With Saskatchewan people and businesses continuing to struggle from the economic impacts of COVID-19 and SaskTel in a strong position, the NDP is calling for the government to expand service in rural Saskatchewan and introduce greater flexibility for Crown bill repayments where needed.

“With the release of the SaskTel annual report today, we can see that this valued Crown Corporation is in a strong financial position to give people the time they need to pay their bills,” said NDP Finance Critic Trent Wotherspoon. “The Sask. Party’s arbitrary limits on the window of time for arrears to be settled only furthers the financial burden for customers. Extending the pay period just makes sense.”

Wotherspoon also called for the enhancement of high-speed Internet access in rural and Northern Saskatchewan.

“Having proper access to high-speed Internet in rural and Northern parts of Saskatchewan is vital for people and businesses, especially during a pandemic,” Wotherspoon said. “It’s time to act to connect rural Saskatchewan, which will also help secure our province’s recovery and build for the future.” 

Wotherspoon underscored the NDP’s commitment to protect the Crowns from Sask. Party privatization efforts. He also raised caution that earlier this week, the Minister responsible for SaskPower wouldn’t rule out rate increases.

“It blows my mind that the Sask. Party was plotting and scheming to sell off SaskTel – a Crown that has proven time and time again to be of incredible value to Saskatchewan people,” he said. “This pandemic has shown more than ever that Saskatchewan people need a government committed to protecting and strengthening our Crowns.”