Meewasin Valley Authority sees funds slashed in provincial budget

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March 22, 2017 - 2:56pm Updated: March 22, 2017 - 8:03pm
The Meewasin Valley Authority lost $409,000 in provincial funding in the 2017-18 Saskatchewan budget.
FIle Photo/650 CKOM
The Meewasin Valley Authority lost $409,000 in provincial funding in the 2017-18 Saskatchewan budget.

The body that oversees Saskatoon's river pathway system saw its funding from the province reduced in the 2017-18 budget.
 
The Meewasin Valley Authority (MVA) lost $409,000 from the provincial Ministry of Parks, Culture and Sport. 
 
In an email to 650 CKOM, a government spokesperson wrote that the MVA would still get $500,000 from the ministry.
 
The authority is jointly funded by the City of Saskatoon, Government of Saskatchewan and the University of Saskatchewan.
 
The spokesperson wrote that the cut represents a loss of about 28 per cent of the money the MVA gets from the combined contributions of the city, province and university. As of 2015, those contributions represented about 16 per cent of the authority's total budget.
 
Funding from the U of S was expected to remain the same – at the discretion of the school's administration.
 
The spokesperson went on to note that provincial revenue-sharing with cities has increased by over 100 per cent since 2007 and as such, it was the government's view that it could step back from funding urban parks. 
 
MVA leadership has made repeated calls for more money over the last several years.
 
The issue came to a head in June 2016, when the authority announced the closure of its interpretive centre and gift shop on Third Avenue South. 
 
At that time, MVA CEO Lloyd Isaak said the authority's funding hadn't kept pace with inflation since its founding in 1979. He said this effectively left the MVA trying to fulfil its mandate with a third of the funding it once had.

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