Feds ink fuel tax sharing plan with Saskatchewan

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SASKATOON, Sask. — Prime Minister Paul Martin yesterday announced a fuel tax rebate program for Saskatchewan that could see nearly $150 million in federal fuel taxes returned to the province over the next five years.

Similar to deals reached with other provinces, the program will see the money distributed among the province’s municipalities. However, critics of the agreement say the province will have its hands tied when it comes to spending the money. The funds must be spent on environmentally-friendly projects such as improved public transportation and sewage systems.

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation says the province should be able to use the funds to upgrade its highways, which are among the worst in the country.

Saskatchewan is the seventh province and territory to ink a fuel tax sharing plan with the feds. Manitoba is still in negotiations, as Winnipeg Mayor Sam Katz has been holding out for the right to spend the money on much-needed road and bridge repairs.

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