I'll try to remember offhand some of the important stuff in this letter, as I don't have it on hand right now. Saskatchewan is in its second year with a mandatory trail permit program for riding trails. Money was givin from the government ($100,000 I believe) to start the program. The SSA stated that it would take approxamatly 5 years for the program to sustain itself and begin making money to go towards the trail system. The SSA asked the government for additional funds for grooming to keep the program moving. Instead of offering money for the SSA the government went out and purchased 3 new groomers for an area that has 300 km of trails. These areas are provincial parks and a trail permit is not required to ride there. Before the groomers were purchased clubs around the area were approached and asked if they would groom these trails for a fee which would be paid by the government. The clubs in the area had agreed upon this due to extra money coming in for their trail systems. The price tag on the three new groomers was $380,000. Thats alot of money to waste on 300 kms of trail, when there are two or three groomers in the area that could do the same job.
From my understanding of this letter from the SSA, the goverment has come out and said that they will not be supporting the sport of snowmobiling with any extra funding. Their explanation for this was that the money would be better spent in other places. The letter states some interesting facts and numbers. Some that I remember are what the government gets from the sport of snowmobiling.
1) 4.6 billion dollars from PST tax on sales of new sleds and accesories.
2) 5 million on gasoline tax from snowmobilers. Could be more
There was some others but like I said I'm going off memory. The goverment stated that rural Saskatchewan could most likely sustain itself with or without snowmobiles. Another important point was that the president of the SSA said he had been approached by numerous clubs accross Saskatchewan, and they have told him that they are selling their grooming equipment due to low funds. This will surely mean trail closures and I can imagine the impact it is going to have on small towns.
Our provincial government has no interest in helping us out. The Ontario premier Mike Harris has promised 5 millions dollars over three years( could be 5 million a year,not to sure) to go to the sport and He has realized the economic impact snowmobilers have on many small towns acroos Canada and the United States
We pay our taxes, we pay two taxes when we buy a new machine, we pay tax on the accesories and everytime we fuel up the sleds. We support the local economy with untold millions of dollars, but when we need a hand to get on our feet, the government kicks us back to the ground. Looks like in the near future I'll have to ride in Alberta, Manitoba or the States if I want to ride scenic trails. This is undoubtably sickening knowing that within 5 years and no assistance from the government our trails will most likely be gone. Well I guess they will sure miss all the money we dump into the community, then they will realize the good thing they had when it is gone.
I'll have to find a jod in another province I quess.