Hon. Marty Klyne: Honourable senators, I rise to speak about an important project in my province of Saskatchewan.
On September 20, the Government of Saskatchewan announced they are committing up to $200 million towards Saskatchewan Polytechnic’s new centralized campus at Innovation Place in Saskatoon. I was delighted to see this announcement; an investment in post-secondary infrastructure is an investment in the future of our students and our country.
Saskatchewan Polytechnic President and CEO Larry Rosia said:
A new Saskatchewan Polytechnic campus in Saskatoon is a once-in-a generation opportunity to create a 21st century, modern learning environment that supplies the expert workforce for existing and emerging industries. . . .
That includes net-zero opportunities. Mr. Rosia added that:
It will increase program capacity and create a skilled talent pipeline to help grow the economy and increase our competitiveness in attracting investment to Saskatchewan and Canada.
Honourable senators, polytechnic schools are vital to Canada’s success. They help make our country more innovative, train workers for our growing economy and provide Canadians with the skills necessary to succeed in a changing economy.
Currently, 1 out of every 19 jobs in Saskatchewan is supported by the activities of Saskatchewan Polytechnic and its students, contributing approximately $2.6 billion in income to the provincial economy.
The Saskatchewan Polytechnic project, also known as Sask Polytech, will unlock significant economic and social benefits, including those for many Indigenous students and their communities. This is a key strategic infrastructure project that generates the skilled workforce needed for reaching net zero, building housing, maintaining our health care system and furthering economic reconciliation.
The new Sask Polytech campus will attract more students and more investment to Saskatchewan and foster greater research opportunities. It will help prepare job-ready graduates who can support vital public services and contribute to our strong and growing economy.
Sask Polytech’s overall graduate employment rate stands at 95%, with 91% of graduates remaining in the province. The new campus will support and strengthen the innovation corridor in Saskatchewan that brings together businesses, entrepreneurs, students and other learning institutions to create a centre of excellence in applied learning and research.
Honourable senators, I congratulate Sask Polytechnic on all of their success and the hard work that they’ve done to date to move this project forward. I extend that congratulations to the Government of Saskatchewan as well. I trust other stakeholders will rally behind this and share in the imminent success. Thank you, hiy kitatamihin.
Hon. Senators: Hear, hear.