Report from the Legislature – November 29, 2018

Two years ago, our government prepared a 3-year plan to balance the budget while keeping our investment climate competitive and ensuring long-term economic strength. While we still face challenges, our province is well-positioned to weather them and emerge even stronger.

The mid-year budget update shows that Saskatchewan’s plan to get back to a balanced budget remains on track for next year. Our financial and economic outlook have both improved with this year’s projected deficit $17 million lower than expected.

While we are on course, there is still work to do.

We continue to manage spending carefully, invest in priorities for Saskatchewan people, shift from our reliance on volatile resource revenue and help keep our economy strong.

Saskatchewan’s triple-A credit rating was recently confirmed by Moody’s Investors Service. It is worth noting that when ratings from the three major agencies are combined, our province has the second-highest credit rating in Canada. Saskatchewan is also forecast to have the third-lowest net debt-to-GDP ratio in the country.

Saskatchewan is also seeing its strongest job growth in four years with 2,500 new jobs in October and nearly 10,000 new jobs since last year.

While our economy and finances are improving, we still have the threat of a damaging federal carbon tax, continued sanctions from the United States on our steel and uranium industries, and a deeply discounted price for our oil caused by a lack of pipelines.

Two years have now passed since the Trudeau government rejected the previously approved Northern Gateway pipeline project and since they announced the approval of the Trans Mountain expansion. Fast-forward to today and we have no progress, no pipelines, a regulatory environment that is full of uncertainty, and an oil differential crisis.

Your Saskatchewan Party government will keep standing up for Saskatchewan workers and jobs by calling on the federal government to build Trans Mountain and withdraw Bill C-69 so we can get Canada’s pipelines built and Saskatchewan’s resources to market.

This week Premier Moe travelled to India to help grow market access for our exports, highlight Saskatchewan’s attractive investment climate, and advance our post-secondary linkages with India – all of which are key to strengthening our economy and the province’s finances.

India is one of our province’s most important trading partners and holds enormous potential for growth. India’s economy and population are booming and Saskatchewan has what India needs to support that growth.

Saskatchewan is a world leading producer of sustainable food, fuel and fertilizer, which gives us the unique ability to work with India to enhance its food and energy security.

Over the past decade, Saskatchewan has exported more than $11 billion worth of goods to India, including $1.15 billion in 2017, more than any other Canadian province or territory. Saskatchewan was India’s largest supplier of lentils and peas. Potash and uranium are other important exports. Approximately 4,550 Saskatchewan jobs rely on exports to India.

At a time when Saskatchewan is on track to achieve a balanced budget in 2019-20, our government’s focus is to continue our work to grow the economy and province, providing the quality programs and services Saskatchewan people expect and deserve.