Comments from Danielle Smith leader of the wildrose party in early may regarding lease cancellations.
"Business intrinsically has many risks. But an attractive destination for capital is one where investors only have to deal with business risks, not political risks.
Unfortunately, Alberta is increasingly introducing political risks.
Nothing is more damaging to our reputation among global investors than the recent cancellation of oilsands leases in northeast Alberta, first through the Lower Athabasca Regional Plan, and more recently by the prohibition of development on several oilsands leases adjacent to the community of Fort McMurray.
These issues don’t make the news very often. But behind the scenes these oil companies are negotiating with the government for compensation.
Alberta has in the past figured out ways to compensate mineral title holders who are not permitted to develop their properties, thus maintaining its reputation as fair and forthright. But generally the Crown has only refunded the cost of the lease. Unfortunately, in some of the recent cancellations, developers have invested funds far beyond the cost of the mineral lease alone. Some are publicly traded, and their valuations by capital markets include proven and probable reserves and sunk development costs.
To be truly fair, when Alberta breaks what the buyer regards as a legally binding contract, the Crown should be providing compensation that includes some of the opportunity cost."