Res #: 12-19M
Responses Received: Yes
Departments: Saskatchewan Ministry of Government Relations
WHEREAS there is a movement to change rural municipal (RM) divisions towards representation by population;
WHEREAS RMs were designed to represent areas not population;
WHEREAS one of an RM’s biggest concerns is to maintain municipal infrastructure;
BE IT RESOLVED that SARM aggressively lobby the provincial government to leave rural municipalities’ divisions as they are.
Responses From: The Ministry of Government Relations
March 4, 2020
Rural municipal councils will not be forced to alter division boundaries based on population.
Amendments proposed to The Municipalities Act will require that within two years of the amendments coming into force on January 2021 (i.e. by January 2023), RM councils have a policy in place to regularly review their division boundaries and report the results publicly.
Councils can determine all manner of how reviews are to be conducted, how often they are to be done and the factors that may be considered including number of voters, infrastructure and any other matters a council considers necessary.
A council can choose to alter division boundaries following a review or not.
Some RM divisions have not changed since the RM was established. Population and voter distribution in RMs can shift over time due to a number of factors. As a result, some RMs may find that different divisions have different levels of representation on council. With regular reviews, councils will be aware of and be able to address any disparities if they choose and ensure that all interests are fairly represented.
RMs will also have the option to hold elections at large, instead of by division.
J. Greg Miller – Deputy Minister of Government Relations