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  • Pharmacare consensus principles released today September 24, 2018
    A diverse coalition representing health care providers, non-profit organizations, workers, seniors, patients and academics has come together to issue a statement of consensus principles for the establishment of National Pharmacare in Canada. Our coalition believes that National Pharmacare should be a seamless extension of the existing universal health care system in Canada, which covers medically […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Kate McInturff Fellowship in Gender Justice September 19, 2018
    The CCPA is pleased to announce the creation of the Kate McInturff Fellowship in Gender Justice.This Fellowship is created to honour the legacy of senior researcher Kate McInturff who passed away in July 2018. Kate was a feminist trailblazer in public policy and gender-based research and achieved national acclaim for researching, writing, and producing CCPA’s […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • The buck-a-beer challenge Ontario deserves September 6, 2018
    Ricardo Tranjan proposes an alternate plan to Doug Ford's buck-a-beer challenge in the Toronto Star.
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Growing number of professionals face job insecurity, study finds September 6, 2018
    The Toronto Star's Sara Mojtehedzadeh discusses the findings of the CCPA Ontario's report, No Safe Harbour and gathers firsthand accounts from precariously employed professionals who live and work in Ontario.
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Our Schools/Our Selves: The view from West Virginia September 4, 2018
    Our latests publication, Lesson Here, digs in to the West Viriginia teachers' strike.  Read the firsthand accounts of the work stoppage here.
    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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