Saturday, October 23, 2010

PotashCorp vs BHP Billiton

I began my career in Lanigan when when the mine there was Alwinsal Potash. I was around when the government of the day, the NDP, nationalized the mine. I worked with the PCS in the '80's, and have stayed in touch with some working there since. There is no doubt Potash sits deep in the hearts & minds of Saskatchewan. I think it is as strong in our provincial sentiment as Agriculture does, perhaps more so.

I did not agree with the nationalization way back when and still don't. If the government then wanted to build a mine from scratch, go for it. To walk in and take over someone else's hard work I thought was wrong. If they could take over that, what else could they take over? The same thinking applies for me today with the current debate. I realize though,takeovers are a fact of life in the business. The one issue that looms in my mind though I do not recall being discussed is the size and global influence BHP has. This corporation is simply put, way to large. To gain control of a major global requirement in the fertilizer industry is to much global influence. I think there is to much at stake here on a global scale to allow this to pass, it goes way past any lost tax revenue.

Yes I stand on the side of right wing spectrum but I agree with Brad Wall, our Premier, this is a Saskatchewan resource and we deserve a say in how this plays out and therefore the answer to this particular takeover should be NO.

I have always said, how pleasant it would be if the opposition parties would stand in agreement of each other. In this situation Brad Wall consulted 4 previous premiers and Alberta which deals with giant corporations on a regular basis. I commend Brad Wall for this, and I commend the the others for offering their opinions and for standing in support of the government. Now if only they would cooperate on other things.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Getting back to business

Since April I have been applying the weight watcher plan to my life. It has worked out pretty well, dropping about 15% of my original weight. Over the summer wasn't to bad as I was quite active with the renovations. The last 6 weeks though has been weird. A total fall back in behaviour. Why? That is the real question. I feel pretty good. After all I lost a lot of weight, but now its like the same issue a smoker who has quitting has: I haven't smoked for awhile so I should be able to have just one. Ah the lament of an addict.

It boils down to making a decision. So why can't I?

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Edmonton ... downtown

I have spent the past few days in Edmonton with some work colleagues and colleagues from across Westren Canada at WCUPPA. It has been a very good learning experience. I did not get an opportunity to really see much of U of A or Edmonton for that metter. What I can say though is the hospitality of those in the city, both from the University through to the sponsors and to the people we met downtown and on the LRT has been fantastic. I really tip my hat to to the city. For sure they will be a great host to the Grey Cup this year.

As we rode the LRT I wondered how far Saskatoon was away from a similar system. A long way I know, it will be a discussion with those of my children's age, for sure. Still I am sure someone in the city is planning for it. I wondered as well  about the effort that went in to the conference. Somehow these organizers who do similar work to me and others there were able to do their jobs and organize all of this. A Herculean task for sure.

One of the things I will be pondering for sure in the coming days will be the words of Walter Bond the motivational speaker we were fortunate to be able to attend.

Lastly its Alexander Keith's Birthday! Have a good one!