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Squandered - Canada's Potash Legacy


Canada's Potash Legacy

Paperback : 9780889779693, 176 pages, March 2024
Hardcover : 9780889779723, 176 pages, March 2024
Print to order. Please allow 4-6 weeks for delivery.


An exposé of the reality of Saskatchewan’s potash industry management—prioritizing private profit over public interest
A single province in Canada—Saskatchewan—is blessed with a remarkable birthright: 50% of the world’s potash reserves.
Potassium is a necessary ingredient of the fertilizer required to feed a growing world population. Accordingly, prices and corporate profits have soared to unprecedented levels in recent decades. While other countries such as Saudi Arabia and Norway have taken steps to capture the value of their natural resources for their people, Saskatchewan has failed to leverage the value of its potash and has given much of it up for an inadequate price.
Billions of dollars of forgone revenue has resulted in tax unfairness, program underfunding and malfunction, and a growing and worrying divide between the affluent and the very poor. Analysts from across the political spectrum have identified this revenue problem, as well as a straightforward solution. Unfortunately, the Saskatchewan government has declined to review the situation and instead seems to rely upon the advice of the industry itself. The province now faces the game-changing issue of how to tax appropriately the small number of multinational conglomerates that now own these potash mines. Whether or not the province obtains reasonable value for its potash will determine whether Saskatchewan will be a place of opportunity for all of its citizens or continue on a path of wealth for a few and extreme poverty for many.


“A significant contribution to thinking about resource policy.”—Jim Stanford, Economist and Director, Centre for Future Work

“ important account of how various Saskatchewan governments betrayed the public trust in favour of corporate profits.”—Winnipeg Free Press

“A penetrating analysis of how successive Saskatchewan governments failed to claim the potash wealth owed to the people of the province.”—Dale Eisler, From Left to Right

“Eric Cline has written an important book that should outrage."—Ken Rasmussen, Director of Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy, University of Regina

“This provocative, well-argued, and important book . . . is destined to become a standard work on the political economy of this province.”—Ken Coates, Canada Research Chair in Regional Innovation, University of Saskatchewan

“Eric Cline understands what a tragic, once-in-history lost opportunity this is for the people of Saskatchewan. He lived the consequences as Finance Minister. He tells this enraging and outrageous tale in this book. Which might just persuade you it’s time for a change.”—Brian Topp, Max Bell School of Public Policy, McGill University