POP: Public Notice

POP: Yes
Res #: POP 5-18M
Number: 5
Year: 2018
Midterm: Yes
Expired: No
Responses Received: Yes
Departments: Saskatchewan Ministry of Government Relations

WHEREAS local papers are closing down and electronic means, i.e. community websites, social media, etc. are the main avenues that people obtain information;

WHEREAS acts such as The Planning and Development Act require public notice to be given for certain actions and must be published in a paper circulating the municipality which is impossible to do when there is no local paper;

BE IT RESOLVED that SARM meets with the government to discuss acts, such as The Planning and Development Act, and advise municipalities how to advertise public notices so that municipalities are compliant until the acts are revised.

Responses From: Saskatchewan Ministry of Government Relations

December 21, 2018

  • Publishing notices in newspapers has typically been viewed as the most effective way for municipalities to inform ratepayers of important and relevant municipal information, that is archived and remains as a permanent public record. With other means of giving notice, such as the use of a website, information can be changed or removed. Having said that, the ministry recognizes the issue for those communities having no local paper, as well as those who wish to support their local paper where there is one.
  • The Planning and Development Act, 2007 (PDA) requires public notices to be published in a newspaper circulating in the municipality. However, the PDA accommodates alternative methods of public notification subject to ministerial approval. The ministry reviews such requests on a case-by-case basis where the municipality is unable to meet the public notice requirements of the PDA due to exceptional circumstances. For planning bylaws pursuant to the PDA, municipalities can contact the Community Planning branch to discuss alternative methods of public notification.
  • A review of public notice options will be considered when various Acts are open, including The Municipalities Act that is scheduled to be open next year. In addition, public notification under the PDA will be further considered the next time the PDA is reviewed.

Keith Comstock – Assistant Deputy Minister, Saskatchewan Ministry of Government Relations