New revelations that Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall is aggressively pursuing the privatization of SaskTel, makes it increasingly difficult to conclude that he was truthful during the 2016 election.
“Brad Wall misled voters,” said Jerry Dias, National President. “If the Sask Party wants to dismantle public services and sell off Crown corporations that took generations to build, it should have the decency to run an election on the issue.”
During the last Saskatchewan election campaign, Wall promised the CBC in writing that no Crown corporations covered under the Crown Corporations Act would be privatized. But six months after winning re-election, the government amended the Act enabling up to 49% to be sold off to private interests.
More recently, Crowns Minister Dustin Duncan was forced to admit that backroom talks are underway to privatize Sasktel.
The birthplace of publicly-owned utilities, Saskatchewan’s many Crown corporations are both successful and popular. The publicly owned services save residents money every day on costs like energy and phone bills. Other core public services like hospitals and schools are partially funded through dividends received from the Crowns. Equally important, Crown corporations are a source of good union jobs in the province.
“Brad Wall has no mandate to sell off public assets that generate millions for the people of Saskatchewan,” said Joie Warnock, Western Regional Director. “Selling-off Crown corporations would be a disaster for the long-term health of hospital and school funding.”
Among other sectors, Unifor represents thousands of Crown corporation workers at SaskTel, SaskEnergy, SaskPower, and SaskWater.