The Green Party of Saskatchewan (GPS) likes the Wall Government’s decision to propose a Heritage Fund for the province. This is long overdue for Saskatchewan. It is wasteful to take the revenue of non-renewable resources and use it for day-to-day government operations. Windfalls from potash and oil should be put in the Heritage Fund after our accumulated debt is eliminated.
But there also needs to be a formula created for determining the royalty rates of natural resources in Saskatchewan. This formula needs to take interest rates and the inflation rate into consideration. It is irresponsible to say that Saskatchewan will never change its current royalty rate structure, but it is equally irresponsible to suggest that royalty rates need to change without explaining how the structure should be changed.
Any change to natural resource royalty rates needs to strike a balance between creating an environment for entrepreneurship and having enough resources to meet the social needs of Saskatchewan people.
As the inflation rate rises in Saskatchewan, natural resource royalty rates should increase by a certain amount, and then remain locked in. And as interest rates in Canada fall, our province’s royalty rates should also be set to increase. This will allow the province to gain more revenue from our natural resources, regardless of the state of our economy.
Green Party of Saskatchewan