Annexation Application Timelines

Res #: 23-24A
Number: 23
Year: 2024
Midterm: No
Expired: No
Responses Received: Yes
Departments: Saskatchewan Ministry of Government Relations

WHEREAS the Saskatchewan Municipal Board (SMB) supports local authorities, to help build a strong economy by providing advice and regulatory approval on a variety of issues impacting rural municipalities; in particular around municipal boundary alterations, amalgamations and annexation.

WHEREAS if one of the involved municipalities does not consent to the proposal and the mediation fails to resolve a dispute, an application must be submitted to the Municipal Boundary Committee of the SMB which will review the proposal, hold a hearing and makes a decision regarding the proposal. This process is intensive in both the information gathering that occurs and, in the attempt, to find a mutually beneficial resolution between municipalities. Once a review of an application is complete, the decision stands, even if an attempt to withdraw an application is made by a municipality.

WHEREAS if an application or portion of an application is rejected in the decision by the Municipal Boundary Committee, no subsequent application that is substantially similar may be made for one year. This applies to all municipalities.

WHEREAS this process is very thorough, takes time, resources and has financial implications for participating municipalities.

BE IT RESOLVED that SARM lobby the provincial government to expand the “cooling off period” on when similar applications can be heard from one year to three years. Thus, preventing a cycle of continuous applications going to the SMB on issues that already have a decision rendered and preventing additional administrative, financial burdens and legal fees incurred by the municipality and the SMB.

Responses From: Saskatchewan Ministry of Government Relations

April 11, 2024

  • An application for annexation that is substantially similar to a previous application (or part of a previous application) may not be made for one year. That one-year period starts when the Saskatchewan Municipal Board has completed its review and has issued a decision to reject the application (or part of the application). Therefore, a repeat application cannot be made immediately after a decision, even when the review takes longer than one year.
  • In 2013, subsection 60(9) of The Municipalities Act was amended to change the time period from three years to one year. It was changed in part to be consistent with The Cities Act and in part with a view to the increased growth and development occurring across the province.
  • If this time period is to be amended, it would likely need to be consistent among The Cities Act, The Municipalities Act, and The Northern Municipalities Act, 2010.
  • The Ministry of Government Relations will consult on amending the current time period for government’s consideration when all three municipal Acts are open for amendment.

Sheldon Green – Acting Deputy Minister of Government Relations