Income growth in Moosomin five times national rate

October 23, 2017 11:35 am
Kevin Weedmark

Recently released income data from the 2016 census show that Saskatchewan had the strongest wage growth in Canada in the decade between 2005 and 2015. Statistics show that the median income in Saskatchewan increased by 36.5 per cent.

“Thanks to you Saskatchewan, median, or typical, incomes have grown faster here than in any other province in Canada during a decade of growth,” Premier Brad Wall said in announcing the provincial statistics.

Income growth in the town of Moosomin has been even more impressive than the provincial growth rate.

Median income in Moosomin increased by 54.46 per cent between 2005 and 2015, according to census figures—about five times the national rate.

Most communities in the area also had median income increases at or above the provincial average.

Saskatchewan Minister of the Economy and Moosomin MLA Steven Bonk said he was happy to see that the Moosomin area is doing well in terms of earnings growth.

“I was very pleased, very happy to see that,” he said. “Moosomin is definitely blessed with very good resources—the potash mine and the mature oilfield right there, but Moosomin also has a very entrepreneurial spirit and a strong and active Chamber of Commerce. The town and the business community promote Moosomin and you can see the fruits of their labor in these results.”

What does he believe has made the difference for the province coming out on top in terms of income growth? “Just being open for business,” he says. “Our government has made the conscious decision to be open and friendly to private business.

“We have a competitive tax structure, for one thing, we limit the amount of interventionist policies, especially when you’re influencing the private markets. We try to create legislation that’s necessary but limited, and then get out of the way. Let private industries do what they do best. That’s what our government has done, and you can see it in the results. Our economy is flourishing.

“We try to create an open and inviting environment for investment and business attraction. We try to keep taxes low, we try to be business friendly, we try to attract as much foreign capital to our markets as possible, and you can see what has happened.

“There’s been $147 billion invested in Saskatchewan in the last 10 years. That’s huge. It’s unprecedented in the history of our province. And that’s due to policies that make it easy for business to thrive here.”

What does the government need to do to continue the success?

“We need to keep promoting the province and the resources that we have,” says Bonk. “And we need to get out and tell the Saskatchewan story, because it’s a good story to tell.”

Bonk said he is enjoying his role as Minister of the Economy. “I can’t stop smiling. Honestly, I’m enjoying it so much. I really do enjoy the foreign investment attraction side of things,” he said. “I really enjoy trade promotion.”

What is the most important component to that?

“One thing that’s really important is the regulatory system here,” says Bonk. “It’s consistent. It’s stable. There’s nothing more important to someone who’s going to invest money than a stable regulatory system.”

Mayor Larry Tomlinson said he believes the proximity of PotashCorp Rocanville impacts salaries and wages in the community.

“We have the mine jobs, local businesses have to be competitive with the mine for employment, and we are becoming hub for the area with a lot of professional people in town,” he said. “We are drawing in more doctors and dentists and other professionals, and we’ve got some pretty successful businesses in town and they’re paying good wages to keep good people.

“Our local economy is doing well and our economic development committee has done a pretty darn good job. They have a few businesses on the radar right now that could make a difference for the town. What we need to attract is a small industry—I think that would be awesome.”

What does Tomlinson think sets Moosomin apart?

“Some of the other towns relied on the oil so much, then when oil dropped, they didn’t have the diversified economy we had to keep things going. We don’t just rely on oil. We’ve got oil potash farming. Look at the agriculture dealerships we have, and now we have all three major car dealerships. Diversification is the one big thing.”