Policy unwise, by Mark Bigland-Pritchard

Mark Bigland-Pritchard’s excellent letter to the editor was published in The StarPhoenix on September 24, 2013:

Cameco’s alleged tax avoidance, amounting to $800 million through use of a Swiss tax haven, highlights the folly of Saskatchewan’s economic dependence on a few large private corporations.

Even if Cameco had done the right thing and paid its taxes to support the communities on whose infrastructure it depends, it would still be an unreliable foundation for the provincial economy. That would be the case even if it were paying a reasonable royalty rate instead of the current 4.25 per cent.

An already shrinking worldwide nuclear industry is set to decline rapidly in response to escalating construction costs, the ongoing Fukushima disaster and the rapid growth of the international renewables sector. There is no long-term future in selling uranium.

Between the uranium industry’s inevitable economic decline and Cameco’s actions, Premier Brad Wall’s policy of transferring northern economic development increasingly into the hands of this corporation constitutes shortsighted, dangerous folly. For northerners locked into neo-colonial “collaboration agreements,” it also means loss of democratic choice, while accumulation of toxic and radioactive emissions poses an increasing threat to their health and their traditional means of supporting themselves from the land.

Saskatchewan – both north and south – should instead be looking urgently at economic diversification and a green economy fit for the 21st century.

Mark Bigland-Pritchard

Saskatoon

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s