The free enterprise ideology is still well in spite of all the publicly funded bailouts and equity positions taken by govts. during the economic crisis. The Sask. Party and even the former NDP represent this ideology quite well and the fate of Investment Saskatchewan shows how it works.
Successful forays into private business are sold off. Public funds are simply used to build up a company and then when profits start to roll in the company is privatised or the fund sells its stake. The NDP did this to some extent and as the article shows even made sure that the running of the fund was privatised. The company was of former employees of Investment Sask. so probably many were NDP supporters!
Investment Saskatchewan report released
By James Wood, TheStarPhoenix.comApril 28, 2009
REGINA — The Saskatchewan Party has put the brakes on the government’s investment arm and plans to divest its remaining investments in private business in the next two to three years.
Investment Saskatchewan’s 2008 annual report, released Tuesday, showed it raked in the cash last year thanks mainly to the $816.9 million sale of the government’s share in SaskFerco.
Thanks to that deal, Investment Saskatchewan earned $691 million last year, compared to $11.5 million a year earlier.
The sale — plus some writedowns of other investments and payment of loans — leaves the remaining investment portfolio valued at $175 million.
While SaskFerco was one of only three of the Crown corporation’s equity investments that made money for the government last year, Lyle Stewart, the minister responsible for Investment Saskatchewan, said he expected a reasonable return on the asset sale once the world economy rebounds.
“Assuming markets return to some semblance of normal, whatever normal is for markets these days, I would hope the majority of this work will be completed in maybe three years or something in that neighbourhood. We’re not putting any finite limits on it because nobody can predict what markets will do,” he said at a news conference at the legislature.
The former NDP government had contracted out the handling of the investment portfolio to a private company — Regina-based Victoria Park Capital — founded by former Investment Saskatchewan employees.
But Stewart announced last fall the government’s intention to end the contract, introducing legislation that would allow the government to legally get out of the deal to avoid disbursing $80 million for new investments over its last three years. In April, Stewart announced that Victoria Park Capital would receive a $6 million settlement to end their services as of July 1.
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