Saskatchewan has seen steady job growth for 18 consecutive months – growth that shows our economy is resilient and providing opportunities in a province that continues to enjoy the longest and strongest sustained population growth since the 1920s.
Last year, my colleagues and I canvassed our constituents for ideas on how we can keep Saskatchewan moving in the right direction. In November, we officially unveiled Saskatchewan’s Growth Plan for The Next Decade of Growth 2020-2030.
We’ve got work to do to ensure we have a strong economy to support strong communities and strong families, and that’s the essence of our new plan which aims to create 100,000 jobs and grow our population to 1.4 million people.
The past decade provides plenty of examples of how a growing Saskatchewan is a strong Saskatchewan. Our population has grown by more than 170,000 people because our economy has grown with nearly new 80,000 jobs and over $180 billion in capital investment.
In spite of economic headwinds, there is momentum in our major and emerging industries. Production and exports continue to climb, increasing by more than 60 per cent, with Saskatchewan product shipping to more than 150 countries around the world. This growth has given us a greater ability to invest in our overall quality of life.
Investing in Infrastructure Continues
Our government has made the largest investment in infrastructure in the province’s history – more than $30 billion.
There is a new hospital in Moose Jaw, and new hospitals being planned for Weyburn and Prince Albert. We recently opened the new Saskatchewan Hospital in North Battleford and the new Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital in Saskatoon.
There are 42 new schools in communities across the province with new elementary schools on the way in Regina, Saskatoon and Moose Jaw.
More than 14,000 kilometres of road have been built or upgraded while major projects, like the Regina Bypass, have greatly improved public safety.
Hundreds of millions of dollars have been invested in water and waste water projects – treatment plants, lagoon expansions, reservoir expansions and lift stations. We have undertaken – collectively – the most significant upgrade of water and waste water infrastructure in the province’s history, with more work to do.
We understand that significant capital investment is crucial to building strong communities. That is why in next month’s budget, we will see one of the largest investments in provincial infrastructure in the history of our province. At the same time, we will also see Saskatchewan’s largest investment in municipal infrastructure.
In the upcoming fiscal year, Saskatchewan municipalities will receive record revenue sharing. Overall funding under the municipal revenue sharing program will increase to a record of $278 million – nearly an 11 per cent increase in 2020-21 from the current fiscal year, and almost a 119 per cent increase from the 2007-08 fiscal year.
Municipal revenue sharing has provided municipalities a stable and predictable source of provincial revenue and our government is proud to continue supporting key local priorities that help lay the foundation for a growing Saskatchewan.
Strong communities and strong families are a major focus of our government’s Growth Plan. This coming Family Day weekend (February 15-17, 2020), I encourage you to seek out opportunities to enjoy time with family.
Special activities to mark the occasion are planned for communities across the province. The holiday weekend is also a great time to give ice fishing a try with no license required. You can learn more online at Saskatchewan.ca/fishing.
If you have a question about this Legislative Report or any other matter, just Contact Lyle.
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Member Statement from Larry Doke (MLA for Cut Knife-Turtleford)
Mr. Doke: — Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Each year, the Pacific NorthWest Economic Region, more commonly known as PNWER, recognizes a person who has gone above and beyond to build trust and co-operation across the US [United States]-Canada border. In honour of PNWER’s founder, this recognition comes in the form of the Alan Bluechel Memorial Award. Mr. Speaker, at this year’s PNWER’s Summit in Saskatoon, the Premier and myself presented the award to our very own, the member from Lumsden-Morse.
I’d like to read a quote from the PNWER Daily News at the Summit, and it reads as follows:
Lyle Stewart was honoured with this award for his exceptional service to both Canada and the United States during his service as Saskatchewan’s first president of PNWER as well as his two years as vice-president.
Mr. Speaker, during the member’s time as president, he advocated and facilitated trade, investment, and co-operation between the economies of northwestern North America. In addition to energy and mining, the member ensured that agriculture was at the forefront of PNWER’s agenda by addressing red tape, promoting agricultural exports, and fighting for issues like electronic certification for livestock. He also addressed top environmental concerns like invasive aquatic species such as quagga and zebra mussels.
As past president of PNWER, I am incredibly honoured to be following in the footsteps of such a great leader. Mr. Speaker, I now ask that all members of this Assembly join me in congratulating the member from Lumsden-Morse on this incredible achievement. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.