Friday, April 8, 2011

I need to know

Although we are in the midst of a federal election, I am getting the sense from the media and those that I speak with that, in Saskatchewan, more people are interested in the provincial election to be held in November than the pending federal gig..

I glean from those conversations that the two prime provincial election issues are rent control and potash royalties.

I would appreciate your thoughts on these issues, particularly on rent control.

Thanks and have a great weekend.


  1. Ding dong the socialists are dead, which old socialists? The bleeding orange ones from Saskatchewan.

    I have never been affiliated with a political party, usually choosing to cast my vote provincially against whoever posed a better challenge to the NDP candidate in my riding. However, this year I took out an NDP membership and plan on voting at every opportunity to keep Link as leader as long as possible.

    Stupid Dippers

  2. Anon 9:46,

    How wrong you are. Rent control will be a MAJOR issue this election mark my words. The Sask Party doesn't care about anyone but their corporate friends and have sold out all of the Saskatchewan population so that there rich friends can be more richer.

    Brad Wall is a terrible leader and Link would be five times the premiere that Wall is. Link knows and udnerstands the people of Saskatchewan, meanwhile Brad Wall does nothing but bully unions and shovel money to his business friends. I know this first hand cause our union has been without a contract for 3 YEARS and the government is nowhere close to offering what we want.

    People keep saying how popular Wall is, well wait until the election the NDP supporters will come out in full force and take this province back and give it to the people.

    Rent control is needed cause if its not there then all the landlords will just keep gouging the renters until they are forced to go into more debt just to rent a brokendown apratment.

    And royalty rates too? How can anyone see the amount of people living in poverty and on the streets and still think that PCS needs the money more than the people of Saskatchewan??? Anyone???? If we were all living like kings then I would say so what, leave the royalty rate. But we have so many poor people and it is OUR RESOURCE that WE OWN. We should be taking care of OUR NEEDS before any company is allowed to make even a cent off it. It is just more proof that Bad Wall would rather see his business pals at PCS make billions of dollars instead of seeing that money given to the people of the province.

    What about all the corruption too? Those will be issues. The drug dealers like Leclerc, and Sask Party doctors dumping medical records into the garbage, and the government refusing to negotiate with any unions will all be key will the general strike that is coming....MARK MY WORDS.

  3. The reality is that this is one issue, rent control. Potash royalty is simply a contrived issue to try to rally the masses who are currently feeling the squeeze of increasing costs around the province.

    The royalty rate was set as part of an overall negotiation package with the INTENT TO SPUR INVESTMENT. This has worked as more than $5billion is being invested currently. To jack up the royalty rate at this point, besides being bad business, will risk current and future investment. Anyone with a sense of the future realizes that this is impractical. NDP are simply using it as a rallying cry, even Link behind closed doors would admit that the reality of increasing royalties right now is asinine.

    As for rent control, I don't want to see it personally but I can buy the argument by those being crippled by it. Not a major issue for me really, but philosophically I don't believe that the proper way to handle increasing costs is to continually manipulate the market. The more perverted we make the market the more susceptible we are in the future to a crash or to make the market dependent on artificial manipulation in order to sustain itself.

    Current royalty rates = major investment and mine expansion = more well paying jobs = more income and jobs for Saskatchewan residents = less of a need to manipulate market to subsidize low income earners

    NDP need to find a real issue to hang their hat on prior to the next election or they may get obliterated. I'm not saying either of the two above aren't issues, but for most Saskatchewan residents that understand them, they are not driving forces to rid ourselves of the Sask Party.

    What is worse is that both issues don't overly appeal to the bulk of non-party affiliated and undecided voters. The issues are catered to the hardcore NDP supporters who would support the party regardless of the platform.

  4. Leave the royalties alone. I'm tired of folks railing against the "greedy, evil corporations" like PCS and propogating the idea that these corporations just take and take, only to benefit their shareholders and don't give anything back to the people of the province. That is so much bull.

    1: Consider the thousands of employees that a company like PCS directly employs in Sask. These workers pay taxes here and buy goods and services here in Saskatchewan.

    2: Consider all the contractors that a company like PCS employs in it's construction and expansion activities, as well as in its day-to-day operations, indirectly employing thousands more who live and pay taxes and spend $ in Sask as above.

    3: Consider that a company like PCS already pays some level of royalties on the potash it produces and corporate income tax (provincially and federally) on the $ it makes.

    4: Consider that a company like PCS is owned publicly which means anyone can buy shares. Often pensions and mutual funds are major shareholders in successful companies like PCS. If you have an RRSP or pay into or collect a pension, chances are you own many shares in companies like PCS. That means YOU are one of the "evil" shareholders that is just out there to get a profit, that is if you want your pension to stick around.

    5: Consider that companies like PCS donate millions of dollars to local festivals and public improvement projects around Saskatchewan.

    Yeah, we (the people of the province) OWN the potash, but what are you or I or the average Joe going to do with it? Dig it up with shovels? Band toegether and form a work party? Of course not!

    A company like PCS (and its shareholders)needs to be justly rewarded for having the resources and werewithal to access a resource that would otherwise be worthless, buried hundreds of metres underground.

    So the royalties need to be increased? REALLY?
    Come on! Why should we get an unearned claim of that reward by arbitrarily raising royalties? Because we were lucky enough to be born or live on the ground above it?

    End rant.

  5. When landlords feel like they can raise rents 75% and more then it is time for the government to do SOMETHING or else no one will be coming to this province (which is , people claim, now more expensive to live in than Edmonton and Calgary). So, I say a two pronged approach is needed- rent control and incentives for more rental units to be built- and not just houses. When rental availability reaches a certain mark, then rent controls can be dropped and free enterprise can take over. I know that there are bad renters out there but this is what rental application forms are meant to deal with. I mostly sympathize with the average worker who would like a decent place and not have to necessarily live with a roommate to do it.

  6. Rent control is ALWAYS a failure. The effect on the rental market causes fewer rental spaces to be built and the existing spaces to deteriorate due to a lack of re-investment.

    Anyone who promotes rent control failed Economics at University or is cynically using it as a ploy to pander to the electorate. If the media did their homework and understood the disasterous effects on the rental market, Link would be grilled every time he talked about rent control.

    A conservative politician of any level will be repeatedly taken to task to justify tax cuts by the left leaning lapdogs of the media. However, these same finacially illiterate and largely innumerate local reporters will never ask Link to justify his position on rent control.

    I've been a renter and a landlord. Currently I'm looking at buying a revenue property that needs some work. There is no way I buy and put in the investment if the government can tell me what to charge my tennants. Under rent control there is no incentive to fix it up. If Link was in charge that place can continue to lose value until it becomes a slum and and a blight on the city. The rent on it would be really cheap then.

  7. Anon 11:24,

    Do you logically follow that the government should be able to interfere in any industry when the general population feels wronged.

    Should gas increases be capped? (especially before long weekends) Should produce prices be capped? What makes rent any different than other necessities of life?

    I agree bad landlords are the worst, but every time we get upset about something we shouldn't run to the government to fix it.

  8. First I regret not following this subject on Friday but really I can't believe what is being said by Anon 9:57

    "Link knows and understands the people of Saskatchewan," How is this a credible comment.
    There is no tangible historical data to base this on. Because he moved away from this province for years he now understands all of us. I for one don't believe so.

    "I know this first hand cause our union has been without a contract for 3 YEARS and the government is nowhere close to offering what we want." So because you whine like a baby you think you should get your way. Maybe if your union bosses didn't ask you to pay huge dues you'd have more money to spend.

    "Rent control is needed cause if its not there then all the landlords will just keep gouging the renters until they are forced to go into more debt just to rent a broken-down apartment." Rents in this province were so low for so long renters now feel they are being gouged. I have just seen the first "new" rental apartment being built in Saskatoon in what seems like forever. This is because of the economy being hot and rental prices now close to where owners can make a buck. If you don't like the prices ask for a raise from your boss... oops you're in a Gov. Union you don't get that choice you have to follow the rest of the herd. I myself make the adjustments all the time I don't need the Government subverting private business. If I did I would live in a SOCIALIST country and the last time I looked I don't.

    And your last bogus comment.."What about all the corruption too?...and Sask Party doctors dumping medical records into the garbage" Didn't realize you knew who exactly was the culprit behind the file dump? I take it you checked with your union inside man to find their membership cards as well? Or is it that all doctors are SaskParty members? This just shows how glad I am that the NDP and their supporters are in the minority in this province and they will stay there for years to come.

    So Anon 9:45 if you want to post again so dribble I would love it I haven't had such a good laugh since the day I saw Link doing push ups like a 2 year old on TV.

  9. Anon @ 9:57am

    Sorry, did you just use the term "Bad Wall"? My God, please tell me what union you work for so that I can avoid your services. I fear that what you have might be contagious.

  10. "The royalty rate was set as part of an overall negotiation package with the INTENT TO SPUR INVESTMENT. This has worked as more than $5billion is being invested currently. To jack up the royalty rate at this point, besides being bad business, will risk current and future investment."

    Jack Mintz disagrees. I'm going to go out on a limb here and suggest that he knows more than you.

    "The real problem is the design of the Saskatchewan potash royalty, which fails to collect rents properly. It is also so horribly complex that much of this column must be spent just trying to explain it...

    Saskatchewan may argue that the system encourages new investment, but a true rent collection would not need any special incentives....

    The Saskatchewan potash royalty could be made a lot simpler by ridding itself of graduated rate structures, accelerated depreciation and payments varying according to the timing of investment. Such special treatments enable producers to pay fewer royalties than they would under a better-designed royalty applied only to rents."


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