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Legislative Report

30 July 2014

Municipal Governments

Municipal governments are on the front lines dealing with the opportunities and challenges in our growing province. One of our priorities in government is helping our municipal partners by providing them with predictable funding for priority projects in their communities. In 2011, we accomplished this by tying Revenue Sharing to one point of the Provincial Sales Tax (PST).

As PST revenue increases, so too does the amount of revenue shared with municipalities. For example, the 2015-16 revenue sharing total will increase by $8.3 million, to a record $265.3 million, and will represent a funding increase of more than 108 per cent since 2007-08.

The envy of municipalities across Canada, Saskatchewan’s Municipal Revenue Sharing (MRS) program continues to provide record amounts of unconditional funding to communities across the province. This is one way to ensure that they are stronger and more vibrant than ever. You can find current revenue sharing totals online at gr.gov.sk.ca/revenuesharing.

The growth of our province gives our government a greater ability to invest in the infrastructure a growing province needs. Over the summer so far we have seen continued investments in new housing projects for people living with disabilities, a new water treatment and sewage disposal facility in Pilot Butte, the twinning of Highway 16 between Saskatoon and Clavet and new campgrounds, capital improvements and electrical upgrades at our Provincial Parks.

As our province grows, our government remains committed to building and renewing schools, hospitals, highways and bridges. In doing this, we continue to explore public-private partnerships (P3s) to meet the demand. Because we have partners to work with, P3s allow us to build the facilities we need now even when immediate cash demands might be hard to meet.

After a competitive and transparent bidding process, Saskatchewan’s first P3 procurement is now one step closer to completion. The design-build-finance-maintain procurement process for a new long-term care facility in Swift Current included a Request for Qualifications and Request for Proposals. The contract was recently awarded to Plenary Group and its partners. In addition to the anticipated savings for taxpayers, additional design innovation and construction efficiencies were gained exclusively through this process.

In exploring this and other potential P3 projects, our government is using industry best practices to run open, fair and transparent processes to protect the public’s interest and deliver the critical infrastructure we need to improve quality of life for the people of Saskatchewan. We know that P3s aren’t the right approach for every project and, in the absence of cost-savings, we will continue to pursue projects using traditional funding models.

Saskatchewan is certainly a great place to live, work and play and the latter, in particular, is true because of volunteers. They are the driving force behind countless groups and organizations who offer recreational programs and other services to enhance our quality of life.

Each quarter, our government is pleased to enhance their efforts with charitable gaming grants through the Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority. This quarter, more than 700 groups and organizations in Saskatchewan are benefiting from approximately $1.9 million in grants. These groups are a testament to the Saskatchewan spirit. Keep up the great work!

If you have a question about this Legislative Report or any other matter, just Contact Glen.

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