Feds wanted to sell RCM, says secret 1986 report

A secret 1986 Canadian government task force proposed selling the Royal Canadian Mint, according to a recent report from Blacklock’s Reporter, an independent publication focused on federal news.

“The Ministerial Task Force on Privatization at its meeting of February 12, 1986 had for consideration a memorandum from the minister of supply and services dated February 4, 1986 concerning the possible privatization of the Royal Canadian Mint,” reads a memo produced by cabinet and published by Blacklock’s. “The Task Force agreed that no further action with respect to the possible privatization of the Royal Canadian Mint be taken.”

Cabinet reviewed the proposal as part of a privatization drive, according to records obtained by Blacklock’s through an access to information and privacy request.

The Mint has operated as a Crown corporation since 1908, but Blacklock’s found no official reason for maintaining that status.

Former prime minister Brian Mulroney created the Office of Privatization and Regulatory Affairs to sell Crown corporations in 1985, and cabinet noted the government’s strategy is “to divest itself of those assets which are no longer fulfilling public policy objectives,” the Blacklock’s report added.

Cabinet admitted it was worried about the political risks of privatization.

“A centralized process to manage the rationalization is needed to minimize political risks.”

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