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South Sask communities receive more than $2.3 million in funding

Projects in southeast and south-central Saskatchewan will benefit.
Southeast College winter
The Southeast College’s Estevan campus.

SOUTH SASKATCHEWAN - Infrastructure improvements, economic development initiatives and tourism projects in southeast and south-central Saskatchewan are at the centre of more than $2.3 million in funding from Prairies Economic Development Canada (PrairiesCan) Canada Coal Transition Initiative.

According to a news release, the investments support the efforts of communities with coal-fired power to upgrade community infrastructure, attract new investment opportunities and create jobs.

“PrairiesCan is proud to see the collaboration happening in southern Saskatchewan to build community resilience in the transition to a green economy,” said Dan Vandal, Minister for PrairiesCan. “These projects are the result of communities working on new economic opportunities and economic infrastructure that supports tourism, business development and employment initiatives.”

The funding supports eight projects worth a total of $2,335,683:

•The Rural Municipality of Coalfields will receive $717,249 to upgrade Primary Grid Road 605 from Bienfait to Lampman.

"The road was in desperate need of repairs as a main connector between two active municipalities," states the news release. "The improvements will be complete in 2024 and will be a great asset to the communities and businesses that this road connects."

•The RM will also receive $233,200 to restore La Roche Percee Provincial Historic Site. The restoration begins in the spring of 2024. This site is unique to Saskatchewan and the heritage value of La Roche Percee site lies in its status as an important First Nation and North-West Mounted Police landmark, as well as a visual record of the region’s ever-changing historical landscape.

"The site remains a significant landmark and is considered sacred by First Nations and locals. Restoring this unique destination by adding picnic tables, new lighting, new pathways and paving the road will significantly increase tourism to the area."

•The Southeast Saskatchewan Economic Partnership Inc. (SSEP) will get $349,234 to complete the Rafferty Marina Phase 2 Engineering and Consultation Requirements. The Rural Municipalities of Estevan and Coalfields, and the Town of Bienfait, have collaborated under the auspices of SSEP to evaluate the feasibility of establishing a new deep-water marina on McDonald Lake near Estevan. This initiative aims to encompass recreational and permanent docking facilities, complemented by residential and commercial lot development surrounding the marina.

"The overarching objective is to bolster regional tourism and recreational activities and serve as a catalyst for economic growth."

•Southeast College will receive $200,000 to expand an industry-accredited heavy equipment operator program in Estevan. This expansion included the purchase of two additional classroom simulators.

•Sunrise Community Futures Development Corporation will receive $100,000 to assist new or existing businesses and social enterprises in southeast Saskatchewan to create and develop online strategies.

•The Town of Coronach will get $120,000 to hire a consultant to develop a roadmap for the town and region to promote its tourism assets, including the Big Muddy Badlands and other natural and historical attractions. The project will also involve training and business support to tourism operators on how to refine and market their experiences and better utilize software to reach customers and improve booking services.

•Coronach will also get $240,000 to co-ordinate municipalities in the region to advance economic development priorities, including tourism, clean energy, value added agriculture and mining.

•The Poplar River Community Park Inc. will receive $216,000 to upgrade the campground, as well as park facilities and amenities, to expand tourism opportunities at Poplar River Community Park.

•The Town of Willow Bunch will receive $160,000 to upgrade a public building for commercial and industrial business use.