The federal government says it has approved funding for Saskatchewan theatre and recreational projects which the province warned were in jeopardy unless an infrastructure deal changed.
A letter posted to federal Infrastructure Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne’s Twitter account Monday says funding for 13 of the province’s requested projects have been approved.
Champagne says additional projects are expected to be approved and that formal announcements would follow.
The federal government’s response comes after the Saskatchewan government raised concerns about the time it was taking for Ottawa to approve a list of almost 30 projects submitted for infrastructure money as part of a 10-year cost-sharing agreement worth almost $900-million.
Saskatchewan Deputy Premier Gord Wyant also signed a letter addressed to Regina-area Liberal MP Ralph Goodale saying a transfer was needed between two pots of money Ottawa had allocated to pay for recreation projects and transit ones.
The province accused Ottawa of being unresponsive, putting three cultural and recreational projects in Regina and Saskatoon at risk without transferring the transit money to the fund to pay for community infrastructure.
In his letter, Champagne outlines how the province can pay for the three projects — plus two outdoor pools in Regina — under the existing funding scheme and request such a transfer in later years.
Wyant responded in a statement, saying he’s disappointed the federal government denied the request to transfer the funds this year.
Wyant said his office is working to find out which 13 projects have been approved.
The government says its funding for the three projects is being considered.