Disqualified Member of Council
Res #: 36-12A
Responses Received: No
Departments: Saskatchewan Ministry of Municipal Affairs
WHEREAS Section 148 (1) of The Municipalities Act requires that a member of council who is disqualified must resign immediately; and
WHEREAS Section 148 (2) states that if the member of council does not resign as required by subsection (1) the council or a voter may apply to the court to determine if the council member is disqualified;
BE IT RESOLVED that the disqualified member of council be the one to apply to the court in order to be re-established as a council member after they have been disqualified, rather than the council or a voter being required to apply to the court to determine if the council member is disqualified.
Response from Honourable Darryl Hickie, Minister of Municipal Affairs:
The current provisions of section 148 of The Municipalities Act were put in place in 2005. These provisions do two things:
(1) Require that a member of council who is disqualified must resign immediately, and
(2) Require a mechanism for enforcement of the disqualification of a member of council in the event that the member does not resign immediately. In such a case, a council, or a voter, may apply to the court to determine whether the person is, in fact, disqualified and to make an order based on its determination. The court order can then be used to force the resignation of the member.
Section 166 of The Northern Municipalities Act, 2010 is similar but also includes a provision that a council “may, by resolution, declare the person’s office vacant because the person has become disqualified pursuant to the Act (section 165) from holding office as a member of council”. The person whose office has been declared vacant can then appeal the council’s decision to the Court of Queen’s Bench or a provincial court judge, to either confirm or set aside the disqualification resolution. Northern Councils and voters also retain the same remedies that are in The Municipalities Act (section 148). This approach for northern municipalities could be added to The Municipalities Act if SARM and SUMA agree.