The announcement comes after the government of Saskatchewan requested private management proposals for the Crown-owned facility in March.
In January, the minister responsible for the GTH, Don Morgan, announced the province’s intentions to divest itself of the facility which, according to a mid-2018 fiscal report, was tens of millions of dollars in debt — largely due to slow uptake.
At the time, he expressed regret about the government’s involvement with the 1800-acre inland port, which was created as a public asset in 2009.
“With hindsight, we should have not been in it in the first place,” Morgan said last year, when the province first began discussing the idea of divestment.
“When you do something like that, it’s difficult for governments to be in. You’ve got market fluctuations and the taxpayers shouldn’t be subject to that kind of thing.
“So our goal is to ultimately sell the land, and then do something different.”
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Buyers, though, have yet to materialize. On Thursday, Morgan spoke about the lack of demand and the decision to hire Colliers.
“We’re not prepared to give it away. We’re not prepared to contemplate any kind of a loss. As you’re aware, we haven’t had any kind of a sale in three years,” Morgan said.
“I’m hopeful that Colliers is able to do some national and international marketing and we’re able to do some recovery.”
“We believe in the potential for the GTH to become a major economic stimulus for Saskatchewan,” Colliers International’s managing director for Saskatchewan, Richard Jankowsi, said in a press release.
“We’re confident that our insight into the local market combined with our fully-integrated service lines, as well as our international experience and reach, make us the right fit for this project.”
The Saskatchewan NDP responded Thursday, questioning the financial feasibility and future transparency of the new arrangement.
“Our biggest problem with what’s happening right now at the GTH is we have no idea how much we’re going to pay Colliers,” said NDP GTH critic Cathy Sproule.
“Nor will we now have access or the transparency that we had at the GTH — at least in relation to their operations.”
Colliers International’s management portfolio includes properties in 69 countries around the world.
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