SARM Responds to the Speech from the Throne

For Immediate Release SARM Responds to Speech from the Throne The Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities (SARM) is encouraged by the Government of Saskatchewan’s recognition of some key concerns for rural Saskatchewan in yesterday’s Speech from the Throne. We appreciate that the Province understands that cellular and internet service must be improved. Broadband connectivity is a longstanding priority for SARM as it is an essential infrastructure for prompting robust rural development. “SARM understands the challenges when it comes to connectivity in rural areas,” stated President Ray Orb. “We need service that is accessible, reliable, and affordable. We are pleased to see the government’s investment of $1.1 billion over the next four years.” SARM is also pleased with the focus on prevention of crime in rural communities, and the introduction of a new Protection and Response Team. “We have seen renewed interest and increased participation in the Rural Crime Watch Program,” explained Orb,” We welcome additional measures to improve response times to emergency calls in our communities and increased visibility of uniformed officers in rural Saskatchewan.” SARM appreciates the Province’s acknowledgement of the importance of our agriculture industry, and we are pleased with both the continued investment in research through the Agricultural Development Fund, as well as the Province’s opposition to the federal carbon tax. We look forward to learning what actions the government will introduce that can produce real emissions reductions without the imposition of a carbon tax. A continued hurdle for municipalities is maintaining and improving road infrastructure. The cost associated with the construction and upgrade of local road infrastructure is substantial. SARM will continue to work with the Province to develop the Public-Industry Partnership Program to better utilize government funding by securing investment from the private sector for infrastructure.  -30-For more information contact:   Jay Meyer, Executive Director(306) 761-3721 “SARM, the Voice of Rural Saskatchewan”