Saskatchewan is growing
Small business owners and consumers took part in the first Small Business Saturday across Canada this weekend. In Regina, 40 businesses offered up deals or discounts as a way to promote their business, spread awareness about local shopping, and give back to their community.
Sandi Ryan's Basket Cases was one of them. Although she offered a 10 per cent discount for the day, the business owner of 25 years said the day was more about saying thank you to the community.
In order to access Saskatchewan's Athabasca Basin, you have to follow Mother Nature’s lead.
Cameco flew members of the media nearly 600 kilometers north of Saskatoon for a tour of the McArthur uranium mine Tuesday.
But like most treks up north, there were a few bumps along the way. Weather did not permit the small plane to land at the site. Instead, the pilot landed an hour away at one of the company's processing plants.
While the Saskatchewan Party is revealing a plan to boost the province's population, the business community is expecting to grow along with it.
On Tuesday, Premier Brad Wall announced the "Saskatchewan Plan for Growth" at the Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce luncheon in Saskatoon. The plan includes six core areas that the government feels will bring more people to Saskatchewan.
The NDP say the "Saskatchewan Plan For Growth" needs a little more development.
Brad Wall and the Saskatchewan Party government released the initiative today. It aims to grow the population while paying off debt and increasing education. But the NDP says the plan appears to be half-baked.
Not everyone is benefitting from Saskatchewan's economic boom, according to an umbrella organization called Poverty Free Saskatchewan.
The group hosted discussions for people dealing with poverty in seven different cities in Saskatchewan and found that conditions aren't improving.
Kirk Englot admitted there are already some good programs in place, but a province-wide strategy on how to deal with poverty is still needed.
"The concept we're working with is how to link all those initiatives so that we can have the biggest impact possible."
Saskatchewan has a new 25-year plan and agency to deal with its water needs.
Minister Ken Cheveldayoff called the new Water Security Agency a one-stop shop for water issues.
"The (Saskatchewan) Watershed Authority-all the people will be moving over. A number of people will be moving from environment, as well as some from agriculture, and some from health. All the expertise that deals with water is going to be housed within the Water Security Agency," he told reporters outside the Meewasin Valley Authority Offices in Saskatoon.
Cranes in the skyline and houses popping up in new neighbourhoods across the city are the most visible signs that Regina continues to shatter records for construction.
Last month the value of building permits issued in Regina were more than triple those from last September, reaching more than $567 million.
Year-to-date, Regina has already passed the total amount of construction permits issued last year. This is the seventh time in the last decade the city has set a new record for construction.
Improvements to the highway leading into Dalmeny could mean huge growth for the community.
"It's just a godsend. I've been chasing highways ministers for the last 19 years trying to get this road," said Allan Earle, the mayor of Dalmeny.
Construction started in June on the Highway 16 intersection, the Dalmeny Access Road and the road leading from the Blairmore Wal-Mart to Highway 16, which has been renamed Neault Road after Saskatoon city councillor, Moe Neault, who died suddenly from a heart attack last summer.
Imagine sending your kid on a 45-minute bus ride in the morning.
As the population continues to grow in Saskatchewan, it's a reality for some parents.
“We don’t even, yet, have one school to fill the need for all the children,” said Blair Pisio, president of the Stonebridge Community Association and father of two.
“We definitely do need schools over in the neighbourhood.”
Gone are the days when more people moved out of Saskatchewan than moved in with the population growing at a rate that hasn't been seen since shortly after we became a province.
The latest numbers show Saskatchewan’s population grew by more than 22,100 people between July 1 of 2011 and July 1 this year. This jump marks the greatest growth in a single year since 1921. We became a province in 1905.
Saskatchewan’s population stood at 1,079,958 as of July 1. Immigration is the biggest driver of this new high.