Municipalities Provided First Right of Refusal for Land

Res #: 18-23A
Number: 18
Year: 2023
Midterm: No
Expired: No
Responses Received: Yes
Departments: Saskatchewan Ministry of Highways and Infrastructure

WHEREAS the Ministry of Highways and Infrastructure continues to improve major provincial highways which
sometimes includes twinning.

WHEREAS in the process of these upgrades and changes sometimes highway rights-of-way and lands are no longer
necessary for the Ministry.

WHEREAS the current policies in place for the disposal of these lands include public tender in some instances and/or
selling the land to the adjacent landowners for market value regardless of the state or usability of the lands.

WHEREAS these policies can and have resulted in huge delays due to justifying lower sale prices for the lands and
sometimes parcels of lands that are completely useless after their sale.

WHEREAS the municipality, be it rural or urban, is not offered first right of refusal on these lands even though they
would be used for municipal purposes.

BE IT RESOLVED that SARM lobby the Ministry of Highways and Infrastructure to amend their policies to give
municipalities the first right of refusal when reasonable and negotiate with those municipalities in good faith and with

Responses From: Saskatchewan Ministry of Highways and Infrastructure

May 8, 2023

The Provincial Lands Act, 2016 gives the Minister of Highways the authority to dispose of surplus land, and Section 17 of The Highways and Transportation Act,1997 directs the minister to dispose of land by tender, or public auction. 

      The Highways and Transportation Act, 1997 

      Acquisition of additional land and disposal of excess land 

  • 17(1) Where in the opinion of the minister the taking of land require d for a public improvement is likely to cause damage to the remaining property of a person and it would be reasonable for the Crown in right of Saskatchewan to acquire al l or any part of the remaining property of that person, all or that part of the remaining property may be included  with  land taken for a public improvement .  
  • (2) Where any remaining property is taken pursuant to subsect ion (1), that property is deemed to be taken for a public improvement. 
  • (3) The minister may sell, lease, or dispose of any lands and any property taken for public   improvements.
  • (4) Where practical, lands or property taken for public improvements must be sold, leased or otherwise disposed of by tender or public auction. 

As directed by the Act, the ministry shall continue to sell surplus land through a tender or public auction process. No changes will be made regarding the method the ministry currently uses to dispose of land. 

The provinces of Alberta and Manitoba generally employ similar public processes, with their excess crown lands sold at fair market value. 

For questions regarding ministry land disposal, please contact Terri Arendt, Executive Director, Ministry of Highways, at (306) 519-8770. 

The Honourable Jeremy Cockrill – Minister of Highways, Saskatchewan Ministry of Highways and Infrastructure