The following letter to the editor was submitted to the Regina Leader-Post
on Friday, November 9, 2007.
In his column Sask. Party should be cautious (LP Nov. 8) Leader-Post
financial editor Bruce Johnstone said the party’s Enterprise Saskatchewan
scheme should not be used “as an excuse to slough off responsibility for decision-making on economic development issues.” Yet that is precisely how it has been designed.
In an October 2004
article he wrote for Investment Executive
, a national newspaper for financial service industry professionals, Johnstone said: “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. 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.”
The Saskatchewan Party Policy Book
states that Enterprise Saskatchewan
is “the foundation for the economic development plan of a Saskatchewan Party government” and will operate “with the full support of the Premier and Executive Council.”
The policy book is also clear that the Saskatchewan Party’s support for The Crown Corporations Public Ownership Act
extends only to the four major Crown utilities: SaskTel, SaskPower, SaskEnergy and SGI.
will “identify and remove barriers to growth.” However, party policy effectively undermines the plan’s credibility by pre-determining that labour legislation and Crown corporations and their policies are barriers that must be addressed. It would seem that even the major Crowns might not be completely immune.
In his March 2, 2006, Saskatoon Leaders Dinner speech Saskatchewan Party Leader Brad Wall said Enterprise Saskatchewan
Unfortunately, the media neglected to inform voters of these things during the election.
Joe KuchtaSaskatoon, SK