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Legislative Report
(11 Oct 2012)

Keeping the Saskatchewan Advantage

One major aspect of Keeping the Saskatchewan Advantage is ensuring we have the infrastructure to support growth. One important way of doing that is maintaining and improving the major trade corridors throughout our province. This is why our government is investing an extra $50 million to repair and upgrade critical highways. This will bring our investment in highway infrastructure to $631.5 million this year alone, the second largest Highways budget in Saskatchewan’s history. An example of this year’s highways budget is the twinning of Highway 11, a vital route between Saskatoon and Prince Albert. This season saw the completion of 36 kilometers of new northbound lanes from north of Rosthern to south of Macdowall. There are only 12 kilometers left to finish this project, which will happen next year. More than 14,000 vehicles use Highway 11 per day; this twinning project will provide safer travel for commuters, families and shippers. As your government, we will continue investing in the infrastructure that plays a critically important role in keeping the Saskatchewan Advantage.

Examples of the Saskatchewan Advantage grow week by week. Recent numbers released by Statistics Canada show that we lead the country in building permits with an increase of 47 per cent over last year, which is more than double the national average. Breaking the numbers down, residential permits are up by almost 50 per cent and non-residential permits are up by more that 46 per cent.

Building permits are not the only thing that’s on the rise. In September, Saskatchewan saw an increase of 10,600 jobs compared to last year. Right now there are 540,800 people working in our province. That is the second highest increase among the provinces. Despite that growth we still need more people to support our expanding economy. There were over 15,300 jobs posted on Saskjobs.ca in September. The highest demand seems to be in healthcare, sales, engineering, architecture and IT.

While it is important to think about the future, we must also remember those who have given to our province. We took time last week to celebrate the life of Dr. Sylvia Fedoruk who passed away on September 26th. In 1951, she was the only woman on the team that successfully treated a cancer patient with Cobalt-60 radiation therapy at the University of Saskatchewan saving an untold number of lives. In honour of her work, the Canadian Center for Nuclear Innovation will be renamed the Sylvia Fedoruk Canadian Centre for Nuclear Innovation. A trailblazer in her profession Dr. Fedoruk was also the first woman to be a member of the Atomic Energy Control Board of Canada and our province’s first female lieutenant governor of Saskatchewan. Dr. Fedoruk made an amazing contribution not only to our province but also the world.

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