Bridge Funding

Res #: 12-21A
Number: 12
Year: 2021
Midterm: No
Expired: No
Responses Received: Yes
Departments: Saskatchewan Ministry of Highways and Infrastructure

WHEREAS the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (ICIP) funding that is tagged to the provincial funding is a flawed system; and

WHEREAS the federal funding for rural municipal bridges that were recommended by the Saskatchewan Ministry of Government Relations to the Government of Canada is at a much lower percentage than all other approved projects; and

WHEREAS the rural municipalities would like clarification as to why the percentages are different.

BE IT RESOLVED all funding and approval criteria for bridges, be it federal, private, or other, be administered solely under the Province of Saskatchewan and SARM and they set the criteria to be met; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that SARM lobby for more funding towards the municipal bridge program.

Responses From: Saskatchewan Ministry of Highways and Infrastructure

May 14, 2021

In 2019, SARM and MoH completed a review of the entire RIRG program (previously Municipal Roads for the Economy Program). This review included extensive consultation and feedback from RMs. Through the program review, RMs asked for a proactive approach to address municipal bridges. As part of this, funding for bridge maintenance, repairs, and rehabilitation (including wooden timber bridges) was considered. MoH also recently supported SARM’s bridge summit at the 2019 SARM Midterm Convention to discuss the needs of municipalities, bridge standards, design options, and alternative procurement models.

Based on feedback from municipalities, the Bridge and Large Diameter Culvert Initiative was established which provides funding through a partnership between the RIRG and the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (ICIP).

By partnering with SARM and the federal government through ICIP, the Government of Saskatchewan will be able to upgrade 100 municipal bridges over the next four years. This could not be achieved through RIRG funding alone. The criteria for the Bridge and Large Diameter Culvert program must remain a combination of RIRG and federal criteria to be able to access ICIP funding. The grant funding to rural municipalities for bridges and large culverts are a component of RIRG which is co-managed by SARM and MoH. A PMB comprised of SARM and MoH officials work collaboratively to apportion the funding so as to benefit all the various components.

I will ask the PMB to consider the resolution passed at the SARM Convention regarding increasing the funding for bridges and large culverts. I am confident that the PMB will be as diligent as possible when setting the funding levels, in balance with the program component needs and funding availability.

The Honourable Fred Bradshaw – Minister of Highways, Saskatchewan Ministry of Highways and Infrastructure