SaskTel is not for sale. This was the message Premier Brad Wall has continuously repeated since the first report of a possible sale of the Crown company surfaced. Now, the premier is back, reiterating his message, and he says he has the “clearest sense from voters” that they are not interested in a sale of SaskTel, reports the Leader Post.
“They’re not interested in a referendum. They’re not interested in a potential sale,” Wall told reporters Monday.
Since the news of a potential sale surfaced, various parties—such as the Opposition NDP and union groups—have publicly commented on the matter, expressing their disagreement.
“I don’t know where he got the idea beforehand that somehow he could advance a sale of SaskTel. This is ludicrous and really reflects how out of touch he seems to have become with Saskatchewan people,” said NDP leader Trent Wotherspoon.
However, there is a chance that up to 49% of SaskTel or any other Crown corporation could one day be sold. Wall’s main message with the privatisation law (Bill 40) was: The province could find a new partner to create jobs and also enhance the cellular coverage. But the control would remain in the hands of the government, as it would control the majority of shares.
But Wotherspoon wants Bill 40 scrapped. And Saskatchewan Federation of Labour (SFL) president Larry Hubich has a few arguments against privatisation: It will reduce dividends back to Saskatchewan people, would increase costs, and, instead of creating jobs, poses a risk to full-time workers who might lose their full-time jobs that the Crown corporations provide.