March, 2014


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The Voice of Business in Saskatchewan

action! online

March, 2014

In this issue... • Membership Survey Results • Federal Budget wins for business • FirstData ... and more!

Survey says...

Recapping our 2014 Membership Survey

Social Media www.facebook.com/saskchamber www.twitter.com/SaskChamber

Get in Touch Tel: 306.352.2671 Email: [email protected]

CEO’s Message Finger pointing gets us nowhere If a person is looking for media attention, standing on a soapbox and yelling ‘It’s their fault’ will get you ink or TV time. It just won’t get you results, at least not in most cases. Some people have become (some always have been) too quick to react to news, and their immediate reaction it is to point fingers at those who may be ‘guilty but not charged’. Every day people do this, and while we can all be guilty of it a one time or another, I think it’s time we start to expect more from ourselves and our leaders. There are instances where an action is impacting us, and where the persons who initiated it are clear and present. In broader community or business issues the guilty party is not as often as clear but too often, the fingers point at those who are bigger or farther away and often, that’s big business. The current rail situation is a good example of shooting first then asking questions. Clearly, the need to get our grain shipped as fast as possible is important- as with any product we produce . But is it the rail companies who are at fault? They are big and have a monopoly and so are easy targets. And so politicians at all levels are pointing fingers and starting committees of war to ‘get those cars moving’. Some recognition is given to the fact we produced a record crop, and some to the fact it’s been a record cold winter, but few have said, “Is this the entire picture?” Have the rail lines been doing all they can to get grain and all our products to market as efficiently as possible, or is there a more significant issue at play? Are the rail unions part of the problem, or part of the solution? Are we doing all we can as shippers to ensure the rail system works as efficiently as possible ? Did we applaud the Feds when they set limits on the amounts rail lines could charge to haul grain, and now are frustrated when they also haul other products? Do we slam rail companies when they go through our towns at 3 a.m. and blow their whistles? Do we swear at them when they cross a roadway and we have to wait until 100 cars go by? As a chamber we are clearly focused on what’s good for business: our members. But like our leaders many years ago, we also know that the success of business is reliant on having a strong community. Our mission is to make Saskatchewan ‘the best place to live ,work and invest’ not just ‘the best place for business profits’. It is that balanced (yet business focused) approach that has served us so well over the years.

It is that even-handed approach that we will be using to move forward a new project in the Chamber. We are launching the SCC Research Campaign, where we plan to pool resources of our private sector members to fund balanced research on specific issues, one of which is gaining an understanding of the economics of the current rail system in Saskatchewan. We will learn the costs of demurrage fees and penalties, and lost sales due to delivery issues. This will include both costs and issues business creates, and those that are put upon us by others. The research will also tell us what we can do to make Saskatchewan the most efficient shipper of goods, globally. The Chamber has fully endorsed the Province’s Plan for Growth. Two of the plan’s goals are to greatly increase the volume of our exports, and amplify ag production. We also know to sell our products, but we need to get it into customers’ hands (many of whom live a long way from here) -- hence, the need for rail and the need for a good working relationship. So we move forward to find the facts and get a long term solution to this pain we are experiencing. The Chamber is cognizant and sensitive to farmers, ag machinery manufacturers and oil companies who are having issues getting their products to market in a timely fashion; however, in order to gain a clear perspective on solutions, we have to work alongside people who have the ability to create a shared and clear vision of the future. Keep Well.

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2014 Membership Survey Recap Our annual Membership Survey, which closed recently, provided the following respondent demographics: Of the 109 responses received prior to noon February 27, the demographics of the respondents were as follows: • 32.18% were female; 67.82% were male.

• 37.29% were in professional services; 22.03% were in nonprofits or NGOs; 20.34% were in the service sector; 11.86% were in retail; 6.78% were in the public sector; and 1.69% were in the restaurant business. No respondents stated they were in the health or automotive industries.

• 32.95% ranged in age between 20 and 49; 60.23% were between 50 and 64; and 6.82% were 65 or older. • 49.43% of those responding were managers or staff; and 50.57% were shareholders as well as managers. • 46.67% were business owners; 53.33% were not. Rating the Saskatchewan Chamber:

Respondents were asked to rate the following statements about the Saskatchewan Chamber on a scale where 5 is excellent and 1 is poor. Results showed:  

5 Excellent

4 Very good

3 Good

2 Fair

1 Poor

Average Rating

Is an effective advocate for business

36.90%

53.57%

8.33%

1.19%

0%

  4.26

Takes reasonable positions

34.52%

53.57%

10.71%

1.19%

0%

  4.21

Speaks on issues of importance to me

28.57%

52.38%

14.29%

4.76%

0%

  4.05

Works well with other organizations

36.59%

51.22%

12.20%

0%

0%

  4.24

Offers a good value for my money

36.90%

38.10%

19.05%

3.57%

2.38%

  4.04

Is a good place to make contacts

31.71%

34.15%

24.39%

9.76%

0%

  3.88

Is worthwhile for the benefit programs it offers

25%

30%

35%

8.75%

1.25%

  3.69

On a scale of 1‐100, when asked to “mark” the Saskatchewan Chamber on its value to them and their business, respondents gave the Chamber a grade of 79.61%. (As compared to 2012’s survey grade of 76.38) 96.51% said they would recommend membership in the Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce to other businesses. (As compared to 2012’s 97.5%) Comments included: • “The Chamber staff are excellent....keep up the great work!” • “Coming from a different business community in Canada, I am extremely impressed with the level of engagement the chamber has in the Saskatchewan community and how well attended the chamber events are. Good value for money.” • “Excellent organization!” • “I would like to see more engagement with the local resource sectors and more western Canadian topics.” • “Doing a good job!” • “Stronger advocacy.” • “It’s challenging to be ‘excellent’ at advocating for business as they vary so significantly in size.” • “As a membership-driven association, the Chamber has to try and be a little bit of “all things to all members”. I understand this can be very challenging, but I think the Chamber does a good job of trying to balance these various interests.” •“I don’t necessarily always want what’s best just for me or my business, but for every person in the city, province, country as a whole.”

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2014 Membership Survey Recap (cont’d) Business Climate: Respondents were asked to rate how important each of these issues are to THEIR BUSINESS:  

Extremely important

Somewhat important

Neutral

Not very important

Not important at all

Average Rating

competitive provincial taxes

51.14%

31.82%

7.95%

9.09%

0%

  4.25

exchange rate on the dollar

26.97%

28.09%

34.83%

7.87%

2.25%

  3.70

reasonable minimum wage

17.44%

32.56%

30.23%

9.30%

10.47%

  3.37

favourable farm economy

29.55%

40.91%

20.45%

5.68%

3.41%

  3.88

favourable resource economy

48.86%

39.77%

9.09%

2.27%

0%

  4.35

staff availability

60.23%

31.82%

7.95%

0%

0%

  4.52

increased public infrastructure investment

34.09%

42.05%

20.45%

3.41%

0%

  4.07

positive labour relations

38.64%

38.64%

20.45%

2.27%

0%

  4.14

Then they were asked to rate how important each of these issues are to THE PROVINCE AS A WHOLE:  

Extremely important

Somewhat important

Neutral

Not very important

Not important at all

Average Rating

competitive provincial taxes

76.40%

15.73%

6.74%

1.12%

0%

  4.67

exchange rate on the dollar

47.73%

36.36%

13.64%

2.27%

0%

  4.30

reasonable minimum wage

37.93%

36.78%

18.39%

5.75%

1.15%

  4.05

favourable farm economy

70.45%

26.14%

3.41%

0%

0%

  4.67

favourable resource economy

90.91%

7.95%

1.14%

0%

0%

  4.90

staff availability

74.71%

22.99%

2.30%

0%

0%

  4.72

increased public infrastructure investment

65.12%

31.40%

3.49%

0%

0%

  4.62

positive labour relations

48.86%

40.91%

9.09%

1.14%

0%

  4.38

Other business issues which were raised included: • “Expenditure of $1B on the Regina south bypass while the highway system, streets and infrastructure around it are deteriorating.” • No consideration on crown or government tenders for local content or provincial content or Aboriginal businesses. • “Clarify New West Partnership agreement. Should apply for businesses actually manufacturing and located in the West, and not if they have an office in the West but represent offshore or non Canadian business.” • “Property and education taxes as they pertain to business.” • Bureaucratic red tape at urban and rural levels bogging down property development; escalating taxes as a result of reassessment • “Investment into research” • Need to stress ‘buy Saskatchewan’ and urge the province to rethink moving away from this strategy. • “Employers’ ability to use the SINP programs.” • Regulatory harmonization. • “International trade and export climate.”

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2014 Membership Survey Recap (cont’d) Respondents indicated that, as an employer, they feel the following skills are missing from the available employee pool:

Workers with Workers with Workers with Workers with Workers with Workers with people skills

communication problemsolving analytical skills skills abilities

leadership skills

industry-specific skills

Succession Planning: Of those respondents who were business owners, • 6.98% plan to retire within 1‐2 years; 18.6% in 3‐5 years; 34.88% in 6‐10 years; 18.6% in 10‐15 years; and 20.93% in 15 years or more. Using the knowledge that they possess today, business owners were asked to predict what they would do with their business when they retire. • 47.06% plan to sell to a non‐related 3rd party; 35.29% plan to sell to an employee group; and 17.65% to sell to a family member. However, the comments section contained nine responses from that pool of answers, in which they clarified the above responses; four said they would close or dissolve their business, four were unsure or that the question wasn’t applicable, and one said options were still being considered.

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Household Recycling in Saskatchewan Saskatchewan has some of the most successful industryled recycling programs in the country. Following in the same footsteps, the new Multi-Material Recycling Program (MMRP) for household packaged goods and paper is set to begin January 1, 2015. MMRP will help to divert 40 per cent of household waste from landfills. MMRP is a cost-sharing recycling initiative between businesses and municipalities that will provide more recycling options for Saskatchewan households. MMRP will help ensure the protection of our environment keeps pace with our growth. The program will be operated by Multi-Material Stewardship Western (MMSW), which developed a stewardship plan approved by the Minister of Environment and aligned with The Household Packaging and Saskatchewan Industrial and Mining Suppliers Association

Paper Stewardship Regulations. Businesses that sell or distribute packaged goods or paper to Saskatchewan residents may be obligated to help pay to recycle these materials. MMSW will be holding an information session and webinar on March 18, 2014 to provide details of the program and its small business policy as well as an opportunity for feedback.

Details on how to register for the session are coming from MMSW. MMSW is committed to making participation in this program an easy transition for small businesses. For more information, visit www.mmsk.ca. The Ministry of Environment is committed to ensuring that residents of our province continue to benefit from a healthy environment and economy.

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NOTICE - ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING Notice is hereby given that the Annual General Meeting of the Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce Inc. will be held: Date: Wednesday, May 14, 2014 Time: 8:30 a.m. - 9:00 a.m. Location: Double Tree by Hilton, Regina The agenda will include Annual Reports, presentation of Financial Statements, and reports on the election of Board Directors. All members of the Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce are welcome to attend the Annual General Meeting, and anyone who wishes to attend the entire Conference on Business can find more information and register at www.saskchamber.com. If you have questions, please contact Marilyn Leier at 306.352.2671 or email [email protected]

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Thank you to our renewing members in February! Your continued support of the Chamber movement makes it possible for us to achieve on your behalf, and we want you to know we appreciate you as members! • Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority • Meadow Lake & District Chamber of Commerce • Novozymes BioAg Ltd. • Battlefords Chamber of Commerce • Kerrobert Chamber of Commerce • HTC Purenergy • Globe Theatre • Advance Engineering Products • Yorkton Plumbing & Heating • Rogers • Fort Qu’appelle & District Chamber of Commerce • Norquay Chamber of Commerce • Q-line • Southwest Booster • Morris Industries • Simpson Seeds • Clarke Supply & Service • Airline Hotels • Cut Knife Chamber of Commerce • SIIT • True North Seed Potato • PFM Capital Inc. • Stats Cocktails & Dreams

• Melville & District Chamber of Commerce • Dr. Alexsander Vitali • Bunge Canada • Gravelbourg Chamber of Commerce • ERM Consultants • Saskatoon Blades Hockey Club • Border Line Feeders • Fountain Tire North Battleford • Saskatchewan Hotel & Hospitality Association • RDK Transportation Co. • SAAD • HYPOR • Assiniboia & District Chamber of Commerce • KPMG • SERCO • Rosetown Chamber of Commerce • Beer Bros. Gastropub & Deli • Weyburn Chamber of Commerce • Independent Lift Truck Services • Diplomat Steakhouse • Kenaston & District Chamber of Commerce • Success Office Systems • Leader Post • Eatonia & District Chamber of Commerce • Debden & District Chamber of Commerce • Blaine Lake & District Chamber of Commerce • Swift Current Chamber of Commerce • International Manpower

• FHQ Developments • Regina Public Library • Kindersley Chamber of Commerce • Waskesiu Chamber of Commerce • LaRonge & District Chamber of Commerce • Thunder Spirit Consulting • Temple Gardens Mineral Spa • Global Infobrokers • Empire Investments Corp • Canadian Red Cross-Southern Sask • Big Quill Resources • South Country Equipment • Deloitte & Touche LLP • Best Western Seven Oaks • Institute of Corporate Directors • Bahm’s Auto Service • Kennibar Resources • Nipawin & District Chamber of Commerce • Hitachi Power Systems • Data Group of Companies • Global TV • Carlyle Chamber of Commerce • Canora Chamber of Commerce • SaskTel • Indian Head & District Chamber of Commerce • Lloydminster KFC • FP Bourgault Tillage Tools • Flex Finger QD Industries • Borden Ladner Gervais • Keystone Royalty Corp • Raven Industries Canada • Miller Thompson LLP • Direct West • Saskatoon Travelodge

Welcome to our new members! For membership information, or to refer your leads, contact Jesse Chatterson at 306.352.2671 or [email protected] Stantec Regina www.stantec.com Acklands Grainger Regina www.acklandsgrainger.com Coldwell Banker Canada Regina www.coldwellbanker.ca Women Entrepreneurs of Saskatchewan Saskatoon www.womenentrepreneurs.sk.ca

My Canada Payday www.mycanadapayday.com Saskatchewan Association of HR Professionals Regina www.sahrp.ca Check-It Solutions Regina www.check-it.ca Mid Sask Community Futures Kindersley www.cfsask.ca

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Don’t forget to fill in the brief HR & Training Survey, located here! Survey closes Mar. 13.

Looking for temporary, high quality employees?

Its purpose is gather information from Chamber of Commerce members about current human resource practices, business goals, and employee training. Aligning training solutions with business objectives will help members get the most out of their training investment. Your input really helps!

Hire a SIAST Co-operative Education business student for work terms beginning May 2014. Students available in Accountancy and Information Systems. Recruitment is underway. Please contact Shelley Ruecker: 306-691-8322

[email protected]

Members in the News Congratulations to the University of Regina’s Hill School of Business, which recently won the “school of the year” award at the annual JDC West competition among Western Canadian university management schools. JDC, which stands for ”Jeux du Commerce” (French for “commerce games) was held in Regina, and drew over 600 students in 12 teams from across Canada. Congratulations as well to Murad Al-Katib, president and CEO of Alliance Grain Traders Inc. and Frank Hart, president and managing director of Greystone Managed Investments, who were recently elected chair and vice-chair (respectively) of the board of directors of the Regina Regional Opportunities Commission (RROC).

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LEGISLATIVE REPORT Nominations for the 2014 Premier’s Award for Excellence in the Public Service are now open until April 30. The award recognizes provincial public servants who have gone above and beyond by making outstanding and innovative contributions to the government and to citizens. Individuals or teams from government ministries, some Treasury Board Crown corporations, boards, commissions and agencies are eligible for nomination by the public service, stakeholder organizations, clients and the public. Selections are made by an independent committee. Up to six awards will be announced this summer. For more information about this award, visit www. ops.gov.sk.ca/pa. The Water Security Agency’s February forecast for spring runoff indicates an above normal runoff for the Saskatoon, North Battleford and Prince Albert regions. The rest of the province is projecting to be near normal this spring. Overall, winter precipitation ranges from below average in the southeast to well above average in the Prince Albert region. Fall precipitation in the 30 days before freeze-up was generally below normal with the exception of central Saskatchewan, which was above normal. The February runoff forecast is based on limited precipitation data and should be used as a general guide for large areas. Local conditions may vary significantly. Above normal precipitation prior to spring runoff and/or a fast melt could result in higher flows and significantly alter the forecast. A more detailed runoff forecast will be prepared in early March and April.

Land sale 2nd Highest

Largest Per Capita Exporter

Building Spike

Saskatchewan’s February sale of petroleum and natural gas rights brought in $50.7 million in revenue - the second-highest February sale on record. The average price paid in this sale was an impressive $1,816 per hectare with particular interest shown in Bakken areas along the Saskatchewan-U.S. border. Total land sale revenue for the 2013-14 fiscal year is $106.2 million.

The year 2013 will go down as another record for exports, hitting $32.9 billion according to a report by Statistics Canada released today. Exports were up by 4.6 per cent compared to 2012, and have increased by a whopping 70.2 per cent when compared to the 2007 total of $19.3 billion.

Saskatchewan’s home builders saw a spike in activity in January, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation stats. Urban housing starts jumped 9.6% compared to January 2013. This landed Saskatchewan in 4th place among the provinces. On a year-over-year basis, construction starts on multiple units were up 34.4% (from 285 units to 383 units) compared to January 2013.

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Legislative Report (cont’d)

Winter weights which have been in effect since December on some Saskatchewan highways were removed as of March 1. Weight restriction orders around winter weights are published online at www. saskatchewan.ca under the “New Winter Order” link. Regularly scheduled updates of the winter restriction orders will be provided every Tuesday and Friday by 12:30 p.m. until March 15 when winter weights are no longer in effect. The freeze period during winter strengthens the road and supports heavier truck loads, providing shippers an opportunity to transport heavier loads during the colder winter months. Typically, these winter weights run from mid-November through mid-March. Shippers should also be aware of upcoming spring road bans and follow weight limits on secondary roads during this most fragile six-week thaw period. Saskatchewan’s unemployment rate remains the lowest in Canada for the thirteenth consecutive month. According to figures released by Statistics Canada today, the province’s rate currently sits at 4.3 per cent, and well below the national average of 7.0 per cent. The province’s youth unemployment was 7.5 per cent in January - also the lowest in the country. The national youth unemployment rate was 13.9 per cent. A drop in potash revenue means the government will dip into the province’s rainy day fund to maintain a balanced budget. The 2013-14 Third Quarter Financial Report shows General Revenue Fund (GRF) revenue is down $144.2 million from budget estimates. A transfer of $135 million from savings in the Growth and Financial Security Fund (GFSF) will offset the revenue shortfall, resulting in a $7.2 million GRF surplus. The

government is still expecting a surplus in the Summary Financial Statements in excess of $400 million, based on estimates from mid-year. Saskatchewan’s manufacturers had a banner December, rounding out 2013 with impressive sales numbers and setting a new annual record in doing so. On a seasonally-adjusted basis, manufacturing sales in Saskatchewan increased by 5.2 per cent in December 2013 compared to November 2013, ranking Saskatchewan second in percentage change among the provinces. In December 2013, compared to December 2012, Saskatchewan’s manufacturing shipments were up by 8.0 per cent (seasonally-adjusted), good for a second-place ranking in percentage growth among the provinces. Saskatchewan’s wholesalers had a great year in 2013, hitting $23.8 billion in trade, the highest ever recorded on an annual basis. Seasonally unadjusted, wholesale trade was up by 8.4 per cent in 2013 over 2012, the highest percentage increase among the provinces. Nationally, wholesale trade was up only 1.2 per cent. For the month of December 2013, wholesale trade totalled $1.9 billion (seasonally adjusted) up by 7.1 per cent over last December, the second highest percentage increase among the provinces. There was good news for Saskatchewan workers in December as average weekly earnings rose by 3.6 per cent compared to last December, the third largest wage increase in the nation. Average earnings in the province climbed to $965.74 during December. On a month-to-month basis, Saskatchewan’s wages were up by 0.9 per cent, the same as the national average. Saskatchewan has had month-to-month increases for eight of the past 12 months.

Canadian Chamber pleased by wins in federal budget The Canadian Chamber of Commerce is pleased the federal government acted on some of the key elements of the Chamber’s Top 10 Barriers to Competitiveness in this year’s budget. Among these wins were measures for skills training, loans for apprentices and new internships in small business. The importance of skills and business is also reflected in research and innovation initiatives. In addition, the government reiterated its commitment to launch the Canada Job Grant in 2014, even if provinces do not participate. The Chamber welcomes the government’s continued investment in public infrastructure. Funding to support additional strategic investments in public infrastructure and transportation services across Canada, including funding for the Windsor-Detroit International Crossing and the construction of a new bridge for the St. Lawrence is allocated in the budget. Other positive points included efforts to unlock the economic potential of the North via funding to renew the Strategic Investments in Northern Economic Development program delivered by the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency. The continued move toward eliminating the deficit and returning to a balanced budget by fiscal 2015-16 is also a good sign, according to the Chamber. For more information, see the Chamber’s analysis of the budget at http://tinyurl.com/fedbudget14.

action! online is a monthly membership e-publication of the Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce.

CHAMBER STAFF Steve McLellan CEO [email protected]

Jesse Chatterson Director of Member Services [email protected]

Marilyn Leier Administrative Assistant [email protected]

Elissa LaLiberte Director of Membership Services [email protected]

Kristin McKee Director of Policy Development [email protected]

Cindy Wright Director of Special Events [email protected]

Curtis Hemming Director of Government Relations [email protected]

Dawn M. Barker Director of Communications [email protected]

CHAMBER BOARD OF DIRECTORS Chair - Marion Ghiglione (Handy Group of Companies) 1st Vice-Chair - Bruce Anderson (b-creative group) 2nd Vice-Chair - Randy Beattie (PFM Capital Inc.) Immediate Past-Chair - Fred Titanich (CAA Saskatchewan) Directors Cam Cooper (Praxis Analytics) Andrew Geary (Deloitte & Touche LLP) Trina Warren (MNP LLP) Michael Cossar (Saskatoon) Patricia Warsaba (McKercher LLP) Shawna Nelson (Sheraton Cavalier Saskatoon) Monica Kreuger (Global Infobrokers Inc.) Greg Hanwell (Beer Bros. Gastropub & Deli) Sean Young (Young’s Equipment)

1630 - 1920 Broad Street Regina, SK S4P 3V2 www.saskchamber.com Get in Touch Tel: 306.352.2671 Email: [email protected]