Report from the Legislature – July 13, 2017

There are more positive signs of strength and resiliency in Saskatchewan’s economy this week.  Some of the latest highlights include:

  • #1 in Canada for new car sales growth;
  • Strong building permit growth of 20% over last year;
  • Wholesale trade up 13%, the 2nd fastest pace in the nation; and
  • Merchandise exports up over 38%, the 3rd highest growth in Canada.

Thank you to the innovative and inspiring individuals who create growth and opportunity for Saskatchewan’s 1.16 million residents.

Our government has taken steps to improve Saskatchewan’s competitiveness, including a move away from taxes on income, growth and productivity.

While encouraging people to invest and earn, this shift also creates a more reliable stream of revenue for a province that has long relied on volatile resource revenues.

When our plan is fully implemented, Saskatchewan will have the lowest corporate tax rate and the lowest taxes on manufacturing and processing in all of Canada.

We will have nation leading research and development incentives.

Notably, Saskatchewan will have among the lowest income taxes in the country and we will continue to have the lowest Provincial Sales Tax of any province with a PST.

We will be the only province in Canada without a carbon tax of any kind, and every level of income will still pay significantly less in income tax and Provincial Sales Tax than they did a decade ago.

We must maintain this competitive advantage.

Our government has been clear about how our competitiveness is put at risk by the federal government’s plan to impose a carbon tax on our province and its people.

Thousands of Saskatchewan people earn a living in energy, mining and agriculture – trade-exposed, carbon intensive industries that are especially vulnerable to a carbon tax.

The federal government’s own working group on carbon pricing acknowledges that a carbon tax would put energy, mining and agriculture sectors at a competitive disadvantage.

Economists call this concept “carbon leakage”, something that occurs when jurisdictions with a carbon tax lose investment and jobs to jurisdictions without a carbon tax.

Ottawa’s plan does not recognize a province’s unique contribution to fighting climate change. Nor does it recognize competitive challenges with trade-exposed and carbon intensive industries.
Interestingly, a new poll has found that 71 per cent of Saskatchewan people and a strong majority of Canadians are opposed to Ottawa’s carbon tax scheme.

As a strong and growing majority of people oppose Ottawa’s carbon tax and a strong and growing majority are asking their government to continue fighting it.

And we will.

I hope you’re enjoying your summer so far.

Provincial parks are great places to explore and enjoy – something you can do for free Saturday, July 15.  In celebration of Canada’s Parks Day, Saskatchewan provincial parks will be offering free entry.

Saskatchewan provincial parks have a number of facility and service improvements including expanded electrical service and water and wastewater treatment system upgrades.

In addition to Canada 150 events this year, provincial parks continue to offer activities throughout the summer such as Learn to Camp, Learn to Fish, interpretive activities and more.

Wherever your summer travels take you, have fun and stay safe!