Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Open Letter to Garth Moore, President of PotashCorp

Suite 500, 122 – 1st Avenue South,
SK S7K 7G3

7 April 2008

Dear Mr. Garth Moore (President, PCS Potash);

I address this Open Letter to you and ask that you share it with the identified company officials below.

As you know, most people in southern New Brunswick welcome the jobs your company has created here and, based on reliable news reports, find ourselves applauding both your company's financial success and generosity for groups such as the youth of Illinois. However we have a local concern – the people near your mine in Penobsquis who have lost access to safe clean water!

The belief exists that, in the absence of the mine, some residents in Penobsquis might still have the reliable water supply they enjoyed in the past.

I remind you of some public statements made recently either by PotashCorp or the government of New Brunswick.

• According to a New Brunswick government press release (20 July 2007), Premier Graham offered the new Potash mine (Picadilly) $35 million in royalty rate reductions over the next 20 years. A worldwide increase in demand for fertilizer to increase food and bio-fuel crop yields means that potash, a key fertilizer component, will increase in price. This means the rate reduction will likely rise in value.
• According to a 15 January 2008 PotashCorp news release, PotashCorp has been named one of Fortune Magazine's "top foreign stocks for 2008." The company points out that its shares have increased 5,600% since it went public in 1989.
• According to PotashCorp's 24 January 2008 news release, the company's net income exceeded $1.1 billion in 2007.
• On 29 January 2008, Jim Jubak, Microsoft Networks investment adviser ("the Web's most widely-read investing writer") reported, "On its [PotashCorp's] Jan 24. conference call, this fertilizer company said – and I have listened to this twice – that no company in the world will be more profitable over the next five years." (emphasis mine)
• PotashCorp issued a press release (29 January 2008) noting its $1.5 million donation to Youth Services of Glenview/Northbrook in Illinois.

PotashCorp's business success and its significant contribution to Glenview/Northbrook, Illinois is commendable but it is worrisome that approximately 50 households in the Penobsquis area now find themselves with water problems – tainted wells, empty wells, etc. Almost 8.5 million litres of brine are shipped from the mine each day while these hardworking people require trucks to deliver washing and drinking water to their homes.

There are numerous precedents for large companies seeing a community need to respond with a significant financial contribution to fix the problem. They do this because it is a 'quality of life' challenge for those affected and an opportunity for the company to give back to the community from which springs its wealth.

Having PotashCorp fund the installation of a municipal water system to homes in the affected communities would be just such an act of generosity. People in the Penobsquis and Sussex area who currently have water problems (or may develop them in the future), would be guaranteed access to safe, clean, and reliable drinking water into the future.

I trust that PotashCorp will see the benefits of embracing its corporate responsibility in this matter, as a healthy and supportive community can only enhance the success of your business.


Rob Moir
Economist, NDP Candidate (Fundy Royal)

CC (PotashCorp): William J. Doyle (President & CEO, PotashCorp), John Hewson (Manager, Sustainablity, PotashCorp)

CC (Government of New Brunswick): Premier Shawn Graham, Hon. Roland Haché (Minister of the Environment)

Media Copies: Telegraph Journal, Times & Transcript, Daily Gleaner, Kings County Record, Saskatoon Star Phoenix, Rogers Media (News 88.9, News 91.9), CBC Radio, Radio-Canada, Acadia Broadcasting (CHSJ-FM, The Wave FM), 590 CJCW Radio, The Globe and Mail, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives

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