Sask. government at work on ISC privatization law
The Saskatchewan government says although no decision has been made, it's preparing legislation to sell one of its Crown corporations — Information Services Corporation.
Don McMorris, the minister responsible for ISC, says it has not yet decided to privatize, and an RBC review that's underway is simply evaluating its value.
However, legislation related to a possible sale could be introduced this fall.
ISC handles such things as land title registries and vital statistics. Government officials say the vital statistics branch would not be included in any sale.
McMorris said he wants to be ready to privatize ISC if that would allow it to provide property registry services outside Saskatchewan.
"I think it's a service that other jurisdictions may be looking for," he said. "If we were to move in that direction ... that would be the reason."
However, the opposition NDP says this is all a terrible idea.
It says ISC is making money for the provincial coffers, is providing a good service and should stay in public hands.
One of the candidates for the NDP leadership, Erin Weir, called CBC's noon radio show, Blue Sky, to say there may be a privacy issue, too.
He said if Saskatchewan information is sold to an American company, it might become available to their government via the U.S. Patriot Act.
"That's something the provincial privacy commissioner would want to take a look at," Weir said.
According to the province, a previous evaluation of ISC — done for the NDP administration in October of 2006 — determined the potential equity value of the company as being between $141 million and $158 million.