Municipal Road Maintenance Servicing Agreements on TLE/First Nations Lands

Res #: 26-14M
Number: 26
Year: 2014
Midterm: Yes
Expired: Yes
Responses Received: No
Departments: Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada

WHEREAS existing Treaty Land Entitlement (TLE) lands and First Nations lands reside within the boundaries of rural municipalities (RM) in Saskatchewan; and

WHEREAS gravelling, plowing, grading and other regular maintenance of municipal roads is a service provided by an RM; and

WHEREAS RM ratepayers live beyond roads that pass through First Nations land; and

WHEREAS RM road maintenance services cannot end at the boundary of First Nations land;

BE IT RESOLVED that SARM lobby the Federal Government to make Municipal Road Maintenance Servicing Agreements mandatory for both existing and newly named TLE/First Nations lands to ensure adequate funding is provided to the RM providing the service.

Response from the Honourable Bernard Valcourt, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development

This is in response to your letter of November 20, 2014, forwarding the Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities' resolution concerning road maintenance on Treaty Land Entitlement bands in Saskatchewan (Resolution 26-14M). Please be assured that we take the matter you raise in your resolution seriously.

In negotiating Treaty Land Entitlement agreements with Saskatchewan First Nations, pursuant to the terms of the Saskatchewan Treaty Land Entitlement Framework Agreement, both the Government of Canada and the Government of Saskatchewan make payments into the Rural Municipal Compensation Fund. The intent of this fund is to compensate a rural municipality for any tax loss as a result of the creation of an entitlement reserve, as well as for the purpose of enabling and requiring rural municipalities to continue to maintain provincial roads and road allowances located within or adjacent to an entitlement reserve for which a rural municipality is responsible. Beyond this, it is the responsibility of First Nations and rural municipalities to negotiate agreements concerning road maintenance to their mutual satisfaction.

As you know, the Government of Canada requested feedback on the proposed revisions to the additions to reserve policy between July 26, 2013, and October 31, 2013. We received significant and valuable input from a wide range of participants, who shared their perspectives on how to improve the process for additions to reserve.

These comments have been carefully considered in relation to the proposed policy which include key improvements in relation to consultation and involvement of local governments and provinces in the additions to reserve process, dispute resolution guidance, as well as considers the overall net benefit of an addition to reserve.

Thank you for bringing this matter to my attention.