October 26, 2023
Regina, SK – The Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce (SCC) welcomes many of the directions outlined in the Government of Saskatchewan’s 2023 Speech from the Throne.
“The continued expansion of Saskatchewan’s economy, and the growth in our agricultural exports is positive news for Saskatchewan businesses and residents across the province. We are very pleased to hear about progress that has been made in achieving the government's Growth Plan goals, including population growth, private capital investment, and agri-food exports,” said Prabha Ramaswamy, CEO of the Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce.
Ramaswamy said she is looking forward to learning more about the new Investment Attraction Strategy. Investment attraction and economic development was ranked as the fourth highest priority for government expenditures amongst Chamber members. More than 54% of SCC members have indicated investment tax incentives would lead their businesses to invest more capital and create more jobs in Saskatchewan.
“Labour shortage is a key issue facing businesses across the province. 82% of SCC members have indicated moderate to significant impact on their business due to labour shortage. Saskatchewan businesses will be interested in acquiring more details about the recruitment initiatives the province will be implementing as part of Saskatchewan Jobs Plan,” she said.
International engagement efforts are critical to ensuring the world is aware of the role Saskatchewan can play in the future of global access to food, fuel, and fertilizer. The government’s continued international engagement efforts including at COP 28 in the UAE are important for economic growth in the province.
The government’s plan to use The Saskatchewan First Act to refer the federal Clean Electricity Regulations, the Clean Fuel Standard regulations and the oil and gas emissions cap to the Economic Impact Assessment Tribunal is congruent with our member’s feedback, and the SCC’s advocacy efforts.
The emphasis on enhancing indigenous employment and participation in the economy through the Saskatchewan Indigenous Investment Finance Corporation is critical for economic reconciliation and future prosperity of the province.
The decision to re-instate the PST rebate on new home construction is a positive one, however we would encourage the government to consider removing the PST from construction labour, and to consider removing the PST expansion brought in on October 1, 2022. The expansion of the PST has had a significant impact on SCC members. In fact, 60% of SCC members have reported a significant or very significant impact to their business due to the expansion of the PST over the past five years.
“We look forward to learning more details about the initiatives announced, in the coming days,” said Ramaswamy.
About The SCC
The Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce is the Voice of Saskatchewan Business and represents the interests of over 10,000 individual businesses, industry associations, and local chambers across the province through its chamber network. More information can be found at saskchamber.com or @SaskChamber on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.