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Saskatchewan Heritage Fund

The Saskatchewan Heritage Fund was an investment fund set up and administered by the provincial government between 1978 and 1992. It received and invested the province's natural resource (primarily oil, potash, and Uranium) revenues and attempted to save resource revenues for future generations. The Fund was established under the Heritage Fund (Saskatchewan) Act of the provincial Legislative Assembly on May 2, 1978, and was formed by the merger of the former Special Investments Account and the Energy and Resource Development Fund (which had been set up earlier to manage the increasing flow of revenues resulting from higher oil prices). The initial capital was about $465 million, but this grew over the years so that the balance of the Fund was frequently over $1 billion. The Fund received all non-renewable resource revenues, invested these, and paid a dividend of not more than 80% of the Fund's balance each year to the provincial Consolidated Fund (later the General Revenue Fund), from which all provincial expenditures take place. The Fund provided investment capital, usually in the form of loans, to provincial Crown Corporations such as the Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan. Capital projects such as hospitals, restoration of historic buildings, airports, and universities were also financed, and the Fund provided monetary incentives to the petroleum industry. The Fund was most active during the Blakeney government; during the Devine government it was less significant, and was finally wound down by a repeal of the Act in 1992, when it was seen as no longer necessary. During its existence, the Fund was an important mechanism for enabling the provincial government to assume greater control over resource management.

Michael Pretes

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