Report from the Legislature – February 16, 2017

Saskatchewan cities, towns, villages and RMs continue to grow, according to the new Census population count by Statistics Canada.  Saskatchewan’s 6.3% growth rate (2011-2016) was second-highest among the provinces with Saskatoon and Regina among the fastest-growing cities in Canada.

All 16 Saskatchewan cities saw their populations increase by a total of 9.9%.  Saskatchewan towns saw their populations increase by 2.7% while Saskatchewan villages saw their populations increase slightly by 0.5%.  Rural municipalities saw their total populations increase by 1.1%.

Someone once said that it would be impossible to grow our population by 100,000 people in 10 years.  In that time, I’m proud to say that our province has grown by 130,000.

Saskatchewan’s economy is now stronger, more durable and more diversified than ever.  Our growing strength in value-added food processing is one example.  No longer just a primary producer of grains, oilseeds and other resources, companies are adding value to what we grow.

There are now more than 300 food companies operating in the province that generate more than $4 billion in revenues and employ about 5,000 people.  Saskatchewan exports have doubled in the last decade in part because of the success of these companies operating across the province.

Saskatchewan ingredients are increasingly finding favour with consumers around the world.  Saskatchewan flax, for example, is used in the cookies sold at Shanghai Disneyland while oats grown in Saskatchewan are a key ingredient in the Cheerios many of us eat for breakfast.

A Saskatchewan company supplies hot dogs to Safeco Field, home of the Seattle Mariners – and there’s a good chance the mustard on those hot dogs is made with Saskatchewan mustard seed.

Meanwhile, Saskatchewan lentils and peas are used in Indian kitchens every day.  90% of India’s lentil imports, and more than 60% of its pea imports, are grown by Saskatchewan farmers.

Our government will strive to ensure our food processors benefit from a welcoming business environment with competitive taxes and sensible regulations.  We will also work internationally to raise awareness of what we have to offer and to protect and enhance access to markets.

If you’re searching for something to do this Family Day holiday weekend (February 18, 19 and 20), you may want to give ice fishing a try.

Saskatchewan’s annual winter free fishing weekend allows residents and visitors to fish in any of  Saskatchewan’s public waters with an open sport fishing season, without purchasing a fishing licence.

Safety is key to enjoyable ice fishing.

Always use caution and common sense.  Test the ice thickness before you travel on it.  A minimum of 10 cm of good ice is required for walking and 30 cm for light vehicle travel. Wear warm clothing.

More information about fishing in Saskatchewan can be found in the 2016 Anglers’ Guide, available wherever fishing licences are sold, or online at