COLUMN: Victoria Jurgens — Jan. 28, 2014

Victoria Jurgens
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Saskatchewan is stronger today than perhaps it has ever been.  Drawing on the strengths of our people we are realizing record growth and opportunities that, not long ago, we only dreamed of.   2013 was a year in which Saskatchewan had the lowest unemployment rate in the country, and the most opportunity.

 Our province has benefited from the creation of 18,000 new jobs and nearly 20,000 new people putting down roots in our province.  This is now a place where people have opportunities to work and invest, to live and to play. Saskatchewan people can rest assured that our province remains the envy of most every other province in the country. 

Going forward into 2014, your Saskatchewan Party government remains focused on growth; not growth for the sake of it, but because of the benefits growth brings to the province and its people. 

We are reducing wait times for surgeries even as we welcome new people to our province to work in the growing agriculture, manufacturing, mining, oil & gas and service sectors of our economy.

Dividends from those sectors allow all Saskatchewan residents to benefit from resource revenue, through investments in new schools, new hospitals, upgraded roads, highways and infrastructure.    We are able to invest in new group homes and to provide support for Habitat for Humanity. These are just some of the reasons growth is important and why we have a plan to maintain it.


On-Reserve education

Both education and employment are key to the future growth of our province.  Just recently, our government invested $3 million to fund on-reserve education programs.  This was earmarked to address recommendations made by a joint task force on improving both education and employment outcomes.

This support is part of our Growth Plan goal to increase graduation rates and add 60,000 people to the workforce by 2020.  We’re training more workers, we’re keeping more of them and we have the most aggressive graduate retention program in Canada.


Steady growth projected

With projections of steady growth in 2014, there is much optimism in the province.  Saskatchewan continues to increase trade with the rest of the world and economic forecasters are predicting a 2.6 per cent increase in the provincial GDP this year.  Our government will continue to support this growth by encouraging further diversification of our resource-based economy, marketing the province throughout the world and maintaining a competitive tax and regulatory environment that encourages new investment and new jobs.

One other thing our government is looking at is the introduction of a long-term savings fund.  The idea would be to save some non-renewable resource revenues for future generations.  One recommendation is to cap the amount of resource revenue that goes to daily spending and then, once that extra money is put away, no government would be allowed to spend the principal.  Other provinces, like Alberta, and countries including Norway have put in place and seen success with similar funds.


Renewed lottery agreement

Investing in the future is the reason our government recently committed to a renewed lottery agreement. This guarantees that sport, culture and recreation organizations will continue to receive and benefit from Saskatchewan Lotteries proceeds over the next five years.

We recognize that the strong system and great partners ensure lottery proceeds benefit our children through healthy activities that teach them lifelong social and leadership skills.

Saskatchewan lottery proceeds benefit more than 12,000 volunteer-run groups that deliver services to communities across the province.  More than 500,000 registered members, both individuals and organizations, are represented by Sask Sport, SaskCulture and the Saskatchewan Parks and Recreation Association.

For the year ending March 31, 2013, more than $53 million from the Saskatchewan Lotteries Trust Fund was distributed to sport, culture and recreation organizations in the province.


Victoria Jurgens is the MLA for Prince Albert Northcote. Constituents are always welcome to contact her office by calling 306-922-4220.  You may also visit her website at or email  Her office is located at 5A 598 15th St. E. across from Superstore.


Organizations: Saskatchewan Party, Habitat for Humanity, Saskatchewan Parks and Recreation Association Saskatchewan Lotteries Trust Fund

Geographic location: Saskatchewan, Canada, Alberta Norway

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