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Moose Jaw Express December 5, 2018

Manufacturing Moves Saskatchewan Forward

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 recognized. 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.