The Risky Business of Risk Transfer

Perhaps the most ubiquitous justification for the P3 model is the notion of “risk transfer.” The City of Regina’s argument for the P3 wastewater treatment plant borrows heavily on this argument, regularly touting the transfer of risk from the public to the private sector as a primary reason for the…
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Saskatchewan Budget Saved by Falling Loonie

Following last week’s troubling news about potash, the Saskatchewan government released its first-quarter financial report today. The headline seems to be “Oil Keeps Budget in Black”, with a forecast increase in oil revenue more than offsetting a forecast decline in potash and other revenues. But the forecast West Texas Intermediate…
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City of Regina, Show us your Math!

In the continuing cavalcade of P3 proponents adorning the Leader Post’s opinion page, today’s edition comes to us from the champion privatizers at the Fraser Institute. Thankfully, authors Hugh MacIntyre and Charles Lamman promise to clarify three facts about P3s that will clear up any “misunderstandings that have clouded the…
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Flush with Spin: Wastewater versus Sewage

Perhaps some of you have noticed a rather curious change in the nomenclature advanced by the City of Regina and adopted by both the Leader-Post and Star-Phoenix in the days immediately after city council approved the referendum for the wastewater treatment plant. You see, it’s no longer a wastewater treatment plant,…
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PotashCorp Reports Inadequate Royalties

PotashCorp reported today that it paid $81 million of “provincial mining and other taxes” on $975 million of potash sales in the second quarter of 2013. In other words, Saskatchewan’s potash production tax and resource surcharge amounted to 8% of potash sales. Adding the basic Crown royalty of just over…
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The City of Regina’s Terrible Example

At 1pm today, Regina city clerk Joni Swidnicki announced that the Regina Water Watch petition to force a referendum on the City’s plan to finance, build and operate a new wastewater treatment plant under a P3 model had been deemed invalid due to insufficient “valid” signatures. According to Swidnicki’s report,…
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A Referendum on Referendums?

With the deadline for Regina’s wastewater privatization petition fast approaching and rumours of signatures gathered close to 19,000, the City of Regina is beginning to sweat a little. According to the Leader-Post, City clerk Joni Swidnicki has asked the province to boost the number of signatures needed to force a…
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