Resource Privatization

Resource Privatization

Postby Oscar » Thu May 13, 2010 4:18 pm

Resource Privatization

May 13, 2010

To the Editor.

There is a saying that if we do not learn from the mistakes in our history, we will continue to be subjected to the same mistakes in the future.

Money seems to be necessary to buy groceries and the basic necessities of life, even to have your children receive a university education. But when the main purpose of most powerful financial interests on our planet (Wall Street) is only to increase the wealth of its Chief Executive Officers (CEO's) that makes no meaningful contribution to society in general, it could even be considered evil. This biblical quotation comes to mind: “You cannot serve both God and Mammon".

The lack of proper regulation and an over-abundance of greed, particularly among the money traders on Wall Street, contributed considerably to the recession in 2008, which had world wide repercussions. At that time, a number of Wall Street corporations
declared bankruptcy, or were claiming danger of bankruptcy. The American government helped them financially with hundreds of billions of dollars. Wall Street's Goldman Sachs is just one example. In 2008, their CEO Lloyd Blankheim received salary and bonuses totally 68 million dollars. (He claims he did not see the trouble coming!) For his reward or punishment, depending on how you view it, in 2009 poor CEO Blankheim was paid only 9 million dollars. But not all was lost. Goldman Sachs recorded a 2009 profit of 13.4 billion dollars.

But, let us look back at the historical political changes that were made in the past, and now are taking place closer to home --in our own province. Our provincial resources belong to the citizens of Saskatchewan. Under the leadership of Grant Devine in 1988, two uranium crown corporations were privatized and jointly named Cameco. By 2007, the CEO of Cameco, Gerald Grandey, received a salary of 950,000 dollars, and bonuses for a total 2,781, 058 dollars. Twenty other Cameco executives received an average of 400,000 dollars each, just in bonuses.

This was the year, 1989, when the Devine Conservatives privatized this province's potash industry. In 2007, the top five executives each received an average of 6.4 million dollars. In the same year, Bill Doyle, CEO of the Potash Corporation cashed in at 17 million dollars. Obviously, it pays well to be employed by a corporation that controls the people’s resources; eg., a few years ago, the vice-president of the privatized Potash Corp. sold over 20 million dollars in potash stock options. This was over and above years of salaries, bonuses and perks!

Our Premier Brad Wall learned the policies of resource privatization well from his predecessor, Grant Devine. Premier Wall's government has contracted a private corporation, Northland Power Inc., to build a 261 megawatt natural gas fired plant near North Battleford. This was done without any debate in the Legislature. The electricity produced will be sold to Sask Power.

Leo Kurtenbach,
Box 268, Cudworth, Sask., S0K 1BO
Phone: (306) 256 3638.
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