12/11/2012 08:27 EST | Updated 02/10/2013 05:12 EST

Protect potash from foreign state takeovers too, Brad Wall says

Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall says potash — a key resource for his province — should also attract special attention when it comes to foreign takeovers by state-owned enterprises.

Wall said Tuesday he supports recent federal decisions on two foreign takeovers in the resource sector, one by a Chinese company and another by a company in Malaysia.

While those deals were approved, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said any future foreign takeovers of oilsands companies by state-owned enterprises would not be allowed other than in exceptional circumstances.

Wall said potash should also be covered by that.

"If it makes sense for the federal government to restrict state-owned enterprises from other countries in terms of these takeovers in the oil sands ... it makes sense, just to be explicit about that restriction extending to potash," Wall said.

In 2010 Wall actively opposed a proposed takeover of Saskatoon-based PotashCorp by the multi-national BHP Billiton, a private company.

In that case, Wall successfully argued the proposed takeover would not result in a net benefit to Canada.

Looser rules sought for uranium

While Wall is keen to have Harper's new policy regarding takeovers and state-owned enterprises extended to potash, the premier said he would like the federal rules loosened when it comes to foreign activity in uranium mining.

Currently only companies with a majority of Canadian ownership can operate in the uranium sector.

Wall said that is too restrictive.

He noted there are mining companies keen to operate in Saskatchewan but do not have a Canadian partner.

"We have companies like Rio Tinto who are not state-owned enterprises who wish to build uranium mines in the province," Wall said.