SASKATCHEWAN LEADERSHIP CANDIDATE
Investing in Infrastructure,
The Saskatchewan Party
One of the main reasons I am seeking the leadership
of the Saskatchewan Party is to emphasize the need
for renewal within our party and our government,
while re-affirming a commitment to our party’s guiding principles.
Included in these principles are a focus on economic growth and job
creation through the private sector – not government – as the en-gine
of the economy, and a commitment to smaller, less intrusive,
more efficient government. These principles will form the foun-dation
of the policies that I will pursue as leader of the party and
Premier of Saskatchewan.
Also central to my leadership campaign is a commitment to re-connect
and re-engage with Saskatchewan Party members and all
Saskatchewan voters. I firmly believe that effective leadership be-gins
with listening. During my 17 years in elected life – on the school
board, on Saskatoon city council and in the provincial legislature –
I have learned the value of listening, and how to work with others to
develop policy that truly meets the needs of people and keeps our
There is no question that Saskatchewan’s growing export econo-my
relies heavily on our transportation system. Our government has
made record investments in highways infrastructure; over $7 billion
has gone towards improving more than 12,000 kilometres of roads
and highways. That said, Saskatchewan also has more roads than
any other province in Canada, and our highway system is strained
by more heavy haul truck traffic than ever. In order to sustain our
thriving industries and ensure that our producers can move goods
and resources safely and efficiently to markets, long-term planning
and continued investments will be required.
While we need to be committed to reducing and eliminating the
operating debt of the province, I will make no apologies for borrow-ing
to invest in the infrastructure and large-scale capital projects
this province needs, whether that is hospitals, schools or highways.
Generally record-low interest rates coupled with high credit ratings
make this an opportune time to make these crucial investments.
To move forward on a long-term plan for the infrastructure needs
of our province, as Premier, I would convene a Transportation Summit
within my first six months in office. The summit would bring togeth-er
the Ministry of Highways and Infrastructure, municipal groups like
SARM and SUMA, and industry partners – including the Saskatchewan
Heavy Construction Association – to consider long-term planning,
funding models and mechanisms to harness industry innovation to
better maintain and build new transportation infrastructure projects.
I would also be strongly in favour of including the federal govern-ment
in this transportation summit, as we know that cooperation
from all levels of government will be required to address our infra-structure
demands. Saskatchewan has benefited from cooperation
with the federal government on large infrastructure programs such
as the Building Canada Fund, and the new Investing in Canada Plan.
As Premier, I will work with the federal government to ensure that
Saskatchewan’s share of federal infrastructure funding is reflective
of our growth rate, and of the significant contribution our province
makes to the national economy.
By Gord Wyant
SCOTT PROKOP / SHUTTERSTOCK.COM 12 Think BIG | Quarter 4 2017 | saskheavy.ca