Worst Diane Francis Column Ever

Diane Francis has written many unsubstantiated columns. On July 6, for example, she claimed that “Canada has the highest corporate taxes in the world.” However, based on the following quotes, Tuesday’s column probably takes the cake.

If last week’s election upset is any indication, Saskatchewan is going to be on a roll for a few years.

I have no idea how this election could be classified as an upset, given that the Saskatchewan Party was polling about 20 points ahead for at least a year prior to the vote.

Newly elected Saskatchewan Party Premier Brad Wall has pledged lower royalties and competitive taxes. He will first match, then surpass, Alberta’s rates, which are the lowest in North America.

In fact, the Saskatchewan Party platform made no such promise. Statistics Canada figures suggest that Saskatchewan’s oil and gas royalties were already lower, even before Alberta’s modest royalty increase.

The National Post’s post-election editorial acknowledged that the NDP “lowered the provincial sales tax, slashed corporate income taxes and reoriented its energy royalties to bring them more into line with those in neighbouring Alberta. In fact, with Alberta recently announcing drastic increases to its royalties, the new Saskatchewan government may well find some planned oilsands development will slide east.”

In coming months, we will see Saskatchewan join Alberta and British Columbia in an interprovincial free-trade zone . . .

Shortly before the election, Wall publicly stated that he would not join. Of course, Francis may be correct that he will again reverse his stance on TILMA. However, she demonstrates no awareness that he recently rejected this deal.

I hope he [Wall] will overturn one of the two defining policy initiatives that came out of Saskatchewan and were articulated by Tommy Douglas: universal health care and a deep, irrational distrust of free enterprise.

Again, Wall is on record as supporting medicare. How does an alleged “distrust of free enterprise” constitute a “policy initiative”?

Douglas railed against foreign ownership . . .

[One intervening paragraph]

My only fear is the fledgling small “c” conservative government will face a possible foreign takeover of Potash Corp. or uranium giant, Cameco Corp. Both were privatized and have some restrictions on ownership, or governance, but they are global prizes in a consolidating mining world.

Canada, and Saskatchewan, cannot afford to lose any more head offices.

Francis continues to rail against foreign takeovers and identifies half a dozen countries that should not be allowed to buy Saskatchewan-based companies.

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