The Saskatchewan Urban Municipalities Association (SUMA) applauds the Government of Canada for the infrastructure investments announced today in the federal budget.
“Municipal infrastructure is vital to the day-to-day life of everyone in Saskatchewan’s cities, towns, villages, and northern municipalities,” said SUMA President, Debra Button. “Today, the federal government showed us they recognize the value of investing in municipal infrastructure, and SUMA is pleased — as I suspect our members are as well.”
Documents released this afternoon show money flowing to municipalities through an acceleration on the $9 billion available through the Provincial and Territorial Infrastructure Component of the New Building Canada Fund, and an additional $11.9 billion for infrastructure over the next five years. That $11.9 billion will be split roughly as follows:
• $3.4 billion for transit;
• $5 billion for water, wastewater, and green infrastructure; and
• $3.4 billion for social infrastructure, such as affordable housing and recreation.
The budget shows the government plans to cover up to half the cost of public transit projects and work on water and wastewater systems like pipes and treatment plants. This shift seems to recognize the imbalance between who owns and maintains infrastructure and their ability to pay for it. Municipalities own nearly two-thirds of the country’s infrastructure, yet only collect about eight cents of every tax dollar.
Another $250 million will set up funds to be distributed through the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM), with $125 going to innovative green projects over two years, $75 million to climate change projects, and $50 million for asset management projects.
“This government has listened to municipalities,” said Button. “We’ve already seen SUMA’s efforts during the federal election this summer pay off with the return of the mandatory long-form census and work toward an inquiry on missing and murdered Indigenous women. Today’s announcements on infrastructure are a relief for Saskatchewan’s urban municipalities. However, we still need to see further details on these promises to ensure the dollars are accessible to all municipalities, and quickly. We simply can’t afford to miss another construction season.”
For more information visit http://www.suma.org, or to arrange an interview please contact:
Senior Policy Advisor
Saskatchewan Urban Municipalities Association
Founded in 1905, SUMA is the voice of urban Saskatchewan, representing cities, towns, and villages.