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Saturday, December 20, 2008

Saskatchewan now has more people and less unemployment; Alberta has marketing plan for “dirty oil” reputation

According to Statistic Canada data released yesterday, Saskatchewan continues to lead the nation with a 4.8 per cent drop in people receiving Employment Insurance (EI) benefits.

While the rest of the country averaged a 6.3 per cent increase in people receiving EI benefits, in Saskatchewan there were 8,300 people receiving EI benefits in October 2008 - a decrease of nearly five per cent from the same month one year ago. This is the largest drop in EI beneficiaries of all provinces.

"Saskatchewan's economy continues to be stable during this time of unrest," said Advanced Education, Employment and Labour Minister Rob Norris. "Our government is pleased to see positive numbers coming out each month, and we continue to take steps to ensure our economy remains strong and all Saskatchewan people benefit from it."

This strong economy is attracting people to the province in record numbers.

Saskatchewan's population continues to grow rapidly and has now topped 1,020,000 for the first time since 1989.

As of October 1, 2008, there were 1,020,847 people living in Saskatchewan. That's an increase of 4,862 since July 1, 2008 and an increase of 15,007 since October 1, 2007.

In the third quarter of 2008, Saskatchewan enjoyed net inter-provincial in-migration - number of people moving in minus number of people moving out - of 2,064 people.

Almost half of that increase came from Alberta, as Saskatchewan had net migration from Alberta of 1,016 people. Overall, Saskatchewan had the highest net migration of all the provinces.

"After many years of more people moving out of Saskatchewan, we now have a lot more people moving in," said Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall. "It speaks to the relative strength of our economy and the tremendous number of opportunities now available in our province.”

Back in Alberta, instead of plan to improve Alberta’s energy sector suffering under massive new taxes and low commodity prices, Premier Ed Stelmach put on a show of fake indignation at a press conference last week over Alberta’s reputation among Greenpeace-types for producing “dirty oil.”

Stelmach’s plan for Alberta’s economy is to ignore the province’s increasingly hostile business tax and regulatory environment and to spend money on a marketing campaign to promote Alberta’s clean oil globally.

Perversely, Stelmach’s New Royalty Framework energy tax scheme is ensuring that Alberta will produce a lot less of this so-called dirty oil as major oil sands and conventional energy projects are put on hold.

Posted by Matthew Johnston

Posted by westernstandard on December 20, 2008 | Permalink


All that prosperity is tempting, but Saskatchewan's crime rate is out of control. Additionally, as a white person I would not move to a territory where large swaths of the population - Indians - have a demonstrated hostility, often violent hostility, towards whites. Who needs it? If Saskatchewan want to attract capital they need to get serious about cracking down on crime.

"increasingly hostile business tax and regulatory environment "

No sales tax, a flat income tax, and relatively few hostile Indians; smoke another one Johnston.

Posted by: White Investor | 2008-12-20 9:02:46 AM

White Investor,
You're an asshole. First, being White, like me, qualifies you in NO way to take the view that you do, of people of other races.
Second, insinuating that MJ is smoking anything is an arrogant presumption that you are somehow more intelligent and have a better understanding of things than he and everyonne else do...only in your own narcisstic and ego inflated mind.
I happen to know that the only thing Matthew smokes is the occasional cigar.
So why don't you keep your white supremacist thoughts to yourself. The whole nation has a crime problem and it stems from lack of property rights and no right to self defense. Its not about natives....dickhead.

Oh and Merry Christmas to you. :)

Posted by: JC | 2008-12-20 11:35:42 AM

As an aboriginal person I don't know why some non-native people think I would hate them. I have hated past governments and policies that have hurt my people but I never take it out personally on any non-native person. Most aboriginal people are very peaceful and respectful. Yes there are some with social problems and who are not educated who can give us a bad reputation. Consistent racist attitudes towards aboriginals has often slowed progress. An example is when I worked for a federal government office and how some members of the public didn't take me seriously and would ask " do you really work here." I was at a desk, had a name tag on, dressed well but somehow because I looked "Indian" I couldn't possibly be working and especially not for mainly non-native clientele.

Posted by: Tim Trudeau | 2008-12-20 12:46:45 PM

I have to assume 'white investor" is just messing with us. If you can't get along with Indians, you must be an American.

This boom in Saskatchewan is being hyped a bit too much. They're going to take more of a hit than Alberta when the budgets get slashed. A couple of oil comapanies I work for have announced 50% cuts for next year, but if you look at the details, Sask is losing more like 75% of their operating(exploration) budget.

Drama queens like Steve Laut and Gwynn Morgan love to criticise everyone else, to make themselves feel superior. Politics don't have nearly as much to do with AB's problems as they're letting on. CNRL has a level of incompetence, from to to bottom, that rivals any government. Encana has been moving money away from AB for years.

Calgary based companies tend to pull their investments closer to home when things get tight. There's a whole network of support services influencing those decisions. When a patient loses circulation, you start cutting extremities, you don't gouge out vital organs. Estevan-Weyburn have seen a slow down. So has Swift Current. Lots of people who were planning a move to Sask are putting those plans on hold.

Posted by: dp | 2008-12-20 3:27:55 PM

Keep the state poor!! I hope every province and the Canadian gov't go bankrupt. Then end taxation and fill the country with wealthy individuals.

We shouldn't care about how big a pile of stolen money is. We should minimize or end the power of the gang of thieves that manage it.

Posted by: Duder | 2008-12-20 3:49:37 PM

Currently, Alberta's got the lowest tax rates in Canada. Meanwhile, Saskatchewan only recently threw out an NDP government. The Saskatchewan Party sounds like it has its act together fiscally. The problem is that the NDP left a lot of overregulation and wasteful government spending. It will take Wall a while to whittle away at this junk. He holds about 37 or 38 out of 58 seats in the provincial legislature. His party is a mix of federal Conservatives and Liberals. In Alberta, the PC's hold 74 of 83 seats. The more right-wing PC's can threaten to rebel against Stelmach. In Saskatchewan, Wall has less room for error. He is also in charge of a party that has no prior governing experience. Also, he is leading a province where the public has been addicted to NDP provincial control. In addition, I believe that Alberta has greater available oil resources. Therefore, Alberta will probably make more money from oil. Saskatchewan's oil finds will help fuel population growth(ex: current population boom). However, its population will probably never approach Alberta's level.It doesn't have the energy resources on the level needed to produce an Alberta size population influx.
P.S. DP real cute about Americans hating Indians. I didn't know that Canadian reservations were so wonderful! Also, nice job with those residential schools. No country has had a perfect record in that area. Mistakes have been made by whites and indians alike. The solution to the reservation is to let the free market in.

Posted by: Jethro | 2008-12-20 8:38:33 PM

White Investor:
That is a rediculious statement.
I'm from Ontario, born/raised there for 22 years, and I've now been in Sask. for four years...
The crime rate here is far lower. In the GTA I had my car broken into three times - here, none.

There are a lot of Aboriginal people here, but I've yet to meet any that were hostile towards whites. I frequently visit reserves and they're always respectful, friendly and make you feel welcome. Actually, in most cases it's the Aboriginal males who open doors for people here, while the white males let it slam in your face.

You clearly have a huge misconception about Saskatchewan and its native people. Perhaps step outside of your bubble and view it, rather than just assuming.
You know what they say about people who assume.

Posted by: Melissa | 2008-12-22 7:56:43 AM

Marketing campaigns solve nothing. The reason why we have a failed auto sector now is because of union/political marketing campaigns.

Hey Ed Stupid, why not try actually solving the friggin problem? No one buys your cynical marketing campaign and with Stephane Dion now gone, you are probably Canada's least intelligible politician.

There are a lot of ways to clean up bitumen extraction using SAGD, in situ combustion and other methods that do not require massive quantities of water and subsequent impoundment or wasteful use of natural gas.


Posted by: epsilon | 2008-12-22 9:06:45 AM

Clearly the auto industry is just irresponsible.
I went for a walk today downtown, and out of all the cars I saw, there was only one that wasn't from the big three.
So what they're doing with their $$ is beyond me.

Posted by: Melissa | 2008-12-22 9:48:57 AM

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