If Saskatchewan is "growing" why "recruit"?

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I find it a bit odd that despite Brad Wall's claim that Saskatchewan's population growth leads Canada, he is in Asia to recruit more people to move to Saskatchewan for the temporary foreign worker program.

Brad Wall claims that Saskatchewan's population growth is people choosing to come back home. Is it? Well, not really. If you look at the numbers, the major source of Saskatchewan's population growth is actually third world immigration. But they're coming to work for booming potash right? Well, not really. They are largely coming in to work at "undesirable" jobs, at minimum wage. Well that's good isn't it? To staff undesirable jobs.  Well, yes, but "undesirable" is relative. These are jobs that should pay more than minimum wage, to work the late night shift, or do unpleasant cleaning and manual labor in a "booming" economy, but shipping in foreign laborers just drives down the "market value" of these jobs, and Brad Wall previously used "market value" as an excuse for why he didn't need to raise minimum wage, or index it to inflation. Yes, he eventually flip flopped, and raised the minimum wage, but his claim of a "market wage" is a bit hypocritical, with him asking the Conservatives to bring in even more foreign workers, artificially keeping the minimum wage down.  

Also difficult for First Nations people, with a 50 per cent adult unemployment rate, and representing the second fastest growing segment of the population, foreign workers being brought in to keep wages down makes it difficult for them to end the cycle of poverty. Oddly, interprovincial migration is near zero, but Brad Wall always implies population growth is from Saskatchewan residents coming back home; apparently, just as many young Saskatchewan people leave as arrive.

So perhaps a good time to be a small business owner, at least in late night fast food or gas stations, as Brad Wall is keeping your labor costs down. But this does hurt people, either for students, who see wages lower than what they should be and less available shifts, and for the underemployed, who will find an entry level wage lower than it should be. Perhaps Brad Wall doesn't understand, being a career Conservative politician. NDP leader Cam Broten might. He put himself through college, first working as a tree planter, eventually becoming the manager. He then got a master's degree. And consulted for a while. Brad Wall seems to lack any empathy for the working class, or students, and perhaps his political silver spoon explains some of it.

Either way, Brad Wall claims Saskatchewan is "booming" population wise because of the economy. Yet the number one source is third world immigration as Wall begs Harper for more "temporary foreign worker spots" from people who would take any chance to come here, even menial labor, to provide for their children. This is at minimum wage. Which Brad Wall is keeping down. These are jobs that local people, possible the fast growing First Nations population, would consider, if the wages were even close to above the poverty line. Seems its a bad time to be a low income earner or student in Saskatchewan. Perhaps that's why interprovincial migration is still near zero, with Alberta still paying better. Come to think about it, perhaps that's why the City of Calgary grew by more people than the province of Saskatchewan during Wall's reign? And now has more people than all of Saskatchewan?

It's time to tell Brad Wall enough is enough, he should admit we don't need that many late night fast food locations, and if businesses want to staff undesirable shifts, they'll just have to suck it up and pay a wage that makes the shift attractive, rather than finding yet another foreign "temporary" worker, who seem to be a very "permanent" solution to Brad Wall's plan to keep franchise business costs at a minimum. But then he'd have to admit, that save for impoverished foreign workers, and the First Nations birth rate, Saskatchewan wouldn't be growing, at all.

Nick Henselmeier - Saskatoon

Geographic location: Saskatchewan, Canada, Asia Alberta Calgary

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Recent comments

  • DavE
    November 13, 2013 - 07:55

    I came home as a result of being inspired by the advertising I saw. As a health care professional I felt I could find work and was reassured by Brad Wall having signed the Western Canadian Partnership for labour transmobility. Alas like Obama Mr. Wall was full of promises, transmobility was not offered here and I could not find a job in my proffession. I could work as a greeter but in health care no way! Further I bought land next to the city of Saskatoon, next to the property I grew up on. It was meant to be an investment in my future but the sask party has taken that from me with regional planning. Time for a class action lawsuit

  • Rogers Hater
    October 13, 2013 - 14:30

    Yeah Dwayne, the Sask Party is just using the Crowns to offset his governments actual deficits. Still suprising that Saskatchewan isn't actually growing. And a lot of native kids means a whole new kettle of fish. Sure isn't the line the government or media is feeding us

  • Conrad
    October 11, 2013 - 19:35

    Dwayne, if Saskatchewan is booming, why not respond to Henselmeier's comment? How do you explain neutral interprovincial migration? If population growth is all merely from more native babies and increasing how many immigrants we take. It seems hardly related to the "economy" at all. And I did move, but not because of being "left" wing, I got fed up with house prices sky rocketing while wages still trail Alberta by a lot. I would encourage ANY new science, engineering or medical grad from Saskatchewan to look to Alberta. Housing is as expensive as Sask, but wages are so much higher. Even more so for commerce degrees!

    October 11, 2013 - 18:16

    Another Left Wing Looney spouting off. If you are not happy with the prosperity of Saskatchewan under the Sask. Party and Brad Wall hit the road.

    • Conrad
      October 11, 2013 - 19:41

      Dwayne, define prosperity, the provincial auditor keeps pointing out Wall is running deficits but hiding with fake dividends from the Crowns, which they then finance with new "debt"... and if my Calgary radio news serves me right, isn't PCS (your ONLY big company) stock taking it on the chin in light of minimal progressive increases in competition? I am quite "right wing" but to me, that doesn't mean red neck small town Wall, it means an accountant or legit smart guy (from a real city) balancing the budget and cutting crime. Wall is racking up billions in total debt and Saskatchewan's crime rate is double Alberta's. Wall is just lucky PCS is an awesome big company, unfortunately with a bit of competition these days

  • Touche
    October 09, 2013 - 21:43

    Tough to recruit to small town ie Shaunovan when #McMorris just axed #STC bus service! Guess you bring in impoverished foreign workers, and without bus, they can't leave! Serious though, band aid foreign workers for fast food and less rural transportation options are both ways the SaskParty is failing Saskatchewan. And that doesn't even broach the 8 times normal native crime rate in the fastest growing segment of Saskatchewan population the past decade. So touché concerned citizen, the population growth is modest, not a good thing per se and something The Sask Party seems to want to disguise. Too bad the NDP never thought of shipping in foreign workers for McD's, as they too could have seen "record" growth*! * Not a real record, as trails Alberta *Not a real record as trails Sask early 1900 *Not real growth as more due to Sask Party asking for a higher quota of immigrants *Sask Party did not cause record native birth

  • Agreed
    October 07, 2013 - 21:41

    "If Saskatchewan is "growing" why "recruit"?" Well Mr. Wall he raises an awful good point there Come to think of it, can't remember you ever mentioning the population growth is almost entirely immigrants and native births. Ever think us voters might want to consider that when you're selling us our kids moving back home? You're just lucky there's not a good right wing politician running against you.

  • Critical
    October 06, 2013 - 21:36

    Great letter! Sure the low star rating is because it's critical, but Henselmeier raises his usual pointed critiques that no one else has the guts to say! "Brad Wall claims that Saskatchewan's population growth is people choosing to come back home" Touche Mr. Wall, why DO you have to recruit, if everyone is moving back home? And, if they are moving here for "jobs" how come in my job at PCS I see very FEW immigrants? Not like they're coming here to help out at PCS or Cameco. Just keeping fast food wages low, which sucks for youth and for the immigrants. Oh, and First Nations with a 50% unemployment are the other half of Saskatchewan's growth. But no one wants to mention that 500 lb gorilla do they? Touche Henselmeier, If only Cam Broten wasn't such a nice guy, if he was a big grump like you I bet the NDP would have a chance. Alas, the sheople of Saskatchewan will swallow what ever papa Bradley feeds them, so Sask Party until Saskatchewan is losing people despite astronomical First Nations birth rate and all the fast food jobs are filled by Philippine's immigrants? Guess we've got Brad and his B team supporting cast for a while! I also agree I like that Broten is not just a working class guy, but one who saved up, got a friggin masters and became a business big wig. Work ethic and smarts. Got Bradley beat two ways? Too bad the media doesn't give Broten the time of day - but beats the NDP giving some controversial bleeding heart (Mieli) who wants to save the world or union thug (Wier) who wants benefits for all and a minimum wage you can actually live off. Broten is a pretty run of the mill, upper middle class white guy, but with a heart and some grit under his nails. Good middle of the road compromise candidate