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Wednesday, 27 February 2013 09:47

Wall’s record on crown corporations less than stellar

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Murray Mandryk’s 700-word rebuke of Brad Wall’s crown privatization record leaves much to be desired (Regina Leader Post, Feb. 13). Let’s get Wall’s record straight:

• 2009, Direct West Canada — sold ($31,732.28); Heritage Gas — sold ($109.8 million 75 per cent); SaskTel Operator Services contracted out; Rural Internet Stop-Sell in 15 communities.
• 2010 Stripped Crown of 100 per cent of annual dividends (394.8 million) forcing a debt of $317 million onto the Crowns; Northland Power — Power Purchase Agreement (PPA); SCN sold ($350,000.00); signed New West Partnership Trade Agreement; SGI General License Plates contracted out: 20 per cent of SaskPower offices closed; AgDealer sold; SGI Canada shares in Charlie Cook Insurance, Western Financial Group, AAA and MFAC sold.
• 2011 Hospitality Network (Made $3 million profit 2009) sold ($36.6 million); Saskatoon Square sold ($50 million; Algonquin Power PPA; Gas Sur sold; Igasamex sold (40.1 per cent); SaskTel’s SAP contracted out; SaskTel, SaskPower, and SaskEnergy line locations contracted out.
• 2012 television and internet installations contracted out; wireless broadband internet contracted out; rural internet and telephone infrastructure contracted out (Chinese-based Huawei). All but five SaskPower walk-in locations closed to the public. $120 million siphoned from SaskPower forces a 4.9 per cent increase in residential rates.
And of course 2013 — three private liquor stores approved plus 60 per cent of ISC Privatized. Prior to the 2007 election, Wall said, “the Saskatchewan Party will not be privatizing Crowns or their subsidiaries — not in whole or part.” Was he misleading or hiding his true colours?
Joyce Neufeld, Waldeck, Sask.

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