2004 year in review.Business leaders and politicians in boardrooms across the province were popping corks this past holiday season in celebration of a year that saw Saskatchewan's economic cup run over. Revenue streams cascading from mining, oil and gas, manufacturing and exporting flowed through the provincial economy, topped up by federal government tributaries to make Saskatchewan a 'have' province in 2004.
Whether the surge in provincial fortunes is attributed to good luck or good management the happy tidings are certainly well-deserved. Saskatchewan Trade and Export Partnership president and CEO (1) (Chief Executive Officer) The highest individual in command of an organization. Typically the president of the company, the CEO reports to the Chairman of the Board. John Treleaven will remember 2004 as a year in the sun for the many people working to reinvent Saskatchewan's economy.
"This is a product of the effort put in by a lot of people over a number of years and the enormous sacrifices we've made to put our financial house in order," he says. "We're blessed in this province and we're blessed in this country with an infrastructure that allows us to reap the benefits of a stronger world economy."
Quite simply, in 2004 the world was buying what Saskatchewan was selling. Potash, uranium, oil, natural gas and forestry products have been among the hottest commodities on the planet recently, making Saskatchewan a popular place to invest in the discovery, production and export of those goods. The 2004 yearbook is bursting with clippings about the resource sector.
"What you really see is growth across the board," Industry and Resources Minister Eric Cline For the archaeologist, author, historian, and professor of the same name, see .
Eric H. Cline (born August 12, 1955 in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan) is a Canadian politician. says. "The good news just keeps rolling in."
The price of uranium has tripled in the past couple of years as secondary sources have dried up and demand has risen. Mining companies accelerated their hunt for uranium, diamond and gold deposits. The $53 million spent on exploration in 2004 may be dwarfed next year, Cline says, based on "a staking rush in Northern Saskatchewan the likes of which we haven't seen in 20 years."
Saskatchewan potash--the best in the world, Cline notes--is in high demand in China, which by chance also had a breakout economic year in 2004. Definitely not by chance were significant investments in the potash industry, including a multi-million-dollar upgrade at PCS (1) (Personal Communications Services) Refers to wireless services that emerged after the U.S. government auctioned commercial licenses in 1994 and 1995. This radio spectrum in the 1. Rocanville and increased production levels at nearly every mine.
Oil at $50 a barrel will never be bad news for Saskatchewan's economy even if it means a few more cents on the price of gasoline--that's a bit like someone from Florida complaining about the price of orange juice. Petroleum land sales revenues topped $80 million in 2004 and increased activity in the sector was a boon to many communities in the south and west-central areas of the province.
Forestry also had a good year. An oriented strand board Oriented strand board, or OSB, or waferboard, or Sterling board (UK), is an engineered wood product formed by layering strands (flakes) of wood in specific orientations. (OSB OSB
Order of Saint Benedict ) mill was opened at Meadow Lake Meadow Lake can refer to the following inhabited places:
An indication of the strong manufacturing sector was a 30 per cent increase in shipments over the previous year. Sales were up at SED Systems SED Systems is a communications networking industry supplying both systems and services. Originating in 1965, SED is located in the Innovation Place Research Park on the University of Saskatchewan campus. As a division of CALIAN Ltd. , CNH Global CNH Global N.V. (short for Case-New Holland; NYSE: CNH-ADR's) is the second largest manufacturer of agricultural equipment and the third largest maker of construction equipment in the world. hired another 250 workers and in Saskatoon Saskatoon (săskətn`), city (1991 pop. 186,058), S central Sask., Canada, on the South Saskatchewan River. , Hitachi announced another expansion. Transportation was up and the export sector saw 20 per cent growth on the year.
"One of the strengths of our new economy is that while 60 per cent of our exports are to the United States United States, officially United States of America, republic (2005 est. pop. 295,734,000), 3,539,227 sq mi (9,166,598 sq km), North America. The United States is the world's third largest country in population and the fourth largest country in area. , the other 40 per cent go to the rest of the world, countries like China that are in competition with other buyers for our resources," Treleaven says. "We had positioned ourselves to take advantage of a fundamental shift in trading practices and in 2004 we did exactly that."
The Canadian dollar's rise in relation to the U.S. dollar was much more controlled in 2004 than in the previous two years, holding steady between 77 and 85 cents U.S. thanks in large part to American willingness to let their currency slide. Canadian companies, Treleaven says, now find new technology and equipment more affordable.
If not for a three-hour frost on August 22 and the continuing BSE See Bombay Stock Exchange.
See Boston Stock Exchange (BSE). crisis, 2004 would have been a banner year all around. Alas, with the forces of nature and U.S. bureaucracy beyond our control there remains room for improvement.
"There are a large number of agricultural producers who are suffering right now, but the good news is that we're strong enough that those events didn't force us into recession," Cline opines Opines are low molecular weight compounds found in plant crown gall tumors produced by the parasitic bacterium Agrobacterium. Opine biosynthesis is catalyzed by specific enzymes encoded by genes contained in a small segment of DNA (known as the T-DNA, for 'transfer DNA') . "Agriculture is a very important part of our economy. Oil and gas has 24,000 jobs and mining accounts for 20,000 jobs but there are still 40,000 farmers in this province, although many of them have off-the-farm jobs as well."
Actually, production of major grains, oilseeds and specialty crops was above the 10-year average at 25.5 million tonnes in 2004, a 17 per cent increase from the previous year. Yet the value of the crop is well below average due to substantially reduced grades.
Saskatchewan became a 'have' province just as farmers were coming to grips with their disappointing harvest. It was early November when the province moved from receiving equalization payments to the other side of the ledger, aided by new agreements with the federal government. The province was also involved in a new health care deal following the June election of a minority Liberal federal government.
The research community took to the national stage in late October with the official opening of the Canadian Light Source synchrotron The Canadian Light Source (CLS) is a third-generation 2.9 GeV synchrotron located in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. It opened on October 22, 2004 after three years of construction and cost C$173.5 million. at the University of Saskatchewan The University of Saskatchewan (U of S) is a coeducational public research university located on the east side of the South Saskatchewan River in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. The University is celebrating its centennial year in 2007. campus in Saskatoon. Also on the research front an independent study released in March showed work done at Saskatchewan's two research parks, Innovation Place in Saskatoon and the Regina Research Park, contribute nearly half a billion dollars annually to the economy.
Job numbers for the year were consistent with the flourishing economy. Cline pegs it at about 10,000 new jobs in the province this year over last, including more than 4,000 jobs for people between ages 18-24.
"Each of those numbers reflects a person whose life has been improved by what is in many cases a very good, well-paying job," he says. "It really is satisfying to see that a lot more people in Saskatchewan have these opportunities."
The Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations laid the groundwork in 2004 for a casino in Swift Current and another south of Saskatoon. Husky Oil also made big plans in announcing construction of a $100-million ethanol plant near Lloydminster. The investment community, Cline believes, is very bullish on prospects in Saskatchewan.
"The mood has been building to the point where it boiled over the top this year, and for good reason," he says. "Generally speaking, people have a lot of confidence in our economy."
And to top it off former Saskatchewan premier Tommy Douglas was named 'Greatest Canadian' in a made-for-television contest. Let the (smoke-free) celebrations begin!