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Legislative Report (30 June 2006)

Legislative Report

30 June 2006

Population Continues to Decline Under Calvert NDP

There are 1,950 fewer people living in Saskatchewan during the first quarter of 2006. That dramatic drop brings the population of Saskatchewan to 988,980-the lowest it’s been since 1982.

This week Statistics Canada released the latest population figures and like a stark reminder of the NDP’s dismal record, we see population at its lowest level in over 20 years. A drop of nearly 2,000 people is like wiping an entire small town off the map of Saskatchewan forever.

Even though resource prices are through the roof, Saskatchewan continues to lose people. Something is definitely wrong when we cannot attract or keep people in this province. Calvert’s NDP government is failing on this file. Ever since Calvert and the NDP took office, Saskatchewan’s population has been in a steady decline. In January of 1991, Saskatchewan’s population was over 1 million (1,003,688) and now it’s under 989,000. Quite a loss by any measure.

Across Western Canada, Saskatchewan is the only province to lose population in the first quarter of 2006. Alberta increased by over 25,000; B.C. went up nearly 12,000; and even Manitoba’s population increased by a meaningful 1,300 bringing its population to 1,179,681.

With Saskatchewan’s rich resource base, there’s no reason for us to be lagging so severely behind other Western provinces. If this trend continues, it will be hard for us to keep up with Manitoba. There is no doubt Calvert’s NDP is leaving Saskatchewan behind.

Population loss is meaningful because a dwindling tax base means there is less to spend on social programs and infrastructure. There is only one taxpayer, and when they leave they take with them their ties to the community and their contributions to the province. When a family leaves, it hurts the province on many levels.

The Official Opposition Saskatchewan Party believes Saskatchewan can grow. First and foremost, we need to implement a growth agenda that attracts investment and brings back those who have left this great province. With a little bit of vision and leadership, Saskatchewan can be at the forefront once again, but as the numbers show it won’t happen under Calvert’s NDP.

If you have a question about this report or any other matter, just Contact Glen.

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