STA satisfied by highway, infrastructure investment
REGINA, SK – Saskatchewan announced its 2017 provincial budget yesterday and the Saskatchewan Trucking Association (STA) says its pleased to see the government dedicate $1.1 billion to highways and infrastructure while the province is facing an economic downturn and financial hardship.
“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 Susan Ewart, executive director of the STA. “Without the proper roadways 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.”
While the STA welcomed highway and infrastructure spending like the $53 million investment in Northern Saskatchewan infrastructure and $342.9 million in capital investments, the STA was disappointed to see funding for the alternative truck route agreement slashed $500,000, leaving rural roads in Saskatchewan exposed to increased damage. The STA says weight restrictions due to rural road conditions are a thorn in the side of the trucking industry and that decreased spending on rural roads make it more difficult for both producers and transport companies to move goods across the province.
In addition, the trucking industry will be impacted by the budget’s 1% increase in Provincial Sales Tax (PST). PST will also now be applied to insurance premiums. The STA has reccomended STA members to contact HAL Insurance to see how the PST will affect their business.
The STA said while the trucking industry is pleased with this year’s budget, it will continue to work for changes to weights and dimensions, red tape reduction and innovative methods to keep the economy moving.
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