Brad Wall invites Calgary energy companies to move to Saskatchewan
Saskatchewan premier offers to subsidize relocation costs, trim taxes and royalties
Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall is taking a turf war with Alberta to its economic heart, inviting energy companies based in Calgary to move their headquarters to his province.
In a letter to Whitecap Resources, Wall offers to subsidize relocation costs, trim taxes and royalties and help find space in unused government buildings if the oil and gas firm moves to Saskatchewan.
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The letter, provided to The Canadian Press, says it may make sense for Whitecap Resources and other Calgary companies with oil and gas production in Saskatchewan to make a "co-operative joint move" to benefit from additional cost savings.
Wall cites reductions to corporate and personal income taxes promised in his recent provincial budget as further incentives, adding that his government has no intention of implementing a carbon tax, unlike Alberta's.
Whitecap Resources CEO Grant Fagerheim says he's taking the letter seriously but would only move if it would benefit his company's shareholders.
Finance minister responds
Asked about the letter Wednesday, Alberta Finance Minister Joe Ceci didn't respond directly, but did point to Alberta's current business climate.
"Alberta will continue to lead this country," he said. "We are second in terms of head offices — Calgary is anyway, in terms of the nation. Edmonton, similarly, has great head offices. We have everything people want."
Ceci further noted Alberta has great cultural opportunities, great universities and great health care.
The letter emerges in the wake of public bickering between Alberta Premier Rachel Notley and Wall over each other's provincial budgets.
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Notley's NDP government tabled a budget this month that relies on economic growth to balance the books in six years. Wall's budget boosts the provincial sales tax and cuts spending with the aim of returning to surplus in three years.
When Notley was asked whether there is anything in the budget tabled by Wall's right-leaning government that she would never do, she replied: "Almost everything."
On the weekend, Wall took to Twitter to say he wasn't about to take budgeting advice from Notley and the Alberta NDP.
This <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/skbudget?src=hash">#skbudget</a> involved many tough decisions but last week, Premier Notley decided to give us some budgeting advice.<br><br>Thanks, but no thanks. <a href="https://t.co/Ui3pcBo7Jg">pic.twitter.com/Ui3pcBo7Jg</a>—@PremierBradWall
Wall was not immediately available for comment Wednesday.
With files from CBC