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Sask economic news Feb 2012
February 17, 2012

Estevan/Weyburn Region

Bartlett Safety Services, owned by Daniel and Pamela Bartlett, has opened. The new business offers Red Cross First Aid and Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) classes as well as doing a mobile drug and alcohol testing service. (Carnduff Gazette Post, February 10, 2012)

Spectra Credit Union has voted to expand through a merger or partnership to provide province wide services to its members. Spectra is the sixth largest credit union in the province with assets of $700 million and 10 branches in the southeast. The credit union currently employs 160 people. (Estevan Mercury, February 8, 2012)

Saskatchewan Energy Training Institute (SETI) is now open to students. The $14 million facility was recently completed. (Estevan Mercury, February 8, 2012)

Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Canada has opened an office in the city. (Estevan Mercury, February 15, 2012)

The Town of Redvers is preparing for the fourth annual Redvers & District Oil Showcase scheduled to take place May 10th and 11th, 2012. (Oxbow Herald, February 13, 2012)

Southeast Saskatchewan
Saskatchewan South East Enterprise Region (SSEER) is partnering with regional businesses in an effort to recruit workers to the area. SSEER is offering an opportunity for local businesses to attend the National Job Fair in Toronto, Ontario. Businesses can purchase their own booth at a reduced rate or partner with SSEER to create awareness of jobs available in Saskatchewan. (Estevan Mercury, February 15, 2012)

The El Rancho Restaurant is closing their doors in the city. (Weyburn Review, February 8, 2012)

Moose Mountain Meats, a new meat processing plant and retail outlet, has opened. The business is the result of a co-operative effort by the community and surrounding district. (Kipling Citizen, February 10, 2012)

Moose Jaw Region

Moose Jaw
The local Thunder Creek Pork plant will be undergoing a $4 to $5 million dollar renovation which will switch its processing application. Instead of shutting down, the plant is going to reduce the days each week in which the plant operates, with renovations occurring on the off days. (The Moose Jaw Times Herald, February 16, 2012)

The Chamber of Commerce, Tourism Moose Jaw, and Mayor Glenn Hagel are discussing a possible destination marketing fee. It is a fee placed on hotel room bills with the funds used to support the tourism industry which would in turn increase hotel customers. The Economic Development Commission has contracted to have a tourism consultant develop a proposal, let local hotels look at it and then facilitate a discussion about destination marketing fees. (The Moose Jaw Times Herald, Thursday, February 16, 2012)

North Battleford Region

Kramer Caterpillar will be constructing a new facility in Battleford. It will be a full parts and service facility of about 40,000 square feet. The decision to locate a new facility in Battleford was based on the reality that the current North Battleford location is over-utilized and short of space. The business services the ever growing oil and gas industry in the area. Construction should start this spring and be complete by fall of 2013. (News Optimist, February 15, 2012)

Labix Store for second chance clothing held a grand opening. (Meridian Booster, January 20, 2012)

Curl Up and Dye Shop, owned by Desiree Blanchette, has opened at a new location. Blanchette recently purchased the former flower and gift shop and has incorporated a new flower shop, Petal Pushers, into the salon. (Regional Optimist, February 17, 2012)

North Battleford
Penningtons has closed at the Frontier Mall. (North Battleford Regional Office, February 8, 2012)

North Battleford’s population is now 13,888, up from 13,190 in 2006; and Battleford’s population is now 4,065, up from 3,685 in 2006, according to the first set of 2011 Statistics Canada census figures. (Daily News Online, February 9, 2012)

The City of North Battleford has hired a new Director of Finance to lead, manage and administer all financial services. Matthew Hartney and his wife will move to North Battleford from Ottawa. (City of North Battleford, February 10, 2012)

Tombi Uniforms & Scrubs has opened in downtown North Battleford. The business is owned by Ilse Moolman. (Regional Office, February 13, 2012)

The Battlefords and District Co-operative Aquatics Centre has a substantial completion date of late March with a likely opening before the end of May. Completion of the curling rink is slated for June while the field house completion is estimated to be September. Delays for the theatre will be pushed back to April 30. (News Optimist, January 25, 2012)

Glencoe Developments INC, a Lloydminster based developer, held a sod-turning event for a new 21 unit condo project. The Head Start on a Home program promotes affordable housing for first time home owners with a $5,000 grant from the city as a down payment. The buyer must have a household income of $65,000 to qualify. (News Optimist, January 25, 2012)

The Fund Raising Committee for the CUplex has now reached $9.3 million of the $10 million goal. The four facility complex is targeted to be completed by end of 2012. (Daily News Online, January 31, 2012)

Anthony Edgington, from Victoria, British Columbia has been named general manager of the new Dekker Centre for the Performing Arts. Mr. Edgington commenced work the beginning of February. (News Optimist, February 1, 2012)

Paradise Hill
Manestream Salon has opened in Paradise Hill. The owner is Joelle Pollock. (St Walburg & Area Gazette, February 8, 2012)

The town welcomed a new contractor. Mike Welter, a former Unity resident, decided to relocate from Toronto back to Unity and has established his own contracting business. (Press-Herald, February 13, 2012)

Dome Improvement and Flower You held a grand opening. (Press-Herald, February 13, 2012)

Prince Albert Region

Prince Albert
The Diefenbaker Bridge’s weight limit was increased to 47,000 kilograms (kg) on February 14th. The increase comes over five months after a 15,000 kg weight limit was instated on Diefenbaker Bridge traffic in a response to a crack found in the bridge. Monitoring of repairs is ongoing, if all goes well, the bridge’s weight restrictions will be restored to its original limit of 63,500 kg in the early weeks of March. (Prince Albert Daily Herald, February 14, 2012)

As of February 1st, Dwight Bergstrom is the new executive director for the Prince Albert Tourism and Marketing Bureau. Bergstrom replaces Debbie Honch who had been in the position for seven years. (Prince Albert Daily Herald, February 11 and 9, 2012)

The Petro-Canada on 6th Avenue East will soon become reserve land. Once it is converted it will become the fourth urban reserve in Prince Albert. Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation (PBCN) will be the administrator of the land. PBCN already has three other urban reserves within the city, Northern Lights Casino, the Petro-Canada on Second Avenue West, and the site of the PBCN offices across form Victoria Hospital. (Prince Albert Daily Herald, February 9, 2012)

Porcupine Plain
The Porcupine Plain Economic Development Committee and the local Small Business Loans Co-operative is offering a small, interest free loan to businesses to improve their storefronts. (Parkland Review, January 27, 2012)

Regina Region

Fort Qu’Appelle
The Hudson Bay Company recently announced that the Fields outlet in Fort Qu’Appelle will be closing. There is no indication at this time of the date of closure. (The Fort Qu’Appelle Times, February 7, 2012)

Darren Brooks of the Valley Grocer has announced the business will be closing its doors on February 29th. (The Fort Qu’Appelle Times, February 14, 2012)

A combined investment of over $800,000 by the governments of Canada and Saskatchewan will help the Petroleum Technology Research Centre (PTRC) and the University of Regina (U of R) study innovative recovery methods for oil and gas production, as well as reclamation of associated by-products. The research will focus on three clean technology projects that could increase efficiency of oil and gas production, and reduce its environmental impact. With this funding, the U of R will purchase and install laboratory equipment to develop new membranes and filtration systems to decontaminate produced water, a by-product from oil and gas production. The PTRC will oversee two related projects. It will refurbish a separator unit and constructed field test trailer units to sample produced water in field locations for reclamation and re-use, potentially in agricultural irrigation or other industries. (Enterprise Saskatchewan News Release, January 27, 2012)

The City of Regina issued $37.9 million in building permits last month, which is less than half of the $95.1 million in permits issued in January 2011; however, the actual number of permits is up by 19 year to year. January 2012 saw about 6 permits for projects over $1 million, including $7.3 million to the City of Regina for new storage tanks on Pasqua Street North, two permits totaling $4.8 for Centre Square luxury condominium project on Broad Street, two permits totaling $2.2 million to Sky Harbour Developments for apartment buildings in Tutor Court. Other permits include Flynn Equipment Rentals for $1.2million for a new office building on Solomon Drive and Narland Properties for retail alterations at Victoria Square Mall East Victoria for $1.2 million. (Leader Post, February 3, 2012)

According to the Association of Regina Realtors, there were 249 sales reported during the month of January, up 14 per cent from 218 sales in January 2011. The average price in Regina area was $284,744, a new high for January and an increase of 10 per cent from $258,599 recorded in 2011. There were $70.9 million in sales reported in the Regina area, an increase of 26 per cent over the previous record of $56.4 million set in 2011. (Leader Post, February 3, 2012)

Regina’s City Hall is one step closer to getting a revised look, after a $5 million infrastructure upgrade recommendation was approved. In addition to fire sprinklers on the first floor, upgrades could involve hiring an additional security staff member, more security cameras on the first floor, and addition to the front of the building for visitor seating. (Leader Post, February 8, 2012)

Fujitsu Canada has acquired TMC, a business and information technology consulting firm based in Regina. TMC employs 70 professionals and offers services in the areas of project management, management consulting, business analysis, application development delegated management and service desks. It is expected that Fujitsu will give TMC preferred access to world class experts and products which will allow expansion of their business. Fujitsu Limited, the world’s third largest IT services provider, is the leading Japanese ICT company with more than 170,000 employees in more than 100 countries. (Leader Post, February 8, 2012)

Housing starts in the Regina area reached 277 units in January, more than double the 127 starts during the same period last year, according to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. (Leader Post, February 9, 2012)

Plans are moving forward for a new school building in north central Regina. The pre-kindergarten to grade 8 school will be built on the former Herchmer Community School site. Plans for the school show an open-plan concept with large windows and skylights. (Leader Post, February 11, 2012)

Saskatoon Region

MLS realtor sales in Saskatoon were up 20 per cent in January compared to January 2011 numbers. A total of 310 units were sold while there were 528 residential listings in Saskatoon. Saskatoon Region Association of Realtors executive director said if the supply of product continues to remain consistent with last year, and if the anticipated increase in demand occurs, the city will remain in a sellers' market with buyers competing for purchases. (Star Phoenix, February 7, 2012)

In January, 14,717 job vacancies were posted to SaskJobs.ca, an increase of 44 per cent over January 2010, according to a Government of Saskatchewan news release. There were 931,372 visits to the site in January. More than 61 per cent of jobs posted last month were full-time positions with positions being posted in 316 communities in Saskatchewan. (Star Phoenix, February 8, 2012)

Michael Chubb will be planting seeds of entrepreneurial spirit among faculty and students of the College of Agriculture and Bio Resources and the Western College of Veterinary Medicine, hoping some will grow thriving companies one day. Chubb, a local life sciences business veteran, has been named entrepreneur in-residence for 2012 by the University of Saskatchewan Industry Liaison Office, in conjunction with the two colleges. The entrepreneur-in residence program aims to create collaboration among businesses and the university, and help commercialize University of Saskatchewan researchers' know-how and technology. (Star Phoenix, February 8, 2012)

Development should remain strong in Saskatoon across all commercial real estate sectors in 2012, says a new real estate forecast by Colliers International. The president of Colliers McClocklin Real Estate Corp., said the vacancy in all asset classes will remain low in 2012, rental rates will be stable or even rise and development will continue in industrial, retail and office sectors. (Star Phoenix, February 9, 2012)

The growth of Saskatoon’s suburban bedroom communities is outpacing the city, underscoring the need for regional cooperation. The results of the 2011 census released confirm what many in Saskatoon already instinctively understand. Saskatoon and the surrounding region are the driving force behind the province turnaround. (Star Phoenix, February 9, 2012)

Saskatchewan's oilpatch continues to attract interest and investors, as the first sale of Crown petroleum and natural gas rights for 2012 generated $28.7 million in revenue for the province. That number also brought total land sale revenues for the 2011-12 fiscal year to $234.1 million. (Star Phoenix February 10, 2012)

New Businesses:
Damara Day Spa and Esthetics, owner Emerald Development Group. (Star Phoenix, February 4, 2012)
Modern Dames Boutique, owner Meagan Paul. (Saskatoon Sun, February 5, 2012)

Swift Current Region

Biggar Diamond Lodge recently received a generous donation from Springwater Snow Plow Group which will assist in providing basic equipment for the new facility and enhance the quality of life opportunities for the residents in the new home design and model of care. (The Independent, February 13, 2012)

Aiming to create a one-stop spa shop, Stephanie Morris recently purchased the Eastend Medical Clinic and amalgamated her hairdressing business and her mother’s gift store under one roof. Visitors to the shop can enjoy an eclectic collection of baby and children’s gift items, jewellery, purses, scarves and freshly roasted coffee. She also offers staff trained in aesthetics like hair dressing, nail art, raindrop and essential massage therapy. (The Shaunavon Standard, February 14, 2012)

A new daycare center is being considered on the school grounds in Elrose. A proposal was presented at a recent School Board meeting discussing goals, facility plans, financial overview and regulations. (The Press Review, February 7, 2012)

The Prairie Centre Credit Union will be relocating with in the next year. They have purchased two lots on the west side of the 100 block of Main Street to build a new branch office. (The Press Review, February 7, 2012)

Tony and Danny Hannouch, owners of the Villa on Main, are open for business. (The Kyle Times, February 2, 2012)

Maple Creek
A new milestone has been made in the progress towards the new integrated health care facility in the Southwest. The Cypress Health Region board has approved the schematic design. This includes a chapel, although the on-site laundry room remains an outstanding issue. (Maple Creek News, February 2, 2012)

Swift Current
Swift Current announced a 6.1 per cent increase in population in 2011. The population rose from 16,533 in 2006 to 17,535 in 2011. (www.swbooster.com, February 8, 2012)

Red Head and JD Ag Tech will join 20 other Saskatchewan businesses in Ireland for a job fair coming up in March. Their hope is to meet some of the labor market demand by offering 275 job opportunities to the people of Ireland. (www.swiftcurrentonline.com, February 8, 2012)

The city has just released an additional 30 lots for development in Highland subdivision. In Swift Current, 2011 was the second highest year for building permits in the city’s history. (www.swiftcurrentonline.com, February 9, 2012)

Bell Mobility is holding their grand opening in the Swift Current Mall. (www.swbooster.com, February 9, 2012)

Café Central located in the heart of downtown Swift Current, is the new bistro themed restaurant featuring coffee and espresso from JJ Bean Inc. The menu includes drinks, tasty appetizers and a good cup of coffee. Owner, John Neate, is a third generation coffee entrepreneur with a popular chain of ten stores originating in Vancouver. (The Southwest Booster Smart Edition, February 16, 2012)

Yorkton Region

Boombata Homes of Esterhazy have completed the plans for a housing/condominium complex on Fifth Avenue between Babyak Street and St. Mary Street. It will consist of four 1,300 square foot homes on each corner with four 900 square foot and eleven 1,200 square foot condos on the sides. Each unit will have a garage and access to a landscaped courtyard in the centre of the complex. Boombata have already started work on their 12-plex unit, Deerwood Development. (The Miner-Journal, Esterhazy, February 13, 2012)

Adelard and Doreen Perras, owners of Perras Family Foods, celebrated 35 years in business in February. (The World-Spectator, Moosomin, February 13, 2012)

Commercial real estate is busy with several changes and one new business. Lorraine Gudmundson has sold her business Front Avenue Florals to Rhonda Kappell. Vicki Schnurr is leasing Rosie’s Restaurant and operating it as Vickie’s on 1. Tom Elliott is the new owner of The Water Shop, and Allan Wong and Louise Li took over Lygouriatis Family Restaurant. A new restaurant will soon be opened by Brian Ashfield. (The Grenfell Sun, February 6, 2012)

The Fields store will be closing by the fall of 2012 according to an announcement by the Hudson’s Bay Company. (Kamsack Times, February 16, 2012)(Leader Post, February 9, 2012)

The board of directors of the Yorkton Co-operative Association Ltd. announced a new grocery store will be built on the corner of Third Avenue and Queen Elizabeth Boulevard. Construction of the 10,800 square foot store will begin June 1, 2012. (Kamsack Times, February 16, 2012)

Melville’s Fields Store will be closing its doors. The Hudson Bay Company (HBC) plans to close all 141 stores operating under the Fields Banner. The HBC have stated they are closing all 141 Fields outlets across the country to focus on growing their other banner stores. There are Fields store in 21 locations in the province. (The Melville Advance, February 8, 2012; Leader Post, February 9, 2012)

The merger of Whitewood and Borderland Co-operatives memberships took place February 1, 2012, bringing the end to the 72 year existence of the Whitewood Co-operative. The store in Whitewood will remain open with no change in staff, only more programs and community support for its members. The new Borderland Co-operative, with stores in Whitewood, Moosomin, Rocanville and Maryfield, consists of 6,150 members, has $18.3 million in assets and employs approximately 180 people. (The Whitewood Herald, February 6, 2012)

The Yarbo Rooming House celebrated its grand opening recently, with a tour and refreshments. The old Yarbo Rink was renovated into a rooming house by owner Dean Bell and family. (The Miner-Journal, Esterhazy, February 13, 2012)


Saskatchewan led the nation in the growth of building permit values last year, posting a 25 per cent increase over 2010, outpacing the 1.7 per cent national increase, according to Statistics Canada. Building permits totaled $2.6 billion in 2011, the highest on record in the province, beating the previous record of $2.2 billion in 2008. Saskatchewan also ranked first in annual growth rates of both residential and non-residential building permits. Non-residential building permits increased by 26.3 per cent in 2011, while residential permits were up by 24.5 per cent. (Leader Post, February 8, 2012)

Saskatchewan’s motor vehicle sales continued to climb at the close of 2011, with the latest reports from Statistics Canada showing sales in the province jumped by 7.3 per cent in 2011 compared with 2010. This was the second highest percentage increase in Canada. Compared month to month, Saskatchewan’s new vehicle sales were up 5.3 per cent between December 2011 and November 2011, coming in first among the provinces in percentage change. (Enterprise Saskatchewan News Release, February 14, 2012)

Published Thursday, February 23, 2012 9:52 AM by Kang Kim

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