From the office of Bob Bjornerud
Surgical Wait Times Continue to Fall
Dramatic reductions in surgical wait times that began during the four-year Saskatchewan Surgical Initiative have continued, with even more patients receiving sooner, safer, smarter surgical care a year later.
The number of patients waiting more than three months for surgery is down 89 per cent, with 13,613 fewer patients waiting that long for surgery on March 31, 2015 than in March 2010.
Of the 10 health regions that offer surgery, seven had zero patients waiting longer than three months for surgery as of March 31, 2015.
Saskatchewan’s Wholesale Trade 2x Greater Than National Increase
According to figures from Statistics Canada, Saskatchewan’s broad-based economy is strong when compared to other jurisdictions. Year-over-year wholesale trade in Saskatchewan was up 12.2 per cent in March 2015, more than double the national average of 5.6 per cent.
Saskatchewan wholesale trade totalled $2.4 billion in March 2015, the highest March on record. Our province’s diverse wholesale sector that is helping to create more jobs and business opportunities and contributing to moving our economy forward in the long-term.
Saskatchewan Home to World-Class Mining Industry
Saskatchewan has one of the most opportunity-rich investment climates in the world, and nowhere is this more evident than in our mining industry. The value of Saskatchewan mineral production in 2014 was $7.3 billion.
The Fraser Institute’s 2014 Survey of Mining Companies measures the opinions of thousands of exploration, development and mining-related companies and ranked Saskatchewan number one in Canada and number two in the world among jurisdictions attractive to mining investment.
As the world’s largest potash producer, second-largest uranium producer, and a go-to destination for global mining investment dollars, Saskatchewan Mining Week is encouraging people to take time to learn about what the industry does for them and their communities.
Governments Move to Finalize Job Training Deal
We want to ensure everyone in Saskatchewan has access to the training and employment services they need to fully participate in our strong, diversified economy. Today we are in final discussions to retool an existing federal-provincial job training deal that will further align training to labour market opportunities and help people secure meaningful employment.
Approximately 770 Saskatchewan workers are receiving training through the Canada-Saskatchewan Job Grant with 145 Saskatchewan employers already approved for funding. Saskatchewan is currently accepting employer applications for the Canada-Saskatchewan Job Grant. Employers can learn more and apply online at economy.gov.sk.ca/job-grant.
Consultations on Farmland Ownership Now Open
We want to make sure our government is on the right path and makes the correct decisions regarding farmland ownership. This is why we’ve launched an online consultation, allowing interested parties to share their views regarding farmland ownership rules in Saskatchewan.
This consultation will help us understand who should, or should not be, allowed to own farmland in Saskatchewan, specifically pension plans, investment trusts, pension plan administrators and foreign investors. You can participate in the consultation online at saskatchewan.ca/farmland.
A paper copy of the survey may be picked up at any Ministry of Agriculture Regional Office or can be requested by calling the Agriculture Knowledge Centre. At the end of the consultation period (which runs until August 10, 2015), results of the survey and all comments will be posted online. Once the results have been analyzed, decisions will be made regarding next steps.