Parks, Culture and Sport Budget Builds on Government's Commitment to Families, Veterans and Park Infrastructure
The 2021-22 Ministry of Parks, Culture and Sport budget takes significant steps to support the government's commitments to Saskatchewan residents by re-establishing the Active Families Benefit, increasing funding to the Saskatchewan Veterans Support Program and providing the largest capital budget in provincial parks' history.
"This budget will build on our government's prior commitments and grow provincial parks' capital funding exponentially," Parks, Culture and Sport Minister Laura Ross said. "The largest park capital budget ever and new funding for our families and veterans will continue to protect the health and wellness of our communities."
Throughout the pandemic, families and individuals have continued to enjoy Saskatchewan Provincial Parks. In 2021-22, more than $18 million will be invested for capital projects and preventative maintenance in the provincial park system including:
- New group pavilions for Pike Lake, Blackstrap, Echo Valley and Buffalo Pound Provincial Parks that will greatly enhance day-use areas by providing sheltered spaces for groups of park visitors to gather, once it is safe to do so again;
- The development of a new serviced campground at Cypress Hills Inter-Provincial Park that will include more than 65 serviced campsites;
- New campground service centres for Saskatchewan Landing and The Battlefords Provincial Parks;
- Interior and exterior refurbishing at the historic Holy Trinity Church in Lac La Ronge Provincial Park, ensuring this site is preserved for future generations, as well as a new boat launch development for the park near Stanley Mission;
- A new visitor reception centre in Saskatchewan Landing and a visitor centre for Buffalo Pound; and
- Day-use area enhancements, accessibility improvements, water and wastewater system upgrades at several parks.
The Active Families Benefit will support families and encourage more youth to enroll in sport, recreation and cultural activities. The benefit will provide eligible families $150 per year per child and will provide families of children with a disability an additional $50 per year per child. It is anticipated that 34,000 children and youth in Saskatchewan will be eligible for this credit.
The Saskatchewan Veteran Service Club Support Program continues to strengthen the long-term sustainability of Saskatchewan's service clubs providing support for veterans, their families and communities in our province. In 2021-22 the government is increasing the total funding amount available from $100,000 to $1.5 million. This increase gives eligible clubs access to support for infrastructure upgrades, programs, events and activities, and COVID-19 related facility updates.
The Community Rink Affordability Grant will continue helping Saskatchewan communities with the costs associated with operating curling and skating rinks. The program provides $2,500 per ice surface to eligible registrants, with a total allocation of $1.7 million provincially. Funds can be directed toward rink operating costs, COVID-19 related costs or minor capital improvements, it is expected that more than 600 ice surfaces in more than 350 communities will be eligible to receive this support.