Regina mayor hopes 'transformational change' doesn't mean 'downloading'

Regina Mayor Michael Fougere says he hopes "transformational change" doesn't mean provincial cost-cutting will be downloaded onto municipalities.

Wascana Centre Authority needs provincial cash, Michael Fougere says

Regina's Wascana Centre Authority needs provincial money to complete much-needed infrastructure upgrades, Mayor Michael Fougere says. (CBC)

Regina Mayor Michael Fougere says he hopes "transformational change" doesn't mean provincial cost-cutting will be downloaded onto municipalities.

Transformational change is the Saskatchewan Party government's latest phrase to describe how it will cope with budget deficits.

Premier Brad Wall and Finance Minister Kevin Doherty say everything is on the table as their government works toward a balanced budget next year.

On budget day Wednesday, the province announced it would cut funding to five urban parks.

Regina's Wascana Centre wasn't on the list and will receive $3.6 million in operating grants in the 2016-17 fiscal year — the same as the year before.

"Minister [of Parks Mark Docherty] said the funding is stable, so I'll take that at face value," Fougere said on CBC Radio's The Morning Edition.

Fougere said he's also pleased that Regina's share of revenue-sharing money — about $42 million this year — is intact in the budget.

However, word that funding for Wascana Centre could be cut in future has him concerned. The Centre includes the legislative grounds and the University of Regina grounds, as well as the city's largest park.

Wascana Centre needs to renew its infrastructure, but without provincial money, that would be "impossible", he said.

That's why "transformational change" is a phrase he's curious about.

"I'm hoping this isn't a catchword for downloading onto municipalities," he told host Sheila Coles.