POP: Asbestos Removal Funding

POP: Yes
Res #: POP 1-19A
Number: 1
Year: 2019
Midterm: No
Expired: No
Responses Received: Yes
Departments: Saskatchewan Ministry of Government Relations

WHEREAS the removal of asbestos from municipally-owned buildings that have been taken back in tax enforcement proceedings can be very costly in terms of testing and proper removal, as according to Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S) requirements;

WHEREAS quite often the buildings taken back through tax enforcement require demolition proceedings to be carried out, which trigger the proper testing and removal of the asbestos as per OH&S requirements;

WHEREAS municipalities were not the ones that regulated whether or not asbestos could be used during the construction of these buildings, as this is regulated by provincial and federal governments;

WHEREAS it is unfair that ratepayers of a municipality become responsible for the expense of the clean-up of buildings taken back by the municipality which have asbestos;

WHEREAS leaving these buildings in a dilapidated unsafe state would not be proper safeguarding of the public by the local government;

WHEREAS the Provincial Government should bear some of the costs to assist in clean-up of buildings which Municipalities obtain through tax enforcement, similar to the former assistance program that was available to access for the clean-up of abandoned fuel stations underground storage tanks;

WHEREAS it would seem reasonable that the provincial government establish a fund that municipalities can access to cost share the clean-up of asbestos that is based on a minimum share of 50/50;

BE IT RESOLVED that SARM lobby the provincial government to create a fund that municipalities can access to assist in the removal of asbestos from municipal properties that require demolition.

Responses From: The Ministry of Government Relations

April 18, 2019

Please note Point of Privilege Resolution POP 1-19A is being forwarded to Mr. Ray Anthony, Executive Director of the Occupational Health and Safety division for the Ministry of Labour Relations and Workplace Safety for information, as asbestos in public buildings falls is within that ministry's mandate.

Municipal Revenue Sharing provides unconditional funding and is based on the value of .75 of 1 point of the Provincial Sales Tax from the second preceding year. This will result in Municipal Revenue Sharing funding of $251 million in 2019-20, an increase of approximately four per cent over 2018-19.

Municipal Revenue Sharing is provided without conditions on how it is spent locally. Municipalities are able to use this funding to address local priorities, which could include costs for the removal of asbestos.

Warren Kaeding – Minister of Government Relations