Friday, March 28, 2008

What's The True Story?

So which is it? Is Saskatchewan the next mecca for life, work and investment or is the affordable housing, great jobs and incredible salaries just another wheat field in the sky?

I am not sure.

Saskatchewan has a lot of potential; there are large oil deposits, significant uranium and potash deposits and a diamond mine that but the economy isn't THAT huge and from what I can tell the reverse in-migration was about 150 people more going back to Saskatchewan than moved to Edmonton.

First you read this:

"The Canada West Foundation has published it's State of the West report - it's the first in five years.

Author Brett Gartner says what stood out most for him was the net migration out of Alberta and into Saskatchewan.

It's the first time this has happened since the mid-80's.

The reason for this high job availability and having cheaper real estate than our western neighbour.

Gartner also points out there is also a net migration from the countryside to the city within the province.

He says both trends have everything to do with enormous job opport unity in Saskatoon and Regina. Benson McCulloch

Then you read this:

"If Tracy Mercier could do it all over again, she would never have given up her west-end apartment.

The former Edmontonian packed up her family last August and moved to Saskatoon, lured by the promise of low-cost living and an easy lifestyle. But what she discovered were sky-high rents and low wages.

Now Mercier, 32, wants to warn others planning a similar move that the grass isn't greener next door.

"We took a chance and we thought, 'OK, it looks pretty cheap,' and we moved," said Mercier. "I tell you, every day I kick myself."

"It promised a lower cost of living and a higher quality of life," said Mercier.

That wasn't entirely true, she said.

Mercier said that in Edmonton, they paid $650 a month in rent compared to $689 in Saskatoon. It's going up to $830 this summer, she said.

She said her husband got a job changing oil for $10 an hour, compared to the $16 he made working for the City of Edmonton. Taxes, meanwhile, are "a killer," she said.

Mercier, who isn't working because of a medical condition, said the experience has taught her there's no place like Alberta.

"You have to work harder there, but the rewards are worth it." The Edmonton Sun

Perhaps in a few years the economic fundamentals of Saskatchewan will be able to support residential investment interests but for now I am sticking with the "800lb gorrila" in the blue corner.

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