(20 September 2018)
Job Numbers Continue to Grow
Over the past decade, Saskatchewan has had the second highest job creation rate in all of Canada, nearly double the national rate of job growth.
Saskatchewan continues to grow with an increase of 2,800 full-time jobs since August 2017.
We are thankful to our job creators for stepping up and continuing to create opportunities, however, we remain cautious of headwinds in the labour market created by the federal government.
Supporting Trade and Investment
Saskatchewan’s economic growth continues to be put at risk by trade disputes, the job-killing Trudeau carbon tax, and the federal government’s inability to get a pipeline project built that they now own.
Since the election of the Trudeau government, Canada’s relationships with Saskatchewan’s major trading partners have deteriorated, and our agricultural exports have been impacted in a variety of countries including India, China, Saudi Arabia and Italy.
There continues to be uncertainty in the future of the North American Free Trade Agreement and we continue to be subject to punishing U.S. tariffs on our steel and softwood lumber exports. This is why we are embarking on trade missions to support Saskatchewan industries grow and diversify their export markets in order to maintain and create jobs for Saskatchewan people here at home.
Trade and its related investment play a vital role in our provincial economy, supporting thousands of jobs and generating billions in wealth for our province.
Increasing Pipeline Capacity Vital to Our Economy
This past spring, when western Canada was facing serious shortages in pipeline capacity, we calculated the cost to Saskatchewan’s economy to be $2.6 billion, with a direct cost to taxpayers, who own the resource, at about $210 million.
That's a result of Canadian producers who are restricted in getting their product to market by either rail or truck, thus taking a discount from the world price of oil.
Today, that price gap has grown, and the cost to our economy is now $4.4 billion per year, and $300 million to taxpayers.
That $300 million could help build more schools, pave more roads, and provide more services to Saskatchewan people, but when our nation can’t get pipelines built, or worse, when the NDP and other interest groups oppose them, we all lose.
Your Saskatchewan Party government will continue to advocate for pipelines to tidewater for Western Canadian oil in order to reduce the price differential that our oil currently faces, and to reduce the amount of oil that is currently transported by rail that has created backlogs for our agricultural products and other resources like potash and lumber.
Fighting the Federal Carbon Tax
We will also continue to stand up against a carbon tax, which will make Saskatchewan, and all of Canada, uncompetitive for foreign investment compared to neighbouring U.S. States that will never have a carbon tax. These U.S. States have been made more attractive due to recent tax changes and less burdensome regulations.
The leader of the Saskatchewan NDP has called our government’s carbon tax fight a “pointless crusade”. We don’t believe standing up for Saskatchewan people and Saskatchewan jobs is a pointless crusade and we will continue to stand up on these and other issues important to our province.
Focused on the careful management of spending, keeping our economy strong, and investing in priorities for Saskatchewan people, Saskatchewan’s three-year plan to balance the budget by 2019-20 remains on track. Recently, Moody’s Investors Service confirmed Saskatchewan has the highest possible credit rating – Aaa – a further demonstration that our fiscal plan is working.
Review of Rural Trespassing Legislation
The Government of Saskatchewan is reviewing trespass legislation to determine if changes are needed to better address the balance between rural landowners and the public.
Existing access and posting rules vary for different activities under The Trespass to Property Act, The Wildlife Act, 1998, The All-Terrain Vehicles Act, The Snowmobile Act and The Provincial Lands Regulations.
These different rules may contribute to confusion on what legally constitutes trespassing.
As part of the review, the Ministry of Justice is asking Saskatchewan citizens for their input.
- Should all access by members of the public to rural property require the express advance permission of the rural land owner regardless of the activity?
- If so, how should permission be sought and granted?
The questionnaire can be found at https://www.saskatchewan.ca/residents/justice-crime-and-the-law/review-of-trespass-related-legislation.
Please provide responses to the questionnaire by October 1, 2018 to:
Ministry of Justice
Legislative Services Branch
Attn: Review of Trespass Related Legislation
800 – 1874 Scarth Street
Regina, SK S4P 4B3
Or by email at LSBQuestionnaire@gov.sk.ca.
If you have a question about this Legislative Report or any other matter, just Contact Don.
Past Legislative Reports