Yukon Weekly

The state of Saskatchewan’s roads is discussed at the SARM convention

Saskatchewan road conditions are discussed at the SARM convention

Key Takeaways:

  • The subject came up during the “bear pit session,” in which attendees had the opportunity to ask their elected officials a variety of questions.
  • The money in the auto fund, from which the rebate cheques will be issued, does not belong to the government, according to Don Morgan, the minister in charge of SGI.

The state of Saskatchewan roads was a hot topic at this week’s Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities (SARM) Convention.

The topic came up during the “bear pit session,” during which attendees could ask their elected officials’ various questions.

“Mr. Bradshaw, you should go north of Estevan on (Highway) 47… One attendee expressed concern to highways minister Fred Bradshaw, saying, “and that’s not the only highway in the province.”

Rural officials have pleaded with the province to fund troubled areas like Highway 47.

Also read: The $36.6 million Freedom Convoy protest cost the city of Ottawa

Ray Orb, president of SARM, expressed concern that as the economy recovers, trucking and transportation wear and tear.

On Wednesday, Orb told reporters, “We understand our members’ point of view — that more money requires to be put into highways.”

With 26,000 km of roadways in the province, Bradshaw stated at the convention that there is a limit to what can be fixed.

He stated that the govt is doing everything it can to prioritize where money should be spent on different roads.

“We want to improve 10,000 km of highways by 2030, and we’re on track.” “This year, we did 1,350 km of highway,” Bradshaw said.

“I understand that everyone wants a major highway built past their home, and they want it now, but we can only do so much.”

He went on to say that the govt is working hard and believes it has made a significant investment in highways.

Trent Wotherspoon, an NDP MLA, said the province needs to invest in highways and make sure it isn’t a “quick fix.”

“Often, the province opts for a quick fix that is then repaired two or three years later as it falls apart,” Wotherspoon explained.

“At the end of the day, we require to make sure we’re investing in systems and rebuilds that will provide the public with the value for money they deserve and the safety and integrity of the highways they need.”

Saskatchewan road conditions are discussed at the SARM convention-
Saskatchewan road conditions are discussed at the SARM convention. Image from WorldNewsEra

When it was announced earlier this week that Saskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI) would be awarding $100 to customers who had a vehicle registered by March 9, officials were asked why the money couldn’t be used to fund road repairs and upgrades.

Don Morgan, the minister in charge of SGI, responded that the money in the auto fund, from which the rebate cheques will be issued, does not belong to the government.

“It belongs to the people who put it in there by rates (and) what they paid for in their license plates,” Morgan said, noting that the money has earned a profit.

“It’s expected to be brought back to those people either through the payment of premiums or claims or through a refund.”

The rebate is expected to cost $95 million, according to SGI.

According to Morgan, the further money is due to low claims due to the pandemic and a high investment return.

On Wednesday, the provincial government will present its budget for 2022-23.

$830 million was set down for highway investments in last year’s budget.

Source: Global News

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