Potash developments spark Saskatchewan political fight – by Jennifer Quesnel (CBC News Saskatoon – August 31, 2016)


NDP Opposition critical of move to allow Chinese government-owned Yancoal to mine Sask. potash

As PotashCorp and Agrium enter negotiations on a possible merger, Saskatchewan political leaders can agree on one thing: they want to keep jobs in Saskatchewan, and keep potash royalties streaming into provincial coffers.

They differ on their approach to the potash industry’s future. A few hours after both fertilizer companies announced merger talks Tuesday, Premier Brad Wall told reporters at the provincial legislature he’d spoken with both companies’ CEOs, and sees positives in a potential deal.

“We would want to see Sask’s interests protected and furthered,” Wall said. “We would view this potentially, if it were to come to fruition, as an opportunity to perhaps pursue an even greater corporate presence in Saskatchewan on behalf of the new merged entity.”

Agrium is currently headquartered in Calgary. The fertilizer company would not say how many people it currently employs at its potash mine near Vanscoy and its other Saskatchewan operations. Wall noted his government introduced tax credits last year, aimed at luring more corporate head office jobs to Saskatchewan.

PotashCorp said 2,477 of its employees work in Saskatchewan, including 258 at PotashCorp’s head office in Saskatoon. The company has five potash mines in Saskatchewan and strong historical ties to the province, as it was originally created in 1973 as a Crown corporation.

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