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Cameco Shows Strong Second Quarter Financial Results PDF Print E-mail
Written by mbcnews   
Thursday, 31 July 2014 13:09

Second quarter financial results are in and it appears to be a pretty good year so far for Cameco.

For the six months ending June 30, the Saskatchewan uranium mining company recorded a gain of six per cent in revenue, an increase of 25 per cent in gross profit and a gain of 502 per cent in net earnings.

Cameco says the improved financial picture is due to a number of factors including higher sales volumes, higher Canadian dollar average realized prices and the settlement of a dispute regarding a long-term supply contract.

The company also realized an after tax gain of $127 million from the sale of its interest in Bruce Power in March.

Cameco CEO Tim Gitzel says overall the long-term market appears bright for uranium including some positive recent developments in Japan.

“There have been developments out of Japan this quarter supporting a more positive long term outlook,” he says. “In total, Japan’s new regulator has received restart applications from nine utilities for 19 reactors.”

A number of nuclear reactors in Japan remain offline as the result of a tsunami followed by an earthquake in 2011.

Gitzel also says the company remains confident it is pursuing the right strategy in an ongoing tax dispute with the Canada Revenue Agency.

“We think we are in a very solid position as far as the CRA case goes. We have received the 2009 assessment, we may get the 2010 assessment this year but I can tell you that hasn’t changed our position at all. We think we are in a very solid position legally and we are going to see it through.”

The tax dispute revolves around a subsidiary company Cameco set up in Switzerland in 1999 in which it has a 17-year deal to sell the uranium it produces in Canada to Cameco Europe before it reaches the end customer.

As a result, Cameco is able to sell uranium to Cameco Europe at lower prices reflective of 1999 while recording little or no profit in Canada.

Instead, profits are recorded in Zug, Switzerland where tax rates are lower.

Cameco remains adamant that it has filed its taxes properly.

The second quarter report also notes the Key Lake extension project’s environmental assessment has been approved by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission allowing for increased future production.

The extension project is expected to increase the mine’s annual production rate to 25 million pounds per year.

Charges Possible After Three-Year-Old Critically Injured By Vehicle On Reserve PDF Print E-mail
Written by mbcnews   
Thursday, 31 July 2014 10:20

A decision has yet to be made on whether charges will be laid in an incident that has critically injured a three-year-old girl on the Mosquito First Nation.

The child was struck by a vehicle on a residential property on the reserve at about 8:30 p.m. Tuesday.

She was initially taken to the hospital in North Battleford before being transferred to a Saskatoon hospital by air ambulance.

At last word, her injuries were considered life-threatening.

Police say the lone male driver of the vehicle was not hurt -- and alcohol was not a factor.

RCMP units out of Saskatoon and Battleford are continuing to investigate.

Last Updated on Thursday, 31 July 2014 10:23
Ottawa, CTF Monitoring Compliance To New Rules On Posting Of Chiefs' Salaries PDF Print E-mail
Written by Fraser Needham   
Thursday, 31 July 2014 10:17

Only a handful of Saskatchewan First Nations have their financial statements posted on the federal government's website in spite of a new law requiring them to do so.

The requirements are part of the Harper government's First Nations Financial Transparency Act which includes regulations that chief and band council salaries be posted online.

The government's deadline for First Nations to produce the information was Tuesday evening.

Parliamentary secretary for Aboriginal Affairs Mark Strahl says a number of First Nations are still submitting their financial information to the government and he expects more statements to be posted online in the coming days.

Strahl says the government does have penalties for non-compliance but perhaps the biggest penalty will be the local political fallout if bands fail to make their financial statements available to the public.

"There will be a political penalty which community members themselves will impose on any elected chief and council that is not providing transparent financial information," he says.

Canadian Taxpayers Federation Prairie Director Colin Craig says there is a fairly wide berth in terms of what would be considered an inappropriate as compared to an appropriate band council salary.

"No one would expect a chief to have to work for free and at the same time a chief serving a small community of a couple thousand people, you wouldn't expect them to make more than the Prime Minister of Canada," he says.

As of Wednesday afternoon, only six of 70 Saskatchewan First Nations had their financial statements posted on the government's website.

The bands that have complied so far are the George Gordon, Kahkewistahaw, Mistawasis, Pheasant Rump, Sweetgrass and White Bear First Nations.

Last Updated on Thursday, 31 July 2014 10:27
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