SARM responds to 2007 Provincial Budget

For Immediate Release

SARM responds to 2007 Provincial Budget

SARM has mixed reactions to the 2007 Provincial Budget announced today in Regina.

Revenue Sharing – The Province announced an additional 31 per cent of funding for Rural Revenue Sharing, bringing the total to $49 million.  “We are pleased with the announced $5 million for this year, and the additional $5 million next year, to fund a primary weight corridor program for Saskatchewan,” said SARM President David Marit.  “The announced $5 million in funding for resource roads is definitely a step in the right direction.”

Agriculture – SARM is pleased the government is fully funding the CAIS program.  “Although some details on the new federal funding are yet to come, we are encouraged by the Province’s commitment to fully funding the current CAIS program and expect both governments to work together to get the producer savings program established,” said Marit.  “SARM is disappointed the budget did not include immediate relief for producers affected by weather-related disasters.  While we acknowledge the Province’s commitment to fund 10 per cent of disaster payments and are committed to working with both the federal and provincial governments towards a long-term disaster relief program, there is a pressing need to address current disaster situations.” 

Highways – The previously announced increase to the budget for Transportation is welcomed news in rural Saskatchewan.  “We are pleased with the commitment of $5 billion ten years for road rebuilding and maintenance of our transportation network,” said Marit.  “This funding complements our Clearing the Path program initiative to improve roads to facilitate economic development in Saskatchewan.”

Education – The announced increase in the rebate for residential and commercial properties from eight per cent to ten per cent is welcomed news.  SARM will be monitoring the rebate on agricultural land to ensure that the Premier’s promise of 60/40 (provincial/local) funding is maintained.

SARM was disappointed that the Province did not address the issue of proposed rural school closures.

Health – “We would have liked to have seen an announcement to reduce local contributions for capital projects,” said President Marit.  “This would have assisted rural communities in meeting infrastructure demands and building our rural communities.”

For more information contact:

David Marit                                                                         

SARM President                                                                        

Cell Phone: (306) 476-7754                                                            

Ken Engel

SARM Executive Director

Direct: (306) 757-3578

Cell: (306) 536-2948