Murray Mandryk has a column worth reading in today’s Leader-Post about the Saskatchewan NDP’s charge that crown corporation SaskTel is farming out work to an Alberta company.
Background: On Friday, the NDP sent out a press release charging that under the Saskatchewan Party government, SaskTel has signed a contract for Ledcor to do installation for SaskTel. The release says “Ledcor has been charging SaskTel double the Crown’s in-house price for these services.” On Monday, The StarPhoenix reported that the NDP hadn’t proved that claim, though. Today, Mandryk chides the NDP for making weak arguments:
At issue is an NDP news release that came out late Friday afternoon accusing SaskTel of contracting out services to a third-party private company at twice the expense of what it would have cost to provide the same service in-house. Of course, this would clearly be a horrific waste of money by the publicly owned telephone utility. Add to the equation that the company in question was Ledcor – one of the driving forces behind the Saskatchewan Party government’s Bill 80, which no longer necessarily allows unionized tradespeople at a job site to be represented by the trade union of their choice. The problem, however, is the NDP really didn’t present a shred of substantive evidence to support its claim. In fact, the response from SaskTel suggesting that such agreements are not that unusual and this one actually represents a 15-per-cent saving for the phone company was far more compelling than the NDP allegations. Really, about all the NDP accomplished in Friday’s dust-up was to demonstrate why it might be a long while before the party will be back in power.
Of course, he also writes this:
Admittedly, it’s obviously within the realm of possibility that this could be a cooked-up deal to throw a bone to a company that happens to be a Sask. Party ally and donor. (The party received $1,340 from Ledcor Alberta Ltd. in 2010.)
Anyway, it’s a good column and topic, and, if you haven’t already, you should take a look.
The NDP’s press release is available here, if you’re curious.