Potash royalties took centre stage yesterday night in a lively debate between Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall and Dwain Lingenfelter, the leader of the province's NDP.
Saskatchewan is in the midst of an election campaign with voters going to the polls on November 7.
Lingenfelter went on the offensive, attacking the potash industry for what he says are unfair royalties. The NDP would tax an extra five cents of every dollar of potash sales, and use up to $700 million in extra potash revenues to fund their platform.
"That's our strategy. To move (the royalty) from a nickel on the dollar, do the review and get at least 10 cents on the dollar. I don't think that's asking too much," said Lingenfelter.
Wall defended the province's potash royalty program, noting it was put in place by the former NDP government and is helping to create thousands of jobs in the province. He blasted the NDP platform as too expensive:
"I think the numbers in terms of the NDP promises are upwards of 3.1 billion dollars when you include tax cuts and other things they've committed."
MINING.com reported Tuesday on a Conference Board of Canada compensation report, which said that resource-rich Saskatchewan should offer significant salary gains for its workers in 2012, seeing an average 3.9% increase in wages.
Saskatchewan is the world’s largest exporter of potash and uranium. It also has a significant oil and gas sector.