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About the Federal Gas Tax Fund Program

The federal Gas Tax Fund will provide an estimated $613 million over the next ten years to help build local municipalities. Saskatchewan's allocation is $292.7 million over the first five years from 2014-15 to 2018-19. Funding beyond 2018-19 will be based on 2016 Census figures. 

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1. Renewed Gas Tax Fund

   

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
    • Wastewater
    • Solid Waste
    • Community Energy Systems
    • Capacity Building 

    For expenditures incurred after April 1, 2014:
    • Highways
    • 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.
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2. Infrastructure Investment Plans

An Infrastructure Investment Plan (IIP) form must be completed for each project under the Gas Tax Fund. 

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4. Planning for Growth

All funding through this program has now been allocated.

Recognizing that municipalities are in various stages of readiness, the Planning for Growth Program (PFG) will provide an opportunity for groups of communities to demonstrate the value of:

  • partnerships and collaboration;
  • the economic, social, and environmental opportunities across a region;
  • the benefit of developing and implementing a strategy, agreement or plan for growth;
  • the value of developing professional planning capacity in support of short and long term objectives for economic growth.

The PFG seeks to enhance regional planning capacity and establish best practices facilitating sustainable growth and development across the province. The program will cost share projects with groups of two or more municipalities to:

  • Facilitate regional planning to support the coordination of infrastructure and land use to accommodate growth;
  • Demonstrate best practices for planning including processes, methodologies or planning models;
  • Build municipal and professional planning capacity in municipalities and regions; and,
  • Build and enhance relationships required to support regional planning initiatives.
Program Success

The program has been very successful with over 30 applications received between two intakes. Approved projects represent 158 municipalities and over half of the provincial population.

The PFG is supported through funding from Enterprise Saskatchewan and the Federal Gas Tax Program, and is administered by the Ministry of Government Relations.

The Government of Canada contributed $600,000 to the program through the Gas Tax Fund, and the Government of Saskatchewan invested an additional $500,000 through Enterprise Saskatchewan. Municipalities provide the balance of the funding for a total investment of $2.47 million.

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5. Planning for Growth Northern Program

All funding through this program has now been allocated.

Key government investments in northern infrastructure, such as roads and telecommunications, are also enabling significant opportunities for business development and employment growth in the north. Municipalities are challenged to provide corresponding infrastructure and services required to support this level of development.

Consistent policies for land use and development will ensure effective use of public funds for:

  • economic development,
  • regional infrastructure planning
  • environmental protection
  • economic growth.

Centralizing comprehensive and professional planning and development services in the north will provide communities and groups of communities with added support to develop and implement planning respectful of northern values. Recognizing that northern municipalities are in various stages of readiness, the $500,000 in the Planning for Growth Northern Program (PFGN) will provide an opportunity for northern communities to work with planners to:

  • develop official community plans and zoning bylaws;
  • build municipal capacity to implement official community plans; and
  • build and enhance relationships to support long term regional planning activities.

The PFGN is supported through funding from Northern Municipal Trust Account and the Federal Gas Tax Program, and is jointly administered by the Municipal Infrastructure and Finance and the Northern Municipal Services and Community Planning Branches, Ministry of Government Relations.

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6. Provincial Annual Expenditure Reports

On an annual basis, the Ministry of Government Relations completes an Annual Report for the federal Gas Tax Fund which outlines spending and project information at a provincial level. The information provided in these reports is a result of the compilation of Municipal Annual Expenditure Reports, submitted by municipalities on an annual basis.

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