The Southeast Saskatchewan Economic Partnership (SSEP) is working on several initiatives that aim to bring economic growth into the area. 

Water for Economic Development is one of these initiatives with the biggest focus being on irrigation development out of the Rafferty reservoir.  

“We’re looking at either surface water irrigation or well water and we have farmers applying for irrigation right now,” said Tim Keating, Managing Director of the Southeast Sask. Economic Partnership. 

The second focus under this plan would be developing a Marina on Rafferty.  

“We are working to build a deep-water marina at Rafferty and recreation and a cottage community. That’s a major economic development,” said Keating, "So far 13 sites have been considered, and they plan to have it narrowed to one or two so they can do some public consultation in the summer. With the hope of getting access to the land, and the Water Security.” 

A private developer would then be brought in to complete the work.  

“That’s our objective, but someone has to start. Someone has to spearhead this and go through those steps and go through dealing with the government and get that land released.”  

By using infrastructure already in place, SSEP believes the southeast has a strong advantage in agriculture processing initiatives. They are currently working on a couple of large major value-added agriculture processing initiatives, including a grain processing initiative in the $300 million range.  

“We also have access to the road to the CPKC on the main line interchanges. You can get products and, especially the ones I've looked into, is grain processing value of today, in particular, because we have a major advantage,” said Keating, “You can ship the product right now on rail from this area because the CP and the CN interconnect through the Kansas City rail line.” 

SSEP believes there is a competitive advantage in the southeast, as it would be cheaper to process grains in the area versus shipping them out and buying them back. 

He added that they are also considering developing an ag-industrial park near the rail interchange in Bienfait.