August 24, 2020
"It sounds an awful lot like a pump and dump." Says PC leader Ken Grey of the recent announcement of a 15 million dollar dump of provincial taxpayer money into an agtech venture capital fund.
Last week the province announced it was going to take $15 million of borrowed money and sink it into a to be determined investment fund. The government will be tendering the contract through the NWTPA (New West Trade Partnership Agreement. " The purpose of the fund is to raise start up money for agtech businesses, a feature that Grey said would make this a high risk fund for Saskatchewan residents to foot the bill.
The provincial press release on the proposed program was benign enough. However, Grey's concerns were with verbal comments to reporters by Minister Beaudry-Mueller where she likened the fund to leveraging for more investors. Grey said this could mean the government investment is intended to artificially bump up share prices of the fund and the press release was the wink to investors to get in early to capitalize. "If that's what is happening it sounds a lot like a pump and dump and that could be a violation of the securities act." Said Grey. Grey will be sending a letter to the provincial auditor today to outline his concerns. "Even if its not a violation of any Act it clearly is putting borrowed tax money in a high risk investment. There is nothing conservative about that sort of scheme " concluded Mr. Grey.
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