On April 16, 2021, the city of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada received over $102 million in joint revitalization funding for 11 green infrastructure and COVID-19 resilience projects.
The green infrastructure projects include upgrades to drinking water and wastewater systems, improvements to solid waste management, sidewalk expansion, and a new solar power plant. Several of those projects will help provide long-term reliable services to local communities while also contributing to a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.
“Through our collaboration with our provincial and municipal partners, we are funding important infrastructure projects in Saskatoon. With the COVID-19 Resilience Stream, we are also responding to the impacts of the pandemic through flexible and accelerated investments in key infrastructure upgrades as quickly as possible. The funding announced today will help communities build back better, create jobs, and build cleaner, more inclusive communities,” said Jim Carr, Government of Canada’s Special Representative for the Prairies, on behalf of the Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities.
Three projects are receiving funding under the new COVID-19 Resilience Stream. Among those, the Meewasin Trail Enhancements project will increase the capacity and accessibility of the Meewasin trail network, which has seen an important increase in usage since the start of the pandemic. The Kinsmen Riverfront, Downtown Core, Southwest and River Heights sectors will all be expanded, and new equipment will be added to increase visitor safety and comfort.
Providing communities with reliable, ecofriendly, and sustainable infrastructure is a shared priority for both governments. The Government of Canada is investing more than $41.1 million in these 11 projects through the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program.
For the projects requiring consultations with Indigenous groups, funding is conditional on all consultation requirements being met. The Government of Saskatchewan is investing over $34.3 million toward these projects. The City of Saskatoon is providing $25.8 million to support seven of these projects.
“The Government of Saskatchewan is proud to be directly investing more than $34.3 million into the City of Saskatoon and the surrounding area. Infrastructure projects like these, not only protect the local economy as it recovers from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, but also helps build a strong and growing province,” said Don McMorris, Saskatchewan’s Minister of Government Relations.“These investments of over $100 million come at a crucial time for helping drive economic recovery and helping position the Saskatoon region for a strong future. Our community is very grateful for this support from both the Federal and Provincial Governments. These projects will improve our core infrastructure and ability to provide services, help make Saskatoon build towards a more sustainable lower-carbon future, and promote more health and activity for families,” added Charlie Clark, Mayor of Saskatoon.
Through the Investing in Canada plan, the federal government is investing more than $180 billion over 12 years in public transit projects, green infrastructure, social infrastructure, trade and transportation routes, and Canada’s rural and northern communities.
“On behalf of Meewasin’s board, staff and the broader community, we want to thank the Provincial and Federal governments for making investments into important trail infrastructure. The Meewasin Trail network is built with goals for the lowest possible environmental impact and highest standards for safety and accessibility. Meewasin recorded almost two million visits in 2020, seeing increased demand during the pandemic. The planned enhancements are invaluable outdoor spaces where community members and future visitors can stay active, learn about the environment, and experience nature that supports physical and mental wellbeing,” said Colin Tennent, Chair, Meewasin Valley Authority Board of Directors.
In Saskatchewan, the Government of Canada has invested more than $773 million in over 450 infrastructure projects since 2015 under the Investing in Canada Plan.