Saskatchewan government passes Bill 40 allowing partial sale of Crowns

The Saskatchewan government passed legislation today that would allow it to sell part of the province’s Crown corporations to private businesses.

Legislation allows Sask. Party government to sell part of Crown corporations without public approval

Under Bill 40, Crown corporations like SaskTel and SaskPower could be up for grabs to private shareholders, without being "privatized." (Mike Zartler/CBC)

The Saskatchewan government passed legislation Wednesday that would allow it sell up to 49 per cent of the province's Crown corporations.

Bill 40 creates a legal definition of privatization that allows the partial sale of a Crown without requiring a vote of support from the people of the province.

Up to 49 per cent of each Crown, such as SaskTel and SaskPower, could be up for grabs to private shareholders, without technically being "privatized."

Opposition leader Trent Wotherspoon spoke in the Legislative Assembly on Wednesday, calling the bill an "incredible betrayal of Saskatchewan people by the Premier and the Sask. Party."

SGEU President Bob Bymoen said he's concerned about the future of the province's Crowns.

"Decade after decade, our Crowns have served Saskatchewan people well," Bymoen. "They're the reason we have some of the lowest utility rates in Canada, and reliable service in remote and rural areas."

"The Sask. Party wants to sacrifice those advantages for a one-time windfall, to dig themselves out of the financial mess they created — and they don't want to let Saskatchewan people tell them otherwise."

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