Saturday, November 03, 2007

Enterprise Saskatchewan: Regina columnist says Brad Wall “would privatize the economic decision-making functions of government to this new body.”

Saskatchewan Party Leader Brad Wall unveiled his Enterprise Saskatchewan plan on September 21, 2004, in Saskatoon, as part of The Promise of Saskatchewan: A New Vision for Saskatchewan’s Economy.

Delegates at the Saskatchewan Party’s 2005 convention in Regina resolved to endorse the plan “as the foundation for the economic development plan of a Saskatchewan Party government.” It is now part of The Saskatchewan Party Policy Book (February 2007).

In the spring of 2005, Ken Cheveldayoff, the Saskatchewan Party MLA for Saskatoon Silver Springs said the policy is what the party “will carry into the next election to form government.”

In his March 2, 2006, Saskatoon Leaders Dinner speech, Wall spoke of Enterprise Saskatchewan saying it was an agenda that was “non-negotiable”.

Bruce Johnstone is the Regina Leader-Post’s financial editor. His biography notes that he is “One of the premier commentators on Saskatchewan’s business scene.”

Investment Executive is Canada’s national newspaper for financial service industry professionals. Now in its eleventh year, Investment Executive is published 16 times a year and reaches more than 120,000 financial advisors. It appears that Johnstone periodically contributes to the publication.

In October 2004, Investment Executive published an article by Johnstone on the Saskatchewan Party and its leader Brad Wall.

In Sunday school teacher preaches radical agenda (Investment Executive, Mid-October 2004) Johnstone described Wall as “the quintessential right-of-centre politician; he believes in smaller government, entrepreneurship and fiscal rectitude.”

“Wall, who served as an executive assistant for Mulroney-era Tory MP Geoff Wilson and was a ministerial assistant in the final years of the Devine government, certainly has his conservative bona fides, but is not seen as fire-breathing, right-wing ideologue. That said, Wall wants to do things differently from the way they’ve been done for the past six decades,” Johnstone said.

On the subject of Enterprise Saskatchewan, which Wall had released a month earlier, is this stunning confirmation of the Saskatchewan Party’s real agenda:
““We’ve relied on government to be the driver of economic growth,’’ Wall said. “Government has a role to play, to be sure ... but our government has been ubiquitous when it comes to economic development.”

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.”
It is important to note that the Enterprise Saskatchewan Johnstone wrote about in October 2004 is the exact same plan that is now part of the Saskatchewan Party Policy Book. The only difference is that no one in the media today seems willing to say what Johnstone said back then – the truth.

Instead, the people of Saskatchewan are constantly fed a steady diet of misinformation by both the Saskatchewan Party and the media.

In Voter turnoff spells trouble for Calvert (SP Nov. 2, 2007) the StarPhoenix editorial board state:
“On websites and posters, at press conferences and in letters to newspapers, labour groups and die-hard NDP supporters fret that a Wall government would force Saskatchewan to join Alberta and B.C. in the trade and labour mobility agreement they struck to expand their economies. The critics also suggest Wall will look to private, “for profit” partners to help deliver public health services, or that he will sell the Crowns.

“On Wednesday, for example, Saskatchewan Federation of Labour president Larry Hubich warned that Wall’s proposed Enterprise Saskatchewan advisory body is nothing more than a front to privatize the Department of Industry and Resources.”
On the contrary, in Calvert pushes tax relief for renters, attacks Saskatchewan Party on trade deal (CBC Nov. 1, 2007) it was reported that Warren Michelson, the Saskatchewan Party candidate for Moose Jaw North, says he doesn’t think it’s fair to say that the Saskatchewan Party would “say absolutely no to TILMA.”

As it turns out Hubich and the so-called “critics” appear to have been right all along.

In Calvert in a tired, old act (LP Nov. 2, 2007), Leader-Post columnist Bob Hughes states: “Time and time again, Brad Wall has responded by saying the Saskatchewan Party would not sell the Crowns. Two days ago, on his open-mouth show, host John Gormley had Brad Wall as his guest. Gormley named every Crown corporation and asked Wall if the Saskatchewan Party would sell it. The answer from Wall each time was identical. “No,” he said, over and over again.”

First, it should be pointed out that John Gormley is a die-hard conservative. He was a Tory MP for The Battlefords–Meadow Lake in the despised Mulroney government.

What Hughes doesn’t say, though, is that the Saskatchewan Party Policy Book makes it quite clear that Wall & Co. only support the four major Crowns: SaskTel, SaskEnergy, SaskPower and SGI.

The policy book identifies Crown corporations and their policies as “non-tax barriers.” And guess what, Enterprise Saskatchewan is designed specifically to remove barriers. Unfortunately, the Saskatoon StarPhoenix and Regina Leader-Post continue to ignore the Saskatchewan Party Policy Book – even when comments by party leader Brad Wall completely contradict it.

The Saskatchewan Party has not released the complete terms of reference for Enterprise Saskatchewan or clearly explained the process of how its chair, vice-chair and members of the board will be selected.

Wall has not said whether the Enterprise Saskatchewan board meetings will be open to the public nor has he supplied a definitive list of the groups or individuals that will comprise the Enterprise Saskatchewan board.

Wall has not identified who will comprise the “sector teams” that are to be tasked with studying each sector of the economy to identify barriers to growth for removal nor has he provided costs for Enterprise Saskatchewan.

The media appear to be unwilling to challenge Wall on these issues. It’s incredible that it continues to ignore and suppress information that even one of their own has said – and someone with a two decade-plus business background no less.

Thanks in part to Johnstone’s article we now know why.


Here once again are excerpts from The Saskatchewan Party Policy Book:

“A Saskatchewan Party government will maintain Saskatchewan’s four major utilities (SaskPower, SaskTel, SaskEnergy and SGI) as government-owned Crown corporations and they will play a key role in the implementation of the Enterprise Saskatchewan Plan.” [Page 45]

Enterprise Saskatchewan will develop a systematic and ongoing process to identify and remove barriers to growth in each of our key economic sectors.” [Page 43]

“[N]on-tax barriers that will require the attention and diligence of Enterprise Saskatchewan include direct competition to business from various government agencies and Crowns attempting to diversify from core functions, as well as policies of the Crowns themselves.” [Page 48]

“CC05-1. Keeping the Major Crowns Public – Be it resolved that a Saskatchewan Party government supports The Crown Corporations Public Ownership Act and will retain public ownership of our major Crown corporations as important tools in the provision of utility services to Saskatchewan families and businesses and important partners in the economic development of Saskatchewan.” [Page 11]

“EC05-2. Rethinking Direct Government Investment and Intervention in the Economy – Be it resolved that a Saskatchewan Party government will replace direct government investment and intervention in the economy with…Enterprise Saskatchewan…and…The removal of barriers to private sector investment in Saskatchewan’s key economic sectors.” [Page 13]

“EC05-3. Establishing the Right Economic Development Priorities – Be it resolved that the economic development priorities of a Saskatchewan Party government will be to…Maintain public ownership of Saskatchewan’s major crown utilities focused on the provision of power, telecommunications services, natural gas transmission and distribution and insurance services to Saskatchewan families and businesses at the lowest possible cost.” [Page 13]

Under Enterprise Saskatchewan the government “will cede significant control over the formation and implementation of economic development strategies to a broad partnership of economic stakeholders with the full support of the Premier and Executive Council.” [Page 46]

“Rather than taking direction from government, Enterprise Saskatchewan will establish provincial economic development goals and strategies for endorsement by Cabinet and the Legislature. Government departments, agencies and, in some cases, Crown corporations, will then be tasked with implementing these strategies. Enterprise Saskatchewan will also monitor progress and measure results.” [Page 46]


At 7:48 AM, Blogger sunnyside said...

Why has nobody asked Mr.Wall if he thinks any jobs in the Crowns, government, or healthcare will be outsourced. Will someone please ask him this before November 7th? I know he said he won't privatize, but will he condtract out?

At 4:31 PM, Blogger Concerned said...

I hear you sunnyside the only problem is that Mr Wall refers to doctors and nusres when speaking of Health Care. Someone needs to enlighten the man and explain how many crucial components there are in the "Health Care Team". It's not just about the doctors and nurses Brad.

At 9:13 PM, Blogger Matt said...

There is more to the healthcare debate than just doctors and nurses, however in this province the lack of doctors, nurses, and beds is the debate. No one wants to talk about the Drug Plans anymore; they're a dead issue. There are people dying in the hallways because of a lack of proper staffing. Sure, there are more wings open in hospitals, but with no staff or beds to put in them, what good are they? Body storage?

You can't deny the importance of the front line. If there aren't any doctors or nurses, there is no "Health Care Team".

At 4:11 PM, Blogger sunnyside said...

Concerned you are absolutely right. Health Care works in teams and everything must work smoothly in the chain or there will be slow downs in the system.

If I worked in the Health care system I would be worried that my job could be outsourced. When Wall says "everything is going to be up for review", isn't that code word for nobodies job will be safe.

At 9:45 AM, Blogger Matt said...

Explain to me why, in the midst of a nursing and doctor and bed shortage, anyone's job would be in jeopardy? And, in which part the healthcare system would you be working?

At 1:27 PM, Blogger Tina said...

This is a great post for anyone that needs help with finding legal advice. I found a malpractice attorney in the Los Angeles area that helped me get to the bottom of my civil suit.


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