Letter: Norway manages its oil wealth better than Alberta

Norway’s sharing, caring, more equal way of life provides many social benefits that Canadians can only dream of.

To the editor:

Alberta Premier Jim Prentice has stated the worst is yet to hit his province. He is warning that in two years their $16 billion Heritage Oil Fund, that was started around 1976, could be gone. With Alberta’s bubble burst, there is much to learn from the major petroleum producer Norway.

Norwegians did things right with their oil money. The Norwegian sovereign wealth fund was started around 1990 and to about $800 billion today.

One big difference between Alberta and Norway is that Alberta’s oil industry is privately owned whereas the oil industry in Norway is publicly owned. Under Alberta’s free-market approach the market is allowed to determine the pace and scope of development. However, this is unreliable and unpredictable for the long term.  Whereas, in Norway through government management, the objective is to create the greatest possible values for the Norwegian society from oil now and for future generations.

Under Alberta’s privatized oil industry it is the multinational corporations and foreign shareholders that benefit the most. The fundamental problem is that the Alberta government and federal government should be getting a lot more taxes and fees from the oil companies for the oil. According to one estimate, after generous government subsidies, tax write-offs, and tax loopholes, the Alberta government gets about 10 per cent economic rent from the oil sands and the federal government takes only about eight per cent revenues through corporate income tax. This means the taxpayers are being unfairly forced to subsidize the private oil companies.

Another major reason Norway is operating more efficiently than Alberta and the federal government is because Norwegians have a greater sense of nationalism and being united. They believe that with government and the people working together under public ownership of their resources Norway is a more prosperous country in generating wealth and sharing the wealth among all citizens today and the future.

Norway doesn’t need and doesn’t want private multinational oil companies like Shell, Exxon, BP and Enbridge etc., to run and dominate Norway’s oil industry. Norwegians are trained to manage and run all aspects of their oil industry—much better for Norwegians. Indeed, Norway’s Government Pension Fund Global (formerly, Petroroeum Fund) is increasing at the rate of about $1 billion a month.

Norway has one of the highest standards of living in the world under public ownership of its oil. All Norwegians are shareholders and reap direct benefits. They lead carefree lives with many social benefits almost free such as medicare, dental care, Pharmacare, child care and university education etc. Also students from around the world can get free university education in Norway.

Norway’s sharing, caring, more equal way of life provides many social benefits that Canadians can only dream of. So, fellow Canadians, why not follow Norway for a better carefree life?

Robert Cichocki, Kelowna


Just Posted

Need to catch up on news? You’re covered

Every Saturday the Capital News will highlight stories from the week

Big White board school among best

Director of snow sports, Josh Foster, is one of the top instructors in Canada

Seniors prefer funeral to lifestyle planning

Survey finds 73% of seniors have a will, only 13% have long-term care plan

Okanagan College business students soar

Medal winners at Western Canadian Business Competition

UBCO civil engineer touts cohousing option

Gord Lovegrove says cohousing is sustainable social and economic lifestyle

VIDEO: B.C. Mounties reunite veteran with lost military medals

RCMP say Zora Singh Tatla, who served in the army in India for 28 years, is the righful owner

Experts urging caution as rabbits die by the hundreds in B.C. city

Province of B.C. confirms more positive tests for rabbit haemorrhagic disease

Federal government seeks public feedback on pedestrian safety

What safety measures do you think need to improved for pedestrians and cyclists?

Search continues for 10-year-old Montreal boy missing since Monday

Montreal police said they are exploring every possibility in search for Ariel Jeffrey Kouakou

Airline passenger-rights bill claws back protections for travellers: Advocate

Bill C-49 would double tarmac delays, scrap compensation for flights affected by mechanical failures

Canadian research vessel to explore 19th Century shipwrecks

Commissioned this week in Victoria, the RV David Thompson is Parks Canada’s newest vessel

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

VIDEO: ‘New wave’ of anti-pipeline protests return to Trans Mountain facility

About 100 demonstrators with Protect the Inlet marched to the Burnaby terminal Saturday

B.C. man to plead guilty in connection with hit-and-run that killed teen

Jason Gourlay charged with failure to stop at the scene of accident, attempting to obstruct justice

Most Read