Municipal Revenue Sharing To Set New Record
In his annual speech to the Saskatchewan Urban Municipalities Association (SUMA) Premier Scott Moe announced Saskatchewan municipalities will receive record revenue sharing. The Premier also addressed the ongoing labour dispute between Unifor 594 and Federated Co-op Limited (FCL), offering the conditional appointment of a special mediator if Unifor 594 ceases illegal activities immediately.
Overall funding under the municipal revenue sharing program will increase to a record of $278 million next fiscal year – a total increase of $27 million in 2020-21. The amount represents a nearly 11 per cent increase in 2020-21 from the current fiscal year, and is almost a 119 per cent increase from the 2007-08 fiscal year.
“This massive investment will position municipalities across Saskatchewan for the new decade of growth and to continue making key investments in their communities,” said Premier Moe. “Municipal revenue sharing has provided municipalities a stable and predictable source of provincial revenue, and I am proud to continue our commitment to supporting key local priorities that help lay the foundation for a growing Saskatchewan.”
During his address to SUMA delegates, the Premier also announced that the Government of Saskatchewan would appoint a special mediator in the ongoing labour dispute between Unifor 594 and FCL, on the condition that Unifor 594 agrees to cease all illegal activities, including removing the unlawful barricades immediately.
“As Premier I will act on options available under the labour laws of our province, starting with the conditional appointment of a special mediator,” said Moe. “I will appoint a special mediator today – a tool available to me under the labour laws of Saskatchewan – if and only if Unifor 594 follows the law. It is my strong belief that a negotiated settlement is in the best interests of both parties, and by removing the barricades and accepting the assistance of a special mediator in the negotiations, I believe both parties will be well served.”
The Premier also stated that if Unifor did not accept this offer, that it is his expectation that the Regina Police Service uphold the law, enforce the court order, and remove the barricades at the Co-op Refinery. This will ensure that important fuel is supplied to communities across Saskatchewan that use diesel to heat homes in the winter, for school buses to transport kids, for emergency vehicles such as ambulances and fire trucks, and for industries that drive our economy such as agriculture and mining.
Municipal Revenue Sharing Background:
The Government of Saskatchewan’s municipal revenue sharing program is based on three quarters of one point of the provincial sales tax (PST) revenue collected from the fiscal year two years prior to the current year. As introduced last year, $1.5 million from the total municipal revenue sharing program will also be invested in the Targeted Sector Support Initiative for municipalities. The initiative is co-managed with municipal partners to support innovative ideas from municipalities that advance priority areas, such as good governance, regional planning, and inter-community collaboration. With this announcement, Saskatchewan municipalities have overall been allocated more than $3.1 billion in provincial funding through the revenue sharing program from 2007-08 to 2020-21. More details will be available when the provincial budget is released.