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Tuesday, October 21, 2014
Saskatchewan

PROVINCIAL BUDGET ADDRESSES NORTHERN PRIORITIES

Northern Affairs Minister Keith Goulet says Friday's budget

successfully addresses both the short and long-term development needs

of northern Saskatchewan.



"Health care and housing are immediate northern priorities that are

strongly reflected in the new budget," Goulet said.



"Provincial funding for health authorities serving the Northern

Administration District has been increased to over $21 million. As

well, additional funding is being provided for road and air ambulance

services, construction starts for new health centres at Stony Rapids

and La Loche, and northern physician services.



"Provincial housing programs will enable more than 100 off-reserve

housing units to be built in northern Saskatchewan communities in

1999. This represents a commitment of more than $8 million for new

construction through the government's social housing, home-ownership

and rental-market assistance programs in the North. A further

$5 million will be provided for repairs and renovations to social

housing units."



In addition to on-going northern municipal grant programs for

operations and capital projects, $1.5 million has been provided in the

budget for critical water and sewer needs. The allocation is an

interim measure pending completion this year of a comprehensive

assessment and prioritization of overall northern water and sewer

development requirements.



Another major northern expenditure area for the provincial

government is highways and transportation, totalling almost

$29 million. Preservation and maintenance of 4,620 kilometres

of highways within the Northern Administration District will be

undertaken at an estimated cost of $14.6 million.



Northern construction projects include:



completion of the Turnor Lake access road (15.6 km);



further construction including two new bridges on highway

965 towards Jans Bay and Canoe Narrows (13 km);



further construction of highway 903 south of Cole Bay

(15.7 km);



new construction of highway 951 west of highway 903 (25 km);



gravelling of highway 956 - Garson Lake Road (30 km);



completion of the Athabasca Road (15 km);



improvements and bridge replacements, highway 102 north of

La Ronge;



Cumberland House main street; and



airport improvements at Uranium City, Fond-du-Lac, Stony

Rapids (undertaken under the federal government Airport

Capital Assistance Program).



Goulet said the budget bodes well for future development of the

northern economy.



"The budget's royalty restructuring and capital recovery

provisions, affecting gold and base metals, are expected to spark

new investment in northern mineral exploration and development in

the North. These measures, together with anticipated new

forestry developments, will be key in developing and diversifying

the northern economy the number one priority of the Northern

Strategy adopted by the province and northern leaders last year.



"As part of the Northern Strategy, Saskatchewan Northern Affairs

is providing funding for the Northern Development Board to

complete a Strategic Opportunities Assessment' during 1999. The

comprehensive assessment is documenting the full range of

northern economic opportunities and associated infrastructure

requirements, intended to attract private and public investment

in business development and job creation within the Northern

Administration District," said Goulet.



Business development grants available through the Northern

Development Fund will be increased over 1998-99 and a new

position in support of co-operative development is being

established for the North. Both programs are administered by

Saskatchewan Northern Affairs.



Goulet said that new investments in northern education and

training are also being planned by the government to ensure

northerners fully participate in anticipated expansion of the

northern economy.



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For more information, contact:



Brian Cousins

Saskatchewan Northern Affairs

La Ronge

Phone: (306) 425-4216
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