Saskatchewan to Hold Referendum if SaskTel Gets Offer to Sell: Premier

Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall introduced a new cabinet yesterday in Regina, and also spoke briefly about SaskTel, the province’s wireless carrier.

Any offer to sell SaskTel, would be put to a referendum, Wall explained, to let residents vote on the matter, reports the Regina Leader-Post.

“If we get an offer and we think it’s one that generates a significant amount of money for the province, maybe enough to eliminate our operating debt, if it takes care of the jobs question in Regina, if it provides the opportunity for better coverage, we’re at least going to take it to the people,” said Wall.

He also said “we may get an offer,” but also clarified nothing is on the table. If one were to arrive, Dustin Duncan, the new minister of energy and minister responsible for SaskTel and SaskEnergy, would be the one to negotiate.

Duncan said there’s no “For Sale” sign posted outside SaskTel and no active offers are in the works.

SaskTel is currently undergoing a risk assessment to determine its future. With neighbouring MTS in Manitoba recently sold to Bell for $3.1 billion, analysts believe SaskTel is ripe for acquisition and is ‘next’ to go.

Regional carriers such as SaskTel (Saskatchewan), MTS (Manitoba) and Videotron (Quebec) put pressure on Rogers, TELUS and Bell to compete, offerings deals unavailable to the rest of Canada. If these smaller carriers sell to incumbents, get ready for higher prices, folks.

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