Emergency Response Charges
Res #: 5-13A
Responses Received: No
Departments: Saskatchewan Ministry of Environment
WHEREAS there are countless numbers of out-of-province motor vehicles travelling on municipal roads and the provincial highway system throughout Saskatchewan; and
WHEREAS a number of fires are caused by these motor vehicles throughout the course of the year; and
WHEREAS the Ministry of Environment reimburses the municipality for emergency response charges where the motor vehicle that caused a fire on land that the Ministry has jurisdiction on is not identified and/or license numbers are not recorded; and
WHEREAS the Ministry of Environment will not reimburse the municipality the same costs where the vehicle has been identified and/or license numbers are recorded; and
WHEREAS in numerous cases, even with the vehicle plate numbers, it is very difficult or even impossible for a municipality to collect the related emergency response charges from the owner of the vehicle that caused the fire after the owner has left the province;
BE IT RESOLVED, that SARM lobby the Ministry of Environment to reimburse municipalities for emergency response charges incurred as a result of fires caused by identified and/or licensed vehicles on land that the Ministry has jurisdiction on.
Response from Honourable Ken Cheveldayoff, Minister of Environment:
I am pleased to report that the Ministry of Environment reimburses rural municipalities for emergency response charges incurred while responding to a wildfire caused by a vehicle originating on land that the ministry has jurisdiction for, whether the vehicle is licensed or not. There are protocols in place whereby the local ministry forest protection base needs to be notified of the emergency response in order to track and account for pending costs, and to determine if an investigation of the cause and origin is required by conservation officers. The local forest protection bases are listed on the ministry website under Programs and Services/ Wildfire Management/ Forest Protection Areas. For your reference, the authority to pay for an emergency response for this particular situation is derived from Section 8 (2) of The Prairie and Forest Fires Act, 1982. This will not change in the proposed Wildfire Act.