rabble blogs are the personal pages of some of Canada's most insightful progressive activists and commentators. All opinions belong to the writer; however, writers are expected to adhere to our guidelines. We welcome new bloggers -- contact us for details.

Oil companies pay their fair share? Nope.

Please chip in to support more articles like this. Support rabble.ca in its summer fundraiser today for as little as $1 per month!

Like this article? rabble is reader-supported journalism. Chip in to keep stories like these coming.

An Alberta royalty review panel decided after months of study that oil companies should not pay any more royalties because they're already paying their fair share. The richest and most powerful industry in human history, that has spent millions covering up the fact that their product is endangering human survival, that in Alberta pays some of the world's lowest royalty rates, and which makes obscene profits year after year, this industry is paying their fair share.

Allow me to rebut: No. What?! No! They're not.

The chair of the review panel said "Success for Albertans only comes when the industry is successful." He was essentially telling Albertans, as they've been told many times before, that as workers and even as voters, they are nothing more than servants of the oil industry. And like a hostage with Stockholm syndrome, many workers react to criticism of the oil industry as though it were a personal attack.

But we don't rely on the oil industry for survival, we rely on a stable climate for survival. And the only way to keep it stable is to decarbonize the economy. And who better to help fund that than the industry that's spent decades making trillions of dollars by treating our atmosphere like a free garbage dump.

But big oil won't truly pay its fair share until Albertans elect a government that has the courage to pull the plug on a dying industry and instead give life support to the thing that needs it most right now: life.  

This video originally appeared in the Toronto Star.

Like this article? rabble is reader-supported journalism. Chip in to keep stories like these coming.

Thank you for reading this story…

More people are reading rabble.ca than ever and unlike many news organizations, we have never put up a paywall – at rabble we’ve always believed in making our reporting and analysis free to all, while striving to make it sustainable as well. Media isn’t free to produce. rabble’s total budget is likely less than what big corporate media spend on photocopying (we kid you not!) and we do not have any major foundation, sponsor or angel investor. Our main supporters are people and organizations -- like you. This is why we need your help. You are what keep us sustainable.

rabble.ca has staked its existence on you. We live or die on community support -- your support! We get hundreds of thousands of visitors and we believe in them. We believe in you. We believe people will put in what they can for the greater good. We call that sustainable.

So what is the easy answer for us? Depend on a community of visitors who care passionately about media that amplifies the voices of people struggling for change and justice. It really is that simple. When the people who visit rabble care enough to contribute a bit then it works for everyone.

And so we’re asking you if you could make a donation, right now, to help us carry forward on our mission. Make a donation today.


We welcome your comments! rabble.ca embraces a pro-human rights, pro-feminist, anti-racist, queer-positive, anti-imperialist and pro-labour stance, and encourages discussions which develop progressive thought. Our full comment policy can be found here. Learn more about Disqus on rabble.ca and your privacy here. Please keep in mind:


  • Tell the truth and avoid rumours.
  • Add context and background.
  • Report typos and logical fallacies.
  • Be respectful.
  • Respect copyright - link to articles.
  • Stay focused. Bring in-depth commentary to our discussion forum, babble.


  • Use oppressive/offensive language.
  • Libel or defame.
  • Bully or troll.
  • Post spam.
  • Engage trolls. Flag suspect activity instead.