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Hubert H. Somerville


The late Hubert Henry Somerville (1910-1998), of Edmonton, was an architect of provincial policy, taxation and regulation that fostered the Alberta pattern of vigorous, competitive yet orderly industrial development. Born in Ontario at St. Mary's, he was educated at McTavish Business College in Edmonton, where he started his 46-year career in the provincial civil service in 1929 as a $700-a-year tax official.


He switched to the mines and minerals department and rose rapidly after a 1930 constitutional amendment transferred ownership of Alberta's natural resources to the provincial from the federal government, becoming deputy minister in 1952.


He was renowned for embedding scrupulous fairness in the Alberta rules of the oil and gas game, establishing a level playing field where even the smallest operator was able to compete.


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