Monthly Archives: November 2015

Mid-Year Update Shows Slight Improvement to the Bottom Line

Released on November 30, 2015

The provincial government continues to control and reduce spending to offset a nearly $400 million drop in non-renewable resource revenue since the 2015-16 Budget was introduced in March.

“The continued decline in the oil price has increased the financial challenge facing the province,” Finance Minister Kevin Doherty said.  “However, by controlling government spending, we have been able to reduce the forecast deficit since first quarter by $30 million.”

The Mid-Year Report released today projects a reduced year-end deficit of $262 million on a more than $14 billion budget.

More than $107 million in spending restraint has been undertaken by ministries, agencies and Crown corporations since the province’s first quarter forecast.

Expense at mid-year is down $62 million from first quarter but up $99 million from budget, reflecting forest fire costs as well as additional spending to support those who are most vulnerable and who truly need support.  The spending increase from budget is less than one per cent.

Revenue is down $32 million from first quarter and $270 million from budget.  Significant decreases in non-renewable resource revenue and consumption taxes are partially offset by increases in Government Business Enterprises net income and transfers from the federal government.

As a next step in government’s transition to summary budgeting, the fiscal year end of Crown Investments Corporation entities is being changed from December 31 to March 31.  This change will better align planning, budgeting and reporting across the two major components of the summary entity.

“Over the past six years, Saskatchewan’s economy has grown and ranked in the top three of many economic indicators,” Doherty said.  “With that backdrop as well as our diversity and sound economic fundamentals, we are well positioned to weather these challenges, and we will.”

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For more information, contact:

Jeff Welke
Finance
Regina
Phone: 306-787-6046
Email: jeff.welke@gov.sk.ca
Cell: 306-536-1185

Provincial Parks Set New Visitation Record in 2015

Released on November 25, 2015

Saskatchewan’s provincial parks and recreation sites hit a new attendance record of nearly 3.9 million visits in 2015.  This is an increase of nearly 125,000 visits over the previous record, which was set in 2013, and is an increase of more than 860,000 visits since 2007.

“We are pleased to see a record number of vacationers utilizing our parks in the province,” Parks, Culture and Sport Minister Mark Docherty said.  “The Government of Saskatchewan recognizes the importance of our provincial parks in relation to the quality of life here.  We are committed to investing in park infrastructure to support the current demand and future growth of visitation.”

Strong visitation can be attributed in part to the province continuing to provide excellent visitor services and the enhanced capital infrastructure investment.

Since 2007, nearly $92 million has been invested in capital projects, including upgrades and maintenance.  These projects have provided enhanced services such as new campgrounds, upgraded washroom and shower facilities and expanded electricity to more campsites.  In addition to capital improvements, the Ministry of Parks, Culture and Sport continues to expand program offerings.

The Saskatchewan Provincial Park system continues to enhance its customer service program, adding express check-in for campers at several locations, an online seasonal camping application process and better supported self-registration stations.  These changes have helped to increase the opportunity for as many people as possible to enjoy a camping experience in a Saskatchewan provincial park.

Applications for the always-popular seasonal camping program will be available in early January of 2016 and the nightly camping reservation launch will occur in spring of 2016.

Details on each of these programs will be available on www.saskparks.net early next year.

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For more information, contact:

Karen Webb
Parks, Culture and Sport
Regina
Phone: 306-787-7828
Email: karen.webb@gov.sk.ca
Cell: 306-529-4087

Via: http://www.saskatchewan.ca/government/news-and-media/2015/november/25/park-visitation

Wall Seeks Balanced Approach on Climate Change Policies – SwiftCurrentOnline.com

Wall Seeks Balanced Approach on Climate Change Policies - SwiftCurrentOnline.com Government  Wind Power SaskPower Environment

Written by Joey Donnelly

SaskPower has announced plans to generate half of its power through renewable sources in 15 years.

The crown utility says it’s going to develop wind, solar and geothermal power to double the percentage of electrical renewable energy — although details about where wind or solar facilities might be located still have to be worked out.

Speaking in Ottawa yesterday at the first ministers meeting, Premier Brad Wall says plans to reduce emissions must also reflect the importance of the oil and gas sector.

“We need to do better in terms of our record on climate change – our province needs to do better. But we can’t forget the economy. We can not forget the jobs that quite literally are at stake in a sector that’s undergoing a lot of stress right now due to $40 oil. We’ve got to find that right balance because that economy, those jobs are broadening our tax base and paying of our quality of life that we want for all Canadians,” Wall said.

Under the new plan, SaskPower will still use coal and look to carbon capture to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. On Sunday, Alberta announced it would introduce a carbon tax across the board, joining British Columbia in phasing in a $30 per tonne price on carbon emissions, while phasing out coal-burning power plants within 15 years.

Premier Wall and his fellow premiers will join the Canadian delegation at the climate change talks in Paris. Today’s is Premier Wall’s 50th birthday.

Source: Wall Seeks Balanced Approach on Climate Change Policies – SwiftCurrentOnline.com

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