Sask. Party’s plan for Crowns will send millions of dollars to Ottawa

For nearly a decade, the Sask. Party has wasted and mismanaged Saskatchewan’s finances, all the while pressing forward with its own agenda and telling the people of the province to just trust them. 

The Sask. Party Cabinet recently signed off on an approval to borrow an unprecedented $6 billion.

“The Sask. Party has put the province so deep into debt that it now has to desperately borrow money to cover its tracks, but in reality, it is making the situation worse for the people of the province,” said NDP Finance Critic Cathy Sproule. “Meanwhile, the Sask. Party has refused to release a first quarter update on the state of the province’s finances. What are they hiding? What don’t they want the people of Saskatchewan to know? I bet these billions in extra loans have something to do with it.”

Sproule noted that, in the last few months, despite having to deal with a change in their accounting period, SaskPower, SaskEnergy, SaskTel, SGI, and CIC have all released first quarter financial updates.

Sproule went on to point out that the Premier’s recent moves to privatize Saskatchewan people’s Crowns by redefining privatization is another sign of desperation for this cash-strapped government. 

“The Sask. Party has mismanaged the finances so badly that they are willing to sell our Crowns and sell-out Saskatchewan’s future with this quick short-term money grab,” said Sproule. “The people of the province will be losing control of job-creating, revenue-generating corporations that serve us all and the Crowns will be forced to pay federal corporate income tax, which will send millions and millions of dollars out of Saskatchewan and straight into Ottawa’s coffers.”

Under the Section 149 of the Income Tax Act of Canada, Crown corporations are exempt from corporate income tax provided not less than 90% of the shares are held by a government or province. The Sask. Party’s proposal would allow up to 49 percent of a Crown to be sold without being considered privatized.  

“We have seen this Premier and the Sask. Party cabinet throw Twitter tantrums at the mere thought of having Saskatchewan taxpayers’ dollars going to the Federal government, but now he is laying out a plan that would allow just that to happen,” Sproule said. “There is too much of saying one thing, and doing the other coming from this Premier and the Sask. Party.”