Trend shows working-age Saskatchewan residents moving out

Interprovincial migration statistics show a net loss of thousands

Over the last two years, more people have left Saskatchewan than moved in from other provinces, and the latest numbers from Statistics Canada show over half of them are under 40, and 70 per cent are under the age of 65.

Since 2013, Saskatchewan has had a net loss of about 5,700 people to interprovincial migration, which means more people left Saskatchewan than moved to the province from other parts of Canada.

Earlier this week, Brad Wall dismissed that, claiming the losses are simply because “a small number of people from Saskatchewan are moving to B.C. to retire.” But Statistics Canada's numbers show Wall had his facts wrong. The reality is that seven out of every 10 people leaving Saskatchewan were under the age of 65.

“Every single quarter since 2013, our province has lost more and more Saskatchewan people – including a lot of young people – to other provinces,” said NDP deputy leader Trent Wotherspoon. “I don’t know why Mr. Wall is brushing that off and pretending it doesn't matter, it does matter and this trend ought to be raising alarm bells."

Since 2013, interprovincial migration has shown a negative trend. Saskatchewan’s only growth has been through natural growth (births minus deaths) of approximately 13,345, and a large amount of international immigration – 26,370 people moving directly to Saskatchewan from other countries.

“It's great to have more babies in the province and we're excited to welcome our new residents from other countries,” said Wotherspoon. “But while we're celebrating those two aspects, we can't ignore the worrisome trend of losing more working-age people to other provinces than we're gaining from other provinces. We can't afford to keep letting that happen. We need to take tangible steps to diversify our economy, deliver loads of opportunities and good, mortgage-paying jobs for young people here in Saskatchewan and ensure that our prosperity is sustainable for the long term.

“We don’t want to rely entirely only on international immigration to grow our province – we want young Saskatchewan families and young families from all over the country to find their opportunity and their future right here in our beautiful province.”