Hargrave not opposed to selling Saskatchewan Transportation Company

Joe Hargrave, the province’s minister of Crown investments, says he is not opposed to selling off Saskatchewan Transportation Company. File / Global News

Crown Investments Minister Joe Hargrave said he is not opposed to selling off the Saskatchewan Transportation Company.

Hargrave made the statement in Prince Albert on Monday at a luncheon.

“If somebody comes along and offers a bunch of money for (STC), again just like SaskTel, I think that question would have to be answered,” paNOW reported him saying.

Hargrave added the bus service is a drain on the provincial coffers and a full review of STC needs to take place.

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READ MORE: Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall warns deficit has climbed to $1.2B

Earlier this month, Premier Brad Wall told delegates to the Saskatchewan Urban Municipalities Association convention the provincial deficit had climbed to $1.2 billion.

STC lost $1.25 million in the 2015-16 fiscal year, generating $18.5 million in revenue with $35.2 million in operating expenses.

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The Crown corporation also received two operating grants from the government totaling $13.25 million during its fiscal year.

Fewer people were also riding the bus, with STC reporting 244,785 passengers for the fiscal year, down from 261,531 the previous year.

READ MORE: Smaller STC buses announced to help save Sask. Crown money

Saskatchewan Federation of Labour president Larry Hubich said he was disappointed with Hargrave’s words.

“This announcement by Minister Hargrave that STC is on the chopping block is certainly a disappointment to all of us that support and rely on Saskatchewan’s Crown corporations,” Hubich said.

“The announcement may also come as a surprise to seniors across the province who rely on STC, as well as bus riders in towns and cities all over Saskatchewan – including Minister Hargrave’s home city of Prince Albert.”

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