Serving the Community
It is a tremendous honour to serve you as the Member for Moose Jaw North in the Saskatchewan Legislative Assembly.
Under the leadership of Premier Scott Moe, our government is standing up for Saskatchewan by working to protect and grow our economy, by carefully managing taxpayer dollars, and by delivering important programs and services to the people of Moose Jaw and Saskatchewan. Our three-year plan to reduce the province’s dependence on resource revenues and return the budget to balance is on track.
After a $1.2 billion budget deficit in 2016-17, our government made difficult but necessary decisions to significantly reduce the deficit the following year. This past spring, we delivered the 2018-19 budget which kept our three-year plan on track, while also making important investments for Saskatchewan people. During this session of the legislature, our government will deliver the 2019-20 budget – and it will be a balanced budget.
Moody’s recently reconfirmed a triple-A credit rating score for Saskatchewan, making our province one of only two Canadian provinces to achieve Moody’s highest credit rating. Strong financial management provides a solid foundation for the province’s economy, and this year, Saskatchewan has seen clear signs of an improving economy.
Our population continues to grow, reaching 1,162,000 people – an increase of more than 11,000 in the past year and 160,000 in the past 11 years. During that time, Saskatchewan has enjoyed the second-fastest rate of job growth in the country, with 62,700 more people now working in our province. Saskatchewan is experiencing strong job growth in spite of trade and transportation challenges, world resource prices, and the threat of a federally-imposed carbon tax. Statistics Canada figures show 2,500 new jobs last month, nearly 10,000 new jobs since last year, and the best job growth our province has seen in the past four years. The population and number of jobs has grown because our economy has grown.
Saskatchewan’s gross domestic product increased by 22 per cent in a decade. During that time, public and private capital investment grew at five times the national rate. The Fraser Institute’s 2017 survey for mining investment ranked Saskatchewan second out of 91 jurisdictions in the world for mining investment attractiveness.
To encourage further growth, the new four-year Mineral Development Strategy announced this spring creates an incentive program to encourage mineral exploration and will increase the amount of geophysical data available. Our government will continue exploring ways to maintain and improve the competitiveness of our oil and gas industry. This will be done by expanding existing incentives and introducing new oil well drilling and petroleum incentives.
Technology and innovation play a critical role in growing Saskatchewan’s economy. This includes the new Saskatchewan Technology Startup Incentive, which is a non-refundable tax credit designed to encourage investment in early-stage technology companies. Innovation Saskatchewan will also continue to invest in the technology incubator Co.Labs, which has helped more than 50 companies receive programming support and mentorship, resulting in more than $5 million in private investment for those companies.
A growing economy and strong financial management has allowed our government to make important investments that improve quality of life and make life more affordable for those living in Moose Jaw and all across Saskatchewan.
This includes the creation and enhancement of the Saskatchewan Low-Income Tax Credit, tripling the Seniors Income Plan benefit for low-income seniors and increasing personal, spousal and child tax exemptions to the point that 112,000 more people no longer pay any provincial income tax.
We will continue to stand up for Saskatchewan’s interests, for our economy and, and most importantly, for our people. I look forward to continue advancing these interests and advocating on your behalf.