April 06, 2021

$3.1 Billion In Capital Spending To Build Saskatchewan

The 2021-22 provincial budget invests $3.1 billion in capital projects to grow Saskatchewan's economy and create jobs.

"As Saskatchewan emerges from the pandemic, growth and a strong capital plan will be the foundation of our province's economic recovery," Deputy Premier and Finance Minister Donna Harpauer said . "The 2021-22 Budget builds.  By investing in needed projects, this budget will help drive a strong recovery, supporting 17,500 jobs through our base capital and supporting a further 10,000 through our $2.0 billion stimulus capital announced last year."

The 2021-22 Budget invests $162 million in health care capital, including:

  • $7.6 million for the 80-bed La Ronge long-term care facility;
  • $3.6 million for the future Grenfell long-term care facility;
  • planning stage investment of $550,000 for new Watson and Estevan long-term care facilities; and
  • $500,000 of panning dollars for replacement of long-term care beds in Regina

This year's budget provides $5.7 million for Urgent Care Centres in Regina and Saskatoon, $1.4 million for Weyburn Hospital planning, and $1.4 million for ongoing work on the program and design plans for Prince Albert's Victoria Hospital.

The 2021-22 Budget also invests $830 million into operating, maintaining, building and improving Saskatchewan's roads and highways - up $115 million, or 16 per cent, compared to last year.

This year's budget provides more than $553 million for transportation capital, including $520 million for:

  • beginning the twinning work on Highway 3 west of Prince Albert;
  • multiple passing-lane projects on Highways 2, 3, 12, 14 and 16;
  • three sets of passing lanes on Highway 7, from Kindersley to the Alberta border;
  • two sets of passing lanes and widening on Highway 5, from Saskatoon to Highway 2;
  • completing passing lanes and other improvements on Highway 39, from Corrine to Estevan; and
  • various projects that will improve the safety and efficiency of key highway corridors.

The 2021-22 Budget invests more than $33 million in transfers related to municipal infrastructure for the Rural Integrated Roads for Growth Program, the Urban Highway Connector Program, and the Community Airport Partnership Program, as well as $530,000 for a new Short-line Rail Infrastructure Program.

This year's budget provides nearly $190 million for education capital, up $22.3 million or more than 13 per cent compared to last year.  This includes nearly $102 million to support 21 ongoing capital projects which will build 16 new schools and renovate five more.

Construction of a new elementary school in Weyburn will be completed this year.  Construction will begin on a new joint-use facility in Regina to replace Argyle and St. Pius elementary schools.

This year's budget also provides $8.8 million as part of stimulus funding to complete 15 school maintenance projects, the second year of a $25.9 million total commitment.  A further $10.3 million will fund relocatable classrooms.  Nearly $68 million will fund ongoing preventative maintenance, renewal and emergency funding.

"Since 2008-09, our government has invested $2.1 billion to build 57 new schools and undertake 28 major renovation projects across Saskatchewan," Harpauer said.  "Moving forward, our government will continue to build more schools for a growing Saskatchewan."

The 2021-22 Budget invests more than $324 million in government services infrastructure, up more than $109 million compared to last year.  This includes $52 million for the construction of the remand centre at the Saskatoon Correctional Centre, and $3.8 million to replace and expand the Saskatoon Correctional Centre urban camp.

This year's budget also provides $70.1 million for maintenance and upgrades to dams and canals, and $18.9 million for phase one of the Lake Diefenbaker Irrigation Expansion Project - a transformational multi-year project expected to cost $4.0 billion.

The 2021-22 Budget also includes nearly $245 million for municipal infrastructure.

Saskatchewan's Crown corporations will spend $1.6 billion on major capital projects this year, including nearly $938 million by SaskPower to improve our province's electricity system to meet demand and maintain reliability.  SaskPower's sustainment program is being supported by $50 million of economic stimulus capital in the coming year.  It will bring the total to $272 million, fully 28 per cent of SaskPower's capital plan dedicated to ensuring reliability of the electrical grid.

SaskEnergy will invest nearly $277 million this year to maintain and expand its natural gas distribution system to meet increased demand in a growing province.  SaskTel will invest more than $323 million this year to improve its networks, and will complete its $107 million Wireless Saskatchewan program in 2021-22 - with an investment of $7.5 million to improve cellular services for rural customers.

"The Growth Plan targets a further $30 billion in capital investment by Executive Government and Saskatchewan's Crowns over the next decade," Harpauer said.  "The investments in this budget move toward that goal, helping to build a strong Saskatchewan."