FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Highways & Infrastructure remains well funded among provincial budget slashes
Regina, Saskatchewan – The Saskatchewan government has once again highlighted the importance of goods movement and the key role that trucking plays in the Saskatchewan economy with today’s budget announcement, which featured a 1.1 billion dollar Highways and Infrastructure budget.
The announcement comes as a sign of relief as the province holds its breath in the face of economic downturn and financial struggle. “The Saskatchewan Party has always made it very clear that highways are of key importance to our economy; we cannot be a land locked exporter without trucking. Without the proper roadways infrastructure for trucks to travel on, Saskatchewan risks losing its competitive edge on many of its exports. The government fully understands this and makes it possible for trucks to operate and keep our economy moving” said Susan Ewart, Executive Director of the Saskatchewan Trucking Association.
Included in the budget is much needed infrastructure including the Regina Bypass, a $53 million investment in Northern Saskatchewan Infrastructure and 342.9 million dollars in capital investments. Unfortunately, the alternative truck route agreement funding was decreased 500 thousand dollars, risking increased damage to rural roadways in the province. Weight restrictions due to the quality of rural highways are a thorn in the side of the trucking industry; producers and trucking both want to move goods to market as efficiently as possible but decreased spending on rural roadways make that more difficult.
The Ministry of Highways and Infrastructure is making good on the Saskatchewan Party’s promise to continue to invest in roadways and infrastructure to keep the Saskatchewan economy moving. Considering the current financial state of the province, this Ministry managed to hold its own and prove its worth by delivering a relatively high budget. With the Regina Bypass 40% complete, Saskatchewan is in increasingly good shape in the roadways department.
Changes that will effect the trucking industry are a 1% increase in PST and the introduction of PST on insurance premiums. (An insurance premium is the amount of money that an individual or business must pay for an insurance policy. The insurance premium is considered income by the insurance company once it is earned, and also represents a liability in that the insurer must provide coverage for claims being made against the policy.) If any STA Members have questions about how this will affect their business, please contact HAL Insurance at (306) 569-2150 or firstname.lastname@example.org
The trucking industry, while pleased with the budget, will continue to push for changes to weights and dimensions, red tape reduction and innovative methods to keep the economy moving. The goals of the industry and the needs of its customers are very closely aligned and share a similar vision: moving Saskatchewan goods in a safe, cost effective and productive manner.
- Nicole Sinclair, Policy Analyst