Regina mayor disappointed Saskatchewan choosing not to fund new swimming pools

Regina's mayor says he's disappointed the Saskatchewan government decided against using federal money to fund two outdoor pools in the city. Michael Bell / The Canadian Press

Regina’s mayor says he’s disappointed the Saskatchewan government has decided against using federal money to fund two outdoor swimming pools in the city.

Michael Fougere says the project is a top priority for Regina and has been raised with both the provincial and federal governments because it meets criteria for receiving infrastructure money.

The issue emerged this week out of a dispute between Ottawa and the Saskatchewan government over a timeline for submitting and approving funding for several infrastructure projects.

READ MORE: Saskatchewan, Ottawa disagree over timeline for infrastructure dollars

Premier Scott Moe accused the federal government of delaying $200 million in critical infrastructure, but Ottawa says it only received Saskatchewan’s funding list in the past 20 days and it needs to be reviewed.

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Deputy premier Gord Wyant says the province submitted the list of more than 20 projects to Ottawa in June, but it took several weeks before that submission was approved.

Wyant says it’s because the federal government wanted the Regina pools added to the mix, but the province doesn’t consider them priorities over decommissioning landfills and expanding water treatment systems.

READ MORE: Regina residents protest closure of Maple Leaf Pool

Wyant has said he believes the pools will be up for funding consideration in future years and that Ottawa’s push to have the pools on the list is political.

Fougere says he was told by provincial officials the pools wouldn’t be on this year’s list and is disappointed.

“This is a priority for the city. We have a large population, we’re the capital of this province and we’ve asked for, I think, a very reasonable request.”

He says he plans to speak to the province and Liberal MP Ralph Goodale about the issue.

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