Monday, July 02, 2007

Saskatchewan, The Land of JOBS????

An American and his wife were driving in Canada and got lost. Finally, they arrived at some city. They saw a gentleman on the sidewalk, so they stopped. The wife let down her window and asked, "Excuse me, sir. Where are we?"

The gentleman replied, "Saskatoon, Saskatchewan."

The wife rolled up the window, turned to her husband and said, "We really are lost. They don't even speak English here!"

I can't read an article about real estate without hearing about "Saskatchewan's Boom" I am just not buying it. I have always wondered what is the economy there and what is fueling it? I know there are a lot of natural resources there and perhaps oil but nothing in the same league as Alberta. Here is a great article from a Saskatchewanite with a realistic take on the Saskatchewan Boom.

The Leader-Post
Published: Friday, June 29, 2007

Premier Lorne Calvert and Mayor Pat Fiacco love to go on tours to Alberta to recruit people to come to Saskatchewan to work and live.

The only problem is that there is no work.

How do I know this? I know this because all of my friends from high school are living in other provinces, mainly B.C. and Alberta, and this is not because they love the ocean or the mountains ... it's because that's where the work is.

Over the years, I've tried applying for many jobs in Saskatchewan, but have not received any interviews, let alone offers -- while at the same time there have been many more opportunities in Alberta with quite a few interviews and some offers. Why is there such a difference between the two provinces?

Sure, Alberta has more people and, of course, the oil sands, but Saskatchewan has a lot to offer, too. There could be many more jobs here if government actually went out and searched for industry to come to Saskatchewan and set up policies to entice companies to relocate here.

Saskatchewan is one of the most affordable places in the country -- unlike Alberta, where the cost is sky high. I'm sure it would be easy for companies and their workers to find office and housing space.

I know the real estate market is booming here, but do you know why that is? It's because Saskatchewan is the last place in the country to experience it.

Why are all the prices for houses going up? Is it because of new industry, more jobs, people moving here from other provinces? No, it's because real estate investors and speculators from other provinces know this is the only affordable place to buy. So, yes, in the short term, prices will go up. But in time, the market will drop because nobody earns enough money to afford these new prices.

Remember, Alberta's oilsands have really been developed in the last few years, which has fueled the boom there, driving up real estate prices. However, Saskatchewan is experiencing a boom, but there is no new industry here.

There are some jobs available in Saskatchewan, such as for doctors and nurses, but guess what? It's like that everywhere else in Canada! Even in Alberta, where doctors recently received a considerable raise in salary.

Fiacco and Calvert can promote Saskatchewan all they want, but it's a complete waste of time if there are no jobs here. And when I say "jobs", I don't mean call centres and retail. I mean jobs where people can afford to have a family and a nice quality of life. To do that, it will take some work and thought on to how to entice companies to move and grow here.

That is what our leaders should be focusing on.

Until then, I'll be in Alberta, building my career.

Michael McKinlay


© The Leader-Post (Regina) 2007

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