Immigration Boosts Sask. Population by 30,000 to Top 1.2 Million

March 28, 2024


REGINA – The Saskatchewan government is touting strong population growth in the province in 2023.

According to the newest figures released by Statistics Canada on Wednesday, the Saskatchewan population now stands at 1,225,493, a year to year increase of 30,624. In the fourth quarter alone, the population was up 6,517.

The government pointed to the positive numbers at an event at Degelman Industries in Regina, a business that has hired on a number of newcomers to the province under the Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program including many from the Philippines.

It is the “largest rate population increase over the last year that we have seen since 1914 — (in) 110 years, we’ve never seen the growth of population that we did this year, which is very exciting,” said Minister of Trade and Export Development Jeremy Harrison.

“It really is a reflection of the fact that we have a growing economy, that we have a incredibly attractive standard of living here that is bringing people around the world to make their home here in Saskatchewan.”

Harrison said Degelman had been “a major partner with the government of Saskatchewan through the Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program in bringing newcomers to work on the floor here at Degelman, and working not just those roles but management roles as well.”

As for where the new arrivals to the province are coming from, Harrison noted it varies every year. For the past year the largest amounts of new arrivals came from the Philippines and the Ukraine. “ Obviously given the circumstances that exist in Ukraine now, it would be probably the largest source country this year.”

Ask for the opportunities they are finding in Saskatchewan Harrison says it is all across-the-board. He pointed to an employer lead labour recruitment mission done in Manila’s just before Christmas last year, where the employers were seeking upwards of 500 people into roles like welders mechanics, and other trades jobs.

“Really that is where there is a shortage, it’s the number one issue,” said Harrison. “There are places in the world where folks are trained at the same standard as they are here, with a much different standard of living, and see this as a great opportunity to build their future in their family.”

Blair Flavel, president of Degelman Industries, welcomed the announcement of the growing population. The business, which has 530 employees over three locations, points to pride their own role in bringing immigrants to their business and to the province.

“I know Degelman Industries have been part of it, we’ve been part of the SINP program for the last 15 years,” said Flavel, who said the program and their recruiting efforts in the Philippines “really changed our business” at their Regina location.

“We were struggling to get employees 15 years ago, went on a few trade missions with the government, and in total over the last 15 years we’ve brought in 130 employees along with their families. Some of their kids are getting old enough to be coming on as Degelman employees now too, so it’s pretty exciting and rewarding.”

Also at the event was Victoria Flores of the Regina Open Door Society, who pointed to the work that organization does to provide services including employment and labour services  to help newcomers settle in Saskatchewan.

Of the population numbers, Flores said “let’s remember that each number in that count as a story a dream and a heart full of hope. Our diversity is our strength and every new neighbour enriches our community a little more.”