BY KARI OLFERT, THINKSASKATOON
PHOTO SUPPLIED BY SHERRI LEPITZKI
What does it take to sustain and grow an economy and does Saskatoon have what it takes? There has been a lot of talk regarding a market slowdown because of the gas prices (which have gone up ever so quietly) and the house market (there is nothing wrong with a buyers market). Maybe we are all perpetual “over thinkers” or we simply care about our family and want to make sure we make the right decisions. When you look at a city’s economy, it is best to look at a few key factors. Let’s look Inside Saskatoon’s Economy:
- Natural Resources.
- Companies producing the highest revenue.
- Economic drivers.
- How the general population live.
- Current/Future projects.
Is Saskatoon growing or shrinking? You probably read, as I did very recently that;
“Saskatoon is the second-fastest growing city in Canada. The city’s 3.9 per cent population growth was just behind Calgary’s 4.3 per cent growth.”
Saskatoon became a city in 1906 with a population of 4,500 citizens. It is predicted that over the next 30 years our current population (292,000) including Martensville, will reach 500,000. It has taken us 109 years to gain 287,500 Saskatoon peeps, so growing by another 212,500 over 30 years is a short span of time and we all know how fast things can happen because of the global economy we operate on. Saskatoon’s population is growing.
Knowing which natural resources Saskatchewan produces is important because natural resources are what carries a city through challenging economic times, the backbones that can keep an economy moving forward. What are our natural resources that keep us globally relevant?
- Uranium – Uranium generates electricity. We are the only province in Canada to produce this.
- Potash – Potash is used as a fertilizer and helps crops grow more abundantly. Saskatchewan is the 2nd largest producer in Canada.
- Mines – Diamonds, gold, copper zinc we have the goods in our mines. We all want diamonds, amirite?
The Big Boys
Which Saskatoon companies are producing the highest revenue?
- Cameco – Our uranium producer.
- PotashCorp – I’ll let you figure this one out.
- Federated Co-operatives Ltd. – Agriculture.
- K+S Potash, Mosiac and companies related to mining and resource production.
We already know that natural resources are a huge economic driver for Saskatoon, what else is leading our ship?
Over one-third of our exports come from agriculture in Saskatchewan, meaning that we are helping to feed the world. Three factors make us shine; we follow guidelines like good little Saskatoon people (we produce a safe, high quality product), we have boat loads of land (for both crops and livestock), we are progressive (leading in research of improvement and expansion).
Saskatoon is a youthful city, our median age is 35. This drives our economy with energy and innovation and could be the reason why we are the entrepreneurial capital of Canada. (BOOM) As any entrepreneur knows, we can adapt, adjust and rechart our course as necessary, with this driving us we become more agile and able to ebb and flow as needed to keep our economy strong.
What are the local peeps up to? Aside from camping, working like a rock star and drinking beer, not much. (I kid) Knowing how a general population lives is important because it shows standard of living and how money is being reinvested into the economy. The ‘cashflow’ of a city represents the health of the internal infrastructure and the diversity of its growth contributors.
Saskatoon people are (mostly) honest, driven and family focused. For the most part we like to play it safe and try not to take on needless debt, this adds stability to our market. Our government also provides financial incentives and healthcare aligned with our values.
What are the current/future projects in Saskatoon? I am going to give you a link to a list of projects for 2015, directly from our Government of Saskatchewan. I am doing this because the last article that I wrote regarding large Saskatoon projects was popular for companies in Saskatoon. You will want to take note if you are affected by construction or looking for projects to bid on. The chart shows company name, project, location, value in millions (you read that right), start year, end year, phase and remarks.