More money is on the way for infrastructure projects across Saskatchewan.
A new agreement was signed on Wednesday which will provide nearly $900 million in federal funding for infrastructure projects over the next decade.
“We have a long list of infrastructure projects across the province, north, south, central, all over, that are now going to have an opportunity,” said Warren Kaeding, Minister of Government Relations.
The province listed out a number of areas that will benefit, including roads, airports, parks, recreational facilities, wastewater projects and green projects like reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Under the new funding agreement, the province said it’s been given the flexibility to ensure funding goes to where it’s needed most. Projects can be applied for by the spring of 2019.
In relation to green projects, the province will be using standards set out in the made-in-Saskatchewan plan, known as the Prairie Resilience Climate Change Strategy, as opposed to the Pan-Canadian plan which includes the carbon tax. Saskatchewan is taking Ottawa to court over the tax and its position has not changed.
Kaeding said northern Saskatchewan is going to be a focus. Communities with fewer than 5,000 residents are eligible to receive a higher proportion of federal funding. The cost-share for rural and northern areas jumped from 50 to 60 per cent in 2018. For Indigenous communities, the federal cost-share jumps to 75 per cent.
“We have significant infrastructure needs in a lot of communities in the north,” Kaeding said. “We certainly have to look at roadway improvement, airport improvements.”
Regina Mayor satisfied with funding agreement
Mayor Michael Fougere called Wednesday’s announcement an incredibly positive announcement for investment, infrastructure and growth over the next decade
“We have 900 million reasons to be happy in Saskatchewan,” said Fougere.
The Mayor suggested this fund could be used for upgrades to the Winnipeg Street bridge over Ring Road, calling it an urgent matter.
Fougere also said he expects the City of Regina, along with Moose Jaw, to apply for a significant infrastructure investment in the Buffalo Pound water treatment plant.