Making Federal New Deal Infrastructure Dollars Unconditional
Be it resolved that SUMA request that the Provincial Government work towards allocating the federal gas tax funding directly to the municipalities on an unconditional per capita basis because individual councils are capable of determining their own infrastructure needs.
In August 2005 the provincial government signed a bilateral agreement with the federal government on the transfer of federal gas tax revenues under the New Deal for Cities and Communities. The New Deal agreement, which provides $147.7 million of new federal funding to Saskatchewan municipalities over the first five years of the ten year agreement, is a good deal for communities, a good deal for the environment and a good deal that will create jobs in our province. In advance of the agreement negotiations and during the negotiation process, significant work was undertaken through the Municipal Forum, of which SUMA is a participant. The work of the Municipal Forum's working committee guided the province's negotiation of the agreement and resulted in an agreement that both meets the federal government's objectives for the New Deal and the federal gas tax funding while also accommodating the needs of Saskatchewan communities. The federal government has signed agreements with 12 of the 13 provinces and territories and all agreements provide funding on a conditional basis to municipalities to achieve environmental outcomes. Government Relations will continue to seek additional flexibility within the agreement. We do not have any indication that the Federal Government is willing to consider providing unconditional funds through this agreement.