Topic: Sask First
Well the Sask Party government has done it again – yesterday a bill was introduced in the Saskatchewan legislature that will allow the government to privatize Information Services Corporation (ISC). The government cites the inability to invest outside of the province as reasoning for the privatization of ISC. Perhaps they need to conduct some research into why that cannot happen...and they need not look very far. It is in fact their own ideological Sask First Policy that restricts the investments of Crown Corporations, like ISC, and limits out-of-province investments.Since 2007, ISC has ...
News ReleaseFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASENovember 20, 2012Government sets stage for ISC privatizationFollowing 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 ...
SOS Crowns is very disappointed today with the government’s decision to further stifle the growth of our Crown Corporations, while allowing more opportunity for private companies. Less than two weeks ago, Premier Wall hinted that the government was considering privatizing any new liquor stores. As the population in the province continues to grow, so to has the demand for access to liquor stores. Currently, the Saskatchewan Liquor & Gaming Authority (SLGA) has 79 SLGA locations as well as 188 rural franchises. Most locations are open six days per week, with some locations also open on...
SOS Crowns is concerned for the future of Information Services Corporation (ISC) as the Sask Party government examines whether or not they will set the stage for privatization later this fall.Recently the government announced that a ISC is being evaluated by RBC to determine whether or not they will introduce legislation in the fall to begin the process of privatizing 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 to Crown Investment Corporation (CIC), lowering the tax burden for all S...
This blog is in response to a letter that appeared in the StarPhoenix on September 28, 2012 titled "Poor Service."SaskTel has spent decades building a telecommunications network in Saskatchewan that is second to none, but restrictions set out by CRTC do not allow our Crown to choose the rates that customer are charged for telephone service – urban or rural. Although SaskTel believes that every customer in Saskatchewan should have the same access to reliable and affordable service, we do not always have the ability to set those parameters. This is a similar situation with the decisi...
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...
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 ...
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...
There was the sale of Hospitality Network, then contracting out Sasktel installation and other services to Ledcor (an out-of- province company), now it is a Jump.ca contract going to Ledcor. People, this government is slowly dismantling our Crowns one piece at a time.Our Crowns which are owned by all citizens of the province and benefit us all, are being sold to outof-province organizations that are benefiting. The profits for Saskatchewan people are slowly slipping away — profit that is used for infrastructure, health care, education etc. We, the owners of these Crowns, deserve better t...
Today, the union representing workers at both SaskTel and Jump.ca, called into question the government’s decision to work in direct opposition of their own Sask First Policy. Mere weeks ago, SaskTel announced that Ledcor was the successful bidder on an upcoming contract for residential install and repair. Ledcor, which is headquartered in B.C., had been doing install work for SaskTel since September 2011. What we know for a fact is that SaskTel was paying Ledcor obscene amounts of money to complete installs during their six week contact last fall. Although it is complicated to explain th...
SaskTel President and CEO, Ron Styles, notified employees this week that they were no longer under the constraints of the government’s restrictive Sask First Policy. He stated that, “with the sale of The Hospitality Network in 2011, SaskTel completed the last divesture related to the Government of Saskatchewan’s SaskFirst Policy.” This is in addition to the sale of AgDealer, DirectWest Canada, Saskatoon Square, and Navigata. Although not all of the subsidiaries sold were core business assets, some are required for ongoing operation of our current business. An exam...
CEP Press ReleaseCommunications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEJanuary 31, 2012One of Canada’s largest unions says SaskTel’s announcement of Saskatchewan work going to an out-of province Company is very suspicious timing considering the union has collective agreement talks and an arbitration case pending on the jurisdiction of the work Ledcor was awarded.SasTel announced last week that residential install and repair work is going to Alberta construction giant Ledcor. The work was formerly done by SaskTel employees and currently by Saskatchewan-based J...
Since SaskTel announced that Ledcor Technical Services was awarded a contract for residential install and repair services, the issue has received a large amount of attention.SOS Crowns was initially under the impression that the Ledcor contract that was chosen would cost significantly more than what it would cost SaskTel to have employees within the bargaining unit complete the work. We were also made aware that Saskatchewan-based Jump.ca submitted a proposal for the same contract, which also would have been a less expensive option for the Crown corporation.Trent Wotherspoon, NDP finance criti...
News ReleaseFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEJanuary 27, 2012Saskatchewan LAST policy...or at least SaskTel lastEarlier this week SaskTel announced that Ledcor Technical Services, headquartered out of Vancouver, BC, would be partnering with the Crown utility to complete residential install and repair services in Regina and Saskatoon as well as seven other major districts. Ledcor will be bringing employees in from other provinces and taxpayers will be contractually obligated to adhere to a more expensive model than if SaskTel employees were completing the work.SOS Crowns was recently made aware Ledco...
There has been a lot of media buzz around SaskTel issues for a number of months in Saskatchewan...including not only network problems, but also problems with the RIM network for all Blackberry users which is out of SaskTel's control.However, until the last couple of weeks, the people of SaskTel have been gracious in affording SaskTel some time and space to deal with the growing pains of upgrading our cellular network.When Premier Brad Wall chimes in with dropped call irritations, it suddenly makes it into the official throne speech and has the media buzzing.In an article in the Saskatoon Star ...
With just over two weeks having passed since the Saskatchewan provincial election, Premier Brad Wall is already making comments that are stirring up conversations about whether or not SaskTel should be privatized.Over the years amidst increased competition, SaskTel has stacked up well to the much larger competitors across the country like Rogers, Bell, and Telus. Last year in a Consumer Reports Canada special report, SaskTel actually scored far above these other well known companies. SaskTel received the “highest marks across the board for voice connectivity-as in service with good cover...
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...
The government continues to say they are not privatizing Crowns Corporations like SaskTel, while they use backdoor tactics like systematic contracting-out to destroy our organizations. The continued erosion of the workforce in favour of contracting out to the private sector has become an epidemic in Saskatchewan. Some of the most notable areas of SaskTel that have been contracted out include: -Operator services including directory assistance and relay service to a direct competitor -Max TV and High Speed Internet installations to a direct competitor -Satellite High Speed Internet service t...
Aside from the outright sale of Crown Corporations and their subsidiaries, the Brad Wall government has made significant policy changes that affect the future of Crowns in Saskatchewan.Sask First Policy One of the first major attacks on the future of our Crowns was the adoption of the Sask First Policy in late 2008. Although it is called a ‘policy framework’ according to a news release, it is unclear whether a formal written policy as even been produced. A CIC representative stated “There is no written policy available...Cabinet’s direction on the policy framework is es...
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...
Following a government mandate to sell off “non-core” businesses SaskTel announced last week it was dumping two companies and a real estate investment.Hospitality Network (HospNet) and AgDealer are on the sale block as well as SaskTel selling its real estate investment in Saskatoon Square while remaining a tenant of the property.This follows the Saskatchewan First Policy which was first adopted by our current government in 2008. Although it is called a ‘policy framework’ according a news release, it is unclear whether a formal written policy has even been produc...
Saskatchewan's Crowns are in danger. SOS has placed the valuable and vibrant Crowns on the Species at Risk list as a "threatened species." This is not the worst designation so there is still time to return the Crowns to a non-threatened existence to benefit all citizens of Saskatchewan. Special concern species: a species that may become a threatened or an endangered species because of a combination of environmental threats. Our Crowns are already past his point because of the Saskatchewan Party government's actions. Threatened species: a species that is likely to become e...
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