Environment Budget Focuses on Protecting People and Our Resources
The Ministry of Environment's budget for 2021-22 will focus on protecting our environment, our residents and our resources by strengthening funding support for our conservation officers, continuing to deliver the province's climate change strategy and through investment in small modular reactor (SMR) technology. This budget will also see new funding to support Indigenous engagement opportunities and beverage recycling efforts in the province.
"The ministry's 2021-22 budget is focused on important goals that protect our environment, our resources and our residents," Environment Minister Warren Kaeding said. "This budget will keep us on track as we emerge from the pandemic, and it will also allow us to better plan and position the province for the future."
The ministry will receive additional funding of $450,000 to hire more conservation officers. This measure will allow the ministry to build on the environmental protection and public safety responsibilities that conservations officers carry out.
In order to support the province's Growth Plan, the ministry will be directing $629,000 to the Nuclear Secretariat to aid development of SMR technology and deployment in the province. The ministry will also increase investment in Saskatchewan's Prairie Resilience climate change strategy by adding $255,000 to the Output-Based Performance Standards Program. This will assist with the development and implementation of Saskatchewan's carbon offset program.
The budget also includes an investment of more than $3.2 million to help deliver the SARCAN Beverage Container Collection and Recycling Program, for a total of just more than $35 million to assist in maintaining the program for the province. The ministry provides an annual grant to SARCAN, which provides steady employment opportunities for more than 700 staff at 73 collection depots province-wide.
A new fund of $200,000 will also be established to better support Indigenous participation in a range of ministry engagement initiatives. This fund will increase opportunities for Indigenous clients to participate in the development of policy and program options, while enhancing relationships of mutual trust and respect.
The ministry's goals also include:
- Continuing with the engagement and implementation of the province's Solid Waste Management Strategy;
- Working with the ministries of Agriculture and Health to develop and implement a Chronic Wasting Disease management plan; and
- Targeting $719,000 toward remediation of the abandoned Newcor mine located near Creighton.
In addition, the ministry will continue to support the Government of Saskatchewan's pandemic response efforts by redeploying staff to priority activities when possible.
The 2021-22 Budget's list of investments and priorities support the Ministry of Environment's core mandate of environmental protection and sustainable resource management for the well-being of the province and its people.