(19 February 2014)
Live, Work, Play and Invest
Saskatchewan is a great place to live, work, play and invest – a vision which many of our entrepreneurs share. According to the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, small business confidence in Saskatchewan is stronger than anywhere else in the country.
52 per cent of small business owners surveyed in Saskatchewan feel our Premier understands the realities of running a small business. This was more than twice the percentage of small business owners in B.C. and at least five times that of all other provinces.
72 per cent of those surveyed in Saskatchewan were confident that our government has a vision that supports small business. By comparison, Quebec and Manitoba only had 8 per cent express confidence in their government’s vision to help small businesses succeed.
88 per cent of those surveyed indicated they would likely recommend starting a business in Saskatchewan. This is encouraging. Small business employs thousands of people and accounts for one-third of our GDP. It is an engine of growth and, as a government, we will do our part to create a good business environment and know when to stay out of the way.
Good economic news continues to roll in with figures for wholesale trade now available. Wholesalers hit $23.8 billion in trade last year, the highest annual amount ever recorded. Comparing 2012 to 2013, wholesale trade was up 8.4 per cent – seven times the national growth rate.
Wholesale trade is one of the core functions of an economy. Increased activity at the Global Transportation Hub and increased demand for products has created jobs and kept our economy flourishing. This economic success works to attract new people and investment to the province.
Today, Saskatchewan is manufacturing and shipping more products from our province than ever before. Due to high demand in markets around the world, our manufacturing sales reached record levels and finished the year with shipments valued at $15.2 billion.
Manufacturing in Saskatchewan is a multi-billion dollar industry, a major contributor to our GDP, and a primary employer of more than 27,000 hard working men and women. Our government expects that the success and momentum of this sector will carry over into 2014.
The Saskatchewan Plan for Growth reaffirms our government’s commitment to fiscal responsibility through balanced budgets. While our economy remains strong, revenue projections at third quarter underscore the volatility of our resource sectors and reinforce the need for us to continue to manage spending and meet fiscal challenges in a prudent and responsible manner. Due to an unexpected drop in potash revenue, our government is transferring dollars from the Growth and Financial Security Fund (GFSF) to ensure our budget is balanced. The GFSF is used when there are extreme and unforeseen events, such as the global events affecting potash prices. After the transfer, the GFSF will still have a healthy balance of more than $531 million.
As a way to say “thank you” for the work that they do, our Premier will soon be presenting public servants with the Premier’s Award for Excellence in the Public Service. The awards recognize provincial public servants who have gone above and beyond by making outstanding and innovative contributions to the government and to citizens.
Individuals or teams from government ministries, some Treasury Board Crown corporations, boards, commissions and agencies are eligible for nomination by the public service, stakeholder organizations, clients and the public. Selections are made by an independent committee.
Up to six awards will be announced this summer. You can visit www.ops.gov.sk.ca/pa to learn more.
If you have a question about this Legislative Report or any other matter, just Contact Ken.
Past Legislative Reports