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MLA Report

MLA Lyle Stewart's latest column
MLA Lyle Stewart

Contact info:

200-99 Diefenbaker Drive
Moose Jaw, Sask. S6J OC2
306.693.3229 (Tel)

Good economic news for our province just keeps rolling in.

Viterra recently announced that a new world-class canola crush plant will be built in Regina This global grain company – with Saskatchewan roots – is in the feasibility stage to finalize the plant’s capabilities and design, with an initial targeted annual crush capacity of 2.5 million metric tonnes. This would make it the world’s largest integrated canola crush facility.

Viterra’s new canola crush plant will support a number of goals in the Saskatchewan Growth Plan: 

  • to grow our agri-food exports to $20 billion;
  • to increase agriculture value-added revenue to $10 billion;
  • to increase the value of exports by 50 per cent; and
  • to grow private capital investment to $16 billion annually. 

Furthermore, it not only supports the Growth Plan’s goal to crush 75 per cent of the canola produced in this province, it means we have, in fact, now achieved that goal, well ahead of 2030.

This project will create jobs during the construction phase, as well as permanent employment opportunities once in operation, and it will create additional jobs through the supply chain.

I would like to congratulate Viterra on this development which builds on another exciting announcement for our area. Cargill has announced that their new canola processing facility will be built in Regina. This new state-of-the-art facility will have the production capacity of 1 million metric tonnes and will support our farmers’ access to increasing market demand.

The Cargill facility is a $350 million dollar investment that will create 1 million hours of employment throughout its construction while adding 50 full-time positions upon completion. These are real jobs for Saskatchewan families and a real investment in our economy as our province emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic and I want to thank Cargill for their investment and support.

These investments are a clear sign of confidence in the growth and competitiveness of our world class Saskatchewan agriculture industry – and we know they are among the many good things on the horizon for Saskatchewan.

As the spring sitting of the legislature rolls on, our government continues to deliver on its commitments as part of this year’s provincial budget. This includes increased funding for the Veteran Service Club Support Program – from $100,000 to $1,500,000 – which will continue supporting veterans and their families in Saskatchewan by helping to keep Legions operational and make the necessary improvements to continue serving our heroes.

As our economic recovery continues, our government remains committed to supporting growth and investment in the technology sector, including game-changing technology for farmers and producers. As part of this year’s budget, the Government of Saskatchewan will be investing $15 million – $3 million per year over five years – in an agtech Venture Capital fund that will enable companies to scale up their operations and manufacturing in Saskatchewan.

Increasing our international presence, prioritizing trade abroad and attracting investment here at home will ensure our economic momentum continues with a strong economic recovery. The 2021-22 Provincial Budget supports this by providing an increased focus on international trade and investment. Saskatchewan will be expanding our trade presence through the establishment of international trade and investment offices in four new locations. The increased trade presence will be funded through the Ministry of Trade and Export Development Budget with a $5 million increase in funding for international offices. These will complement recently launched offices in India, Japan and Singapore, and the recently relocated office in China.

The Trade and Export Development Budget also includes $175 million for the Saskatchewan Economic Recovery Rebate which provides all SaskPower customers a 10 per cent rebate on their power bills and will run until the end of November 2021.

Budget 2021-22 also continues important incentive programs to support economic recovery and position the province as one of the most competitive places to do business in North America. These include the Saskatchewan Chemical Fertilizer Incentive, the Manufacturing and Processing Exporter Tax Incentive, the Saskatchewan Value-added Agriculture Incentive, and the Saskatchewan Commercial Innovation Incentive (Patent Box Program).

COVID-19 continues to be a focus for all of us and while we look forward to putting the pandemic in the rearview mirror, we’re not there yet.  The best thing we can do right now to protect ourselves, others, and to get back to doing all of the things we love is by following public health orders and getting the vaccine when it becomes available to us.

The vaccines work, the vaccines are safe, and when it’s your turn, I strongly encourage you to roll up your sleeve and stick it to COVID.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the position of this publication.