Crown Utility Service Lines

Res #: 6-22M
Number: 6
Year: 2022
Midterm: Yes
Expired: No
Responses Received: Yes
Departments: Saskatchewan Ministry of Crown Corporations, Saskatchewan Ministry of Labour Relations and Workplace Safety

WHEREAS Crown Utilities use right of ways to install both overhead and underground service lines.

WHEREAS municipalities may not be aware of the need to upgrade, construct or otherwise excavate right of ways for decades.

WHEREAS the cost of moving or lowering these utilities can be prohibitive and prevent improvements from occurring.

BE IT RESOLVED that SARM lobby the Provincial Government to require the Crown Utilities to cover the cost of moving or lowering utility service lines.

Responses From: Saskatchewan Ministry of Crown Investments Corporation

February 6, 2023


SaskPower provides proposed plans and mapping to impacted rural municipalities with a request for feedback prior to constructing a new overhead or underground powerline in a road allowance. This advance consultation allows SaskPower to work together with the municipality to discuss future road projects and resolve any concerns before construction begins. SaskPower’s standard is to construct facilities 0.5 meters inside the road allowance to provide as much clearance to the roadway as possible. When line alterations are required for rural municipality road projects, SaskPower in most cases covers the majority, or all costs, to relocate its facilities in the road allowance. SaskPower believes the corporation is working with rural municipalities while delivering on its mission of ensuring reliable, sustainable, and cost-effective power for customers and the communities it serves.


With respect to public road rights-of-way located within rural municipal jurisdictions, TransGas has a Master Road Crossing Agreement available to individual RMs which provides for cost coverage by TransGas in most transmission infrastructure scenarios.

SaskEnergy and its subsidiaries, including TransGas, place a high priority on their relationship with SARM and continually look for ways to improve its consultation processes. SaskEnergy believes the formal Master Road Crossing Agreement developed through joint effort with SARM leadership has struck a balance that benefits everyone.

More information would be required, but SaskEnergy may consider working with SARM on a similar endeavor, specific to distribution infrastructure and public road crossings. In most instances the proponent of the alteration pays for it. Having the requestor pay for the cost of alteration allows SaskEnergy to keep its natural gas rates low and to avoid passing along additional financial costs to ratepayers. Additional scenarios would have to be considered on their merits. Infrastructure installations and alterations can be very expensive, and the answer to that issue often lies in good cooperation, communication, and community planning.


According to Section 39(1) of The Saskatchewan Telecommunications Act, SaskTel is authorized to install telecommunications facilities within road allowances. In the 1980s, SARM raised their concern over this legislation. As a result, SARM and SaskTel negotiated a policy, which has been used to date, where SaskTel will make an effort to place rural cable on easement when economically feasible. Over the past number of years, there have been challenges faced such as crop damage, livestock disruption and potential soil pathogen transfer (clubroot). Within the policy, the rural municipalities agreed to pay 50% of the cost of relocation or moving SaskTel facilities on rights-of-way. If the SaskTel facilities cross perpendicular to the right-of-way and only requires lowering, SaskTel charges a flat fee of $100 per crossing. If the rural municipality provides the equipment to lower the facilities, no flat rate is assessed. SaskTel bills a rural municipality for the replacement cost of the existing facilities and absorbs any additional cost when upgrading existing facilities to newer or larger cabling at the time of the relocation.

In addition, SaskTel issues letters to all rural municipalities at the beginning of each year outlining the Crown corporation’s detailed process for municipalities to inform SaskTel about planned road construction which may impact SaskTel’s buried facilities. When planning new facilities, SaskTel also sends a notification to impacted rural municipalities regarding the planned cable placement.

The Honourable Don Morgan, K.C. – Minister of Crown Investments Corporation