Regina city council prepares to do something they rarely, if ever, have to do.
An emergency council meeting will take place Monday to discuss how the provincial budget, and the changes to the grants in lieu program, will affect the city.
Mayor Michael Fougere said having to readjust a budget is an unprecedented event.
“I’ve asked the officials to look further back then certainly my time and recollection and my knowledge of the city, I know that we’ve had special meetings with council that’s happened frequently,” Fougere said. “But to reopen a budget that’s been passed just a matter of months ago, no this is the first time.”
During the budget announcement on March 22, it was revealed the city will be receiving around $11 million less from the province.
Fougere said council had no idea there would be changes coming to the grants in lieu program.
“I want to state clearly the government has used many times before that everything’s on the table,” Fougere said. “When you say everything’s on the table, that is not consultation.”
According to Fougere, the money being lost would be equal to the entire snow removal budget.
At the council meeting, discussions will be held to decide what is the best course of action for the city to take which could include cuts to programs or a tax increase.
Fougere said council doesn’t want to see a tax increase.
“If there is a tax increase, people of Regina are going to know the reason for that is the cut and transfers by the province.”
He mentioned they have talked with Saskatoon about their decision to look into pursuing an injunction against the province. While it is an option, Fougere said he wanted to have discussions before a decision is made on the route the Queen City would take.
An adjusted budget is expected to be announced on April 10.