, these groups have had access to UDP records that the public doesn’t. How fair is that?

The Crown Investments Corporation of Saskatchewan (CIC) has not been very forthcoming with details about the UDP’s deliberations.

It remains unclear how many meetings the UDP held from the time it was established on October 20, 2008, to when it disbanded on April 3, 2009. The number of meetings could be as high as seven or eight.

The UDP’s draft work plan and timeline shows the group was tentatively scheduled to meet on October 20, 2008; November 17, 2008; December 19, 2008; January 26, 2009; and March 16, 2009.

According to two records released by CIC on May 4, the group may have met on February 27, 2009, March 11, 2009, and conducted a conference call on March 23, 2009. A final meeting and lunch were held in Saskatoon on April 3, 2009.

During the five month stretch that the UDP were active three separate requests under the province’s freedom of information legislation were made to CIC for copies of the complete agendas and minutes for any meetings it held. With the exception of the inaugural meeting on October 20, 2008, CIC denied access to nearly everything. No minutes for any meetings, other than the first one, have been released.

Additionally, on May 5 CIC advised that access to consulting firm McKinsey and Company’s request for proposals for support services to the UDP was denied. CIC consulted with McKinsey on the request but it appears permission to release the record was not granted.

The government violated The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act by not applying section 8 which is mandatory stating: “Where a record contains information to which an applicant is refused access, the head shall give access to as much of the record as can reasonably be severed without disclosing the information to which the applicant is refused access.”

It would seem that McKinsey’s interests trump the laws of Saskatchewan.

According to its contract McKinsey was hired to “identify, evaluate and make recommendations on potential economic development opportunities from value-added development of Saskatchewan’s uranium industry.” The firm was paid $2.205 million for a few months of work.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Meewasin Valley Authority refusing to release CEO reports; board votes behind closed doors to investigate possible move to Mendel Art Gallery site

The official announcement was still more than three hours away but that didn’t stop the Meewasin Valley Authority (MVA) board of directors from deciding to investigate the feasibility of moving its operations to the Mendel Art Gallery once it becomes vacant.

At 3:30 p.m. on April 3, 2009, Mendel board chair Art Knight and Mayor Don Atchison announced plans to move the gallery to the city’s troubled River Landing site and into a proposed new Art Gallery of Saskatchewan costing $55 million. The Mendel name would be stripped from the building. The long planned $24 million renovation and expansion of the current facility would be abandoned.

The politically motivated proposal, designed to secure federal stimulus funding, was developed in total secrecy. Neither the public nor Mendel members and donors were consulted beforehand. The Mendel name was conspicuously absent from the news release and glossy brochure that were distributed at the press conference. It was also missing from board chair Art Knight’s op-ed that was published in The StarPhoenix the following day.

A few hours earlier, at 11:00 a.m., the Meewasin board met in-camera and was briefed on the Mendel Art Gallery situation. It also received a report from Meewasin CEO Susan Lamb that may have included discussion on the gallery as well.

According to the minutes, Sandi Shultz, the city’s special projects manager, “briefed the board on the upcoming Mendel project. There will be a formal announcement on April 3, 2009. Ms. Schultz discussed the core function needed by the gallery including partnerships, permanent galleries, temporary exhibit space, administration space, support areas and an atrium that faces the river.

“Board comments and questions included time lines for the project, site location and usage; federal funding, former Mendel site use and a proposed opening date of the new facility.”

Following the chief executive officer’s report Mayor Don Atchison moved “that the board direct administration to look at the feasibility and viability of the current gallery location and [censored].” The motion was carried.

Unfortunately, several sentences in the minutes were blacked out by Meewasin staff before they were released on May 11. No explanation was given why.

The decision to move Meewasin to the Mendel site is clearly a fait accompli.

In the news article MVA eyes Mendel site (StarPhoenix, April 7, 2009), Gwen Charman, Meewasin’s director of operations, said the rush to decide which option to pursue is linked to deadlines for federal funding applications and to show the MVA’s interest to the city ahead of other suitors for the gallery.

It’s naïve to think that the mayor, a Meewasin board member, did not already know that the MVA would be interested in moving to the Mendel building. After all, Atchison was mayor in 2005 when the same idea surfaced after it was learned that the city wanted to move the Mendel the first time around.

StarPhoenix reporter David Hutton noted in the article that, “All four city councillors on the Meewasin board are in favour of moving to a vacated Mendel Art Gallery and have been quick to stake the organization’s claim to the building.” Honestly, is the public supposed to believe that this hasn’t already been discussed behind the scenes and that there aren’t two more votes on council to make the plan a reality?

Since the April 3 press conference the city has portrayed itself as an innocent bystander in the whole sordid affair.

On April 22 the mayor hosted a volunteer appreciation banquet at TCU Place in recognition of citizens that volunteer their time to serve on the city’s various committees, boards and commissions.

During the event Atchison spoke about the Mendel and the proposed new art gallery at River Landing. The mayor said it was the gallery that approached the city with the idea of moving and not the other way around.

If that were indeed the case then why weren’t Mendel trustees present at the April 3 Meewasin board meeting to speak to the issue instead of city administration?

Members of the Mendel board are appointed by city council. Make no mistake when it comes to capital projects or senior levels of government funding involving the gallery it’s the city that calls the shots.

On April 8 a freedom of information request was submitted to Meewasin for copies of any letters or emails between the authority and the city regarding the Mendel Art Gallery. The request also asked for a copy of the chief executive officer’s report and any records regarding the River Landing Destination Complex that were considered by the Meewasin board at its October 7, 2005, meeting. It was at that meeting the board discussed the city’s plan to move the Mendel Art Gallery.

In its May 8 response Meewasin disclosed one email (dated April 6) but refused to release the CEO’s report saying, “The chief executive officer’s report to the board of directors, in its entirety, is not disclosed as provided for by the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, by way of application of sections 17(1)(a) to (g), 18(1)(d) and (f), and 22(a) to (c).”

These sections of the Act relate to advice from officials, economic and other interests, and solicitor-client privilege. All three are discretionary exemptions meaning that there is nothing to stop Meewasin from releasing the records if it so desired. The fact of the matter is it chose to withhold the records simply because it can.

Furthermore, it appears Meewasin violated the Act by not applying section 8 pertaining to severability which is mandatory stating: “Where a record contains information to which an applicant is refused access, the head shall give access to as much of the record as can reasonably be severed without disclosing the information to which the applicant is refused access.”

The April 6 email from Meewasin’s Gwen Charman to city manager Murray Totland and corporate services general manager Marlys Bilanski appears to fill in some of the blanks.

“As you will have heard from some of our Directors, the Meewasin Valley Authority Board of Directors passed a motion at their meeting on April 3, 2009 instructing the Meewasin administration to investigate the feasibility of an option to move our “new Meewasin Valley Centre” project to what will soon be the “former” Mendel building,” the email states.

“These investigations began today. We will also be informing possible federal and provincial funders that we are now looking at a second option. We expect to report back to our Board (and funders) within the month, at least with some preliminary information.

“[Meewasin manager of design and development] Lloyd Isaak will be asking for help from Sandi Shultz on Mendel building information.”

In October 2005 the city, with Atchison as mayor, tried to move the Mendel to River Landing but the plan fell apart when the gallery’s board voted unanimously to remain at the current site. The aborted plan included the possibility of Meewasin moving into the Mendel building once it was vacated.

At its October 7, 2005, meeting the Meewasin board considered a report by CEO Susan Lamb that included discussion of the doomed River Landing Destination Complex. According to the minutes a “list of issues and approximate costs pertaining to the destination complex” were included in the board’s agenda package.

“Discussion occurred about the possibility of the Mendel Art Gallery relocating to the River Landing. The City has engaged consultant David Russell from Vancouver to do a study on the destination complex. He is considered a destination centre expert. It is hoped his report will be ready by the end of November. The federal government will need a decision on this matter by the end of December. If an emergency meeting of the board is required, it will be called by the Chair.”

On May 8 Meewasin advised that it was refusing to release Lamb’s report and any records relating to the Destination Complex.

The Meewasin Valley Authority was created in 1979 by an Act of the provincial legislature. It is a partnership of the City of Saskatoon, the Province of Saskatchewan and the University of Saskatchewan. Each year the partners provide statutory funding.

The authority is a registered charity controlled by a twelve-person board of directors, with four members appointed by each partner. The majority of the board’s business is conducted behind closed doors.

Meewasin receives millions of taxpayer dollars each year. According to the organization’s registered charity information return filed with the Canada Revenue Agency, in the fiscal year ending March 31, 2008, the MVA received $4,539,757 in total revenue from the three levels of government. In fiscal 2007, the total was $3,198,226.

It is disturbing that Meewasin management feels the public has no right knowing its business. In this regard Meewasin appears to be following in the Mendel’s footsteps putting secrecy ahead of openness and transparency.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Sask. on board with Idaho National Laboratory’s Western Inland Energy Corridor; Wall government to “accelerate” uranium and nuclear opportunities

Western Inland Energy Corridor

Enterprise Saskatchewan at Alberta Economic Forum

Enterprise Saskatchewan as diamond sponsor

As news stories go it was a mere blip. On March 17 Energy and Resources Minister Bill Boyd and Enterprise and Innovation Minister Lyle Stewart signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the government and Idaho National Laboratory (INL), the U.S. Department of Energy’s lead nuclear energy research and development facility.

A government news release said the MOU provides a mechanism for the government and INL to consider research and demonstration projects on a variety of energy sources and resources, including uranium, nuclear energy, heavy oil, oil shale and oil sands. The agreement also provides for potential collaboration on carbon dioxide capture and storage projects.

“Our government is committed to advancing an innovation agenda for Saskatchewan, and this linkage with INL supports that commitment,” Stewart said. “The exchange of ideas and expertise between INL and our research facilities will foster new approaches and advances in energy development.”

Established in 1949, Idaho National Laboratory has 3,800 staff in a number of complexes and testing facilities in southeastern Idaho. It is operated for the U.S. Department of Energy by Battele Energy Alliance, a consortium of research institutes and universities.

The news release did not include a backgrounder or copy of the agreement. The announcement generated one news article by the Saskatchewan News Network that was published in The StarPhoenix and Leader-Post the following day.

On March 27 a request was made to the Ministry of Energy and Resources under the province’s freedom of information legislation for a copy of the MOU and any backgrounders, briefing notes or memorandums relating to the agreement or announcement.

On April 30 the ministry granted the request in full, a rare, but welcome, occurrence for the usually secretive Saskatchewan Party government. The records released reveal some interesting information that was not included in the government news release or subsequent newspaper article.

While the news release did describe in general terms the purpose of the agreement it did not provide any information on its objectives. These include:

– The Parties plan to work in the long term interests of energy development.

– The Parties plan to work to further energy security between Canada and the United States.

– The Parties plan to seek to accelerate and enhance Saskatchewan’s current strengths in uranium production through research, development, and demonstration of value-added opportunities in the uranium and nuclear energy cycles.

– The Parties plan to examine further opportunities in unconventional resource development such as oil sands and oil shales.

– The Parties plan to share knowledge with respect to carbon capture and sequestration and work to advance research and technology development in carbon management.

Of particular interest are the plans to “accelerate and enhance” the province’s uranium activities. The wording is eerily reminiscent of the Saskatchewan Party’s 2007 election platform which said, “Enterprise Saskatchewan will act as the lead agency for enhancing the value-added potential of Saskatchewan’s natural resources. Enterprise Saskatchewan will… Explore and identify uranium value-added opportunities.”

There was absolutely no mention of building nuclear reactors or storing nuclear waste in the province but once in power that’s exactly what the Brad Wall government began to pursue. The lesson learned is that words like ‘enhance,’ ‘strengths’ and ‘opportunities’ mean something more than what you might initially think.

The MOU indicates that the agreement “shall be in force for a period of four years from the date of the third signature of ratification.” This means until March 17, 2013.

The MOU also shows that a Coordinating Committee, consisting of 2 individuals from each party, will be established to advance the objectives and purposes of the agreement. The Wall government has not disclosed the names of the committee members.

Another document, a March 12 memorandum from energy and resources deputy minister, Kent Campbell, to Ministers Boyd and Stewart, shows that 20 government officials were invited to attend the signing ceremony at Government House in Regina. The list included Enterprise Saskatchewan deputy minister and CEO, Dale Botting, but more on him later.

An attachment to the memo prepared by Cam Pelzer, the ministry’s director of industrial policy with the resource and energy policy division, discloses for the first time that Energy and Resources officials “traveled to Idaho Falls in June 2008 to begin a relationship with the INL.” News of the junket or how much it cost has never been reported. Unfortunately, the memo provides no information on who went or what transpired.

On January 10 the Edmonton Journal reported on the cost of a similar trip that was taken by Alberta deputy premier Ron Stevens. Stevens and several other government officials visited the INL facilities in Idaho Falls on December 17-18, 2008. The trip cost taxpayers $16,500. [Globe-trotting Tory MLAs rack up $250,000 travel bill (Edmonton Journal, Jan. 10, 2009)]

The best is saved for last, though, when Pelzer notes: “INL officials encourage Saskatchewan to support a “Western Inland Energy Corridor” whereby INL would play a key role in research supporting commercial development of unconventional fuels such as oil shales, oils sands, coal to liquids, tight gas, heavy oil, and enhanced oil recovery.”

And what is the Western Inland Energy Corridor? The INL describes it one document as “a promising hub for energy resources in urgent demand…stretching from northern Canada to the southwestern U.S. and to the Pacific coast.”

“This corridor contains world-class fossil energy reserves of coal, oil shale, and oilsands – that are complemented by real and potential renewable energy resources – including wind, hydropower, and bioenergy. The corridor also hosts world class uranium resources necessary for nuclear power generation.”

The INL says, “Developing these energy-rich resources will require the resolution of critical environmental and water resource issues. Intermingled with and further complicating these issues, are the ongoing infrastructure investments being made in the area, including the expansion of electric transmission lines, oil and gas pipelines, and construction of new power plants.”

The organization states that it is looking to be “the region’s “go-to” powerhouse for energy security.” And it seems that Alberta and Saskatchewan are part of its long range plans.

In a presentation to the 4th International Topical Meeting on High Temperature Reactor (HTR) Technology on October 1, 2008, in Washington, D.C., Michael Hagood, the INL’s energy systems business lead, said “The United States faces an unprecedented threat to its energy security due to its dependence on foreign oil and gas, in particular transportation fuel derived from geopolitically unstable or “unfriendly” countries.

“This is a situation that diminishes our country’s strength, and given demand trends, will only worsen.

“In this context, carbon energy sources will continue to supply most of the world’s energy needs for the foreseeable future.”

Hagood said the Western Inland Energy Corridor can contribute significantly to U.S. energy security noting that it “contains world-class conventional and unconventional fossil energy reserves complemented by significant renewable resources and energy infrastructure.”

“The Canadian portion of corridor is of great importance to U.S. energy security,” he said, singling out Alberta’s oil sands and Saskatchewan’s rich concentration of uranium in particular.

“Innovative development, stewardship and environmental management approaches must be applied to secure these resources.”

Hagood also mentioned the two province’s “growing interest in nuclear energy integration.”

“There is growing interest in applying nuclear energy (heat) to the recovery and upgrading/conversion of critical unconventional fossil energy resources,” his said.

It’s been rumoured that this is perhaps the main reason why the Wall government is so eager to see up to two nuclear reactors built in Saskatchewan.

Saskatchewan isn’t the only province the INL is looking to for support of the energy corridor. As mentioned earlier Alberta deputy premier Ron Stevens visited INL facilities in Idaho in December. A report on the trip’s outcome was later posted on the Alberta government website.

“The mission focused on reviewing the research priorities and expertise of the INL and understanding their efforts in the area of energy systems integration, including renewable, non-renewable and nuclear energy. Discussions centred on where Alberta and INL could work together to increase energy production in Alberta while mitigating environmental impacts,” the report states.

“The Inland Energy Corridor concept was explored. This is a region identified by the INL as stretching from Alberta and Saskatchewan to Colorado, forming one of the largest energy regions in the world in terms of oil, natural gas, oil sands, coal, oil shale, uranium, and renewable energy. Discussions focused on the region’s energy assets and their potential contribution to the energy security of the North American continent.”

In Edmonton, on March 28, 2008, came the announcement that the Alberta Research Council (ARC) and INL had signed a MOU to collaborate on a series of energy/environmental research and development initiatives.

An ARC news release said one of the “many concepts the organizations will be evaluating is the potential application of current and future nuclear energy technology within the context of Alberta’s specific conditions and industry applications.”

“INL and ARC will collaboratively develop an advisory report covering various aspects of potential introduction of nuclear energy into Alberta, for both electrical generation and also in relation to possible interaction in oil sands development. They will pay specific attention to environmental impact, industrial integration and holistic cost-effectiveness.”

A year later, on March 29, 2009, the Alberta government released the report of the Nuclear Power Expert Panel. The panel was appointed in 2008 with a mandate to gather information and present the facts on nuclear energy to Albertans.

According to the executive summary the report “is intended to be an unbiased compilation of the scientifically accepted information underpinning the issues associated with nuclear power. The information contained herein is based upon facts and data supplied by panel members and by the Alberta Research Council and the Idaho National Laboratory, who were commissioned by the panel to compile background information.”

The report neglects to mention that the INL is mandated to develop and promote nuclear options.

As luck would have it Alberta, Saskatchewan and the INL crossed paths recently in the most unlikely of places – Geneva, Switzerland.

The Alberta Economic Forum, billed as an investment conference, was held May 4-5 at the luxurious Grand Hotel Kempinski in Geneva.

The participants included senior managers of oil companies, international and local, private and national; bankers (investment bankers, trade finance, private bankers, financial analysts, portfolio managers, credit departments) from European and Canadian banks; investment funds; governments; senior managers of the infrastructure sector (oil & gas transportation, refineries, power generation); law firms and consultants.

The keynote speaker was Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach.

The event was organized by the Alberta Enterprise Group, an Edmonton-based right-wing lobby group established by Alberta business interests in June 2007. The group’s president is Tim Shipton, former Director of Finance with the PC Party of Alberta. The chairman is Cal Nichols, president of the Gasland Group of Companies in Edmonton.

The group says it promotes balanced economic growth, efficient government services and open and accountable government practices. The organization, however, remains secretive not releasing any financial statements or a list of its members.

The average citizen had no hope in hell of enjoying the access to power that the forum offered participants. The bronze package, which included the two days of conferences and gala dinner, cost 2500 CHF ($2,600 CAD). The gold package went for 4550 CHF ($4,700 CAD) and included the conference, dinner and 3 nights at the hotel. Just to attend the conference for one day would’ve set someone back 1250 CHF ($1,300 CAD).

According to the event programme also in attendance were INL’s Michael Hagood and Enterprise Saskatchewan CEO Dale Botting. In fact, Enterprise Saskatchewan is listed as a diamond sponsor. Both Botting and Hagood are listed as speakers. The subject of Hagood’s presentation was of course the Western Inland Energy Corridor, touted as “the new center of gravity of oil production in the XXIst century.” It appears Hagood’s presentation was sponsored by Enterprise Saskatchewan. The agency’s logo appears right next to the topic in the programme. This should erase any doubt whether Saskatchewan is on board with the INL and its goals. America needs energy and both the Wall and Stelmach governments seem more than willing to do whatever it takes to make sure they get it.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Sask. Party gov’t claims no records exist of April 2008 meeting with Bruce Power; CIC refusing to disclose records of September 2008 meeting

It’s on public record that Bruce Power president and CEO Duncan Hawthorne was in Regina last spring to meet with provincial officials. The Saskatchewan Party government, however, is claiming that no records of the meeting exist. How this could be possible remains a mystery.

The story begins on April 25, 2008, when TransCanada Corporation held its annual meeting of shareholders at the Roundup Centre in Calgary.

Hal Kvisle, TransCanada president and CEO, told reporters at the meeting that Bruce Power would be “encouraged” to look at a variety locations – including Saskatchewan – as it searches for site to build Western Canada’s first commercial nuclear plant.

According to an article by Calgary Herald reporter Jon Harding, Kvisle said while TransCanada supports Bruce Power’s nuclear pursuits in [Alberta], a compelling and logical argument can be made that Saskatchewan, the source of most of the nuclear fuel used in North America, would be a better home.

Saskatchewan should think about value-added upgrading of that fuel,” Kvisle said. “Also, in Saskatchewan there is increasingly a comfort level with the merits of nuclear power. Of course, in every jurisdiction there are people opposed to it.” [Saskatchewan may snatch reactor, say TransCanada (Calgary Herald, Apr. 26, 2008)]

TransCanada is majority owner of Bruce Power and is also one the Saskatchewan Party’s biggest contributors. Since 1998 it has donated $49,898.41 to the party. Cameco Corporation, a partial owner of the nuclear power company, has contributed $45,808.10.

On May 6, 2008, Energy and Resources Minister Bill Boyd told the Calgary Herald his government has held “early” talks with Bruce Power.

“We have had early, very preliminary discussions with Bruce Power about the potential in Saskatchewan,” Boyd said in an interview in Calgary, where he was speaking at a conference for energy regulators.

“(Bruce Power) has indicated to us, as well, that the site selection might be more appropriate in our province, so we are interested in that and are looking at it.”

Boyd said the province would welcome the investment. [Alberta faces fight for reactor (Calgary Herald, May 7, 2008)]

On May 8, 2008, the Saskatoon StarPhoenix reported that Duncan Hawthorne, CEO of Bruce Power, met briefly with Boyd and other government officials in Regina a couple of weeks earlier.

The company had only recently expressed interest in Saskatchewan as a potential location for nuclear development in Western Canada.

According to the article Boyd said there have been no substantive discussions at this point with other companies such as Atomic Energy Canada Ltd. or the nuclear power branch of Areva. [Sask. nuclear power plant still 'long ways off': Boyd (StarPhoenix, May 8, 2008)]

Meanwhile, the Canadian Press reported on May 9, 2008, that Crown Corporations Minister Ken Cheveldayoff said the province isn’t interested in running a plant.

‘‘We are ruling out SaskPower being an owner-operator of a nuclear plant,’’ he said.

Instead, the Saskatchewan Party government is looking to the private sector to do comprehensive studies and come forward with proposals. (This contradicts Saskatchewan Party policy which states that a government under it “will immediately carry out and publicly release a study on the feasibility of building one or more nuclear power generation facilities in Saskatchewan to provide a reliable supply of low cost power in an environmentally responsible way.”)

Boyd was quoted as saying the meeting with Bruce Power officials was of “an introductory-type.”

‘‘They talked about in general terms whether we as a government would be interested in nuclear generation. We said yes we were,’’ said Boyd. [Leaked report says yes (The Canadian Press, May 9, 2008)]

Lo and behold six weeks later Hawthorne was in Saskatoon, with Cheveldayoff and Enterprise and Innovation Minister Lyle Stewart by his side, to announce the launch of his company’s feasibility study.

“We would like to welcome Bruce Power to our province and look forward to the results of the Saskatchewan 2020 feasibility study, which we hope will lead to the creation of a nuclear option for our province,” Stewart said.

Cheveldayoff said the government was “establishing a climate so companies like Bruce Power can come to our province and compete to provide the next generation of clean electricity.” [Bruce Power news release, June 17, 2008]

In the article Wall says gov’t will explore nuclear power plant possibility (Leader-Post, June 18, 2008), Premier Brad Wall said the government would be “foolish” not to explore the possibility of a privately operated nuclear power plant in Saskatchewan.

In a little known story published on June 17, 2008, the Globe and Mail’s Karen Howlett reported that Wall met with Hawthorne that day and according to Leanne Persicke, a spokewoman in Wall’s office, it was Wall that asked Bruce Power to conduct a feasibility study for the nuclear power plant. [Saskatchewan to unveil nuclear plans (Globe and Mail, June 17, 2008)]

If true then it would mean it was Wall that violated the party’s policy on the issue.

It seems pretty straight forward that the best place to ask for information on the Hawthorne-Boyd meeting would be from Energy and Resources. After all, it was Boyd that was speaking on behalf of the government.

On February 19, 2009, an access to information request was submitted to Energy and Resources for copies of any records, paper or electronic, regarding or relating to the any meetings that took place in April 2008 between the provincial government and Bruce Power.

A month later, however, came this puzzling response from the Wall government: “Please be advised that the records you wish to access do not exist in the Ministry of Energy and Resources.”

The ministry recommended the request be re-directed to Enterprise Saskatchewan, SaskPower or possibly Crown Investments Corporation of Saskatchewan (CIC).

On March 31, 2009, requests were sent to Enterprise Saskatchewan and CIC for the same information. SaskPower does not speak for the Wall government on nuclear issues so on that basis it didn’t seem worthwhile contacting them.

Enterprise Saskatchewan was the first to respond, its April 22 letter stating: “This is to advise that the record(s) you wish access to does not exist in Enterprise Saskatchewan.”

This was followed by CIC’s May 1 reply: “CIC is unable to locate any records that are responsive to your request.”

So what we have here is three government institutions with the greatest interest in the nuclear file all saying they have no records of any meeting between the provincial government and Bruce Power in April 2008. This despite media reports, unless they’re mistaken, that one did occur and that it included Energy and Resources Minister Bill Boyd and “other government officials.” How is this possible?

One meeting the Wall government can’t ignore is the one that took place on September 29, 2008, between CIC officials and Bruce Power. It was at this meeting that CIC were advised of the key findings of the power company’s feasibility study – two months before it was officially released.

According to an undated, heavily censored briefing note disclosed by CIC on March 9 under freedom of information legislation, “CIC staff held a preliminary meeting with Bruce Power officials on September 29 during which the following information was provided:

“The study will conclude that it is feasible to build a two unit, 2,000 MW nuclear power plant in Saskatchewan under certain conditions.

“The study will also identify as many as four potential locations (near Lloydminster, near North Battleford, near Prince Albert and near Boundary Dam south of Estevan).”

A follow-up request was made to CIC on March 13, 2009, for copies of any written notes, emails, reports or letters regarding or relating to the September 29, 2008, meeting between the provincial government and Bruce Power. The request was denied.

In its April 29 letter CIC said that access to records responsive to the request was refused on the basis that if disclosed would release information that contains briefings to members of Executive Council in relation to matters that are before or are proposed to be brought before the Executive Council or any of its committees; and could also reasonably be expected to disclose consultations or deliberations involving officers or employees of a government institution, a member of the Executive Council or the staff of a member of the Executive Council.

The Wall government would like the public to believe that its march towards bringing nuclear power to the province is transparent and above board, but at every turn seems to refuse access to information about its dealings with Bruce Power, the very company that’s interested in building as many as two reactors here. What are people supposed to think?

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Saskatchewan Party: Energy industry donations top $142,000 in 2008; $1.178 million since 1998

The Saskatchewan Party hauled in at least $142,036.05 in donations from the energy industry in 2008, the political party’s annual financial statement submitted with the chief electoral officer shows. The report was posted on the Elections Saskatchewan website May 1.

The amount represents 17.3 per cent of the total corporate contributions ($821,502.00) the party raised last year. The party received no donations from trade unions.

In contrast the Saskatchewan NDP brought in $62,834.00 in corporate contributions in 2008. Only $13,292.00 of that was from the energy sector. The party received $31,985.60 from trade unions.

The NDP raised more from individuals than the Saskatchewan Party: $686.521.89 to $542,940.00.

Bob Mason, the Saskatchewan Party’s executive director, told CBC News that approximately 60 per cent of the money it raised last year was from corporations. [Coffers filling nicely for Sask’s two biggest political parties (CBC News, May 1, 2009)]

If there was ever a political party beholden to a specific group it’s the Saskatchewan Party.

The $142,000-plus is the largest non-election year total in energy sector money the party has received since its inception in 1997. Of the 69 companies that donated it appears at least 47 were from Alberta (46 Calgary, 1 Edmonton). Leading the way was Calgary-based Penn West Petroleum Ltd. with $17,339.80.

The second highest, and making its first appearance as a contributor above the $250.00 disclosure limit, was Oilsands Quest Inc. with $6,839.14. The Calgary-based company is developing Saskatchewan’s first global-scale oilsands discovery. The company’s Axe Lake discovery is located in northwest Saskatchewan on the Saskatchewan-Alberta border.

Baytex Energy Ltd. and Canadian Hydro Developers, Inc. each contributed $5,000.00 while Talisman Energy Inc. rounded out the top five with $3,339.80.

Oilsands Quest made the news last spring when controversy erupted over a $400-a-plate fundraising dinner the Saskatchewan Party held in Calgary on May 21, 2008, where Premier Brad Wall spoke to about 750 people. It was billed as “Calgary Appreciation Night.” [Prairie premier wows Calgary crowd (Calgary Herald, May 23, 2008)]

According to The StarPhoenix, seven cabinet ministers joined Wall for the dinner. Reporter James Wood noted that while the Saskatchewan Party paid the premier’s travel expenses, “the government picked up the tab for the ministers’ travel as each had arranged meetings in Alberta to coincide with the event.”

One of the lucky seven to make the trip was Energy and Resources Minister Bill Boyd. Wood reported that one of Boyd’s meetings “included a discussion of the core sample assessment process with Oilsands Quest.”

First Nations and Metis Relations Minister June Draude and Enterprise and Innovation Minister Lyle Stewart met with the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers.

Crown Corporations Minister Ken Cheveldayoff and Government Services Minister Dan D’Autremont met with various businesses, primarily energy companies. [Cabinet’s Alta. trip criticized (Leader-Post, May 23, 2008)]

In March 2009, Wall confirmed that the party would not hold a leader’s dinner in Alberta this year, but said it would “continue to raise funds outside of Saskatchewan and did not rule out holding an out-of-province fundraising dinner again.” [Sask. Party axes Alta. Fundraiser (StarPhoenix, Mar. 7, 2009)]

The Saskatchewan Party has raked in at least $1,178,709.78 in corporate donations from the energy sector since 1998.


Saskatchewan Party energy industry donations by year since 1998:

2008 – $142,036.05
2007 – $254,119.83
2006 – $57,204.15
2005 – $60,198.33
2004 – $74,984.29
2003 – $263,944.53
2002 – $86,707.80
2001 – $89,349.80
2000 – $27,500.00
1999 – $88,500.00
1998 – $34,165.00
Grand Total: $1,178,709.78

Top five contributors since 1998:

EnCana Corporation, Calgary, AB – $99,282.74
Nexen Inc., Calgary, AB – $81,510.17
TransCanada PipeLines Limited, Calgary – AB, $49,898.41
Cameco Corporation, Saskatoon, SK – $45,808.10
Upton Resources Inc., Calgary, AB – $37,703.20

The following is a list of energy sector companies that have donated to the Saskatchewan Party since 1998. Only those businesses that have donated more than the $250.00 disclosure limit in any given year have been included:

101101266 Saskatchewan Ltd., Fort Qu’Appelle, SK, $500.00

101108359 Saskatchewan Ltd., Regina, SK, $1,200.00

49 North Resource Fund Inc., Saskatoon, SK, $1,340.80

936173 Alberta Ltd. (Harvard Oil & Gas Inc.), Calgary, AB, $1,400.00

A & S Oilfield Operating Ltd., Estevan, SK, $500.00

Alberta Energy Company Ltd. (EnCana Corporation), Calgary, AB, $32,780.00

Aldon Oils Ltd., Weyburn, SK, $1,200.00

Allaro Resources Ltd., Calgary, AB, $596.84

Alliance Pipeline Ltd., Calgary, AB, $2,339.80

AltaGas Services Ltd. (AltaGas Income Trust), Calgary, AB, $5,336.16

AltaLink, L.P., Calgary, AB, $3,266.80

AMEC Americas Ltd., Calgary, AB, $1,340.80

Amoco Canada Petroleum Company (BP Canada Energy Company), Calgary, AB, $3,750.00

Anadarko Canada Corporation, Calgary, AB, $567.93

AREVA Resources Canada Inc., Saskatoon, SK, $2,716.58

AREVA/COGEMA Resources, Saskatoon, SK, $2,398.95

Arista Energy Limited (TriStar Oil & Gas Ltd.), Calgary, AB, $400.00

Armada Resources Ltd., Alameda, SK, $500.00

Arsenal Energy Inc., Calgary, AB, $1,775.52

ATCO Group, Calgary, AB, $935.92

ATCO Ltd., Calgary, AB, $1,875.00

Badger Enterprises Inc., Shaunavon, SK, $1,000.00

Barrington Petroleum Ltd. (Petrobank Energy and Resources Ltd.), Calgary, AB, $375.00

Baytex Energy Ltd. (Baytex Energy Trust), Calgary, AB, $8,500.00

BEC International Corporation, Saskatoon, SK, $1,000.00

Bellport Resources Ltd., Calgary, AB, $400.00

Best Pacific Resources Ltd., Calgary, AB, $387.50

Big Sky Drilling Inc. (Ensign Energy Services Inc.), Oxbow, SK, $2,500.00

Bonavista Petroleum Ltd. (Bonavista Energy Trust), Calgary, AB, $2,339.80

Bonterra Energy Corp., Calgary, AB, $3,911.16

BP Canada Energy Company, Calgary, AB, $1,500.00

Bulldog Energy Inc., Calgary, AB, $7,260.04

Burlington Resources Canada Ltd. (ConocoPhillips), Calgary, AB, $2,561.64

Calfrac Well Services Ltd., Calgary, AB, $2,339.80

Cameco Corporation, Saskatoon, SK, $45,808.10

Canadian Association of Oilwell Drilling Contractors, Calgary, AB, $929.00

Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, Calgary, AB, $14,369.92

Canadian Energy Pipeline Association, Calgary, AB, $4,031.36

Canadian Energy Services L.P., Calgary, AB, $335.00

Canadian Green Fuels Inc., Regina, SK, $2,673.79

Canadian Hydro Developers, Inc., Calgary, AB, $5,000.00

Canadian Occidental Petroleum Ltd. (Nexen Inc.), Calgary, AB, $15,000.00

Canadian Renewable Fuels Association, Ottawa, ON, $1,340.80

Caprice Resources Ltd, Weyburn, SK, $2,517.40

Caravan Oil & Gas Ltd. (Ketch Energy Ltd.), Calgary, AB, $500.00

Carson Welding & Maintenance Ltd., Lampman, SK, $5,880.60

Carving Oil & Gas Ltd., Alberta, $3,600.00

Centipede Energy Ltd., Calgary, AB, $20,300.00

Centipede Holdings Ltd. (Harvard Energy), Calgary, AB, $20,100.00

Centipede Resources (Harvard Energy), Calgary, AB, $14,700.00

Century Oilfield Services Inc., Calgary, AB, $2,339.80

Churchill Energy Inc. , Calgary, AB, $1,260.04

Clan Oil Inc., Estevan, SK, $1,000.00

Cliff Nankivell Trucking Ltd., Kisbey, SK, $500.00

C O G Energy, Alberta, $4,000.00

Cogema Resources Inc. (Areva/Cogema Resources), Saskatoon, SK, $18,147.60

Connacher Oil and Gas Limited, Calgary, AB, $4,089.80

Cree-Way Gas Ltd., Saskatoon, SK, $7,623.20

Crescent Point Resources Ltd. (Crescent Point Energy Trust), Calgary, AB, $4,462.76

D & G Lemon Fuel Sales, Swift Current, SK, $300.00

D & G Polyethylene Products Ltd., Neilburg, SK, $400.00

Danoil Energy Partnership (Penn West Energy Trust), Calgary, AB, $750.00

Dean's Pump Service Ltd., Frobisher,SK, $500.00

Devon Canada (Devon Energy Corporation), Calgary, AB, $329.14

Diamond Energy Services Inc., Swift Current, SK, $4,580.46

Diamond Sage Well Services, Swift Current, SK, $1,532.05

Diamond Service Rigs S.C. Ltd. (Diamond Energy Services Inc.), Swift Current, SK, $800.00

Diamond Tree Resources Ltd. (Crocotta Energy Inc.), Calgary, AB, $658.28

D.L.M. Oilfield Supervision Ltd., Carievale, SK, $2,637.28

Eagle Drilling Services Ltd., Carlyle, SK, $1,512.40

EDCO Oil & Gas Ltd., Calgary, AB, $329.14

Enbridge Inc., Calgary, AB, $4,000.00

Enbridge Pipelines Inc., Calgary, AB, $18,307.88

EnCana Corporation, Calgary, AB, $99,282.74

EnerMark Inc. (Enerplus Resources Fund), Calgary, AB, $2,339.80

Enform, Calgary, AB, $403.36

ENMAX Corporation, Calgary, AB, $4,481.13

Ensign Drilling Inc. (Ensign Energy Services Inc.), Calgary, AB, $7,214.80

Ensign Resource Service Group Inc. (Ensign Energy Services Inc.), Calgary, AB, $596.84

Entech Industries Ltd., Calgary, AB, $1,500.00

Enterra Energy Corp. (Enterra Energy Trust), Calgary, AB, $26,500.00

Enterra Energy Trust, Calgary, AB, $2,016.80

EPCOR, Edmonton, AB, $1,056.52

Erickson Enterprises Ltd., Abbey, SK, $500.00

Esprit Exploration Ltd. (Pengrowth Energy Trust), Calgary, AB, $325.00

Estevan Coal (1996) Corp., Estevan, SK, $5,000.00

Fast Trucking Service Ltd., Carnduff, SK, $6,829.92

Fillmore Petroleums Ltd. (MBC Ventures Inc.), Regina, SK, $312.82

First Avenue Partners, Saskatoon, SK, $1,508.40

FirstEnergy Capital Corp., Calgary, AB, $7,013.22

Flatland Exploration Ltd. (Bulldog Energy Inc.), Regina, SK, $2,312.00

Foothills Pipe Lines Ltd. (TransCanada Pipelines Limited), Calgary, AB, $2,780.00

Founders Energy Ltd. (Provident Energy Trust), Calgary, AB, $375.00

Frank R. Lee Investments Ltd., Regina, SK, $12,977.76

Ganze-Reece Operations Ltd. (Reece Energy Exploration Corp.), Medicine Hat, AB, $1,000.00

Gasland Properties Ltd., Edmonton, AB, $2,179.52

Gem Oil Inc., Manitoba, $1,000.00

Gold River Oil & Gas Ltd, Calgary, AB, $1,200.00

Greenslade Consulting Group Ltd., Shaunavon, SK, $2,100.00

Greg Cousins Construction Ltd., Carnduff, SK, $500.00

Grizzly Well Servicing Inc., Edmonton, AB, $695.00

Harvard Energy, Calgary, AB, $1,971.32

Harvard International Resources Limited, Calgary, AB, $1,100.00

Herc Oil Corp. (Zargon Energy Trust), Regina, SK, $1,000.00

Hitachi Canadian Industries Ltd., Saskatoon, SK, $1,655.20

HTC Purenergy , Regina, SK, $2,382.09

Husky Energy Inc., Calgary, AB, $7,479.80

Husky Group of Companies, Calgary, AB, $1,000.00

Husky Oil Operations Ltd., Calgary, AB, $3,016.80

I.D. Oilfield Rentals Ltd., Estevan, SK, $800.00

Imperial Oil Limited, Calgary, AB, $19,000.00

Industrial Electric (Weyburn) Ltd., Weyburn, SK, $1,150.00

Interprovincial Pipeline Ltd. (Enbridge Pipelines), Fort Simpson, NT, $2,000.00

JED Oil Inc., Didsbury, AB, $16,841.56

Jerry Mainil Ltd., Weyburn, SK, $7,461.72

Jolliet Energy Resources Inc., Calgary, AB, $4,000.00

Kelly Lafrentz Trucking Ltd., Estevan, SK, $500.00

Kelly Panteluk Construction Ltd., Estevan, SK, $1,000.00

Keystone Energy Inc., Regina, SK, $5,978.20

Keystone Royalty Corp., Regina, SK, $5,259.88

Kiora Resources Inc., Regina, SK, $11,758.00

Kobylak Construction Inc., Saskatoon, SK, $3,000.00

K-Town Holdings Ltd., Calgary, AB, $2,671.56

KW Petroleum Services Ltd., Saskatoon, SK, $313.82

Laredo Well Services Ltd., Weyburn, SK, $4,394.04

Lex Minerals Inc., Regina, SK, $3,208.58

Lloydminster Maintenance Ltd., Lloydminster, SK, $500.00

LMD Wellsite Consulting Ltd., Kyle, SK, $550.00

Lockwell Servicing Ltd., Kindersley, SK, $10,000.00

Lone Mountain Resources Ltd., Calgary, AB, $1,250.00

Long View Resources Corp., Emerald Park, SK, $2,084.10

Los Altares Resources Ltd., Calgary, AB, $403.36

Lowmac Oilfield Services Ltd., Alberta, $1,500.00

Luscar Ltd., Edmonton, AB, $27,249.80

Luscar Ltd., Boundary Dam Mine/Bienfait Mine, Estevan, SK, $5,000.00

Magin Energy Inc. (NCE Resources Group), Calgary, AB, $6,500.00

Marble Point Energy Ltd. (Canadian Phoenix Resources Corp.), Calgary, AB, $2,339.80

Marjohn Minerals Ltd., Calgary, AB, $1,500.00

MBC Ventures Inc., Regina, SK, $4,548.66

MC3 Resources Inc., Indian Head, SK, $1,000.00

McCallum Fuels Ltd., Rosetown, SK, $500.00

Meota Resources Corp. (Provident Energy Trust), Calgary, AB, $1,000.00

Midwest General Contractors Ltd. (Midwest Management (1987) Ltd.), Acheson, AB, $423.42

Millennium Directional Service, Calgary, AB, $1,230.00

Millsap Fuel Distributors Ltd., Kenaston, SK, $600.00

MLTC Resource Development Inc., Meadow Lake, SK, $1,755.28

Moose Jaw Husky (Husky Energy Inc.), Moose Jaw, SK, $2,500.00

Murphy Oil Company Ltd. (Murphy Oil Corporation), Calgary, AB, $500.00

NAL Resources Management Limited (NAL Oil & Gas Trust), Calgary, AB, $5,089.80

Navigo Energy Inc., Calgary, AB, $1,316.56

Nexen Canada Ltd. (Nexen Inc.), Calgary, AB, $2,790.79

Nexen Inc., Calgary, AB, $81,510.17

Northern Resource Trucking Limited Partnership, Saskatoon, SK, $6,469.28

Novitas Energy Ltd., Calgary, AB, $298.42

Oilsands Quest Inc., Calgary, AB, $6,839.14

PanCanadian Energy Corporation (EnCana Corporation), Calgary, AB, $7,500.00

PanTerra Resource Corp., Calgary, AB, $967.96

Panther Drilling Corporation, Weyburn, SK, $301.96

Panther Industries Inc., Davidson, SK, $500.00

Parkland Industries LP (Parkland Income Fund), Red Deer, AB, $1,753.96

Pemoco Ltd., Calgary, AB, $1,403.88

Pengrowth Corporation (Pengrowth Energy Trust), Calgary, AB, $2,339.80

Pengrowth Management Ltd. (Pengrowth Energy Trust), Calgary, AB, $5,167.36

Penn West Petroleum Ltd. (Penn West Energy Trust), Calgary, AB, $26,378.42

Petrobank Energy and Resources Ltd., Calgary, AB, $10,000.00

Petro-Canada, Calgary, AB, $871.32

Petroleum Industry Training Service (Enform), Calgary, AB, $298.42

Petroleum Services Association of Canada, Calgary, AB, $2,339.80

Pilgrim Energy Inc., Regina, SK, $900.00

Prairie Mines & Royalty Ltd. (Royal Utilities Income Fund), Edmonton, AB, $6,374.06

Prairie Mud & Chemical Services Ltd., Estevan, SK, $3,500.00

Precision Drilling Corporation, Calgary, AB, $10,404.16

Provident Energy Trust, Calgary, AB, $4,813.48

Pursuit Resources Corp. (EnerMark Income Fund), Calgary, AB, $500.00

Ravens Cross Energy Ltd., Kindersley, SK, $1,000.00

RC Consultants Ltd., Swift Current, SK, $956.77

Reba Oil & Gas (Alberta) Limited, Lloydminster, AB, $500.00

Red Hawk Well Servicing Inc., Oxbow, SK, $1,000.00

Robin Hood Petroleum Ltd., Estevan, SK, $400.00

Rockwell Services Partnership, Nisku, AB, $329.14

Sabre Energy Ltd., Calgary, AB, $7,050.00

Sherritt International Corporation, Toronto, ON, $25,000.00

Sierra Energy Inc., Calgary, AB, $10,667.64

Silver Bay Resources Ltd., Calgary, AB, $4,733.98

Skylift Services Inc., Estevan, SK, $500.00

Small Explorers and Producers Association of Canada, Calgary, AB, $962.06

Spearing Service Ltd. (Mullen Group Income Fund), Oxbow, SK, $3,000.00

StandardLand Company Inc., Calgary, AB, $1,250.00

Steady Oil Production Ltd., Kindersley, SK, $500.00

Stoney Enterprises Ltd., Blaine Lake, SK, $300.00

Stream-Flo Industries Ltd., Edmonton, AB, $3,602.82

Suncor Energy Inc., Calgary, AB, $3,816.56

Supreme Oilfield Construction Ltd., Estevan, SK, $1,000.00

SynOil Fluids Inc., Calgary, AB, $1,000.00

T & T Management Inc., Saskatoon, SK, $300.00

Talisman Energy Inc., Calgary, AB, $21,339.80

Three Star Trucking, Alida, SK, $1,500.00

Titan Exploration Ltd., Calgary, AB, $500.00

Tournament Energy Ltd. (Chamaelo Exploration Ltd.), Calgary, AB, $2,448.80

TransAlta Corporation, Calgary, AB, $27,395.50

TransCanada PipeLines Limited, Calgary, AB, $49,898.41

Trican Well Service Ltd., Calgary, AB, $2,339.80

Tri-City Surveys Ltd. (Meridian Surveys Ltd.), Saskatoon, SK, $482.00

Trinity Energy Ltd., Calgary, AB, $365.00

TriStar Oil & Gas Ltd., Calgary, AB, $2,339.80

Tristone Capital Inc., Calgary, AB, $2,339.80

True Energy Inc., Calgary, AB, $2,179.52

Tundra Oil & Gas Limited, Winnipeg, MB, $8,000.00

Tundra Oil and Gas Limited (Sask) Ltd., Regina, SK, $2,000.00

United Safety Ltd., Airdrie, AB, $500.00

Upper Lake Oil & Gas Ltd. (Monterey Exploration Ltd.), Calgary, AB, $1,169.90

Upton Resources Inc. (StarPoint Energy Ltd.), Calgary, AB, $37,703.20

Uranium City Resources Inc., Kirkland Lake, ON, $2,500.00

UTS Energy Corporation, Calgary, AB, $2,016.80

V & S Investments Inc., Kelvington, SK, $300.00

Valleyview Petroleums Ltd., Weyburn, SK, $12,339.12

Venture Well Servicing Ltd., Estevan, SK, $1,400.00

Viking Energy Royalty Trust (Harvest Energy Trust), Calgary, AB, $596.84

Viking Management Ltd. (Harvest Energy Trust), Calgary, AB, $320.00

Viking Surplus Oilfield Equipment Ltd., Estevan, SK, $800.00

Villanova Energy Corp., Regina, SK, $7,962.76

VPC Supervision Ltd., Estevan, SK, $500.00

Wascana Energy Inc. (Nexen Inc.), Regina, SK, $1,032.00

Waterflood Service and Sales Ltd., Estevan, SK, $984.00

Watson Land Services Ltd., Estevan, SK, $500.00

WaveForm Energy Ltd. (Second Wave Petroleum Ltd.), Calgary, AB, $346.60

W D M Resources Ltd., Alberta, $898.42

Wedona Energy Inc., Emerald Park, SK, $1,754.74

Western Canadian Consulting Inc., Calgary, AB, $1,250.00

Western Lakota Energy Services Inc., Calgary, AB, $5,000.00

WestFire Energy Ltd., Calgary, AB, $2,339.80

Wilf's Oilfield Services Ltd., Swift Current, SK, $500.00

Wrangler Tanker Service Ltd., Coleville, SK, $550.00

Grand Total: $1,178,709.78