Consultation on Municipal Matters
Res #: 10-01A
Responses Received: No
Departments: Saskatchewan Government Relations
Resolution No. 10-01A
WHEREAS, Saskatchewan Municipal Affairs, Culture & Housing (MACH) had earlier proposed the forced amalgamation of municipalities against the wishes of SARM, municipal representatives and against the democratic will of the vast majority of the people of Saskatchewan; and
WHEREAS, MACH later proposed the elimination of mandatory certification for rural administrators without either the employer or employee associations requesting such action; and
WHEREAS, the mandate of MACH according to the government of Saskatchewan website is to work “in partnership with communities by providing technical support and by developing legislation, regulations and other policies to meet the changing needs of the Saskatchewan people”;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that SARM lobby the government of Saskatchewan for legislation requiring MACH to properly consult with SARM on all municipal matters prior to any changes being proposed to legislation or regulations affecting municipalities.
Response from Hon. Ron Osika:
Proposals for amendments (either legislative or regulatory) generally come to the department in one of four ways:
– proposed by stakeholders (e.g. municipalities, SARM, RMAAS, SSTA, etc.);
– proposed by the public or by individual citizens;
– proposed by the department; or,
– proposed by departments or agencies elsewhere in government.
MAH takes each suggestion for change seriously and analyzes the implications. Proposals for legislative changes and their implications are "fed" into government's overall annual process for legislative development, while regulatory changes take a similar, but less time-sensitive, route.
MAH is required to follow legislation and regulation development processes that are mandated by Cabinet. Government's annual legislative development process, and its regulatory reform initiative, both include a requirement for stakeholder consultation. MAH has significantly expanded its activities in this regard over the past three years. All proposals for change are shared with stakeholders prior to final approval and stakeholder feedback forms a very important component of the work done by MAH to validate both the policy intent and the specific wording of the changes.
MAH employs a variety of methods to consult with stakeholders, including:
– sharing of policy analysis and preliminary proposals;
– sharing of drafting instructions;
– posting of proposals on the department's web site;
– meetings with and presentations to stakeholders to enable detailed review and discussion;
– sharing of the wording of draft Bills and regulations.
MAH reviews proposed amendments to The Rural Municipality Act, 1989 with the SARM Board of Directors each and every year before they are introduced in the Legislature.