Saskatchewan offers all newcomers a high quality of life, a strong sense of community, and employment opportunities, making it a great place for you and your family to call home.
- The province currently provides one-third of the world's potash and a fifth of the world's uranium.
- Saskatchewan supplies more than a third of the world's total exported durum wheat and is the world's top exporter of lentils and dry peas.
- In addition to being a world leader in agriculture, Saskatchewan is the fifth-largest oil producer in North America.
- Saskatchewan manufacturers are producing a wide range of goods that are exported to markets across Canada and around the world.
2. Great Quality of Life
Saskatchewan has a vibrant art and culture scene, scenic provincial parks and plenty of sports and recreation opportunities. Known as the birthplace of Medicare, Saskatchewan's residents enjoy free medical care and excellent health care services.
Saskatchewan's education system offers affordable opportunities at every level. All graduates from an approved program at an eligible institution in 2006 or later, and who live in Saskatchewan, are eligible to apply for the province's Graduate Retention Program. The program refunds up to $20,000 of tuition fees paid by eligible graduates (including international graduates) who live in Saskatchewan and who file a Saskatchewan income tax return.
3. Cost of Living
Saskatchewan is a great place to live and raise a family and to locate or invest in a business:
- Housing costs are lower in Saskatchewan than in most major cities in Canada, and owning a home is affordable and achievable for most people.
- Unlike other Canadian provinces, Saskatchewan has no personal premiums or personal charges for basic and needed health services.
- It's important to apply for a health card as soon as you arrive.
- The provincial sales tax of 6 per cent is the lowest of any province that charges a sales tax.
- It costs less to get to and from work because the maximum commute time within major cities is about 20 minutes.
Other benefits of living in Saskatchewan:
4. Community Life
Saskatchewan is home to people of many faiths, backgrounds and beliefs. Newcomers to the province have an opportunity to maintain their own cultural traditions, as well as participate in new ones.
Faith and Religion
People of many faiths and religious beliefs live in Saskatchewan, including Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Baha'is and Christians. To find a particular church or a religious group, look in the Yellow Pages of your telephone book under "Churches" or online at mysask411.com.
Things to Do
There are lots of cultural opportunities, including winter festivals, symphony concerts and historical celebrations.
You'll find year-round recreation in Saskatchewan. The many lakes in the province are perfect for canoeing, boating, swimming and ice-fishing. In the winter, there are many winter activities, including hills and slopes for skiing, snowboarding and tobogganing. Provincial parks in many areas allow camping and picnics. Many communities have parks, play areas and outdoor wading pools for children.
For more information on things to do in Saskatchewan, visit Parks, Culture, Heritage and Sport.
Public libraries in Saskatchewan provide information in many forms: books, magazines, DVDs, music CDs, and videos. Many offer community programs, such as computer literacy classes, English as an Additional Language (EAL), tutoring, children's story time, social and cultural events, learning groups and workshops on a variety of topics. Learn more about Saskatchewan libraries.
Heritage Cultures and Languages
Various organizations across the province celebrate and promote ethnic connections on a local and provincial level. The Multicultural Council of Saskatchewan represents many cultural groups in the province.
Your Regional Newcomer Gateway may be able to provide you with more information about organizations that are active in your area.
You can also find information on heritage language classes through the Saskatchewan Association of International Languages.
Volunteering is popular in Saskatchewan; in fact, our province has one of the highest volunteer rates in Canada. Learn more about where to volunteer.
5. Our Laws
All residents of Saskatchewan and Canada are responsible for knowing and obeying the laws of the province and country. There are two types of law – criminal law and civil law. Under these types of law, anyone charged with a crime is presumed innocent until proven guilty in court. During peacetime, Canada practises habeas corpus, which prevents people from being unlawfully put in prison and held for an indefinite period of time. Learn more about Canadian laws.
Criminal laws cover behaviours such as murder, fraud, assault, stealing and selling drugs. People suspected of a crime are arrested by the police and brought before a criminal court. If they are found guilty after a trial, the court will decide the punishment, such as a jail term or a fine. In Canada, women and men are separated from each other in prison, and children are not jailed.
In criminal cases, the court fees are paid for by the government, including charges for a language interpreter. If you cannot afford the help of a lawyer (a person trained in legal matters to speak in your defence), Legal Aid Saskatchewan will provide one.
A criminal record can have a serious impact on your life. It can affect your ability to travel to another country, as well as your eligibility for certain jobs. A criminal record can also affect your status as a resident of Canada. For more information on arrests, court appearances and making a plea, please read about going to Criminal Court.
Civil laws settle legal problems between people, organizations and businesses, such as disagreements over rent between landlords and tenants. Having a lawyer speak on your behalf is optional, as it can be expensive. In civil court cases, court costs are paid for by the people involved in the case – not the government.
There is a provincial and federal system of courts. Saskatchewan has many kinds of courts for situations such as youth justice, family and traffic safety.
6. Dressing for the Weather
There are four seasons in Saskatchewan: spring, summer, fall (or autumn) and winter. Understanding the weather will help you dress appropriately. Saskatchewan's climate often experiences extreme temperatures.
In the summer, it could be very hot, with temperatures up to the high 30s. Daytime temperatures are normally between 20 and 25°C, but they can reach the mid to upper 30s. You will want to wear cool, comfortable clothing. Here are some ideas:
- Light-coloured, loose-fitting clothing when it is very hot outside.
- If you are going to be outside for a long period of time, you may want to take a sweater with you in case the weather changes.
- Wear a hat with a wide brim to shade your face, ears and neck from the sun.
- Shorts, sleeveless tops and sandals are popular summer wear.
Winter is very cold, with January and February being the driest and coldest months of the year. Temperatures can be as low as -30 to -40°C. In January and February, night-time temperatures normally range from -15 to -25°C, while daytime temperatures range from -5 to -15°C. Temperatures are also considered with the "wind chill."
When high winds are added to cold temperatures, the weather is much colder than what the thermometer reads. For example, -10°C with a wind speed of 40 kilometres per hour will feel like a temperature of -21°C.
Here are some ideas to help you stay warm and enjoy the winter season in Saskatchewan:
- Wear a light shirt and long underwear underneath your sweater and pants.
- Winter coats (often called "parkas") should have a hood and warm lining, and be waterproof and windproof. They should be loose fitting to trap body heat while ensuring air circulation.
- Wear a hat because most body heat is lost through your head. Winter hats should cover your ears.
- Choose winter boots that have a warm inner lining and thick soles with a rough surface to prevent slipping on ice.
- Wear mittens or gloves.
- In extremely cold weather, wear a scarf that covers your neck and the lower part of your face.
Spring and Fall
During the spring months (March to May) and fall months (August to October), the weather varies from cloudy, rainy and cool to warm and sunny. In these seasons, temperatures might be around 0°C at night, and rise to 14°C during the day.
When the weather is cool and rainy, you should wear a waterproof jacket with a hood or carry an umbrella. Even if it is sunny and warm, you may still want to keep a jacket in your car in case the weather changes.
Visit Tourism Saskatchewan for more information on Saskatchewan's weather.