January 2014

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The Voice of Business in Saskatchewan

action! online In this issue... • Commerce Con • Business Assistance Service Guide • By The Numbers • Crowdfunding ... and more!

Social Media www.facebook.com/saskchamber www.twitter.com/SaskChamber

January, 2014

Get in Touch Tel: 306.352.2671 Email: [email protected]

Humboldt’s Commerce Con brings together business and youth The Humboldt Uniplex was abuzz with excited convention-goers November 19, when the Humboldt Chamber of Commerce teamed up with the Horizon School Division to host Commerce Con, a one-day conference designed to connect business and youth. The Chamber had been approached by a local teacher who was looking for help in connecting high school students with business role models in the areas of human resources, accounting, management, marketing and entrepreneurship. At the time, the school featured a “Health Link” day for students interested in health sciences, and a day where students interested in the trades could speak to qualified tradespeople to learn about their potential careers, but the linkage between the students and other areas of business hadn’t been explored. That’s when Commerce Con was born. A play on the pop culture “Comic Con” trend which has been evolving across North America, the day began with a series of businesspeople in the various categories speaking to the students, revealing what a “day in the life” in their chosen field looks like. The students heard from Michelle Bankowski of Diamonds of Detroit (marketing); Kenda Thimm of MNP LLP (accounting); Corrine Kelly-Hyde of Schulte Industries (human resources); Lorraine Forster of Prairie’s Edge Development Corporation (entrepreneurship) and Kevin Plemel of Colony Motor Products (management). One of the students drafted a Commerce Con brochure with catchy “Comic Con” style pop art, and the brochures were circulated by both the school division and the Chamber. This was followed by a networking luncheon attended by both students and mentors, and an afternoon program consisting of presentations about the Edwards School of Business, Paul J. Hill School of Business, Carlton Trail Regional College, St. Peter’s College, and SIAST (business faculty). Humboldt Chamber Executive Director Donna-Lynn Thorsteinson said that about 70 students from the school division attended, and the response from both students and presenters was enthusiastic. “The students had the chance to see what the reality of business is, and the business people got to meet their future employees,” she said, adding that the event is planned to become a yearly occurrence, and that she would encourage other chambers to do the same sort of project.

Tapping Opportunity in the Bakken Workshop January 20, 2014 10:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. Ramada Plaza, Regina STEP, in partnership with the Sask Chamber will hold a half day workshop about the immense opportunity involved in the Bakken oil play throughout Montana, North Dakota and Saskatchewan. For more information, contact David Froh, 306.787.7928 or by email at [email protected]. sk.ca.

Not just anyone can provide unprecedented access and an opportunity to share a legacy experience unique to Saskatchewan with their employees, visitors and guests, but you can!

Join the new RCMP Heritage Centre Corporate Membership Program An initiative of The Friends of the RCMP Heritage Centre For levels, rates and benefits, please visit the “Memberships” page under “Support the Centre” on our website or email [email protected]

rcmpheritagecentre.com 5907 Dewdney Ave. Regina, Saskatchewan 1.866.567.726


CEO’s Message Are we asking the Right Questions? As a Chamber of Commerce we speak to people every day on a wide range of issues. Lately the discussions have been about the weather and the holidays, but we also ask about and hear about the status of businesses. As an organization who has a policy library of 54 current resolutions and 34 research papers in our online library we have gathered significant content, received lots of great input and (most importantly) generated some great recommendations for government and business. One challenge of being a chamber is to ensure we keep one eye on the issues facing business today and one on the horizon. We need to ensure we are dealing with current issues and that we are also doing research on the challenges and opportunities of tomorrow. While it can, at times, make a person feel cross-eyed, it’s right where we like to be. To have such a wealth of policy on our books and access to the amazing bench strength we have on our committees, Board, membership and staff is truly a gift; however, we want to do even more in the future. I am always pleased to gain and share the wisdom of our Past Presidents. In this case the wise man is the shy, quiet, reserved Mr. Clay Dowling. At a dinner about a year ago we spoke about the future of the province and what the current situation was and where the issues and opportunities were. Clay kept querying, “Are we asking the right questions?” I thought it interesting then, but have since come to see it as brilliant. It is the easy thing to hear an issue and jump to find the answer, however as we face a more complex future, we need to mine a little deeper to ensure we start to point inquiring minds in the right direction. Clearly Saskatchewan has many more opportunities than challenges (and isn’t it nice to be in this space?). That gives us the freedom and responsibility to look at opportunities that would have seemed ludicrous a decade ago. For example: • We can think about Saskatoon having 500,000 people in your lifetime, not just your grandchildren’s. • We can start to ask about future labour markets and actually mold the future to our demands. • We can ask about rail cargo, its capacity, and its overall future in the province as we expand our production and list of products using the rails. • We can dream about the year when Saskatchewan has a record crop and a home field Grey Cup win --oops -- that’s already happened, so what is the right question on


large sporting events or crop production targets? We are launching a new program in the next short while called the Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce Research Campaign (no clever ad agency title needed) and it will pool the resources of our private sector members, both financial and intellectually, to first determine what the right questions are that we need answers to and then create the process and the report to provide the answer. We have done great research work in partnership with many groups over the past years and believe this is the next logical step. We will invite chambers, other business organizations and businesses to invest their time and money into this campaign. Please call me if you have an interest in participating or if you have a questions we need answered. To all of you who have offered input or ideas or simply raised a challenge in the past, I say, “thank you for your input”. To all of you who believe the next years and decades in this province can be as great as we make them, then this is a program you should get involved with. I look forward to hearing what you think the Right Questions are - call me at 306-352-2671 or email me at [email protected].

From Here to There Editor’s Column Brain freeze from the depths of the Deep Freeze: Clinomania Are you a Clinomaniac? Now, admittedly, my family and friends would tag me as a lot of kinds of ‘maniac’ - but I don’t think this one would be at the top of the list. The past couple of months, though, I will have to admit to a slightly Clinomaniacal leaning... and I bet I’m not alone. You see, Clinomaniacs are those who find it really, really tough to get out of bed in the morning (the word’s origin is Greek, stemming from clino, or ‘bed’, and mania, or addiction). It is actually a clinical ailment that can be triggered by depression, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and other anxiety disorders -- but which in my non-clinical assessment of myself, comes mostly from the cold. It’s so darn hard to get out of bed in the morning when it’s dark as pitch and every cell in your body is telling you the saner option would be to roll over, pull the blankets over your head, and hibernate. To make it worse, this Polar Vortex that we’ve been experiencing has added another layer of lethargy to many of us. Who wants to step foot outside the door to start an ice-cold vehicle? (Personally, I like my ice in a glass. With lemonade. On the beach somewhere, in the sun.) However, those of us who aren’t actually Clinomaniacs, who just have the Winter Blues and have a life that’s waiting outside the frosty door for them, have to ignore our natural inclinations and actually face the day. One of the small thoughts I try to keep foremost in the morning is that each day, there is a little more sunlight than the one before it. Although the coldest days of the year thus far have been since Dec. 21, that solstice marks the time when we start moving closer to the sun. A small thought, but comforting.And according to the ever-hopeful Huffington Post, Canadian winters have warmed an average of 3.2C since 1948! Another idea you may want to try is a sunlight alarm clock. I got one for Christmas, and I love it. These clocks are set like a regular alarm clock, but a half-hour before alarm time, they start to light up gradually in intensity until when the beep-beep of the alarm goes off, the room is bright and cheerful. Yesterday I forgot to use mine, and darn near missed a day of work! (There was a mad scramble in the dark, and a lot of grumbling).

A third exercise is to take a moment when you wake up, even before you open your eyes, and think of something you’re grateful for, that you wouldn’t be able to enjoy if you just stayed in bed all day. Or take this quiet time to set a goal for the day. Or plan a random act of kindness. And if none of these work, take a deep breath and throw off the covers anyway, and look for the humour in it. Life isn’t going to wait for you, Clinomaniac or not! The Canadian National Temperature Conversion Guide: 10C: 5C : 3C: 0C: -5C: -10C: -20C: -25C: -30C: -40C: -60C -80C:

Vancouverites try to turn on the heat. Saskatchewanians plant gardens. Victorians shiver uncontrollably. Saskies sunbathe. Italian cars won’t start. Saskies drive with the windows down. Distilled water freezes. Regina water gets thicker Torontonians wear coats, gloves and wool hats. Saskatonians throw on a t-shirt Quebecers begin to evacuate the province. Saskatchewanians go swimming. Toronto landlords finally turn up the heat. Saskatchewanians have the last cook out before it gets cold. People in Vancouver cease to exist. Saskatchewanians lick flagpoles. Calgarians fly away to Mexico. Yorkton people throw on a light jacket. Hamilton disintegrates. Humboldt people rent some videos. Mt. St. Helens freezes. Battlefords Girl Scouts begin selling cookies door to door. Polar bears begin to evacuate the arctic. Weyburn Boy Scouts postpone their campout.

Long term projects you can’t get to? Hire a business student from SIAST Co-operative Education. Accountancy, Administration, Human Resources and Marketing students are available for January 2014 work terms. Recruitment is underway. Please contact Shelley Ruecker: 306-691-8322

[email protected]


Crowdfunding Unleashed On December 6, 2013, the Government of Saskatchewan, through the Saskatchewan Financial and Consumer Affairs Authority (FCAA), put into action its new crowdfunding exemption for the raising of capital in Saskatchewan.

by Joe Gill, McKercher LLP

called “crowd”) who individually do not contribute a significant amount of funds.

In some cases, the contribution can be as little as a dollar. In return, the investor may receive nothing (donation model), some good or service such as a This new exemption is a “first in Canada” solution copy of a production or a prototype of the product to an issue that has gained international attention being financed (sale of goods model), or an equity in recent years. The purpose of this article, kindly interest in the venture itself (equity model). This provided by McKercher LLP is to provide some article is focused on the latter of these models, the background on crowdfunding, the exemption equity model. itself, and how it stacks up against regulatory The full article, available to download here, provides requirements in other jurisdictions. in-depth information on how to crowdfund, what What is Crowdfunding? the exemptions are and why they are required, and Crowdfunding is the raising of capital by gathering taxation potential. funds from a large number of investors (the so-

Saskatchewan Order of Merit

Congratulations to the 2013 Saskatchewan Order of Merit recipients! Pictured here are (L-R): SOM recipient Grant Kook, C.M.; SOM recipient John V. Cross; Marion Ghiglione, Chair of the Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce; and Steve McLellan, CEO of the Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce.


[We need to rebuild our power grid.]

It takes


Saskatchewan is enjoying incredible growth. That growth means we need more power. With an aging power grid, it’s an ongoing challenge to meet the needs of today — and tomorrow. We’re hard at work and ready to meet that challenge. LEARN MORE AT


7599 Sask Chamber Newsletter.indd 1

2013-12-09 3:53 PM


By The Numbers

By Doug Elliott, SaskTrends Monitor


Saskatchewan Population 1,140

The provincial population continues to grow steadily. The annual increase was 1.8% in the third quarter of 2013 compared with 2.0% in 2012 so the pace has slowed somewhat. International immigration continues to be the driving force, accounting for more than one half of the increase in the past year. The contribution from inter-provincial migration, while still positive, has diminished.

thousands of persons

1,120 1,100 1,080 1,060 1,040 1,020 1,000

Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 2009

CONSUMER PRICE INFLATION The annual inflation rate slowed to near zero over the course of 2012 but has since bounced back to 1.5%. The relatively high inflation rate for tobacco and alcohol (4.9%) and groceries (1.7%) is offset by lower inflation rates for transportation (0.5%), household operations (1.2%) and clothing (0.8%). Most observers expect inflation to stay low in 2014.




Monthly Employment in Saskatchewan 565 560 555 550 545 540 535 530 525 520 515

thousands (seasonally adjusted)


RETAIL SALES After little or no growth in late 2012 and early 2013, retail sales increased sharply in the spring months before leveling off over the summer. The 2013 increase will be near 3.5% with the highest growth rates among new motor vehicles. The number of new motor vehicles purchased has grown by 5% in the first part of 2013.


at end of quarter:

EMPLOYMENT AND EARNINGS After a slow start earlier in the year, employment jumped over the summer months and we will end the year with an increase near 3.5%, the largest in decades. Employment growth has been strongest in full-time jobs, among older workers, in Regina and Saskatoon, and in the private sector. Average hourly wage rates are up 2.7% for 2013 compared with 4.6% in 2012.




Monthly Retail Sales in Saskatchewan $1,600 $1,550

$ millions (seasonally adjusted)

$1,500 $1,450 $1,400 $1,350 $1,300 $1,250 $1,200




Monthly Consumer Price Inflation in Saskatchewan 4.0%

% change from a year ago

3.5% 3.0% 2.5% 2.0% 1.5% 1.0% 0.5% 0.0%





International Merchandise Trade to/from Saskatchewan


The value of merchandise exports has increased by 2.8% in the first ten months of 2013 compared with the same period a year ago. The value of imports was effectively unchanged over the same period so the balance of trade (exports less imports) is up by 4.6% in the first part of the year. This compares with an increase of 1.2% in 2012.


C$ billions



$2.0 $1.5 $1.0 $0.5 $0.0


CONSTRUCTION The value of building permits issued in the first ten months of 2013 was $2.8 billion, down slightly from the same period in 2012. The value of residential permits is near last year’s levels and the value of non-residential permits is down slightly because of a drop in government spending on schools and hospitals. The value of residential and non-residential permits is up 8% in Saskatoon and down 13% in Regina.

MANUFACTURING SALES MANUFACTURING SALES The value of manufacturing sales is up The value of manufacturing is up 6.4% in the first ten monthssales of 2013 6.4% in the first of 2013 compared withten themonths same period a year compared with the is same period a year ago. The increase concentrated in nonago. The increase is concentrated in nondurable goods (12%) such as chemical durable goods (12%)and suchrefinery as chemical products, fertilizer, products. products, fertilizer,goods and refinery Sales of durable such asproducts. Sales of durable as are down machinery andgoods metal such products machinery and metal products are down by 4%. Employment in manufacturing bywill 4%.end Employment manufacturing the year upin4.5% from 2012. will end the year up 4.5% from 2012.

$250 $200


Monthly Value of Building Permits in Saskatchewan $ millions (seasonally adjusted)


$150 $100 $50 $0

non‐residential J FMAM J J A SOND J FMAMJ J A SOND J FMAMJ J A SOND 2011



Monthly Manufacturing Sales in Saskatchewan Monthly Manufacturing Sales in Saskatchewan $1,400 $ millions (seasonally adjusted) $1,350 $1,400 $1,300 $ millions (seasonally adjusted) $1,350 $1,250 $1,300 $1,200 $1,250 $1,150 $1,200 $1,100 $1,150 $1,050 $1,100 $1,000 $1,050 $950 $1,000 $900 $950 $850 $900 J FMAM J J A SOND J FMAM J J A SOND J FMAM J J A SOND $850 J F M A M J 2011 J A S O N D J F M A M J 2012 J A S O N D J F M A M J 2013 J ASOND 2011




Saskatchewan Gross Farm Cash Receipts by Quarter $5.0

Gross receipts for Saskatchewan farmers set records in both 2011 and 2012 and are on track to do so again this year. Sales in the first three quarters of 2013 are up 1.7% from the same period of 2012 and the record 2013 crop will lead to higher receipts in the last quarter and into 2014.



$ billions

$4.0 $3.5 $3.0 $2.5 $2.0 $1.5 $1.0






















Just Watch Me! video contest  - Prairie Edition for Entrepreneurs with Disabilities in rural Manitoba and Saskatchewan  

Community Futures is seeking entrepreneurs with disabilities or health conditions to enter its “Just Watch Me” video contest to win cash and prizes!! All you need to do is create a short 2 to 3 minute video and enter it in the contest (prairie edition) by January 24, 2014 at 3 p.m. Rules and more information can be found at www.justwatchmecontest.ca. This video contest is run by the Community Futures Entrepreneurs with Disabilities Program (EDP), and is open to people with self-identified disabilities or ongoing health conditions operating a business in a Community Futures region in Manitoba or Saskatchewan.  

The winning video in the “Just Watch Me” contest will be chosen by a judging panel and public voting process. The winner will be announced on  February 26, 2014.

Canada-Saskatchewan Business Centre/Western Economic Diversification transitioning to non-profit The federal services of the Canada-Saskatchewan Business Service Centre (CSBSC) will soon be transitioned to a not-for-profit organization. Western Economic Diversification (WD) recently signed an agreement with the Saskatoon Regional Economic Development Authority Ltd (SREDA), for the delivery of the Canada Business Network services in Saskatchewan. The agreement is effective April 1, 2014, at which time the SREDA will begin delivering business information services to entrepreneurs, start-up businesses and small business owners in the Province of Saskatchewan as mandated under the Canada Business Network Program. Services offered by the CSBSC will continue during the transition.

Thank you to our renewing members in December!

Time is running out to enter TEC-Water’s “Worst Water” contest! Communities with populations of 1,000 or less can enter to win a $45,000 water treatment prize package. Contest closes Jan. 15, 2014 For full rules and regulations, visit http://www.tecwater.ca today!


Your continued support of the Chamber movement makes it possible for us to achieve on your behalf, and we want you to know we appreciate you as members! • • • • • • •

Loblaw (Canadian Logistics) Business Furnishings (Sask) Ltd. Steam-Est Industries Randy Sander CGA EPR Saskatoon Gideon Dala Medical Prof Corp. Labatt Saskatchewan

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Candle Lake Golf Resort Can Elson Drilling Inc. Golden Opportunities Fund McKim Cringan George Dr. Joseph Buwembo Potzus Ltd. Bit Service Company Ltd. Ramco Paving Ltd. Dr. Muriel Kriel Canadian Salt Company TNC Mall Property Holdings Crescent Point Resources North Fringe Industrial Welldone Mechanical Services Doepker Industries Wilhelm Construction Servies Stewart Steel Inc. Grasslands Group

Business Assistance Service Reference Guide Providing owners the resources to help manage their business more efficiently Most small businesses can’t afford to have a team of specialists on hand to help deal with unexpected problems that require an expert opinion. The Chambers of Commerce Group Insurance Plan® Business Assistance Service is designed to fill this gap. Included in every Chambers Plan program at no additional cost, this confidential service provides access to professional accounting, counseling, legal and human resource experts who understand the challenges small business owners face. MANAGEMENT SERVICES Provides up to six hours of Legal, Accounting and Specialized Human Resource services combined, per calendar year. These may include: Legal Advice When faced with a legal dilemma, this service provides practical and current interpretations of company, partnership, taxation and insolvency law, plus all relevant aspects of common and civil law. Receive answers to questions concerning shareholders, directors, employees, creditors and other stake holders, including consumers, the community and the environment. Accounting Advice When the numbers don’t add up, advice from a professional enables owners and managers to strengthen management and control functions through expert counsel. Obtain answers and recommendations to solve business accounting challenges, make informed compliance decisions and better manage company finances. Specialized Human Resource Services When facing a technical human resource issue, from termination processes and overtime pay to legislative or labour law concerns, this service provides you answers confidentially, via telephone. HUMAN RESOURCE COACHING Confidential telephone coaching helps address a wide range of challenging people issues, including performance management, absenteeism, conflict and difficult behaviour. The coaching service provides up to 30 minutes of service per call, to a maximum of two hours per issue, for unlimited issues per calendar year. CONFIDENTIAL EMPLOYEE REFERRAL When an employee is consistently absent from work, or under-performing, there is a strong probability a personal issue is the cause. You now have the resources available to help employees deal with the four most common situations affecting performance: • Work-related problems • Dependency problems • Marital and family problems • Personal problems Help your staff get back on track, and back to work, through face-to-face counseling with a trained professional. This referral service includes up to 12 hours of counseling per insured employee, per calendar year. Bereavement Counseling The survivor bereavement benefit provides counseling for up to three months for the dependents of an insured employee who dies. Counseling Extension Employees undergoing counseling at the time of termination of their group policy will be offered a further two hours of consultation. This ensures adequate time to transfer to another professional. The Chambers Plan has retained Arete® Human Resources Inc. as the independent service provider of Business Assistance Service. To access the Management Services and Human Resource Coaching, call Arete’s toll-free number 1 877 922-8646 and have your Firm number and your organization’s name, as shown on your policy, on hand. A trained specialist will ask some basic questions to identify how best to help you. Contact with a professional lawyer, Certified Accountant or Certified General Accountant, or Human Resource specialist will be arranged for your telephone counseling services. To access the Confidential Referral to assist employees, pl ease provide your employee with the Business Assistance Service Referral for Employees handout. This document can be found on the chambers.ca website (http.//www.chambers.ca/existing-clients/employers/forms-and-resources.html). Please have your employee call Arete’s toll-free number 1 877 922-8646, and ensure they have their Firm and Certificate number handy. A representative will assist them in connecting with a counselor for their specific need.



Better serve your Not-For-Profit organization


Effective governance is critical to making good organizations great, as is understanding your role as a board director. The NFP Governance Essentials Program (NFP Program) is an intensive three-day program designed to help directors learn, grow, and make a positive impact. Offered at Canada’s leading business schools, the NFP Program is taught by top faculty and highly respected directors-in-residence. Jointly developed by the Institute of Corporate Directors and the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management, this premier program is supported by the RBC Foundation and TELUS.





Edwards School of Business

March 30 - April 1, 2014

February 27, 2014

icd.ca/NFP [email protected]

A limited number of RBC Foundation and TELUS scholarships valued at $1,000 are available for each offering.

Supported by:

Jointly developed by:


In collaboration with:

Members in the News The Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority (SIGA) recently announced the 2013 winners of the SIGA First Nations Scholarship Awards, from which $30,000 is being provided to First Nations students in Saskatchewan to help them with their educational pursuits. This is a very positive sign of growth and progress in Aboriginal education. A 2006 study of Aboriginal people in Saskatchewan aged 15 and over showed that 35 per cent had not completed high school (or high school equivalent), while another 17 per cent stated that high school was the highest level of schooling ever completed. The inability to complete post-secondary degrees impacts the lifetime earning potential of Aboriginal people, and prevents them from becoming part of the skilled workforce within the province. Thanks to concerted efforts such as SIGA’s scholarships, and increased focus on First Nations education by the province’s post-secondary institutions (SIAST, SIIT, First Nations University of Canada, the University of Regina and the University of Saskatchewan among them), the level of post-secondary achievement for First Nations people is definitely increasing. This year’s scholarship winners, recognized for excellence in academics and community involvement, will study in a range of places, from post-secondary institutions here in Saskatchewan to far abroad (McGill and University of Victoria among the destinations). Congratulations go out to: Cassandra Opikokew (Canoe Lake Cree Nation, Ph. D. Public Policy - Indigenous Health, University of Regina) Cora Mirasty (Lac La Ronge Indian Band, Doctor of Medicine, University of Saskatchewan) Jada Yee (Wood Mountain Lakota, Business Administration, First Nations University of Canada) Jeanelle Mandes (Beardy’s & Okemasis First Nation, University of Regina) Brandon White (Qalipu Mi’kmaq NL, University of Saskatchewan) Brook Isbister (Mistawasis FN, University of Saskatchewan) Charmaine Pinacie (Muskowekan FN) Disa Acoose (Sakimay FN, SIIT) Jacqueline Anaquod (Muscowpetung FN, FNUC) Jacquelyne Nokusis (Peepeekisis FN, U of S) Jessica Hueser (Lac La Ronge Indian Band, Boucher Institute) Jarrod MacDonald (Muskeg Lake Cree Nation, McGill) Kendra McKay (James Smith FN, U of S) Kevin Littlewolf (Onion Lake FN, SIIT) Kirstin Scansen (Lac La Ronge Indian Band, U of Victoria) Lydia Ross (Montreal Lake FN, SIIT) Margaret Taypotat (Kahkewistahaw FN, SIAST) Max Fineday (Sweet Grass FN, U of S) Omeasoo Butt (Saddle Lake FN, U of S)


LEGISLATIVE REPORT Saskatchewan producers have harvested the largest crop in the province’s history and surpassed the 2020 target set out in the Saskatchewan Plan for Growth. The latest estimates from Statistics Canada indicate Saskatchewan’s 2013 crop is 38.4 million tonnes, exceeding the Growth Plan goal to increase crop production to 36.6 million tonnes by 2020. The 2013 crop is 40 per cent above 2012 production and 48 per cent above the 10 year average. Saskatchewan’s canola crop is estimated to be the largest on record at 8.9 million tonnes, an increase of 37.5 per cent over 2012. Production levels for wheat, canola, peas, lentils, chickpeas, oats and flax are all estimated to be above the 10 year average. Wholesale trade in Saskatchewan hit a record $2.0 billion in October 2013, according to a Statistics Canada report. Trade jumped by 12.4 per cent in October over last year, the second highest percentage increase in the nation and more than three times the national increase of 3.5 per cent. On a monthly basis, wholesale trade was up by 4.5 per cent, ranking Saskatchewan second among the provinces.




Building Permit Record

Record Exports

Record Mfg. Sales

Month over month, building permits were up by 26.2% between September and October, totaling a record $370.6 million. Building permits were up by 14% over October 2012, second best in Canada and better than the 6.2% decline reported nationally. Residential building permits were $172.5 million in October 2013, up 7% over last year. Non-residential permits were $198.2 million, a 20.9% rise over 2012.

Merchandise exports totaled $27.2 billion between January and October of 2013. Energy exports totaled $10.25 billion in the first 10 months of 2013, up 3.4 per cent from the same period last year, a record for this period. Other major gains were in consumer products, up 66.7 per cent and forestry products, up 14.0 per cent.

In October of 2013 manufacturing sales totaled $1.35 billion, up from $1.21 billion last year and a record for the month, according to Statistics Canada. On a year-over-year basis, sales are up by 11.4 per cent in the province, the third highest percentage increase in the nation.


Legislative Report (cont’d) The Government of Saskatchewan has introduced amendments to The Saskatchewan Employment Act to include essential services. The amendments are the result of consultations that occurred in 2012, during the development of The Saskatchewan Employment Act, and most recently the summer of 2013. The key changes to the legislation are: • Requiring an essential services agreement to be negotiated at impasse in bargaining a collective agreement. • Expanding the definition of “public employer” to include all employers that provide an essential public service. • Enabling disputes on the content of an employer’s essential services notice to be heard by an arbitrator or arbitration board. • Enabling the union to challenge all aspects of the employer’s essential services notice. • Providing a process to resolve a collective bargaining agreement where the level of essential services required results in a strike or lockout being ineffective. For more information on these changes and how they affect Saskatchewan workers and employers, visit www.lrws.gov.sk.ca/modernizing-legislation. The December sale of petroleum and natural gas rights brought in $13.9 million in revenue, with the average price paid being $656/hectare. Calendar year total revenue from the six land sales held in 2013 is $67.4 million. The December sale saw the Weyburn-Estevan area receive the most bids with sales of $7.5 million. The Lloydminster area was next at $5.1 million, followed by the Kindersley-Kerrobert area at $1.2 million and the Swift Current area at $122,697. The highest price paid for a single parcel was $908,448. Plunkett Resources Ltd. acquired the 259-hectare lease east of Estevan. The highest price on a per-hectare basis was $6,189. Scott Land & Lease Ltd. bid $801,459 for a 129.5-hectare lease south of Maidstone. Saskatchewan remains on track to beat last year’s record in crude oil production. Saskatchewan saw a 10 per cent decrease in employment insurance (EI) claims in October 2013 compared to October 2012 – the biggest decrease in Canada. There were 600 fewer initial and renewal employment insurance claims in the province this past October on a seasonally adjusted basis. On a monthly basis, claims were down 5.4 per cent between September 2013 and October 2013 (seasonally adjusted). This decrease was the largest in Canada and compares favourably to a 1.7 per cent decline posted nationally over that period. There were 9,950 people receiving EI in Saskatchewan, a drop of 1,400 people (12.3 per cent) compared to October 2012. The Water Security Agency is now taking nominations for the Council of the Federation Excellence in Water Stewardship Award. The award builds on the Council’s Water Charter which was endorsed by all Premiers in 2010, and recognizes the collective obligation of Canadians and their governments to be responsible water stewards. The award will be announced on March 17, 2014 at the beginning of Canada Water Week. Saskatchewan’s 2014 winner will be awarded a $1,000 grant, a certificate signed by Premier Brad Wall and a distinctive glass award.


Legislative Report (cont’d) The deadline for nominations is January 31, 2014 and organizations are invited to apply or nominate a worthy community group, institution, partnership, municipality or business. Further information is available on the Water Security Agency’s website at www.wsask.ca. The Workers’ Compensation Act, 2013 became law in Saskatchewan on January 1, 2014. The new Act will contain provisions that include: • improving benefits for injured workers by increasing the maximum insurable earnings; • introduction of a system of indexation to ensure benefits are adjusted annually; • raising to $25,000 the level at which workers at age 65 years may choose a lump sum payment rather than an annuity; and • providing the board with the ability to assess administrative penalties. The maximum wage rate, the upper limit on earnings used for the calculation of benefits, will increase from $55,000 to $59,000 for new claims. The maximum wage rate was last increased in 2005. The new Act also contains an indexation formula based on increases to the average weekly wage. The 2010 Committee of Review was asked to consider the previous committee’s recommendations when they prepared their final report to ensure continuity. The government also wanted to ensure that stakeholders had an opportunity to consult on the committee’s recommendations prior to any legislative changes. The Workers’ Compensation Board is in the process of implementing the changes required with the new Act. For more information on these changes and how they affect Saskatchewan workers and employers, visit www.lrws.gov.sk.ca/labourlegislation.

Welcome to our new members!


Allstar Tech Regina www.allstartech.com

Marsh Canada Limited Regina canada.marsh.com

Shercom Industries Saskatoon www.shercomindustries.com

Hill & Knowlton Strategies Regina www.hkstrategies.ca

Firstonsite Restoration Saskatoon www.firstonsite.ca

For membership information, or to refer your leads, contact Jesse Chatterson at 306.352.2671 or [email protected].

action! online is a monthly membership e-publication of the Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce.

CHAMBER STAFF Steve McLellan CEO [email protected]

Jesse Chatterson Director of Member Services [email protected]

Marilyn Leier Administrative Assistant [email protected]

Elissa LaLiberte Membership Services Coordinator [email protected]

Kristin McKee Director of Policy Development [email protected]

Cindy Wright Director of Special Events [email protected]

Curtis Hemming Director of Government Relations [email protected]

Dawn M. Barker Director of Communications [email protected]

CHAMBER BOARD OF DIRECTORS Chair - Marion Ghiglione (Handy Group of Companies) 1st Vice-Chair - Bruce Anderson (b-creative group) 2nd Vice-Chair - Randy Beattie (PFM Capital Inc.) Immediate Past-Chair - Fred Titanich (CAA Saskatchewan) Directors Andrew Geary (Deloitte & Touche LLP Cam Cooper (Praxis Analytics) Trina Warren (MNP LLP) Michael Cossar (Regina) Patricia Warsaba (McKercher LLP) Shawna Nelson (Sheraton Cavalier Saskatoon) Monica Kreuger (Global Infobrokers Inc.) Greg Hanwell (Beer Bros. Gastropub & Deli) Sean Young (Young’s Equipment)

1630 - 1920 Broad Street Regina, SK S4P 3V2 www.saskchamber.com Get in Touch Tel: 306.352.2671 Email: [email protected]