My new year's resolution.
Happy New Year! Wow--it is already the end of January and I have only now had an opportunity to sit and contemplate what the new year means and what it may bring. The word "new" has taken on a whole unique meaning in Saskatchewan as of late. The ones that cause me to smile refer to "unfamiliar or strange; lately coming into place, position or status; now becoming known" I think most of these definitions are phrases that have described the emotions of those of us who are die-hard, card-carrying members of this province that always believed we would one day come in to our own.
In 2011, our economy set records--and great ones at that, especially in investment and population growth. We are now over one million people (does that mean we finally get an IKEA ? Someone told me they need a population number of one million in the service area. Well, we hit it!) and investment numbers topped $17 billion. Residential construction, building permit values, urban housing starts, exports, retail sales and wholesale trade--all these values are used as indicators of the economy and our numbers were on top. The new Saskatchewan. Predictions are that Saskatchewan will again lead the nation in 2012.
The Conference Board of Canada's recent forecast states that Saskatoon will top all other Canadian cities in GDP growth in 2012. The City of Saskatoon just unveiled a strategic plan that will lead the city for the next decade. Saskatoon mavor Don Atchison says, "We are launching the plan from a position of strength. This plan will help sustain our momentum and ensure that we continue to grow in a smart, sustainable way" I, for one, am very excited that they have a plan--my morning commute is already much different than it was a few years ago.
Overall, Saskatchewan is forecast to have the second-fastest growing economy in the country this year. I know: why all these statistics, you say? What does it mean? Well, in my humble opinion, it means the new Saskatchewan is now the "norm Saskatchewan." It means that we are truly no longer a have-not province. It means that every skyline has something new. It means that employment opportunities are vast and we are no longer exporting most of our residents. It means that Saskatchewan has finally arrived!
So, for 2012, I propose a New Year's resolution that looks something like this: (say it with me now)
For the next 365 days, I do solemnly swear that I will not refer to Saskatchewan as "the new Saskatchewan" I will refer to Saskatchewan as "Saskatchewan" I will accept and embrace all there is to offer. I will accept the changes that are driving our province forward. I will continue to promote and believe in all that is here. I will welcome the new arrivals and share my knowledge and experience with them. I will be an ambassador for our province whenever I have the opportunity.
We are living in the best place there is to be. Over the next twelve months, I know we will be challenged with what to place in these pages, not because there isn't anything to write about, but because there is so much to discuss and we have only so much time and space to do it in. What a problem to have. Never before, but now; always. I love it!
What's on your agenda for 2012? We'd love to hear from you.
Twila Reddekopp, Publisher