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2016 Regina City Council Candidates

 Each of the Regina City Council Candidates were sent the following question in an email:

Dear Council Candidate
I am writing to you on behalf of Unifor members in your ward.
As you are likely aware, the Saskatchewan Party is considering the option of privatizing Saskatchewan Telecommunications.
If this were to occur, the sale would jeopardize good paying jobs in your ward, reduce economic spin-offs in the community, and decrease provincial government revenues.
Please provide me with your position regarding the potential sale of SaskTel.

Below are the responses verbatim we have received.  (as new ones come in they will be added to the list)

Ward 1
Barbara Young (incumbent)
If privatizing is on the agenda Council will not be involved or asked for our opinions. Wish we had that kind of power.

The provincial government does not consult with the city on any decisions it makes even when they affect us.  I usually hear about changes after they occur.  Let's hope the pros and cons are considered with public input before a decision is made. If that happens we can all state our opinions.

Robert Burnett   

Ward 2
Bob Hawkins (incumbent)

Laur'Lei Silzer

 I am against the sale of SaskTel for the reasons you mention but also because I think we need to protect the quality and range of services that SaskTel provides to rural Saskatchewan that a large, multinational wouldn't likely care about.

Sam Khan

Sasktel and Saskatchewan's other crown corporations have an ongoing and critical role to play in the future economy of this province. The privatization of such an invaluable resource could have many unforeseen consequences for our province in terms of quality and cost of service  as well as job loss and a reduction in economic revenues for our citizens. Sasktel also demonstrates a strong moral commitment to provide fair and equitable service upgrades throughout the province not just to locations that are economically lucrative. Given the vastness of our geography and the difficulty in serving both rural and remote communities, people would not have proper service without that strong commitment. People in Saskatchewan have the opportunity to use the services of competitors if they wish. However, the ownership of SaskTel must remain with its citizens as a crown. Sasktel also returns a great deal to our province through sponsorships and community support. It is a precious resource that must be preserved for the long term. We cannot be short sighted and sell off our future benefits for short term gain.

Syed Tayyab

Mike Parisone

110% against any thought or suggestion regarding selling off SaskTel.

Thank you,

Here is a recent YouTube video, feel free to share it with your members.

Carmen Lien

I am against the sale of Sasktel, If I am elected I will be a voice on stopping this sale. 

Feel free to call me if you want more information.


Ward 3
Tamara Knight
My apologies for the delay in my response.   Simply put, I am not for the sale of SaskTel, or any Crown Corporations in our province. Crown corporations are part of the fabric of our province and allow us to provide reliable public services to all citizens.
Thank you for reaching out to me on this important issue.

Andrew Stevens

That’s an easy one. I oppose the privatization of SaskTel. Attached here is a draft of a letter to the editor that was published in the Leader Post stating as much. 

Also, you can find my position on labour legislation reform in Saskatchewan here on a news site I

Do let me know if you have any follow up questions.


        Article in the LeaderPost

Jeanne Clive

Amanda Baker

Thank you for your email.  First let me say that I am very aware of the

concerns of unions and have strong union ties.  My husband is the Vice

President of The Saskatchewan IronWorkers Local 771 and has been a proud

union member for the past 20 years.

On a municipal level councillors do not have much say in what the province

decides to do with the Crown Corporations although I would hope that

municipalities would be consulted with regarding massive changes such as the

sale of SaskTel.  So far, the Premier has not stated that SaskTel is for

sale but that they are exploring options available and what would be the

best option for Saskatchewan Taxpayers so our telecommunications remain

competitive in the Canadian marketplace.

If there is an announcement in the future that they are indeed going to sell

SakTel I would ask about the how this is going to affect the local economy

and jobs in Regina.  I would not support any avenue which meant a loss of

jobs.  Furthermore, if it will result in more expensive service and lack of

service to rural Saskatchewan I would not support that either.

I hope that answers your question and thanks again for reaching out to me.

I hope for your support in the coming election October 26th.

Thanks you

Brian Rieder

Ward 4
Byron Burnett (incumbent)
This is a Provincial issue and I am not in a position to make an informed decision at this time.

Asfaw Debia

I am against sell of any Crowns. This government does not have mandate above all it is selling the heritage on which this province is built. I have some petitions signed too.

Chad Novak

I want to thank you for taking the time to contact Regina City Council candidates with this very valid and important question regarding the potential sale of SaskTel. 

My position is that SaskTel is a very valued and important resource in Saskatchewan, and any potential sale needs to be taken very seriously and extreme public consultation needs to happen before any such sale would be allowed. As it currently stands, to me, the short term gain (the profit from the sale) certainly does not seem to outweigh the long term pain (negative impacts on residents and employees) in my opinion. Personally, I would need to be convinced that any sale has a long-term net positive impact on Saskatchewan residents, including residents in my Ward. I would want to see a commitment by any potential buyer that jobs are protected as best as they can be, and the continued financial return that SaskTel currently offers the residents of Saskatchewan is somehow maintained to the best of their ability. If they cannot commit to this, I'm sorry, but no sale.

SaskTel is in an extremely competitive environment, and it has long been seen by SaskTel employees that a sale has always been inevitable down the road at some point in time. I know because I worked there for a year, and heard this from 2 out of every 3 employees I spoke with there. A potential sale should not be a surprise to many, but again, we need to ensure our residents are looked after first and foremost. If a sale to a larger corporation provides a net benefit to residents, I would be hard pressed to oppose such a sale. But again, that sale would have to include what I outlined above.


Thank you again for your time

Lori Bresciani

Thanks for taking the time to ask the question.

I believe SaskTel should remain owned by the people of Saskatchewan.  I am NOT in favor of privatizing SaskTel.

Ward 5
John Fidura (incumbent)

Yes I have heard of this and I am totally against the sale of SaskTel.

Thank you

Anthony Goodman

Ward 6
Connie Deiter

Joel Murray

I am not in favour of the sale with out very good reasons, that being said city council has no role in the provincial decision making other than to provide an opinion.

Bill Stevenson

Shelley Lavallee

Not in favor of disbanding Sasktel

I say keep Sask-Tel

Joseph Daniels

Femi Ogunrinde

I am not in support of privatizing Sasktel. I will vehemently oppose its sale period. 


Ashley Deacon

Thank you for your email. I would like you to know that as a proud union employee myself (both SGEU and HSAS) I am vehemently opposed to the sale of Sasktel. The sale of Sasktel would be both myopic and devastating both municipally and provincially. 

In solidarity,

Tracie Yellowtail

David Lerat

Ward 7
Sharron Bryce (incumbent)
Although this is not in the preview of city council, and we have no say in what the province does... In my opinion I do not agree with this sale.

Jonas Cossette

Thank you for the email.  I don't think that a Councillor has any involvement on a Provincial Issue.  It is my understanding that a offer to purchase would result in a referendum.  I am, personally, not convinced that the sale of SaskTel would be worth it in the long term.  I am not sure that the proper solution to the financial issue is a quick fix.  I am in favour of providing more education of the issue to the population.  Resulting in a educated voter base and a high voter turn out on such an important Provincial issue.   

I hope that this has answered your questions.

John Gross

James Dulmage

At this particular time, I would be against the sale of SaskTel. The reason why is as you mentioned, we would be decreasing revenue and risking jobs. Additionally, consumer cost would increase as a result of this. When comparing to other provinces that have large service providers (ie. Rogers, Bell, Telus) their service costs are much higher than in Saskatchewan.

Ameer Gill

Leanne McKay

Thanks for contacting me with respect to my campaign for City Council.  However, the sale of  a crown corporation does not fall within the jurisdiction of a municipal government.  

My personal politics are of the very, very, very far left so I believe it would be safe to say that government ownership of utilities and other essential services is something I would support as a general principle. 

I am running on a platform of Needs over Wants when it comes to allocating and spending of City tax dollars.  My personal belief comes from my background as a member of the clergy - "Leadership is about submission to duty not elevation to power."

No one individual I have spoken to in my door to door visits has raised a concern over this issue regarding Sasktel.  Most likely that is because it isn't a city jurisdictional issue.

I am very much a supporter of Labour - as I mentioned earlier, my politics are very Left.  My father-in-law fought in the Cuban Revolution under Celia Sanchez.  My son's middle name is Fidel.  Perhaps that gives you some idea of my personal politics.  

My Provincial Constituency is represented by Warren McCall who is a dear and personal friend and has been for many years.  He presented my son with the Governor General's Medal at Scott Collegiate in 2014. 

I will be making an announcement on Friday, October 21, 2016.  I will be declining the salary that comes with the position of City Councilor.  I will serving voluntarily if elected because I want to display leadership and when I say we need to spend our tax dollars on needs over wants I really mean it.  I don't need the salary.  I am retire and get by sufficiently on my current benefits and pensions.  

I want to stop greed not encourage it so I am going to my money where my mouth is.

I do hope you will support me at the polls on October 26, 2016 and any monetary support for the campaign would be greatly appreciated

Ward 8
Mike O'Donnell (incumbent)

As a candidate in the City of Regina municipal election, I take not stance on the potential sale of Sasktel.  That decision rests with the provincial government and municipal governments are not in a position to affect that decision.  However, I will point out that I proudly fought for and supported the new pension for the City of Regina employees and am pleased that we provide a quality pension for our staff. 

David Chapados

I am 100% opposed to the sale of Sasktel. it just doesn't make sense to sell something that is a constant source of income for the province, for one large payout. If it happens I'm sure we would see a lot of good jobs outsourced, our phone bills increased and less services in rural areas. As well Sasktel sponsors a lot of community events in the province and I'm sure we would see a decline of those programs also. I really don't see any good in the sale of Sasktel, so again I'm fully opposed to it.

Gene Howie

Ron Blashill

Thank you for your enquiry.

I have been very focused on the municipal election and the issues here.

I believe this is a Provicial issue so I really haven''t given much thought to it.

However, once I win a seat on council next week I will look into this and send you my position on this issue. 

Ward 9

Terry Hincks (incumbent)

Aidan Wotherspoon

Thank you for reaching out to me. To answer your question, I stand with the provincial opposition in their vown to fight the sale of Sasktel every single step of the way, and do what it takes to keep Sasktel out of private hands.

Jason Mancinelli

Sorry for the brevity of the reply but the answer is simple. No way in any form or manner. That answer by the way is how I think and feel and not to just to garner union votes although I don't mind capturing them.

Ward 10
Jerry Flegel (incumbent)

Rickey Turchet

Brian Sklar

I am vehemently opposed to the sale of any Crown assets to cover up the fiscal mess created by Brad Wall. When I renewed my phone contract earlier this year, I happened to be in Alberta, speaking with a Bell representative. I asked about rates, and when I gave my address, the salesperson brought out a different rate card...20% lower in price. I asked why and she replied: "Because the government owns SaskTel." Why would we be stupid enough to sell off a profitable asset, which puts millions into the General Revenue Fund, while providing the lowest cost and best service in the country?