Wednesday, October 20, 2010

What am I missing?

This scenario has me scratching my head and uttering "what the hell?" We have one free enterprise government asking another free enterprise government to block a takeover bid by one foreign owned corporation of another foreign owned corporation, both of which are carrying on businesses in Canada, and both of which are operating from countries friendly with Canada.

The $1 billion dollar ask for a one-time tax payment, which I will kindly call a "signing bonus," may simply be short term gain for long term pain. I expect our provincial government to negotiate with BHP to ensure the province receives fair and ongoing royalty payments into the provincial coffers.

If the ask for millions of infrastructure dollars is to build necessary roadways and such to the proposed Janzen Lake project, that's a good ask.

Let us remember, PCS is 70% foreign owned, has its executive team, mostly comprised of Americans, operating outside of Canada, with offices in Saskatoon managing the potash division in Saskatchewan.

BHP is a multi-national corporation with head office in Australia (a Commonwealth country) that will establish offices in Saskatoon to manage its potash interests in Saskatchewan.

The big difference is that people in Saskatchewan hang on to the fantasy that PCS is a Saskatchewan owned corporation, operating in Saskatoon.

There is no guarantee that the province will fare any better financially from PCS in the years to come if we use the example of loss of royalty revenue a year or so back.

There is on the other hand the proposal of a $12 billion dollar investment in a new mine being offered by BHP that will create good paying jobs for people residing here and paying income tax here.

If Wall hangs this one on Harper to solve for him, his Ottawa connection, and the goodies that come with that, may whither and he'll replace Calvert at the bottom of the invitation list.

One can only speculate what would happen if we did not have provincial and federal elections looming on the horizon.


  1. I have to agree this whole thing is a bit mind boggling, the number of people who flattly refuse to beleive that PCS is not a crown and wholely Sakatchewan owned company is amazing. They stare at you blankly when you mention share prices listed on the stock exchange. By the way mistress it's Jansen not Janzen Lake.

  2. Of course if BHP manages to dismantle canpotex and potash prices decline then the royalties to the prov treasury will decline too. Isn't that the longer term problem?

  3. I never thought I would say that PM Harper got something right but his "An American corporation operating in Canada being bought by an Australian corporation operating in Canada".
    Not sure there are any rules that would stop this one from happening.
    Wall was painted into a corner in this one.

  4. What I heard yesterday. Wall hasn't ruled out giving the proposal the thumbs up. Interested though was the NDP slant that this is a no deal no matter what. That is why we can't allow Ling back in government. I would hope that the negotiations that happen are put in writing and I think that is what Wall is looking for. One can never commit to what prices and markets will do in the future but definitely protecting our royalty structure is a good idea.

  5. Find it more then interesting that the Conservative bloggers on here arent more irate that Wall is playing to the public polls and making an about face on being open for business. If it were an NDP leader taking this stance this blog would be full of the usual b.s. rhetoric of needing to throw the socialists out. Thats why many of us are disgusted by partisan politics. The usual political hacks from all parties have no objectivity....merely whatever there party leaders do is ok with them...sheep?? Wall is merely playing to public opinion and the pressures of his many Sask. Party supporters on the PCS Board of Directors. Hardly a decision based on sound business or what is in the public's best interest. Typical politician.

  6. Anon 8:46;
    You are right on the money with this one!

  7. Anon 2:14 - I agree with you. Wall is stuck with an agreement inked by the NDP with the potash producers a decade or more ago. Whether we take a hit to the provincial coffers now, or a decade from now, the hit is coming as a result of that agreement. Perhaps that is why the NDP are not as vocal as expected. As for the Sask Party supporters, what's their alternative?

    Anyone still wonder why we have poor voter turnout?

  8. Whats their alternative?? They can speak up against Wall's apparent turn around on his open for buisness philosophy. You cant blame the NDP for this one. The reason many of us are sick and tired of ALL political leadership is that they say one thing when out of power and do another when they get in. All of their decisions are based on their political survival ...certainty not on their principles.


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