Monday, March 13, 2006

Mr. Speaker: My question is to the Premier

Tomorrow the Saskatchewan legislature is in session and we're looking for some big issues to be addressed. First off, will the government commit to NOT funelling more tax dollars into the Meadow Lake Pulp Mill? The $70 million put into the mill last year could have cut school taxes for everyone by more than 10 per cent. It could have repaid some debt which, until recently, was rising fast. All told, taxpayers have lost $804 million on the mill.

When have we put enough money into the mill? How much will the government inject this year, next, and the year after and to what end? When will this end and how?

I have a sneaking suspicion this will not be addressed.

19 comments:

Jonathan Ng said...

$800m?!

Could pay 400 workers $50,000 a year for 40 years with that. Should have just paid them to sit at home.

Peter Withersby said...

David MacLean is a stupid dummy head.

Small Town Shyster said...

He is not a stupid dummy head...he is just pro-Meadow Lake unemployment.

Anonymous said...

All of the jobs in Meadow Lake are being driven to Alberta: high taxes being thrown into black holes like this are the reason why viable industries are bypassing SK.

Sask.Taxpayers Federation. said...

About 2000 jobs are at stake here. That's alot. I hope someone in the private sector would come and buy it and the PA pulp mill. We have alot of forest here in Sask. What has happened to the paper industry? We have more forests than Asia and our prices were competable. Does no company out there need our lumber?

Anonymous said...

All the forst companies would prefer to do business in Alberta or BC. The wood can grow in SK, but there is plenty elsewhere. If nothing changes, what we will see in the future is pulp and lumber being hauled out of SK by rail for processing in the West.

Sask.Taxpayers Federation said...

I don't think the government drove out pulp mills. They were making money. What really happened I think is the USA putting pressure over the softwood lumber dispute.The USA wants jobs in the states not here.

Anonymous said...

How does blaming the Americans explain why the indutry is growing in AB and BC and MB and shrinking in SK? You make no sense, it's a pathetic excuse!
The ONLY explanation is that you socialists are screwing up the forestry industry in Saskatchewan!

Sask.Taxpayers Federation said...

I still don't blame the government totally for this exodus. The mill was here for years. What happened?
We have a competive market here in Sask. There were other factors at work here. The Lumber Co. didn't blame our government. I don't think there is a simple solution. You blame our government for everything and do not have any facts to back up your statements.

David MacLean said...

I don't blame the government for everything. Full stop.

The pulp industry is in a crisis. Almost every jurisdiction that has mills are facing closures. Pulp just doesn't get the same price as it used to. In the case of the meadow lake mill, it has never made money.

What is government's role in this? Well, we have the highest corporate taxes in the land, and that has something to do with it. Other mills in other provinces are staying open, but in Sask we have two on our hands that are failing.

I think it's fair to point out government policies that might contribute to the problem. But the real interest for us at the CTF is to prevent more tax money from going into this money pit. Spending millions isn't going to make the mill profitable, and it's not going to move the province forward.

Sask.Taxpayers Federation said...

Some of our corporate taxes are among the lowest in Canada. The Gov. does not gouge buisnesses. That story is getting pretty old. We cut the buisness tax here in Regina. That shut up some people for about a year. Now they're whinning again. What do we do? Pay them to set up shop here?
I believe we will find an investor to make these mills work.

David MacLean said...

That's just not true. Read the report from the business tax review committee. Our tax rates are deplorable actually.

sask.taxpayers federation said...

Super Dave when you are in a corner your answer is always "cut taxes". That's all the government has to do"cut taxes" then we'll all be rich. You don't say how we'll pay for all the services we enjoy, you don't say how we'll pay down our debt, you don't give any real solutions where the money will come from. Farmers don't pay taxes,buisnessmen pay few taxes that leaves Sask. taxpayers picking up the bill. Your Fraser Inst'ltinking leaves a lot to be desired. Get a new line Super Dave. Even in Alberta there has not been a tax cut for the people for how many years? When was the last one? You don't even know.

David MacLean said...

ALberta cut income taxes to a 10 per cent single rate taxes in 2001, but has indexed the basic personal exemption by at lease inflation ever year. On the corporate side, small and large businesses have seen their tax loads slowly decreasing. The corporate income tax rate is supposed to drop to 8 per cent, but the government is doddling on it.

sask taxpayers federation said...

How much would it cost you to license your car in Alberta? How about the 3500.00 tax on new houses in Calgary, 450.00 a year in Medicare premiums oh and let's not foget there ar 3,000,000 people in Alberta. Besides taxes do you actually know the real costs to live in Alberta? It's cheaper to live here. Most taxes in Alberta are paid by working people. A little while ago there was talk the Alberta Gov't was going in the red. What a crock.You still can't justify wreckless tax cuts here in Sask. I feel like I'm talking to a munchkin.........you know "the streets are paved with gold and no one ever grows old". You still can't tell me with tax cuts where the money is coming from. Where's the beef?

David MacLean said...

You are the one who brought up Alberta, not me. You asked and I answered.

Anonymous said...

It's cheaper to live in Cuba! Or North Korea! Or Siberia!

Look, there is more to life than cheap car insurance!

The economy in SK sucks (Welcome to SK, the "hollowed-out Province!), and high taxes are one of the reasons.

That many people in SK do not understand this is the reason that we have these problems.

Sask.Taxpayers Federation said...

I saw and read a report they are drilling in Nothern Sask to see how big our tar sands are. My 42,000.00 a year goes further here in Sask than it would in Alberta. The only people who complain about paying taxes are the rich who don't pay many taxes and want to pay even less. Mr.Anonymous I don't think you are rich. You're just a wanna be.

David MacLean said...

This is really getting stupid. I beg you guys, just make rational comments and arguments.

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