Government exposes hidden agenda for SaskPower

    REGINA, June 18 /CNW Telbec/ - The Saskatchewan Party government of Brad
Wall has revealed its true, Tory-blue colours this week by announcing the
first steps in the privatization of SaskPower, says the Communications, Energy
and Paperworkers Union.
    "Their hidden agenda has been exposed," says CEP President Dave Coles.
Brad Wall and his clone, Stephen Harper are bent on making sure that SaskPower
and other Canadian resources are used to line the pockets of corporations,
rather than to meet the energy needs of Canadians."
    "The announcement that the government will invite private power producers
to submit proposals to build new generating stations to generate power that
SaskPower would purchase is the first step toward dismantling a treasured
Saskatchewan resource," adds Wendy Sol, CEP's Western Region Administrative
    "This means higher electricity costs for everyone," she says.
"Privatizing generation is a first step towards private distribution."
    Sol says that people might be swayed by government arguments that this
move is cost-effective but the evidence shows otherwise. "Private investment
in electricity will make the whole system unstable. Investors will only
finance projects when they are satisfied that high electricity costs will
ensure profits," she says.
    "Maintenance and safety are also compromised by profits. Worse, as more
and more of the electricity is generated by private companies, SaskPower loses
its own in-house expertise.
    "We've seen this happen in other jurisdictions. You can't be a little bit
privatized - once they start down this road the Saskatchewan Party will
destroy a valuable Saskatchewan resource."

    CEP, Canada's largest energy workers' union, represents about 705 workers
at SaskPower, and 150,000 workers across Canada.

For further information:

For further information: Wendy Sol, CEP, (204) 988-1402, (204) 791-2409;
Dave Coles, (613) 299-5628

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Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada

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