Rising Revenues and Projected Surplus of $1B for Saskatchewan

Spread the love

Revenues up and expected surplus of $1 billion for Saskatchewan

“Saskatchewan is growing fastest in over a century,” says Finance Minister.

Saskatchewan Finance Minister , Donna Harpauer, tabled her provincial budget for the next fiscal year on Wednesday. With projected revenues up from last year, the province anticipates a surplus of $1 billion.

Saskatchewan's population has been growing faster than at any time in more than a century. This budget is designed to ensure that this growth continues and benefits everyone, said Donna Harpauer in a statement.

For the year 2023-2024, the government forecasts $19.7 billion in revenue. This is an increase of $2.5 billion, or 14.7%, from the last budget.

Start of the widget. Skip the widget?End of widget. Back to top of widget?

Saskatchewan is also planning $18.7 billion in spending, an increase of 5.9% from last year.

Top of widget . Skip the widget?End of widget. Back to top of widget?

“Saskatchewan is experiencing its fastest growth in over a century.

—Donna Harpauer, Saskatchewan Minister of Finance

The Government of Saskatchewan is not planning any tax increases or new taxes. The province hopes to maintain an affordable cost of living for Saskatchewan residents.

In addition, $1 billion will be used to reduce the public debt, which will reduce interest costs and invest the resulting savings in necessary services, programs and capital assets, says Harpauer .

On the education side, the Saskatchewan government plans to spend $4 billion, an increase of 6.2% over last year's budget.

School divisions across the province will see their budgets increased by 2.5%. (File photo)

Of this sum, an amount will be allocated to begin planning for two French-language schools, namely a new school in Prince Albert to replace the Valois school, as well as than a new elementary school in Saskatoon.

This funding follows a commitment made by the province in 2019. The latter had committed to building a total of three French-language schools in Regina, Saskatoon and Prince Albert by 2025.

< p class="e-p">In addition, $115.7 million will be invested for the renovation of five existing schools and the construction of 15 new schools, including a French elementary school in Regina.

On the provincial side, the 27 school divisions will receive $2.04 billion in funding to operate their schools, which represents a 2.5% increase over the previous budget, the budget reads.

In addition, $23 million will be provided to support the start-up and operation of the new Saskatchewan Center for Distance Learning. According to the province, this center should help provide students and teachers with flexible learning opportunities no matter where they live in Saskatchewan.

The province also wants to support public libraries by modernizing the central collection of multilingual materials and adding materials in Indigenous languages ​​and literacy resources to support growth and diversity in the province.

The Government of Saskatchewan will provide a record $7.1 billion in health care. Of this amount, $6.9 billion will go to the Department of Health, an increase of 6.7% over last year.

About 550 places will be added in 18 health training programs in the province. (File photo)

Budget includes increased funding to recruit more doctors, hire more healthcare workers, perform more surgeries, improve emergency medical services, keep prescription drug costs low and build new hospitals, Health Minister Paul Merriman said in a statement.

To address the labor shortage in the community, the province wants to add 250 full-time positions in rural and remote areas of Saskatchewan. It should be noted that the creation of these new positions had already been announced last September.

In addition, nearly 550 places will be added in 18 health training programs in order to meet the needs of the main markets. One hundred and fifty more places will also be added in nursing programs.

The government will also increase care for seniors by $39 million. Of this amount, $5.5 million will support the creation of 75 new continuing care worker positions.

According to the province, in 2022, Saskatchewan producers have harvested nearly 35 million tons of crops, resulting in record agrifood exports of $18.4 billion.

“The sector is well positioned to continue to meet the challenges of agriculture and capitalize on its successes,” said the Minister of Agriculture. (File photo)

To continue supporting the sector, the government will invest $1.4 billion. Of this amount, $548.2 million will go to the Ministry of Agriculture, an increase of 19% over the previous year.

The Minister of Saskatchewan Agriculture, David Marit, believes these investments will help the province's farmers, ranchers and agri-food businesses stay competitive and operate sustainably.

The sector is well placed to continue to meet the challenges of agriculture and build on its successes, says David Marit in the press release.

In order to combat the addiction, the government is investing $518 million in addictions and mental health programs and services.

Despite the government's desire to fight drug addiction, Saskatoon's supervised consumption facility, Prairie Harm Reduction, is not part of the provincial budget. (File photo)

The province says this year's budget will bring record levels of financial support to the sector.

This funding for mental health and addictions now represents 7.5 per cent of all health spending, the highest investment in this area ever in Saskatchewan, the province says.

Also, once again, Saskatoon's drug use center, Prairie Harm Reduction, is being left out of the 2023-2024 budget, despite calls from the agency about the lack of funding for services for those with addiction issues.

Many government programs will receive an additional $26.6 million in funding to provide more benefits for low-income residents, as well as families and seniors.

According to Donna Harpauer, this investment will also help organizations deal with operational pressures and recruit and retain qualified staff.

Funding of $7 million will be provided to establish the new provincial police service (Saskatchewan Marshals Service, or SMS). The latter is intended to increase policing capacity in the province, with a focus on rural and remote areas.

By the end of 2026, the government expects the SMS to have approximately 70 officers, providing an additional law enforcement presence in the province while supporting Royal Canadian Mounted Police operations in Saskatchewan, explains a press release.

  • The television and film production grant program, Creative Saskatchewan, will receive an additional $2 million, an increase of 20%.
  • A $249.1 million in targeted funding for First Nations and Métis organizations and individuals, including funding for economic initiatives and partnerships.
  • The Government of Saskatchewan will invest 1, $4 million to open a sales office in Germany.
Previous Article
Next Article