The L-P’s Editorial Writers Are Totally On Crack Today

From today’s paper:

This is an election year in Saskatchewan and the last thing the province needs is a damaging political fight that could dent its image as a place that’s good to do business.

NDP leader Dwain Lingenfelter seems keen on making potash royalties an issue in the campaign, but he might want to consider whether this issue will turn off voters who fear a return to anti-business policies that dampened investment in the past. He might also reflect on the experience of Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach. When a government-appointed panel suggested large royalty rate hikes on the oil and gas sector in that province, the fallout damaged business confidence and hurt the ruling Conservatives.

Our publisher Terry’s comment: “Bad for business. Right. Remind me again why we even have elections?”

My two bits: I have no opinion on a Potash royalty review. Maybe the L-P is right — maybe this isn’t the right time. I really dunno. But I do know that if and when businesses attempt to blackmail us by withholding investment unless we give them unreasonably sweet royalty deals, we should tell them to fuck off, nationalize the particular industry and move forward. The Leader-Post’s message here seems to be “oh noes we haz to give business whatever they want, you guys!” Not true at all. Royalties should be rationally determined and fair. The end!

I’ll leave it to better-informed people than me to tackle the L-P editorial’s insane “return to anti-business policies that dampened investment in the past” nonsense. Yikes. Comment away below, if you like.

Author: Stephen Whitworth

Prairie Dog editor Stephen Whitworth will never, ever pass up a chance to make a Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo pun.

2 thoughts on “The L-P’s Editorial Writers Are Totally On Crack Today”

  1. This sentence is an abomination against politics and journalism: “This is an election year in Saskatchewan and the last thing the province needs is a damaging political fight that could dent its image as a place that’s good to do business.”

  2. Late last summer, when the BHP bid was on, the NDP called for special public hearings so that a wide range of groups and individuals would get a chance to have a say on the future development of the province’s potash resource.

    One of the principles of the NDP’s position was that companies had to accept the right of the people of Saskatchewan to set the royalty rates that made sense to them–higher ones if need be.

    At that time, Minister Bill Boyd said that the timelines of BHP’s take-over bid review by Investment Canada didn’t permit public hearings, and that legislative debate on the potash issue wouldn’t be useful.

    In fact, it was also Boyd who said, not long after coming into office, that it could be “three or four” terms before the Sask Party government would look at its oil and gas royalty structure (if not all royalty structures, including that for potash).

    Companies making out well under the current royalty regime are always going to tell you it’s not time for a review, but with newspapers saying that it can’t happen during an election year, and a government telling you it can’t happen when public interest is high during a non-election year (2010), and perhaps not even for three or four election cycles, one wonders when the public is ever supposed to have a say on the terms under which a publicly-owned resource is developed.

    (In the interests of transparency, I should disclose that I work for the NDP Caucus.)

Comments are closed.