Saskatchewan is rich in many resources. The vast province is home to almost half of Canada’s total cultivated farmland and a leading wheat exporter. It is also one of the world’s largest suppliers of uranium and Canada’s second largest oil producer.
Despite a recent drop in oil prices, the energy industry remains a founding block of the Saskatchewan economy — from natural gas and crude oil developments to renewable energy projects and pipeline infrastructure — fostering employment, business activity and tax revenues for many communities across the province.
While Alberta is typically seen to be the heart of the Canadian oil patch, Saskatchewan’s role in the Canadian energy sector should not be underestimated. It will certainly be a critical part of the Energy East Pipeline Project, which will safely transport oil from the province and Alberta to Eastern refineries that currently rely on foreign oil imports.
According to an updated study from the Conference Board of Canada, the Energy East project will support nearly 1,000 full-time direct and spin-off jobs in Saskatchewan during each of the nine years it takes to develop and build the pipeline.
This means employment for welders and engineers, but also for local businesses, including restaurants, truck dealerships and many others.
Municipalities and the provincial government will also see a $539-million boost in tax revenues during construction and the first 20 years of operation — funds that can help resurface roads or build bridges. This is nearly as much money as the province’s forest product sales in a year.
More and more communities across Saskatchewan publicly support Energy East because they believe the project will benefit the province, strengthen its energy industry, and above all, do so safely and displace some of the hundreds of rail cars that transport crude oil every day across the province’s cities and prairies.