Minister's speech headlines Chamber luncheon
Moose Jaw's economic and population growth are reflective of a greater trend across the province.
© Justin Crann
Jim Reiter, Saskatchewan's minister of government relations, speaks at the Chamber's President's Event luncheon Thursday. Reiter's speech focused on the province's economic and population growth.
This was the message Jim Reiter, Saskatchewan's minister of government affairs, had to share with the Times-Herald following his speech at the Moose Jaw and District Chamber of Commerce President's Event luncheon Thursday.
"(Moose Jaw) is absolutely a perfect example of what's happening around the province in so many communities," Reiter said. "Moose Jaw is doing very well economically, with new businesses and more population … that's being reflected all over the province. I think it's nothing but good news for us … we're very fortunate, and we need to do everything we can in order to foster that growth."
Reiter's speech, which focused heavily on the province's economic and population growth, headlined an event at which the Chamber announced its board for the 2013/2014 year.
"After decades of trailing other provinces, we're now at or near the top of virtually every economic indicator in the country," Reiter said in his speech.
Reiter highlighted the province's performance in the wages and earnings categories, citing average weekly earnings for June — $952 in Saskatchewan, the "second-highest in the nation" — and a real wage increase of 2.5 per cent in average weekly earnings, "the highest increase amongst all of the provinces."
"Saskatchewan has had the lowest unemployment rate in the country for the last eight months, now," Reiter added. "Our unemployment rate is at 4.2 per cent, which is well below the national average of 7.1."
"We're fortunate in that, economically, we are the envy of most of the country. We have a record population and an unprecedented quality of life," he said. "There's many reasons for that, but mainly it's due to hardworking people across the province — hardworking people like Moose Javians."
Reiter said the province continues to focus on economic and population growth, but assured his audience it is "not growth for the sake of growth."
"It's because that growth will help to pay for a better quality of life for us all … (and) will help to pay for continued record investments in our long-neglected highways," Reiter said. "It's because that growth will help to pay for new schools across the province, because educating our children is key to our future prosperity."
The Chamber of Commerce's new board includes Derrell Denet, president; Rob Clark, vice president; Andy Wolske, secretary/treasurer; Chris Aparicio, past president; and fifteen other members of the Friendly City's business community.