Duel of the Saskatchewan Expatriates

Last week, I had the following letter in The Globe and Mail:

Oil sands royalties

The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers’ most recent Statistical Handbook indicates that, in 2010, this industry sold $101-billion of oil and gas but paid only $12-billion in resource royalties.

Even Senator Pamela Wallin’s higher figure of $22-billion (Oil Sands’ Benefits – letter, May 12), which also includes general taxes applicable to all industries, amounts to only one-fifth of the resource value extracted by oil and gas companies.

Foreign investors eager to profit from this giveaway of public resources have been buying equity in Canada’s resource sector, which bids up the exchange rate to the detriment of manufacturing and other Canadian-based exporters.

Rather than attacking NDP Leader Tom Mulcair, Western premiers should raise resource royalties. In addition to collecting needed revenue, that would temper the inflow of foreign funds and help moderate the exchange rate to more competitive levels.

Erin Weir, economist, United Steelworkers

Today, Wallin and I kicked off The Bill Good Show’s second hour (audio here).

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