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  • A critical look at BC’s new tax breaks and subsidies for LNG May 7, 2019
    The BC government has offered much more to the LNG industry than the previous government. Read the report by senior economist Marc Lee.  
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • The 2019 living wage for Metro Vancouver April 30, 2019
    The 2019 living wage for Metro Vancouver is $19.50/hour. This is the amount needed for a family of four with each of two parents working full-time at this hourly rate to pay for necessities, support the healthy development of their children, escape severe financial stress and participate in the social, civic and cultural lives of […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Time to regulate gas prices in BC and stop industry gouging April 29, 2019
    Drivers in Metro Vancouver are reeling from record high gas prices, and many commentators are blaming taxes. But it’s not taxes causing pain at the pump — it’s industry gouging. Our latest research shows that gas prices have gone up by 55 cents per litre since 2016 — and the vast majority of that increase […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • 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
    Watch this space for response and analysis of the federal budget from CCPA staff and our Alternative Federal Budget partners. More information will be added as it is available. Commentary and Analysis  Aim high, spend low: Federal budget 2019 by David MacDonald (CCPA) Budget 2019 fiddles while climate crisis looms by Hadrian Mertins-Kirkwood (CCPA) Budget hints at priorities for upcoming […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
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Archive for 'potash'

Potash Royalties and Mine Expansions

Saskatchewan’s NDP opposition recently called for higher potash royalties, a position long advocated by this blog. Not surprisingly, the Saskatchewan Party government and the potash companies have objected. The argument from Premier Brad Wall and PotashCorp CEO Bill Doyle seems to be that mine expansions are occurring in Saskatchewan only because of royalty concessions granted […]

Potash and the Renaissance of Economic Nationalism

Who would have thought it. More than twenty years after the Canada-US FTA all but buried the economic nationalist legacy of the Trudeau era, a major foreign take-over seems to have been blocked. That’s twice under the Conservatives, after years of Liberal rubber stamping of foreign acquisitions under the Investment Canada Act. This is certainly […]

Getting Over Brad’s Wall of Potash

On Thursday, Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall said “No” to BHP: Do we want to add PotashCorp to that list of once-proud Canadian companies that are now under foreign control? . . . It’s our government’s belief that the people of Saskatchewan deserve nothing less than a potash industry unequivocally managed, operated and marketed for the […]

The Sell-Off of Corporate Canada

The announcement this week that Prime Minister Stephen Harper is not going to intervene in the sale of Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan to the Australian conglomerate, BHP Billiton Ltd., speaks volumes about how Bay Street  and its servants in Ottawa are so willing and eager to sell off Canada’s corporate assets to foreign corporations. It’s […]

The Conference Board on Potash Royalties

A week ago, the Government of Saskatchewan released the Conference Board of Canada’s report on the possible Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan (PCS) takeover. It provides 77 pages of useful information, but is disappointingly thin on policy recommendations. The Conference Board downplays concerns about BHP leaving Canpotex after acquiring PCS. It argues that, with or without […]

Mandryk on Potash: A Union Hack Responds

Murray Mandryk, CanWest’s seasoned Saskatchewan political columnist, has been writing some pretty sharp columns on potash. In particular, he questions excessively low resource royalties: . . . the messaging from Energy Minister Bill Boyd that his government wouldn’t touch oil royalty rates (even when it was selling at $150 a barrel), and the potash companies […]

In Praise of Export Cartels

Concerns about the prospect of BHP Billiton leaving Canpotex have prompted a backlash of hand-wringing about Canpotex’s very existence. For example, The Globe and Mail featured an editorial earlier this month that began by suggesting, “Canadian policy-makers should reconsider the status of Canpotex.” But it concluded, “In practice, unwinding Canpotex would be no simple matter. […]

Conference Board to Review Potash

Today, the Government of Saskatchewan announced that it is engaging the Conference Board of Canada to analyze the proposed Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan takeover. My first thought is to hope that the Conference Board does a better job on potash than it did on TILMA. My second thought is, “Doesn’t Saskatchewan have a civil service?” […]

Capitalism vs State Capitalism and Potash

The Government of Saskatchewan wants nothing to do with a state (read China) corporation takeover of Potash Corp.  The Globe reports: “The Saskatchewan government signalled Wednesday that it is unlikely to support a takeover of the Saskatoon-based company by a sovereign wealth fund or other state-owned firm from China or other large potash-buying nation. The […]

Don’t Know Much About Canpotex

A key issue arising from the proposed potash takeover is BHP Billiton’s musing about leaving Canpotex, the agency that has long marketed Canadian potash offshore. (Growing up near the railroad tracks in Regina, Canpotex train cars were a familiar sight.) Perhaps BHP believes that it alone has sufficient clout to manage supply and negotiate overseas […]

Potash: The Folly of Privatization

I have the following op-ed in today’s Regina Leader-Post. Below it is a table supporting my statement that “the mines that PCS owned in 1989 still account for 80 per cent of its potash production and capacity.” Privatizing Potash was a Costly Mistake The greatest tragedy in BHP Billiton’s $38.6-billion (U.S.) bid for the Potash […]

Steelworkers on the Potash Takeover

Last week, I was in Halifax at USW’s Ontario-Atlantic district conference. It was a great conference in a great city. But having so many key people out of the office limited our response to BHP Billiton’s bid for the Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan. (Next time BHP launches a hostile takeover, it should better coordinate the […]

Resource Royalties vs. Structural Deficits

Briarpatch printed my article, “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap: Saskatchewan’s Multi-billion Dollar Resource Giveaway,” in its December 2008 edition. The magazine’s editor has a knack for excellent rock-themed titles: my previous contribution on Saskatchewan’s business tax cuts was entitled “Money for Nothing, and the Sultans of Spin Get Their Tax Cuts for Free.” When I […]

Blakeney on Royalties, the Charter and NAFTA

Allan Blakeney, Saskatchewan’s Premier from 1971 until 1982, just published his memoirs, An Honourable Calling. Book launches are scheduled in Regina (Nov. 25), Saskatoon (Nov. 27), Moose Jaw (Dec. 2) and Ottawa (Dec. 9). A few years ago, Blakeney had me pull together some facts and figures for his chapter on oil, so I was […]

Saskatchewan’s Resource Royalties

Yesterday’s Leader-Post included the following report on my speech to the Saskatchewan Federation of Labour’s annual convention. My topic, “Is Saskatchewan getting a Fair Return on its Resources?,” may have been poorly timed given the recent crash in resource prices. However, it is important to put this crash in perspective. The current world oil price of […]

The People of Saskatchewan vs. PCS

The United Steelworkers union has been on strike at three Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan mines since August 7. This labour dispute raises much broader questions about the distribution of resource rents. The following op-ed, printed in today’s Regina Leader-Post, updates the op-ed printed in the Saskatoon StarPheonix before the strike. Workers, citizens miss potash profits The […]

Attention PCS Investors

The United Steelworkers’ union has just issued the following release: SHAREHOLDER ALERT: PCS STOCK UNDERPERFORMING COMPETITOR DURING STRIKE SASKATOON, SK — United Steelworkers’ (USW) Western Canada Director Stephen Hunt said Thursday that investors should use their influence to urge Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan (PCS) management to negotiate a settlement with Steelworkers on strike at three […]

Potash, Workers and the Public Interest

As has been widely reported in the business press, members of the United Steelworkers union employed at the Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan’s Allan, Cory and Patience Lake mines voted 96% on Monday night for a strike mandate. The three locals served strike notice on Wednesday, which will put them in a legal strike position tomorrow. […]

A Telling Anecdote on CEO Greed

Today’s excellent Globe Report on Business story  on Potash Corp CEO William Doyle http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20080508.wrpotash08/BNStory/energy/home scarcely requires additional commentary.  But here goes – Apparently, his stock options are now worth $600 Million, up from $7 Million at the end of 2003.  This huge windfall reflects soaring potash prices, up from $100 to $600 per tonne over […]