FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SASKATOON, SK – April 6, 2021 – Although the 2021-2022 Provincial Budget did not balance the books, the budget tabled today by Deputy Premier and Finance Minister Donna Harpauer strikes the right balance between short- and long-term measures to stabilize and grow Saskatoon’s economy.
“Today’s budget extends many of the measures announced through the COVID-19 pandemic to support business activity and position us for recovery starting in 2021,” said Jason Aebig, Greater Saskatoon Chamber of Commerce CEO. “After a year of economic uncertainty, Saskatoon businesses now have the clarity and predictability they need to build their recovery plans and rehire, reinvest and get growing again.”
According to the Chamber, highlights of today’s budget included:
• Net debt to GDP ratio remains among the lowest in the country and the province’s credit rating remains the second highest in Canada.
• Stated path to budget balance by 2026-27
• No new taxes or increases on businesses and confirmation of the previously announced reduction in small business corporate income tax rates until 2022.
• Extended emergency pandemic support of $39M for casino gaming operators
• Commitment to fully deploy funding available through the SK Tourism Sector Support program
• Capital funding for the proposed VIDO-InterVac Centre for Pandemic Research, contingent on federal participation
• Record investments in mental health and addictions and key initiatives like the Saskatoon Tribal Council’s Saweyihtotan project that is improving downtown safety
• Reaffirmation of the Saskatchewan Technology Start-Up Incentive
• Workforce development investments, including immigration and career training supports and increased funding for the Saskatchewan Advantage Scholarship Program
“For many businesses that have weathered the COVID storm, the shore is in sight. For others, new waves of COVID uncertainty are limiting their capacity to recover so we will continue to press for additional short-term, targeted measures to help them stay afloat as required,” said Aebig. “At the same time, we will urge governments to keep an eye on the horizon, maintain its course back to fiscal balance, and invest in areas that will keep Saskatoon growing post-COVID.”
Looking ahead, the Chamber will also push for investments and opportunities to support the city’s economic recovery, including targeted infrastructure funding for Saskatoon’s proposed joint-use arena and convention centre and direct supports for small and medium-sized businesses, like the Saskatchewan Small Business Emergency Payment program.
For more information contact:
Margot Orr, Director of Policy and Government Relations
The Greater Saskatoon Chamber of Commerce is Saskatoon’s voice for business, representing a powerful network of 1,400 community-minded businesses, organizations and leaders who want the best for their city. Learn more at saskatoonchamber.com.