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.”
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