The StarPhoenix Editorial Board makes one valid point in its January 10, 2013 opinion piece “Politics worsen electrical woes” – the sooner we come to grips with reality, the sooner SaskPower’s problems can be fixed. The problem is the ideological decision making of the Government of Saskatchewan that undermines our Crowns evidenced by privatizing our power production and divided-stripping.Nearly 20 per cent of the power produced in the province in the coming years has been privatized through Power Purchase Agreements that take money away from the Crown and into pr...
Yet again the provincial government has approved a Crown rate hike - effective January 1, 2013, most customers will see a rate increase between $4 - $6 per month.Although the government claims that SaskPower has not raised rates since August 2010, they did take a $120-million special dividend. Money that could have been used to invest in infrastructure upgrades that are being cited as reasoning for this rate increase.When looking at rate increases, it is also important to consider the Crown utilities bundle that is offered to customers in Saskatchewan. Prior to 2007, our province was commited ...
Later this fall, the Saskatchewan Rate Review Panel (SRRP) will hold public meetings regarding the proposed rate increase at SaskPower that would take effect in the beginning of next year.Saskatchewan residents will have the opportunity to hear from SaskPower regarding the pending rate increases but you can also submit your personal comments in person, by mail, or electronically. The following meetings will be held: Saskatoon – Sept 19, 1:30pm at the Delta Bessborough Regina – Oct 2, 7:30pm at the Ramada Hotel According to the rate application, SaskPower is “recommendi...
SOS Crowns recently learned that effective November 30, 2012, SaskPower will be closing the doors to the public in another 19 offices throughout the province. Walk-in customer service will only remain available in 5 locations including Regina, Saskatoon, Prince Albert, Yorkton, and North Battleford. Tens of thousands of SaskPower customers, both urban and rural, will no longer have the ability to make statement inquiries, book service calls or complete bill payments in their own community. In addition, the Regina cash payment drive through window will be closed permanently. Almost two years ag...
For those of you that have not had a chance to catch some of the newspapers throughout the province this month, here are a couple of articles involving our Crown Corporations that might be of interest to you:“Energy tale of two provinces” by Bruce Johnstone was printed in the Leader-Post on July 14, 2012. In a comparison between Saskatchewan and Alberta, Johnstone explains, “Remember when energy deregulation was all the rage? The old monopoly utilities were going to go the way of the dodo. In their place would be efficient, profit-driven private companies competing for consum...
This week SaskPower announced that they will be seeking a 4.9 per cent rate increase that would be effective at the beginning of next year if approved. Rural residential, farm, and commercial customers will be hit the hardest with the proposed increases, while all customers across the province will see some level of increase.In yesterday’s news release SaskPower noted, “The increase is needed to fund investments in the province’s electrical system to keep up with our growing economy and maintain electrical reliability.” The people of Saskatchewan should be asking themse...
Recently, the 2011 Crown Corporation Payee Disclosure report was released, detail payments that Crowns have made to Board members, employees, suppliers, and sponsorships, among other things. The Payee Disclosure report has been a traditional tool of accountability and transparency for our Crowns. It also shows the immense reach that Crowns have within Saskatchewan, and one of the reasons that this province is a great place to live and make a living. One of the largest portions of the report is the employee compensation section for each individual Crown. Any employee that earns more than 50,000...
Recently Premier Wall announced a cabinet shuffle and the creation of the Ministry of the Economy with the main purpose to make sure that “we can consistently implement our growth plan for the province” and to ensure the “government’s not getting in the way of growth.” With Bill Boyd now in charge of the new Economy portfolio, our question is this: will Crown Corporations be included in the province’s growth plan? For decades, Crowns have given Saskatchewan the advantage of being an affordable place to live and provides good jobs for nearly 12, 000 people.&n...
With the current government selling off bits and pieces of our power industry to out-of-province power companies, today we take a few minutes to look into Saskatchewan’s future power industry. Power Purchase Agreements (PPA’s), in their simplest terms, are contracts with private power companies to supply power to the Saskatchewan grid. Many PPA’s are signed for ‘peak load’ power, which means that when Saskatchewan is using a high amount of power, SaskPower can purchase excess from these providers. In some cases, our government is actually signing agreements are fo...
As stated in Murray Mandryk’s column in the Leader-Post earlier this month, ‘Healthy Crowns can’t be privatized,’ it was very obvious how practical it is to maintain healthy Crown Corporations. Although it may be true that some businesses could function effectively in the private sector, it has been proven across Canada that privatization doesn’t benefit consumers over the long term. Consider the state of the electricity in Alberta, where consumers are being forced to pay for infrastructure upgrades, although the system has been deregulated for a decade. Edmonton ...
The results are beginning to roll in from our Crown Corporations about their performance and successes over the last year. It is undeniable that 2011 was an excellent year for Crowns in Saskatchewan, many posting higher profits than previous years. SaskPower posted record profits while SaskTel reached $1 billion in revenue for the sixth consecutive year.Crown Investment Corporation (CIC) predicts that 2012 will see a $273 million dividend to the provincial government, including a special dividend from SaskPower.What you might find in the fine print is that the government has increased Crown Co...
Last year the government of Saskatchewan declared that April would be recognized as “Safe Digging Month” in the province “to increase public awareness on the importance of working safely around underground infrastructure.”However, there seems to be more and more stories about gas line hits in the news than ever before. Previously, Crowns including SaskTel, SaskPower, and SaskEnergy conducted their own line locates, which have all been contracted out to a private company. Christy Best, President of CEP Local 649 who represents members at both SaskEnergy and SaskPower, sa...
Hey Alberta, how is the deregulated power industry working these days? Not so great according to a recent article by Josh Wingrove in the Globe & Mail. A popular topic of debate, the deregulation of AB's power, an undertaking of nearly a decade of political moves, has made it's way back into the media when power prices began to hit all-time highs. All of which is happening while the Sask Party government pieces away Saskatchewan's power industry. Why is it problematic that our government continuously signs Power Purchase Agreements (PPA's) with out-of-province companies? ...
News ReleaseFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEMarch 2, 2012Government privatizes more Saskatchewan powerThe Brad Wall government announced Wednesday that an additional seven percent of Saskatchewan’s power is being privatized – reaching an alarming total of nearly 17 per cent by the end of 2016. SaskPower announced another Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with Windlectric Inc. which is a subsidiary of Ontario-based Algonquin Power & Utilities Corp (Algonquin).The new $355-million wind project will be located near Chaplin, Saskatchewan and will be fully operational by the end of 2016. Algonqui...
Our neighbours in Alberta are being told once again to expect rate increases for their monthly residential electricity - directly on the heels of an approximately $25 increase in December 2010. Proponents of deregulation commonly tell consumers that increased competition in markets such as electricity will provide the lowest rates. Unfortunately for our neighbours in both Alberta and British Columbia, this simply has not been the case. It was just over a year ago that residents in B.C. were told to expect rate increases that were directly related to the costly Power Purchase ...
Today is Saskatchewan, Crown Corporations are being sold off, contracted out, deregulated and dismantled slowly by the Brad Wall government. As the people of the province, we are being lied to about the future of the very organizations that we have built from the ground up. Today in Saskatchewan when the government says they have not sold off any Crown Corporations, ask them about the Saskatchewan Communications Network. A Crown that was valued at nearly $4 million and was attributed to attracting millions of dollars a year for the television film industry in Saskatchewan – SOLD f...
We you aware that in December 2010, BC Hydro customers were told to expect a near 30% price increase over the next 3 years? Government critics attribute the increase to failed Power Purchase Agreements (PPA) and "the government forcing BC Hydro to buy expensive power from the private sector, instead of generating more power itself through public projects."Why would the Brad Wall government want to make the same mistakes other provinces have made?Only 3 months after BC residents were told to expect price increases, the Saskatchewan Party government entered into a 20-year PPA with Ontario-based ...
It is clear that the people of Saskatchewan are being deceived. Our current government has made many claims regarding the future of Crown Corporations in Saskatchewan. One of which was a statement from our current Premier stating “Crowns are not going to be privatized and (subsidiaries) are not going to be wound down.” Our current government`s actions have been nothing but contrary to this statement.Merriam Webster defines the word privatize as the process “to make private; especially to change (as a business or industry) from public to private control or ownership.&rdq...
In this episode, Chris, Mike, and Amy attend the Queen City Exhibition in Regina, and reflect on the privatization of Saskatchewan’s Crown Corporations. Are you concerned about the privatization of our crowns? Feel free to comment on our Facebook page....
In this episode, Chris, Mike, and Amy go kayaking on beautiful Kenosee Lake in Moose Mountain Provincial Park. In between, they ask people why Crown Corporations matter to them. In 2010, 23 rental cabins at Greenwater Lake Provincial Park were sold to a Regina-based property management company. The new private owner will add 10 more cabins. At Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park, a private company is developing a new campground. Services that used to be provided by park staff, such as cutting firewood, maintaining hiking trails, and sanitation services, are being turned ov...
Since 1929, SaskPower has been delivering services to residents throughout the province of Saskatchewan. Following the principles of Crown Corporations and the mandate to provide universal service, SaskPower began working in 1961 to ensure electricity was accessible to farms across the province. The Rural Electrification mandate resulted in nearly 60,000 farms being connected to the power grid.In Saskatchewan today, SaskPower uses a variety of technologies to supply electricity to residents and businesses. Currently SaskPower operates; • 3 coal-fired power stations• 7 hydroelectric s...
Our current government continues to enter into power deals that protect private companies from increased fuel costs but pass increased costs onto Saskatchewan citizens. In February 2010, SaskPower entered into a 20-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with Ontario-based Northland Power Income Fund. Construction began near North Battleford in July 2010, with the plant scheduled to begin operations in 2013. Once fully operational Northland Power will produce 347 megawatts of base load power, representing nearly 10% of the power generated in Saskatchewan. According to a Northland Power news rele...
At the end of this month SaskPower will permanently close their office doors to walk-in customers in over 20 percent of their office locations across Saskatchewan. Customers in Assiniboia, Biggar, Humboldt, Kamsack, Rosthern, and Weyburn as well as the thousands of people in surrounding areas, will no longer have the ability to make statement inquiries, book service calls or complete bill payments in their own community. Closures of this nature signal the decline of equal Crown service levels for rural Saskatchewan and, furthermore, diminish the presence of our Crowns in rural communitie...
- Film credit
- Hey Buddy
- Just Energy
- Moose Jaw
- Natural Gas
- Rate Increase
- Sask First
- Sask Party