The provincial government announced Wednesday the distribution of $70.3 million to municipal governments to help out with COVID-19 pandemic relief, as Saskatchewan’s portion of the federal Safe Restart Canada Plan.
Government Relations Minister Lori Carr announced that the money will begin to be distributed immediately to all compliant Saskatchewan municipalities
“As Saskatchewan returns to a new normal, this is another important investment to help municipalities and their residents weather the storm,” Carr said. “This funding will support efforts to protect health and safety, prepare for potential future waves of COVID-19, and facilitate the safe re-opening of economies.”
Of the amount, $62.26 million will be granted in general municipal support on a per capita basis, while $8.07 million will be allocated to municipal public transit support for the four cities with transit systems, based on ridership.
“Quickly and efficiently, the amounts will start to be distributed immediately so municipal leaders can funnel dollars to areas of highest local priority,” the release said.
The ministry will be contacting all municipalities directly with details about their specific allocation. The list, which runs 17 pages, shows the top allocations are to Saskatoon ($19 million), Regina ($16.3 million), Prince Albert ($2.3 million) and Moose Jaw ($2.2 million) (numbers rounded off).
The four larger centres are receiving transit allocations, based on 34.86 cents per rider. Included in the above numbers, Saskatoon is getting $4.3 million, Regina is receiving $3.5 million, Moose Jaw is getting $161,000 and Prince Albert is getting $141,000.
Saskatchewan’s remaining cities’ allocations vary from $990,000 for Swift Current down to $272,000 for Melville.
Among 147 towns, Nipawin gets the largest allocation, at $263,000, while Scott has the smallest, at $4,355. Only three towns will receive less than $10,000.
The 250 villages will receive between $59,292 for Caronport (pop. 994) and $1,193 for Wood Mountain (pop. 20).
The 41 resort villages vary between Candle Lake (pop. 840), which is allocated $50,109, and Greig (pop. 10), which gets $597.
There are 296 rural municipalities, and their allocations vary from $511,000 for the RM of Corman Park (pop. 8,568) to $4,295 for the RM of Glen McPherson (pop. 72).
Northern towns, villages and hamlets will see allocations ranging from $168,642 for La Loche to $1,790 for Dore Lake (pop. 30).
This federal funding was matched by $150 million dollars announced previously from the Government of Saskatchewan in the Municipal Economic Enhancement Program.
The release noted this summer, the province “fast-tracked a record breaking $278 million in municipal revenue sharing. Annual, no-strings attached funding was paid directly to municipalities to support local priorities and recovery efforts.”