Landing And Settlement In Canada - Saskatchewan

Last updated: 2 October 2023

Sask CV Page

Saskatchewan, known as the "Breadbasket of Canada," is a bountiful province noted for its vibrant cities, low-tax rate, affordable cost of living, stunning landscapes, rich natural resources, and deep-rooted indigenous heritage.

Explore what makes Saskatchewan one of the most popular destinations for newcomers in Canada, and why the province might be the right next move for you.

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    The following page provides a comprehensive guide to settling in Saskatchewan, Canada's central Prairie Province. Enjoy the benefits of strong economies, community life, and low living costs, and more. Whether you're interested in housing, commuting, employment, healthcare, or education, this page has something to offer. Discover the exciting activities this province offers and learn about essential services for a smooth transition.

    What are the benefits of living in Saskatchewan?

    Living in Saskatchewan has a multitude of benefits making it a desirable place of residence for many. The region is vibrant with a diverse community comprising people from different faiths, backgrounds, and beliefs.

    The cost of living in Saskatchewan presents an advantage as it is reasonable in comparison to other provinces; affordable housing, short commute times, and no personal premiums for necessary health services making daily life comfortably affordable. The province also promises an excellent quality of life, as it thrives on an energetic arts scene, scenic parks, and an abundance of sports and recreational activities.

    Saskatchewan also showcases a rapidly growing economy with lower unemployment rates contributing to the world's supply of potash, uranium, durum wheat lentils, and dry peas. Big or small, these contributions reflect the robust and resilient economic stature of Saskatchewan.

    For nature lovers, the province is a paradise. Known as the "Land of Living Skies," Saskatchewan is home to awe-inspiring landscapes from sand dunes to mountain ranges, rolling hills, national parks, and numerous bodies of water.

    Lastly, one of the most notable benefits of living in Saskatchewan is its less crowded nature and the absence of heavy traffic. The relaxed pace of life far from the chaos and hustle-bustle of a heavily populated city adds to the charm of life in Saskatchewan. This makes it an ideal place to raise a family, retire, or simply appreciate the tranquility of life.

    Housing like in Saskatchewan

    As a province, Saskatchewan features significantly more affordable housing, both for prospective tenants and homebuyers. The province features a strong housing market that favors renters and buyers, with many options both for rent and sale to meet demand. Most people moving to Saskatchewan will choose to live in one of the province’s two major cities: Saskatoon, and Regina.

    Saskatoon is Saskatchewan’s business hub, and as such features a multitude of different housing options, including condominiums, detached and shared homes, townhouses, and more. Like the rest of the province, Saskatoon is well-regarded for its reasonable home and rental prices, with some variance depending on neighbourhood, location, and the property itself. Some of the most popular neighborhoods in the city include: Mayfair, Meadow Green, Kelsey – Woodlawn, Westmount, Pleasant Hill, and Fairhaven.

    Regina is the capital city of Saskatchewan, often noted for its competitive housing prices and vibrant nature. Regina’s prices are even more competitive than neighbouring Saskatoon, featuring much of the same housing options as the province’s capital as well. Popular neighbourhoods in Regina include: Albert Park, Arcola East, Downtown, Lakeview, McNab, Normanview, Rosemount, Sherwood and Uplands.

    In addition, the provincial government runs multiple programs for housing benefit, including the Social Housing Program, which provides safe and adequate housing to families, seniors with low incomes, and people with disabilities—subsidising rent relative to the financial need of the applicant. The Social Housing Program is administered by provincial housing authorities on behalf of Saskatchewan Housing Corporation.

    For a complete list of documents needed to buy or rent a home in Saskatchewan, click here. Note that depending on your circumstances, some or all of the documents may be required.

    Commuting like in Saskatchewan

    Due to the population concentration around Saskatchewan’s two major cities (Saskatoon and Regina), it is relevant to consider public transport in both of these locations when discussing commuting in the province.

    In Saskatoon, the city's public transportation is provided by Saskatoon Transit, offering several bus routes throughout the city to help you get around. Many of these buses even provide bike racks for added convenience. Saskatoon Transit also offers Access Transit services for those with mobility issues, featuring lift-equipped buses and taxis that operate within city limits. Fares and passes for these transit systems can be found here.

    Regina also has its own public transit system, which is managed by Regina Transit. The government body runs over 36 different bus routes throughout the city.

    Regarding air travel, Saskatoon is served by the John G. Diefenbaker International Airport. From here, it's possible to reach most major cities in Canada, the United States, and several international destinations via connecting flights at various North American hubs. Similarly, Regina is home to Regina International Airport, which offers flights from the city to limited locations across Canada, the United States, Mexico, and Cuba. For more information on airports in Canada feel free to visit our dedicated webpage here.

    If you prefer rail travel, both Saskatoon and Regina also have VIA Rail Canada stations located close to their city centres.

    Lastly both taxi transport and driving are two important modes of transit that people frequently used in both cities. To learn more about driving in Saskatchewan, and across Canada, visit our dedicated webpage here.

    Employment in Saskatchewan

    As with housing, much of the province’s employment prospects are centred around its two largest cities—Regina and Saskatoon.

    Regina is a city with a robust economy and one of the lowest unemployment rates in Canada. With the city positioned 7th wealthiest city in Canada concerning GDP, sizable investments have been made in its manufacturing (particularly steel and metal fabrication), transportation, and natural resources sectors, like oil, gas, and potash, in recent years. In addition, Regina features strong and growing information technology, finance, insurance, agribusiness, and agriculture sectors that bring continuous need for new workers to the province.

    Some of the biggest employers in Regina include:

    • EVRAZ Regina
    • SaskTel
    • Saskatchewan Government Insurance
    • Saskatchewan Provincial Government
    • Kalium Chemicals
    • Bayer CropScience
    • Degelman Industries

    Saskatoon, often referred to as the “Hub City” due to its strategic central position in the province of Saskatchewan, boasts a thriving and diverse economy. Offering several commodities and services that resonate with global demands, it has strengthened its economic prowess in the global landscape. The city's local economy garners significant connections to the trade of potash, oil, and cultivation of wheat. This agricultural backbone is reinforced by the fact that almost two-thirds of the world’s potash reserves are within the Saskatoon region.

    Major corporate establishments such as Cameco and PotashCorp, respectively recognised as the world’s largest publicly traded uranium company and the world’s largest potash producer, are headquartered in Saskatoon.

    The city's economic spectrum is significantly varied, encompassing numerous industries. Essential sectors include Agriculture and Agri-Value, Energy, Forestry Development, Life Sciences and Biomass, Manufacturing along with Mineral Exploration and Mining, and Oil and Gas that drive the city's robust economy.

    Some of Saskatoon’s biggest employers include:

    • Cameco;
    • Federated Co-operatives;
    • Maple Leaf Foods;
    • Saskatchewan Institute of Applied Science and Technology;
    • Saskatoon Health Region;
    • Siemens Transportation Group; and
    • The University of Saskatchewan.

    As a province Saskatchewan has an unemployment rate of roughly 4-6%, though the province has historically suffered from higher unemployment rates due to the need for specialised workers in many of its industries. Minimum wage in the province is set to rise to $14.00 CAD per hour, which will be followed by another raise to $15.00 CAD in 2024.

    Healthcare in Saskatchewan

    Saskatchewan is the birthplace of Medicare, the publicly funded health care system implemented throughout Canada. The Canadian Medicare system ensures that residents can receive health care services without bearing the direct cost. However, it is crucial to register with the Saskatchewan provincial government to gain a Saskatchewan Health Card, which facilitates access to these provincial healthcare services.

    A Saskatchewan Health Services Card, also known as a Health Card, fundamentally serves as a personal identification card required when accessing health services. The application process is straightforward, ensuring that Saskatchewan residents obtain the care they need without any hindrance. Any Saskatchewan resident who make their home in the province for at least five months within a year are eligible for provincial healthcare; in addition international students may also be eligible for provincial healthcare, but will need to show proof of full-time enrolment at a Designated Learning Institution (DLI).

    Saskatoon is home to three hospitals: the Royal University Hospital, City Hospital, and St. Paul's Hospital. Regina, meanwhile has its own hospitals: Regina General Hospital, Pasqua Hospital, and Wascana Rehabilitation Centre.These medical institutions provide a range of health care services. In case of emergency situations, such as a broken bone, chest pain, or difficulty in breathing, you can approach any of these emergency wards to receive immediate medical care.

    Newcomers to Saskatchewan can also take advantage of the publicly funded health care system. If you are currently undergoing treatment for a particular ailment, it is advisable to bring copies of your medical records and any English translations you may have. Such records can significantly assist your doctor in understanding your health condition and providing appropriate treatment.

    Education in Saskatchewan

    K-12 Education

    The province of Saskatchewan in Canada houses four different types of school systems for parents to choose from to enrol their children in, providing them a wide range of choices to cater to their individual needs and preferences. These prominent options include public schools, Catholic schools, independent or private schools, and homeschooling.

    Additionally, both Regina and Saskatoon have a plethora of private schools which are free to pursue their own curriculums, with the province granting freedom for cultural and religious education of all kinds as well.

    When it comes to elementary and high school education, the province’s capital, Regina, operates two public school boards. The Regina Public School Board and the Regina Catholic School Board. Saskatoon has three public school boards, including Saskatoon Public Schools, Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools, and Conseil des écoles Fransaskoises. Between these five school boards, curriculums are administered to more than 200 schools throughout the province.

    Post-Secondary Education

    Regina is host to two significantly known post-secondary institutions – The University of Regina and Campion College, the latter of which shares a campus with Luther College, and The First Nations University of Canada. Saskatoon has two publicly funded post-secondary institutions: the University of Saskatchewan and SIAST (Saskatchewan Institute of Applied Science and Technology), Kelsey Campus. In addition to a number of colleges, Saskatoon also has a plethora of private career colleges which cover a wide variety of professions, including office administration, massage therapy, hair styling, and multiple trades professions.

    International students should note that they can only attend post-secondary institutions that are Designated Learning Institutions (DLIs)—these are the only schools that are authorised to accept international students in Canada. To learn more about education in Canada, visit our dedicated webpage here.

    Weather in Saskatchewan

    Like many of Canada’s provinces and territories, Saskatchewan experiences all four seasons (Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall), however is unique for the extremes that weather can sometimes take.

    Often recognised for its landlocked position and notable elevation from sea level, Saskatchewan is subjected to unique weather conditions influenced by its high altitude, central location, and minimal oceanic influences.

    The province experiences a continental land climate characterised by extreme temperatures, which can vary between the seasons. Temperature records range from the highest at 45 degrees Celsius to the lowest at -50 degrees Celsius, demonstrating the wide spectrum of climatic conditions experienced in Saskatoon. The West Coast Mountains act as a barrier, preventing the warm oceanic currents from influencing Saskatoon's climate. Instead, winds from the polar region have the liberty to blow without hindrance, contributing to overall weather patterns. While Saskatchewan overall receives relatively less rainfall, the majority of its precipitation is concentrated in the summer months. Moreover, snowfall is a frequent occurrence in the winter, and cyclones may also occur during summer, adding extra elements to Saskatoon's diverse climate.

    For more information on how to dress appropriately for Canada's weather, visit our dedicated webpage here

    Emergency Services in Saskatchewan

    Though noted for its safety and low crime rate, Saskatchewan still has ample supports and resources in case of emergency. Newcomers can refer to the following organizations (easily reached by phone) if they need emergency assistance:

    • Emergency Services: Dial 911 for immediate police, fire, or medical assistance.
    • HealthLine: 811 or 1-877-800-0002—Available 24/7 for professional health advice and mental health support.

    • Mobile Crisis Services (Regina and Area): (306) 757-0127—Immediate crisis support available for suicide, abuse, and other critical situations.

    • Child Abuse Hotline: 1-800-363-0012—For reporting suspected cases of child abuse or neglect.

    • Health Services Information: 211—For non-emergency health information and referrals to government and community-based health and social services.

    • Gambling Help Line: 1-800-306-6789—For providing support, information, and advice to individuals affected by gambling problems.

    • Saskatchewan Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-214-7083—For victims of domestic violence seeking immediate help and support.

    • Seniors Abuse Helpline: 1-306-933-6200—For seniors who have been abused or to report suspected cases of senior abuse.

    • Saskatchewan Drug & Alcohol Treatment Info Line: 1-866-978-7757—For individuals dealing with substance abuse, offering a supportive environment to discuss their struggles and find appropriate help.

    • Family Service Saskatchewan: (306) 244-0127—Provides a variety of services related to mental health, counselling, and family support.

    Note that for any kind of life-threatening situation, or including fires, medical or security emergency, individuals are advised to contact 911 first. A quick web search can also reveal other emergency contacts more specific to your location and situation.

    Newcomer Services in Saskatchewan

    Saskatchewan offers a variety of resources and services to help newcomers settle and thrive, these include free language training programs, employment services, and integration services. The province accomplishes this by providing newcomer settlement services, which can broadly be categorised into four types:

    • Language Training Services: These unrestricted language training courses offer learning support to immigrants, enabling them to better understand and converse in English or French.;
    • Employment Services: The Saskatchewan government provides various services to help newcomers find work. It provides guidance on job searching, interview techniques, resume writing, and information about the labor market. These services are designed to help immigrants understand the local job market and secure suitable employment;

    • Integration Services: To help newcomers adapt to their new environment, the provincial government provides services, such as providing information on Canadian living, rights and responsibilities of residents, connecting immigrants to community services, assistance in enrolling children in school, and help with navigating health and social services;

    • Institutional Support: The Saskatchewan provincial government also plays a supportive role to promote the well-being of immigrants by endorsing community-focused organisations that provide further services and resources to immigrants;

    The provincial government has also compiled a tool to help newcomers locate immigrant serving organisations that provide settlement services, in their local area.

    What is taxation like in Saskatchewan?

    Saskatchewan features one of the most favourable provincial tax rates in all of Canada, yielding a strong earnings profile for many residents.

    In Saskatchewan, the income tax rates vary from 10.5% to 14.5%, while the total federal and provincial tax rate lies between 25.5% and 47.5%. Like the rest of Canada, the marginal tax rate in Saskatchewan escalates with the rise in your income, resulting in higher taxes for income that falls into a superior tax bracket.

    The Provincial Sales Tax (PST) in Saskatchewan is a six percent tax levied on goods and services that are consumed or used within the province. It is applicable to purchases made within the province as well as goods and services imported into Saskatchewan for consumption or usage. This tax applies to both new and used goods. This tax is calculated before the national 7% Goods and services Tax (GST) is applied.

    For more information on filling your personal tax return in Canada, find our dedicated webpage here.

    Things to Do in Saskatchewan

    In Saskatchewan, activities for leisure and recreation are aplenty.

    With its natural beauty and urban charm, Saskatoon in central Saskatchewan offers a variety of fun experiences. Museums like the Remai Modern, Western Development Museum, Diefenbaker Canada Center, Ukrainian Museum of Canada, and the Saskatchewan Indigenous Cultural Centre offer insights into local and international art, prairie settlers' life, political history of Canada, cultural diversity, and more. The performing arts scene in Saskatoon is rich with concerts, plays, festivals like the Saskatoon Fringe Festival and Saskatchewan Jazz Festival. Outdoor activities include biking, canoeing, kayaking, and paddleboarding especially over the South Saskatchewan River. You can visit Kinsmen Park for family entertainment or savor the local cuisine at farm-to-table restaurants. Outdoor enthusiasts can also enjoy a trip to the city’s Batoche National Historic Site or exploring Wanuskewin Heritage Park or Meewasin Valley Trails.

    Away from Saskatoon, in the capital city of Saskatchewan, Regina, you can visit the Royal Saskatchewan Museum, Slate Fine Art Gallery, Government House, or the Royal Canadian Military Police Heritage Centre for a glimpse into history, art, and architecture. Regina's Wascana Centre offers trails for walking or biking, gardens, public art, monuments, and dining options. Family attractions in the city include the Saskatchewan Science Centre and the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame. A day at the Over the Hill Orchards and Winery also offer wine tasting, picnicking, and shopping opportunities.

    For more information on leisure activities across Saskatchewan, visit the province’s tourism site here.

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