September 2, 2003
Premier Lorne Calvert today announced a new vision for Crown utilities and investments that will see them focus on service to customers, greater accountability and building Saskatchewan for the future.
"This is a vision for the 21st century," Calvert said. "Our Crown Corporations have served us well in Saskatchewan. The decisions I'm making today will position our Crowns to meet the contemporary needs of Saskatchewan people and help build a stronger province."
In renewing the utility Crown's mandate to serve Saskatchewan people, Calvert committed that for today and into the future Saskatchewan families would enjoy the lowest cost package of basic utilities (home electricity, home natural gas, basic telephone and auto insurance) anywhere in Canada. "We have, and will have, the lowest overall utility rates in Canada, period."
To help build Saskatchewan, a new "blue ribbon" investment board will be created to manage some $600 million in Crown Investments Corporation investments. The new Board, called Investment Saskatchewan, will be comprised of top Canadian and Saskatchewan business people and is chaired by Maurice Delage, former President & Chief Executive Officer of Aventis Crop Science in North America. The Board will give priority to those investments that include a significant component of private sector involvement.
"We have a solid record of success in investing in companies like Great Western Breweries of Saskatoon," Calvert said. "We want to see more companies like that contributing jobs and providing quality products to the people of Saskatchewan."
To ensure the Crowns stay focused on service to Saskatchewan people, each of the Crowns will have a Minister responsible for it (list of Ministers attached). That Minister will maintain a strong line of communications between the Crown and the government. To provide further communications and accountability, the Crowns will stagger their annual reports (instead of having all reports issued on the same day), release quarterly reports, and ensure minority financial partners adhere to the same standards of government disclosure as the Crowns themselves.
"Our utility Crowns and Crown investments will exceed all accountability standards and requirements that exist in the private sector," Calvert said.
Further details on the new vision for Crowns will be released throughout the fall of 2003.
For More Information, Contact:
Phone: (306) 787-6349
Cell: (306) 539-1126
MINISTERS RESPONSIBLE FOR CROWN/CIC BOARD
Maynard Sonntag, Minister Responsible for CIC, Minister Responsible for SaskTel, Investment Saskatchewan and Chair of CIC Board
John Nilson, QC, Vice Chair of CIC Board
Eric Cline, Minister Responsible for Information Services Corporation
Deb Higgins, Minister Responsible for Saskatchewan Government Insurance
Jim Melenchuk, Minister Responsible for SaskEnergy
Ron Osika, Minister Responsible for SaskWater and Saskatchewan Transportation Company
Andrew Thomson, Minister Responsible for SaskPower
Ministers retain all their existing portfolios.