Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Enterprise Saskatchewan: Leader Brad Wall's comments on Crown corporations contradict the party's policy book

The following letter to the editor appeared in the Nov. 21, 2007 edition of the Saskatoon StarPhoenix:

Key aspects of Wall's policy ignored in Burton's column

The StarPhoenix

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

In The writing was on the wall (SP, Nov. 8), columnist Randy Burton criticized the NDP's use of "negative politics" and said the party had sunk "exceedingly low on the ethical scale" trying to find an effective campaign weapon against Saskatchewan Party Leader Brad Wall.

About Crown corporations, Burton said it didn't seem to matter that Wall's party voted in favour of NDP Leader Lorne Calvert's legislation "outlawing privatization" or that Wall has "denied repeatedly" that his party would privatize anything.

However, what Burton doesn't acknowledge is that Wall's comments completely contradict the Saskatchewan Party's policy book. It clearly notes that the party's support for The Crown Corporations Public Ownership Act extends only to the four major utilities: SaskTel, SaskPower, SaskEnergy and SGI.

Furthermore, Wall's shadowy Enterprise Saskatchewan scheme is designed "to identify and remove barriers to growth." His plan conveniently pre-determines Crown corporations and their policies as "non-tax barriers." That could mean not even the major Crowns are completely off-limits.

In an October 2004 article for Investment Executive, a national newspaper for financial service industry professionals, Regina Leader-Post financial editor Bruce Johnstone described it best: "Under Wall's 'bold new vision,' a Saskatchewan Party government would cede control of economic decision making to Enterprise Saskatchewan, a joint government/private-sector body that would assume the economic development functions of government," he wrote.

"Instead of bureaucrats or politicians, Enterprise Saskatchewan's independent board of directors would make the big decisions about such issues as key economic sectors, the barriers to growth, taxes to cut, businesses to attract, and investments to make. In essence, Wall would privatize the economic decision making functions of government to this new body."

Burton didn't mention these important facts.

Joe Kuchta

┬ęThe StarPhoenix (Saskatoon) 2007


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