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.