Three years ago, as I was moving back to Manitoba from Saskatchewan, there was an interesting debate over whether or not potash was a ‘strategic resource’. Premier Brad Wall said it was. Multi-national mining giant BHP Billiton was trying for a hostile take-over of Potash Corp, and Wall urged Stephen Harper to ‘just say no’.
Ottawa blocked the take-over, but it was really a phony issue. The company was and still is mostly owned outside of this country, and a majority of Canadians, including most in Rider Nation, have no idea who the owners are. Most would also not be able to tell you what potash is, and what it’s used for.
I wonder how many people know that corporate names like Inco have disappeared from the landscape ? They used to own most of everything in Thompson and Sudbury. Now those mines and mills are owned by Vale which is based in Brazil.
Chances are though Canadians have a lot more knowledge about donuts and hamburgers. As they wait in the drive thru to ‘roll up the rim’ on their double double, many customers at Tim Hortons are saying that Ottawa should not allow Burger King to take them over.
It’s a multi-billion dollar deal which must get some kind of approval from Stephen Harper and company, but don’t hold your breath waiting for the government to say no on this one.
Burger King is based in Florida, and by moving their corporate head office to Ontario they will apparently save millions in corporate taxes. One of the levies that the company pays to Washington is more than 40% higher than what companies pay in our country. Barack Obama himself has complained in recent months about corporate giants who are fleeing the United States because of high taxes.
Now, when we think of tax havens, places like Switzerland and the Caymen Islands come to mind. But Canada ? I mean “who knew” ?
I’m Roger Currie