Leased Crown Land
Res #: 24-03A
Responses Received: No
WHEREAS, recent developments in relation to leased Crown lands threaten existing and future leaseholders rights, namely the "first right of refusal" traditionally upheld by Saskatchewan Agriculture; and
WHEREAS, leaseholders have held their agreements with the government in good faith and have practiced responsible land stewardship; and
WHEREAS, lost grazing rights cause to further erode already declining land bases forcing leaseholders to seek alternative grazing sources, reduce herd size, or terminate operations; and WHEREAS, producers require the security of long term tenure;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that SARM lobby the Provincial Government to honour the renewal policy and continue to grant long term leases/lease renewals together with the "first right of refusal" for third party interests.
Response from the Honourable Clay Serby, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Revitalization:
The Government of Saskatchewan is committed to resolving Treaty Land Entitlements (TLE). This will be done in a manner that balances any rights First Nations have under the TLE Framework Agreement and the expectation that lessees have for ongoing use of Crown land.
In accordance with the terms of the TLE Agreements, the province agreed to give favourable consideration to offers from TLE First Nations for the purchase of provincial Crown lands. When an Entitlement First Nation indicates that they wish to purchase certain Crown lands, the TLE process starts. In this process we have to follow the terms laid out in the TLE Framework Agreement.
However, since all land sold pursuant to that agreement is sold on a willing seller/willing buyer basis, the province is under no obligation to sell any particular parcel of land. Nor is the province obliged to renew leaseholds for extended terms. The Framework Agreement also states that Crown land cannot be sold without settling third party interests. I want to emphasize that the government's intention is to arrive at a solution that is both amicable and fair to all concerned stakeholders.