Younger and Growing
What a year for the Greater Regina Area! In 2018 with our CMA population over 250,000 and growing, we became among the fastest growing cities in Canada, and also one of the four youngest cities in Canada. Those numbers are predictive of an exciting future of continued growth and youthful energy. It was an unprecedented year for inviting the world to our door, as we hosted the Tim Hortons Brier, Mastercard Memorial Cup, CP Women’s Open and Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences. What a tremendous opportunity to show off our fantastic facilities, our amazing volunteers, and our warm and welcoming community.
At EDR, we were proud to launch our community-based Entrepreneurship Strategy and Audacity, a celebration of the entrepreneurial spirit. We also staged our first tourism industry development conference and began the process of working with our stakeholders to create a Tourism Industry Growth Strategy. The bypass project crept closer to completion, and the first investments were announced to begin redevelopment of the railyards.
As the year closes, we await the results of a bid for the 2020 Grey Cup. There is much to be excited about and to be thankful for this holiday season. At EDR we accomplish nothing without the collaboration, help, and support of so many people, companies, and organizations throughout the community.
From all of us to all of you - Happy Holidays!
Final RELO Report of 2018
The Regina economy remains resilient in-spite of various changes across the provincial and municipal landscape this year. In the fourth and final quarter of 2018, the Executive Confidence Index is 2.13, a decrease of 19 points from the third quarter (2.32) of 2018 and a decrease of 47 points from January this year (2.60). With a continued decline over the 2018 calendar year, the Executive Confidence Index has fallen below the overall Index Average (currently 2.29); however, the Index remains thirteen points above the neutral point of 2.0, suggesting executives remain optimistic about the economic outlook for the next year. Read more.
By Bruce Johnstone
As a co-operative with its roots in Regina, Co-operators Life sees its $75,000 commitment to Economic Development Regina’s Investment Partnership Program as one way of replenishing those roots.
“Obviously, we do have our head office here in the community,’’ said Alec Blundell, vice-president of individual insurance and chief actuary for the life insurance company.
“We’re part of the business community and want to see the city prosper and grow and we want to grow. If we’re headquartered here, we should have those relationships here,’’ Blundell said.
“Our roots, essentially the Co-operators roots, go back quite a long time in Saskatchewan and Regina.’’
Those roots date back to 1945 when Saskatchewan Wheat Pool – another co-operative with its beginnings in Regina – invested $25,000 to establish the Co-operative Life Insurance Company. In fact, Wheat Pool field workers actually sold life insurance policies for the fledgling company!
That seed money helped lay the groundwork for the development of The Co-operators, a diversified group of companies offering general (property and casualty) and life insurance and financial services, with more than $40 billion in assets under management.
Likewise, Co-operators Life sees its participation in the IP program as an investment that will promote economic growth, while supporting its partners in the community.
“We thought that engaging with the community through this partnership was going to be helpful to community – and we can participate in its growth -- but also we see a lot of value for ourselves through those relationships.’’
For example, Blundell said the company benefits from being headquartered in a city with strong educational facilities, skilled labour force and a good quality of life.
“We get a lot back from the community, with a university close by and an entrepreneurial spirit. We, like many other companies, are really focusing on innovation.”
Blundell, an Ontario native who received his training in actuarial science at the University of Waterloo, says Co-operators Life is supporting the actuarial program at the University of Regina. And the company is making another significant investment in the city, with the announcement earlier this year of its head office relocation from 1920 College Ave. to Sherwood Place at 1900 Albert St.
As the new home for its 650 head office employees, Co-operators Life will completely renovate and rename the building to The Co-operators Place “sometime in the fall of 2019,’’ Blundell said. As the sponsor of the Co-operators Centre, a complex of six sports arenas located at Evraz Place in Regina, Co-operators Life is making its mark on its home city.
As a father of three children, aged 10, 12 and 14, Blundell appreciates the facilities that Co-operators Life has helped provide to make life in Regina better.
“I know with my kids, I’m at the Co-operators Centre all the time,’’ Blundell said.
“It’s a great place to live and raise a family. You can get around. Commute times are amazing. The city offers a lot more than the population would indicate. It’s got all the amenities.’’
RELO Year in Review
As the fourth and final publication of 2018, this edition of Regina Executive Leadership Outlook (RELO) analyzes the economic indicators over the 2018 calendar year. While there are many challenges within the current economy that businesses must weather from the changing winds within the political realm, opportunities still do exist in our region.
Protein Industries Canada (PIC), an industry-led value chain consortium of small- to large-sized enterprises, announced the signing of an agreement to invest up to nearly $153 million, matched dollar for dollar by the private sector in November. PIC is headquartered in Regina. Furthermore, the Conference Board of Canada notes, following a forecasted GDP increase of 1.8% in 2018, the GRA GDP will rise to 2.2% in 2019. This rise in GDP is expected to lift employment by 1.1% in 2019. Read more.
30 Seconds On-World Class Manufacturing Training in Regina
The GRA is a world leader in manufacturing and the next generation of manufacturers and machinist is reflecting this. This summer students from Saskatchewan Polytechnic in Regina will be competing for Team Canada in the WorkSkills trades competition in Kazan, Russia.