News Release - September 14, 2000
NEW ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY RELEASED FOR CONSULTATION
Economic and Co-operative Development Minister Janice MacKinnon today put
forward targets for Saskatchewan's success in the new economy, releasing a
draft economic strategy for public consultation.
The targets are included in Partnership for Prosperity, a consultation document
that will be used to spur discussions around a new economic strategy.
"The strategy contains 19 specific targets that are ambitious but achievable,"
MacKinnon said. "They focus on addressing our challenges and building on our
strengths and we hope to achieve these targets over the next five years."
"Many of the targets are about investing in our best asset – people. We're
committed to full employment, with a 10 per cent increase in jobs for youth, a
25 per cent increase in personal disposable income, a five per cent increase in
the number of people with post-secondary education in the workforce, and much
greater participation by First Nations and Metis people in our educational
system and in our economy."
"And to build on the economic diversity we have achieved through innovation, we
propose a 20 per cent increase in research and development, a 20 per cent
increase in value-added exports and the creation of at least 10 New Generation
Other targets focus on reducing personal income tax by 25 per cent and
committing to make Saskatchewan the most cost-competitive place in which to do
business. There are targets to build stronger communities through improved
infrastructure and expanding agri-value processing. In addition, recognizing
the key role co-operatives play in the province, targets to expand co-
operatives are included.
"To ensure all of Saskatchewan has an opportunity to participate in this
digital age, we propose to expand high speed Internet access to more
Saskatchewan communities and achieve a 40 per cent increase in the number of
businesses and families connected to the Internet," MacKinnon said.
In developing the draft framework document, an initial phase of consultations
included meetings held with a wide range of organizations -- business, labour,
education, and community representatives. Research was also carried out to
analyse trends and identify potential targets.
The second broader phase of consultation will be through a public dialogue.
Public meetings will start across the province in late September and people can
e-mail their comments to a special website. They can also write and phone
Saskatchewan Economic and Co-operative Development offices with their views.
The province-wide consultations and feedback on Partnership for Prosperity will
result in a final document and economic strategy, to be released early in 2001.
The new strategy builds on the strength of two previous economic strategies,
Partnership for Renewal (1992) and Partnership for Growth (1996).
The consultation document is available at www.saskprosperity.sk.ca or from the
department's offices (call 1-800-265-2001 toll-free).
MacKinnon noted the document also targets a shift in attitude. "Saskatchewan
people are often too modest about their achievements," she said. "By working
together, we balanced our provincial budget, led the country in economic growth
for much of the last decade and were the only province in Canada to actually
reduce our child poverty rate."
"The strategy's vision is of a prosperous province that is and continues to be
one of the best places in the world in which to live, work, visit and invest,"
For more information, contact:
Economic and Co-operative Development
Phone: (306) 787-1691