One of the five Sask. Party leadership candidates wants to build a vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem in Saskatchewan and has announced a six-point plan to do that if she becomes the next premier.
Tina Beaudry-Mellor said she wants to add on to the accomplishments of the Sask. Party government under Brad Wall’s leadership over the last decade, including population records, along with growth in the manufacturing, natural resource and agricultural sectors.
“We need to also be forward thinking about what is the next generation of our economy going to look like and I think there are some opportunities there that we need to capitalize on,” she said.
Beaudry-Mellor called it the NextGen economy plan.
It includes a requirement for children to be taught about financial literacy and entrepreneurialism.
“Mandating it in the curriculum is really important…we need our young people to have a sense of consumer debt, to have a sense of interest rates and mortgage,” she explained.
Beaudry-Mellor has also proposed to move the Status of Women office directly under the Office of the Premier and require it to work with Executive Council so that economic opportunities for women are part of every consideration.
“Economic development opportunities for women help not only grow the economy but also help reduce poverty.”
She said Saskatchewan has a high rate of domestic violence and what she’s found is women who experience this sort of violence aren’t working afterwards.
Beaudry-Mellor said she wants to try something different and create the conditions for women to thrive in the economy as entrepreneurs, establishing their own work environment that will help them better balance employment and family life.
The leadership hopeful wants to work with post-secondary institutions to find pathways to entrepreneurship, especially involving technology.
She also wants to establish a 25 per cent Angel Tax Credit incentive to help ease capital costs for start-up companies.
Beaudry-Mellor hopes her ideas will help turn Saskatchewan into the economic powerhouse of the west.
“We also need to foster that idea that if you can’t find a box that fits for you in the employment sector you can actually create your own employment.”
Four other candidates join Beaudry-Mellor in the race to replace Wall including: Gord Wyant, Ken Cheveldayoff, Alanna Koch and Scott Moe.
The second leadership debate will be held Thursday in Melfort.