April 6, 2021

‘Strong capital plan’ key to Saskatchewan’s pandemic economic recovery

Capital investment of $3.1 billion in 2021-2022 budget to spur economy and create jobs

Saskatchewan will invest a record $6.54 billion in health care, as well as $3.1 billion in capital projects to protect people and pave the way for economic recovery as the province emerges from the pandemic.

“While Saskatchewan’s economy has fared better than most . . . the pandemic has still had a significant impact on the province’s economy and finances,” said Finance Minister Donna Harpauer as she tabled the province’s 2021-2022 budget today.

“Our government has set a course to meet the fiscal challenge. We will manage carefully — without reckless cuts or large tax increases that would threaten both the pandemic response and a strong recovery.”

Along with health, the budget will make record investments in education ($3.75 billion) and social services ($1.56 billion), including increasing maximum payments by $30 a month for low-income seniors starting July 1. Taxation will be added on vapour products and heat-not-burn tobacco products, as well as a road use fee for electric vehicles at the time of registration.

Saskatchewan has a multi-year budget of $4.8 billion towards COVID-19 support and recovery measures, with $1.5 billion set aside this year.

The budget estimates revenues of $14.5 billion, $17.1 billion in expenditures and a deficit of $2.6 billion in 2021-2022. A return to balanced budgets is anticipated in 2026-2027. Saskatchewan’s real GDP is forecast to grow 3.4 per cent in 2021.

“As Saskatchewan emerges from the pandemic, growth and a strong capital plan will be the foundation of our province’s economic recovery,” Harpauer said. “This budget provides $3.1 billion in capital investment to further stimulate the economy and to support more than 17,500 jobs.”  

Infrastructure Highlights:

Health care

  • $162 million in health care capital, including:$7.6 million for the 80-bed La Ronge long-term care facility;
  • $3.6 million for the future Grenfell long-term care facility;
  • Planning stage investment of $550,000 for new Watson and Estevan long-term care facilities;
  • $500,000 of planning dollars for replacement of long-term care beds in Regina;
  • $5.7 million for Urgent Care Centres in Regina and Saskatoon;
  • $1.4 million for Weyburn Hospital planning; and
  • $1.4 million for ongoing work on the program and design plans for Prince Albert’s Victoria Hospital.


  • $830 million for operating, maintaining, building and improving Saskatchewan’s roads and highways, up $115 million compared to last year. This includes $520 million for:The start of twinning work on Highway 3 west of Prince Albert. Design is scheduled to occur in 2021 with the contract being tendered this fall and completion in fall 2022;
  • Multiple passing-lane projects on Highways 2, 3, 12, 14 and 16;
  • Three sets of passing lanes on Highway 7;
  • Two sets of passing lanes and widening on Highway 5;
  • Completing passing lanes and other improvements on Highway 39;
  • $44.5 million to rehabilitate or replace 14 bridges and multiple culverts;
  • More than $33 million in transfers related to municipal infrastructure; and
  • $530,000 for a new Short-line Rail Infrastructure Program.


  • Nearly $190 million for education capital, up $22.3 million, compared to last year. This includes:Nearly $102 million to support 21 ongoing capital projects that will build 16 new schools and renovate five more;
  • Construction of a new elementary school in Weyburn will be completed this year; and
  • Construction will begin on a new joint-use facility in Regina to replace Argyle and St. Pius elementary schools.
  • This budget also provides $8.8 million as part of stimulus funding to complete 15 school maintenance projects, the second year of a $25.9 million total commitment;
  • A further $10.3 million to fund relocatable classrooms; and
  • Nearly $68 million to fund ongoing preventative maintenance, renewal and emergency funding.

Government Services

  • More than $324 million in government services infrastructure, including:$52 million for the construction of the remand centre at the Saskatoon Correctional Centre; and
  • $3.8 million to replace and expand the Saskatoon Correctional Centre urban camp.

Dams, Canals & Irrigation

  • Approximately $70 million for maintenance and upgrades to dams and canals; and
  • $18.9 million for phase one of the Lake Diefenbaker Irrigation Expansion Project.

Municipal Infrastructure

  • 244 million for municipal infrastructure.

Crown Corporations

  • Saskatchewan’s Crown corporations will spend $1.6 billion on major capital projects this year, including:
  • More than $937 million by SaskPower to improve the province’s electricity system to meet demand and maintain reliability; and
  • SaskTel will invest more than $323 million this year to improve its networks and complete its $107-million Wireless Saskatchewan program — with an investment of $7.5 million to improve cellular services for rural customers.  

The full Saskatchewan 2021-2022 budget documents can be accessed here.