Potash Corp. execs moving to Saskatoon

SASKATOON — Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan says it’s making good on a promise it made to the province during a bitter takeover fight with BHP Billiton.

SASKATOON — Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan says it’s making good on a promise it made to the province during a bitter takeover fight with BHP Billiton.

PotashCorp (TSX:POT) said Monday that 11 of its 14 senior executives, including CEO Bill Doyle, will be living in Saskatoon by the end of March.

Doyle said in a letter to Premier Brad Wall that the company recognizes the importance of the province.

“Though our company is a global organization with operations, investments and customers all over the world, potash is the lifeblood of our business and Saskatchewan will continue to be the heart and mind of the company in the years ahead,” he wrote.

The promise to move executive jobs to Saskatoon from Chicago was made last October as PotashCorp attempted to curry favour with the province and fend off BHP’s US$38.6-billion bid.

PotashCorp is headquartered in Saskatoon, but many of the company’s executive and managerial jobs are currently in Chicago. While the board of directors is mostly Canadian, most senior managers are American.

With the moves announced Monday, the only executives working in Chicago will be primarily responsible for the company’s phosphate and nitrogen operations.

PotashCorp also said it will boost the number of employees in the Saskatoon office to 300 by the end of 2013 — up from 209 at the end of last year. The company also plans to increase the number of people working at its mines in Saskatchewan to 2,528 within four years from just over 2,000 last year.

Wall said the job increases represent a major commitment to Saskatchewan.

“That’s more than 600 more people working for PotashCorp in Saskatchewan by 2015,” said Wall. “PotashCorp is an important part of the new era of growth in the new Saskatchewan and I thank them for their strong commitment to our province.”

PotashCorp has also promised to be “the No. 1 corporate citizen in Saskatchewan,” to develop a strong aboriginal workforce and to maintain ties to the marketing consortium Canpotex.

“We believe that the long-term relationships Canpotex holds, and the efficiencies it delivers in the distribution of Saskatchewan potash, bring tremendous value to customers and facilitate the generation … of significant revenues for our province,” wrote Doyle.

“Further, as demand for potash continues to grow, Canpotex is uniquely positioned to meet the logistical needs of its offshore customers.”

Potash is a key component in fertilizer, and global food needs are expected to drive the demand higher.

PotashCorp is a Saskatchewan stalwart. It was created by the provincial government in 1975 and privatized in 1989.

The company has since become the world’s biggest producer.

Saskatchewan is the largest potash producer in the world and typically accounts for about 25 to 30 per cent of global production. By conservative estimates, Saskatchewan could supply world demand at current levels for several hundred years.

BHP, an Australian mining giant, had also promised to make Saskatoon the headquarters of its global potash business.

But Wall was dead set against the deal. He argued that Saskatchewan could lose between $3 billion and $6 billion in revenue from taxes and royalties if BHP’s bid were successful. The premier also said Canada’s strategic interests would be put at risk if it sold most of its potash industry to an international company.

The federal government ultimately rejected the BHP offer. Industry Minister Tony Clement said it was unlikely to be of net benefit to Canada.

BHP, however, hasn’t turned its back on potash in Canada. The company has exploration rights to over 14,500 square kilometres in Saskatchewan. Earlier this month, BHP moved to do a feasibility study on its Jansen potash proposal.

Doyle said Monday that Potash Corp. remains committed to a $5.7-billion mine expansion in Saskatchewan, including a $2.8-billion expansion at Rocanville.

“We understand the strong and mutually beneficial role that our company plays in the province, and we will always seek to do what is right for the people of Saskatchewan and the company’s stakeholders,” he said.

“We look forward to continuing to play a vital role in the province of Saskatchewan for decades to come.”

— By Jennifer Graham in Regina

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Alberta NDP leader Rachel Notley was in Red Deer Wednesday and addressed a number of different political topics affecting central Alberta. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)
Notley talks RDC, UCP draft K-6 curriculum in visit to Red Deer

Rachel Notley had only proposed a solution hours before she arrived in… Continue reading

Photo by RANDY FIEDLER/Advocate staff BUDGET RURAL MEDICINE 2 - Dr. Fred Janke in his Sylvan Lake practice Wednesday. for story
Sylvan Lake doctor formerly accused of child sex crimes can practise again

Crown prosecutors dropped all charges against Dr. Fred Janke last November

Curtis Labelle (second from left) and his band are planning a cross-Canada tour in 2022. Meanwhile, Labelle is continuing to host his weekly livestreamed talk show, Chattin 88. (Contributed photo).
Red Deer rock pianist takes on a talk show role

Curtis Labelle’s Chattin 88 gets views from around the globe

This post is visible on a central Alberta business’s Facebook page. (Image from Facebook)
UPDATED: Rocky Mountain House store bars vaccinated customers

‘No proof the vax works and no proof it does not shed’

Red Deer community builder and Korean War veteran Don Holloway (shown here with his wife, Sylvia), died at the age of 88. (Photo courtesy of the City of Red Deer)
One of Red Deer’s last known Korean War veterans has died

Don Holloway, who died at age 88, was the city’s Honorary Senior Citizen in 2020

Westerner Park’s Exhibition Hall was used as a vaccination clinic on Wednesday. A steady stream of people came to get their COVID-19 shots either by appointment or as walk-ins. Photo by PAUL COWLEY/Advocate staff
No long lineups at walk-in vaccination site in Red Deer

A steady stream of people walked into Westerner Park on Wednesday to… Continue reading

Letisha Reimer is shown in a photo, part of a memorial to her outside Abbotsford Senior Secondary School in Abbotsford, B.C., Monday, Nov.7, 2016. A B.C. Supreme Court judge is expected to deliver her decision today over whether a man who stabbed two high school students is not criminally responsible because he had a mental disorder. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geordon Omand
Judge to rule on criminal responsibility of man who stabbed two B.C. students

NEW WESTMINSTER, B.C. — A British Columbia Supreme Court judge is expected… Continue reading

File photo
Expert says Saskatchewan should consider more targeted vaccine plan as variants surge

SASKATOON — Nazeem Muhajarine says he feels a sense of relief after… Continue reading

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and United States President Joe Biden smile as they say farewell following a virtual joint statement in Ottawa, Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau pledges to cut emissions by 40% to 45% by 2030, short of U.S. goal

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is promising Canada will slash its… Continue reading

Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland holds a press conference in Ottawa on Tuesday, April 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
More supply needed to ease housing price crunch, but always more to do, Freeland says

OTTAWA — Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland says the country needs a boost… Continue reading

Smoke pours from the stacks at the Portlands Energy Centre in Toronto on Thursday January 15, 2009. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Risk experts say climate change to take big chunk of Canadian economy by 2050

One of the world’s largest insurers says Canadians will be more than… Continue reading

A Blanding’s turtle (Gabrielle Fortin/Contributed)
Earth Day: Finding hope in an old sweater

During the pandemic, many of us have spent several months at home.… Continue reading

Education Minister Adriana LaGrange says 1.7 million reusable masks have been ordered at a cost of $4.2 million.” (Advocate file photo).
Alberta teachers and education minister swap accusations of politicizing curriculum

EDMONTON — Education Minister Adriana LaGrange says the group representing Alberta teachers… Continue reading

FILE - In this March 19, 2021, file photo, people take pictures of the Olympic rings installed by the Japan Olympic Museum in Tokyo. The vaccine rollout in Japan has been very slow with less than 1% vaccinated. This of course is spilling over to concerns about the postponed Tokyo Olympics that open in just over three months.(AP Photo/Hiro Komae, File)
Olympic bodies launch competitive series in virtual sports

Olympic body hopes to reach more young people

Most Read