Mayor Masters feels positive about Regina’s role in provincial budget

The Government of Saskatchewan released its 2024/2025 budget, which includes $20.1 billion in spending.

Of those investments, the City of Regina sees investments made towards it with new schools and expanding healthcare services, highlighting Regina’s investment.

On the education front, the City sees numberous investments in new schools.

The North Regina Joint-Use School will see the Government of Saskatchewan investing $65 million into this new facility, with the City of Regina providing funding for the community space.

The province is also investing 23.5 million in the Conseil des Écoles Fransaskoises (CÉF) Regina as part of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministry of Education and the Conseil scolaire Fransaskois, which includes a commitment to build three new francophone schools in the province. 

The next project is the Harbour Landing Joint-Use School. Although the provincial budget does not allocate funding for it, the Government of Saskatchewan and the City of Regina signed a servicing agreement in January 2024.

The province is also investing $8.8 million in funding to begin planning for nine new schools, with two being featured in the City.

Planning for a new Regina East Joint-Use facility for a public and Catholic elementary school and the pre-planning for a new Regina East Joint-Use facility for a public and Catholic high school will begin this year.

Sticking with education, the University of Regina received $6.3 million for a cooling tower replacement and $610,000 to expand the student health care centre.

Mayor Sandra Masters said the investments in new schools and the University of Regina are very positive announcements for the Queen City.

“The money in the east side schools for the planning phase for servicing and space assessment this year for both the joint-use high school on the east side, which has been a long time coming, and a joint a use elementary school just due to the population growth, are both incredibly good announcements,” she said. “We’ve been working on this for a little bit, so really pleased to see the next phase. I’m hoping if we can work through the needs of the physical design as well as the space requirements, we may have detailed drawings in the fall or early next year.”

She said that the schools will also have positive effects on the communities they are in.

“You think about the east side, Arcola Avenue, in the morning, because those students need to go to Campbell or wherever else they are going or come home in the evening; that high school on the east side will be a great answer to some of that traffic congestion, but also schools are community builders. People love having schools in their communities. It’s huge.”

The City of Regina will also benefit from the increase of 14 per cent in Municipal Revenue Sharing.

While Masters notes that she doesn’t know how much funding the City will receive, this helps the City relieve the onus on residents.

“You can either build that into operating so that you keep your mill rate low because costs go up every year, or it goes into capital projects, which just expands your capacity to invest in infrastructure for the growths that’s happening.”

Regina will also receive funding to help the city deal with supportive housing and homelessness.

Split between the City and Saskatoon:

  • $21.7 million is being invested for the development of supportive housing spaces to repair, maintain, and replace provincially owned housing units
  • $400,000 in cost-matched funding to hire alternative response officers to mitigate public safety issues around shelters and other areas where people are experiencing homelessness
  • A $7.2 million increase to support ongoing emergency shelter operations across the province
  • $9.5 million capital investment to continue to develop supportive housing spaces

The City is also seeing significant investments in its healthcare facilities.

  • $21.9 million to complete the construction of the Regina General Hosptial Parkade Project,
  • $20 million to support the procurement and design activities on the Regina Long-Term Care Facilliies specialized beds project and $4 million for the procurement of Regina Long-Term Care standard beds
  • $3.5 million increase for breast cancer care and screening initiatives, including technology enhancements, new diagnostic imaging equipment and the development of a new Breast Health Centre in Regina
  • A $16.0 million total increase will be distributed across several primary, public health and community care initiatives, including increasing access to nurse practitioners and other allied health professionals through integration into primary care teams, funding to support Healthline 811 and added support for Chronic Pain Clinics in Regina and Saskatoon.
  • The Regina Urgent Care Centre will receive a $9.8 million increase to support operations. It will open in the summer of 2024 and be available 24/7 for illness, injuries, and mental health issues requiring same-day treatment.
  • $2.0 million in new funding to expand Saskatchewan’s robot-assisted surgery program in Regina. 
  • A $30.0 million funding increase will support the Saskatoon and Regina Capacity Pressures Action Plans, which include measures to enhance acute care, community-based care, and emergency department capacity
  • A $71.4 million total increase for multiple initiatives, including a substantial investment to address hospital capacity pressures and opening the new Regina Urgent Care Centre

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