Report from the Legislature – January 04, 2018

The start of a new year is a time of optimism and renewal – and here in Saskatchewan we see encouraging signs that our best days are still to come.

Saskatchewan’s population for example has now grown to more than 1,168,000.

According to the latest Statistics Canada figures, Saskatchewan grew by 4,132 people in the past quarter, 14,467 in the past year and 160,781 in the past decade.

This is the most growth our province has seen in any 10-year period since the 1920s.

A decade of growth has strengthened our province and allowed our government to make important investments in health, education, infrastructure and quality of life for all Saskatchewan people.

For the past 10 years, our government has been focused on a vision for a strong and diverse Saskatchewan economy that can be a national leader.  Our growth plan includes competitive taxes and regulations, innovation, infrastructure and engagement with markets around the world.

Saskatchewan people have built a resilient economy, and RBC is now predicting that our province will lead Canada in economic growth over the next two years.  Recovering energy, potash, ag investment and key contracts in China and India are among the reasons for this growth.

Through trade missions and engagement, we’ll continue working to open up markets for Saskatchewan products to help build on a strong, diversified and growing economy.

I’m encouraged by new statistics that show Saskatchewan exporters are leading the nation. Our wholesale trade grew 21% last year, the best in Canada.  And thanks to our outstanding entrepreneurs, our wholesale trade is up more than 75% over the past 10 years.

The new year brings new incentive for small businesses to hire more workers and invest new capital here in Saskatchewan.  Effective January 1, the amount of income up to which small businesses pay tax at the much lower two per cent small business tax rate moved from $500,000 to $600,000.

Meanwhile, Saskatchewan’s 12 per cent corporate income tax rate continues to be competitive and among the lowest in the country, further enhancing our province’s significant advantages when attracting new investment and jobs.

Also in 2018, Saskatchewan residents will benefit for an entire calendar year from lower provincial Personal Income Tax rates, which dropped half a percentage point effective July 1, 2017. Saskatchewan Personal Income Tax rates will drop by another half point on July 1, 2019.

A bitterly cold holiday season had many of us looking forward to warmer days.  Here in Saskatchewan, many of those days are spent visiting our Provincial Parks.

Seasonal camping – which is offered at a discount from the regular nightly camping – provides an opportunity to secure a campsite from mid-May to the end of August, and even into September at some locations.  Due to its popularity, sites are allocated via a lottery system.

You can visit to apply for a seasonal site by Thursday, February 1, 2018.  The draw to award campsites taking place on Monday, February 5, 2018.

Those who are interested in making nightly reservations can do so starting Monday, April 9.  As has been the process for several years now, nightly campsite reservations will be staggered with a registration launch taking place over 12 days.

During a decade of growth, the Government of Saskatchewan invested more than $100 million in upgrades and improvements to provincial park infrastructure.

Projects undertaken include the development of two new campgrounds, upgrading or replacement of service centres, extensive campsite electrical expansion and upgrading, water and wastewater system upgrades, new and enhanced boat launches and new campsite furnishings.