Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Premier Brad Wall Invites Calgary Energy Companies to Relocate to Saskatchewan

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Premier Brad Wall Invites Calgary Energy Companies to Relocate to Saskatchewan

Article excerpt

Brad Wall invites Calgary energy firms to move

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CALGARY - 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 (TSX:WCP) dated Monday, 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.

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 like the one Alberta did this year.

"Given these major tax changes and your production presence in our province, I would therefore like to formally ask you to consider a relocation of your head office from Calgary to Saskatchewan," reads the letter.

Kathy Young, a spokeswoman for Wall, said the letters were sent to several energy firms. She said Wall "takes every opportunity" to ask companies to move their headquarters to Saskatchewan.

The letter emerges in the wake of public bickering between Notley and Wall over each other's provincial budgets. Neither was available for comment.

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.

Calgary Economic Development president Mary Moran said tax "tweaks" in the Saskatchewan budget don't overcome Alberta's competitive tax advantage, adding that Wall's short-term incentives will "borrow loyalty, not buy loyalty."

"I'm not a big believer, whether it be labour or companies, that it serves us well as a country to be poaching from one province to the other," Moran said. …

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