The Sask. government is on the defensive after serving up a $3 million grant for a food delivery app company.
Wall faced criticism Wednesday over a deal to help Skip the Dishes expand its Saskatoon office.
“The jobs will be created here – there will be 300 jobs created here – and I think it’s going to be important as we continue to diversify the economy,” Wall said.
The premier insisted the government is not picking winners and losers in the economy.
Wall said the government doesn’t have the resources to offer the subsidies to others, but adds any future programs will offer more general support.
Skip The Dishes is an online portal which connects restaurants, delivery companies and customers.
The company wants to add 300 new employees in Saskatoon and the Ministry of the Economy has granted them $10,000 per employee, mostly for training, through the Work Readiness Employment Development Fund.
Most of the jobs are for developers, managers, and various specialists.
“What we know is that there are a lot of talented people living in Saskatchewan right now that want to be part of something special,” company co-founder Joshua Simair said, adding Skip The Dishes did not want to relocate to other major tech centres such as Toronto and San Francisco.
The Ministry of the Economy announced the company’s plans to add 300 jobs to the Saskatoon office, but did not indicate the government would be pitching in any money.
Funding for Skip The Dishes did, however, exceed the program’s $1.5 million cap.
The government will provide $1.75 million this year, and $1.25 million the next year.
Skip The Dishes will hire 75 workers this year, 100 the following year and 125 the final year before April 2019.
The contract stipulated any money not spent on training will be returned to the government.
Skip The Dishes was founded in Saskatoon, but has since relocated its headquarters to Winnipeg, Man.
With 300 employees, the service operates in 10 Canadian cities and four in the U.S.
In December, the Manitoba government promised the company $5.5 million over five years to add 500 jobs in Winnipeg.