For the past 12 years, Saskatchewan has been growing. More people, more jobs and more investment in our families and communities. We want to ensure this strong growth continues. Your Saskatchewan Party government has a new Growth Plan for the new decade so everyone continues to benefit from a growing province.
Saskatchewan’s Growth Plan is a roadmap for a growing province of 1.4 million people and a strong economy with 100,000 more jobs. Increasing the number of young people who stay here to start a career and family will help grow the population.
Strong Job Growth Continues
This past year, Saskatchewan saw an increase of 10,400 jobs, or 1.8 per cent, from 2018. More than half of that job growth is due to full-time jobs.
The energy sector is also off to a roaring start in 2020 with 57 of Saskatchewan’s 105 rigs working January 6th, up from 19 rigs just three days earlier. This means that Saskatchewan has a higher rig utilization rate than both Alberta and British Columbia.
In spite of external headwinds, the creation of 10,400 jobs last year is an indication that Saskatchewan has a robust, diverse and growing economy and shows that our Growth Plan target is achievable and well on its way to being met.
Preparing Tomorrow’s Workforce
Our province will continue to undertake the most aggressive youth retention plan in Canada, while exploring new incentives to keep life affordable for young people and create more opportunities for them to realize their future right here at home.
With Saskatchewan’s Graduate Retention Program, post-secondary grads who remain and work in Saskatchewan after graduation are eligible for up to $20,000 in tax credits. To date, nearly 71,000 young people have claimed this tax credit.
The Government of Saskatchewan is also providing a quarter of a million dollars to save post-secondary students money on their textbook purchases. The innovative approach supports professors and instructors at Saskatchewan Polytechnic, the U of S and the U of R to develop open textbooks and other open educational resources.
The initiative is expected to save current and future students at least $6.4 million with the resources developed so far.
Our investment in the development of open textbooks over the past five years is helping reduce costs for approximately 70,000 students.
The Government of Saskatchewan will continue to look at new incentives to retain more young people to live, work and raise a family.
Growing Saskatchewan’s Technology Sector
Saskatchewan’s growing technology sector and digital economy will be an important driver of economic growth of the next decade.
Tripling the tech-sector by 2030 by aggressively pursuing new measures to attract large scale tech employers will help ensure Saskatchewan is on the right path with a modern economy, and Innovation Saskatchewan will play a large role in achieving these goals.
In 2017, Innovation Saskatchewan launched Co. Labs, a provincially backed incubator which in less than three years has created 160 jobs, incubated 88 start-ups and secured more than $8 million in investment. Saskatchewan also offers the Saskatchewan Technology Startup Incentive, the most aggressive tech angel investment incentive program in Western Canada.
Growing the tech sector is just one of the ways your government is strengthening and diversifying Saskatchewan’s economy.
Improving Our Education Curriculum
A committee of education stakeholders, parents and business professionals will meet to begin developing recommendations on future development of curriculum and high school graduation requirements in Saskatchewan. The committee includes representatives from teachers, school divisions, parents, post-secondary institutions, chambers of commerce, the workforce, and the Ministry of Education.
It is important that we hear from parents, educators, post-secondary institutions and the business community about what students need to learn in the classroom in order to be successful. By keeping Saskatchewan’s curriculum up to date, we’re ensuring that our children will be well-equipped to succeed in their future.
Attracting Entrepreneurial Talent
As part of our plan to grow the province’s population and economy, Saskatchewan will focus on the development, retention and attraction of highly skilled and entrepreneurial talent. Over the next decade Saskatchewan will develop:
An agile and integrated education and training system that is responsive to the economic opportunities for businesses and prepares people for careers in Saskatchewan.
People with the skills experience and pathways to realize their potential and build their careers in Saskatchewan.
Workplaces that help develop the potential of a diverse population that requires labour market supports to succeed.
To learn more about Saskatchewan’s Growth Plan for The Next Decade, I encourage you to visit saskgrowthplan.ca.
If you have a question about this Legislative Report or any other matter, just Contact Lyle.
To view this section on video, click here and start play at 1:55:25 PM.
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.