(31 August 2011)
Repairing Damaged Infrastructure
This spring’s record moisture levels led to significant flooding throughout the province, and our government was prepared to meet this challenge. When Saskatchewan’s highways were hard hit by spring runoff and flooding, we were able to move swiftly to invest $20 million to help repair damages caused by flooding and extremely wet conditions. We are now investing an additional $46 million that will go towards repairing bridges and culverts, fixing landslides, rebuilding washed-out and eroded highways and fix surface failures.
Our government, along with the Saskatchewan Watershed Authority, began planning and preparing last year, as we knew full well the potential for flooding and water damage that would occur on our roads and highways this year. Just as we anticipated, the damage is significant – more than 120 sections of highway have been closed at some point this year, and our government has identified about 400 repair projects. For the past several months, our crews and contractors have been working hard to make repairs and keep our highways open. However, our government realizes that many roads are still in bad shape, which is why we invested the additional $66 million on top of the $556.2 million investment in Saskatchewan highways in the 2011-12 budget. More repair work will continue in the months ahead to ensure that our highway system can continue to contribute to the prosperity of our communities and economy, but, more importantly, to ensure your family is safe on our roads.
As Saskatchewan continues to enjoy growth and prosperity, challenges remain, especially in housing. Our government understands that we need to take action to ensure that affordable housing is accessible to all people. Through a partnership with the federal government, we are able to invest a total of $132 million to support local housing initiatives for low income people, families and seniors. Some of those initiatives include a new senior’s housing complex that was recently announced for both Yorkton and Prince Albert. These projects, and others across the province, are part of the Saskatchewan Advantage.
Since November 2007, we have invested over $80 million in 800 new affordable housing units across the province. In March, our government announced a plan to invest $252 million to help add 4,600 new homeowner and rental units in Saskatchewan over the next five years. In April, we announced a $6 million action fund aimed specifically at funding initiatives outside the parameters of our existing programs. Plus, our recently released eight-year Housing Strategy for Saskatchewan puts forth an action plan to move forward with Saskatchewan housing stakeholders under five strategic directions: increase housing supply, improve housing affordability, support individuals and families in the greatest housing need, enhance strategic planning for housing and collaborate, communicate and educate. More importantly, we will continue working in the months and years ahead to make sure that all Saskatchewan people have a home to call their own.
If you have a question about this Legislative Report or any other matter, just Contact Donna.
Past Legislative Reports