The Saskatchewan Urban Municipalities Association has once again voiced its objections against Bill 64.
The bill is the government’s plan to re-direct 33-million dollars of grants-in lieu from municipalities to general revenue.
“Bill 64 strips 109 hometowns of payments in lieu they are legally entitled to, and gives the provincial government the power to redirect these royalties to the general revenue fund,” said SUMA Vice-President of Cities, Bob Maloney. “Even worse, the bill strips hometowns of their legal right to defend those agreements before the courts or be compensated for their loss.”
SUMA suggests residents and businesses will not only continue to pay for the royalties as part of their power bills, but many of them could pay a second time through property tax and fee increases.
Saskatoon and Regina city council were forced to re-draft their budgets after the provincial budget was tabled.
This issue has been one of the most-contentious to emerge from Saskatchewan’s provincial budget.