Report from the Legislature – May 12, 2022

Saskatchewan has re-enforced our place as a world leader in 2022. Despite the challenges of the last two years, our province has been leading the way in economic expansion and investment. A stable and prosperous economy allows our government to invest that hard work back into public programs and services.

Statistics Canada has reported that our province added over 18,000 new jobs between April 2021 and April 2022. For the 17th consecutive month, off-reserve Indigenous employment was up, with youth employment rising over eight per cent.

Between February 2021 and February 2022, we led the nation in year-over-year retail trade growth. The value of retail trade increased by 13 per cent to a total of over $2 billion. Additionally, our province recorded the second-highest month-to-month growth in merchandise exports. The good news continued as wholesale trade increased by nearly 37 per cent over 2021, the highest among the provinces. Meanwhile, Saskatchewan’s manufacturing sector grew by nearly 40 per cent year-over-year, the highest growth in the country. We retained the distinction of being Canada’s best jurisdiction for mining investment. We have also been named the second-best jurisdiction globally, just behind Western Australia. In 2021, Saskatchewan’s mining sector generated $8.6 billion in sales, the second-highest ever recorded. Economic advancements of this nature lead to further private investment in our province, creating more jobs and supporting our growing communities.

While we celebrate the collective achievements as a province, our government is committed to continued, sustainable growth for future generations. With that in mind, we have focused on creating an economic environment that is attractive to investors, resulting in more jobs to support our communities.

One way to assist is by supporting job seekers as they enter the workforce or look for a new opportunity. Our government has provided $1 million in support for Hospitality Saskatchewan to promote careers in the hospitality and tourism sector. Businesses were impacted by the global pandemic and are working through a labour shortage. The investment will assist in attracting, training and retaining employees. A further $532,000 in one-time funding will provide training and support for Indigenous job seekers to develop skills needed for this industry.

Investing in Northern Saskatchewan is part of our Growth Plan as we promote the vast opportunities our province holds. Global investors are looking to us for the food, fuel, fertilizer and forestry products they need. Four forestry projects worth $1 billion are underway and will create over 2,600 jobs for Saskatchewan residents, largely in the north.

As we work to advance reconciliation and promote economic development, our government has expanded our support for Indigenous resource development projects. Through discussions with business owners and Indigenous leaders, a lack of access to capital funds was identified as a barrier to investment. In response, legislation will create the Saskatchewan Indigenous Investment Finance Corporation (SIIF). Loan guarantees are being offered to eligible First Nations and Métis communities and organizations to support investments in forestry, mining, oil and gas, energy production and value-added agriculture. This targeted investment will create more jobs and further strengthen our communities.

Despite claims from the NDP that our confidence in Saskatchewan’s entrepreneurs and businesses is nothing more than political, statistics show the world is investing in Saskatchewan. We have more jobs, more investment and more opportunities in our province every day.