Provincial Budget Hurts Hometowns

This page is dedicated to providing Saskatchewan Urban Municipalities (SUMA) members and the public with information on SUMA's advocacy work in the wake of the 2017-18 provincial budget. Here you will find information on the issues we are raising, links to social media platforms, and articles covering our response to the budget. Check back often, as we will update this page with new information as it becomes available.

Important Resources from SUMA
Background • Key Messages • FAQs
Template Letters • Policy Positions 
Member Communications

Amplifying Our Voice
SUMA social Media Platforms
Suggested Hashtags

In the News What Members and Partners Are Saying

Important Resources from SUMA



Looking for details on payments in lieu? Want to know why reserves can't make up the difference? Get those details, and find out what you can do in this background document.

Key Messages

Preparing for a council meeting or preparing to go talk to your MLA? Get the key points on all the cuts affecting Saskatchewan's hometowns in easy-to-understand bullet points, including specific requests you can make.


Have a question on the issues we are raising? This document should answer it. If we missed something, please send your question to and we will work on getting an answer for you.

Template Letter to the Editor

Engage your local media with a letter you can personalize and send to nearby newspapers — even to radio and TV stations in your area. We've created two versions of the letters, allowing you to use the letter that best covers how this budget is hurting your municipality.

Template for municipalities losing payments in lieu
Template for municipalities focused on downloads and lack of meaningful consultation 

Template Letter to Government MLAs/Cabinet Ministers

The templates below are intended for government (i.e., Saskatchewan Party) MLAs. You may also want to send a letter to Government Relations Minister Donna Harpauer, Premier Brad Wall, and other members of cabinet, especially if your local MLA is a member of the official opposition. 

Template for municipalities losing payments in lieu
Template for municipalities focused on downloads and lack of meaningful consultation 
Addresses for all MLAs
Address for Premier and cabinet ministers that attended the March 29 meeting with SUMA representatives

Policy Positions

This budget was rife with downloading. See SUMA's existing policy position for details on how the provincial government downloads to Saskatchewan hometowns.

SUMA has long said that the Saskatchewan Transportation Company (STC) is vital to our hometowns. See our existing policy position for more details. 

The municipal revenue sharing program has been leading edge in Canada. SUMA defends it at every opportunity. Our policy position has more details. 

Member Communications

March 24: Details on Cuts to Grants in Lieu in 2017-18 Provincial Budget

March 24: SUMA fighting for Outraged Members
Comparison of revenue sharing amounts to payments in lieu

March 26: Messaging on Provincial Budget Impacts for SUMA members 

March 28: SUMA website Now Loaded With Details for Members

March 30: President's Update — From Budget to Board Meeting and Beyond

April 7: Have Your Say on Provincial Budget Cuts

April 13: Update on Legal Action on Payments in Lieu

May 19: End of Session Wrap Up

Amplifying Our Voice

Throughout the campaign, we encourage you to share and retweet our content, and alert us to yours by tagging or mentioning us. 

SUMA social Media Platforms



Suggested Hashtags



In the News

See SUMA's media releases, and keep up with what SUMA and our members are saying in the media.

Sask. cities want to avoid budget day surprises next year

What you need to know about why cities might sue the province

Early estimated property tax increase for 2018 near seven per cent

'They may want to drive that point home': Fighting Bill 64 could score political points even if it fails, expert says

Province moves to axe clause preventing legal challenges of Bill 64

Tank: Biggest Saskatoon property tax hike in a decade coming

Melfort looks at 4.07 percent tax increase

Letter: SUMA says Sask. Party sowing confusion about payments-in-lieu

Taylor has provincial issues on his mind at council

Editorial - Bill that prevents cities from suing Province is heavy-handed

Council passes tax, fine hikes to deal with provincial cuts

Saskatchewan towns losing $33M to province: SUMA

Province 'ripping up contracts' that provide millions to cities: SUMA

OPINION: Town reserves not for funding day-to-day expenses

Sask. cities have 'no realistic' hope of challenging a $33 million cut, legal expert says

Province 'ripping up contracts' that provide millions to cities: SUMA

SUMA creates information website following Saskatchewan Budget

OPINION: Town reserves not for funding day-to-day expenses

'Because they were going to': Government defends legislation amendment prohibiting legal action

SUMA still waiting for clarity on SaskPower, SaskEnergy grant cuts

'I think they've been misguided': SUMA defiant on government decision to cut grants worth $33M

'It's just sort of mind-blowing': NDP questions government grants-in-lieu cuts

PlayEscapes and lawn bowling saved in amended city budget, mill rate goes up 2.5% (Regina)

Municipalities decry 'lack of respect' from provincial government

Melfort re-examining Spruce Haven Plan

Regina council hikes taxes, cuts programs to fill money gap

Tax increase and untouched reserves likely as council addresses 'very concerning' financial situation

CBC's Political Panel talks split between Sask. Party and former allies

Wall's government alienating the allies it needs most

Melfort examining cuts to Main Street, tourism promotion by chamber

Saskatoon city manager says reserves can't be used to fund deficit

Sask. premier insists cities use reserve funds to account for budget shortfalls

Potential scrapping of Regina's Playescapes program 'discouraging for families'

No easy decisions for council on amended budget, says Fougere

Meewasin Valley Authority closing river access sites, reducing staff after budget cuts

Regina, province still butting heads on funding shortfall

City council to return April 18 to consider amended budget

Municipalities still angry at province over budget funding

No need for municipal tax hikes: Premier says after budget cuts

City of Saskatoon addresses budget shortfall

Saskatoon Urban Municipalities Association pushing for more budget talks

Saskatchewan cities, towns say they're insulted by government action

Muench Highlights Budget Options in City Minute

N.B. mayor says 30% grant return not enough

Grants-in-lieu loss leading to tax increases and service cuts in Saskatchewan towns

Provincial cuts, downloading costs Saskatoon $59M, city says

Saskatchewan should take note: Libraries are sanctuaries of civil society

'Unexpected circumstance' bringing on cost reductions and mill rate increase, says Mayor Fougere

On the mess that is Saskatchewan today

Library cuts "drastic" for region

City of Regina mulls 6.49% tax hike after provincial budget cuts

City proposes additional 2.5% tax hike, $4.1M in cuts

Additional 1.69 per cent property tax increase proposed

Protesters Drop Everything and Read at MLA office rallies

SUMA strategizing next move

Saskatoon Public Library, facing $800K deficit, prepares to make 'substantial' cuts

Grants-in-lieu: How does it all work?

Grants-in-lieu loss leading to tax increases and service cuts in Saskatchewan towns

Sask. libraries still reeling from budget cuts

City of Saskatoon still mulling over how to tackle $9M funding shortfall

Because of cuts to funding in the recent budget, Saskatchewan libraries are ending the 'One Province, One Card' sharing program

Library-to-library loans shut down after provincial cuts

Libraries in Sask. forced to stop inter-library transfers due to budget cuts

Laid-off library workers speak out about budget cuts

City would need 4.45 per cent tax hike to make up shortfall: Totland

Don't shut down library-to-library loans, urges minister despite funding cuts

Stacks in danger

Cooper: Credit where credit is due

Government alters course on grants-in-lieu

Province caps grants-in-lieu reductions

New poll shows Wall's popularity falls as taxes and cuts rise

Advocates continue fight despite minister's suggestion libraries on the decline

Payments in lieu issue explodes at legislature

Province caps reduction to grants-in-lieu funding

Government to cap grants-in-lieu reductions but 100 communities still in 'exact same situation': Mayor Clark

Province reduces cuts to municipal grants after backlash

Sask. government walks back cuts to grants-in-lieu for some municipalities

The Queen City Improvement Bureau podcast

Province has 'high level' talk with cities about changes to revenue sharing

Mayors upset with mass funding cuts in Wall budget

Provincial budget tough for Humboldt

Humboldt Management Digs into Budget Effects

Government of Saskatchewan release: Province Caps Grants-In-Lieu Reduction

Mayors meet with ministers over grants-in-lieu funding

Meeting between Sask. ministers, mayors starts 'positive' conversation

Council 'blindsided' by provincial budget

Budget clawback takes a chunk out of urban municipalities’ finances: SUMA

Budget was bad news for Estevan

Municipalities get hit hard

North Battleford considers legal action against Saskatchewan government

Revenue sharing should 'be reflective' of provincial revenue: Premier Brad Wall

Wall hints at revenue sharing changes as budget defence continues

Paulsen: 11.4 million reasons to sing the blues

Grants-in-lieu tax grab an insult to Regina, Saskatoon

Provincial cuts equivalent of 15% tax increase for city

Moose Jaw, Sask. reeling from provincial budget

Council outraged at provincial budget; $2 million in cuts for city

Calls to reverse grants in lieu decision increase

Moose Jaw Council Isn't Sure How to Respond to Provincial Cuts

SUMA calls decision to end payments in lieu "outrageous" and "short-sighted"

SUMA says cities being forced to do the province's 'dirty work'

SUMA calls on Saskatchewan government to reverse payments in lieu decision

Municipalities urge province to stop budget cuts; claim dire finances

Saskatoon may not be alone in taking province to court over lost grant-in-lieu revenue

City of Regina struggles to fill the hole the province blew in its budget 

North Battleford hit hard by loss of grants in lieu 

Yorkton facing 'unprecedented hit' after Sask. budget scraps grants program

Budget back-and-forth plays out between Sask. Party, SUMA

Loss of grant-in-lieu funding leaves Sask. municipalities short

Regina Council to revisit city budget on April 10

Reserve dipping a last resort as council deals with grants-in-lieu shortfall

Tax hikes or service cuts looming for Saskatoon after provincial budget

Grant cuts could deal $10M blow to Regina, says mayor

Some cities losing half of provincial funding, says Sask. Urban Municipalities Association

What are grants-in-lieu and why are they important?

Saskatoon's budget battle with province heads to court

Media Releases

May 12 (SUMA): SUMA renews Call for Meaningful Consultation as Bill 64 Becomes Law

April 24 (SUMA): Province’s Bill 64 Strips Hometowns of Revenues and Rights
Livestream of media conference

April 10 (SUMA): SUMA calls for Meaningful Consultation as Hometowns Reopen Budgets
Livestream of media conference

March 28 (SUMA): Provincial Government Punishing Hometowns
Livestream of media conference

March 22 (SUMA): SUMA relieved "Solemn Promise" of Revenue Sharing Kept, Disappointed by Continued Downloading

What Members and Partners Are Saying

Saskatchewan Seniors Mechanism (SSM): Concerns and questions from the SSM board

Saskatchewan Seniors Mechanism: Questions you might want to ask about issues of key importance to seniors

April 12 (City of Humboldt): We're forced to manage the impacts imposed on us by #skbudget, see how we're doing so

April 10 (City of Saskatoon): Mayor & Councillors Approve Balanced Plan to Fill Provincial Budget Shortfall

April 7 (City of Regina): Proposed Amended Budget

April 5 (City of Saskatoon): Provincial Budget Funding Impact

April 3 (Town of Kindersley): Town Determining Impact of Provincial Budget 2017

March 31 (Mayor Charlie Clark's Office): Provincial Cap to Grants-In-Lieu does not help Saskatoon or 99 other cities, towns and villages.

City of Yorkton: Impact of the Loss of SaskPower and SaskEnergy Payments to Urban Municipalities

March 28 (City of Regina): Council calls on province to reverse funding cuts

March 27 (City of Yorkton): Provincial Budget Has Huge Implications for Yorkton

March 26 (City of Saskatoon): City Council Seeking Legal Measures Among Other Options to Address Provincial Gov’t Refusal to Pay Grants in Lieu of Property Taxes

March 24 (City of Saskatoon): Provincial government cuts push financial burden onto City residents & taxpayers: Choices facing City Council are to raise property taxes or cut City services

March 23 (City of Humboldt): City Significantly Impacted by 2017 Provincial Budget