Taking action for tomorrow
A decline in potash, uranium and oil prices around the world has presented a challenge for Saskatchewan. These challenges required tough decisions by our government to provide public services, and continue to keep the economic momentum of our growing province. Instead of increased borrowing and passing off a problematic deficit to our children and grandchildren, we took action to control government spending and protect core public services.
We are working to meet the challenge and keep Saskatchewan strong and I am encouraged to see positive signs of resiliency as our diversified economy continues to grow.
According to the Canadian Automobile Dealers Association, Saskatchewan is No. 1 in Canada for new car sales growth. The province has seen strong building-permit growth of 20 per cent over last year, with wholesale trade up 13 per cent and merchandise exports increasing by over 38 per cent.
Despite the challenges we face, I am also encouraged to see the confidence of newcomers who are choosing Saskatchewan as a place to live, work and invest. Our provincial population continues to grow. Over the past year, Saskatchewan’s population increased by 16,047 people.
To meet the challenge of a growing province, an aging power grid and our commitment to the environment, SaskPower is investing significantly in Saskatchewan’s electricity system.
Of interest is the launch of the competitive process for our province’s first 10-megawatt utility-scale solar project. Once built, it would be the first Canadian project of that size outside of Ontario.
SaskEnergy aims to increase safety across its more than 85,000 kilometres of buried infrastructure as it serves a growing population. Safety improvements have resulted in the lowest leak rates in company history and an 11 per cent reduction in third-party line hits — part of a 35 per cent reduction in damage incidents since 2013. The corporation has also achieved its best-ever employee safety performance, which builds on its commitment to the provincial Mission: Zero target.
Our province has grown significantly and so too have investments in the things that matter to Saskatchewan people — health care, education, innovation
and infrastructure. Funding for K-12 education in Saskatchewan has doubled while nearly $8.3 billion has been invested in post-secondary education. $46.5 billion has been invested in health care and we have invested a record $7.4 billion in transportation infrastructure to improve more than 12,000 kilometres of roads.
During this period of unprecedented growth, we have worked to pay down debt and save you more through various tax reductions while building for tomorrow, caring for people and focusing on the future. Record investments in health care, education, innovation and infrastructure have improved the quality of life in Saskatchewan and will keep us strong into the future.
Our government far prefers the challenges of growth to the challenges of decline. As Saskatchewan’s population continues to grow, we will meet these challenges from a position of strength.
Our office will continue regular hours of 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. during the closure of High Street West for water main replacement. However, we can also be reached by phone at 306-692-8884 and e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.