March 21, 2019
Saskatchewan Tables Balanced 2019 Budget
The 2019 Saskatchewan Budget, released Wednesday, projects a balanced budget with a $34.4-million surplus this year.
The highlights include changes to the Potash Production Tax, increased mental health spending, the creation of an organ donor registry and a program to improve highway intersection safety after the deadly Humboldt Broncos bus crash last year. Notably, there are no new taxes or increases.
The budget outlines $1.6 billion of capital investment in the commercial Crown sector and $1.1 billion in capital investment across ministries and agencies, for a combined total of $2.7 billion in infrastructure investment.
The infrastructure-related budget items include:
- $458 million for transportation infrastructure, including $13 million for the first year of a five-year, $65-million Enhanced Intersection Safety Program. It also includes more than $60 million for twinning and passing lane projects, as well as $89 million for the completion of the Regina Bypass.
- $103 million for health care, including $12 million to begin the construction of a new long-term care facility to replace the Northland Pioneers Lodge in Meadow Lake.
- $2.5 million to advance preconstruction design of the new Victoria Hospital in Prince Albert. The province and municipalities are working together to secure federal funding for this project.
- $2.5 million to plan and design a new hospital in Weyburn.
- $3.3 million for the planning and design of three new schools, including the consolidation of Argyle School and École St. Pius X into a joint-use school in Regina; a new facility to replace Sacred Heart, St. Mary, Empire and Westmount schools in Moose Jaw; and funding to plan the replacement of St. Frances in Saskatoon.
- $29 million for ongoing construction of new schools in Rosthern and Weyburn.
- $229.8 million for municipal infrastructure, an 11 per cent increase over last year’s budget. This new funding includes the Investing in Canada plan, New Building Canada, Clean Water and Wastewater and Public Transit Funds, as well as $250,000 in new investment in capital for Transit Assistance for People with Disabilities.
- $873 million for investments by SaskPower.
- SaskTel will improve service to its customers with capital investment of $321 million to upgrade its wireless and wireline networks, with 100 new cellular sites in smaller communities by March 2020.
The full 2019 Saskatchewan budget can be accessed at https://www.saskatchewan.ca/government/budget-planning-and-reporting/saskatchewan-budget-2019-20