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Legislative Report

16 July 2014

Big Opportunity

Saskatchewan might be small in size but it’s big in opportunity. Thanks to the vision and hard work of a dynamic, driven and growing population, our province stands out as a great place to live, work, play and invest. We see this in the latest figures from Statistics Canada.

Saskatchewan is home to one of Canada’s best economies, a competitive business environment, innovative entrepreneurs and a skilled and hard-working labour force. Our province has more full-time jobs than ever before, more people working than ever before and Canada’s lowest unemployment rate for the eighteenth consecutive month.

The benefits of a strong economy is increasing wages for working people. Wages in Saskatchewan are steadily increasing. In fact, earlier this year, wages hit an all-time high. This, along with our quality of life, is key to both recruiting and retaining our skilled workforce.

Saskatchewan is home to many historic downtowns and commercial districts, many of which are a point of pride. Recognizing this, our government has announced that Main Street Saskatchewan will be an ongoing program. This will involve working with communities to promote, conserve and capitalize on the things that make these areas unique.

The decision to continue with Main Street Saskatchewan was based on the success of a three-year pilot project. Launched in 2011, it saw the Ministry of Parks, Culture and Sport partner with the communities of Prince Albert, Maple Creek, Indian Head and Wolseley. By investing $1.65 million, these communities have seen the creation of 22 new businesses, 66 new jobs, $4.9 million committed to historic building and streetscape improvements and $6.5 million in property acquisitions. You can learn more at www.pcs.gov.sk.ca/MainStreet.

Beautiful scenery, friendly people and relaxing, easy-going pace – there is nothing quite like summer in Saskatchewan. With endless attractions and activities, the only difficulty is deciding what to do. For many, the season brings quality time in our Provincial Parks.

Our parks are a great place to relax and go hiking, biking, fishing and camping. Park users can also enjoy both music and theatre with Embrace Theatre and Saskatchewan Express touring throughout the summer. The Saskatchewan Archaeological Society is doing the same with its ArchaeoCaravan tour and Canoe Kayak Saskatchewan and Sask Volleyball are also offering fun family programming, mini-camps and tournaments. You can visit saskparks.net for details.

Home to 3.7 million visits last year, our parks play a vital role in supporting our high quality life. By investing in electrical expansion, new facilities and other upgrades, we’re enhancing the visitor experience and giving them good reason to return. This year’s provincial budget increases funding for parks by 4.6 per cent and includes $14.9 million for upgrades and new construction.

The Ministry of Government Relations, in collaboration with various government ministries, agencies, Crown corporations and stakeholder groups, are providing updates on the key steps the province and its partners are taking in response to the record rainfall, flood and recovery operations occurring in eastern Saskatchewan. Details can be found online at Saskatchewan.ca. The contributions of all those who have helped to mitigate damage, restore access and recover cannot be overstated. We are truly thankful for their efforts.

If you have a question about this Legislative Report or any other matter, just Contact Greg.

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