"This government is privatizing profit and downloading the losses on the backs of everyday citizens, including public workers who are being asked to take wage rollbacks. It’s nothing short of shocking.” — Bob Bymoen, SGEU President
Regina (01 Nov. 2018) — Recent reports show the Saskatchewan Party government spent $15,000 to renovate the legislative building cafeteria before handing it over to a private company. This decision is more proof that this government is choosing to help its corporate business friends, while leaving ordinary citizens on the hook for its fiscal mismanagement, according to the SGEU/NUPGE.
Corporations benefiting from Sask Party privatization
“We’re seeing a pattern where government invests public money into public assets, only to be sold off shortly after to private companies that reap the benefits, while Saskatchewan people and communities suffer,” said Bob Bymoen, President of the Saskatchewan Government and General Employees' Union (SGEU/NUPGE).
Below are some examples of government investing in public assets shortly before, or shortly after, selling them off:
- In 2015, correctional food services were handed over to Compass Group Canada, a Sask Party donor. In the following year’s budget, the government allocated $4.1 million to purchase new kitchen equipment and upgrade the Prince Albert Correctional Centre Kitchen.
- During the winding down of Saskatchewan Transportation Company (STC), the Crown bus company had 3 brand-new 22-passenger buses, worth $500,000, sitting unused in a depot. They were auctioned off in a fire sale.
- The North Sask Laundry in Prince Albert underwent a $6.9 million expansion in 2009, but it was shut down in 2015 when laundry services were contracted out to a single Regina facility run by K-Bro Linen, an Alberta-based company.
- The Court of Queen’s Bench in Weyburn was closed in 2017, just 4 years after the courthouse underwent an extensive $8.4 million renovation by CCR Construction, which has donated thousands of dollars to the Sask Party.
Public pays for renovations, but loses through selloffs
“This government has no problem spending millions of taxpayers’ dollars to benefit private companies,” said Bymoen. “We’ve seen time and time again that this government is driven by an ideology that serves corporate interests. While government gifts corporations with newly renovated assets, it expects public workers to pay. This government is privatizing profit and downloading the losses on the backs of everyday citizens, including public workers who are being asked to take wage rollbacks. It’s nothing short of shocking.”
Billions have also been wasted on the Global Transportation Hub land scandal, the Regina Bypass, the Boundary Dam Carbon Capture Project, LEAN consultants, defective smart metres and much more.
“We have been asking, ‘Where did the money go?’ These examples are more proof that the money is going to private companies, and not to the people of Saskatchewan,” added Bymoen.
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 390,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. — NUPGE