Saskatchewan's New Democrat leader says public anger over the potash deal could translate into the NDP winning seats in the next federal election.
Dwain Lingenfelter, who's in Ottawa this week to meet with federal party leader Jack Layton, said there will be political consequences for the province's 13 Conservative MPs if a deal to take over Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan is approved.
Lingenfelter, whose party has been shut out of Saskatchewan for several federal elections, said the Conservative MPs silence on the issue has been "deafening."
"There's a huge opportunity with a number of seats that weren't open for the NDP last week because of the failure of the 13 MPs, the Conservative MPs, to stand up and speak out on behalf of Saskatchewan people," Lingenfelter said.
"That's what they collect their pay for."
The Conservative government will announce later today whether or not it will allow Australia-based mining giant BHP Billiton to buy Saskatoon-based PotashCorp.
Lingenfelter, who says the NDP is targeting six federal seats in Saskatchewan, has joined Premier Brad Wall in strongly opposing a Billiton takeover.
Also opposed is Saskatchewan's only Liberal MP, Ralph Goodale.
Goodale said people in Saskatchewan will feel "stabbed in the back" if Ottawa approves the BHP deal.
He also suggested the Conservatives will pay a price at the ballot box in Saskatchewan.
"This is a game-changer," he said.
Saskatchewan's Conservative MPs were not talking much about potash on Wednesday. When a CBC News reporter tried to interview Conservative MP Brad Trost (Saskatoon Humboldt), he said Wall "may have changed his position."
Later in the day, the premier's office released a statement saying Wall has not changed his position.
"We remain resolute that the takeover does not provide a net benefit to Canada or Saskatchewan and should not be approved by the federal government," the statement said.