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Saskatchewan premier delivers address at 2024 SUMA Convention in Regina

The 2024 SUMA Convention and Tradeshow kicked off on Sunday at the Regina Exhibition Association Limited (REAL) District.

On Monday, attendees heard from the provincial government on what they’re doing to assist the needs of urban municipalities.

“It’s an opportunity for us to come together as municipal levels of government, provincial level of government and have (an) open discussion about the investments that are being made at each level and how we can work together to ensure that we’re able to promote a strong and growing economy so that those investments can continue into the future,” said Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe.

In Premier Moe’s address, he talked about the province’s investments in classrooms, care and communities, as well as their commitment to building communities through the increased funding in the Municipal Revenue Sharing program.

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“The growth over the last number of years, particularly the last couple of years, has led to a record level of municipal revenue sharing this year,” said Premier Moe. “It’s up 14 per cent, $42 million — a total now of $340 million is going to be transferred through that no-strings-attached Municipal Revenue Sharing program.”

SUMA President Randy Goulden said one of the things that SUMA consistently hears is the deficit around infrastructure.

“Whether it’s water, wastewater, street, roads, sidewalks … we need to be a partner and we’re ready to be a partner,” said Goulden. “We need the other orders of government to come in partnership mode also.

“Our municipalities across Canada and here in Saskatchewan, we provide 60 per cent of the infrastructure here in Canada. We feel, at this point, we are not getting the adequate funding to keep providing those services.”

Goulding wants municipal, provincial and federal governments to collaborate and create a new fiscal framework to build bridges, roads and other failing infrastructure in municipalities. This is something Premier Moe says he is willing to do.

The SUMA Convention runs until April 17.

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