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Friday, September 19, 2014
Saskatchewan

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

Co-operatives."



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,"

MacKinnon said.



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For more information, contact:



Bob Ellis

Economic and Co-operative Development

Regina

Phone: (306) 787-1691
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