To the current government of Saskatchewan, there is no problem that can't be fixed with a subsidy. The government's latest foray into the private sector is directed at building a meat processing industry. "[The]$37.3 million package of incentives and investment is designed to grow the entire industry from the ground up."
The sweetest part of the release is this:
"We want to provide an environment that encourages more investment in agriculture and specifically, in Saskatchewan's meat processing industry,"Agriculture and Food Minister Mark Wartman said. "Our livestock production levels exceeded the province's processing capacity even before the borders closed to live beef exports two years ago. We now have 29 per cent of Canada's herd and only six per cent of the nation's processing capacity. The situation is much the same in hogs, but on a different scale. We have more than doubled production in the past eight years, to 2.3 million hogs, but we continue to process at the same levels we always have.The new investment in agriculture will secure Saskatchewan's position as aworld-class producer and take us a to new level as a world-class processor," Wartman concluded.
OK, so the province finds it startling that we raise 29 per cent of the cows in Canada, and have only 6 per cent of the processing capacity. Maybe it's because we have a punishing tax on capital, the highest corporate income tax in Canada, a sales tax on all business inputs, and the most restrictive labour laws outside of Quebec.
Yeah, of course a one-time subsidy program will balance off all of the structural problems in the Saskatchewan economy. What could possibly go wrong?