by Shantel Lipp Shantel Lipp
Shantel Lipp

Summer has so many of us spending time outdoors. As we do, we can see other people all around us, which is a big change after years of living through a pandemic, isolating ourselves from one another. 

Everywhere we look, there are simply more people living – and enjoying life – in this province. And that is not just a perception. Statistics Canada recently stated that Saskatchewan’s population increased by 33,101 over the past year, which is a growth of almost three per cent. We now have 1,221,439 people living in our province. We know the provincial government’s Growth Plan from 2020 to 2030 is aiming for our population to grow to 1.4 million people, so we are on our way.

But growing the population of our province is not the only goal of the Saskatchewan government. The Growth Plan has numerous economic goals, and our industry has a role in ensuring a number of them are achieved. 

Saskatchewan is embracing its role of providing the world with the food, fertilizer and fuel it needs. We know that roads and highways connect our landlocked province to the world. The construction our industry undertakes helps other industries achieve the goals set by the province. For example, there was the earthwork necessary ahead of the development of canola crush facilities that will increase Saskatchewan-based processing of canola grown in this province. There is also our industry’s work to improve roads in northern Saskatchewan which supports doubling the size of Saskatchewan’s forestry sector. 

In my role, I am advocating for deeper and more widespread recognition of how our industry contributes to the growth of the province’s economy. That recognition is coming from leaders in other sectors, and I am working with them to broadly deliver their important perspectives on the value of investing in trade and transportation infrastructure to the people and politicians of this province.

While those other industries, such as agriculture and forestry, grow stronger, our industry is also advancing. SHCA is pleased to play a role in that advancement. While I work with leaders those in other sectors, I never lose sight of the relationships I have with members. SHCA is dedicated to representing, advocating and supporting its members and, in that spirit, I am very much looking forward to a first-of-its-kind event SHCA is developing for our industry.

You might have seen posts on social media recently about the first-ever industry summit for Saskatchewan. SHCA is excited to spearhead this event, which will bring together contractors, suppliers, engineers and other professionals to focus on infrastructure and transportation. There will be great industry education sessions, an innovative trade show and awesome networking opportunities spread over two days on Nov. 29 and 30, 2023, at the Delta Hotel & Convention Centre in Regina.

The complete agenda for this key event is still coming together, but I am looking forward to highlighting technological advancements within the industry through these education sessions. You will have opportunities to learn more about the production and processing of materials as well as troubleshooting asphalt plants and more sustainable ways of paving. You can expect to see virtual reality being used to attract young people to our sector and conduct safety training. 

The summit will offer personal and professional development opportunities. I’m excited to learn from Pamela Barnum, who will be one of our keynote speakers. She is a trust strategist and body language expert who developed her skills and insights during her years as an undercover police officer and federal prosecuting attorney. In her presentations, she teaches others how to detect deception and interpret nonverbals in their personal and professional lives. 

As with all our events, please visit and check under the Events section of the website, where we will add details about this event in the months to come, including how to register. Right now, if you are interested in participating, I would be happy to hear from you. One of the ways you might participate is by showcasing new technology that can benefit the heavy construction industry, but I am open to hearing about other types of contributions that can be made to this event. You can email me, and I’ll respond to you.

For now, soak in this summer and all this season has to offer because before you know it, November will be here. Until then, I look forward to developing a fantastic event to bring us together once again!