(SK) BILL 40 - REPEALED!! . . . . sell off Crowns

(SK) BILL 40 - REPEALED!! . . . . sell off Crowns

Postby Oscar » Thu Apr 27, 2017 12:44 pm

Government passes legislation to sell off Crowns

[ http://www.sgeu.org/public/images/News_ ... Crowns.pdf ]

For immediate release April 26, 2017

Government passed legislation today that will allow it to begin selling off the province’s Crown corporations without the support of Saskatchewan people, according to SGEU.

Bill 40, the innocuous-sounding Interpretation Amendment Act, will create a legal definition of privatization that allows up to 49% of a Crown to be sold without requiring a referendum or election.

“Saskatchewan people value and support their Crowns, and this government knows it,” says SGEU President Bob Bymoen. “If the Sask. Party’s privatization agenda actually had public support, they wouldn’t be afraid to put the future of the Crowns to a vote. Instead, they’re passing legislation to make sure that voters’ voices won’t be heard.”

Selling 49% of a Crown, such as SaskTel, would hugely weaken its ability to serve Saskatchewan people. Private shareholders would pocket half the revenues that currently support public services, like education and health care. In order to increase their earnings, private shareholders would also pressure the Crown to maximize profits – instead of emphasizing dependable, affordable, and accessible service.

“Decade after decade, our Crowns have served Saskatchewan people well. They’re the reason we have some of the lowest utility rates in Canada, and reliable service in remote and rural areas,” says Bymoen.

“The Sask. Party wants to sacrifice those advantages for a one-time windfall, to dig themselves out of the financial mess they created – and they don’t want to let Saskatchewan people tell them otherwise.”

By creating an extremely narrow definition of privatization, Bill 40 sidesteps the Crown Corporations Public Ownership Act, which requires a high level of scrutiny and public support before Crowns can be sold off.

“Once again, this government has proved that it can’t be trusted when it comes to our Crowns,” says Bymoen. “They supported the Public Ownership Act, and now they’re trying to legislate their way around it. So when they start selling our Crowns, why would we trust them to stop at 49%?”
Government passes legislation to sell of Crowns

“We urge all Saskatchewan people to tell their MLAs that they expect an open debate, and a vote, before any Crowns are put up for sale,” Bymoen adds. “The Crowns belong to all of us, and no government has the right to sell them off without listening to the public first.” - 30 -

For more information contact:

Bob Bymoen, SGEU President
306.539.0030

Susan Dusel, SGEU Communications
306.775.7249
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Re: (SK) Government passes legislation to sell off Crowns

Postby Oscar » Tue May 09, 2017 11:04 am

Regina chapter opposes Bill 40, privatization of Crown corporations SaskTel, SaskPower & SGI

[ https://canadians.org/blog/regina-chapt ... kpower-sgi ]

May 5, 2017 - 8:37 am

The Council of Canadians Regina chapter opposes Bill 40, which was passed in the Legislature on April 26 and received Royal Assent on April 27.

Global News reports, "The Saskatchewan government [has] passed Bill 40, which defines the term 'privatization' and allows for up to 49 per cent of a Crown corporation to be sold. ...The bill follows the World Bank definition of privatization. ...Opponents say this bill allows the government to sell-off Crown corporations through the backdoor."

The CBC further explains, "Bill 40 creates a legal definition of privatization that allows the partial sale of a Crown without requiring a vote of support from the people of the province. Up to 49 per cent of each Crown, such as SaskTel and SaskPower, could be up for grabs to private shareholders, without technically being 'privatized'."

The Crown corporations most likely at risk:

1- Saskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI) was created in 1945 by Tommy Douglas and his CCF government. It now includes the Saskatchewan Auto Fund (a financially self-sustaining public auto insurance program) and SGI Canada (that sells property and casualty insurance in five provinces).

2- SaskPower was established in 1929 by the provincial government. It has the exclusive right and the exclusive obligation to supply electricity in the province, except in Swift Current and most of Saskatoon.

3- SaskTel was established in 1908. It was created because the private sector wasn’t interested in delivering service to low-profitable or non-profitable areas of the province. It now has an infrastructure that serves over 1.4 million customer connections.

The Saskatchewan Government and General Employees' Union (SGEU) has stated, "Decade after decade, our Crowns have served Saskatchewan people well. They're the reason we have some of the lowest utility rates in Canada, and reliable service in remote and rural areas. The Saskatchewan Party wants to sacrifice those advantages for a one-time windfall, to dig themselves out of the financial mess they created — and they don't want to let Saskatchewan people tell them otherwise."

Just after the passage of Bill 40, Unifor called on Premier Brad Wall to disclose why he was in such a hurry to make Bill 40 law, especially given an election promise to keep Crown corporations public.

By May 2, the Regina Leader Post reported, "All three of Canada’s major telecommunications companies [Rogers, Telus and Bell] have registered to lobby SaskTel officials. ...All three companies potentially have a vested interested in meeting with [SaskTel minister Dustin] Duncan and SaskTel officials ...Duncan told reporters last week he met a representative from a 'major' telecommunications company and Bill 40 was discussed."

By May 3, the CBC had reported, "Wall said 'of course' the minister responsible for Saskatchewan Government Insurance has been in meetings about a potential partial sale of the Crown corporation." And yesterday, CBC noted, "The minister responsible for Saskatchewan Government Insurance [Joe Hargrave] says the company's CEO has met with representatives from 11 companies in recent months to talk about a partial sale of the Crown corporation."

Among various actions, the Regina chapter participated in the Saskatchewan Federation of Labour-organized 'Rally to Stop Bill 40 and Stop the Cuts!' on April 8 that took place in front of provincial Finance Minister Kevin Doherty’s constituency office.

Council of Canadians chapters in Saskatchewan continue to oppose Bill 40 and the provincial budget that was tabled on March 22.

#skpoli


Tags: chapters
[ https://canadians.org/tags/chapters ]

Brent Patterson's blog
Political Director of the Council of Canadians
[ https://canadians.org/blogs/brent-patterson ]
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BILL 40 - REPEALED! . . . . sell off Crowns

Postby Oscar » Wed Nov 22, 2017 9:43 am

Government Introduces Legislation to Repeal Provisions of Bill 40

[ http://www.saskatchewan.ca/government/n ... of-bill-40 ]

Released on November 21, 2017

Deputy Premier and Justice Minister Don Morgan introduced legislation today to reverse changes made as a result of Bill 40 that was passed last spring.

“We have listened to Saskatchewan people and are making these changes because of what we heard,” Morgan said. “Saskatchewan people were concerned about this legislation and the potential sale of even a small stake in a Crown corporation.”

This legislation will repeal the provisions implemented by Bill 40 that allow for the sale of a partial equity position of a Crown corporation.

“We have said from the beginning that when we make a mistake, we will admit that mistake and take action to correct it,” Morgan said.

The Interpretation Act, 1995 is being amended to repeal the recently-added definition of “privatize” and to repeal the ability to add additional methods of transfer of control that would constitute privatization by regulation. Instead, the term “privatize” will simply be defined to confirm that it does not include a winding-up and dissolution of a Crown corporation. -30-

For more information, contact:

Drew Wilby
Justice
Regina
Phone: 306-787-5883
Email: drew.wilby@gov.sk.ca
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