Letter to the editor: Nick Henselmeier — July 19, 2012

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Is Saskatchewan booming? The numbers don’t lie

Recent headlines that Saskatchewan’s record population growth are due to our booming economy do not tell the whole, or even most of the, story.  

Yes, gaining more than 19,000 new Saskatchewan residents from April 1, 2011 to April 1, 2012 is a recent record. Yes, this may help to fill many job vacancies, and alleviate the shortage of workers in the province. So yes, this is good news.  

But, to say it’s because of the strong economy? Well, that’s just wrong.

Saskatchewan’s population growth consists of two large components.

One is international immigration, because during the last few years the province let immigrants bring their families over the fastest. While not specified, the majority of this growth is likely from Third World, impoverished countries. These immigrants would also move to Windsor or Hamilton if they loosened up their immigration laws.  

They represent a huge new talent pool.

Do not get me wrong, their arrival is a good thing for Saskatchewan, but is not because of any boom. Canada as a whole is just very appealing to Third World immigrants. We're a great country, with high standard of living, and universal health care.

The second component is natural birth rate, primarily first nations. This presents huge opportunities with a very young future work force in 20 years or so. But the first nations birth rate can hardly be attributed to the economy, unless Brad Wall is funding in vitro fertilization out of the pseudo-surpluses he is posting.

Interprovincial migration is actually down, albeit by a very small fraction and admittedly within a potential margin of error.  That said, the one stat that would tell me Saskatchewan was truly “booming” would be people moving here, from elsewhere in Canada, in greater numbers than they are leaving. But they are not.

So we have a province, that has seven years of growth, so at least two years of "growth" (births) during the much maligned NDP reign. We have a province growing primarily from the natural birth rate, and immigration from the third world, due to loosened standards on bringing families over.  

We have a province, still growing by a lesser percentage than Alberta, that is still losing Saskatchewan-born residents to other provinces, though just a few.  

So, before we bend over backwards to pat Brad Wall on the back, let’s not forget, over the past year, people are not moving here from Calgary or Vancouver to any positive growth. We have a high birth rate and immigration from poorer countries. And even if that was due to the provincial government, it was happening for the last two years of the NDP.

Bill Doyle for premier anyone? He was most responsible for any job opportunities that exist in the province.

Oh, and Alberta is still growing the fastest, and Manitoba is still larger, with similar levels of natural birth rate and immigration.

Nick Henselmeier



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Recent comments

  • Conrad
    December 08, 2013 - 20:54

    Just saw this. It's amazing that Brad Wall has done such a good job fooling Saskatchewan residents into thinking its growing because of something he did. I can believe that despite all of the SaskParty hype, Saskatchewan is still losing people to other provinces. And also interesting the growth from easier immigration rules likely, came during the last two years of the NDP government. Great letter. Why is it always Henselmeier and never the local media letting us know the shifty stuff Wall is up to? Also, with Potash Corp laying off lots, and potash down in general, maybe it's time Brad Wall tightened up immigration a bit, so our kids are competing against new immigrants, willing to work tough entry level jobs for minimum wage? All while driving up basement suite rent? I sure wouldn't want to be graduating from high school now a days in Brad Wall's Saskatchewan. Maybe that's why kids are still leaving for Alberta, where at least wages are higher! At least Cam Broten would make sure some of that resource revenue was saved or used to benefit our own kids!

  • skeptic
    November 09, 2012 - 19:25

    Now, news that Brad Wall is asking the feds for 2,000 more immigrant nominees a year... why? Because over half of Saskatchewan's "growth" during this "boom" are third world immigrants, who would take any chance to come to Canada, even if to work at Tim's. Thanks Henselmeier, for having the guts to publicly criticize the government, in an era where any criticism is quickly called out by Gormley as a "Sask a whiner". Point is, the brightest kids still leave to Alberta, or should, as they pay more for every job possible, except nurses, the only job Sask pays top dollar for. Saskatchewan's job growth is low end service sector and grunt labor. Not high end professionals and business. A Question to Brad Wall, "If Saskatchewan is really "booming" population wise, and everyone else in Canada wants to move here, why aren't they? Why is inter provincial migration near zero and why do you need to find third world immigrants to be taken advantage of in low paying jobs?"

  • Skeptic
    September 20, 2012 - 16:44

    Today we hear the Sask Party is now "loaning" the U of S money to build the new medical school they promised in the last election... some boom. Government is making the U of S pay back their election promises! More double talk from Brad (Brag) Wall, promise the moon, make some one else provide it and then when it comes to funding... get a public university to foot your bill. On a related note, the U of S Medical school seems to have problems with its medical students failing its exams and keeping its library open 7 days a week. Go figure?

  • J.S.
    September 01, 2012 - 16:08

    And this just out, Alberta is predicted to lead Canada in growth the next two years. With the Western Provinces taking the top 4 spots. So Saskatchewan is still getting beat by Alberta. On par with BC and Manitoba. Manitoba seems much more humble about their large First Nations birth rate than Saskatchewan.

  • J.S.
    September 01, 2012 - 16:04

    The author puts it very well. The population growth in Saskatchewan presents huge opportunity, but also huge challenges, and while a good thing, is not because Saskatchewan has done anything. Brad Wall and the Sask Party are very talented at taking credit for everything. Now they are taking credit for a high rate of first nations births and lots of immigration. I like the point that these same immigrants would have chosen Windsor or anywhere else in Canada that would have them. Time to stop tooting our own horn and find jobs for all the young first nations people. That would gain the provincial government some real points.