Thursday, April 15, 2010

Off the Books

It's bad enough that the Wall government is so eager to lock Saskatchewan into long-term sweetheart deals for the benefit of the private sector. But it's even worse that it apparently doesn't think that the costs of those deals even need to be reported:
Following the release of the 2009 SaskPower Annual Report, NDP critic Warren McCall said the Wall government continues to hide the true cost of expenses from the people of Saskatchewan while pushing forward with increased privatization of the Crown power utility. McCall said expenditures due to be paid to private power generator Northland Power totaling $7.5 million per year for the next 20 years are nowhere to be found in the financial statements with the Wall government declaring in the report that it was “not an obligation” to disclose the full, long-term expenses of the corporation.
Oddly enough, the actual annual report doesn't seem to be available online even though SaskPower's news release declares that it should be. But other reporting confirms that the actual long-term costs of selling off power generation have been left off of SaskPower's balance sheet.

Which works rather well for the Sask Party in pretending that privatization doesn't have long-term costs, as well as for Northland Power in being able to book millions of dollars in future profits while the Wall government pretends that the cost to SaskPower is zero. But needless to say, Saskatchewan citizens figure to get the worst of the deal - and the more lengths the Sask Party goes to in keeping the real costs buried, the more certain that outcome appears.

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