Around the province

Economy showing signs of life

The Province of Saskatchewan received some good economic news this week as oil and retail sectors are showing projected increases.

The Petroleum Services Association of Canada (PSAC) is forecasting a major increase in oil and gas activity.

The estimated number of wells drilled in the province has gone up to 2,670 from the originally forecasted 1,940.

Nationally, PSAC is anticipating an estimated 6,680 wells will be drilled in 2017, and increase of 2,505 and a 60 per cent increase from the original drilling activity forecast released in November of 2016.

So far in 2017, 856 wells have been drilled in the province, as opposed to 399 drilled during the same time period last year.

Saskatchewan also recently learned it had the highest retail sales growth in the country. The seasonally adjusted rate increased by .06 from January to February, the highest among the province. The national rate saw a 0.6 decrease.

Year-over-year, sales were up 4.8 per cent in Saskatchewan, slightly above the 4.7 per cent national increase, and the fourth highest nationwide.

“Saskatchewan consumers have been opening their wallets because they have confidence in our economy,” Economy Minister Jeremy Harrison was quoted as saying.

The news comes on the heels of data showing growth in wholesale trade and manufacturing rates were also among the nation’s highest.

Sask. Polytech workers laid off

Saskatchewan Polytechnic has laid off 23 employees, several media reports say.

A spokesperson told the Canadian Press the layoffs are the result of a five per cent reduction to its operating grant, a measure of the provincial budget.

According to the Saskatoon StarPhoenix, the full and part-time positions equate to 18.9 full-time equivalents.

Five jobs were lost in each of Saskatoon, Regina and Moose Jaw, while eight were lost in P.A, the StarPhoenix and CTV reported.

Earlier this year, an additional 43 employees took voluntary separation packages.

P.A. business fined for safety infraction

Danbo Construction out of Prince Albert has been fined $14,000 for violating one count under Occupational Health and Safety legislation.

The incident took place on Jan. 8, 2016 in Emma Lake when a worker who was not wearing protective headwear was struck in the head by a board that slipped off of a roof.

The business pleaded guilty to the charge on April 13, 2017.

Roughriders fined thousands

The Saskatchewan Roughriders were fined $31,500 for two CFL bylaw violations, including players attending practice while on the CFL suspension list and violations related to the recruitment of a junior player.

Head coach Chris Jones was also fined $5,00 for meeting with Johnny Manziel’s publicist, which constitutes tampering.

The BC Lions are also facing a $2,500 fine for a violation in relation to the contract of Adam Bighill.

The Riders issued a statement Friday:

“The Saskatchewan Roughriders have been notified of the leagues decision and accept their disciplinary action,” stated Chris Jones, Roughriders Vice President of Football Operations, General Manager and Head Coach.

“We have been forthcoming with the CFL office on any information they have requested. We look forward to moving on and continuing to prepare for the 2017 season.”