City of Regina, we need to talk

Regardless of the outcome in the City of Regina’s wastewater referendum being held today, there is one thing that is certain. We need to establish very clear rules for how City-wide referenda should be conducted in the future and we need very specific rules on how the City communicates with…
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Regina’s P3 Columnists

As the referendum on whether to privatize Regina’s wastewater plant nears, the Regina Leader-Post is printing a column a day advocating the P3: John Gormley on Friday, Bruce Johnstone on Saturday, and Murray Mandryk yesterday. Johnstone and Mandryk repeat three of the City’s key claims. Gormley only gets to one…
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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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