Wall says he’s ‘pleased’ with Potash on promises – by Joe Couture (Saskatoon StarPhoenix – August 16, 2013)

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Premier Brad Wall says he’s pleased with PotashCorp’s progress in keeping promises it made to the province at the time of the attempted takeover by BHP Billiton in 2010.

“We get a report from (PotashCorp), and I’ve had a chance to talk to (CEO) Bill Doyle directly about it. We had a conversation about the status of the pledge and I think Saskatchewan people should be pleased. We’re certainly pleased,” Wall said.

“They’re heading toward the exact number they promised for head office jobs. They’ve had so many move up from Illinois.

“They’ve actually exceeded their targets for overall numbers of employees. They’re moving in the right direction in terms of aboriginal employment,” he added. “And from a corporate citizen standpoint, here’s a company that has exceeded their pledge, frankly, I think, and expectations.”

As examples of that, Wall pointed to PotashCorp’s contributions to the STARS air ambulance program and to the new Global Food Security Institute.

“We ought never to take that for granted,” he said of the community efforts. “There’s an economic part to all this, but the company makes sure it’s part of life in Saskatchewan. We’re pretty proud of them.”

In addition to bringing jobs to the province and supporting community initiatives, PotashCorp has continued to strengthen the Canpotex marketing alliance, another part of the pledge it made at the time of the takeover attempt, said Wall, who successfully fought against that takeover.

“In the meantime, we have another good corporate citizen, a great corporate citizen, in BHP, who have been moving forward step by step with what potentially could be the largest mine in the world at Jansen Lake and investing a lot of money here notwithstanding the fact that we advocated against the takeover, so I think things went very well and I hope the province is pleased with that decision we made and what’s happened in the wake of it.”

Bill Johnson, senior director of public affairs for PotashCorp, also said the corporation has made progress in living up to its pledge.

“I don’t think that anyone can question whether this company is committed to the province of Saskatchewan,” Johnson said.

“We’re nearing the completion of $6.2 billion of expansion spending. We’ve

grown our executive and our workforce in Saskatchewan significantly and we continue to contribute to community initiatives in a very significant fashion.”

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