The sudden and unexpected passing of our good friend and colleague Kevin Phillips, MLA for Melfort, has taken us all by surprise. Our deepest condolences, thoughts and prayers go to Kevin’s wife April, their four children and their grandchildren.
Those who knew Kevin best are remembering him as a man of tremendous character who valued his family, loved his province and cherished the opportunity to go to work for his constituents and his community in his time as an MLA and Mayor.
Kevin will also be remembered as a champion for addressing the issue of domestic violence in Saskatchewan. Every year, he strutted in red high heels, supporting the "Walk a mile in her shoes" campaign to stop rape, sexual assault, and gender violence.
Kevin was also instrumental in working with local groups and community organizations to get a domestic violence shelter built in Melfort; the first one built in Saskatchewan since 1989.
Kevin was a proud son of Saskatchewan, a respected leader in the Melfort constituency and a valuable member of our Caucus family. We will miss him more than words can say.
Expanding Trade in Asia
Saskatchewan is an exporting province that has strong and growing trade relationships with countries around the world. I am proud to serve the people of Saskatchewan in a government that understands the need to keep our economy strong by opening up and growing new export markets.
Representatives of our government have travelled to India in an effort to strengthen the trade links with one of Asia’s largest markets and one of the fastest-growing economies in the world.
Our Saskatchewan Plan for Growth includes the goal of doubling the value of our total exports by 2020, and India has a vital role in contributing to our achievement of that objective.
Priorities of the mission to India include raising awareness of Saskatchewan’s strategic importance to India as a major source of imported agriculture products.
Saskatchewan exports to Asia increased from $2.3 billion in 2005 to $8 billion in 2016, making Asia our province’s most important emerging export market.
The Government of India recently announced an immediate duty of 50 per cent on pea imports and a 20 per cent tariff on wheat imports, including all such shipments already en route to the country.
India recently announced plans to build ten new nuclear reactors with a combined capacity of 7,000 megawatts, more than doubling the country’s current output derived from nuclear power.
Recognized as a long-term, stable source of uranium and the world’s second largest producer, Saskatchewan is working with India on opportunities for uranium export and trade development.
Our government’s mission to Japan this month is intended to help Saskatchewan companies maintain and strengthen critical relationships while positioning the province as a reliable and quality supplier of food and agriculture products.
Priorities for this mission include emphasizing the importance of the relationship between Japan and Saskatchewan, as well as the province’s role as a global leader in agriculture.
This mission deepens Saskatchewan’s relationship with Japan, Saskatchewan’s fourth largest export market. It also allows the province to expand and strengthen relationships with Japanese companies that operate in Saskatchewan or are looking to invest in operations.
In 2016, Saskatchewan exports to Japan were $976 million.
Japan is Saskatchewan’s largest export market for non-durum wheat, and the province’s second largest export market for canola seed.
Regina’s International Trade Centre Open Next Week
Meanwhile, here at home, the brand-new International Trade Centre at Evraz Place in Regina is opening its doors to the world with Canadian Western Agribition November 20-25. This is an event that attracts more than 120,000 visitors annually, including guests from 75 countries.
The 150,000-square foot, multi-purpose facility will further enhance events that contribute to our economy, including shows integral to Saskatchewan’s agricultural industry which have a history of highlighting our high-quality livestock and innovative farm implements to an international audience.
The International Trade Centre replaces a number of old buildings and barns, and will play a key role in major agricultural events such as Agribition and Canada’s Farm Progress Show, in addition to hosting other major events and activities. Its completion means all facilities at the 100-acre Evraz Place site are now interconnected with the exception of the new Mosaic Stadium.
Funding for construction of the International Trade Centre included $22 million from the federal and provincial governments under the Growing Forward 2 agreement, $11 million from the City of Regina, $3 million from the Regina Hotels Association and $1 million from Canadian Western Agribition.
If you have a question about this Legislative Report or any other matter, just Contact Nancy.
Small businesses are essential to Saskatchewan’s economy by contributing to the stability and vibrancy of countless communities across our province.
Each year, our government invests in a number of initiatives and programs that support small businesses, entrepreneurs, and learning and development opportunities for entrepreneurs and business owners.
One of the major initiatives that our government pursues is the development of smart regulations and reviewing existing regulations regularly to make sure they remain relevant. Our government strives to develop regulations that simplify compliance requirements, saving businesses both time and money.
In the 2015-16 fiscal year, our government eliminated 53 regulations that were redundant or had become obsolete. We also completed a full review of existing regulations. With this, our government remains on schedule to achieve the mandate to review all business related regulations at least once every 10 years—to ensure they remain responsive to the needs of business.
Our government will remain vigilant in defending small business when threatened with regulations and tax changes by the federal government. We will continue to speak out against the federal government’s new “tax fairness” plan that is vilifying Saskatchewan farmers, ranchers and small business owners.
Small businesses are not “tax shelters”, as the federal government suggests. Farmers, ranchers and small business owners are the backbone of our economy. Small businesses account for 31 per cent of Saskatchewan’s Gross Domestic Product, 26 per cent of our province’s pay roll earnings and employ 150,000 Saskatchewan residents.
Our economy is projected to grow again and recent economic indicators show that Saskatchewan is leading the nation in growth in wholesale trade and manufacturing sales, as well as having the second-highest retail sales growth rate. And our population continues to grow at a record pace, with 45 consecutive quarters of growth and the fastest period of growth in 80 years.
Our economic success is because of our province’s small businesses. We will continue to work hard to support small businesses in Saskatchewan and create a positive business climate for the hard working women and men who run them.