Ensign Receives Threat From NewSask

FTLComm - Tisdale - December 1, 1998

In 1995 when Faster Than Light Communications was establishing its business we discusses our operation with the NewSask Corporation and then twice later we went to them for assistance. On each occasion we were overwhelmed by the extent of paper work that would be involved and the fact that the Corporation though advertising its service, was in fact a business that charged for the help it may or may not provide. It was decided that the amount of work required to obtain help from this Corporation would be close to equaling the value of the assistance and therefore was not worth the effort. Our third approach to the Corporation was when we had an order for twenty-three computers and needed interim financing to bridge between the time we would have to pay for the products and the time it would take our school division customer to pay for the products. NewSask's response at the time was less then favourable and indicated that the process would take more then a month which of course would have meant that we would lose the sale, other arrangements were made.

Based on our experience when reviewing the little NewSask web site, I think the comment to be sensible and fair:

A concise single page site that explains the functions of this business intended to support business development in the area. Actual experience with this corporations suggests that their claims are somewhat over stated. These folks are a big help if you don't need help. However, you might find just what you are looking for if you are developing a business, perhaps FTLComm's experience with this agency was an exception.

Below is the letter we received from this Corporation yesterday:

Clearly, Ensign does not want to offend anyone but rather be of help and be a service to the visitors who turn to this site for honest informed comment. The lists of web sites in Tisdale, Melfort and Nipawin were created so that visitors might be able to gage their value and importance and the objective in reviewing these sites was to do so as honestly as is possible. The problem then is how could the listing about NewSask be altered to reflect a fair assessment of their services. It is our experience that they are not of help to a small business like our own, if they have indeed provided nineteen million dollars to businesses in this area, it certainly has not been to us, or any other business I know of.

When asked if they know of anyone who had obtained assistance from NewSask two ladies in business said "No" But they did know of someone who had tried to get help from them and nearly went crazy as a result. Another owner of a new business in Tisdale was asked if he and his partner had asked for assistance or help from NewSask and he responded with a laugh and said angrily that indeed he and his partner had gone to see them but they wanted his newly developing business to give them money to see if their business was feasible and they had given him a stack of forms to fill out that exceeded their endurance and they tossed the pile of paper and realised that NewSask was going to be of no help to them.

So it would seem that my experience with this Corporation was mirrored by the experience of others and my statement was true, at least so far as these two other examples indicate. My assumption was, and still is, that large businesses can obtain large loans from NewSask because the operation is geared to the same sort of business support as banks, which is to loan only to sure things. So if you have the money, then you can get a loan.

Ensign is a product of Faster Than Light Communications and we are a small company and can not afford to be sued by a Corporation that has nineteen million dollars to loan to big businesses, so we have no choice but to remove the listing from the Tisdale sites list. So much for freedom of the press, but we have to be practical. Not only did NewSask get a free listing on that list of web sites for six months, but it is now demanding that it dictate what the listing says. I don't think so, we have removed their listing from our site list.