(SK) Gvt. Repeals Legislation to Sell off Crowns!

(SK) Gvt. Repeals Legislation to Sell off Crowns!

Postby Oscar » Mon Aug 07, 2017 10:58 am

(SK) 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%?”

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

Postby Oscar » Wed Oct 25, 2017 8:39 am

WIN! Saskatchewan premier promises to repeal Bill 40

[ https://canadians.org/blog/win-saskatch ... al-bill-40 ]

October 24, 2017 - 8:48 pm

(PHOTO: The Council of Canadians Regina chapter at a 'Save Our Crowns' rally at the Legislature last Spring. Photo by Gail Shin.)

The Council of Canadians Regina, Prince Albert, Quill Plains (Wynyard) and Saskatoon chapters all oppose Bill 40.

The privatization bill was passed by Brad Wall's Saskatchewan Party majority in the Legislature on April 26 and received Royal Assent on April 27.

The bill allowed the government to sell up to 49 per cent of a Crown corporation – such as SaskTel and SaskPower – without holding a provincial referendum. The legislation followed a World Bank definition of privatization in which nearly half of a public entity could be owned by private shareholders without technically being privatized.

Now, six months later, the Canadian Press reports, "Saskatchewan’s premier says the government will repeal [Bill 40]. Brad Wall says in a post on Facebook that there won’t be any change to the ownership structure of Crown corporations."

Wall says, “Tomorrow [Wednesday October 25], here at the legislature in the throne speech, we’ll confirm that our government is repealing Bill 40, to be consistent with what you view in terms of the Crown corporations and their importance to this province — no portion of them will be privatized.”

The Canadian Press adds, "Wall said Tuesday [October 24] that government politicians heard 'loud and clear' that Saskatchewan residents didn’t agree with the [World Bank] definition [of privatization]."

NDP leader Nicole Sarauer cautions, “Time and time again, the premier has been floating ideas of selling off our Crowns and Saskatchewan people have been pretty strong in their opposition of it. So now our concern is they’re just going to try to find another way to get what they couldn’t get through the front door and what they couldn’t get through the back door. We’re not sure what the side door is looking like now.”

Further reading:

WIN! Saskatchewan chapters celebrate government backing down on cuts to libraries (April 24, 2017)
[ https://canadians.org/blog/win-saskatch ... -libraries ]

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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