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Improving Local Roads and Bridges in Saskatchewan's Rural Municipalities

Released on January 5, 2017

Investing in infrastructure is vital to strengthening the middle class and growing the economy.  Modern and efficient community infrastructure like roads and bridges contributes to a high quality of life by helping connect people to jobs, supporting local businesses, and ensuring Canadians can spend less time on the road and more time with their families.

Based on project planning in 2016, the federal Gas Tax Fund (GTF) supported 309 local road and bridge projects in Saskatchewan’s rural municipalities.  For example, the Rural Municipality of Usborne No. 310 plans to resurface 22 kilometres of PG 668, which connects three communities, two potash mines and a large aggregate reserve.  The Rural Municipality of Waverley No. 44 intends to replace two small bridges with large culverts to provide safe, all-season access.

Also, the Rural Municipality of Big Arm No. 251 plans to replace Code Bridge with a single-span 12-metre bridge to avoid future road closures due to flooding and to provide an efficient and reliable transportation route for the movement of grain, livestock and other agricultural goods.

“We need smart investments in safe and modern transportation infrastructure to support trade and create good, well-paying jobs that help the middle class prosper,” said Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, on behalf of Amarjeet Sohi, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities.  “Over a decade ago, as Finance Minister, I created the federal Gas Tax Fund to provide municipal governments with a new and substantial revenue stream to upgrade local infrastructure.  It recognizes the importance of local decision-making, allowing Saskatchewan’s rural municipalities to direct federal dollars to their priorities across a wide range of project categories, including local roads and bridges, making a real difference in people’s lives.”

“The Government of Saskatchewan supports projects that invest in the local roads and bridges in our rural municipalities,” Government Relations Minister Donna Harpauer said.  “A safe and efficient transportation system is the foundation of our province’s infrastructure that keeps Saskatchewan strong and makes life better for our citizens.”

“SARM is very appreciative of the Gas Tax Fund which is a predictable and dependable source of funding that the federal government has made available to Saskatchewan rural municipalities,” SARM President Ray Orb said.  “Rural municipalities take the opportunity to use their GTF allocations to complete various infrastructure projects and SARM is still very hopeful that the current rural infrastructure funding gaps will be addressed in Phase 2 of the New Building Canada Fund.”

Quick Facts:
  • The federal GTF provides Canadian municipalities with a permanent, predictable and indexed source of long-term funding.
  • It offers local communities the flexibility to make strategic investments across 18 different project categories, including roads and bridges, public transit, drinking water and wastewater infrastructure, and recreational facilities.
  • The Government of Canada will be providing Saskatchewan with more than $59.1 million for community infrastructure through the federal GTF in 2016-17.
  • This is in addition to funds made available to Saskatchewan under other existing programs and two new federal funding programs: the Public Transit Infrastructure Fund and the Clean Water and Wastewater Fund.  The latter are part of Investing in Canada, the Government of Canada’s historic plan to support public infrastructure across the country.
Associated links: -30-

For more information, contact:

Brook Simpson
Office of the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, Government of Canada
Phone: 613-219-0149

Kathy Ward
Government Relations
Phone: 306-787-2687

Jay Meyer
Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities
Phone: 306-761-3721

Infrastructure Canada
Government of Canada
Phone: 1-877-250-7154

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