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  • Help us build a better Ontario September 14, 2017
    If you live in Ontario, you may have recently been selected to receive our 2017 grassroots poll on vital issues affecting the province. Your answers to these and other essential questions will help us decide what issues to focus on as we head towards the June 2018 election in Ontario. For decades, the CCPA has […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Does the Site C dam make economic sense for BC? August 31, 2017
    Today CCPC-BC senior economist Marc Lee submitted an analysis to the BC Utilities Commission in response to their consultation on the economics of the Site C dam. You can read it here. In short, the submission discussses how the economic case for Site C assumes that industrial demand for electricity—in particular for natural gas extraction […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Ontario's middle and working class families are losing ground August 15, 2017
    Ontario is becoming more polarized as middle and working class families see their share of the income pie shrinking while upper middle and rich families take home even more. New research from CCPA-Ontario Senior Economist Sheila Block reveals a staggering divide between two labour markets in the province: the top half of families continue to pile […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Join us in October for the CCPA-BC fundraising gala, featuring Senator Murray Sinclair August 14, 2017
    We are incredibly honoured to announce that Senator Murray Sinclair will address our 2017 Annual Gala as keynote speaker, on Thursday, October 19 in Vancouver. Tickets are now on sale. Will you join us? Senator Sinclair has served as chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), was the first Indigenous judge appointed in Manitoba, […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • How to make NAFTA sustainable, equitable July 19, 2017
    Global Affairs Canada is consulting Canadians on their priorities for, and concerns about, the planned renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). In CCPA’s submission to this process, Scott Sinclair, Stuart Trew and Hadrian Mertins-Kirkwood point out how NAFTA has failed to live up to its promise with respect to job and productivity […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
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1% Potash Royalties: Typo or Foreshadowing?

Saskatchewan’s Ministry of Energy and Resources has released its 2011-12 Annual Report. The potash table (page 36) incredibly shows “Royalty/Tax” revenue of only $62.5 million in 2010-11 and $38.4 million in 2011-12.

These figures amount to just 1.2% and 0.6% respectively of the value of potash sales. I have long argued that Saskatchewan’s potash royalties are too low, but they are not that low!

It seems that the first digit is missing from both numbers. The revenue table (page 31) shows 2011-12 potash revenues of $438.4 million. And the 2010-11 figure was $262.5 million.

The omission of $400 million and $200 million of annual potash revenue is ironic in a report that emphasizes undercutting other jurisdictions rather than collecting the best possible return for the people of Saskatchewan. The word “competitiveness” appears eight times in the report.

I guess this typo makes our province’s potash royalties and taxes look ultra-competitive. We can only hope that it’s just a typo and not a subliminal message from Minister Bill Boyd about future resource policy!

UPDATE (August 18): From today’s Saskatoon StarPhoenix (page A8):

Regina economist Erin Weir, expected to run for the leadership of the Sask. NDP, found a typo this week in the Energy and Resources Ministry annual report.

In a message to media, he noted a table showed potash revenue of $62.5 million in 2010-11 and $38.4 million in 2011-12.

“I have long argued that Saskatchewan’s potash royalties are too low, but they are not that low!” Weir wrote.

“It seems that the first digit is missing from both numbers.”

The correct numbers, which were approved by government staff, are $262.5 million in 2010-11 and $438.4 million in 2011-12, but the first digits were dropped by the publisher or designer, said a spokesperson, noting the online version has been fixed.

Weir noted the word “competitiveness” appears eight times in the report.

“I guess this typo makes our province’s potash royalties and taxes look ultracompetitive,” he continued.

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