Building up: Investing in Saskatchewan’s infrastructure

Peter Masełkowski - Unsplash

As Saskatchewan enters a new phase of economic growth, there has been a renewed focus on infrastructure investment to meet the needs of the province now and in the future.

On March 22, 2023, the Government of Saskatchewan released its 2023-24 provincial budget, allocating $3.7 billion for capital projects from Executive government and the province’s Crown corporations. According to the Province, this investment is the biggest in Saskatchewan’s history.

“Our Government is proud to support a better quality of life for Saskatchewan people and attract investment to the province through infrastructure commitments in the budget,” SaskBuilds and Procurement Minister Lori Carr said. “This funding creates opportunities for industry and improves access to public services, supporting growth that works for everyone.”

The investments include:

  • $204.5 million for major capital projects including the redevelopment of Prince Albert Victoria Hospital, replacing Weyburn General Hospital, and the ongoing construction of urgent care centres in Saskatoon and Regina;
  • $115.7 million for ongoing capital projects in education, including 15 new schools and renovations to five existing schools;
  • $4.4 million for planning on five new education projects including a new Francophone elementary school in Saskatoon, replacing schools for K-12 students in Carlyle and Prince Albert, and renovations to Greenall High School in Balgonie and Regina’s Campbell Collegiate;
  • $422.3 million for provincial highway improvements, including passing lanes and bridge repairs;
  • $97.4 million for courts and correctional facilities, including the Remand Centre and Urban Camp Project at the Saskatoon Correctional Centre;
  • $12.3 million for projects at various provincial parks;
  • $1.2 billion for SaskPower’s ongoing construction of the Great Plains Power Station at Moose Jaw; and
  • $412.7 million through SaskTel for continued deployment of fibre internet to rural Saskatchewan and rollout of the Crown’s 5G wireless network.

“The Ministry of SaskBuilds and Procurement is pleased to support this important work to deliver infrastructure in the province,” Ministry of SaskBuilds and Procurement Deputy Minister Kyle Toffan said. “Our team leads capital planning and infrastructure design and delivery to help achieve Saskatchewan’s Growth Plan target of investing $30 billion in infrastructure by 2030.”

The investments in the 2023-24 provincial budget are on top of recent joint funding from the Government of Canada through Infrastructure Canada. In January, the federal and provincial governments announced $19.7 million in joint funding for 25 infrastructure projects across the province including a new Land-based Learning Centre at First Nations University, bridge replacements in several rural municipalities, and improvements to leisure and event facilities in Estevan and Kindersley. March 2023 saw another $2.6 million in joint funding from the federal government and City of Saskatoon for new pedestrian and cycling infrastructure in Saskatoon.