Moose Jaw is poised to see significant growth this year as the business community continues to provide job opportunities for many new people coming from across the world, the mayor says.
The Friendly City is one of the most welcoming places on the planet, and through several immigrant-related initiatives, the community is becoming more diverse than ever before, Mayor Clive Tolley said in his 2023 New Year’s Address during the Jan. 23 regular council meeting.
Furthermore, the city is welcoming Aboriginal, Metis and other new citizens to help fill jobs that existing businesses and economic development projects are creating, he continued.
One such project is SaskPower’s Great Plains Power Station in the agri-food industrial park, a $780-million initiative. Furthermore, Donald’s Fine Foods and North 49 Foods are upgrading the XL Beef Plant into a sow processing plant, while Brandt Industries is converting the old Phillips Cable Plant into a utility trailer manufacturing centre.
Along with other initiatives by community entrepreneurs, building permits exceeded $1 billion for the first time in 2022.
“In 2022, we created a ‘Get a Life Campaign,’ suggesting people from the rest of Canada move to Moose Jaw to live, work (and) study, allowing yourself more time to play and for the pursuit of happiness,” Tolley said.
While home prices and cost of living are still rising, buying a home is still affordable here compared to the rest of the country, he continued. Furthermore, for entrepreneurs who want to start a new business or move an existing one from another location, Moose Jaw has commercial and industrial land available that is more affordable than elsewhere.
“We’re a city with job openings and opportunities (and) we’re a city ripe for business development,” Tolley stated.
Besides business growth, the community is seeing — and will see — exciting cultural and sporting activities, he continued.
For example, in 2022, the community successfully hosted the Snowbirds’ 50th-anniversary reunion, which attracted more than 500 people. The reunion held its activities at places such as the Grant Hotel, the Events Centre/Multiplex and the Western Development Museum.
Furthermore, Moose Jaw will host Curling Canada’s 2022 and 2023 wheelchair championships in the spring, while the community will welcome more than 800 Shriners and their families in 2025 for a major conference.
“We are becoming notorious for hosting conventions and events,” said Tolley.
Meanwhile, existing tourism sites and venues are continually being improved, he continued. Peepeekisis First Nation now owns the Temple Gardens Mineral Spa and is spending $10 million to upgrade the building, while the Tunnels of Moose Jaw added another tour last year, the Cold War-focused Bunker 24.
Moreover, the Moose Jaw Municipal Airport extended its runway, which has spurred new hangar development and helped establish a closer relationship with 15 Wing Air Base. Nearby, the Buffalo Pound Water Treatment Plant is undergoing significant updates, while the municipality recently opened the high-service reservoir pumphouse to address water security for another 50 years.
“Moose Jaw is growing and continues to grow. We are poised for growth in this year. Led by city council and city administration, all citizens can be part of the efforts to grow the tax base of our city,” Tolley said. “We need to continue to be welcoming and to encourage people to relocate here to get a life in Canada’s most notorious city.
“To those who worked so diligently this past year to make this city a better place, thank you for your contributions.”
The next regular council meeting is Monday, Feb. 13.