Increase Fines for Littering

Res #: 20-23A
Number: 20
Year: 2023
Midterm: No
Expired: No
Responses Received: Yes
Departments: Saskatchewan Ministry of Environment

WHEREAS littering has become a significant issue for RM’s throughout the province costing RM’s time and money
cleaning up the mess.

WHEREAS garbage is unsightly and creates a risk to wildlife and the environment.

WHEREAS conservation officers are left to deal with people’s garbage which is taking them away from other pressing

BE IT RESOLVED that SARM lobby the provincial government to increase the fines to those that are littering.

Responses From: Saskatchewan Ministry of Environment

June 20, 2023

Littering, such as illegal discarding or abandoning of waste, is a concern across Saskatchewan. The province continues to work cooperatively with urban and rural municipalities, and other interest groups to address this issue. While the focus of the ministry is to enhance education and awareness on the negative impacts littering has on the environment and human health, it is necessary to have appropriate enforcement options available to gain compliance and use as a disincentive against further illegal activity.

Under The Environmental Management and Protection Act, 2010, the monetary penalty for littering via summary offence ticket is $500 for individuals and $1,000 for corporations and are for less severe littering violations. These penalties were increased in June 2015 from $200 for individuals and $500 for corporations. This is only one enforcement option and depending on the severity of the violation a peace officer may require the responsible person(s) to appear in court. If found guilty individuals are liable to a fine up to $1,000,000 for each day or part of a day during which the offence continues, imprisonment up to three years, or a combination of both. It is important to note that urban and rural municipalities also have the tools to implement and execute enforcement through the use of bylaws.

If monetary penalty amounts by way of summary offence tickets increase it could reduce the effectiveness of using summary offence tickets and increase the burden on the judicial system. It is up to the discretion of the peace officer to decide what enforcement tool to use and if options are too extreme, they may not be useful. Other tools such as orders are used to require responsible parties to clean up the litter.

The Honourable Dana Skoropad – Minister of Environment, Government of Saskatchewan