There are reports the federal government is considering a $1 billion funding stimulus to Saskatchewan and Alberta, and the Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities hopes they get a share of the funds.
The Liberals are considering the stimulus to improve infrastructure as the price of oil and other markets continue to struggle.
However, SARM president Ray Orb says he is “disturbed” that the conversation hasn’t touched rural municipalities in Saskatchewan. He says the province makes a significant contribution through agriculture, and a number of their projects for roads and bridges have been put on hold due to a lack of provincial funding.
Orb says at a time, SARM was receiving $40 million provincially to fix roads, but that’s been cut back to $25 million.
Another area he’s concerned about is the level of service coming from railways. Orb says that’s been an issue they have voiced for years, and they want some sort of funding now. He says agriculture backlogs on the rails like in 2013 and 2014 don’t just prevent commodities from getting to their markets, but it puts a sour note on the province’s reputation to North America and the world.
Orb says if the rumoured funding does go forward, they hope to talk to the provincial government to receive some funding.