Government eyes future partnership opportunities for SaskTel

By Sarah Mills
April 28, 2017 - 4:40pm

The government is entertaining future partnership opportunities for SaskTel as a result of the passing of Bill 40.

Bill 40 allows for up to 49 per cent of the province's Crown corporations to be sold without requiring a vote of support from the people of the province.

The Crown has even begun the preliminary work to investigate what federal tax implications it would face if more than ten per cent was privatized.

Initially SaskTel Minister Dustin Duncan had answered no to a question from the NDP if any work had been done.

But in a letter to SaskTel critic Warren McCall, Duncan corrected himself.

"That answer was not correct," Duncan writes. "There has been some preliminary work done by SaskTel on this front. I apologize for the confusion."

But the NDP is still fearful of what it feels are the true implications on SaskTel.

"When it comes to SaskTel, when it comes to the Crowns generally, this is a Sask Party government that can't be trusted," McCall argued. "It makes this government look dishonest, incompetent and like they aren't being straight with the people of the province."

But Duncan maintained Bill 40 could be good for SaskTel and the many partnerships it already is part of.

"Bill 40 potentially could be one of the avenues that the government pursues to protect SaskTel from future risk," Duncan said. "This would be an opportunity to essentially grow the company but finding some additional equity dollars to do so."

Duncan's chief of staff has met with a representative of a major Canadian telco but he said it was just a routine meet-and-greet.


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