Media Releases


NEW RATE REVIEW PANEL

November 18, 1999

An interim panel has been established to conduct independent reviews of Crown corporation monopoly rate change requests.

"The Saskatchewan Interim Rate Review Panel will be in place over the next few months while options for a permanent rate review mechanism are being developed," Crown Investments Corporation Minister John Nilson said.

The four-person panel will be chaired by Gerald Fiske of Regina, a consultant and former Vice President of ISM. The other members are Bob Lacoursiere, a consultant and business leader in Saskatoon; Joan Meyer, a farmer and mall manager from Rush Lake; and Frank Degenstein, a former President of SaskTel and Telecom Canada.

"The panel members have a wide range of experience and expertise and are well qualified to review rate change requests," Nilson said. "The panel will receive the views of customers through public meetings and other means and engage consultants to provide expert analysis. It will prepare a report on its findings for public release and provide our government with an opinion on whether proposed rate increases are reasonable and fair."

A SaskEnergy rate change request which was received by Cabinet in October will be the first to go to the panel for review. Details on the request and review process will be announced as soon as the panel has an opportunity to meet and begin its work.

"This interim panel is the first step in developing a permanent body for independent rate reviews," Nilson said.

Crown Investments Corporation has been asked to look at rate review practices in other jurisdictions and prepare an options paper for consideration by the Crown Corporations Committee of the Legislature.

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BIOGRAPHIES OF PANEL MEMBERS

Gerald Fiske, Chair

Gerald A. Fiske of Regina is a former Vice President and General Manager of ISM (Information Systems Management Corporation) Saskatchewan who has more than 30 years of experience in senior management positions in the computer industry. Since retiring from ISM in 1998, he has been President of Fiske Consulting Ltd.

Gerald Fiske was born near Elbow, Saskatchewan. He has a Business Administration Certificate from the University of Saskatchewan and a Management and Administration Certificate from the Canadian Institute of Management.

Fiske began his computer career at the U of S before joining SaskCOMP in 1974. He was Operations Manager in the Saskatoon and Regina Regional Offices before being named Vice President of Computer Services in 1984. When SaskCOMP was integrated with Westbridge in 1988, he was appointed Vice President of Systems Management.

Fiske's tenure with ISM began in 1991 when the company was formed through the merger of Westbridge, IBM Canada and STM Systems Corporation. He was Vice President of Systems Operations before becoming Vice President and General Manager of ISM Saskatchewan from 1993 to 1997. He was ISM's national Vice President of Customer Satisfaction and Business Excellence until his retirement in 1998.

Frank Degenstein, Member

Frank Degenstein of Regina is a former President of SaskTel who was born, raised and educated in Regina.

Degenstein began his 40-year career with SaskTel in 1947 as an apprentice switchman. He rose through the ranks, spending 16 years in technical positions and another 16 years in administrative positions. His senior management experience includes service as Vice President of Network Services, Vice President of Customer Services, and Senior Vice President of Corporate Development. He was appointed President of SaskTel in 1983, and held that post until the end of 1985.

From 1986 until his retirement in 1990, Degenstein was President of Telecom Canada in Ottawa. Telecom was the consortium of all major telecommunications companies in Canada, which later became known as Stentor. During his tenure at Telecom Canada, Degenstein was also on the board of directors of Teleglobe, Canada's only overseas telecommunications carrier.

Joan Meyer, Member

Joan Meyer of Swift Current has been a partner with her husband in a mixed farming operation for 30 years and also has varied experience in administration, business, and local and national organizations. Her education includes Certificates in Administration and Local Government Administration from the University of Regina, and a Class "C" Certificate from Saskatchewan Rural Development.

Meyer has operated a home-based administration and accounting business since 1972, and has worked in municipal administration with the R.M. of Excelsior. She later switched to property management and marketing, taking positions as Marketing Manager and then most recently Manager, of the Wheatland Mall in Swift Current.

Meyer is Vice President of the Multicultural Council of Saskatchewan and is a Member of the Board of Regents, Luther College, Regina. She has also been a director of the Farm Credit Corporation and has served on the organizing and host committees of several community, provincial and national conferences and sporting events.

Bob Lacoursiere, Member

Bob Lacoursiere of Saskatoon is a Chartered Accountant with more than 25 years of experience. He is also a Certified Management Consultant and a Registered Financial Planner.

Lacoursiere started his own accounting firm in Saskatoon in 1972, and his own financial management consulting business in 1991. He has been a Financial Advisor/Planner since 1995, first with Independent Financial Services Ltd., and now with Equion Financial Ltd. (Assante Group of Companies).

Lacoursiere has a long history of involvement in his community, serving as President of the Family YMCA, Chair of the United Way campaign, President of the Chamber of Commerce, and Chair of the management boards of both Saskatchewan Place and SIAST. Lacoursiere is also a well-known sports figure. He founded the Western Canadian Baseball Association and is a member of the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame.

Ted Boyle
Crown Investsments Corporation
Regina
Phone: (306) 787-9039