The 2006-07 Budget forecast 2.5 per
cent real GDP growth for the province in 2006 based on several key assumptions, including
continued global economic strength as well as high non-renewable resource and commodity
Saskatchewan’s economy is on a
positive growth track. The mid-year forecast is for 2.2 per cent real GDP growth, down
slightly from the 2006-07 Budget forecast due primarily to lower-than-expected sales of
potash in the first half of the year and a smaller-than-expected harvest.
The U.S., China and Japan remain the
primary export markets for Saskatchewan. The U.S. alone consumes over one-third of the
province’s total exports.
With the U.S. housing market cooling,
the U.S. economy is expected to move towards a slower rate of growth this year. U.S. real
GDP growth softened from a 5.6 per cent annual rate in the first quarter of this year to
2.6 per cent in the second quarter and then 1.6 per cent in the third quarter. The 2006-07
Budget had anticipated U.S. real GDP to grow by 3.5 per cent in 2006 and then 2.9 per cent
in 2007. U.S. real GDP is now forecast to grow by a more modest 3.3 per cent in 2006 and
2.4 per cent in 2007.
China continues to experience high
growth rates. For 2006, real GDP is anticipated to grow 10.5 per cent. At the same time,
additions to production capacity have helped to keep inflation in China under 2.0 per
The outlook for Japan is perhaps less
optimistic. While its manufacturing sector remains buoyed by strong overseas demand,
reinforced by a highly competitive exchange rate, the Bank of Japan’s quarterly
consumer sentiment survey suggests that household spending growth will likely remain
subdued in the months ahead. Overall, Japan’s real GDP growth is expected to be 2.6
per cent in 2006 and 2.1 per cent in 2007.
The 2006-07 Budget had assumed
Canadian real GDP growth of 2.9 per cent in 2006 and 2.6 per cent in 2007. Supported by
broad-based strength in domestic demand and resource-related activity, the Canadian
economy advanced at a healthy rate of 3.6 per cent in the first quarter of 2006. Real GDP
growth cooled to a 2.0 per cent annual rate in the second quarter as exports and
residential construction fell. Other parts of the economy, however, remained strong in the
second quarter with consumer spending, government spending and non-residential
construction posting considerable gains. As a result, the forecast for Canadian real GDP
growth in 2006 and 2007 remains unchanged.
Report 2006-07/Budget Update
The Consumer Price Index (CPI) was
forecast to increase by 2.3 per cent this year. The CPI is now expected to increase by a
more modest 2.1 per cent due in part to falling prices of energy-related consumer goods.
Short-term interest rates averaged
4.0 per cent in the first nine months of the year, slightly higher than the 2006-07 Budget
forecast of 3.9 per cent. The Bank of Canada, however, has held constant one of its key
short-term rates, the overnight rate, in each of its last three rate announcements. As
such, short-term interest rates are currently projected to average 4.0 per cent in 2006.
Long-term interest rates have
averaged 5.5 per cent during the first nine months of 2006 and are projected to average
5.5 per cent throughout 2006 and 6.4 per cent in 2007.
The Canadian dollar averaged 88.7
cents US through September of 2006. The current economic forecast assumes that the
Canadian dollar will average 88.6 cents US this year and 90.0 cents US in 2007.
In the 2006-07 Budget, the price of
West Texas Intermediate (WTI) oil was expected to average US$60.00 per barrel in 2006 and
US$55.00 per barrel in 2007. Oil prices have ended up averaging a much higher US$68.22 per
barrel through September of this year. The current assumption is for the price of WTI oil
to average US$66.16 per barrel in 2006 and US$60.00 per barrel in 2007.
In the 2006-07 Budget, the price of
natural gas was forecast to average $6.99 per gigajoule (GJ) in 2006 and $6.87 per GJ in
2007. Natural gas prices have averaged just $6.35 per GJ throughout the first nine months
of 2006 due in part to moderate weather as well as above average storage levels in the
U.S. Prices are now expected to average $6.02 per GJ in 2006 and $6.00 per GJ in 2007.
Potash prices were expected to
average $280.22 per tonne in 2006 and $279.20 per tonne in 2007 in the 2006-07 Budget. The
price of potash is now expected to average $277.66 per tonne in 2006 and $283.83 per tonne
In the 2006-07 Budget, wheat prices
were expected to be $125.00 per tonne, on average, in 2006 and $152.60 in 2007. The
forecast for the price of barley was $73.70 per tonne in 2006 and $85.00 per tonne in
2007. Canola was projected to average $228.40 per tonne in 2006 and $237.30 per tonne in
Average crop prices obtained by this
province’s producers have strengthened lately as a result of an improved quality of
crop in the province and an expected shortfall in worldwide production, especially in
Australia. As an example, in terms of the quality of crop, 89 per cent of the 2006 spring
wheat crop is either No. 1 Canada Western (CW) or No. 2 CW, compared to just 43 per cent
As a result, the price of wheat is
now expected to be much higher in 2006, averaging $146.10 per tonne. Because global
production is expected to return to more normal levels in 2007, prices are expected to
decline to $127.75 per tonne, on average.
The mid-year forecast for the price
of barley is $88.00 per tonne in 2006 and $84.40 per tonne in 2007. Canola prices are
expected to reach $255.00 per tonne in 2006 and $260.00 per tonne in 2007.
Real GDP growth is expected to remain
solid at 2.2 per cent this year, slightly below the 2.5 per cent forecast provided in the
2006-07 Budget. Lower-than-expected sales of potash in the first half of the year and a
smaller-than-expected crop harvest in 2006 are the main contributing factors.
In 2007, real GDP growth is expected
to increase to 2.9 per cent as potash sales rebound, crop production improves and recent
fiscal policies provide stimulus. The level of real GDP is currently expected to be $35.3
billion in 2006 and $36.3 billion in 2007.
In the 2006-07 Budget, the level of
employment was anticipated to increase by 3,200 new jobs in 2006, while the unemployment
rate was expected to average 5.2 per cent. Through September of this year, total
employment in the province has increased by an average of 5,540 over the same period in
2005. Employment in Saskatchewan is currently expected to increase by 5,000 new jobs in
2006, while the unemployment rate is expected to drop to 5.0 per cent.
Sales of potash in the first eight
months of 2006 were down 32.5 per cent from the same period in 2005, due primarily to
stalled contract negotiations with China, Saskatchewan’s largest offshore market for
potash. Furthermore, 24.5 million tonnes of crop are now estimated for 2006, 6.8 per cent
lower than the 26.3 million tonnes assumed in the 2006-07 Budget and 20.2 per cent below
the 30.7 million tonnes recorded in 2005.
Other indicators for Saskatchewan
are, on balance, positive. Sales of crude oil increased by 29.6 per cent, for example, in
the first six months of 2006 due to higher prices. In addition, the number of new oil
wells drilled in the first nine months of the year was 1,626, up 272 or 20.1 per cent from
last year’s level of 1,354.
In the first six months of 2006, the
level of production of natural gas was 2.2 per cent higher than in the same period in
2005, while the value of sales increased 0.9 per cent. The total number of new gas wells
drilled in the first nine months of 2006, however, was 1,112, down 212 or 16.0 per cent
from last year’s level of 1,324, due to fewer economic in-fill wells being drilled
and lower natural gas prices.
The total value of manufacturing
shipments in the first eight months of 2006 was up 9.2 per cent from the same period last
year, while international exports were up 11.1 per cent. In addition, retail sales in the
first eight months of the year were up 6.0 per cent from the same period last year.
Provincial construction activities
remain robust. The value of building permits in the first eight months of the year was up
25.5 per cent from the same period last year. As well, total housing starts in the
province increased by 4.8 per cent in the first nine months of 2006 over the same period
At the time the 2006-07 Budget was
released, private sector forecasters, on average, expected Saskatchewan’s real GDP to
grow by 3.1 per cent in 2006. The Royal Bank of Canada was forecasting the highest rate of
growth at 3.9 per cent while the Conference Board of Canada was forecasting the lowest at
2.4 per cent.
Private sector forecasters are
currently forecasting, on average, 2.9 per cent real GDP growth for Saskatchewan in 2006.
The Royal Bank of Canada continues to forecast the highest rate of growth at 3.8 per cent,
while the Conference Board of Canada is currently forecasting more modest growth of 1.6
At the time of the 2006-07 Budget,
private sector forecasters, on average, ranked Saskatchewan fourth (among all Canadian
provinces) in terms of real GDP growth in 2006. Private sector forecasters expected
Newfoundland and Labrador to have the highest rate of growth at 5.8 per cent followed by
Alberta at 4.9 per cent.
These same forecasters now see
Alberta as having the strongest growth among all provinces in 2006 at 6.2 per cent,
followed by Newfoundland and Labrador at 4.6 per cent.
Private sector forecasters rank
Saskatchewan’s growth at fifth highest at 2.9 per cent, which is equal to the
The 2006-07 Mid-Year Report forecasts
Saskatchewan’s real GDP to increase by 2.2 per cent in 2006. Various economic
indicators support this view.
With any forecast, however, there are
risks that cannot be predicted which produce uncertainties surrounding the forecast. For
example, a further U.S. slowdown, unforeseen significant changes in energy prices and/or
dramatic movements in the value of the Canadian dollar could all have some measurable
impact on GDP growth but are not reflected in the current forecast.
The 2006-07 Budget estimated a
General Revenue Fund (GRF) surplus of $101.9 million.
is up $402.3 million or 5.2 per cent from budget (up $329.4 million from 1st quarter);
expense is up $324.7 million or 4.5 per cent from budget (up $212.4 million from 1st
costs are down $10.0 million from budget and 1st quarter;
current forecast does not require a transfer from the Fiscal Stabilization Fund (FSF) to
achieve a GRF balance, whereas the budget (and the 1st quarter forecast) relied on a
$75.0 million transfer; and,
Saskatchewan Infrastructure Fund (SIF) is established.
GRF surplus is projected to be $34.5 million.
is down $154.5 million from budget (down $109.0 million from 1st quarter), reflecting:
$125.6 million increase in Government debt from budget (a $67.2 million increase from 1st
$280.1 million reduction in Crown corporation debt from budget (a $176.2 million
reduction from 1st quarter).
On a summary
statement basis, the current deficit forecast of $143.5 million represents a $30.6
million deterioration from the budgeted deficit of $112.9 million.
The mid-year revenue forecast
incorporates the PST rate reduction effective October 28, 2006, as well as all other tax
measures announced since the 2006-07 Budget. Total GRF revenue is projected to be $402.3
million higher than the budget estimate, with own-source revenue accounting for $321.4
million (80 per cent) of the increase.
Tax revenue, prior to the recently
announced tax policy changes, is projected to be up $308.9 million compared to the budget
estimate. However, tax policy changes are expected to reduce tax revenue by an estimated
$137.0 million in the current fiscal year, resulting in an overall $171.9 million
improvement since budget. This increase is comprised of:
$180.0 million increase in Corporation and Individual Income Tax revenue. The increase
primarily reflects stronger-than-anticipated initial assessment data for the 2005
tax year, and revised growth forecasts for taxable income and the corporate tax base
in 2006 and 2007. Individual Income Tax is forecast to be up $144.7 million and
Corporation Income Tax is forecast to be up $35.3 million;
$47.9 million increase in Corporation Capital Tax revenue due to continuing high prices
for non-renewable resources and overall strength in the value of resource sales;
$19.9 million increase in Tobacco tax revenue, primarily due to one-time payments and
increased tobacco tax rates; and,
$75.9 million decrease in Sales Tax revenue reflecting the PST rate reduction effective
October 28, 2006. Prior to the rate cut, Sales Tax revenue is forecast to be $60.2
million higher than the budget estimate due to strong economic activity across all
sectors. This increase is offset by a $136.1 million reduction in PST revenue due to the
PST rate cut.
Total Forecast Changes (before tax policy changes)
Tax Policy Changes (2006-07 impacts)
PST Rate Reduction
Net Impact of Other Changes
Total Impact of Tax Policy Changes
Total Change (including tax policy measures)
Mid-Year Tax Revenue Projection
Non-renewable resource revenue is
projected to be $101.0 million higher than the budget estimate due to:
$198.8 million increase in oil revenue, primarily due to higher prices. The current
average fiscal-year WTI price per barrel forecast is US$65.29, up from the budget
estimate of US$58.75. The higher price forecast is partially offset by a higher
exchange rate and a lower production assumption. See Appendix 1 for more detail;
$79.7 million decrease in potash revenue reflecting lower-than-anticipated sales and
$13.7 million decrease in natural gas revenue, primarily due to lower prices. The
average fiscal-year price for natural gas has fallen from $6.86/GJ at budget to the
current forecast of $5.61/GJ; and,
$4.4 million decrease in other non-renewable resource revenue.
revenue (including transfers from Crown Entities) is projected to be $48.5 million higher
than the budget estimate due to:
$24.0 million increase in interest, premium, discount and exchange reflecting
higher-than-expected interest income on available working capital;
$12.4 million increase in SLGA net income, primarily due to higher forecast SIGA net
$7.0 million increase in the CIC dividend to help fund the construction of a natural gas
pipeline to La Ronge and Weyakwin; and,
$5.1 million net increase in other miscellaneous own-source revenue.
are projected to be $80.9 million higher than the budget estimate due to:
$93.2 million increase in other federal transfers, largely due to the receipt of
unbudgeted Bill C-48 funding;
$12.7 million Equalization payment that was not anticipated at budget. The entitlement is
based on revised federal calculations under the Interim Agreement and results in an
equivalent reduction in the Canada Health Transfer (CHT) and Canada Social Transfer
$25.0 million decrease in CHT and CST payments due to the link between Equalization, CHT
and CST, as well as changes in the value of tax points.
operating expense is projected to be $324.7 million above budget. The majority of the
change is in the following areas.
Education and Employment is up $71.5 million from budget. The increase is primarily due
to funding provided by the federal government from the Post-Secondary Education
Infrastructure Trust (Bill C-48), funding for labour market initiatives and
maintenance capital funding for universities and federated colleges.
and Food is up $66.6 million from budget, primarily due to fully funding the 2006
Canadian Agricultural Income Stabilization Program and the new Unseeded Acreage
Payment program. The increase is partially offset by a reduction in crop insurance
Resources is up $48.9 million from budget, primarily due to funding provided by the
federal government from the Affordable Housing Trust and the Off-Reserve Aboriginal
Housing Trust (Bill C-48).
is up $30.4 million from budget. The increase is primarily due to the health sector
recruitment and retention initiatives, the joint job evaluation project,
higher-than-anticipated utilization in out-of-province medical services and cost
increases in the Saskatchewan Prescription Drug Plan.
and Transportation is up $22.6 million from budget. The increase is primarily due to
repairing flood and moisture-related damage to the provincial highway system, winter
construction and planning work, and funding for First Nations access roads.
is up $22.2 million from budget, primarily related to funding K-12 capital project
commitments and capital construction inflation.
Youth and Recreation is up $22.1 million from budget. The increase is primarily to begin
funding the Building Communities program to provide for new construction,
sustainable development and rehabilitation of recreational, cultural, social and
is up $15.1 million from budget, primarily to expense the cost of the downed plane and to
provide for green initiatives.
Government Relations is up $14.0
million from budget. The increase is primarily a result of additional funds provided
by the federal government for the Public Transit Program (Bill C-48), partially offset by
savings due to delays in construction in other infrastructure programs.
and Public Safety is up $13.5 million from budget. The increase is primarily due to an
increase in eligible claims in the Provincial Disaster Assistance Program in 2005-06
and 2006-07, as well as the use of contingency bed space to meet higher inmate
counts in adult corrections.
Nations and Métis Relations is up $11.5 million from budget. The increase is largely due
to higher-than-anticipated payments to the First Nations Trust and Community
Development Corporations based on higher SIGA net income in 2005-06 and an increase
in the 2006-07 net income forecast.
is a new $7.0 million grant for SaskEnergy to provide assistance in the delivery of
natural gas to La Ronge and Weyakwin.
is up $2.4 million from budget, primarily related to increased RCMP expenses and the
are partially offset by savings primarily in the following areas.
and Resources is down $19.5 million from budget, primarily due to the cancellation of the
Maple Leaf Foods agreement and delays in ethanol production.
Pensions and Benefits is down $2.9 million from budget, primarily due to
lower-than-anticipated requirements for the provincial contribution to the Teachers’
Extended Health Plan.
The GRF borrows for government and
Public debt as reported in the
Province’s financial statements is comprised of:
Debt - the amount of money owed to lenders; less
Funds - the amount of money which has been set aside for the repayment of debt.
or public debt plus guaranteed debt, is used by most members of the financial community
when analyzing creditworthiness.
Debt - the debt of Crown corporations and others that the Province has promised to repay
if they are unable to do so.
Total debt is used in this Report. As
shown below, the total debt of the GRF at March 31, 2007 is currently projected to be
$154.5 million less than estimated in the Budget.
Crown corporations are responsible
for the principal and interest payments on their debt. Crown corporation debt is incurred
in the normal course of business, primarily for investment in infrastructure and business
development initiatives which provide revenue streams to service the debt. Crown
corporation debt is forecast to be $280.1 million lower than estimated in the Budget.
Government debt at March 31, 2007 is
currently forecast to be $125.6 million higher than estimated in the Budget. This increase
is primarily due to a smaller surplus and cash required to fund the Fiscal Stabilization
Fund, partially offset by a decrease in cash on hand.
The Province borrows through the sale
of securities in capital markets and through the sale of savings bonds to Saskatchewan
The Province’s 2006-07 borrowing
requirements are projected to be $1,472.4 million, $20.1 million lower than estimated in
the Budget due to lower requirements for Crown corporations partially offset by increased
requirements for government purposes ($188.7 million).
GRF total debt includes all debt
borrowed or guaranteed by the GRF for either government purposes or the purposes of
certain Crown corporations. Some Crown corporations and other organizations have
obligations to other entities, either by borrowing directly or by guaranteeing the debt of
others. The GRF is not responsible for this other debt.
The Summary Statement of Debt on page
28 calculates the total debt of government entities by listing both GRF debt and other
The Mid-Year Report includes an oil
revenue estimate that is $198.8 million, or 20.1 per cent, higher than the estimate in the
Budget. The most sensitive factor affecting the province’s crude oil revenue is the
price received for the crude oil produced in Saskatchewan. This price is impacted by
numerous factors that continuously change and are somewhat interrelated. The following is
an explanation of the significant factors that impact the oil price.
West Texas Intermediate (WTI) oil is
a high quality light sweet (low density and sulphur content) crude. The price of WTI oil
is the most commonly referenced oil price in North America and is generally quoted at
Cushing, Oklahoma, in United States dollars (US$) per barrel. The comparable price for the
same crude in Saskatchewan would be substantially different due to exchange rates and
Since at least 95 per cent of
Saskatchewan’s crude oil is significantly lower in quality than WTI oil, the average
price of Saskatchewan’s crude oil is lower than the WTI oil price. In the Mid-Year
Report, the WTI price is estimated to be US$65.29 per barrel on average for the fiscal
year; whereas, the average price of crude oil in Saskatchewan is estimated to be C$49.06
Compared to the Budget, the WTI price
in the Mid-Year Report is estimated to be US$6.54 per barrel higher while the average
price of crude oil in Saskatchewan is estimated to be only C$5.61 per barrel higher.
Typically, if the WTI price increases
by US$1 per barrel, the price of heavy crude oil increases approximately US$0.65 per
barrel. With the change in heavy oil accounted for, an incremental US$1 per barrel change
in the WTI price results in about C$21 million in incremental GRF oil revenue.
Since the price of
Saskatchewan’s crude oil is determined based on prices in the United States, the
exchange rate is an important factor in determining the price of oil produced in
Saskatchewan. The exchange rate assumed in the Mid-Year Report is 0.8945 $US/$C, which is
0.0252 $US/$C higher than the rate assumed in the Budget.
Assuming none of the other relevant
factors change over a one-year period, an incremental $0.01 change in the $US/$C exchange
rate over the same period will result in a current estimated C$16 million change to the
GRF oil revenue. The higher the exchange rate, the lower the price of oil produced in
As noted earlier, approximately 95
per cent of Saskatchewan’s crude oil is lower in quality than the WTI light sweet
crude oil. Lower quality crude oil is less attractive to refiners and therefore attracts
Currently, over 50 per cent of
Saskatchewan’s crude oil is heavy sour crude oil.
In order for this crude to be
transported by pipeline, the crude needs to be blended with lighter liquid hydrocarbons
(often referred to as condensate). Based on supply/demand conditions, the price
differential between the blended heavy oil and light oil continuously changes. The
Mid-Year Report assumes an average yearly differential of US$20.47 per barrel at Chicago
compared to US$20.56 per barrel in the Budget.
Assuming no other relevant factors
change over a one-year period, an incremental US$1 per barrel change in the price
differential between WTI and blended heavy oil at Chicago over the same period will result
in a current estimated C$23 million change to provincial GRF oil revenue. A higher price
differential translates into lower heavy oil prices.
In Saskatchewan, condensate is
blended with heavy oil in order to lower the viscosity of the heavy oil for pipeline
transporting purposes. As the overall production of heavy oil increases in western Canada,
the demand for condensate also increases.
The Mid-Year Report assumes a higher
price for the condensate than used in the Budget. Since the blended heavy oil price is
determined by the refineries, the higher condensate price has the effect of devaluing the
price of heavy crude oil.
Assuming none of the other relevant
factors change over a one-year period, an incremental US$1 per barrel change in the
condensate price over the same period will result in a current estimated C$4 million
change to the GRF oil revenue. A higher condensate price translates into lower heavy oil
In addition to the factors listed
above which can dramatically fluctuate, the following other factors also impact oil
revenue estimates in Saskatchewan.
on the level of drilling occurring throughout the province, the mixture of light, medium
and heavy oil in the province changes as does the mixture of Crown oil (oil produced
from lands in which the province owns the mineral rights) and freehold oil (oil
produced from lands in which individuals, companies or the Government of Canada own the
mineral rights). The level of provincial take is dependent on the quality of the oil
and the mineral ownership of the oil.
on the natural productivity decline of wells, the development of new enhanced oil
recovery projects, and the maintenance schedule of wells, the overall production of
oil from existing wells in the province changes.
pipeline equalization formulas and tariffs that affect the cost of transporting oil
change from time to time.
While the WTI benchmark price is a
useful indicator of overall trends, it is not the price actually received by Saskatchewan
producers and it cannot be translated into government revenue on a consistent, one-to-one
Historically, the WTI benchmark price
and Saskatchewan oil revenue have generally moved in the same direction, but not always by
the same proportion.
Appendix 2 – Funding the Fiscal
The Fiscal Stabilization Fund (FSF)
was created in 2000-01 to:
the Province’s year-to-year fiscal position; and,
the accomplishment of long-term objectives.
The establishment of the FSF was
initially accomplished by transferring the retained earnings of the Saskatchewan Liquor
and Gaming Authority into the General Revenue Fund (GRF). At that time, primarily because
of capital market interest rates, a decision was made to use the FSF assets to reduce
general government purpose debt rather than to establish a funded FSF holding marketable
It was understood that, all else
being equal, as commitments were financed out of the FSF, GRF debt would increase.
Therefore, all else being equal, as an unfunded FSF was drawn down, GRF debt would rise
until the FSF was fully utilized.
Since 2000-01, a number of events
have occurred which have resulted in the FSF balance increasing rather than being
eliminated. These events include higher resource revenues and federal government
“one-time” payments to the provinces. These higher-than-forecast revenues have
also increased the Province’s cash on hand.
Therefore, as a result, at March 31,2006, the GRF cash balance was approximately $1.027 billion. As a result of these factors,
the GRF cash balance will fund, together with an increase in government debt of $81.2
million, the FSF and all other GRF cash requirements in 2006-07. Government debt is
forecast to increase from $7,242.4 million at March 31, 2006 to $7,323.6 million at March31, 2007. The FSF balance is forecast to be $887.5 million at March 31, 2007.
The absolute and historically low
level of Government of Canada interest rates and provincial credit spreads influenced the
decision to fund the FSF. Approximately $1.1 billion of government debt is maturing in
2006-07 with a weighted average cost of funds of approximately 5.75 per cent. The current
interest rate environment permits the Province to refinance the maturing debt at longer
term rates lower than the cost of the maturing debt.
The current interest rate and credit
curve is unusual with an inverted yield curve between the Government of Canada overnight
rate and the 10-year Government of Canada bond yield. For example, at the present time,
there are approximately 20 basis points between the overnight rate and the Province’s
10-year cost of financing. Over the near term, however, if the yield and credit curves
normalize and Canadian and term interest rates rise, borrowing to fund future FSF
drawdowns could increase debt servicing costs.
Report 2006-07/Budget Update
The funded FSF will:
transparent with assets invested to match the anticipated drawdowns;
government debt refinancing at historically low interest rates; and,
for additional assets to be invested if increased revenue occurs in the future.
FSF will also help stabilize government debt at the March 31, 2007 level. In the absence
of budgetary deficits, government debt will primarily increase over a period of time by
the amount of own-source capital expenses to the extent that they exceed annual
Appendix 3 – Saskatchewan Infrastructure Fund
Report introduces a new funding arrangement for building and improving infrastructure in
Saskatchewan communities - The Saskatchewan Infrastructure Fund.
will be established in 2006-07 with an initial injection of $100 million from the General
Revenue Fund (GRF). The Fund will then provide resources through the GRF to support the
provision of public infrastructure in Saskatchewan over the next number of years.
$100 million will be used over the next three years to fulfill infrastructure commitments
under the Building Communities program which will address cultural and recreational needs
of Saskatchewan. The Building Communities program was announced in the 2005 Speech From
Communities program will provide capital funding to various cultural and recreational
facilities across the province including museums, art galleries and sports complexes. The
Department of Culture, Youth and Recreation will be announcing the eligibility criteria
and funding arrangements for the program in the near future.
Infrastructure Fund may receive further financial injections at a later date as
additional resources become available.
The Government of Saskatchewan
introduced several tax reduction initiatives during the 2006-07 fall Legislative Session
to allow provincial residents and businesses to directly benefit from the economic
prosperity that the province is currently experiencing. This paper provides additional
information on these tax changes, as announced by the Minister of Finance during the
Session. As this paper only summarizes these tax initiatives, the reader is advised to
contact Saskatchewan Finance (at 1-866-862-6246) or consult the amending legislation for
more precise information.
Effective after October 27, 2006, the
Government lowered the rate of the Provincial Sales Tax (PST) from seven per cent to five
per cent, the lowest PST rate since 1987.
The reduction in the PST rate
significantly lowers the level of taxation for Saskatchewan families and businesses,
providing annual tax savings of about $325 million. An average family earning $50,000 per
year will see annual PST savings of $307.
For consumers, the sales tax rate
reduction, in combination with the extensive list of family essentials which continue to
be exempt from the PST (such as prescription drugs, children’s clothing, reading
materials, residential electricity and natural gas), means that Saskatchewan families now
pay a lower amount of sales tax, on an annual basis, than residents of any other province
with a sales tax.
For businesses, the reduction in the
PST rate improves the competitiveness of the provincial tax system and lowers the cost of
business investment and operation in the province. This initiative supplements the major
business tax reforms that were announced in the 2006-07 Budget, including the elimination
of the general Corporation Capital Tax and the significant reduction of the general
Corporation Income Tax rate.
The PST rate reduction also improves
the retail competitiveness of communities located near our provincial borders by reducing
the incentive for Saskatchewan residents to cross-border shop.
The Government’s PST initiative
also reduces, by almost 30 per cent, the sales taxes that municipalities, public
institutions (hospitals, universities and schools) and other community-based organizations
pay on their capital and operating expenses. This tax savings will now be available for
investment in improving public services.
Since the PST applies to tobacco
products, the reduction in the PST rate from seven per cent to five per cent would result
in a decline in the price consumers pay for tobacco products if no other action was taken.
In order to offset the effect of the
PST reduction on the price of tobacco products paid by consumers, effective after October27, 2006, the Tobacco Tax increased from 17.5¢ to 18.3¢ per cigarette or tobacco
stick or gram of cut tobacco. This is equivalent to an increase of 20¢ per package of
25 cigarettes. The tax rate on cigars remained unchanged at 95 per cent of the retail
selling price, to a maximum of $2.50 per cigar.
INVESTMENT TAX CREDIT FOR
MANUFACTURING AND PROCESSING
In 1995, Saskatchewan introduced an
Investment Tax Credit (ITC) to encourage plant and equipment acquisitions for
manufacturing and processing (M&P) activities in Saskatchewan. The ITC is intended to
offset the PST payable on the acquisition of production assets in the M&P sector and
is available to all M&P corporations as a credit against their Saskatchewan corporate
As part of the business tax reforms
that were announced in the 2006-07 Budget, the ITC was converted into a refundable credit,
improving the timeliness of ITC benefits for companies that are in the initial years of
their development or that are expanding their operations.
In conjunction with the PST rate
reduction, the ITC rate was also reduced from seven per cent to five per cent for eligible
acquisitions made after October 27, 2006.
Effective for the 2006 taxation year,
the Government established an 11 per cent provincial dividend tax credit (DTC) rate for
dividends received from larger corporations (referred to as “eligible
Business income is subject to
taxation at the corporate income tax (CIT) level and again at the personal income tax
(PIT) level when that income is distributed to shareholders in the form of dividends. The
DTC mechanism is intended to recognize and offset the CIT paid at the corporate level so
that the business income is not subject to double-taxation and will ultimately be taxed at
similar overall rates as other forms of personal income.
However, the previous DTC mechanism
did not adequately offset the CIT paid by large corporations, resulting in the
over-taxation of this income relative to other forms of income. The introduction of a
separate 11 per cent DTC rate for eligible dividends addresses this situation.
To improve Saskatchewan’s tax
competitiveness for small businesses, the Government is reducing the small business CIT
rate from five per cent to 4.5 per cent, effective January 1, 2007. In addition, the
Government is also lowering, effective for the 2007 taxation year, the DTC for small
business dividends from the current eight per cent to six per cent, in recognition of
Saskatchewan’s lower small business tax rate.
The Minister of Finance announced an
indexation factor of 2.2 per cent to be applied to the Saskatchewan personal income tax
system for the 2007 taxation year. This indexation factor fully indexes the 2007
Saskatchewan personal income tax system to inflation and matches the national CPI rate.
Fully indexing the income tax system in 2007 demonstrates the Government’s continuing
commitment to fair taxation.
Since re-introducing indexation in
2004, the Government has fully indexed the provincial income tax system to the national
rate of inflation.
Indexation protects taxpayers from
“bracket creep,” or automatic increases in tax caused by inflation. Indexation
preserves the real value of the personal tax credits and the income tax brackets, since
these also rise with inflation. Indexation therefore provides the most benefit to
taxpayers who are on fixed incomes, such as pensioners.
The following table illustrates the
reduction in provincial income tax payable for pensioners on fixed incomes, as a result of
the 2.2 per cent indexation factor.
As part of an ongoing system of
planning, measuring and reporting, departments and agencies develop Performance Plans that
outline their goals, objectives and key actions for the year. The Plans contain
performance measures that track progress toward meeting their objectives. At mid-year,
departments are required to report on their progress towards implementing actions that are
designed to meet their objectives over time.
The Performance Plan Summary,
reported on at mid-year, is released with the budget and identifies the key initiatives
government plans to undertake to meet its priority objectives. The Performance Plan
Summary is one of the first steps in a system of increased accountability to the public.
The Summary provides an overview of the key priorities government is pursuing and
highlights some of the initiatives departments will undertake during the year to support
The Government articulated its vision
for the current year in the Fall 2005 Speech from the Throne:
Our Vision is that of a province where no one is left behind on the path to opportunity, a
province with an unbreakable social fabric, built on the foundation of diverse and growing
communities, in a green and prosperous economy.
The 2006-07 Budget reinforced
government’s commitment to its vision by focusing on three themes:
Green and Prosperous Economy - there can be no social progress without a strong economy;
and Growing Communities - supporting our communities and rural residents; and
Unbreakable Social Fabric: No One Left Behind - educating and retaining our youth and
ensuring no one is left behind on the road to economic prosperity.
This document provides a status
report on the progress made towards meeting the major commitments in the 2005 Throne
Speech, as well as those outlined in the Performance Plan Summary, released with the
Six months into the fiscal year, many
of the commitments have been met and a great many others are on track to be fulfilled
within the timeframes outlined.
More detailed reports on progress
towards these commitments will be available in the department and agency 2006-07 Annual
Reports which are released 120 days after the close of the fiscal year.
The 2006-07 Budget delivered on
government’s commitment to encourage economic growth and prosperity by lowering
business taxes. Lower taxes lead to a better business climate which encourages greater
capital investment and creates jobs. To support this growth, investments were made in the
province’s key economic sectors, in our infrastructure and in labour force
development to ensure that a greater number of people can be engaged in the growing
In the Budget, the Government
responded to the recommendations of the Saskatchewan Business Tax Review Committee and
announced immediate reforms to corporate and small business taxes. The tax reductions,
which continue through 2008, result in an immediate advantage for Saskatchewan business of
$95 million in 2006-07. There were a number of other initiatives designed to enhance the
Saskatchewan advantage as outlined below.
of the general Corporate Capital Tax (CCT), to be complete by July 2008. [Finance]
amendments were passed May 19, 2006, to phase down and then eliminate the general CCT.
The legislation schedules the changes as follows: from 0.6 per cent to 0.3 per
cent as of July 1, 2006, to 0.15 per cent as of July 1, 2007, and elimination of
the tax as of July 1, 2008.
of the general CCT on new capital investments in Saskatchewan beginning in July 2006.
the CCT Resource Surcharge rates beginning in July 2006. [Finance]
amendments were passed May 19, 2006, to phase down the general CCT Resource Surcharge
rate as follows: from 3.6 per cent to 3.3 per cent as of July 1, 2006, to 3.1
per cent as of July 1, 2007, and to 3.0 per cent as of July 1, 2008.
amendments were passed May 30, 2006, to phase down the CCT Resource Surcharge rate for
fourth tier oil as follows: from 2.0 per cent to 1.85 per cent as of July 1,2006, to 1.75 per cent as of July 1, 2007, and to 1.7 per cent as of July 1,2008.
the Corporate Income Tax (CIT) rate from 17 to 12 per cent by July 2008. [Finance]
the non-refundable Investment Tax Credit (ITC) for Manufacturing and Processing into a
refundable tax credit while extending the carry-forward for unused ITCs previously
earned to 10 years. [Finance]
amendments were passed on May 19, 2006, to extend the carry-forward period for previously
earned, unexpired ITCs to 10 years and to create a new refundable ITC.
a new Tool Tax Credit to recognize the high cost of tools required as a condition of
employment in a qualifying trade. [Finance]
amendments were passed on May 19, 2006, to permit the creation of a new Tool Tax Credit.
Finance is currently finalizing the drafting of regulations setting out the
eligibility criteria and determination of the new tax credit.
The 2006-07 Budget recognized the
strength provided by the province’s traditional economic sectors of oil and natural
gas, mining, forestry and agriculture. Continued investment in these areas provides the
economic stimulus to create jobs and to support greater enhancements to health and
increase of $322,000 (total of $725,000) was provided to enhance the capacity for timely
environmental reviews of mineral and oil and gas sector exploration activities,
supporting both environmental protection and economic development activity in
continue to be recruited in a number of locations in the province to assist with and
undertake environmental reviews of mineral, oil and gas exploration activities.
As of September 30, 3,695 proposals have been reviewed which more than doubles
the output of the previous year.
support to Tourism Saskatchewan and the Forestry Centre in Prince Albert. [SIR]
has met its 2006-07 commitment to provide $650,000 to the Forestry Centre and has
provided $4.87 million of its $7.892 million committed transfer payment to
of $3.5 million was provided to implement the Meat Processing Strategy to promote the
expansion of industry slaughter and processing capacity. [SAF]
June 9, 2005, the Government announced a three-year $37.3 million package of incentives
and investments to drive development of the meat processing sector. As of
mid-year, $1.1 million to support secondary processing capacity in the province,
$400,000 for the Food Center and $1.4 million under the Meat Processing Investment Rebate
Program has been provided.
An efficient transportation system
enables a growing economy to more readily meet market demands and allows for greater
competitiveness. Significant investments are being made in the province’s highways
and roads in 2006-07.
the Canada Strategic Infrastructure Fund (CSIF) cost share program, $49.4 million will be
invested to twin Highway 1 east and Highway 16 west, resulting in an additional 63
km of twinned highway. [DHT]
km of twinned highway have been opened, including 23 km on Highway 16 and 29 km on
Highway 1. Work on the remaining 11 km is progressing, but it is likely that it
will be carried over into 2007-08 due to high demand for contractors. The
Department estimates it will spend approximately $48.4 million in 2006-07.
the federal/provincial Prairie Grain Roads Program (PGRP), $11.3 million will be invested
in grading 14 km and upgrading 47 km of thin membrane surface (TMS) highways to a
paved standard. [DHT]
has been completed on 9 km with the full 14 km expected to be completed this year. The
Department expects to complete 43 km of the planned 47 km of TMS upgrading this
million will be spent to resurface 189 km on the principal highway network and 96 km on
the regional highway network. [DHT]
has been completed on 149 km of the principal highway network with an additional 8 km
expected to be completed by the end of the year. An addition of $9.9 million to
Highways and Transportation’s budget in July allowed the Department to complete
23 km more resurfacing on the principal system, however, approximately $6.3 million will
be carried over to 2007-08.
is complete on 58 km of the regional highway network at mid-year.
Innovation in green technologies and
environmental stewardship is a key focus for our province. Investments in research and new
technologies in the 2006-07 Budget allows Saskatchewan to continue to be a leader as it
grows a green economy.
in additional funding for the Weyburn CO2 Monitoring and Storage Project and $610,000 for
a vapor extraction project - an initiative to develop and demonstrate a promising
Enhanced Oil Recovery process for heavy oil reservoirs. [SIR]
Department is in the process of drafting the agreements for both initiatives. It is
expected that full funding will be achieved within this fiscal year.
$256,000 for additional research capacity with a focus on alternative/clean energies.
Saskatchewan Research Council has allocated the funding for two projects: bio-mass
distributed generation and farm vehicles operating on bio-fuels. SRC is actively
working with three communities to advance heat and power projects using wood
residue while two other projects are at preliminary stages. The funding was also used to
upgrade facilities and make modifications to ethanol-fuelled vehicles to improve
operation, calibration and testing.
results of our Green Strategy consultations will be built upon by expanding conservation
and recycling programs, and pursuing a more integrated approach to managing our
water resources. [Throne Speech - Env]
Province’s Green Strategy Framework is under development.
funding was provided to SARCAN to continue the province-wide beverage container
collection and recycling program.
funding was also provided to Saskatchewan Watershed Authority for various programs to
protect and manage water supplies.
an additional $12.8 million to the Ethanol Fuel Tax Rebate; bringing the budget to $17.7
million. This program provides an incentive to fuel distributors to increase the
amount of ethanol-blended fuel, a renewable energy source. [SIR]
delays have reduced the amounts granted thus far to fuel distributors to increase the
amount of ethanol-based fuels. SIR forecasts that about $12 million will be
granted by year-end as ethanol production increases.
the Great Sand Hills Regional Study will provide guidance on how best to integrate
environmental, social and economic objectives in the Great Sand Hills. [Env]
Scientific Advisory Committee was established to oversee the Great Sand Hills Regional
Environmental Study and report on its findings. The study is progressing as
planned with all baseline studies completed.
provincial government will work with industry and the federal government on technological
and economic studies aimed at power generation and a petroleum by-product production
proposed polygeneration facility has progressed to the phase of initial engineering and
feasibility studies which are expected to be completed in 2007.
Saskatchewan has a strong economy and
significant potential to lead the world, not only in our key economic sectors but in new
industries and burgeoning technologies. For Saskatchewan to continue to grow, we must make
others aware of our accomplishments and our potential. Efforts are being made to
communicate our strengths to new markets internationally and to increase investment here
an Asia-Pacific desk with a mandate to attract investments from East Asia and to
co-ordinate government, third party and private business activities in the region.
Asia-Pacific Desk is organizing the Mission to Beijing in November 2006 for the Minister
of Industry and Resources where Saskatchewan will act as one of the Vice Chairs
of the World Heavy Oil Conference, with Venezuela, Brazil, and other major oil
Asia-Pacific Desk continues to bring together expertise from the universities, private
businesses involved in East Asia, and government agencies so that Saskatchewan
has a more co-ordinated approach to business in the region.
Report 2006-07/Budget Update
renewed operating agreement has been established with the Saskatchewan Trade and Export
Partnership Inc. (STEP) which will ensure continued member support as well as seek
new opportunities for trade and investment. [SIR]
extended the operating agreement with STEP into 2009 and has provided $1.628 million of
its $2.791 million per annum funding commitment that allows STEP to reach new
markets and intensify its trade activities.
Saskatchewan’s economy is
booming and economies all around us are facing a looming labour shortage. It is
increasingly important to be competitive in what Saskatchewan offers its young people
– a great place to live, work and raise a family – but often the opportunity for
work is a key factor in choosing where to live. Government has responded by increasing
investments in training, increasing capacity at our post-secondary institutions, and
making education more accessible and affordable for young people.
to a further two years freeze in university tuition, allowing greater access to
university and making post-secondary education more affordable for students. [AEE]
is the first year of a further two-year tuition freeze. $17.8 million was provided to the
universities through AEE to fund this freeze in 2006-07.
over 2,700 new training seats in SIAST’s JobStart-Future Skills, Employment Programs,
Basic Education, and apprenticeship; this will meet the commitment of 5,400 new
training opportunities to be reached in 2007-08. [AEE]
are an additional 1,221 training seats in JobStart-Future Skills.
year-end, an additional 105 apprenticeship training seats will have been established.
expansion of 336 seats in Adult Basic Education is anticipated (including the seats
within the Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies).
progress will be reported at year-end.
increase in basic operating funding of $4.6 million for SIAST, comprised of $259,000
increase for the Apprenticeship and Trade Certification Commission, and $1.245
million for Regional Colleges. This fully funds pay equity and accommodations cost
increases, as well as provides a general operating increase. A further $1.7 million is
provided to these institutions for targeted initiatives. [AEE]
commitment has been met and all funding has been transferred to these agencies as
planned. The additional $1.7 million includes $1.2 million to expand core
technical and vocational training opportunities.
$520,000 increase in funding to continue the ongoing expansion of the nursing program.
commitment has been met and AEE is expecting 250 graduates for 2006-07.
to increase Recognizing Prior Learning capacity at SIAST, Regional Colleges and support
for Saskatchewan Council for Admissions and Transfers which can ease education entry
for those that display relevant experience. [AEE]
has been allocated to SIAST, the Apprenticeship and Trade Certification Commission, the
Dumont Technical Institute and to Regional Colleges.
of $134,000 for the youth apprenticeship program, allowing more high school students to
gain apprenticeship experience while attending high school. [AEE]
Apprenticeship and Trade Certification Commission estimates that 5,000 high school
students will be registered as youth apprentices in 2006-07.
new funding has been used to develop curriculum resources and promotional materials and
to promote the careers in the trades to students and teachers throughout the
million for a student employment experience program creating 700 - 800 jobs and $200,000
for the Green Team program to create up to 100 jobs. [CYR]
Employment Experience has created 687 quality jobs for students in Saskatchewan. The
Green Team program has created 104 career-quality jobs in the environmental
Key to a strong economy is the supply
of a sufficient and skilled workforce. We need to keep our young people here and we also
need to attract others to come to Saskatchewan. The Government has recognized that a key
strength of our population is our young and able Aboriginal population. Efforts are being
taken to provide opportunities to ease the transition from school to work. Other efforts
are being made to attract immigrants to become part of our growing economy.
for 83 Basic Education seats at the Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies (SIIT).
contract has been signed with SIIT for the delivery of 83 Adult Basic Education seats in
four locations: Regina, Saskatoon, La Ronge, and Fort Qu’Appelle.
million for the First Nations and Métis Business Development Program. [FNMR]
First Nations and Métis Economic Development Program will increase the economic
development potential for First Nations and Métis business people by aiding the
development of various businesses in key economic sectors. The Program involves
$5 million over a four year period, with an estimated $1.5 million for 2006-07. At
mid-year, $650,325 in grants were approved under the Program.
in grant funding to support the Aboriginal Employment Development Program (AEDP); an
increase of $216,000 fulfilling a prior commitment to double resources. [FNMR]
agreements with new partners have been signed this year, bringing the number of
partnership agreements signed to 72.
of April 1, 2006, more than 2,950 Aboriginal people have been hired through the
partnership process; 1,508 people have completed training directly linked to
employment with partners; and, 20,602 senior managers, supervisors and employees
received Aboriginal awareness training in the partnering organizations.
Report 2006-07/Budget Update
development kits entitled “See Your Choices, Choose Your Path” developed by Provincial
Aboriginal Representative Workforce Council were distributed to schools,
employment agencies and Aboriginal organizations across the province to
facilitate career planning and inform youth (specifically Aboriginal youth) about careers
Aboriginal Economic Development Symposium. [News Release - FNMR]
Symposium is set to take place January 23-25, 2007 in Saskatoon. The Province will be
working in co-operation with representatives from the Federation of Saskatchewan
Indian Nations and the Clarence Campeau Development Fund to make the Symposium a
Symposium will identify the key success factors behind Aboriginal communities and
businesses that have generated economic growth and employment.
of $675,000 to advance Aboriginal involvement in non-renewable resource development and
to build relationships to enhance co-ordination of development in the north. [NA,
ENV and SIR]
and Resources, Environment, and Northern Affairs are increasing investments in their
policy development and community-industry liaison capacities to ensure more
Aboriginal people participate in, and benefit from, the development of
Saskatchewan’s vast non-renewable resources.
investment of $4.6 million above the 2005-06 Budget (for a total investment of $6.3
million) for an expanded comprehensive immigration strategy intended to attract
5,000 immigrants to Saskatchewan by 2008. [AEE]
million in incremental funding has been provided to attract and retain new immigrants and
refugees by supporting various settlement agencies. For the first six months of
2006-07, 1,374 immigrants were destined for Saskatchewan.
new “Family Members” immigration category was created so that immigrant families can
support family members from abroad who want to live and work in this province. [AEE]
incremental $1.3 million has been allocated for the Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee
the SINP, approximately 200 applications are received monthly. Between April and
September, there were 520 nominations received.
“Family Members” category was created with 148 nominations at mid-year, for a total of
347 (including spouses and dependents).
new entrepreneur program has been established with over 100 applications received to date.
Long-Haul Truck Driver Project allows long-haul trucking firms in the province to apply
for assistance in locating immigrants to help address labour shortages in the
trucking industry. [AEE]
Project was established and has received 34 nominations to date.
the minimum wage. [Throne Speech - Labour]
the recommendation of the Minimum Wage Board, government approved a three-stage increase
in the minimum wage from $6.65 to $7.95 for a total of $1.30. The first increase
was on September 1, 2005, the second occurred on March 1, 2006, and the third
will occur on March 1, 2007.
protection for health care workers and firefighters. [Throne Speech - Labour]
extensive stakeholder consultations, The Occupational Health and Safety Regulations, 1996
were amended to require the use of safety-engineered needles in health care and
correctional facilities in the province. The requirements contained within the
new regulations took effect July 1, 2006.
25, The Workers’ Compensation Amendment Act, 2005, was passed on December 2, 2005, which
recognizes four additional forms of cancer (ureter, colorectal, lung and
testicular) as well as heart injuries within the presumption for workers
employed in the occupation of firefighting. Amendments to The Workers’ Compensation
General Regulations, 1985, establishing the minimum employment periods for
additional forms of cancer, were enacted March 1, 2006.
The second theme within the
Government’s vision focussed on diverse and growing communities. The 2006-07 Budget
supported this vision with investments in municipal roads and key transportation corridors
and through support for our schools, universities and health facilities. Critical to
sustaining our diverse communities are our rural residents and government has a key role
to play in ensuring those residents have the supports they need, including the provision
of safe drinking water and adequate planning for emergencies.
The 2006-07 Budget provided
significant investments in communities through additional funds for revenue sharing and
million in revenue sharing for municipalities which is a $12.2 million or a 14.4 per cent
increase from 2005-06. [GR]
of September 30, 2006, $52.2 million in revenue sharing has been paid to all
million in federal and provincial funding for municipal infrastructure projects, a $14.6
million increase from 2005-06, as second year funding under the Canada-Saskatchewan
Municipal Rural Infrastructure Fund (MRIF). [GR]
mid-year, $2.4 million has been paid to municipalities under the MRIF. Also, $1.6 million
has been paid out under the Canada-Saskatchewan Infrastructure Program.
communities have received funding for 33 projects ranging from road construction to water
are having difficulty securing contractors and keeping within their budgets, and there
have been weather delays. Consequently, some projects will be continued into the
next fiscal year.
million in flow-through of federal revenue for the new federal Public Transit Program to
support transit infrastructure investments. [GR]
were held with the municipal sector on the distribution of the $12.5 million of federal
public transit funding.
September 2006, the federal government provided an additional $27.2 million for a total
of $39.7 million for public transit purposes. Continued consultations will be
held with the municipal sector on the distribution of additional funds.
million for the River Landing Phase 2 project in Saskatoon as part of the Canada
Strategic Infrastructure Fund. [GR]
assessments continue and although construction delays have occurred, the project is
expected to proceed later this year.
of $500,000 for Urban Development Agreements to address priority areas of
intergovernmental co-operation. [GR]
mid-year, $205,400 has been paid out under the Urban Development Agreements to the City
of Saskatoon for the Avenue K Soil Remediation Project to enable the
construction of affordable housing and a library, and Saskatoon Ideas Inc. which
will provide support for new businesses.
million in flow-through of federal gas tax revenue for municipal infrastructure
mid-year, $2.4 million has been paid to 116 municipalities under the federal gas tax
program for capital projects such as roads, bridges, water systems and energy
conservation. It is expected that all of the $17.7 million will be paid to
municipalities during 2006-07.
Our strong, resource-based economy
means that many Saskatchewan residents are dependant upon forces beyond their immediate
control, including international commodity prices, the prevalence of disease and the
corresponding impact on trade. The agriculture sector has been hit hard and the Government
recognized the need to provide additional support at this time through agricultural
programming and by reducing education property taxes.
million in base funding for the Canadian Agricultural Income Stabilization (CAIS) program
and $100.9 million to fully fund the 2006 Crop Insurance Program. [SAF]
province has budgeted an additional $60 million for 2006-07 to fully fund the 2006 CAIS
Insurance Program expenses should be lower than originally estimated due to a reduced
number of acres insured and lower coverage selected by producers.
Unseeded Acreage Payment (UAP) was announced on July 20, 2006, to provide assistance of
$10 per acre to farm operators that were unable to seed all intended acres due to
excessive moisture conditions. $18.2 million was budgeted for the program. [SAF]
UAP has paid 4,677 farm operators $11.6 million as of mid-year.
$107.8 million for education property tax relief for Saskatchewan families, farms and
businesses, including $52.8 million in incremental funding for education property
tax relief on agricultural land. [Learning]
the 2006 taxation year, the eight per cent education property tax credit continues for
families and businesses and the credit on agricultural land of 38 per cent is
implemented. As at September 30, 2006, $62.7 million of the allotted $107.8
million in education property tax relief has been paid out. The balance is expected to be
paid by year-end.
by the recommendations of the Action Committee on the Rural Economy (ACRE), and the
advice of other leaders in the agricultural sector, we will facilitate further
diversification to keep pace with growing opportunities. [RECD]
Monitoring Committee has reviewed government’s progress on ACRE’s recommendations and
formalized their findings into a final report.
The 2006-07 Budget made the largest
ever commitment to capital investment –$407 million – put towards schools,
hospitals, highways and other infrastructure projects. Investments to sustain and enhance
infrastructure, especially those that support health and education services, will improve
the quality of life for people in this province.
million in block funding and $12 million for K-12 major capital projects. [Learning]
block funding projects have been approved to proceed. At mid-year, 51 per cent of the
projects have been completed.
major capital projects have been approved to proceed with design having been initiated on
École Canadienne-Français and construction initiated on the following:
Ile-a-la-Crosse joint-use school and health facility;
Warman High School addition;
Saskatoon Public West Side Collegiate (Tommy Douglas Collegiate); and,
Saskatoon Catholic West Side High School (Bethlehem High School).
million to begin construction of the new Provincial Laboratory at the Regina Research
is underway for the new “Saskatchewan Disease Control Laboratory,” to increase capacity,
improve testing capability, support public health efforts and accelerate
intervention in the event of a public health crisis.
of the facility will commence in early 2007 and will be completed by April 2008.
million in Health capital including $7.5 million or 20.7 per cent increase for regional
health facilities capital. [Health]
is underway for the joint Health/Learning facility at Ile-a-la-Crosse.
has been committed for the replacement of the Saskatchewan Hospital North Battleford, the
provincial mental health facility.
and upgrades are underway at the Prince Albert Victoria Hospital, with completion
expected in February 2007.
of the Herbert and District Integrated Health Facility was completed in the summer of
2006. The facility houses acute care services, home care, community health
services and long-term care for residents.
is well underway for the construction of the mental health in-patient consolidation
project which will be constructed adjacent to the existing Hantleman building on
the Royal University Hospital site in Saskatoon.
is expected to commence on the long-term care addition at the Hudson Bay Integrated
review of programming needs is being completed for a new Children’s Hospital within a
Hospital, in Saskatoon.
assessment audits are being completed on all three of Saskatoon’s hospitals to inform the
Service Re-alignment Project, which will examine the optimal use of each of the
planning for the Muskeg Lake Cree Nation Diabetes Centre. [Health]
Health has confirmed funding for the establishment of the Diabetes Centre of Excellence,
however, financial support from the federal government is still pending.
of new renal dialysis site in southern Saskatchewan. [Health]
has progressed in the planning of a new renal dialysis centre in Estevan, with an
operational target date of April 2007.
of integrated facilities in Moosomin, Outlook, Maidstone, Preeceville and Humboldt and a
regional hospital in Swift Current; renovations to Oliver Lodge (Saskatoon); and
facility upgrades for a Regina hospital. [Health]
on the Outlook and District Integrated Facility and Maidstone Integrated Facility began
in May 2006.
on the Moosomin Integrated Facility began in summer 2006.
of the new Cypress Regional Hospital is expected to be complete in March 2007.
is expected to begin on the Preeceville Integrated Health Facility in spring 2007.
Lodge long-term care facility currently has 76 beds and 88 beds are being constructed,
however, 26 are replacements, this leaves a net increase of 62 beds.
for the replacement of Humboldt’s St. Elizabeth’s Hospital is underway, with construction
expected to begin in early 2007.
is underway for the Regina General Hospital RAWLCO Centre for Mother/Baby Care, with
construction beginning in summer 2007.
million for the Regina Correctional Centre which will cost $47.9 million and is scheduled
to be completed in 2008-09. [CPS]
on the new section of the facility is proceeding. The contract was awarded in August
2006, and site mobilization began in September 2006. Construction delays and
increasing costs have caused an adjustment in the spending for this project to
$10.3 million for the current year and a revised cost of $57.5 million for the completed
project. Project is on target for completion and occupancy in 2008-09.
Strategic investments in
transportation infrastructure are also being made to support a growing economy and to
ensure our highways, roads and bridges support both existing and future trade patterns.
$8.55 million as part of the Northern Economic Infrastructure Strategy (NEIS). [DHT]
2005-06, Highways and Transportation advanced $1.9 million to begin work on the NEIS,
including crushing and stockpiling in the vicinity of Beauval on Highway 155 and
two clearing projects and design work on the Garson Lake Road.
Report 2006-07/Budget Update
Department expects to spend an additional $6.7 million by the end of 2006-07 on work
related to NEIS, including:
Lake Road, Highway 956 - One crushing project and two clearing projects have been
initiated and are expected to be completed in 2006.
Lake Highway 955 (Athabasca Basin Roads) - Two design projects have been initiated.
Roads and Corridors - The Department initiated one surfacing project and two crushing
projects in 2006-07. It is anticipated that these projects will be
completed in 2006.
$7.5 million in economic corridors by continuing to twin Highway 11 between Warman and
of 9 km from north of Warman to north of Osler has been completed as of mid-year, with
the next 12 km to begin in the spring.
Department estimates that $4.3 million will be spent in 2006-07. The remainder will be
carried over to 2007-08 to take advantage of efficiencies that have resulted
from a change in project scope.
more than $28 million to preserve, operate and maintain highways, bridges and airports in
Northern Saskatchewan. [DHT]
mid-year, $12 million has been expended to preserve, operate, and maintain highways,
bridges and airports in Northern Saskatchewan. It is estimated the Department
will meet its commitment to invest $28 million by year-end.
Communities rely on safe drinking
water and sustainable wastewater systems. The Government’s Safe Drinking Water
Strategy outlines specific actions to protect and improve the quality of
Saskatchewan’s drinking water supplies and source waters. Public safety and
environmental protection, through better management of drinking water and wastewater
systems, remain key priorities of the strategy.
inspections at water and sewage works across the province to ensure facilities meet
operational and treatment requirements. [Env]
354 waterworks inspections and 331 sewage works inspections to ensure facilities meet
operational and treatment requirements. The results of these inspections were
typically favourable and are shared with the public at the following website
and implement strategies to aid small communities to ensure the provision of safe water
by affordable and acceptable means. [Env]
Environment has completed consultation and drafted changes to regulatory requirements
applicable to small waterworks in the province to ensure the provision of safe
drinking water by affordable and acceptable means. The Department expects to
complete and implement these changes before the end of the fiscal year.
critical northern municipal infrastructure needs through funding under the Northern Water
and Sewer Program ($6.1 million that includes $2.9 million from the
Canada-Saskatchewan Infrastructure Program), the Northern Emergency Water and Sewer
Repair Program ($500,000) and for engineering water and sewer advice to northern
communities ($300,000). [GR]
of September 30, 2006, $1 million had been expended under the Northern Water and Sewer
Program for 15 projects, $83,000 has been expended under the Northern Emergency
Water and Sewer Repair Program for four communities and $213,000 has been
expended for engineering water and sewer advice to 31 northern communities.
under the Northern Water and Sewer Program will be less than budgeted due to delays in
environmental assessments being completed and delays in the tendering of the
per cent of northern communities are now in bacteriological compliance with water
regulation requirements compared to 8.7 per cent in 1999 (prior to Northern
Water and Sewer Program implementation).
The more diverse and vibrant our
communities are, the more attractive they become to those visiting and choosing to make
Saskatchewan their home. The 2006-07 Budget invested in culture and the arts, supporting
the cultural diversity, artistic and athletic achievement that is evident across
Saskatchewan communities. Investments were also made to support regional economies and our
thriving communities across the north.
of $700,000 for the 2007 Juno Awards to be held in Saskatoon and Country Music Awards to
be hosted in Regina; $620,000 for the Urban Aboriginal Community Grant Program. [CYR]
December 2006, it was announced that Saskatchewan would host the 2007 JUNO awards and in
March 2006, it was announced that Saskatchewan would host the 2007 Country Music
Week, along with the Canadian Country Music Awards. In July 2006, it was
announced that Saskatchewan would host the 2007 Western Canadian Music Awards.
agreement to disburse the funding was signed between CYR and Creative Music 2007 in June
and hosting provincial parks’ 75th anniversary celebrations. [Env]
of 75th anniversary celebrations was completed in all parks with programs well received
by park visitors. A new Parks DVD to promote and educate the public on parks
sustainability has been created with copies available for sale.
received additional funding to build inventory of local programming. [SCN]
additional funds allowed SCN to place greater emphasis on its popular regional film and
television series. SCN’s support for the production of regional programming
creates opportunities for local and emerging film producers. This support has
the effect of expanding the operations of seasoned producers and has assisted in the
formation of at least three new production companies.
Report 2006-07/Budget Update
our parks: making them ‘greener,’ co-ordinated marketing efforts with tourism agencies
and other parks, and refurbishment of core facilities. [Env]
is applying green technology to a variety of capital projects in a number of parks,
including solar heating and solar powered water systems, enhancements to enable
water and energy reductions, and undertaking further green technology research.
delivery for 2006-07 included construction of several new park facilities, upgraded
infrastructure (campgrounds and water systems) and improvements to other core
facilities (boat launches, administration buildings, maintenance shops, etc.).
number of interpretive programs focused on ‘greening’ initiatives and practices, such as
energy conservation and solid waste management, were developed and delivered to
park visitors at several parks.
changes to the Film Employment Tax Credit Program aimed at increasing employment of
Saskatchewan people in key positions. [CYR]
Film Employment Tax Credit (FETC) was increased, effective January 1, 2006.
FETC regulations aimed at increasing employment of Saskatchewan people in key positions
were passed in the spring 2006 session of the legislature.
acknowledge seniors and elders, government will introduce a Saskatchewan Seniors’ Gold
Plan for residents 65 years of age and older. This will provide a source of
information, and a passport to a variety of programs. [Throne Speech - Health]
Saskatchewan Seniors’ Gold Plan was introduced in July 2006 to acknowledge the valuable
contributions of seniors and elders by providing:
entry to provincial parks;
per cent discount on fares from the Saskatchewan Transportation Company; and,
photo ID from SGI.
funding for the Regional Economic Development Authority (REDA) Youth Program, total
funding of $180,000. [RECD]
increase in funding enabled additional hiring of youth under 35 years of age. Thus far in
2006-07, 15 youth have been hired to assist REDAs in their business development
to increase REDA core funding from $60,000 to $75,000 per year, to provide people with
accurate and timely information to help them make sound business decisions in
support of regional economic development. [RECD]
increased funding further supports economic development efforts of REDAs.
Performance-based contracts and increased service standards were put in place
which include the provision of a number of core services. REDAs are actively
involved in 39 projects and 91 business and economic development initiatives so
far in 2006-07.
increase for the REDA Enhancement Fund, total funding of $300,000. [RECD]
increased funding further supports economic development projects and initiatives
undertaken by REDAs. To date, 14 projects and initiatives have been
conditionally approved for funding. As funding is provided on a cost-shared basis,
funds lever matching financing from various federal programs and local sources.
increase from $2.0 million to $2.5 million was provided to the Northern Development Fund
loan program which provides financial assistance to northern businesses,
entrepreneurs and primary producers. [NA]
of September 30, 2006, the Northern Development Fund approved six commercial loans, and
36 primary production loans, for a total of approximately $919,000. Loans for
primary producers are higher than last year due to the longer fishing season in
some regions. This was balanced by the forestry industry where instability has resulted
in fewer commercial loans than had been expected.
and management of the federal/provincial project on the clean-up of abandoned uranium
sites. [SIR and NA]
provincial and federal governments negotiated an agreement to address clean up of
abandoned uranium sites in Northern Saskatchewan; implementation is underway.
The intent is to contract the Saskatchewan Research Council for responsibility
for project management and delivery of clean-up activities for such legacy sites.
Reclaimed Industrial Sites Act was approved in the spring of 2006 with an aim to have
regulations in effect in 2007 which will address the long-term
post-decommissioning management of the uranium and other sites.
project design and environmental assessment approval phases may require two years to
complete, with the on-site work expected to occur over a three to five year
period providing business, training and employment opportunities for Northerners.
to implement the five-year $20.0 million federal/provincial Northern Development
Agreement (NDA) expiring in February of 2007. [NA]
of September 30, 2006, seven projects have been approved under the NDA, which include
$1.9 million in provincial investment, and $780,000 in federal funding. Since
the NDA was signed, 44 projects with a total of $14.43 million in provincial and
federal funding have been approved.
million in funding to support the First Nations Trust, Community Development
Corporations, and the Métis Development Fund through provincial gaming agreements.
originally budgeted at $29.2 million, the 2006-07 forecast has increased to $40.3 million
as at September 30, 2006, due to an increase in forecasted profits for the
on-reserve casinos operated by the Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority (SIGA)
as well as increased payments required as a result of final 2005-06 audited figures
received from SIGA and the Saskatchewan Gaming Corporation (Moose Jaw and Regina
First Nations Trust was budgeted to receive $20.1 million in 2006-07, with the revised
forecast at September 30, 2006 increasing to $26.7 million. Payments as of
September 30, 2006, total $10.1 million.
Report 2006-07/Budget Update
Community Development Corporations were budgeted to receive $7.1 million in 2006-07 with
the revised forecast increasing to $11.4 million. Payments to date total $1.83
to The Métis Development Fund are $1.0 million to date.
million increase in funding to provide for the anticipated signing of four new Treaty
Land Entitlement settlements. [FNMR]
Land Entitlement (TLE) negotiations continue with four First Nations (Muskoday, Sturgeon
Lake, Gordon and Pasqua). Twenty-nine First Nations have signed TLE agreements
with community and federal partners to finalize and implement the $19.5 million
Canada-Saskatchewan investment to benefit the communities affected by the Primrose
Lake Air Weapons Range. [NA]
provincial and federal governments have been negotiating terms for a $19.5 million
economic development fund for the four northwest communities, Ile-a-la-Crosse,
Beauval, Jans Bay, and Cole Bay. The change in the federal government’s
administration has delayed finalizing the agreement.
In the event of an emergency, the
public expects that government has a plan in place to deal with the unforeseen and
unexpected. Further work is being done with government departments and community
stakeholders to develop a provincial disaster plan and an appropriate emergency
identifies, develops and implements initiatives that will advance safety and emergency
preparedness, including an infection control initiative, emergency and pandemic
influenza planning, and increased HIV/AIDs and Hepatitis C prevention activity.
continues to enhance and implement its emergency management and business continuity
plans. This initiative has three facets: a revision of internal safety and
security plans to protect staff and infrastructure, the formalization of
business continuity plans to maintain mission critical functions in emergencies,
and emergency response plans to support Regional Health Authorities, government
departments, other jurisdictions, and partner agencies.
is engaged with other provinces, territories, federal agencies, and non-government
organizations to develop and implement a Pan-Canadian emergency management and
support was provided to the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations (FSIN) to organize
a First Nations Pandemic Influenza Conference. The conference was held in August
2006 for those responsible for Pandemic Influenza Planning in the First Nations
work was initiated on the Provincial Pandemic Influenza Plan, which will ensure the
province is sufficiently prepared in the event of an influenza outbreak.
A vibrant and growing economy allows
the Government to give back some of this prosperity to its citizens. The 2006-07 Budget
did just that by making investments in our education and training systems, to build
independence and attach people to the labour force; by investing in the health care system
to ensure that it remains accessible and efficient for all; and by supporting justice and
social initiatives, creating the best possible environment in which to live and raise our
Many of the initiatives reported on
below provide additional support for the most vulnerable members of our society.
The Building Independence strategy
recognizes that the best way to move low-income people from poverty to economic
independence is to facilitate the transition from social assistance to work. It relies on
the development of benefits outside social assistance that are available to low-income
persons and families.
The Saskatchewan Employment
Supplement (SES) was introduced in 1998 to help low-income parents with child-related
costs. Utilization of this program is an indication that low-income families are choosing
employment rather than social assistance.
Other programs within this system
are: the Saskatchewan Assistance Plan (SAP); the Provincial Training Allowance; the
Saskatchewan and National Child Benefit; the Transitional Employment Allowance (TEA); the
Rental Housing Supplement and Family Health Benefits.
million to increase the SAP and TEA Adult Basic and General Living Allowance and Room and
Board by $40/month and the Personal Living Allowance for people living in
institutions by $20/month. An additional $10/month increase to the TEA General
Living Allowance to match previous increases to the SAP Basic Allowance. [CR]
Department provided a $40/month ($480 annual) increase to the Basic Allowance and Room
and Board needs for both SAP and TEA beneficiaries, effective May 2006.
Department provided a $20/month ($240 annual) increase to the Personal Living Allowance
for people living in institutions, effective May 2006.
Department provided a $10/month increase to the General Living Allowance and Room and
Board needs for TEA clients in May 2006.
million in new funding for utility costs for TEA recipients. [CR]
TEA flat rate utility base amounts increased by $40/month for energy and $20/month for
power in May 2006.
Report 2006-07/Budget Update
per month increase in the Provincial Training Allowance (PTA) in recognition of the
higher costs of living facing students. [AEE]
were amended to allow a $60 per month increase starting October 1, 2006. Approximately
2,800 students per month will benefit from this change.
million to enhance the Saskatchewan Employment Supplement (SES) to help prevent the
erosion of benefits due to inflation. [CR]
maximum benefit levels increased by $21 to $48 per family, effective May 2006.
family and disability housing supplements will increase benefits by an average of
$30/month, beginning in April 2006. The Disability Housing Supplement will be
extended to a wider group of individuals to include people with cognitive,
intellectual and mental health related disabilities. [CR]
April 2006, the Family Housing Supplement and Disability Housing Supplement benefit
levels increased. The program eligibility was expanded to include special
housing requirements arising from cognitive, intellectual or mental health
program to provide $200 million over five years to ensure that 17,000 individuals and
families benefit from better rental housing, home ownership, home maintenance and
home repair. [CR]
Housing: $55.82 million has been committed to deliver all 1,197 units (as of July 31,2006).
Ownership: 358 units have been converted to home ownership (as of July 31, 2006).
Income Support (Rental Housing Supplements): $4.2 million has been expended to 3,888
cases (as of August 31, 2006).
Quality Housing: repair programs have helped 2,017 households at a total of $17.04
million (as of July 31, 2006).
million for the Residential Rehabilitation Assistance Program and $5.0 million to provide
EnerGuide to low-income households and a new Home Energy Improvement Program for
moderate-income home owners. [CR]
May 2006, the federal government cancelled funding for the national low-income energy
efficiency program (EnerGuide for Low-Income Households). The Saskatchewan Home
Energy Improvement Program (SHEIP) will be delivered by the Saskatchewan Housing
Corporation in co-operation with SaskEnergy. It is now anticipated that 4,600 low-income
households ($16.5 million) and 2,200 moderate-income homeowners ($5.5 million)
will be assisted.
for low-income households: 588 conditionally approved grants totalling $2.35 million
for moderate-income homeowners: 372 homeowners have received commitments totalling $1.08
million (average $2,900).
EDUCATION, EARLY LEARNING AND CHILD CARE
Budget made investments which support the early learning, child care and education
systems to meet the learning and development needs of Saskatchewan children and youth.
Initiatives such as quality pre-kindergarten for vulnerable children and a quality
education system benefit the province by providing a solid foundation for continuous
learning and future participation in the workforce.
$536,000 to create the Saskatchewan Literacy Commission. [Learning]
Saskatchewan Literacy Commission was provided an operating budget of $536,000 which
enabled a staff complement of five FTEs.
$912,000 to enhance literacy initiatives and create the Literacy Innovations Fund.
SaskSmart Innovations Fund Expression of Interest Grants of $10,000 each have been
awarded. The full $150,000 allocation has been disbursed to recipients.
totalling $578,371 have been committed to nine communities for the implementation of
Community Literacy Plans.
school operating funding by $10.5 million to fully fund the incremental cost of teachers’
collective agreement increases. [Learning]
million has been provided for this purpose to school divisions through the K-12
Foundation Operating Grant.
2006-07, targeted KidsFirst programming will be provided for 850 families, adding 230 new
prenatal families, 440 new postnatal families and supporting 148 child care spaces
and 160 early learning opportunities. [Learning and Health]
of August 31, 2006 (most recent data available), more than 108 new prenatal families have
been enrolled in the program and more than 288 new postnatal families have been
KidsFirst Program provides support to families through 128 dedicated KidsFirst child care
spaces, as well as providing early learning opportunities to more than 160
2006-07, $301,000 was added to the KidsFirst Program home visiting component, allocated
within Saskatchewan Health’s budget. This represents a three per cent increase
in salary and operating funding to front-line service delivery.
$300,000 to expand the existing pre-kindergarten program for vulnerable children.
additional 15 sites have been allocated to school divisions, bringing the total to 119.
$1 million in new funding for Child Care Saskatchewan, the final 250 spaces to complete
government’s commitment made in 2003 for 1,200 new spaces over four years. [Learning]
of September 30, 2006, all 250 additional licensed child care spaces have been approved.
Report 2006-07/Budget Update
the child care wait list for children with a significant impact of disability. [Learning]
of September 30, 2006, there are no waiting lists for children who require this support
and are enrolled in a licensed child care centre.
Child Care Parent Subsidy is increasing by $3.6 million to provide an enhanced subsidy
for child care spaces. Approximately 4,300 parents will benefit from the subsidy
redesign which includes an increase in subsidy rates and extension of the income
enhancements were provided effective September 2006. It is anticipated that the average
benefit per client will increase to $350 per month.
structures for “part-time” subsidies were also introduced in September 2006, in
recognition of the growing need for part-time care arrangements.
The 2006-07 Budget provided a $285.8
million increase in funding for Health, which helps to ensure that access to health care
is driven by need, not ability to pay.
This substantial investment includes
funding to reduce wait times for diagnosis and surgery, provides for increased levels of
service, makes improvements to health care facilities across the province, and provides
additional funding for addictions programming, the drug plan and the Cancer Agency.
million for a Children’s Health Agenda that will provide additional mental health
resources, enhance therapy services for children, and further services for children
with complex needs. [Health]
Children’s Mental Health Action Plan was developed in response to issues that were raised
by the Children’s Advocate. The Plan will build capacity of children’s mental
health services by providing more evidence-based services, supports for families
and service providers. Proposals from Regional Health Authorities (RHAs) have been
developed to support services at various locations in the province.
Regina Qu’Appelle and Saskatoon RHAs are developing programs for rehabilitation
initiatives. Programs will decrease wait lists and increase access to speech and
language pathology, occupational therapists and psychology services.
million for Project Hope and Secure Care, which represents a 60 per cent increase in
substance abuse prevention and treatment funding with a focus on youth and families.
[Health, CR, CPS and Justice]
on the four pillars of: treatment; supply reduction; co-ordination; and prevention;
Project Hope has enlisted a multitude of communities, health care services, law
enforcement agencies and educational programs in a concerted and sustained
effort to prevent substance abuse and lessen its harms to individuals and families.
portion of this overall amount is $550,000, split between Adult Corrections and Young
Offenders for addictions services for offenders in custody. Services will begin
late in the fiscal year.
Project Hope, the six police positions provided to the RCMP are in place: two
investigator positions in each of Yorkton and North Battleford; and two drug
awareness positions, in Regina and Prince Albert.
is underway for: a youth treatment centre for addiction in the Prince Albert area in
collaboration with Prince Albert Grand Council (PAGC); a new youth stabilization
and treatment centre for addiction in Saskatoon; a brief detoxification centre
in Regina; a social detoxification centre in Prince Albert; and a Family Treatment Centre
in Saskatoon. On an interim basis, six youth treatment beds have been opened in
Saskatoon, and six youth involuntary stabilization beds have been opened in
Government has enacted legislation and established an interim unit for the short-term
involuntary stabilization of addicted youth who are considered at high risk to
harm themselves or others. The Youth Drug Detoxification and Stabilization Act
came into effect on April 1, 2006. As of September 30, 2006, 60 young people had received
stabilization services in the interim unit at the Paul Dojack Youth Centre in
Regina. As well, health regions are developing outreach and associated services
in order to provide enhanced intervention, case management and support.
million to continue to address high priority wait list capacity and management issues.
from the Saskatchewan Surgical Care Network website shows that the surgical wait list in
the province’s seven largest regions dropped by approximately 2,000 persons
between January and June 2006. Between January and June of 2006, approximately
70 per cent of all persons waiting for surgery had their surgery within three months and
90 per cent had their surgery within 12 months of being booked.
initiatives were enabled, aimed at reducing waiting lists and increasing surgeries. These
will include the provision of 2,153 additional surgeries above surgical
baselines, plus an additional 2,100 cases for colorectal screenings. This
funding is above the Regional Health Authorities base and will focus on those patients
who have been waiting over 12 months for surgery.
additional $1.8 million (increase of 8.9 per cent) for a total of $22 million for medical
total of $22 million was approved in 2006-07 for medical equipment: $16.73 million was
distributed among the 12 Regional Health Authorities and the Athabasca Health
Authority for upgrading and/or replacing medical equipment consistent with the
Federal Health Accord guidelines. $470K was disbursed to the Saskatchewan Cancer Agency
for new or replacement medical equipment. An additional $4.8 million was
specifically targeted for expansion of medical imaging and specialized services
injection of $8.8 million to address individual Regional Health Authority operating
million was used to provide more days of patient care and to enrich staffing at tertiary
acute care and long-term care facilities.
Report 2006-07/Budget Update
increase of $19.7 million or 8.3 per cent for the Drug Plan and Extended Benefits.
increase is used to cover the increasing price and utilization costs of the Drug Plan and
Extended Benefits Program.
additional $16.5 million or 13.0 per cent for Provincial Health Services for blood
products, air ambulance and provincial laboratory operating costs. [Health]
increases have supported increased operational and supply costs in these areas.
additional $10.3 million or 16.5 per cent for the Cancer Agency, which includes a 19 per
cent increase in the number and cost of drugs including $3.4 million for the breast
cancer drug Herceptin. [Health]
Cancer Agency has begun implementing some short-term initiatives to address wait times,
including adding capacity for new patient appointments, extending treatment
hours, improving patient scheduling, and purchasing new equipment to support the
delivery of radiation therapy.
the past five years, the average year over year increase of the Agency’s drug
expenditures was 22 per cent. This is due to the increased number of drugs used
(both new drugs and new indications for existing drugs), increasing complexity
of treatments requiring longer treatment times, and increased staffing to support the
administration of the drugs.
in chiropractic and optometric treatments/services. [Health]
has experienced an annual increase in utilization of chiropractic services of two per
cent over the past six years.
Health has experienced an annual increase in utilization of optometric services of one
per cent over the past six years.
Sustaining our health care system
means competing with many other jurisdictions looking to recruit the best health care
professionals. Retaining our network of professional health care providers requires
competitive compensation and healthy workplaces.
health care professionals by providing $149 million for wage and benefit enhancements for
unionized and non-unionized health care providers. [Health]
funding allocation supports salaries and benefits for a number of health care workers
represented by SUN ($41.6 million), HSAS ($13.1 million) and for CUPE, SEIU and
SGEU (a total of $88.1 million). $5.1 million will be provided to small union
and non-union health sector employers to maintain consistency of wage and benefit
Province and the Saskatchewan Medical Association have reached an agreement that will
strengthen physician retention and recruitment efforts and enhance quality of
care and patients’ access to health services. A three-year tentative agreement
includes increases of 2.8 per cent each year in the fees paid for physician services, as
well as $11.8 million to support a number of innovative incentive programs
focusing on recruitment, retention and improved patient care.
$25 million retention and recruitment plan was announced in September to support the
efforts of the provincial recruitment agency and the health regions in their
recruitment of staff.
Government is targeting to recruit 600 health employees to fill vacancies over the next
two years - approximately 400 nurses and 200 employees from the broader health
workforce. The cost for these programs is estimated at $6 million over the next
Community Based Organizations (CBOs)
play a major role in supporting activity and delivery of a multitude of services in our
2005-06, approximately $41 million was approved to enhance wages for CBOs over three
years, of which $11.0 million was allocated to Learning. Included in this is a
commitment to a nine per cent salary increase to CBOs delivering child care
care centre boards were provided funds to provide child care centre staff with an average
nine per cent salary increase effective April 1, 2006. As of September 30, 2006,
an estimated $1.07 million, of the $2.76 million incremental funding, has been
Early Childhood Intervention Program (ECIP) received an increase of $134,000 for wage
enhancements for ECIP staff.
Individuals and families in society
have expectations to conduct their lives with dignity, and with little intrusion from
public agencies. Where individuals are not capable of living completely independently,
government provides support to help them accomplish activities of daily living.
million for the Cognitive Disabilities Strategy to hire five additional consultants, to
provide greater access to newly developed services, and to increase the funding pool
available to people who require services to help deal with the impact of the
disability for themselves and their families. [CPS and CR]
total budget is $2.26 million for the Cognitive Disabilities Strategy. $500,000 has been
spent to date to meet the staffing commitment. Though demand is strong, the
start-up for the new program was slow. Fifty-six applications for funding have
been approved to date.
is enhancing extrajudicial measures that provide access to assessment and daily living
supports for young offenders with cognitive disabilities referred by Crown
prosecutors as an alternative to youth court. The program was successfully
piloted in Saskatoon during 2005-06 and as a result, the services will be available in
Regina and Prince Albert in November 2006.
Report 2006-07/Budget Update
million grant to SARCAN to continue the Beverage Container Recycling Program, an increase
of $700,000 to address cost pressures. [Env]
SARCAN grant is being paid on an ongoing monthly basis, incorporating the increased
funding into the contract.
million for the Transit Assistance for the Disabled Program to provide operating and
capital assistance to 13 cities and 63 towns for special needs transportation
towns are paid annually based on submission of the required information, usually by March
31. As of September 30, 2006, $1 million has been paid out under this program to
13 cities, supporting 448,000 riders.
program also provides capital assistance to five communities each year for replacement
buses (up to 75 per cent of the replacement cost to a maximum of $55,000 per
There is a greater awareness of the
increasing level of substance abuse and addiction in our society and the impact that has
on the individual, the family, and our health and justice systems. The Government is
investing in various programs to assist youth who are at risk to harm themselves. The
Government is also continuing with the implementation of Premier’s Project Hope, a
comprehensive plan to prevent and treat substance abuse.
Government is responding with $3.7 million for Secure Care, which will fill a gap in
services for substance-abusing youth who are resistant to treatment and at risk of
harm to themselves and others. [Health, Justice and CR]
program components include: community treatment, in-patient detoxification and
stabilization, and community supports and outreach services.
mobile treatment team leader in Mamawetan Churchill River began work in April and the
region will launch service later this year, more than a year ahead of original
target date. Keewatin Yatthe has hired its Mobile Treatment Co-ordinator and a
day program for youth has been developed in La Ronge.
Alcohol and Drug Prevention and Education Directorate has provided training to 11 RHA
prevention services positions. Planning is underway for drug fact sheets for the
SaskHealth website for a marketing campaign for Drug Awareness Week in November,
and a training session on addictions for provincial judges.
Drug Treatment Court has been developed and implemented in Regina.
role of Community Resources in this initiative is to provide services to youth in the
secure detox treatment programs who require financial supports to fulfill their
community treatment and re-integration plans. The forecast is to spend $236,000
for enhanced violence and crime reduction strategies. [CPS]
funding is comprised of:
for a Supportive Employment Initiative - a joint working committee has been established
to oversee an employment partnership pilot at the Regina Provincial
for gang intervention and suppression - work is being conducted in Saskatoon on a
Community Connection Model to suppress gang activity; and,
for targeted crime reduction initiatives - the initiatives in Regina, North Battleford,
Saskatoon, and Prince Albert are in operation. Work is underway by a
steering committee in Meadow Lake and La Ronge to develop their initiatives.
million for Child and Family Services, including volume increases in foster care,
therapeutic foster care, private treatment, family supports, out-of-home placement
prevention and pre-protection; ensuring the safe care of children. [CR]
April 1 to September 30, 2006, CR has provided services to 3,379 children - 1,992
children in foster care, 165 children in therapeutic foster care, 85 children in
private treatment and 1,247 children in alternate care resources. The number of
children in care in September 2006 was up seven per cent from the same month last year.
for family supports targeted to pre-protection and prevention of out-of-home placement.
September 30, 2006, there were 2,120 families served through child protection services,
an increase of 1.7 per cent from the same period last year.
increase for case management in First Nations Child and Family Services which ensures the
quality of child welfare services province-wide, on and off reserve. [CR]
Department has reached administrative fee agreements with 17 agencies. Payments to date
The Government has a balanced,
multi-year criminal justice strategy for building safer communities and overall public
confidence in the criminal justice system through targeted interventions and improved
efficiency. The Government supports the need to reform the justice system to better meet
the needs of all people, including Aboriginal people.
million to complete the policing commitment - to support 29 new police positions this
year, with a focus on recruiting Aboriginal officers. [Justice]
majority of the policing commitment was completed in fiscal year 2005-06, with the
remainder to be completed in 2006-07.
the Aboriginal recruitment and retention strategy, Law Enforcement Services was provided
with three positions.
Report 2006-07/Budget Update
million for a Gang Suppression Strategy. [Justice]
resources for the Gang Strategy have been deployed; costs are related to prosecutions and
hiring of police.
for the Missing Persons Strategy to improve the Government’s response to missing persons
cases, including the development of interagency policies. [Justice]
the Missing Persons positions for which the RCMP was provided funding, two have been
filled and four are in the process of being filled. The two municipal police
positions, one each for Regina and Saskatoon, are in place. A Provincial
Partnership Committee to work on community and family concerns was formed in
January 2006. Research and development work on improving police response to
missing person cases is underway.
for additional responses to the Report from the Commission on First Nations and Métis
Peoples and Justice Reform. [Justice and CPS]
funded a community development initiative in Sandy Bay to develop a plan to address
violence and abuse in their community.
services for the North were enhanced through hiring an additional Dene translator. This
brings the total of Dene and Cree positions to five.
resources were added to the victim services component of the Saskatoon Domestic Violence
Court and in the North.
response programs have increased in three tribal councils, one First Nations and one
This summary report provides
highlights of the activity government is undertaking as of mid-year. Departments and
agencies will provide a full report on all activity completed in 2006-07 in their Annual
Reports, which will be released in the summer of 2007.
The departments responsible for the
action are identified in brackets behind each action. For clarification, here is a list of