Moose Jaw has been experiencing a downward trend in provincial government presence in the city.
Two researchers — Angela Markel and Irene Zadnik — were hired by the economic development commission (EDC) in April 2012 to do a review of the presence from 1990 to 2012 at a cost of $10,000. Markel was ill for Tuesday night’s council meeting, but Zadnik presented the findings to council.
The institutions examined were SIAST, provincial public service employees, SaskWater, SaskTel and Valley View Centre, which is slated for closure in 2016.
“Moose Jaw has been left behind compared to Saskatoon,” said Zadnik.
The majority of council voted for the EDC to provide an annual update on the files and information similar to the report presented to council Tuesday night.
The report stated SIAST is Moose Jaw’s seventh largest employer. From 2006 to 2011, as a whole, SIAST gained 176 full-time positions or an 11.8 staff increase. In that time frame, the Palliser campus lost five full-time equivalent positions, which decreased Palliser’s overall share of full time employees from 19 per cent to 16 per cent. That decrease continues as seen in the 1999 to 2006 period.
Between 1999 and 2011, the SIAST Palliser campus lost 42 full-time positions, from 320 positions in 1999 to 278 positions in 2011. The Kelsey campus in Saskatoon gained 188 full-time employees during that time frame, going from 425 positions in 1999 to 613 positions in 2011. Additionally, the administrative offices in Saskatoon gained 72 full-time positions from 59 positions to 132.
“It paints overall a very disturbing picture and it should be the basis for us developing a good lobby,” said Coun. Brian Swanson. “We are getting the short end of the stick … We need to be much more vocal and unaccepting of this kind of stuff.”
Similarly, the Palliser share of capital expenditures has dropped. In 2001, Palliser had 29 per cent of all SIAST expenses, but in 2010 the share was only 14 per cent. In 2012, Palliser received only 12 per cent of all capital expenses.
For more information, see an upcoming edition of the Times-Herald.