Enforcement of Bylaws

Res #: 25-16A
Number: 25
Year: 2016
Midterm: No
Expired: No
Responses Received: No
Departments: Saskatchewan Ministry of Government Relations

WHEREAS with authority granted by The Municipalities Act, municipalities in Saskatchewan have enacted bylaws concerning nuisance properties, hazardous situations, zoning, etc. These bylaws have been put in place to maintain community standards and to make our communities safe and comfortable places to live; and


WHEREAS in some cases attempts to enforce bylaws are met with legal actions. Enforcement via the courts is expensive. Councils, seeing the potential problems and expenses, become reluctant to enforce bylaws or avoid using bylaws all together to avoid the possibility of financial loss. Legal costs can wreak havoc on the limited budget of a small community. With little effort or expense, a resident can place his or her community in jeopardy; and


WHEREAS the difficulty in employing and enforcing bylaws has a chilling effect which can result in the abandoning of attempts to uphold community standards aimed at maintaining and enhancing the quality of life in small municipalities. They become less attractive places to live and, in their decline, foster an attitude within remaining residents that is inclined to contribute to the further deterioration of amenities; and


WHEREAS although the legal system depends on due process, it would be helpful if there were an alternative to lengthy, expensive actions to which uncooperative individuals can subject a municipality. Under the current system, municipalities are accumulating legal bills in tens of thousands of dollars fighting persons who are clearly in violation of the laws of their municipality;


BE IT RESOLVED that SARM request the Provincial Government amend The Municipalities Act to include a provision for mediation services in cases of dispute between Orders to Remedy and municipal governments and make such mediation a requirement before initiating court actions; and


BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that mediation be made available at minimum cost and be facilitated by an independent third party. 

View response from the Minister of Government Relations