The Gospel According to Bill

Today’s Leader-Post has a report on a speech Potash Corp of Saskatchewan CEO Bill Doyle  (pictured) gave at a Regina & District Chamber of Commerce gathering yesterday where he described Saskatchewan as province once dominated by a “philosophy of failure” and “envy”.

In suggesting that those bad old days were now behind us, Doyle (who in the past few years has earned in excess of $120 million annually in salary and stock options) pointed to the experience of his own company, which he has been associated with since 1987.

In the 1970s, the Potash Corp existed as a Crown Corporation under the Allan Blakeney government. In 1989 it was privatized by the Grant Devine government. Throughout that period and into the 1990s, industry performance was pretty stagnant. In the early 2000s, the Lorne Calvert NDP government introduced changes to the royalty structure that paved the way for a significant expansion in potash production and the development of several new mines.

Now, and for decades to come, Saskatchewan enjoys preeminent status in the world as the Saudi Arabia of potash — a mineral used primarily in fertilizer that was deposited here hundreds of millions years ago when Saskatchewan was the site of a huge inland sea.

It would be stretching the bounds of credibility to credit Doyle and his fellow potash CEOs with securing our future prosperity by locating that inland sea in Saskatchewan all those hundreds of millions of years ago. But where they did shine is in arranging for China and India, with a combined population of 2.6 billion, to transition from Developing to Developed status with massive manufacturing capacity and large and growing middle class populations eager to upgrade their diets and acquire other trappings of Western prosperity.

That was a true masterstroke on their behalf, creating a vast market for our natural resources like potash, uranium, oil and gas, heavy metals and whatnot.

Truly, the Illinois-born Doyle and his colleagues are the most wonderful thing to ever happen to Saskatchewan and we should all be eternally grateful for their decision to earn their multimillion dollar livings here.

Author: Gregory Beatty

Greg Beatty is a crime-fighting shapeshifter who hatched from a mutagenic egg many decades ago. He likes sunny days, puppies and antique shoes. His favourite colour is not visible to your puny human eyes. He refuses to write a bio for this website and if that means Whitworth writes one for him, so be it.

5 thoughts on “The Gospel According to Bill”

  1. Can you imagine the room during his speech? All gooey eyed and in love with the multi-millionaire. Here’s what they were thinking: “We love you insanely rich man who is here to remind us that we can be just like you some day!”

    Isn’t it funny that he spoke to a crowd of people that likely combined make less money than he does in a year. How many people were there? 100 perhaps? And 99 of them together don’t get what he gets out of potash. I suppose it’s because they don’t try hard enough.

  2. It is amazing to me that markets for OUR potash only openned up when the royalties for this non-renewable resource changed to next to nothing. It is only since the failed take over bid of one these large corperations have they chose to become good corperate citizens in our communities.The so-called “philosophy of failure” has now changed to the “philosophy of resource give away”. I don’t agree with the old policy of the 70’s and 80’s but PCS only exists because mining corps were pulling out of the province in the 70’s. There really has to be some middle ground regarding royalties because someday the market will drop out and if we aren’t careful all we will be left with is a few big holes in the ground.

  3. Aren’t “philosophy of failure” and “envy” in conflict? Was Saskatchewan ever diagnosed by someone other than John Gormley with the mental illness that committed it to failure, yet still looked upon other jurisdictions with envy? I don’t think so, that doesn’t make sense. Either we liked to fail because we sucked or we sucked and were envious of winners.

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