In reaction to the proposed merger between PotashCorp and Agrium, New Democrats are raising concerns about the loss of Saskatchewan jobs, the loss of Saskatchewan influence over our natural resource, and increased costs to Saskatchewan producers and, eventually, all Saskatchewan people - as consumers. Especially during a time when the province’s economy is struggling and thousands of jobs are being lost in the province, New Democrats are calling on the provincial government to finally work to protect Saskatchewan jobs rather than stand back while control over another vital piece of Saskatchewan’s economy is given away.
“If this merger goes through, it could have a profound negative effect on producers and workers throughout the province, as well as the province’s economy in its entirety,” said NDP Leader Trent Wotherspoon. “Even with a registration of the head office in Saskatchewan, there’s no ironclad guarantee protecting the jobs, the revenues, and the influence of our resource.”
Wotherspoon noted that, while the Premier did say he had some concerns about this merger, in the same breath, he touted potential benefits of the deal.
“The shareholders of these companies are able to speak for their own best interests, what we need is a Premier who stands up for the best interests of the people of Saskatchewan. Instead, he’d rather publicly toy with the idea of selling off SaskTel, which could mean the loss of even more jobs and higher costs in the province. This is also the government that is waving through the development of the contentious Yancoal mine, which could hand over control of the industry to a state-owned corporation from China,” Wotherspoon said. “What’s it going to take for the Sask. Party and the Premier to show some leadership and step up for not only the hard working women and men in the industry, but for all the people of Saskatchewan.”
Wotherspoon said that when the Federal Competition Bureau reviews the merger, the NDP will be calling on it to review all of the consequences the consolidation of fertilizer will have on the best interest of Canadian consumers and producers.
“The Federal Competition Bureau has an important role to play,” said Wotherspoon. “But the Saskatchewan government must stand up for the best interest of the people of Saskatchewan and it’s about time they start doing that.”