Sunday, July 16, 2006

Sask: All is quiet on the pulp mill front

It has been eerily quiet on the pulp mill front. The Meadow Lake mill continues to bleed money -- Saskatchewan taxpayers picked up a $70 million tab last year. How much will be putting up this year? Nobody will say.

However, the bigger threat is the Prince Albert mill. I suspect we will be hearing something about this very soon.

So what will it be? Direct government ownership? A massive grant program to sweeten the pot for a private investor? Tax credits? Subsidies forever?

Probably all of the above.


Farmer Joe said...

You forgot to mention 'loans'.

Why not pay, today when you can, not pay, tomorrow.

Kelly J Gessner said...

Subsidies forever. If it's good enough for farming, why not the pulp and paper industry?

David MacLean said...

Yeah, subsidies have done wonders for the farm industry.

This isn't a "what's good for the goose" type of scenario, but thanks for coming out.

Kelly J Gessner said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Kelly J Gessner said...

Please explain why this isn't a " what's good for the goose" type of scenario, David?

David MacLean said...

You're saying we should subsidize pulp mills for no other reason than we subsidize agriculture. This isn't a moral issue, or a game of one-upmanship.

Kelly J Gessner said...

I would just like someone to explain why subsidies are a bad thing for one industry but a good thing for another.
It's a simple question.

Farmer Joe said...

You'll have to find a socialist blog to get the answer to that one. I think most of the folks here are in the -it's not good for anyone camp.

Kelly J Gessner said...

Untrue, Farmer Joe. Most here are in the ag subsidies are just fine camp. The puzzle is why?

Farmer Joe said...

As long as your beating your favorite dead horse why not get yourself a bigger one of...


Maybe that will do the trick.

Kelly J Gessner said...

Can't explain it? Thought so.

R.S. Porter said...

Kelly, as we've said many times, you're going to have backup your comments with fact. When has the CTF supported farm subsidies?

Every single subsidy should be cancelled.

Farmer Joe said...

This is one of the biggest problems today. People who believe that a lack of evidence is evidence.

It's just like those who believe in ghosts. You can't prove they don't exist because there isn't any evidence.

But they expect the sceptics to prove them wrong. Well it doesn't work that way, it's up to the one making the assertion to put the evidence on the table.

Kelly J Gessner said...

When your organisation's raison d'etre is lower taxes, smaller gov't., and more accountability, one can only conclude the CTF's silence on the expenditure of huge amounts of tax dollars for ag subsidies, when they are so vocal about every other tax expenditure, large and small, represents, at the very least, tacit support for said subsidies. But fellas, c'mon, let's end the charade. We all know where you're coming from on this issue. But that's not even the point of my question. I would just like to know, fron the CTF perspective, how subsidies are good for one industry and bad for another. Again, simple question.

Spakosky said...

Kelly, please consider that the pulp industry in provinces other than Saskatchewan does not need subsidization: whereas it has expanded in BC, AB and MB, htere was been contraction amoungst the entire forestry industry in SK: there are several reasons for this, including SK FMA's, SK position on co-generation, tax and labout policy; agriculture is different in that it is a Canadian industry that is vital that must be protected against unfair foreign competition.
Back to pulp finction in SK: NDP f's up private industy, therefore must rescue it with gov money: that makes no sense whatsoever, (unless it gets votes.) More civil servants, now contibuting according to their ability at the pulp mill!!!

Kelly J Gessner said...

So Spakosky, Is your position that subsidies are OK if there is an issue of perceived unfair foreign competition. By that criteria subsidies to Bombardier and the aerospace industry passes your smell test?
What tax and labour policy is responsible for the contraction of the forestry industry in SK?

Spakosky said...

1) perceived unfair foreign competition? it is real, as you well know. secondly, these programs have to be industry wide, not just for bombardier.

2) capital taxes;

and Weyco and others have been unhappy with unions in SK;

don't forget the FMA's and co-gen.

So while the industry has grown in MB and AB and BC, it has been disappearing in SK: and the NDP answer is to pay Wall(er) to hire some other NDPers to study the situation.

Kelly J Gessner said... said "it is real, as you well know"
What is the financial impact of this "unfair competition" to Canadian agriculture? Why should this not be the responsibility of the federal gov't. exclusively?

"Weyco and others have been unhappy with unions"
That's it? Is there a company in existence that is happy with unions? Unions exist in other provinces, even Alberta. You refered to labour laws but failed to cite one. Are you just regurgitating SK Party talking points?

You said agriculture is vital. What makes it vital and the forestry industry not?

Spakosky said...

Weyco is expanding one of it's pulp mills in Grande Prairie AB; it cannto find enough skilled workers; many have come from SK. It is also a non-union mill.

labout laws, as well as the implementation/enforcement of them.

Agrigulture is canada-wide, whereas forestry "needs" to be subsidized in SK alone because of this government, not because of external forces.

Kelly J Gessner said...

spakosky...All you're doing is flapping your gums. You have absolutely nothing to back up your claims. No facts. No figures. Nothing. And that's what your opinion is worth.

Spakosky said...

You can check with anyone in the industry with Stats Can, with any mill wortker: expansion in MB, AB and BC, contraction in SK:
And what does the gov of sk do? the minister is Lautermilk, he hires Waller to study the situation. But iusn;t this the pair that
"fized" teh Sk potatoe industry? hope they do better this time!

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