New report chronicles 10 years of privatization in Saskatchewan

Source: Saskatchewan Government and General Employee Union, October 8, 2015

The privatization of Saskatchewan’s public services and assets is accelerating, putting the province at odds with a global trend of renewed public ownership, says a new report that tracks 10 years of privatization in Saskatchewan. The Wrong Track: A Decade of Privatization in Saskatchewan, 2004-2015 was released today by the Saskatchewan office of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. It identifies over 50 examples of privatization in its various forms – including contracting-out of public services, the sale of Crowns and their subsidiaries, and the use of public-private partnerships (P3s.) A pocket timeline, published along with the full report, provides an easy reference for the dozens of privatizations Saskatchewan has seen in recent years. … The report concludes that Saskatchewan is moving in the opposite direction of the wider world, where privatized services and assets are increasingly being brought back under direct public control. In the United States and the U.K., governments are realizing that privatization hasn`t delivered savings or improved service, and are rebuilding their in-house capabilities.

The Wrong Track: A Decade of Privatization in Saskatchewan, 2004 – 2015
Source: Canadian Centre for Policy Analysis

But has privatization become a figurative ‘third rail’ — too hazardous to even touch? The Wrong Track: A Decade of Privatization in Saskatchewan, 2004-2015 – from the Saskatchewan Office of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives – argues that despite all of the political recriminations and admonitions that have been expended on the issue of privatization in the past decade, Saskatchewan has actually witnessed an acceleration of the privatization of public assets and services over the last ten years. The report offers a detailed chronological history of privatization in the province from 2004 to 2015. The report catalogues privatizations in all of their various forms, from the outright sale of Crown corporations and the sale of Crown subsidiaries to public-private partnerships (P3s) and the contracting out of public services to the private sector. Overall, we identify more than 50 instances of privatization in the past decade, the vast majority initiated by the Saskatchewan Party government since its election in 2007.