PotashCorp CEO Bill Doyle waded into Saskatchewan’s election campaign on Friday with an op-ed in the province’s two largest newspapers. It was accompanied by a paid advertisement from PotashCorp in Saskatoon’s StarPhoenix.
Yesterday’s strong earnings report from the Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan confirms what this blog and the NDP have been contending: even modestly increasing Saskatchewan’s extremely low royalties on hugely profitable potash mines could fund substantially better provincial public services. (more…)
By Eldon Sweet, The StarPhoenix November 3, 2011
Checking the news on my smartphone, I see that PotashCorp had another record profit of $826 million in the last quarter. I also see Dwain Lingenfelter is visiting a soup kitchen in Moose Jaw.
What’s wrong with this picture? The recipients of the goodwill of the soup kitchen are Saskatchewan citizens, but the recipients of the record profits from Saskatchewan’s potash are not.
We are giving away our potash to corporations that just want to turn a fast buck and make billions in our province. When the potash is gone, so will they. We have to get what we can, while we can.
I feel if PCS didn’t make contributions to political parties and the users of the soup kitchen did, Brad Wall would do what’s best for the soup recipients. We need to start looking after our own and taking care of “us,” the people of Saskatchewan, not the corporations of Wall Street.
Read it as a PDF: We come first
By Bronwyn Eyre, Special to The StarPhoenix October 29, 2011
NIMBY-ism – as in not-in-my-backyard-ism – used to describe public opposition to a chemical plant, nuclear waste dump or highway expansion project.
Not anymore. Nowadays, the label is used almost exclusively to discredit those who dare question green policies.
Residents of Saskatoon’s Montgomery neighbourhood were recently accused of NIMBY-ism after they challenged plans to build an 80-metre tall wind turbine at the nearby landfill. (more…)
By Ray Heather, The StarPhoenix November 1, 2011
With the provincial election around the corner, the political ads and rhetoric have started.
Brad Wall and the Saskatchewan Party are saying they don’t want to go back to the deficit budgets of the
1980s. Yet Wall and some members of his party were at that time avid supporters of the Progressive Conservative Party and its policies that got Saskatchewan into such massive debt.
When the voters elected an NDP government, that party had to slash government spending, to avoid bankruptcy.
One of the results was the closure of 52 rural hospitals.
This move cost the NDP a lot of support in rural Saskatchewan and led in part to the rise of the Saskatchewan Party’s support in rural areas.
Now Wall and his party state that the NDP is no friend to rural Saskatchewan because of the hospital closures.
Since the Saskatchewan Party formed government, it has had unprecedented revenues coming into the provincial Treasury.
It has increased spending, but strangely enough, none of this new spending has resulted in the reopening of even one of the rural hospitals that were closed.
Could this mean that, although the closures were politically unpopular, they still were a restructuring that was needed?
Read it as a PDF: Hospitals unopened
living skies lost
By Erin Weir, The StarPhoenix November 1, 2011
Weir is an economist with the United Steelworkers union, which represents most of Saskatchewan’s potash miners.
Potash royalties are a major election issue. In his viewpoint article, Tax, royalty rates boost growth (SP, Oct. 28), PotashCorp CEO Bill Doyle argued that his company pays about 30 per cent of profits in royalties and taxes.
However, lumping together royalties and corporate taxes does not change the conclusion that Saskatchewan should raise potash royalties.
According to the Energy and Resources Ministry’s latest annual report, the province in 2010 received only $263 million from $5.6 billion of potash sales. By comparison, the government received $306 million from $2.2 billion of potash sales in 2004. Since the industry produced less potash in 2010 than it did in 2004, the entire $3.4-billion increase in annual sales reflected higher prices for potash.
The NDP platform modestly assumes that an improved royalty regime could collect at least one-fifth of this windfall profit.
The Saskatchewan Party opposes any royalty increase.
The above revenue figures include Saskatchewan’s Crown royalty and potash production tax. These potash-specific charges, which can be considered “royalties,” amounted to just five per cent of potash sales last year.
Doyle boosted this fraction to 30 per cent by adding federal and provincial corporate taxes to the numerator. He also reduced the denominator to potash profits from potash sales.
His approach implicitly assumed that the value of Saskatchewan’s potash, beyond mining and transport costs, belongs to private operators. From that premise, 30 per cent might seem like a reasonable tax rate.
But potash belongs to the people of Saskatchewan, even if the mining companies are private.
In effect, the province is giving 70 per cent of the return on its potash to these multinational corporations, and a further portion to the federal government.
Saskatchewan can, and should, keep a larger share.
A closer look at corporate taxes reinforces the case for higher royalties. The only remaining component of Saskatchewan’s corporate capital tax is the resource surcharge, which has been cut to three per cent of resource sales, from 3.6 per cent in 2006. (more…)
Plenty at stake for voters
By David Hutton and Jason Warick, The StarPhoenix October 28, 2011
The near-record, third-quarter earnings of $826 million announced by Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc. further stoked the heated potash royalty debate between the Saskatchewan Party and New Democratic Party
Potash has quickly become the dominant issue of the provincial election campaign, which culminates with the Nov. 7 vote. Both Saskatchewan Party Leader Brad Wall and NDP Leader Dwain Lingenfelter agree billions of dollars – and the economic future of the province – are at stake as they make their case to the electorate. (more…)
Saskatoon— The Canadian Press
Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc.’s POT-T profit more than doubled in the latest quarter on higher production and record sales.
The world’s largest fertilizer producer reported early Thursday its net income jumped to $826-million (U.S.), or 94 cents per share in the three months ended Sept. 30.
That was more than double the 38 cents per share, or $343-million in profit the company earned in the same quarter last year. (more…)
paul alofs, Special to Globe and Mail Update
This is part of The Globe and Mail’s in-depth look at the evolution of philanthropy. Read more from the series here.
It might surprise you that the not-for-profit sector is larger and more important to Canada than the oil and gas sector. It might also surprise you that the not-for-profit sector is in the midst of a major identity crisis.
This crisis starts with the sector’s name. After all, what other sector of the economy refers to itself by what it’s not? Grocery stores don’t call themselves “not furniture stores.” It creates an expectation that we should not be profitable. This negative naming has created a severe disadvantage for us compared with the other sectors in how money is raised, how it gets spent and who gets to “profit” from success. A better name is the “social profit sector.” (more…)
27/10/2011 7:47:00 AM
The Canadian Press
SASKATOON – Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc. (TSX:POT) more than doubled its profits in the latest quarter on higher production and record sales.
The world’s largest fertilizer producer reported early Thursday its net income jumped to US$826 million, or 94 cents per share in the three months ended Sept. 30.
That was more than double the 38 cents per share, or $343 million in profits the company earned in the same quarter last year.
Sales in the quarter jumped to US$2.3 billion from $1.58 billion last year as the company cashed in on growing demand for fertilizer in China, India and other parts of the world.
PotashCorp, which reports in U.S. dollars, said record third-quarter sales and significantly higher prices raised potash gross margin to $700 million – the second-highest third-quarter total in company history.
This raised gross margin for the year to $2.2 billion, well ahead of the $1.3 billion earned in the first three quarters of 2010.
Production in the quarter hit a record 1.9 million tonnes, up from 1.3 million tonnes a year earlier.
The company says offshore potash demand remained robust during the third quarter and on pace to achieve record levels in 2011.
PotashCorp president and CEO Bill Doyle said the “undeniable need for potash, phosphate and nitrogen” ensured products moved through the system to reach farmers around the world.
“Our third-quarter performance reflected the unrelenting pressure on global food production – and the strength of our growing fertilizer enterprise.”
After the rejection of BHP Billiton’s hostile $40 billion bid for PotashCorp last year, the Saskatoon company has moved ahead with expansion plans and developments to boost supply.
And despite recent weakness in the global economy, the prospects remain bright for the industry.
“Despite economic uncertainty around the world, a growing population has and will continue to need more food and, ultimately, more fertilizer,” added Doyle.
“By recognizing this powerful long-term trend and making the commitment to be prepared for growing demand, especially for potash, we anticipate new opportunities in the years ahead. Our expanding operational capability will be increasingly valuable – in helping grow global food production and in serving the interests of all stakeholders in our company.”
Read it Online: PotashCorp earns US$826 million in Q3
Read it as a PDF: PotashCorp earns US$826 million in Q3