Report from the Legislature – April 13, 2017

Every day we see momentum in Saskatchewan’s resilient and diversified economy, including two consecutive months of encouraging year-over-year job growth.

This week we learned that oil drilling doubled in the last quarter – a positive sign after Saskatchewan added another 2,000 jobs in the latest Statistics Canada report.

In the past year, 4,300 jobs were created in Regina and 1,100 in Saskatoon, with notable gains in wholesale and retail trade, professional, scientific and technical services and manufacturing.

Saskatchewan manufacturing exports are up 23 per cent year-over-year, leading the west, second best among the provinces, and significantly higher than the national average.

Brandt’s Manufacturing expansion to Saskatoon, G3’s new grain elevators, and Grain Millers expanding its plant in Yorkton, all speak to the strength of our economy.

Average weekly earnings are on the rise ($1,007.87), third highest among provinces and above the national average, while our unemployment rate is third lowest in Canada.

People and businesses continue to show confidence in our economy as residential and non-residential building permits are up significantly, even as national numbers have declined.

This highlights the importance of maintaining the Saskatchewan Advantage with this year’s budget: a positive investment climate that encourages job creation across the province.

There are many indicators that reflect strength and resilience in our economy at a time when the province’s finances are challenged by persistently low commodity prices.

Meeting the challenge of a three-year decline in resource revenue that has depleted reserves and the rainy-day fund, is vitally important now and for Saskatchewan’s future.

We have a plan to meet the challenge, reduce our reliance on resource revenues, and ensure important government programs and services remain affordable and sustainable.

This requires changes in the delivery of services in order to ensure programs and services are more effective and built to last.  These changes can be complex and require time to take hold.

Our plan controls and reduces government spending, modernizes and expands the tax system and keeps our economy strong as we work to get back to balance in three years.

Saskatchewan’s work to create the right environment to attract investment and jobs includes competitive taxes, important investments in infrastructure and fiscal probity.

Our plan to ensure the economy remains strong includes lower taxes on productivity and new incentives that give us an advantage in attracting job-creating businesses and investment.

We welcome new investment and encourage international and local collaboration.  This is reflected in a climate that continues to allow innovators to flourish and investments to grow.