The Government of Saskatchewan ("Saskatchewan") and Infrastructure, Communities and Intergovernmental Affairs ("Canada") have entered into an Administrative Agreement enabling Saskatchewan to receive funding from the renewed federal Gas Tax Fund (GTF) for a 10-year term: 2014-15 through 2023-24.
The 2013-2014 federal budget stated that $21.8 billion will flow to Canadian municipalities over 10 years through the renewed GTF, providing predictable, long-term stable funding for Canadian municipalities to help them build and revitalize their local public infrastructure while helping to create jobs and contributing to long-term prosperity. The GTF will be indexed at two per cent annually to be applied in $100 million increments.
In Saskatchewan, the agreement provides a joint framework for transferring gas tax funding from Canada to Saskatchewan for administration and for allocation to municipalities. Participating Saskatchewan municipalities are eligible to receive semi-annual payments under the program. The payments are based on a per capita basis and are to be used for municipal infrastructure and capacity building projects.
The initial GTF agreement provided $372 million over nine years to Saskatchewan municipalities for infrastructure and capacity building projects. During that time 2,565 Infrastructure Investment Plans were approved. Those plans had an estimated project cost of over $1 billion which included funding from the municipalities undertaking the projects and other sources.
The renewed GTF will provide Saskatchewan with $613 million over the next ten years, with $292.7 million being provided over the first five years from 2014-15 to 2018-19.
Additionally, in its 2016 budget, the federal government announced that uncommitted funds from legacy federal infrastructure programs will be transferred to municipalities through the GTF. This top-up funding of $1.2 million was received by the province in March 2017, and will flow to participating municipalities in August 2017 as part of the first instalment of 2017-18.
Under the renewed GTF:
- The list of eligible project categories has been expanded.
For expenditures incurred after April 1, 2005:
- Local Road and Bridges
- Short-line Rail
- Public Transit
- Drinking Water
- Solid Waste
- Community Energy Systems
- Capacity Building
For expenditures incurred after April 1, 2014:
- Regional and Local Airports
- Short-sea Shipping
- Disaster Mitigation
- Broadband Connectivity
- Brownfield Redevelopment
- Cultural Infrastructure
- Tourism Infrastructure
- Sport Infrastructure
- Recreational Infrastructure
- Investments in health infrastructure previously approved under the project category of Community Energy Systems are no longer eligible.
- There is no longer a regional component although municipalities are encouraged to continue to work together on projects with regional significance.
- Incrementality is maintained as a core principle.
- There is an asset management goal to encourage continued work in this area.
- There is a strengthened communications protocol supporting federal communications objectives.