Sask. business groups visit Parliament Hill

By Brent Bosker
February 18, 2016 - 12:43pm

Representatives from Saskatchewan's business community are in Ottawa Thursday to shine a spotlight on the province's contributions to the Canadian economy.

A contingent of 10 business support groups which include mining, manufacturing and construction are meeting with politicians and bureaucrats as part of the first-ever Saskatchewan Day on Parliament Hill.

"Our MPs are so new they don't have business cards yet. So we need to make sure they see the information they're getting is from Saskatchewan people. Sit down and explain why its important. And we can do that in Ottawa easier perhaps then we can do at home," said Steve McLellan, Sask. Chamber of Commerce CEO and voice for small businesses at the event.

"The bureaucrats that live here, who advise our MPs in the federal cabinet they also need to know who we are. They need to have a sense that we are legitimate as organizations."

Speaking on Gormley Wednesday, McLellan said the event is also about making sure the movers and shakers in Ottawa know the priorities and challenges facing employers in Saskatchewan, and keeping those issues at the forefront.

"One of the reasons we are here today is to make sure that the politicians and the bureaucrats understand that. Stop the bouncing ball, quit casing the shiny thing and focus on all the issues that are important, said McLellan, adding the importance of pipelines to the Saskatchewan economy will be among the arguments they will be making in Ottawa.

 "Getting access to as many markets as we can is critical. Whether we're selling a widget, a piece of farm machinery, a tonne of potash or certainly oil and getting it there in the best possible efficient way."

McLellan insists the trip is not meant as a plea for more federal money. He said the delegation instead want to leave Ottawa with the message Saskatchewan is open for business and collaboration with their federal partners.

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