Monday, February 28, 2011

He didn't promise us a rose garden . . .

Did anyone read the Globe and Mail articles or the SP (Feb. 25/11) piece on Bill Doyle's residency in Saskatoon?

I knew Doyle, not as a businessman or CEO, but as a neighbour. I watched his hands-on construction of a home in Saskatoon. He presented himself as a nice guy. He was warm and friendly and anxious to have his family arrive in our fair city.

His wife is a great lady. Every organization and group in the city wanted her to join their rank and file. Rather than become a queen of Saskatoon's elite she opted to volunteer her time at inner city schools and was actively engaged in her kids activities.

The kids were good kids. They did not exhibit signs of spoiled off-spring of a rich and famous father. They were, simply put, nice regular neighbourhood kids.

I could understand how hard it would be for Doyle's wife and kids to be uprooted from their family, lifetime friends and lifestyle in Chicago. No matter how pleasant your surroundings, it would be emotionally draining to lose those who share your life and its celebrations as a family. And I understand as a husband and father why he would want to keep his family happy.

For the reasons above, I wish Doyle had been up front about where he decided to call home. Had he stated that as CEO of PCS the company expanded and thrived and generally speaking, the province benefited from the company's growth through increased royalties and taxation. Shareholders earned well from their investment in PCS stock - and we all had the opportunity to be shareholders. At the time of privatization, a $100.00 potash bond converted into 5 shares. Do the math for those still holding the original shares. In reality, where he live has little to do with his skills as a CEO. But where the executive suite is located has a great impact on the city hostinfg the corporate offices. And the head office is where the CEO is.

In purchasing a comparatively small entry-level priced condo and calling it home, it came across as a mockery of the promise made during the take-over battle, particularly since his family still resides in Chicago. And the press certainly expressed that sentiment in the articles. It also became quite clear that he did not have a home here as stated during that corporate joust. And one cannot help but feel the disdain and disrespect shown by these actions. Technically any one of us can claim our principal residence wherever we choose. But it is humiliating for us to have to accept this a promise kept.

I can understand why he resides in Chicago. Honesty would have been so much easy to accept. If home is where the heart is, Doyle does not live in Saskatoon.


  1. I think it is humiliating for our civic and political leaders to demand that the CEO or executives live in Saskatoon. I believe our province acted like little children throughout this PCS debate instead of playing the part of confident, world-class economic powerhouse to which we claim to aspire.

    Bill Doyle might disappoint you, but the actions of these politicians embarrassed us all.

  2. Why would you be humiliated by leaders demanding that we get what we were promised? I can assure you that Potash Corp makes sure that others live up to their word when they make a deal. Why should we expect anything less from them on our behalf?


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