What is wrong with the government selling 49% of a crown corporation? Wouldn’t the people of Saskatchewan still be able to control the crown corporation?

There are major problems with partial privatization. 

If 10% or more of a Crown corporation is privatized, the corporation will have to pay federal taxes. 

Crown corporations that are fully publicly-owned are exempt from federal taxation.

Paying taxes forever should be discounted from the selling price – which means much less money to pay down debt or use for other public purposes. The current federal tax exemption means that more money stays in the province to serve the public interest.

Retaining 51% ownership of the Crown corporation does not mean that the public interest would prevail over the private interests of the minority shareholders. 

As a matter of corporate law, the majority cannot oppress the minority shareholders by ignoring their interests, and there is a legal duty on the members of the board of directors to manage the company in order to maximize the return to investors, that is, profits.

The public interest is to provide services to everyone in Saskatchewan, regardless of where they live. For example, selling part of SaskTel would likely mean that rural and northern people would have to pay more than they do now for phone service, internet, etc.

SOURCE: OwnIt! Plebiscite on The Future Of Our Crown Corporations, “Frequently Asked Questions”