The Saskatchewan Urban Municipalities convention is still underway in Regina. This morning, delegates took part in several dialogue sessions with provincial cabinet ministers. Weyburn Mayor Marcel Roy took part in the session with the Minister of Government Relations, Don McMorris. Part of the discussions, Roy explained, involved the financing of various infrastructure projects.  

Roy said he posed a question concerning the timeline between when a project is budgeted by the municipality, the project is submitted to the province for approval for funding, and when the money is rolled out. In some instances, municipalities are seeing costs increase substantially between when they are originally planned, and when they get the funding approved to get shovels in the ground.  

“The question was posed, are they doing anything about this inflationary thing?” Roy stated. “Basically, said that, not really, that basically all they could do one the budget is set, that if we cannot meet that budget in the building costs, then it is either up to the municipality to pay this extra cost, or simply downgrade the scope of the project, which really is very hampering.” 

The issue is something Roy said could be seen with one of the biggest infrastructure projects in the city – the new hospital. 

“When our hospital project started off, it was $80 million, then it went to $100 million. Now, they’re saying possibly $148 million, maybe, give or take a few more million dollars.” 

The issue of helping to cover some of the extra costs is something Roy is expecting to be brought up during the bear pit session, which will be the final event for the SUMA convention. The bear pit session is scheduled to wrap up this afternoon.