“Our potash and other natural resources belong to the people of Saskatchewan,” says CUPE Saskatchewan President Tom Graham. “We need to look at raising the royalty rates so residents receive a fair share of the resource benefits.”
The union’s new campaign website – imaginewhatwecoulddo.com – encourages residents to imagine what the province could do if it charged higher royalty rates. “Invest in long term care, make poverty history and ensure every community has safe drinking water,” are some of the suggestions on the website.
The largest potash company in the province – the American-owned Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan – generated about $1.6 billion on its Saskatchewan potash mines in 2010. It paid $77 million in to Saskatchewan in royalties – or a nickel on the dollar. In contrast, Saskatchewan used to charge potash royalty rates of 25 – 31 per cent less than a decade ago.
CUPE’s royalty campaign also includes billboards and newspaper ads.