The Saskatchewan government is finalizing deals to sell three of its
four remaining potato storage sheds.
Crown Investments Corp. minister Maynard Sonntag said the buildings
would be sold for a price comparable to that earned for two other sheds
sold last December. That would mean the government will get just more
than half their value.
“The net result will be very close to taking $5 million back into our
income for 2002,” Sonntag said.
The sheds are owned by Saskatchewan Valley Potato Corp.
Cavendish Farms of Prince Edward Island is negotiating the purchase of
two sheds at Broderick. A group of investors will purchase the facility
That leaves one shed at Tullis.
The government announced last December it was getting out of the potato
business, after racking up a $28 million loss over five years.
It sold sheds at Broderick and Lucky Lake and announced it would plant
fewer acres of potatoes over the next two years and withdraw from
production by 2004.
Sonntag was criticized at the time for characterizing the potato
venture as a success.
Ironically, it appears the corporation will make money this year, he
said last week.
Saskatchewan Party MLA Greg Brkich said the government nearly destroyed
the industry in his riding.
“It’s only now starting to recover and some of the businesses will
never recover from the millions of dollars they lost when the NDP
potato corporation went bankrupt,” he said in the legislature.