Saskatchewan gov't takes giant step toward privatizing Crowns



    REGINA, Oct. 28 /CNW Telbec/ - The Administrative Vice-President of the
union representing workers at SaskTel, SaskPower and SaskEnergy, says "the
people of Saskatchewan will not be fooled by the spin the government has put
on today's announcement." The Sask Party government is planning to exit
out-of-province investments in Ag Dealer, DirectWest, Hospitality Network and
the SaskTel Expansion Division.
    "Anyone with any business sense can see that the government is setting up
SaskTel to fail," says CEP's Wendy Sol. "This is not about money. It's about
Premier Brad Wall living out his dream to privatize our province's Crown
jewels. Today's announcement is a giant step toward that."
    "The KPMG study they are promoting was done in a total vacuum," says Sol.
"There has been zero consultation with stakeholders. Though, we're not
surprised by that," she adds, "because that is how this government operates.
They have not returned any of our calls."
    "But we are surprised by how short-sighted this decision is. How can
SaskTel possibly compete with other national telcos if it is confined to doing
business within our provincial borders? Meanwhile Telus, Bell and Allstream
can compete in SaskTel's backyard.
    "Today's announcement is bad news for the people of Saskatchewan, says
Sol. "It's bad news for workers, as these divestments cause job loss. Revenues
will go down and consumer costs will go up.
    "Less than a year into their mandate, the Saskatchewan Party of Brad Wall
are showing their true 'blue' colours."




For further information:

For further information: Wendy Sol, (204)791-2409

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Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada

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