2023-07. Increased Funding/Support for Engineering Cost-overruns

Year: 2023


Whereas Government grant programs such as the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (ICIP) requires a municipality to submit engineering plans prior to finding out if the municipality has been approved for the funding; and

Whereas this is a mandatory component of applications and costly to municipalities; and

Whereas councils are made up of people without engineering backgrounds, are unfamiliar with the intricacies of the required designs, and have difficulty effectively collaborating with professional engineers to produce a design that is in the best interest of the municipality but also cost-effective and reasonable; and

Whereas there are situations where municipalities have been unsatisfied with some of the designs produced by engineers and which have resulted in additional costs to municipalities.

Therefore be it resolved that SUMA advocate the Provincial Government to set up a contingency fund to cover cost overruns due to errors arising during the mandatory creation of engineering reports, and to allow municipalities to apply for, and receive payment of, grants before having to undertake the creation of detailed engineering reports.


Acts affected: None

Regions/Sectors: ALL

Provincial Response

Dear Randy Goulden:

I am writing in response to your May 11, 2023, letter regarding resolutions passed at the 2023 Saskatchewan Urban Municipalities Association (SUMA) Convention.

Please find the attached response to resolution 2023-07 'Increased Funding/Support for Engineering Cost-overruns' pertaining to the Ministry of Government Relations.

  • For the recent Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (ICIP) - Green Intake Stream, the Ministry of Government Relations did not require engineering reports or feasibility studies as a mandatory document as noted within section 6 Application Process within the ICIP Program Guide.
  • Although not mandatory, cost estimates or feasibility studies prepared by subject matter experts or engineers provide valuable information and can help reinforce the justification behind an application. Further to this, cost estimates provided within these applications are important for both the success of a project as well as the provincial government's budget overall to ensure that dollars are budgeted and forecasted accurately.
  • There is funding available through the Targeted Sector Support (TSS) Initiative for planning projects where two or more Saskatchewan communities partner. Information regarding TSS funding can be obtained by contacting
  • Regarding the situations where municipalities are unsatisfied with some of the designs produced by engineers, it is encouraged that municipalities tender engineering services in a competitive manner to obtain best value-for-money principles as well perform reference checks. The Association of Professional Engineers & Geoscientists of Saskatchewan also has a complaint page where a municipality can submit a complaint at the following link: APEGS » Submit a Complaint

Congratulations on another successful convention. I look forward to continued discussions with your organization on areas of mutual interest.



Don McMorris

Minister of Government Relations

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