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  • CCPA welcomes Randy Robinson as new Ontario Director March 27, 2019
    The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives is pleased to announce the appointment of Randy Robinson as the new Director of our Ontario Office.  Randy’s areas of expertise include public sector finance, the gendered rise of precarious work, neoliberalism, and labour rights. He has extensive experience in communications and research, and has been engaged in Ontario’s […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • 2019 Federal Budget Analysis February 27, 2019
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    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
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    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • CCPA-BC welcomes Emira Mears as new Associate Director February 11, 2019
    This week the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives – BC Office is pleased to welcome Emira Mears to our staff team as our newly appointed Associate Director. Emira is an accomplished communications professional, digital strategist and entrepreneur. Through her former company Raised Eyebrow, she has had the opportunity to work with many organizations in the […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
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    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
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The Progressive Economics Forum

No Vale on the Plains?

I had the following comments in yesterday’s front-page story on Vale’s decision to postpone its proposed $3-billion potash mine at Kronau, Saskatchewan:

Regina economist Erin Weir, who is widely expected to run for the leadership of the provincial NDP, said in a statement Friday that the Vale announcement “represents a failure of the Saskatchewan government’s approach of almost giving away the resource to encourage companies to dig it out of the ground as quickly as possible.”

“The silver lining is that Vale will not increase potash supply as quickly as expected. A tighter potash market likely means higher potash prices and even larger profits for existing producers,” he said.

What did not make it into print was my further argument that the provincial government should collect a better royalty return from those existing companies by ending the potash production tax concessions that proved ineffective in spurring Vale’s investment.

Another important issue is that Vale has been a rather poor employer in Canada’s mining sector. In 2009, it provoked a strike that lasted more than a year at its nickel mines in Ontario and Labrador.

In response, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador established an Industrial Inquiry Commission, which made recommendations about how a small province could more effectively deal with large multinational employers.

The Government of Saskatchewan should use the time provided by the Kronau delay to consider these issues, so that our province does not have a similar experience with Vale if the mine is built.

Enjoy and share:

Comments

Comment from the regina mom
Time: August 20, 2012, 6:32 am

Another issue associated with the potash industry is water use. The Kronau mine is expected to draw 40 million litres of water a day from the Qu’Appelle Valley watershed. (http://bit.ly/TPsisR) Can that watershed actually sustain itself with that kind of draw?

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