News Release - May 7, 1999
SASKATCHEWAN ECONOMY RESILIENT AND STRONG
Employment figures released today show that Saskatchewan's economy is
stronger, more diversified and more resilient than ever before, says
Economic and Co-operative Development Minister Janice MacKinnon.
"A strong economy puts people to work," MacKinnon said. "And the
latest employment figures show that more people are working in
The Statistics Canada Labour Force Survey, for the week ended April
19th, show 470,700 people were employed in Saskatchewan 6,200 more
people than in March, and 2,000 more than a year ago.
MacKinnon said the strong showing in jobs reflects the underlying
strength and resilience of the Saskatchewan economy, especially in its
ability to deal with low prices for key Saskatchewan commodities.
"A decade ago, low prices for oil and grains would have been a
disaster for Saskatchewan," MacKinnon said. "But the people of
Saskatchewan have worked hard to diversify the economy, so these lower
commodity prices merely slow the growth, rather than bringing it to a
MacKinnon cited an article in yesterday's Saskatoon StarPhoenix
newspaper, in which a CMHC official said Saskatchewan's economy is
"stable" and will enjoy "decent growth" of around two per cent this
The Conference Board of Canada has also predicted growth of more
than two per cent for 1999, and the Royal Bank of Canada's chief
economist has said that the successful diversification of
Saskatchewan's economy has meant a change from "boom and bust" to
boom and continued growth.
MacKinnon said the positive news for the economy will continue.
For example, she noted new investments and partnerships in the
forest industry that will create thousands more new jobs.
"This spring, private companies and their partners in
Saskatchewan communities announced projects that will create ten
thousand new jobs and attract $850 million in new private
investment," she said.
"These exciting, innovative new partnerships will create economic
activity the Saskatchewan way, bringing together local
communities, First Nations and Metis people, and major new
companies with important connections to global markets."
The forestry initiatives are also marked by a determined effort
to create added value from the natural resource, MacKinnon added.
"These partnerships and investments are setting the stage for
even more growth over the next decade," she said. "We will see
growth in value-added enterprise like forest farming, furniture
manufacturing, engineered wood products, and newsprint, among
MacKinnon said the government will continue to stimulate business
and the economy with ordered and sustainable tax reductions,
building on the steady record of reductions to date.
"Since we balanced the budget in 1995, we have cut the PST by 33
per cent," she said. "Income tax is down by 10 per cent for the
average Saskatchewan family. And we have instituted a wide range
of targeted tax reductions to encourage R&D, manufacturing and
processing, and small business."
The next step, she said, will be a comprehensive 12-month review
of the personal income tax system. A Tax Review Committee was
announced yesterday consult with the people and businesses of
"Reforms will be examined and implemented in a responsible,
sustainable way," she said.
"We want our Saskatchewan income tax system to be more responsive
and efficient, and we will work towards a new tax structure that
improves competitiveness for Saskatchewan business, fairness for
Saskatchewan families, and transparency and simplicity for
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For more information, contact:
Economic and Co-operative Development
Phone (306) 787-1691