by Shantel Lipp Shantel Lipp

No one is itching to return to 2020. 

But if there was a positive to pull from last year, it was a record $437.4 million in fall tenders from the Saskatchewan Ministry of Highways. That’s the largest dollar amount allocated to highway work in Saskatchewan history.

So, this message should serve as a reminder to our members that come budget day in Saskatchewan (April 6) to remember the bulk of money allocated to our industry happened in the fall. 

We should not expect to see a similar spend in our industry this spring. Yes, we’re likely to see more projects come our way on or shortly after budget day, but at a much lower dollar amount than what we’re accustomed to seeing.

Our industry is still seen as one that drives the economy. We have a good track record with the provincial government, and it has been fairly consistent with its budgets. I don’t see them reversing this trend despite deficit budgets in the short-term future.

What we should also anticipate this spring is word from several rural municipalities who received COVID-19 stimulus money. This money was granted specifically for road builds and repairs and short-span bridge work.

In addition to provincial stimulus money, the RMs also received money through the Infrastructure Canada program. 

We should expect to see more projects announced this spring related to this, as well as additional projects from other municipalities across the province. 

It’s no secret that both the federal and provincial governments believe our industry is critical to spurring the economy and pulling us out from this funk caused by the pandemic. 

Obviously, this is great news for our industry as it assures there’s work to be done for the foreseeable future. Both the federal and the provincial governments deserve praise.