During the annual Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities (SARM) virtual convention today Jim Carr, Special Representative for the Prairies, and Saskatchewan’s Government Relations Minister Don McMorris, announced more than $33 million in joint funding for 26 projects in Saskatchewan.
This is part of the province and nation working to reduce the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Investments in Saskatchewan’s infrastructure during this extraordinary time provide an opportunity to make communities more sustainable and resilient.
Recreation infrastructure projects include a new arena being constructed by Big River First Nation.
This project – along with improvements to arenas, pools, playgrounds and community centres across Saskatchewan – will provide residents with access to programs and services, and promote a healthy lifestyle.
The RM of Porcupine and the RM of Preeceville will see the replacement of rural bridges . Additionally, there are upgrades to water and wastewater systems in the Town of Hudson Bay and the Village of Edenwold.
According to a joint press release providing communities with reliable and sustainable infrastructure is a shared priority for both governments.The Government of Canada is investing more than $21 million in these projects through the Investing in Canada plan. The Government of Saskatchewan is contributing more than $12 million.
“I would like to announce that more than $12 million in provincial investment will support various infrastructure projects across Saskatchewan, this is part of 26 projects we announced that will improve recreation, water and bridge infrastructure. Projects that will strengthen communities and create jobs well into the future,” McMorris said during his speech to the convention.
During his address before he took questions and had a dialogue with SARM members Carr explained that investments in infrastructure help address health risks and support the economy while making public facilities more accessible, energy efficient and cost effective.
“In the long run this creates more sustainable and resilient communities. Work continues with rural leaders to gather their perspectives and advice on ways the federal government can better help rural communities to respond to the impacts of the pandemic and how we together can revitalize the economies and to build resiliance in our communities. It will take an all hands on deck approach to recover from this pandemic and we need strong rural communities to help get us there,”Carr said.
“These projects create good jobs and they support our economic recovery,” he added.
Recreation infrastructure projects funded in the region include the construction of a new arena by Big River First Nation, provincial funding was not available but the federal government is contriburting $7, 101, 750 and municipal or other funding is $2,367,250.
The Northern Village of Denare Beach also has an ice related project. The village is planning expansion of the outdoor ice surface to create a skating ring around the main ice surface that will allow for skating and hockey to occur simultaneously. The provincial investment is $25,831, the federal investment is $31,000 and municipal or other funding is $20,669.
The Town of Duck Lake is planning an update to their Bellardome including roof replacement, kitchen area upgrades, installation of weeping tiles and addition of wheelchair accessible bathrooms. The provincial investment is $103,265, the federal investment is $123,930 and municipal or other investments are $82,631.
The Town of Rosthern is planning to upgrade the Rosthern Jubillee Sports Centre with upgrades to the arena floor and roof to ensure facility longevity. The provincial investmnet is $494,259, the federal investment is $593,170 and the municipal or other investment is $395,496.
The Village of Canwood has received investment in improvements to their curling rink including rebuilding the shelter over the three sheets of ice and attach the new structure to the viewing area. The province’s contribution is $149,985, the federal contribution is $180,000 and the other contribution is $120,015.
Receiving bridge improvements funded under the Rural and Northern Communities Infrastructure stream of funding is the RM of Porcupine for the replacement of Farley Bridge. The provincial funding is $333,350, the federal funding is $166,650 and the municipal or other funding is $1,100,000.
Through the Investing in Canada plan, the federal government is investing more than $180 billion over 12 years in public transit projects, green infrastructure, social infrastructure, trade and transportation routes, and Canada’s rural and northern communities, $26.9 billion of this funding is supporting green infrastructure projects, $25.3 billion of this funding is supporting social infrastructure in Canadian communities, $2 billion of this funding is supporting infrastructure that meets the unique needs of rural and northern communities, like facilities to support food security, local access roads and enhanced broadband connectivity.
In Saskatchewan, Infrastructure Canada has invested more than $721 million in over 400 infrastructure projects under the Investing in Canada plan.