Politics
Manitoba government sells off provincial asset

Teranet CEO Jay Forbes (left) and Manitoba Finance Minister Stan Struthers announced the sale of the Property Registry to Teranet Manitoba for $75 Million. The announcement was made on Thursday, December 13, 2012 in Winnipeg.

Credits: QMI AGENCY

JIM BENDER | QMI AGENCY

WINNIPEG -- The Manitoba government has sold off a provincial asset it says should continue to boost its coffers for years.

The government sold Property Registry, a special provincial operating agency, to Teranet Manitoba for $75 million. In addition to the cash up front, the province will collect annual royalties that start at $11 million in 2013 and increase to $30 million by the end of the 30-year licensing agreement, Finance Minister Stan Struthers announced Thursday.

Struthers said Teranet Manitoba will retain the 137 employees currently working for Property Registry, which holds records such as vehicle registrations and property titles.

"This agreement reduces the size of government without putting Manitobans out of work," Struthers said. "The deal we are announcing is good for consumers, good for taxpayers, good for employees and good for our province ... This is very positive news for our bottom line."

The government will still have the authority to set the rates charged by Teranet and the province will create a new Office of the Registrar.

Teranet will also invest $35.5 million in systems development.

Manitoba PC leader Brian Pallister charged the sale doesn't address the real issue.

"The problem is that the government has a spending problem, not a revenue problem," he said. "Today, they generated a little feel-good feeling for themselves for about two days because they'll spend the proceeds from this sale over the next two days and the question is, what are they going to sell on Saturday?"

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