Sharing news that SHCA members need to know
Stronger Together: We’re Going to Waikiki!
The Western Canadian Roadbuilders & Heavy Construction Association (WCR&HCA) is heading to Waikiki, Hawaii, Feb. 5–9, 2023 for the Stronger Together Conference. Joined by hundreds of delegates from across Western Canada, the conference offers industry speakers, education and an array of networking events. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to connect!
For more information, visit the event website:
Saskatchewan Potash Producers Ramp Up Production
In response to the growing demand and escalating concern around global food security, Saskatchewan’s potash sector is ramping up production. Saskatchewan is positioning itself to fill the market gaps left because of the sanctions placed on Russia and Belarus.
“Global interest in Saskatchewan is at an all-time high as countries look to us as an ethical and reliable producer for their resource needs,” Energy and Resources Minister Jim Reiter said. “We are proud of our world-class potash sector for stepping up to meet growing global demand for decades to come.”
The Mosaic Company, K+S Potash Canada and Nutrien Ltd. have all announced planned potash production increases at their Saskatchewan facilities in response to global supply uncertainty.
Nutrien announced they will be ramping up annual potash production capability to 18 million tonnes by 2025. This represents an increase of more than 5.0 million tonnes, or 40 per cent, compared to 2020, and will lead to approximately 350 new jobs in the province.
“In addition to increasing potash production by more than 2.0 million tonnes since 2020, Nutrien will invest in the province of Saskatchewan to accelerate potash production capability to 18 million tonnes by 2025, and continue evaluating a pathway to 23 million tonnes,” Nutrien CEO Ken Seitz said. “With decades of experience and technology leadership across our network of six low-cost mines in the province, Nutrien is ideally positioned to help sustainably feed a growing world.”
K+S Potash recently announced plans to increase production to 4.0 million tonnes per year over the next few decades at their Bethune facility. K+S is looking to hire more than 70 new employees to carry out these operations.
Mosaic is also taking action to increase its annual potash operating capability by a further 1.5 million tonnes by the second half of 2023 at their new Esterhazy K3 operation and Colonsay mine. Since resuming production at Colonsay in 2021, Mosaic has added 150 jobs at the site.
BHP is looking to accelerate the timeframe for the construction of its $12 billion Jansen project, and several other companies have new potash mine projects at varying stages of development.
Saskatchewan is the largest potash producer in the world and the sole producer in Canada, typically accounting for about 30 per cent of global potash production. Over the last 15 years, the potash industry has committed approximately $30 billion of investment for new mines and expansions.
Saskatchewan’s potash sector accounts for approximately 11 per cent of provincial GDP and supports roughly 6,000 direct and indirect jobs. Saskatchewan’s potash production and the value of sales both set new records in 2021, reaching 14.2 million tonnes K2O and $7.6 billion respectively.
Given the province’s substantial potash reserves, the sector will continue to drive investment, create new jobs and bring opportunity to the people of Saskatchewan.
Rethinking and Reimagining a Forward-thinking Canada
Western Transportation Advisory Council (WESTAC) members gathered in Regina and online in April to attend the annual Spring Member Forum. Sessions and member discussions focused on components and considerations for a new economic plan for Canada.
Hon. Fred Bradshaw, Minister of Highways, Government of Saskatchewan and chair of WESTAC, opened the forum by emphasizing the importance of thinking beyond infrastructure and provincial borders to broader transportation networks to solve the challenges facing the industry.
The speakers provided members with insights to consider when rethinking and reimagining what the future of Canada could look like. External factors increasingly influence decision-making at an operational and strategic level. These external factors include climate challenges, demographic realities and geopolitical influences in our ever-interconnected world. Darrell Bricker, CEO at Ipsos Public Affairs, kicked off the forum by focusing on the shifts in demographics that will inevitably impact the planning and operational capacities of all organizations.
WESTAC was honoured to have Premier Scott Moe address the members on Saskatchewan’s tremendous growth plan. This address set the stage for the afternoon sessions, looking at new and emerging opportunities in Saskatchewan of interest to our membership, including potash, canola, hydrogen, helium and lithium.
“The recipe for success in Saskatchewan is quite simple. We attract investment; we develop our natural resources; we sell them to people in other areas of the world. We create jobs, people move here and, ultimately, we can fulfill our growth agenda and reinvest that revenue back into our growing and vibrant communities. The recipe for success is equally simple for Canada,” remarked Premier Scott Moe while addressing WESTAC members.
The forum provided an opportunity for collaboration and thoughtful dialogue beneficial for the overarching Canadian supply chain.
Other topics covered by speakers included:
- Reimagining transportation and logistics
- Resources of the future and where Canada has the edge
- Globalization and the future of Canada as a trading nation
- Emerging industries in Saskatchewan
- Canadian security
“There are plenty of reasons for cautious optimism about Canada’s economic future,” said WESTAC president and CEO, Lindsay Kislock. “We are leaders in several industries providing low-carbon products that the world needs now more than ever. Through collaboration and timely decisions, we can grow our contribution to world markets and contribute to lowering global emissions.”
A complete list of speakers can be found here. A proceedings report will be available to members in the coming weeks.
Caterpillar and the National Hockey League Announce Multiyear Global Sponsorship
Caterpillar Inc. and the National Hockey League (NHL®) recently announced a multiyear global sponsorship naming Caterpillar the official heavy equipment and industrial power sponsor of the NHL. Launching this fall at the start of the 2022–23 NHL regular season, the sponsorship will focus on recognizing the people who manufacture, sell and operate Cat® products and services.
“Caterpillar and the NHL both represent committed and passionate doers who work hard as part of a team to accomplish a goal,” said Yvette Morrison, global head of marketing and brand for Caterpillar. “We will use this sponsorship to engage with customers and employees, providing them with an enjoyable experience.”
As part of the sponsorship, Caterpillar and its dealers may identify opportunities to assist the NHL by providing behind-the-scenes products and services to support NHL games and special events.
“We are excited to welcome Caterpillar to the NHL family to engage our passionate fans and Caterpillar’s customers around the globe,” said Max Paulsen, NHL senior director, Business Development. “Caterpillar is one of the top brands in the world and aligns with the many attributes our great sport embodies. We look forward to creating compelling and unique initiatives that will delight new and existing fans while providing Caterpillar extensive brand visibility at our tentpole events and across NHL media platforms.”
The NHL will collaborate with Caterpillar to incorporate Cat products into NHL events by highlighting the company’s heavy equipment machines and industrial power generators with TV-visible signage and in-arena branding at the NHL’s marquee events, including NHL® All-Star Weekend, NHL Stadium Series™ and NHL Winter Classic®. The NHL will also work with the company to promote hockey in local communities through Caterpillar’s network of dealers.
SRC Celebrates Grand Opening of New Mining and Minerals Facility
The Saskatchewan Research Council (SRC) recently celebrated the grand opening of a new facility that consolidates SRC’s mining and minerals operations into one purpose-built facility to serve its clients more effectively. The new location, funded by the Government of Saskatchewan, provides additional opportunities to continue expanding SRC’s services and capabilities.
“SRC has worked with the mining and minerals industries in Saskatchewan, across Canada and worldwide for 75 years,” said Jeremy Harrison, the Minister Responsible for SRC. “By helping its clients, SRC strengthens the Saskatchewan economy with growth, quality jobs and a secure environment.”
In June 2020, the Government of Saskatchewan and SRC announced $15 million in funding for the 18-month construction project that brought 50 immediate jobs to Saskatchewan’s construction industry, as well as long-term impacts to Saskatchewan’s mining and minerals industry through increased production and cost-savings. This project was part of the Government of Saskatchewan’s $7.5 billion, two-year capital plan to build a strong Saskatchewan and stimulate Saskatchewan’s economic recovery.
“The consolidation into a fit-for-purpose building allows SRC to optimize and expand expertise and capabilities as we move into driving new technology and innovation to support the mining and minerals industry,” SRC president and CEO Mike Crabtree said. “This will in turn allow mining companies to produce more ore with less waste, reduced energy costs and reduced greenhouse gas emissions – developments which will be essential to ensuring the long-term sustainability of Saskatchewan’s mineral resources.”
The facility now houses roughly 90 employees working in SRC’s Geoanalytical Laboratories, Mineral Processing and Development Engineering and Manufacturing groups.
SRC is Canada’s second largest research and technology organization. With 350 employees, $137 million in annual revenue and 75 years of experience, SRC provides services and products to its 1,500 clients in 27 countries around the world.
More People Working in Saskatchewan Than Ever Before
Job numbers released by Statistics Canada for May 2022 show Saskatchewan added 19,800 jobs, an increase of 3.5 per cent, compared to May 2021. All the growth was in full-time jobs.
The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to 4.8 per cent in May 2022. It was down from 6.1 per cent a year ago, down from 5.5 per cent a month ago, and below the national average of 5.1 per cent.
“Saskatchewan’s economy is on the right track with significant job gains and a low unemployment rate,” said Jeremy Harrison, Immigration and Career Training Minister. “Our government will continue to provide a competitive environment to accelerate our economic growth in communities across the province.”
A number of all-time employment records were hit in May 2022, including overall employment (587,000), female employment (272,300), off-reserve Indigenous employment (65,800) and off-reserve Indigenous full-time employment (54,100).
Major year-over-year gains were reported, with construction up 5,400 jobs.
In May 2022, Saskatchewan’s seasonally adjusted employment of 578,100 exceeded its pre-COVID February 2020 employment level of 574,100.
A recent report from the Conference Board of Canada projects that Saskatchewan’s economy will lead the country with real GDP growth of 7.9 per cent in 2022, well above the national average of 4.0 per cent.
Saskatoon Celebrates Completion of Wastewater Treatment Plant Digester and Heating Upgrades Project
In June, the City of Saskatoon announced that work is completed on the Digester and Heating Upgrades project at the wastewater treatment plant (WWTP).
The three-year, $48.2 million project is funded by the Government of Canada ($9.5 million) and Government of Saskatchewan ($9.5 million) through their New Building Canada Fund, with a $29.2 million investment by the City of Saskatoon.
“Investments in modernizing wastewater infrastructure address communities’ needs and help protect the environment. By partnering with Saskatchewan to upgrade Saskatoon’s WWTP, our government is supporting the local economy while ensuring residents benefit from improved water quality and healthier local ecosystems,” said the Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Infrastructure and Communities.
“Reliable local water systems are important to position Saskatchewan communities for growth and attract new business,” Saskatoon Riversdale MLA Marv Friesen said on behalf of Don McMorris, Saskatchewan’s Minister of Government Relations. “The Government of Saskatchewan is proud to invest $9.5 million toward this important wastewater infrastructure project in Saskatoon, which will benefit the local economy, residents and environment.”
“As our city continues to grow, it’s important to maintain our high standards and stewardship in protecting people and property downstream from Saskatoon,” said Mayor Charlie Clark. “The investments in a new digester and heating upgrades at the WWTP will help us meet demand by improving capacity and sustainability, as well as maintaining our high-quality standards into the future. The expansion includes an exciting sustainable energy recovery process that will recycle biogas to be used as fuel in boilers and solid matter as nutrients for local and nearby crops.”
The new digester is the WWTP’s fourth and will improve capacity to allow the plant to maintain Water Security Agency processing standards whenever another digester is taken out of service for maintenance. The digesters are large circular tanks that hold the solids removed during the wastewater treatment process. The solids are deprived of oxygen to allow bacteria to form and break the solids down, and methane biogas is produced during the process. The methane biogas helps heat the WWTP, which in turn reduces reliance on the use of natural gas for heating. Boiler upgrades and the installation of a methane biogas treatment filter were also a part of the project.
To learn more about the digester and heating upgrades project, visit
Construction on the fourth digester and Heating and Gas Scrubbing Building began in 2019 and was completed in 2021, ahead of schedule and under budget.
Construction of a fourth digester tank improves capacity and allows the city to maintain Water Security Agency processing standards when another digester is taken out of service for maintenance purposes.
Now that construction is complete, residents can no longer see an open flame at the WWTP as the flare has been replaced with two enclosed flares.
SaskPower Announces New President and CEO
In June, SaskPower announced that after a nationwide search, Rupen Pandya will be the company’s new president and CEO, effective July 1.
Pandya has developed extensive experience since beginning his professional career in 1997 with the provincial government. Pandya worked for the Saskatchewan Housing Corporation, Ministry of Social Services and Ministry of Advanced Education before taking on more senior roles. As an assistant deputy minister for Immigration Services, Pandya helped develop recruitment and retention plans for the province. He also held assistant deputy minister positions with both the Ministry of Advanced Education and with the Ministry of Economy before becoming the president and CEO of SaskBuilds for five years. At SaskBuilds, Pandya led the entity’s three-year strategic plan, operating plan, policies and procedures as well as oversaw the procurement and delivery of over $3 billion in alternative finance procurements involving transportation and social infrastructure projects across Saskatchewan.
In 2017, Pandya was appointed Deputy Minister of Finance where his responsibilities included oversight of government revenue, expense, assets and liabilities; leading fiscal policy and budget development; designing and administering competitive tax regimes; and more.
Pandya holds Bachelor and Master of Arts degrees from the University of Regina. He was raised in Regina where he resides with his wife, Terri, and their two daughters. Pandya is looking forward to working with SaskPower’s executive team and employees.
Mosaic Renews Commitment to STARS with $2.5 Million for Operations, New Fleet
The ambitious fundraising goal for STARS’ fleet renewal capital campaign in Saskatchewan was reached, thanks to a generous $2.5 million commitment from Mosaic, announced earlier this year at the STARS base in Regina.
The Keep the Fight in Flight campaign was launched in 2018 to renew STARS’ fleet of aging air ambulances with Airbus H145 helicopters, at a cost of $13 million each. Mosaic’s $2.5 million gift will support ongoing mission operations in Saskatchewan as well as help fund the three new H145 aircraft needed to serve patients across the province.
“Mosaic supports organizations that are making a difference in the communities where our employees live and work, and STARS continues to play a life-saving role in our province,” said Bruce Bodine, Mosaic’s senior vice president, North America. “Investing in STARS is critically important, and we want to show our commitment by ensuring they can operate in our province for years to come.”
As a charity, STARS relies on its donors to help achieve excellence and drive innovation in critical care. Mosaic has been a strong STARS supporter since the non-profit established operations in Saskatchewan in 2012, and the company’s total support of STARS to date is more than $10.5 million. In recognition of this milestone, STARS’ Regina hangar will officially be named the “Mosaic Hangar at STARS Regina.”
“STARS was built by the community for the community, and with support from long-time supporters like Mosaic, people working, travelling and playing across Saskatchewan continue to have access to critical care when they need it most,” said Andrea Robertson, STARS president and CEO.
STARS has flown hundreds of missions in the new helicopters since receiving its first H145 aircraft in 2019. Thanks to government, community and corporate support, the renewed fleet will be implemented at all six STARS bases across Western Canada later this year.
“These new aircraft are a generational investment in our ability to fight for the lives of Saskatchewanians for decades to come, and we’re incredibly grateful to Mosaic for their financial support to help us reach our goal,” said Robertson.