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November 20, 2012

Government sets stage for ISC privatization

Following weeks of limbo for Information Services Corp (ISC), SOS Crowns is disturbed by the Sask Party government announcement to privatize up to 60 per cent of the Crown Corporation.

Since 2007 ISC has posted nearly $100-million in net income, much of which is returned to the people of the province through dividends. In 2011, ISC’s annual report detailed the organization’s financial stability and healthy bottom line. However, the Crown has been unable to offer their services and expertise with automated registry systems outside of the province due to the restrictive Sask First Policy that was introduced in late 2008 by the Sask Party government.

SOS Crowns Chair, Garry Hamblin stated “Given this government’s re-election promise to not sell off Crowns, what’s happening to ISC is nonsensical. A Crown Corporation that continually generates revenue and has a variety of growth opportunities, is not something this province should be getting rid of. A major reason ISC cannot expand is this government’s own policy restricting expansion outside the province.”

The former minister responsible for ISC, Ken Cheveldayoff wrote in ISC’s 2008 annual report that the government’s priority was “to ensure that Saskatchewan’s Crown Corporations remain publicly owned...This is a promise our government made to the people of Saskatchewan, and it is a promise we will keep.”  Although ISC will be the first Crown Corporation to be privatized, the government has not been shy from selling off an entire Treasury Board Crown, the Saskatchewan Communications Network (SCN), as well as multiple Crown subsidiary companies including DirectWest Canada and Heritage Gas.

Today we call on the government yet again, to abandon their plan to privatize ISC and re-evaluate their restrictive Sask First Policy that handcuffs the investment opportunities for all Crown Corporations in Saskatchewan.

Save Our Saskatchewan (SOS) Crowns Campaign is a broad based Coalition aimed at reaffirming to the people of Saskatchewan the importance of preserving and growing the Crowns, by ensuring all aspects of the Crowns remain in the hands of the public.

For more information contact: Jennifer Britton, at (306) 777-0007.

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