The mayors of Saskatchewan’s two major cities are pleased to see investment in infrastructure and continued commitments to revenue sharing in the provincial budget.
Saskatoon Mayor Don Atchison had no complaints when asked to weigh in on the 2016-17 provincial budget, released Wednesday.
“I don’t know how much more the city of Saskatoon could actually ask for,” he said.
The province came through with a roughly $1 million increase in revenue sharing, something which topped Atchison’s wish list.
Past commitments to big infrastructure projects have also been honoured, with roughly $10 million going towards the North Commuter Parkway project, and roughly $15 million for an interchange at Highway 16 and Boychuk Drive.
“Generally speaking, governments don’t give you the funding until the projects are completed… so this is very good news for us,” Atchison said.
Regina Mayor Michael Fougere also checked two things off his list of priorities in the budget with revenue sharing and infrastructure.
“I’m very, very pleased that revenue sharing was not changed, no taxes is important and infrastructure spending is at an all-time high so we’re pleased with that aspect of it,” Fougere said on Thursday morning.
He is curious to learn more about the idea of ‘transformational change’ that became a new buzzword for the province on budget day.
“I guess the transformation issue is not a concern, it’s a flag that ‘what does that actually mean’,” he asked.
He looks forward to more discussion about the government’s plan to overhaul how services are run to find the most cost-effective and efficient ways of doing things.
“We’ll see what ‘transformational’ actually means: health districts, school boards – who knows what might happen there,” he said.
At the same time, Fougere agrees the government should always look at the most cost effective way to provide a service.