by Greg Klein | April 4, 2016
- Saskatchewan Party 51 seats, 62.63% of the popular vote
- New Democratic Party 10 seats, 30.36%
Pollsters must be as happy as Saskatchewan Party supporters to see Brad Wall’s group win a predicted third consecutive landslide. The results might suggest a continued status quo for a province that’s held second place for two years in the Fraser Institute’s most important index of mining jurisdictions globally. Saskatchewan has stayed in the top six for the last five years.
The province’s Athabasca Basin region hosts the world’s highest uranium grades, while potash resources farther south also rank among the world’s most important. According to the Saskatchewan Party, the province’s mineral sales rose more than 90% from $4.4 billion in 2007 to an estimated $8.3 billion in 2015.
During the campaign, the party credited itself with promoting the province’s uranium to China and India. The latter country resumed imports last year after Ottawa lifted a previous ban on sales to that country.
Wall has said he’d support federal legislation that would allow foreign companies to hold a majority stake in Canadian uranium mines. But in 2010, his party successfully lobbied Ottawa to block BHP Billiton’s (NYSE:BHP) attempted takeover of Potash Corp of Saskatchewan TSX:POT.
Wall opposes resource revenue-sharing for natives, saying “that money belongs to everyone equally.” But the opposition NDP hasn’t supported such a policy either.
Meanwhile there’s speculation that the supposedly “arch-conservative” Wall might avoid new taxes by launching a post-election deficit budget for a province hit hard by the oil downturn. There are also rumours, according to the National Post, that he’s studying French.
Could that mean an enthusiasm for the French cuisine of Swift Current? An effort to incorporate existentialism into Saskatchewanian political discourse? Or, as the NP wonders, does Wall harbour federal ambitions?