USask statement on the provincial budget

Building on its March 18 spending plan announcement—which provided an increase in funding for the University of Saskatchewan (USask)—the Government of Saskatchewan announced its full 2020-21 budget on June 15.

“We are very pleased that this government remains committed to the spending plan announced in March—including a one per cent increase to our operating budget—and  appreciate and acknowledge their continued support of our institution,” said Peter Stoicheff, USask president. “The recent budget announcement demonstrates leadership on the part of this government in responding to the needs of Saskatchewan people during this pandemic, providing a balance to addressing the continuing public health crisis, while also looking forward to the future of this province.”

Of particular note, Stoicheff continued, is $1 million to support an agricultural technology program to advance ag-tech innovations in Saskatchewan.

“USask is at the forefront of innovation in agriculture and we welcome this critical investment,” Stoicheff said, noting that USask is also leading the global push to find a vaccine for COVID-19.

“VIDO-InterVac is one of the leaders in the global fight against COVID-19 and the investment from Innovation Saskatchewan towards vaccine development is a critical and welcome vote of confidence by the province in our research capacity and contributions,” said the USask president.

Additional investment, announced by the government earlier and not part of USask’s operating budget, will go towards the upgrading USask’s Griffiths Stadium in Nutrien Park.

“We are committed to being an integral part of the recovery effort in this province and are grateful that USask will receive $3.1 million for the renewal of turf at Griffith Stadium as part of government’s infrastructure spending plan,” said Stoicheff.

“The government’s growth and spending plans are important, and the University of Saskatchewan has a key role to play in supporting them as we move forward,” Stoicheff said. “USask provides a valuable public service, and none of what we do and accomplish is possible without the support of the Government of Saskatchewan. The university is aligned with the province in achieving a shared vision for the benefit of the people of Saskatchewan through our teaching, learning and research mission.”

The one-time and ongoing implications of COVID-19 on university finances are being closely monitored to determine potential short- and long-term impacts.

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