Farm Groups Generally Pleased With Saskatchewan Budget

Apr 09, 2021

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The Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan is not surprised by the Province's deficit.
 
President Todd Lewis says we've seen a major shock to the economy with COVID-19 and when you don't cut spending, revenues are down and taxes haven't been raised,  the government was in a difficult spot but feels most people are satisfied.
 
"I think overall, the ag budget has remained constant that's the good news part of it. We see continued long-term predictable funding on the research side of things. Saskatchewan really, in a lot of ways leads the country, the province here as far as agricultural research, you know, based on a lot of the University of Saskatchewan but other sites as well around the province. The provincial government has been a big part of supporting that over the years, and it really has been an investment that's paid great dividends."
 
The Provincial Budget yesterday earmarked some additional funding for highways and roads, $520.1 million for investments into capital projects on some key corridors, and $33.1 million in transfers related to municipal infrastructure.
 
SARM president Ray Orb says a portion of that money will go to the Rural Integrated Roads for Growth Program.
 
"With that, we'll be able to build, we're estimating at least 100 RM roads, 100 bridges over the next four years. So, that's some of the stimulus funding that we've received, we're quite pleased about that as well. You know, we still have our clearing the paths, roads our corridors, you know, the funding that goes with that. So, I think that would be really money well spent in today's economy."
 
The Western Canadian Wheat Growers Chair Darryl Fransoo says he's pleased to see the government's commitment to fund some key areas for agriculture.
 
"Research is so important when it comes to agriculture and I think that's the best return on investment that the government gets. So we're glad to see that they're maintaining or increasing those levels a little bit, even during pandemic times where the budget is a little squirrely."
 
He notes the budget provides the appropriate levels of support for the agriculture industry, especially during a pandemic.
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