On June 1, 2016 the Saskatchewan Party government presented the provincial budget. It was with great disappointment that Wakamow Valley Authority learned that annual statutory funding of $127,000 and supplementary funding of $30,000 to Wakamow Valley has been withdrawn. Urban parks in Weyburn, Prince Albert, Swift Current and North Battleford also had their funding withdrawn for 2016-2017. Wascana Centre Authority (WCA) in Regina and Meewasin Valley Authority (MVA) in Saskatoon have retained full funding for 2016-17.

As per the Wakamow Valley Authority Act established in 1981, the statutory requirement for the provincial General Revenue Fund is to provide annual funding of $127,000 to Wakamow Valley Authority. Following the decision to cut funding the government will now have to pass legislation to amend the act.

The result of this decision is that Wakamow Valley Authority will lose one third of statutory funding with no notice which will have a negative effect on the operations and maintenance of Wakamow Valley. The remaining statutory funding is provided by the City of Moose Jaw ($304,500) and RM of Moose Jaw ($2,500). We feel that to expect the respective communities and cities to pick up the difference, when the City and RM have already set their budgets, including allocating funds to their urban parks is unreasonable, particularly as most cities have infrastructure concerns that need immediate attention.

Wakamow Valley Authority request that the government give the same consideration to Wakamow Valley Authority as has been afforded to WCA and MVA. To retain our funding for 2016-17 fiscal year and to be placed under review for the following year.

Wakamow Valley urgently need the support from Moose Jaw residents who recognize the positive impact the valley has on their quality of life. The valley is a valuable, safe, recreational resource and we are passionate about maintaining and managing the green space for both people and wildlife alike.

We would encourage all Moose Jaw residents to contact their local MLA to support this request.

Yours sincerely,

Margaret Moran                                                              Paul Spriggs
CEO, Wakamow Valley Authority                                     Chair, Board of Directors, Wakamow Valley Authority

For further information, please contact Margaret Moran – 306-692-2717 or email wakamow @sasktel.net.