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Wage growth another example of Saskatchewan’s economic strength

MLA Warren Michelson's column for the week of Aug. 7, 2019
Moose Jaw North MLA Warren Michelson

The spirit of Saskatchewan people continues to be positive. While we are enjoying the variety of cultural events that happen in the summer, celebrating the richness and diversity of our heritage, the hard-working determination of the people of our province is also evident.  

New figures show that Saskatchewan had the highest increase in average weekly earnings among the provinces in May, up 5.8 per cent year-over-year. This is well-ahead of the national increase of 3.4 per cent. May’s average weekly earnings in the province were $1,070.11 (seasonally adjusted), the second highest in the nation.

Industries with the highest year-over-year earnings growth were mining, oil and gas (up 24.5 per cent), health care and social assistance (up 14.3 per cent) and arts, entertainment and recreation (up 6.1 per cent).

Our government remains focused on investing in infrastructure and services, as well as educating, training and developing a strong, skilled workforce.

Encouraging growth means maintaining a competitive tax and regulatory environment that inspires new investment and creates jobs. Saskatchewan now has the highest tax threshold for small businesses in Canada. This gives employers greater incentive to hire more workers and invest in new capital projects.

Saskatchewan is Canada’s most entrepreneurial province with 18 per cent of our workforce being self-employed. Our Government will keep supporting this province’s entrepreneurial spirit and reduce red tape where it makes sense to encourage even more growth.

We have also introduced new incentives for capital investments in agriculture projects and small technology enterprises; keeping Saskatchewan strong and growing.

The 29th Pacific Northwest Economic Region (PNWER) Annual Summit was held in Saskatoon earlier this summer. Having attended past PNWER summits, I know how valuable these connections are in stimulating a thriving economy.

PNWER, a non-partisan, private/public non-profit organization created to advance common interests of its member jurisdictions, brought together over 400 provincial and state legislators and private sector representatives to address a range of issues impacting and of interest to the regional cross-border economy.

Since the United States is one of Saskatchewan’s biggest trading partners, PNWER’s work on trade is critical to our province’s economic success. Many of PNWER’s current initiatives, such as its work on energy and the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), align with Saskatchewan’s goals and priorities.

Leaders at the summit also discussed Indigenous economic development in the Northwest, climate policy, water policy, invasive species and advances in agriculture technology and livestock health planning.

Trade, transportation, and a fair tax and regulatory environment were key themes at PNWER. These are the 3 Ts Saskatchewan industries require to succeed. We are constantly working to grow interprovincial and international trade to keep Saskatchewan economically strong.

Congratulations to our new Lieutenant Governor, the Honourable Russell Mirasty, who was sworn-in July 18. His career with the RCMP, including his position as Assistant Commissioner, will serve him well as he represents Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II to our province. The Honourable Russell Mirasty will be Saskatchewan’s first Indigenous Lieutenant Governor and will bring a very valuable and important perspective to his new role.

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

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