The Saskatchewan government has released its 10-year plan to grow the province’s population and economy.
The growth plan includes goals of increasing the population by 226,000 and creating 100,000 more jobs by 2030.
“Growth allows us to help and protect the most vulnerable among us,” Moe said. “Growth enables us to provide opportunity for young people so they stay in Saskatchewan.”
Premier Scott Moe shared the details of the plan, which he teased in the fall throne speech, at a Saskatoon Chamber of Commerce event Thursday morning.
Saskatchewan’s population is now 1.174 million, according to the most recent Statistics Canada estimates. In 2012, the Saskatchewan Party government announced a growth plan that aimed for 1.2 million people by 2020.
“Growth will afford the ability to invest in a better quality of life for Saskatchewan families and communities,” Moe said.
The province’s plan includes 30 goals for 2030. Aside from population and job growth, those include:
- Increasing exports by 50 per cent.
- Increasing agriculture value-added revenue by $10 billion.
- Growing agri-food exports by $20 billion.
- Increasing oil production to 600,000 barrels a day.
- Tripling the Saskatchewan tech sector.
- Reducing surgical wait times to a three-month target.
Re-establishing overseas trade offices
Another new initiative revealed in the plan is the revival of international trade offices in Japan, India and Singapore.
The offices are meant to establish a stronger Saskatchewan presence in key trade areas, Moe said. In an effort to increase trade by 50 per cent in the next decade, the provincial government will also be hiring the consulting firm that employs former-Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Harper and Associates.
“We expect that Prime Minister Harper is going to help us increase our exports to the more than 150 countries where we do business each and every day,” Moe said.
In 1991, the NDP government closed three international trade offices in Hong Kong, Minneapolis and Zurich.
The government also plans to reinstate cancelled provincial sales tax exemptions for exploratory and downhole drilling. The government said it is hoping the change will “increase mining exploration and the value of mining exports.”
“We heard from the industry — that the PST changes brought in were putting a damper on exploration,” Moe said. “We’re hopeful and we know that this policy change will encourage more exploration.”