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Prince Albert chapter sponsors forum on Cameco and profit-shifting

The Council of Canadians Prince Albert chapter is sponsoring a public forum titled ‘Pay Up Cameco! Hundreds of millions owed to Canadians’ featuring Dennis Howlett from Canadians for Tax Fairness. Saskatoon-based Cameco Corporation is the world’s third largest producer of uranium.

The Prince Albert Herald reports, “Currently before the courts, Canada Revenue Agency is seeking hundreds of millions of dollars from Cameco as a result of the corporation’s profit shifting through offshore tax havens.” Howlett has commented, “Canadian corporations like Cameco and Gildan use complex, opaque practices to shift profits into low or no-tax jurisdictions. When the CRA did decide to investigate the profit-shifting practices of Cameco, it discovered a scheme that used a Swiss office to avoid $185 million in Canadian taxes. That case is in Federal Tax Court.”

The Herald notes, “Canada Revenue Agency has issued a reassessment for $5.7 billion, resulting in a tax expense of $1.6 billion, drawing from finances that date back to 2003. …Cameco declined comment for the purposes of this article, with manager of media relations Rob Gereghty limiting comment to the fact he’s ‘confident that we will be successful in our case.'”

This summer, the Canadian Press reported, “The Saskatoon-based company said it earned $127 million or 32 cents per diluted share, up from $34 million or nine cents per share a year ago. Revenue improved to $502 million compared with $421 million in the second quarter of 2013.” And in September, Reuters reported, “Canadian uranium producer Cameco Corp and the United Steelworkers union, which represents 535 workers at the world’s largest uranium mine and mill, have agreed to a tentative deal ending a nearly two-week lockout, a union official said on Friday.” Workers at the McArthur River mine and Key Lake mill in Saskatchewan were locked out after the union’s bargaining committee rejected the company’s contract offer.

The Council of Canadians believes in tax fairness and has also called for a ban on all uranium exploration and mining, the strengthening of legislation to ensure that any exploration or mining of other materials does not disturb or uncover uranium deposits, and for fair, just transition programs for all communities and workers involved in the uranium mining industry.

The public forum taking place on Wednesday is co-sponsored with the Prince Albert and District Labour Council, CUPE 4777 and Renewable Power the Intelligent Choice.

Further reading
Cigar Lake uranium mine starts production, more to come with CETA? (March 2014 blog)
‘Collaboration Agreement’ with uranium giants sparks opposition in northern Saskatchewan (December 2012 blog)