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Saturday, September 08, 2007 

Saskatchewan Party Stumbles On Crown Privatization Policy

The following is an excerpt from the Regina Leader Post:

"Regardless of the moderate direction leader Brad Wall has so diligently tried to steer the Saskatchewan Party rank and file towards, the membership of this party have always been red-meat-eating Tories.

And Dan D'Autremont (MLA) -- one of the four former Progressive Conservatives who helped found the Saskatchewan Party -- has always been their red-meat-eating poster boy (who, apparently, seldom passes over the dessert tray, either). [...]

So when D'Autremont told CBC radio reporter Geoff Leo that a Saskatchewan Party government would consider winding down businesses like SaskTel's home security subsidiary Securtek so that it no longer competes with the private sector, the veteran MLA may have created a problem for Wall that goes beyond lending credibility to the NDP wolf-in-sheep's clothing campaign. [...]

"Dan is wrong," Wall said Friday morning, adding that this isn't party policy and he had no idea where D'Autremont got his idea.

Wall added that D'Autremont would even publicly acknowledge he was wrong in his comments to CBC and D'Autremont quickly did just that Friday morning.

End of story, right? Well, maybe not.

While acknowledging Friday morning he was wrong, D'Autremont initially explained he was wrong because was informed that the party's "policy changed two or three weeks ago." According to the veteran MLA, he was out of the country when Wall unveiled the policy change at an Aug. 21 news conference. Ironically, it was at the same event that Wall exposed the NDP campaign suggesting that he had a hidden agenda. At the time, Wall told reporters there were no plans to change the status of private-sector-competing SaskTel subsidiaries like Securtek and SaskTel Max.

D'Autremont said Friday that his opinion on winding down Securtek was based on resolution CC05-6 in the Saskatchewan Party Policy Book entitled "Stopping provincial government competition with private sector businesses". The resolution states that a Saskatchewan Party government would:

"immediately review provincial government competition with the private sector through government departments, agencies and Crown corporations in the delivery of services."

However, he phoned back later Friday and said that he actually misspoke twice. While the Saskatchewan Party resolution was headlined "Stopping competition", the body of the resolution only calls for a review -- consistent with Wall's position, D'Autremont said."

You would think that by now, Saskatchewan's Right Wingers would have realized that 'Deny - Deny - Deny' is an unwise political stratgey!!!

-More from the Saskatchewan NDP Caucus Website ....
-And another article from the Regina Leader Post

Why are Saskatchewanites so afraid of the privatization of crown corporations?

I have friends who voted for the NDP entirely on their pro-SaskTel policy.

C'mon! Cell phones are the way of the future and companies like SaskTel are just obstructions to the market and wastes of taxpayer money in an evolving industry that is driven by consumers.

What is at stake here are jobs. In an open market new jobs will be created for those who have lost their old ones through the privatization of SaskTel. Or, if the province really wanted to act progressively, they would help subsidize competition in the industry in order to fill the job losses of the privatization of SaskTel. That is assuming that jobs would be lost through a SaskTel "decrowning".

What is happening in Saskatchewan is exactly like what happened in Manitoba during our provincial election. The NDP scared voters by saying that the PC party would privatize Manitoba Hydro. I'm not entirely convinced that the Sask or Manitoba NDP care about these companies, what they stand for, or what amount of taxpayer money they waste - but instead they need them as props to win elections.

FURTHERMORE painting the Sask Party as being founded and organized by the villains of the Devine Progressive Conservatives is getting old. It's the equivalent to the federal CPC yip-yapping about Adscam Liberals still working in the opposition with Dion.

It's time to wake up and see the Saskatchewan Party as a new entity that, yes, has some help and many old PC votes powering it. However, they didn't lose a close election in 2003 without the aid of ex-Dippers.

A change of government is inevitable in Saskatchewan. Recently it was polled by angus-reid that 44% of Saskatchewanites would vote Sask party in the next election. In April that number was at 55%. The next election will showcase the Liberals to take some minor votes away from the NDP (and maybe the Sask. party) and the Saskatchewan Progressive Conservatives who will also focus their sights on the NDP and will likely siphon a few votes from the Sask. Party.

You have to admit that these tactics by the NDP are weak and have little merit. After 16 years of governance, I think Brad Wall could walk around in literal sheep's clothing and his numbers wouldn't drop to opposition territory.

Dylan, the one and only reason that the Saskies did not win the 1999 and 2003 election - and what yet may let them lose the next is THAT THEY JUST WON'T GET TOTALLY HONEST AND PEOPLE CAN SENSE THAT! If you want to be my Premier ... BE TOTALLY HONEST WITH ME! Don't stand in front of microphones and change your party's entire policy on an issue because of some political heat, and then later deny that you did exactly that!

When they have those little snippets of dishonesty - which arise from fear - THEY LIE! That is exactly what happened here with Dan D'Autremont and Wall - they flipped and flopped and fabricated and then EXPECT PEOPLE TO ELECT THEM BECAUSE THE OTHER GUYS HAVE BEEN IN FOR 16 YEARS!

The Sask Party had 4 years to get their shit together and their stroy straight on what they would do with the Crown Corporations. Whether they like it or not SASKATCHEWAN VOTERS HAVE TOLD WHOMEVER IS GOING TO BE GOVERNMENT IN THIS PROVINCE, THAT THE POEPLE WANT THSES CROWNS.

When they detect even a hint of hesitation from the Saskies, the voters will stay with the Party they know - even if they have been in for 16 years.

This next election IS far from over.

The Sask party cannot rely on the time alone to bring them into power. I support privatization and I think the Sask party ought to be honest with their policy of either to privatize or not.

However, they know that the voters want these crowns and like the Manitoba PCs they will back away from privatization talk in order to win an election. Then you have guys like D'Autremont who doesn't settle for selling out core policy for votes.

So a few wires are crossed and you have to expect a flip-flop on this issue since it has killed their election drives in the past.

I think it's time for Wall to step forward and make the Sask party policy on crown corps. official for the gearing up of the next election.

But even if he does that, it doesn't mean that the NDP won't campaign on fear of the "unknown" Sask party government.

So why is it that the people in Saskatchewan and Manitoba love the Crowns? That is the question that the PC's and Sask Party will NOT stop and analyze!

The reason is because they work well for the general public. Gov't insurance rates are the lowest in North America.

Saskatchewan has the lowest natural gas rates.

Public Health Care (warts and all) is better then Private Insurance.

In my mind the people who like the Crowns are pragmatic. Those who desire privatization base it on ideology! The ONLY way to convince the general public that privatization is 'better' is to prove it with tangible examples not philosophy!

This is an ideological debate and the privatization crowd is losing on the Prairies because they have nothing but rhetoric and idealist arguments.

Those who favour the 'Crowns' as a valuable element of the economy have accurately demonstrated their benefits with tangible examples.

Why are Saskatchewanites so afraid of the privatization of crown corporations?
Simple, our crowns make a lot of money for the province. They provide high paying jobs to thousands of Saskatchewan residents. Not only does all the money stay in the province, but SaskTel in particular brings money INTO the province from internation business. It is folly to think that losing Sasktel would be anything less than a disaster for this province.
The Sask Party is dangerous. Now that they flip-flopped on the fundamental principal that founded the party, they obviously cannot be trusted.
This has been done before all over North America countless times. EVERY single time a publicly owned utility was sold off, there was massive job loss, rate increases and a deteriorization of infrastructure that lead to lower quality of service. THere is a simple concept that the Sask Party doesn't understand: Private sector share holders do not care about our quality of life in Saskatchewan. Share holders want to take as much money from you as possible and give back nothing.

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