Strong exports, economy and community

Victoria Jurgens
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Prince Albert Northcote MLA Victoria Jurgens

  

By Victoria Jurgens, MLA Prince Albert Northcote

Saskatchewan goods were in demand and on the move in June, with the province recording more than $3.0 billion in export sales for the month – an increase of nearly 34 per cent over June 2013.  According to a recent Statistics Canada report, this is our highest recorded export sales for the month of June.

Commodities on the rise in June included farm, fishing and food products, up 63.8 per cent to $869 million; consumer goods, up 56 per cent to $280 million; and energy products, up 39.6 per cent to $1.2 billion.

All of these commodities combined demonstrate the strength of the Saskatchewan economy.  When our economy is strong, we all benefit.

A strong economy means our government can assist Saskatchewan people and communities.  The First Quarter Financial Report shows that Saskatchewan’s provincial budget surplus remains intact.  The projected surplus is $75 million, up $3.5 million from Budget, including $150 million for expected flood expenses.  The surplus is largely due to a projected increase in total revenue of $169 million.

Since 2008, our province has out-performed the national average in almost every key indicator in Canada.  Saskatchewan is posting growth at 10 times the national rate in areas such as manufacturing sales, housing starts, and investment in new housing construction.

Year-over-year, construction had the largest number of job gains (+7,900) among the 16 major industries, with 15.7 per cent growth from a year ago.  This is six consecutive months of year-over-year gains.  Agriculture (+3,400) ranked 2nd, while educational services (+2,800) and forestry, fishing, mining, oil and gas (+2,800) tied for the 3rd largest employment gains.  

As far as international trade is concerned, I am pleased to see progress as the federal government works to finalize a free trade deal between Canada and the European Union (EU).  It is encouraging to know that agreements in CETA could result in as much as $2.5 billion in new investment, creating new jobs and opportunities in northern Saskatchewan.

On August 14, 2014, Minister for Corrections and Policing Christine Tell, MLA Nadine Wilson, and I joined the elders and guests in opening the First Nations and Métis Culture Centre at Pine Grove Correctional Centre in Prince Albert; the only correctional facility for women in the province.

A strong sense of culture and spirituality is an essential part of the rehabilitative process.  It provides people with a better chance of successfully reintegrating back into their communities and helps to reduce the risk of re-offending. This new Culture Centre will serve as a dedicated space for fostering the knowledge of traditional practices and a place for spiritual dialogue.

The Kraft Celebration Tour recently stopped in Prince Albert.  Despite the heavy rain all afternoon, our community poured out their hearts and their spirit to welcome a live TSN broadcast.  One volunteer invested her time and energy to help save the Kinsmen Water Park Slides and, as a result, Prince Albert will receive $25,000 from Kraft. Thanks Shannon Hurl.

This is an excellent example of the commitment our volunteers have to make our community a better place.  I strongly encourage you to consider nominating someone, a local volunteer, for a Saskatchewan Volunteer Medal.  You have until October 18th to nominate a current or former long-term resident.  You can learn more online at saskatchewan.ca/honoursawards.

It may be hard to believe but it’s already that time of year when students and teachers are getting ready to go back to school.  On behalf of the Government of Saskatchewan, I want to express my appreciation for the dedication teachers have to teach our children to be ready for life in the new Saskatchewan.

The Saskatchewan Advantage Grant for Education Savings (SAGES) will help Saskatchewan families save for their children’s post-secondary education. For more information, visit saskatchewan.ca.

With the excitement that the beginning of the school year brings, please remember to watch out for exuberant children making their way to and from school.  Our government has made it a priority to make significant changes to traffic safety laws in an effort to keep all of us safe.  Please be careful and have a safe, happy school year.

Your voice matters – I want to know what is important and would like to hear your thoughts and ideas to keep our province moving forward in a way that is a benefit to all Saskatchewan residents.  Please feel free to contact me or drop by my constituency office.

Prince Albert Northcote constituents are always welcome to contact me.  Call 306-922-4220, visit my website at http://mlajurgens.ca or email mlajurgens@sasktel.net. My office is located at 5A 598 15 St. East across from Superstore. 

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 http://mlajurgens.ca or email mlajurgens@sasktel.net.  Her office is located at 5A 598 15th St. E. across from Superstore.

Organizations: Statistics Canada, Prince Albert, European Union First Nations Pine Grove Correctional Centre Saskatchewan Advantage Grant for Education Savings

Geographic location: Saskatchewan, Canada, CETA Northern Saskatchewan

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