Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Three provincial opposition parties seeking answers about what happened to the infrastructure innovation hub and its funding

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Back in 2003, the NDP provincial government of the time, announced a public-private partnership to make Saskatchewan a global leader in the field of innovative sustainable infrastructure, but it never really took off even though millions were spent.

That’s according to three opposition parties, The Green, Progressive Conservative and Progress Parties of Saskatchewan, who say $34 million was funnelled into the program called Communities of Tomorrow, which continued until mid-2013. They want the provincial auditor to investigate what happened to the CT promise of making Saskatchewan “Canada’s first infrastructure innovation hub.”

Michael Melby, spokesperson for the Saskatchewan Progress Party, explains that the plan was to have a permanent National Research Council Presence in Regina, which in partnership with Communities of Tomorrow, would work on sustainable infrastructure. There were ten studies done on asbestos cement water pipes, citing asbestos fibres in the water as a health concern.

Saskatchewan Green Party Leader Naomi Hunter says,  “Communities of Tomorrow is gone. The Research Centre at the University of Regina is gone. The only thing left is a lot of old asbestos cement water pipes.” Progressive Conservative Party Leader Rose Buscholl states that it is time to get to the bottom of the issue and time for taxpayers to get some answers.


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