I want Saskatoon people to have good jobs now and in the future.
Having a steady income is the foundation that allows us to live our lives and remain hopeful for the future. It is so important that we keep people working and create a diversified and resilient economy that will also ensure opportunity for the city’s children and grandchildren.
Businesses are looking to Saskatoon as the place to be.
We need to make sure we continue to attract, retain, and grow good jobs in our city.
Business leaders have told me what they want in a city is certainty, collaboration, and a level playing field.
Some of my business endorsers include:
Jerry Grandey and Wayne Brownlee, formerly of Cameco and PotashCorp, small business owners Christie Peters at Primal Pasta and Ian Loughran of Vereco smart green homes, and Vendasta’s Jacqueline Cook.
They all say it is important that we work together to get this right.
This means a City Hall that is nimble and adaptive to our changing times, that is continually looking for ways to be more efficient, to cut red tape, and to problem solve with residents and businesses.
Saskatoon is in a place of strength.
We have driven the Provincial economy in the past four years:
- We have the second most competitive business tax environment in Canada
- 60% of job growth in the Province has been in Saskatoon
- 90% of venture capital has come to Saskatoon
To build on this strength, I have a short term plan for how we keep going through COVID,
as well as a long term plan to secure a leading position for Saskatoon in the global economy.
In the short term, I will support the local economy through COVID
I have been so impressed with the Saskatoon business community. In this pandemic, they have looked for solutions, adjusted their processes and adapted to serve our community. The pandemic has also shown the importance of local business and access to local goods and services.
2 examples from my plan include:
- Promote a Winter Animation and attraction strategy to build as much activity into winter as possible for people to get out and support our local hotels, restaurants, destinations, shops
- Continue to drive flexible and adaptive regulation, similar to what we did in allowing restaurants to implement more sidewalk and parking patios
In the Long Term, I want to drive economic recovery by leveraging our strengths and positioning Saskatoon to succeed in the global economy
I have been the Urban Chair of the Western Economic Solutions Taskforce, part of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, advocating for federal policies and programs that will support Saskatoon’s economy. Mayor Don Iveson in Edmonton, Chair of the Big City Mayor’s Caucus of FCM is another of my endorsers and talks about how I am committed to keeping Saskatoon on the national and international stage.
We have what the world needs and we need to make sure the rest of the world knows this.
Part of how we do this is to implement Saskatoon’s first ever Economic Growth Strategy. It was developed with SREDA, Chamber of Commerce, NSBA, Tourism Saskatoon, Saskatchewan Trade and Export Partnership, educational institutions and dozens of local businesses. We took the first step earlier this year, now we need to focus on outcomes.
I have four main priority areas that build on this strategy. I will be announcing the first three today and the fourth, building an inclusive economy, will be announced later.
Add value to our resources
Build a food and ingredients food processing hub in the region working with Corman Park, SREDA, University of Saskatchewan, and Industry partners.
Expand our booming tech economy
- Build a center for excellence in Ag and Tech
- Work with U of S, Province and Industry to build a tech accelerator to help companies drive growth
The above two points are reinforced in an OP-ED written by AGT Foods President Murad Al-Katib today where he speaks to the importance of both adding value to our products and building technology solutions here. He states “This is a generational opportunity for Canadian agriculture, one that will be as important as the arrival of the pioneers to the Prairies.”
Saskatoon lies at the heart of this opportunity but we must work together to seize up on it.
Plan for a sustainable and resilient future
This is where Wayne Grezky and the economy come together. Go to where the puck is going, not where the puck has been.
We’ve got companies like the 7 Trillion Dollar Black Rock Investment fund - only investing companies and initiatives with a solid sustainability plan
The Transportation industry, energy industry, building industries are all pivoting towards sustainability
I want Saskatoon to be out in front and part of the job creation and innovation that will be part of these shifts.
One of my commitments is to:
- Promote an ambitious plan for retrofitting homes and offices - to create jobs, reduce bills, improve buildings and reduce emissions
- Prepare our transportation system for the future - create an electric charging network, expand the electric bus network, builds the BRT, create smart transportation grid
- Expand solar energy in Saskatoon
Just 2 days ago, Fiat Chrysler announced it was going to invest 1.5 billion in building electric vehicles in Windsor. This follows Ford’s announcement that they are investing 1.8 billion into their Oakville factory to make electric vehicles.
This is happening around the world. Saskatoon needs to be part of the economy of the future.
I am prepared to keep Saskatoon moving forward and ensure we have good jobs here now and in the future.
More details for this plan can be found in My Plan.