Saskatoon billboard pressures Cameco to pay taxes
Non-profit group wants millions of dollars returned to taxpayers, Saskatchewan
A non-profit group in Saskatoon is advertising its frustration with one of the province's largest corporations.
Canadians for Tax Fairness recently collaborated with Saskatoon citizens to pay for a billboard calling on Cameco to 'Pay Up' millions of dollars in taxes.
The billboard says, 'Hundreds of millions owed to the people of Canada. Pay taxes where profit is earned.' It is accusing Cameco of using tax havens to avoid paying corporate taxes.
Don Kossick, a member with Saskatchewan Citizens for Tax Fairness, said the advertisement is an attempt to keep this issue in the public.
"From our part, it's a moral obligation for Cameco to recognize where they get their wealth from and make sure some of that wealth comes back to the people of Saskatchewan," Kossick said.
Cameco is in the midst of a multi-million dollar tax court battle with Canada Revenue Agency. The government agency contends that the uranium giant set up a subsidiary in Zug, Switzerland for the purpose of avoiding taxes in Canada.
The company has publicly estimated that it could end up owing more than $800 million in Canadian corporate taxes for the years 2008 to 2012, if it loses the case.
Saskatchewan's take of the total tax bill could be about $300 to 350 million.
Kossick said the group has also started an online group to encourage residents to share their ideas on how that money could be spent.
"There's incredible responses like a women's shelter," Kossick said. "Perhaps free tuition at the University of Saskatchewan. Maybe get the movie industry going back here again. Child care that is accessible and much more affordable. So people are recognizing that that is wealth that should be used here in the province."
The matter is still before the courts and could take years to settle.