SREDA released Saskatoon’s first economic growth strategy, Growing Together: A vision for Saskatoon’s new economy, at the annual SREDA Forum on Friday, March 6th. Mayor Charlie Clark and SREDA’s President and CEO, Alex Fallon, introduced the strategy’s highlights to more than 600 business and community leaders.
Though Saskatoon’s economic fortunes have historically followed the ups and downs of commodity prices, Growing Together discusses how the city can secure a thriving future for all of its citizens by further diversifying the economy.
“This economic growth strategy is an unprecedented move forward for our community, and it speaks to the aspirations of Saskatoon while being grounded in the realities the world is facing,” said Mayor Clark. “With so many economic unknowns on the global stage, this plan complements our community’s existing strengths, builds toward a stronger tomorrow, and creates a greater amount of certainty that our city deserves.”
The vision for growth represents over a year’s planning, consultation and collaboration with hundreds of community stakeholders. Under the direction of the project Steering Committee, SREDA hosted industry roundtables with technology, mining, agriculture, manufacturing and research representatives. SREDA also held a large roundtable focused on Indigenous opportunities and engaged the general public with an online survey.
Growing Together is meant to align with and support the existing national, western Canadian, provincial and regional growth plans. It will guide SREDA’s efforts over the next five years, outlining four focus areas to help Saskatoon make the most of its opportunities and challenges. The focus areas are:
- Continue to be a leader in natural resources
- Be a center where industries grow through innovation
- Be a leader in Indigenous economic reconciliation
- Be known as Canada’s most livable mid-sized city
“Growing Together’s focus areas are the building blocks of our city’s future,” said Fallon, “Our key industries, both traditional and emerging sectors, continue to help grow the economy and create good local jobs. Indigenous economic reconciliation is a crucial opportunity to make sure our community and city are living up to their fullest potential. And of course we want the world to know what we already know: Saskatoon is a great place to live and raise a family.”
SREDA will pursue 15 key tactics to support growth in these areas. They range from assisting with education and retention efforts for local talent to responding to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action related to Indigenous business development and employment. Collaboration with the organizations engaged as part of the Growing Together consultation process will be a critical part of the path forward.