Saskatchewan’s commodity industries have had a rough ride in recent years.
Low prices for oil, potash and uranium have impacted major employers like PotashCorp and Cameco.
But even amid the difficulties, the latest census data from Statistics Canada shows many Canadians are still choosing to make their homes in the province.
Saskatoon was ranked as the third-fastest growing city in the country for the period between 2011 and 2016, behind Calgary and Edmonton.
Stu Starkey, manager of Two Small Men With Big Hearts moving company, said business has been good as people have continued arriving from around the country.
“We’ve seen about a 20 per cent increase in long-haul moves.” he said.
Starkey said those long-haul moves really only tell part of the story. He said the company has noticed a large increase in moving activity within the province – so much so that it’s prompted them to open a new branch in Saskatoon.
Milton Letkeman, manager of the moving division at Jay’s Moving and Storage, said he’s been around long enough to see the moving business essentially transform.
“Many years ago it was primarily outbound, not inbound. Then it was inbound and staying, or moving within (Saskatchewan), which was quite a shock, actually,” he said.
Cam Bird, a realtor with Re/Max Saskatoon, said there’s no doubt he’d love to see commodity prices rebound – but in some ways, the downturn has made the city more attractive for people leaving superheated markets in larger centres.
“There hasn’t been a better time to be buying a property, with the low interest rates and prices have subsided,” he said.
Even with the recent slowdown, he said he’s still meeting plenty of people finding opportunities here.
“I just recently dealt with two families who moved into Saskatchewan, both from Alberta and both for employment purposes with expansions and management positions that opened up,” he said.