Media Releases


NEW RATE REVIEW PROCESS FOR SASKATCHEWAN

July 26, 2000

The Saskatchewan Rate Review Panel has been established to conduct independent reviews of rate change requests from Crown corporations.

The six-member panel and its mandate are patterned after the Saskatchewan Interim Rate Review Panel, set up November 18, 1999. The interim panel completed two rate reviews and its mandate expires July 31. The new panel's mandate takes effect August 1.

"Over the past several months, we have studied a number of options for a crown rate review mechanism and we believe this is the most appropriate model at this time," Crown Investments Corporation Minister John Nilson said. "The approach used by the interim panel was effective in gathering input from the public and the Crowns, evaluating proposed rate changes and providing advice to government, and it was relatively inexpensive to operate. We are confident the new panel will be just as effective."

The Saskatchewan Rate Review Panel will be chaired by Bob Lacoursiere, a consultant and business leader in Saskatoon, who also served as vice-chair of the interim panel. The other members are: Joan Meyer of Swift Current, a business person who also served as a member of interim panel; Tracey Bakkeli of Regina, a financial consultant; Jack Boan of Regina, a self employed consultant and Professor Emeritus at the University of Regina; Jo-Ann Carignan-Vallee of Assiniboia, a restaurant owner and town councillor; and Sheldon Craig of La Ronge, a business relations manager with the La Ronge branch of the Prince Albert Credit Union.

"The panel's mandate will be to review rate change requests from SaskPower, SaskEnergy and the Auto Fund administered by SGI, and provide an opinion to government on whether the proposed increases are fair and reasonable," Nilson said. "In doing its job, the panel will take into account the interests of customers, the particular crown corporation and the public. Government will remain accountable for making final decisions on rate changes."

As part of their original mandate, members of the interim panel were asked to provide government with their views about a long term rate review process. The letter outlining their recommendations and their support for a long term process patterned after the interim panel is attached.

"I thank the members of the interim panel for their advice and input, which helped us to arrive at our decision," Nilson said. "I also wish to thank the interim chair Gerald Fiske and Frank Degenstein, for their service on the interim panel, as well as Bob Lacoursiere and Joan Meyer for agreeing to continue on with the new panel."

-30-

BIOGRAPHIES OF PANEL MEMBERS

Bob Lacoursiere, Chair

Bob Lacoursiere of Saskatoon, who served as vice-chair of SIRRP, 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.

Joan Meyer, Member

Joan Meyer of Swift Current, who also served as a member of SIRRP, has been a partner with her husband in a mixed farming operation for 30 years and 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 has also worked in property management and marketing, as Marketing Manager and then Manager, of the Wheatland Mall in Swift Current.

Meyer is Vice President of the Multicultural Council of Saskatchewan and is on the Board of Regents for Luther College High School and the University of Regina. She has been a national 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.

Tracey Bakkeli, Member

Tracey Bakkeli of Regina is president of T. Bakkeli Consultants Inc. and has extensive business experience in the financial services industry in both the public and private sectors.

Bakkeli received her Bachelor of Administration degree with Great Distinction from the University of Regina in 1986, and a Master of Business Administration (Honours) degree from the University of Western Ontario in 1991. She received her Certified Management Consultant designation in 1997.

Her professional experience with the Royal Bank of Canada from 1991 to 1994 includes the positions of: Assistant Manager, Corporate Finance; Account Manager, Corporate Banking; and Senior Account Manager, Business Banking. From 1994 to 1999, she was a Consulting Manager for Ernst & Young. She has also been a lecturer at the University of Regina.

Bakkeli's professional and community involvement includes acting as the Governance Chair of the RCMP Tourism Committee and volunteering with the Canadian Cancer Society. She is also a member of the Life Insurance Council of Saskatchewan, and the alumni associations of the universities of Regina and Western Ontario.

Jack Boan, Member

Jack Boan of Regina is a self-employed consultant and Professor Emeritus with the Department of Economics at the University of Regina.

Boan received a Bachelor of Arts degree and a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) degree from the University of Saskatchewan, studying history and political economy. He then went on to Ohio State University where he received his Ph.D. in agricultural economics in 1953.

Boan's professional career began in 1949 with the federal Department of Agriculture. He was a lecturer in economics at the University of Alberta from 1950 to1956, and started teaching at the University of Saskatchewan, Regina campus, in 1962. He held various positions in the Economics department before retiring in 1983 and being appointed Professor Emeritus. He has since taught a number of classes and has written several books and papers relating to health economics. In 1986, the Department of Economics at the U of R created a medal in his honour to recognize outstanding academic achievements by economics students.

Boan is a member of several professional associations, including the Canadian Economics Association and the Commonwealth Association for Public Administration and Management. He is also a member of the John Howard Society Council, the finance committee of the Early Learning Centre, and the Regina Coalition for Refugees.

Jo-Ann Carignan-Vallee, Member

Jo-Ann Carignan-Vallee of Assiniboia is co-owner of the Kokopelli Restaurant and office manager of Community Chiropractic, and has served as a Councillor with the Town of Assiniboia for the past six years.

Carignan-Vallee is a graduate of Ponteix High School and has attended the University of Saskatchewan. Prior to her current employment, she owned and managed the Adam's Rib Restaurant in Ponteix for six years. She was also a sales representative for the Saskatoon Inn from 1986 to 1988 and for Nortesco Inc. from 1989 to 1991.

Carignan-Vallee's community involvement includes serving on several boards, such as: Assiniboia Regional Park; South Country District Health; Assiniboia Tourism; Assiniboia Union Hospital Trust; and South Central Community Futures. She is currently a board member with Assiniboia Parks & Recreation, and South Country Health Care Foundation.

Sheldon Craig, Member

Sheldon Craig of La Ronge is Business Relations Manager with the La Ronge branch of the Prince Albert Credit Union, a position he has held for the past two years.

Craig is a graduate of Maple Creek Composite High School. He attended the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology in Edmonton, where he graduated from Business Administration in 1989 with a major in Finance. He has since completed a number of courses in the areas of lending, mortgages, and mutual funds.

Craig began his banking career with Canada Trust in Saskatoon in 1989 before moving into the Credit Union System in 1990 with a position in Weyburn. He worked as a loans officer at credit unions in Elbow and Meadow Lake prior to accepting an appointment as Business Development Manager with the North West Credit Union/Credit Union Central in Buffalo Narrows in 1996. He held that position for two years before moving to his current posting in La Ronge.

Karen Schmidt
A/Executive Director, Communications
Crown Investments Corporation
Regina
Phone: (306) 787-5889