Any future sale of SaskTel is now off the table.
The Premier mused a year ago that if the right offer came along he would take it to a referendum.
But now Brad Wall confirmed he has heard from people of all political stripes who do not want to see the Crown privatized.
“Well ahead of the by-election we were hearing that ‘look, people weren’t interested,’ and we are going to respect that because they are the shareholders,” Wall stated.
Wall maintained at the time that the right offer would have to include price and job protection, but now he said people simply don’t want to lose control of the Crowns.
“Do we lose the chance to have the head office? What about the jobs that are in rural Saskatchewan? What about the coverage issue,” Wall said.
However the legislation does still exist, going through the legislative process currently, to sell up to 49 per cent of a Saskatchewan Crown. So while a full-scale sale won’t happen, the potential remains for a future partnership opportunity for SaskTel.
“I think to the extent there’s the chance to build a partnership, there is nothing before the Crowns,” Wall maintained.
But that soon-to-be-passed legislation is enough for the NDP to suggest its evidence the government still has its hands on the Crowns.
“Honesty isn’t really the strong suit of the premier right now and it’s nothing short of deceitful to continue to advance the sell-off of potentially up to 49 per cent of SaskTel or any other Crown Corporation so it is about doing the right thing and scrapping that bill,” NDP leader Trent Wotherspoon said.