Man­u­fac­tur­ing Moves Saskatchewan For­ward

Moose Jaw Express.com - - News - MLAs Col­umn War­ren Michel­son

There were things to cel­e­brate in our city and our province last week, in spite of the Cal­gary Stam­ped­ers win­ning the Grey Cup. The Vanier Vikings won the High School Boys Pro­vin­cial 4A Vol­ley­ball Cham­pi­onship. Con­grat­u­la­tions to all the play­ers and coaches. Saskatchewan man­u­fac­tur­ing was also cel­e­brated this past week dur­ing Saskatchewan Man­u­fac­tur­ing Week. In the past decade, man­u­fac­tur­ing ship­ments in­creased by 54 per cent. That is cer­tainly some­thing to cel­e­brate. Man­u­fac­tur­ing plays a key role in our Saskatchewan econ­omy, ac­count­ing for seven per cent of the province’s gross do­mes­tic prod­uct. The man­u­fac­tur­ing in­dus­try em­ploys about 28,000 peo­ple work­ing in our ru­ral and ur­ban com­mu­ni­ties. In 2017, man­u­fac­tur­ing ship­ments to­taled over $16 bil­lion. Saskatchewan man­u­fac­tur­ers have achieved many world firsts – in ev­ery­thing from satel­lite com­mu­ni­ca­tions tech­nol­ogy and dry­land farm­ing equip­ment to in-road scales for the truck­ing in­dus­try. Our man­u­fac­tur­ing in­dus­tries are more di­verse than many of us re­al­ize. Key clus­ters in­clude agri­cul­ture ma­chin­ery, trans­porta­tion and in­dus­trial equip­ment; food, crop and bev­er­age pro­cess­ing; wood, steel and plas­tic prod­ucts; and chem­i­cal man­u­fac­tur­ing. Emerg­ing clus­ters in­clude aero­space and de­fense mech­a­nisms, spe­cialty au­to­mo­tive prod­ucts, UAV’s (un­manned ae­rial ve­hi­cles - air­craft pi­loted by re­mote con­trol or on­board com­put­ers); elec­tron­ics and in­stru­men­ta­tion. Saskatchewan’s aero­space and de­fence com­pa­nies have proven them­selves to be world-class sup­pli­ers to in­ter­na­tional space agen­cies as well as aero­space and de­fence con­trac­tors.

From pickup truck lids and front-end steel grilles to spe­cial­ized mil­i­tary ve­hi­cles, our man­u­fac­tur­ers are ex­pand­ing into the spe­cialty au­to­mo­tive and au­to­mo­tive ac­ces­sory in­dus­try. Saskatchewan food and bev­er­age prod­ucts have be­come in­ter­na­tion­ally recog- nized. Our $4.5-bil­lion food and bev­er­age pro­cess­ing in­dus­try in­cludes over 300 pro­ces­sors and 5,100 em­ploy­ees, ex­port­ing flour and bak­ery prod­ucts, meat prod­ucts, fruit-based prod­ucts, cer­ti­fied or­ganic foods, spe­cialty foods and nu­traceu­ti­cals. The food and bev­er­age pro­cess­ing in­dus­try is re­spon­si­ble for about 30% of our province’s to­tal man­u­fac­tur­ing out­put.

Saskatchewan’s man­u­fac­tur­ers are in­no­va­tive and en­tre­pre­neur­ial, and the Govern­ment of Saskatchewan wants to en­cour­age their suc­cess. In­cen­tives that of­fer com­pet­i­tive ad­van­tages in­clude:

• a low cor­po­rate in­come tax on man­u­fac­tur­ing and pro­cess­ing ex­porter and pro­cess­ing prof­its—Saskatchewan of­fers the low­est in Canada;

• the Saskatchewan Com­mer­cial In­no­va­tion In­cen­tive—the first “patent box” style in­cen­tive of its kind in North Amer­ica;

• man­u­fac­tur­ing and pro­cess­ing ex­porter hir­ing tax in­cen­tives; and

• pro­vin­cial tax ex­emp­tions for el­i­gi­ble ma­chin­ery, equip­ment and ma­te­ri­als.

The ef­forts of our man­u­fac­tur­ing in­dus­try, and the col­lab­o­ra­tion of our govern­ment are bring­ing about suc­cess­ful achieve­ment. Whole­sale trade in Saskatchewan jumped 11.4 per cent in Septem­ber 2018 (sea­son­ally ad­justed) when com­pared to Septem­ber 2017, the sec­ond high­est per­cent­age in­crease among the prov­inces. By com­par­i­son, na­tional growth was up 3.8 per cent year-over-year (sea­son­ally ad­justed). The value of whole­sale trade to­taled $2.3 bil­lion in Septem­ber 2018, up from $2.1 bil­lion in Septem­ber 2017. Dur­ing my ten­ure as Leg­isla­tive Sec­re­tary to the Min­is­ter of the Econ­omy, I vis­ited a num­ber of Saskatchewan man­u­fac­tur­ers across this province. I was al­ways im­pressed by their vi­sion, de­ter­mi­na­tion and re­source­ful­ness. Our Govern­ment will stand up for Saskatchewan by con­tin­u­ing to en­cour­age and sup­port that vi­sion and de­ter­mi­na­tion for the pos­i­tive growth of the man­u­fac­tur­ing sec­tor.

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