Change on the horizon

Mayor Greg Dionne, pictured, said there will be difficult waters ahead as the provincial government looks for new sources of revenue to offset resource prices. -- Herald file photo.

Prince Albert Mayor Greg Dionne said he wants to see as few cuts as possible when the provincial government releases its upcoming budget, but he’s preparing for tough times.

Dionne will be in Regina on Wednesday when the Saskatchewan Party releases its plans for the upcoming fiscal year. He said he’s hoping for positives, but is concerned about how much spending is going to fall.

“There are so many unknowns,” Dionne said. “Either way, we know it’s going to be a tough budget. I certainly wouldn’t want to be a provincial MLA.”

The City of Prince Albert stands to lose roughly $380,000 in government funding from the Municipal Revenue Sharing formula due to the province’s poor economic output.

Dionne said he’s worried there will be changes to the formula, which largely depends on how much PST income the government receives.

“I think it’s a very fair formula for both parties, the government and the municipalities, and it’s worked for so many years. Why change it?”

Dionne credited the Saskatchewan Party for rolling back MLA salaries in recent weeks, and for taking other cost-cutting measures, but he’s worried about how far those cuts will go.

“I hope that we’re not going to continue to lose jobs during this process, because to me, you want to keep the economy going,” he said. “You don’t want to be part of the problem that’s going to stall the economy.”

For the rest of this story, please see the March 21 online or print edition of the Daily Herald.