Saskatchewan budget invests $3.3B in infrastructure
March 25, 2015 by STAFF REPORT
The province of Saskatchewan will invest a $3.3 billion in infrastructure through the Saskatchewan Builds Capital Plan and the province’s Crown corporations, according to provincial budget documents.
Capital projects ranging from investments in power transmission and telecommunications networks, to highways, schools and hospitals are part of the largest single-year capital commitment in the province’s history.
“Saskatchewan continues to grow and that means a growing demand for infrastructure,” Finance Minister Ken Krawetz said. “This budget begins a $5.8 billion, four-year commitment through the Saskatchewan Builds Capital Plan to build schools, health care facilities, highways, municipal infrastructure and roads and bridges.”
In 2015-16, the Saskatchewan Builds Capital Plan commits $1.3 billion to core capital projects, an increase of almost 50 per cent over last year’s capital budget. In addition, Saskatchewan’s Crown corporations, including SaskPower, SaskTel and SaskEnergy are projected to spend $2.0 billion on capital projects in 2015-16, matching the previous year’s budget for Crown infrastructure.
In 2015-16, the Saskatchewan Builds Capital Plan commits $581 million to transportation infrastructure projects, including $211 million for the next phase of the Regina Bypass, for which a P3 procurement evaluation is underway. A number of twinning, interchange and passing lane projects in 2015-16, include:
- $23 million for the twinning of Highway 16 east of Saskatoon to east of Clavet;
- $11.4 million for twinning Highway 7 from Saskatoon to Delisle;
- $7.6 million for twinning Highway 39 from Estevan to Bienfait;
- $1.2 million for twinning Highway 6 and 39 from Regina to Estevan;
- $7.5 million for the interchanges at Warman and Martensville;
- $5.8 million for passing lanes on Highway 7 from Delisle to Rosetown; and
- $1.0 million for passing lanes on Highway 5 from Saskatoon to Humboldt.
The 2015-16 Capital Plan includes $74.5 million for municipal infrastructure, and $248.5 million is committed to K-12 schools and education, including $157.4 million to start the construction of nine joint use schools in Martensville, Regina, Saskatoon and Warman, which are also being evaluated as P3 projects.
In 2015-16, $46.6 million will be transferred to post-secondary education institutions for capital initiatives including $23.6 million in maintenance capital, and the balance for continued construction of the Southeast Regional College, Academic Health Sciences Facility at the University of Saskatchewan, and the Parkland Regional College Trades and Technology Centre.
The 2015-16 Capital Plan also includes $256.4 million in health care capital commitments including $129 million to begin site preparation and construction of the Saskatchewan Hospital North Battleford-Integrated Correctional Facility, a potential P3 project as well.
In addition, $64.9 million is being provided for construction of the Swift Current Long-Term Care Facility, using a P3 procurement model. Commitments also continue for Moose Jaw Hospital construction, the Kelvington Integrated Care Facility, and construction will begin on the Leader Integrated Care Facility. In addition, initial planning will start for an acute care facility in Weyburn.
The Capital Plan includes $102 million for major capital projects in support of government programs, including the Parks Capital program, new court and corrections facilities and investments in the province’s forest firefighting capacity.
“As well, we believe that continuing major capital construction projects this year will have a positive impact on the economy, creating jobs and sending a strong signal that Saskatchewan is confident and we will weather the downturn in the oil sector,” Krawetz said. “We chose to continue building Saskatchewan.”
The balance of the 2015-16 Capital Plan will be financed through a combination of public private partnerships (P3s), funding from the federal government through initiatives like the Gas Tax fund and the New Building Canada program, contributions from operations, as well as $106 million from the proceeds of the 2013 sale of Information Services Corporation.
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