SARM Update

Health Canada Finds 2,4-D can Be Used Safely
Health Canada’s Pest Management Agency (PMRA) concluded its re-evaluation of the popular herbicide 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) finding that the herbicide can be used safely according to label directions for a variety of lawn, turf and agricultural applications.“These most recent findings by the PMRA are consistent with previous decisions made by authorities including the World Health Organization, European Commission, US Environmental Protection Agency, and recent studies by the US National Cancer Institute that deem 2,4-D to be a valuable and useful herbicide that does not pose human health or environmental risks when used according to label instructions,”  Jim Gray executive director of the Industry Task Force II on 2, 4-D Research Data. 

Municipal Leadership Development Workshop (MLDP)
Planning has begun for the fall and winter MLDP modules.  If your community would like to host a workshop please contact Raquel at 306.767.3731. 

The Power Within Leadership Series

The Power Within Leadership event will be presented in Saskatoon on October 14th, 2008 at the Credit Union Centre. This event features an extraordinary line up of diverse guest speakers and promises to be a tremendous learning and networking opportunity.  There is a Special Rate for Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities (SARM) Members and Guests – Only 50 Tickets Available at $169
The Power Within Leadership Series Presents  Anthony Robbins, Anthony Zuiker, Loretta LaRoche & More! Live in Saskatoon, SK, October 14th, 2008 • 8:30AM to 5:00PM* Credit Union Centre

To Register Call Ryan Toll Free 1-866-886-4775.  For more details, please visit:

Rural Partnership Development Program

Proposals are invited for the new Rural Partnership Development Program.  Guidelines can be viewed on the Rural Website at . Please note there are limited funds and applications will be reviewed and approved on a first come, first served basis.  The final deadline is November 30, 2008 and all project activities must end by March 31, 2009.
The objective of the Rural Partnership Development Program is to engage stakeholders to develop collaborative activities that enhance developmental capacity in rural, coastal, northern or remote communities and regions in Canada.

The Rural Partnership Development Program offers funds for three types of rural community projects within two program categories:

1.Community Development Support  for a) Conferences and Workshops – available funding may cover up to 50% of eligible project costs to a maximum of $15,000 and b) Partnership Development – available funding may cover up to 50% of eligible project costs, to a maximum of $60,000); and

2.Reinforcing Capacities and Building Knowledge for rural serving NGOs and academic institutions to increase their understanding, awareness and accessibility of available tools and identifying gaps – available funding may cover up to 50% of eligible project costs to a maximum of $100,000.

Preference may be given to the following:
·         Projects related to enhancing the competitiveness of rural regions; fostering innovative development/use of untapped potential; and deriving new value from rural amenities (natural and cultural assets)
·         Projects that demonstrate community and industry/natural resource sector partnerships
·         Projects where the proposal demonstrates that there are multi-sector and/or multi-community partnerships, in addition to funding partners.

Eligible recipients may include non-profit organizations, associations, educational institutions, co-operative associations, non-governmental organizations (NGO’s), and local, provincial, and territorial governments.

FCM Green Municipal Fund – Investing in leadership, inspiring change
FCM’s Green Municipal Fund (GMF) provides loans and grants, builds capacity, and shares knowledge to support municipal governments and their partners in developing communities that are more environmentally, socially and economically sustainable.

The Government of Canada endowed FCM with $550 million to establish GMF to provide a long-term, sustainable source of financing for municipal governments and their partners.

To ensure the greatest possible impact, FCM uses GMF to invest in plans, studies and projects that provide the best examples of municipal leadership in sustainable development and that can be replicated in other communities. FCM develops case studies and other tools to support municipal governments that are prepared to follow these examples. 

 June Division Meetings

The 2008 June Division meeting were well attended.  Participants heard a variety of presentations from Municipal Affairs, SaskPower, SMHI, Occupations Health and Safety, SARM Agricultural Policy and Enterprise Saskatchewan.  There was a presentation on the Farm and Ranch Infrastructure Fund in Division 2 and 3.  Division 5 and 6 participants heard from Katherine Finn, Project Coordinator, Source Water Protection Plan, Division 4 had a presentation on the Bridge Inspection Program and Division 1 was updated on the Bakken Oil Development.  Divisions 1, 4 and 5 also had a presentation from MNP on the Crop Insurance Review. 

President David Marit and Division Directors discussed the many issues SARM is currently working on including:
– Bridge Inspections
– Crop Insurance
– Occupational Health and Safety
– School Closures/School Property tax
– Building Canada Fund
– Revenue Sharing Review
– In-house Planner
– Farm/Ranch Water Infrastructure Program
– Development Issues Across Saskatchewan
– Enterprise Saskatchewan
– Navigable Waters
– Duty To Consult  

Laurel Feltin, SARM Director of Agricultural Policy, presented a report on the following:
– Clearing The Path 2008 Agreements
– Clearing The Path
– Rail Service, Crop Insurance Livestock Payments
– Municipal Capacity Development Program
– Inter-municipal Cooperation
– Rural Level Of Service Review
     – Transport Canada
     – 2 Phases
     – Data Gathering, Surveys, Consulting
     – Railways And Shippers Involved
     – Railways Operate A Dualopoly System
     – Siding Abandonment- Full Cost Review
– Crop Insurance Review
     – Cost of Productivity 100%
     – Re-seeding Benefit- Proportional Tier Structure
     – Comparison to Other Provinces
     – Buy Up For Beginning Farmers
     – Duress Areas
     – Variable Price Options
     – Weather Based Programs
     – Spot Loss Hail- Wildlife Damage
     – Livestock Insurance Apart From Crop Insurance 

Municipal Affairs (MA) 

  • Building Canada Fund (BCF) – $189 million available over 6 years with 17 eligible categories.  Application guides should be ready in mid-July.
  • Saskatchewan Infrastructure Growth Initiative (SIGI) is an interest free loan program for lot development and associated developmental costs.
  • Revenue Sharing – MA is working on a plan for long term stability by linking revenue sharing to the provincial economy.  
  • Municipal Sector Strategic Plan (MSSP) has been a good avenue to improve government to government relationships.  They have been working on issues such as revenue sharing, infrastructure, land use planning and regional service delivery.

SaskPower presented the Net Metering Program which is designed to encourage small scale renewable electricity for customers interested in generating their own energy.  The bi-directional or net meter records electricity generated and used, with the excess being fed back into the SaskPower grid.  Examples of renewable energy include; wind, low impact hydro, biomass, flare gas and solar. 

Occupational Health and Safety is working towards ensuring that all employers and contractors understand the new guidelines for operator training for power mobile equipment (PME) which will be in place in October 2008.  Competent operators must be trained by a competent trainer on each specific piece of equipment.  This training should be the equivalent of 16 hours practical and classroom.  A competent trainer must understand the course content as it applies to the equipment they train/asses on, they are recommending experienced operators who have completed their training.  Course content should include: OHS regulation requirements, the type of PME, site, PME controls, operation of PME and rigging, signalling, maintenance and repair records where applicable.  Information can be found through third party training, manufacturers and the internet. 

The 2008 Bridge Inspection Program has 446 structures to inspect in 33 RMs this year.  The inspections are being carried out in order to protect and prolong the useful life of these structures by identifying the need for maintenance, repair and rehabilitation.  Once the problems have been identified the municipality can use this information to project repair and maintenance schedules. 

Meyers Norris Penny (MNP) opened the floor to comments on the Crop Insurance program.  MNP is collecting information to identify strengths and weaknesses of the current Crop Insurance Program and to identify opportunities for improvement.  The following were some of the issues identified:

  • Wildlife damage – affecting yield averages
  • Increased reseeding benefits – to reflect higher input costs
  • Hail insurance – should be included
  • Forage insurance – need improved coverage

Enterprise Saskatchewan presented the new concept of high performance economic regions to replace the current REDA structure.  There will be 13 economic regions, based on commuting patterns.  Enterprise Saskatchewan will work with each of the regions to support participation.  There will be an application / intake process fro each region; partners and leaders should represent a broad spectrum of the geography and stakeholders within the region.   

Climate Change
The provincial government is committed to an effective climate change strategy and has mandated the Minister of the Environment to work with industry and others towards achieving provincial emission reduction targets.  SARM has participated in this process and is recommending that credit be given to early adaptors of beneficial management practices.  The process must be economically feasible for producers with minimal administration and liability and that the EFP be continued and that the good management practices utilized in EFPs be communicated and promoted to all Saskatchewan producers.  SARM would suggest that the province engage farmers and ranchers that have completed EFPs and use their positive experiences as a communication/promotion tool to encourage others.  

Through our discussions we heard that there are hundreds of solutions for climate change being explored by all sectors of Saskatchewan industry.  Everything from modifying livestock feed to minimize emissions to utilizing alternate power generation sources were discussed.  The government needs to enable research, development and implementation of such innovations in all sectors.  Ultimately any solutions must be science based.  Saskatchewan needs to identify some realistic, attainable goals and use a common sense approach. 

Luanne Synk Leaves SARM
Luanne joined SARM in October of 1999 as Administrative coordinator.  She later took over the position of Property Insurance Officer.  Questions regarding the SARM property Insurance program should be directed to Kathie Caleval at 761-3726 or email to     

Quote of the Month 

“Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.”

Albert Einstein (1879-1955)