Saskatoon mayor ‘satisfied’ with 2015 federal budget

Saskatoon Mayor Don Atchison says he is satisfied with Tuesday's budget announcement out of Ottawa, calling it neither disappointing or exciting. Devin Sauer / Global News

SASKATOON – Saskatoon Mayor Don Atchison says he is “satisfied” with the 2015 federal budget, describing it as “fair and balanced.” Atchison reacted to the budget announcement at a press conference Tuesday afternoon and pointed to multiple funding initiatives that could directly affect Saskatoon residents.

The mayor applauded a new two-year $750 million fund for major municipal transit projects that commences in 2017, and will grow to $1 billion each year after that. If Saskatoon secures any of the funding, it could go towards developing a rapid bus transit system.

“It’s a race to the funding, “said Atchison to reporters.

“If you look at Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary, Kitchener-Waterloo now, there’s all those major centres that are all going into light rapid transit or they have subways already that they wish to expand … those are all areas that we’re going to have to compete with.”

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Atchison also noted that the Conservatives’ plan to reduce employment insurance rates across the country should be felt in Saskatoon.

“With the amount of employees that we have and the amount that we are paying to the federal government right now, there will be a savings there for us and I can’t answer you today how much that us, but I believe it will be significant,” he said.

Atchison said Saskatoon has done very well when it comes to federal funding on a per capita basis. He attributed the city’s success to its business plans and its willingness to lead on major projects.

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