REGINA, Sask. – The Saskatchewan Trucking Association (STA) said the provincial government’s announcement today (March 22) that it would allocate $1.1 billion toward highways and infrastructure was a sign of relief in the face of economic downturn and financial struggle.
“The Saskatchewan Party has always made it very clear that highways are of key importance to our economy; we cannot be a land-locked exporter without trucking,” said STA executive director Susan Ewart. “Without the proper roadway infrastructure for trucks to travel on, Saskatchewan risks losing its competitive edge on many of its exports. The government fully understands this and makes it possible for trucks to operate and keep our economy moving.”
But not every item on the STA’s wish list was checked off.
The government’s highways and infrastructure budget includes funding for the Regina bypass (which is 40% complete), $53 million for Norther Saskatchewan infrastructure and $342.9 million for capital investments, but neglected to fully address the alternative truck route agreement funding, decreasing the amount by $500,000, which the STA said could risk increased damage to the province’s rural roadways.
The STA said weight restrictions on rural roadways are a ‘thorn in the side of the industry’, which are necessary due to the current condition of the roads, and that decreased spending on rural roadways hinder the movement of goods to market.
Despite the hit to rural roads and the current financial state of the province, the STA said the Saskatchewan Party did make good on its promise to invest in the province’s roadways and infrastructure.
The STA also said the 1% increase in PST and the introduction of PST on insurance premium will have an effect on the trucking industry, and anyone with questions regarding the PST can contact HAL Insurance at 306-569-2150 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.