For Immediate Release
Federal Budget Invests in Infrastructure
The Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities (SARM) is pleased to see further investments in infrastructure by the Federal Government under Budget 2017.
Infrastructure investments announced this afternoon total more than $14 billion to 2024. Rural municipalities (RM) across Saskatchewan rely on funding from all levels of government to maintain the roads and bridges industry uses to get its products to market. “RMs currently spend the largest portion of their local tax dollars on road infrastructure. Without meaningful assistance from the provincial and federal governments RMs would be unable to keep up with the demands on their infrastructure that’s essential to the growth of the provincial and federal economies,” said SARM President Ray Orb.
SARM welcomes targeted infrastructure funding for rural and northern communities. “We lobbied for a separate pot of funds for small communities so we are pleased to see this included in the Budget,” said President Orb. The Federal Government will invest $2 billion over the next 11 years to various rural and northern infrastructure projects, including improved road and broadband access.
The Budget also includes $2 billion for a Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund that is meant to support national, provincial and municipal infrastructure projects. “We’re glad to see the addition of this new fund designed to support all levels of government in their mitigation attempts. SARM has consistently lobbied for additional dollars to be invested in these types of infrastructure projects that will save public monies in the long-term,” said Orb.
In addition to specific investments, Budget 2017 outlines some policy efforts being undertaken by the Federal Government that are of interest to SARM and its members. The Government has committed to launching a full review of rail service across western Canada and eliminate tariffs on various agri-food processing ingredients.
“The infrastructure investments made by the Government in today’s Budget move us in the right direction. We need to invest in local infrastructure if we plan to grow our national economy,” concluded President Orb.
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For more information, please contact:
“SARM, the Voice of Rural Saskatchewan”