Clark announced he would create 15,000 new jobs in his next term. He began his comments by comparing the latest employment figures for the Province and Saskatoon.
“Saskatoon has been out-performing the provincial economy,” he stated.
Between 2017 and the beginning of the pandemic lockdown, the Saskatoon region created 11,900 new jobs. In that same period the provincial jobs were negative for 2 straight years and then made up the loss in the third year, to end up at net zero.
Also in the last 4 years, the City of Saskatoon's business development tax incentive, administered by SREDA, has had a record number of companies apply to the program that have expanded to create hundreds of local jobs.
As well, 94 percent of the $114 million in venture capital investment in Saskatchewan, in 2019, was invested in Saskatoon.
“Saskatoon is the place companies and employers are choosing to invest. This is where the jobs are,” said Clark.
“My leadership will continue providing the stable and supportive environment needed to encourage growth through these uncertain times.”
He noted that other mayoralty candidates in this election have talked about the jobs and projects that they will cut if elected and that he is the only candidate who has laid out an actual plan to create jobs into the future.
A first step in his plan to create the 15,000 new jobs is to implement the Economic Growth Strategy that was launched two weeks before the City of Saskatoon was shut down due to covid. He called the strategy a roadmap for recovery and job growth, focusing on the growing the tech economy, adding value to our natural resources, supporting Indigenous economic development, and improving Saskatoon’s quality of life.
“It is important to me that these be good jobs, and that as we continue building a strong economy, we leave no one behind,” said Clark.
He talked about how he has continued to learn the stories of people in the Indigenous, Newcomer, and LGBTQ2S communities. Across the communities, they share experiences about how systemic barriers prevent them from being able to fully participate in the economy and the community. These barriers can be encountered in applying for jobs, finding housing, accessing education and community supports.
“If re-elected as Mayor, I commit to creating a Mayor’s Roundtable to address systemic barriers to employment and participation in Saskatoon,” stated Clark. “I’ve learned that the Mayor’s Office can play an important role in convening and bringing voice to key community issues and challenges.”
He clarified that the Roundtable is not meant to replace existing efforts such as the Saskatoon Indigenous Community Action Partnership, the Local Immigration Partnership, or the Saskatoon Advisory Committee on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. The purpose will be to partner with and build on the existing work of these organizations: to identify priority actions, engage business and institutional leaders in these conversations, and help bring forward recommendations and actions to the Provincial and Federal Government.
“By ensuring there are clear pathways to success for people from all walks of life - the whole community and economy will be that much stronger,” said Clark.
More details on other parts of his Inclusive Economy platform, as they relate to Indigenous Economic Development, Newcomer Inclusion, and Women Entrepreneurs, can be found on his website.