(25 May 2017)
Economic Indicators Look Strong
Recent economic indicators show the resilience of Saskatchewan’s diversified economy. Exports are up significantly and Saskatchewan is outpacing the national average in manufacturing, retail sales, wholesale trade and building permit growth.
Just recently we celebrated the province’s first new potash mine in decades, the K+S project, as well as the Esterhazy K3 mine. There is also the PCS expansion in Rocanville and some very strong signals from BHP on their Jansen project. What we see is a resilient economy that is moving forward.
These statistics and investment indicate renewed consumer confidence in Saskatchewan and of an economy that is trending in the right direction. Our province is well-positioned to stimulate continued growth and activity in our key sectors, which is good news for our people and businesses.
Saskatchewan Opposition to Federal Carbon Tax Grows
The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) says small businesses in Saskatchewan are opposed to a federally imposed carbon tax. The CFIB recently canvassed their membership and learned that 76 per cent of Saskatchewan entrepreneurs oppose Ottawa’s carbon tax.
These businesses see punitive measures as the least effective way to reduce carbon emissions and have serious concerns with a ‘one-size-fits- all’ approach. They expressed that Saskatchewan should be recognized for its current use of carbon capture technology to reduce carbon emissions.
More than 1,000 small businesses from every corner of the province have signed petitions titled “Timing couldn’t be worse for introduction of a carbon tax”. Our government stands with these small business owners and the entire province in saying no to a federally imposed carbon tax.
Ottawa’s plan to impose a carbon tax on Saskatchewan would increase the cost of nearly everything for consumers and would have a significant negative effect on our export-based economy, especially given that the U.S. – our biggest trading partner and competitor – has no carbon tax.
Our government continues to oppose any federal carbon tax being imposed on Saskatchewan. Last fall, we released our alternative position outlining what Saskatchewan has done and continues to do to fight climate change. You can read it here: www.saskatchewan.ca/climate-plan.
The federal government is currently seeking comments on their carbon tax plan at: email@example.com. I encourage you to let them know what you think of the plan and to share your feedback with us as well at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Highway Construction Season Underway
It has been said that there are two seasons in Saskatchewan: winter and construction. Now that winter is out the way, construction season is in full swing.
The second largest transportation budget in Saskatchewan’s history will see work continue on about 990 kilometres of provincial highways, including major projects like the Regina Bypass, Warman and Martensville overpasses, and Highway 7 and 39 twinning.
It’s important to stay alert when entering any work zone. Please obey all signs and flag persons and remember to slow to 60 km/hr. Drivers will face three times the normal fines for driving faster than 60 km/hr in work zones. It is also illegal to pass vehicles with flashing lights.
A weekly construction update will be published throughout the spring and summer months to provide the travelling public with the latest construction information. To learn more, please visit: www.saskatchewan.ca/residents/transportation/highway-construction-projects/weekly-highway- construction-update.
If you have a question about this Legislative Report or any other matter, just Contact Ken.
Past Legislative Reports